Observant visitors may have noticed a couple new faces on the website lately. Alycia Shaw joined Jewitt McLuckie & Associates this past February, and Cara Ryan, who has been our articling student for the past 10 months, has graduated to Associate as of her very recent call to the bar this month. We’re delighted to welcome them both to the JM&A team as we continue to fight the good fight for labour unions and working people.
On December 17, 2015, Kael McKenzie was appointed as a Judge of the Provincial Court in Winnipeg. He is the first openly transgender person appointed to the bench in Canada. Like many provinces, Manitoba recognizes the diversity of the province as a central criterion to the judicial appointment process. The Provincial Court Act demands that a qualifying candidate represent the “diversity of Manitoba.” McKenzie’s appointment illustrates the judicial selection committee’s adherence to the legislation and efforts to address the lack of judicial diversity seriously. As Canadian anti-discrimination laws continue to develop, it is fundamental to such progress that the judiciary also be increasingly representative of the citizenry over which they preside. A diverse bench will undoubtedly result in more socially aware and contextualized decision-making. Speaking to the importance of diversity within the judiciary, in the Supreme Court of Canada decision R v R.D.S, Justices McLachlin and L’Heureux-Dubé wrote:
“Judges in a bilingual, multiracial and multicultural society will undoubtedly approach the task of judging from their varied perspectives. They will certainly have been shaped by, and gained insight from, their different experiences, and cannot be expected to divorce themselves from these experiences on the occasion of their appointment to the bench. In fact, such a transformation would deny society the benefit of the valuable knowledge gained by the judiciary while they were members of the Bar.”
Further addressing the need for a more diverse bench, Chief Justice McLachlin eloquently stated, “Many people, particularly women and visible minorities, may have less than complete trust in a system composed exclusively or predominantly of middle-aged white men in pinstriped trousers.” Justice McKenzie may well be a man who wears pinstriped trousers, but his experience and perspective is a welcome addition to the bench, and it will be interesting to witness the impact of increasing diversity on the development of law and the evolving concept of justice in Canada.
 Provincial Court Act
 R. v. R.D.S.  3 S.C.R. 484
 http://www.scotland-judiciary.org.uk/Upload/Documents/JSCInauguralLectureJune2012.pdf page 21
Story: Cara Ryan
Cover image and text: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/transgender-judge-manitoba-appointment-1.3372983
Although we’ve already had weeks of toasty summer heat, yesterday we marked the imminent beginning of the summer season with our annual 1505 Carling Avenue barbecue! There were about 45 people out enjoying the blue sky, sunshine and tasty grilled items, including the JM&A staff, folks from CUPE Local 503, the friendly people of Westboro Photonics, at least 3 dogs, and a few special guests. We always love to get outdoors and chat with friends, so it was a great way to kick off the summer!
Pictured above: Some happy diners
Pictured below: The burger lineup; Grillmaster Meghan showing off her guns