APPOINTMENTS TO THE BENCH
Federal Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould announced seven judicial appointments in Ontario. Alison Harvison Young, who served as a Superior Court of Justice judge, has been appointed as a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, replacing Justice E.E. Gillese, who has elected to become a supernumerary judge. Barry M. Tobin, who served as an Ontario Court of Justice judge, will now be a Superior Court of Justice judge, replacing Justice M. McSorley, who resigned in April. Judy A. Fowler Byrne, who was a partner at Miller Thomson LLP, has been appointed as a Superior Court of Justice judge in Brampton, replacing Justice F. Van Melle, who elected to become a supernumerary judge. Gillian E. Roberts, who was counsel at the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General, has been appointed as a Superior Court of Justice judge in Toronto, replacing Justice A.M. Molloy, who elected to become a supernumerary judge. Nancy L. Dennison, who was also counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General, has been appointed to be a Superior Court of Justice judge in Brampton, replacing Justice J.M. Fragomeni, who elected to become a supernumerary judge. Suranganie Kumaranayake, who was counsel with the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, has been appointed to be a Superior Court of Justice judge in Brampton, replacing Justice D.F. Dawson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge. Lastly, Breese Davies, a Toronto defence lawyer, has been appointed a judge in the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, replacing Justice T.R. Lederer, who elected to become a supernumerary judge.
REFUGEE PROTECTION DIVISION HEARINGS RETURN TO OTTAWA SEPT. 10
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada said in an announcement that it will begin hearing claims in downtown Ottawa for refugee protection beginning Sept. 10. A Notice to Appear will be sent to claimants and their counsel confirming the time, date and location of the hearing, the announcement said. Claims from other cities may also be heard in Ottawa through videoconference, the announcement said.
The new hearings are the first since officially closed hearing rooms in Ottawa on April 1, 2014 as part of a cost reduction proposal. When the government announced the discontinuation of the Ottawa proceedings, hearings and documents were shifted to Montreal.
Refugee protection claims increased 82 per cent between June 2017 and June 2018, the IRB said, and the Canadian government has allocated $72 million to increase capacity to deal with refugee claims.
LAW TIMES POLL
Ontario’s new anti-SLAPP legislation was tested in the Court of Appeal.
Readers were asked if they thought anti-SLAPP legislation is working well.
About 77 per cent said yes, if a defendant can bring an anti-SLAPP motion at the beginning of the trial before they have filed a statement of defence, it promotes expression on matters of public interest.
About 23 per cent said no, in earlier cases involving anti-SLAPP motions, many felt the legislation was interpreted in a way that made it too easy for the defendants to earn a dismissal.