By Department of Justice Canada | Government of Canada
On April 24, 2023, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the following appointment under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Patrick Ouellet, Partner at Woods LLP in Montreal, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montréal. Justice Ouellet replaces Justice C. Corriveau (Montreal), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 15, 2022.
“I wish Justice Ouellet every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve the people of Quebec well as a member of the Superior Court.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Patrick Ouellet was born in Thetford Mines, Quebec. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Sherbrooke in 1998 and became a member of the Barreau du Québec in 1999.
Justice Ouellet worked at Dunton Rainville from 1999 to 2001 and then joined the boutique litigation firm Woods LLP as an associate in January 2002. He became a partner with Woods in January 2006 and worked there for 21 years until his appointment to the bench. He specialized in multiple areas of civil and commercial litigation, such as corporate litigation, shareholder disputes, telecommunications, class actions, officer and director liability, and securities litigation.
Justice Ouellet has taught civil evidence law at the École du Barreau du Québec and has often participated as a presenter in conferences dealing with a number of different aspects of litigation in his areas of specialization. His skills as a litigator have earned him many accolades from his peers and the industry, including the title of Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, recognized as the most prestigious litigators’ organization in North America. He has been ranked as one of the Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada for several years, and was named Canada’s Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2021 by Benchmark Litigation.
Justice Ouellet has been actively involved as a volunteer with Accueil Bonneau, a charitable organization founded in 1877 that assists people experiencing homelessness, serving as chairman of its Board of Directors for several years.
- At the Superior Court level, more than 605 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQI+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
- To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two associate judges at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.
- Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.
- Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.
- The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.
- Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.
- The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.