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Minister of Justice announces seven judicial appointments in Alberta

by HR Law Canada

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Arif Virani, announced a series of judicial appointments across Alberta on April 15.

The appointments are the result of a rigorous application process introduced in 2016, designed to reflect Canada’s diverse populace while prioritizing merit and integrity, it said in a press release. These new appointments include Justices of Appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal and Justices to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in both Edmonton and Calgary.

In Edmonton, Justice Tamara Friesen has been elevated from the Court of King’s Bench to the Court of Appeal, filling the vacancy left by Justice F.L. Schutz. Similarly, in Calgary, Judge Joshua B. Hawkes of the Alberta Court of Justice has been promoted to the Court of Appeal, replacing the retired Justice B.L. Veldhuis.

New appointees to the Court of King’s Bench include Maureen J. McGuire, K.C., previously Counsel at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and Kelsey L. Brookes, a Partner at Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP, both in Edmonton. In Calgary, Shane Parker, K.C., a Senior Prosecutor, and M. Oliver Ho, a Partner at Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP, along with Derek Jugnauth, a Partner at Wolch Wilson Jugnauth, have also joined the Court of King’s Bench.

“I wish Justices Friesen, Hawkes, McGuire, Brookes, Parker, Ho, and Jugnauth every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Albertans well as members of the Court of Appeal and the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta,” stated Minister Virani.

These appointments are part of an ongoing effort to ensure that Alberta’s judiciary not only meets the highest standards of excellence and integrity but also mirrors the demographic and professional diversity of the population it serves, it said.


Justice Tamara Friesen was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in 2019. She attended the University of Alberta for her undergraduate degree and received an M.A from the University of Guelph in 1997. She studied law at the University of Alberta and clerked with both the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of King’s Bench before being called to the Alberta Bar in 2002.

Justice Friesen practiced criminal law as a Crown prosecutor for Alberta Justice from 2002 to 2010, where she worked in each of the General, Specialized, and Appellate branches. Her legal career included positions as legal counsel with the Law Society of Alberta and as a Director of Legal Research and Writing at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. From 2013 to 2019, she practiced labour, employment, constitutional and administrative law at Nugent Law Office. She has appeared before a variety of administrative tribunals and at all levels of court, including appearing at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Joshua B. Hawkes obtained his LLB from the University of Alberta in 1990. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 1991.

Justice Hawkes was appointed to the Alberta Court of Justice in 2017 and was named Assistant Chief Justice for the Calgary Criminal and Regional Division of that court in 2020. He is committed to continuing judicial education, having served both as the Chair of the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges’ Committee on the Law, and as a faculty member at the national Newly Appointed Provincial and Territorial Judges’ Skills Seminar. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he had extensive experience in criminal appellate law as appellate counsel, and later as the Director and subsequently Executive Director over what was then the Appeals, Education and Prosecution Policy Branch of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. In those capacities he appeared regularly in the Alberta Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Hawkes was actively involved in law reform, having served for 20 years as Alberta’s Jurisdictional Representative to the Criminal Law section of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, and later as the Chair of that section, and, finally, as President of the Conference.  He served on the executive of the National Criminal Law section of the Canadian Bar Association, and as an elected Bencher with the Law Society of Alberta.

Justice Hawkes was one of the first members of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service with a significant physical disability. He takes pride in his commitment to improve access to justice and accessibility in the justice system, and to contribute to making that system more representative of the community it serves.

Justice Maureen J. McGuire, K.C., holds a B.A. (1990) from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an LL.B. (1997) from University of Manitoba. She was called to the bar in Ontario in 1999, in the Northwest Territories in 2006, and in Alberta in 2010. She was appointed King’s Counsel in 2020. 

At the time of her appointment to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, Justice McGuire was a Crown Counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Edmonton. She has extensive criminal trial and appellate experience, having practiced both as a defence counsel and as a prosecutor. She began her legal career with the criminal defence firm, Gold & Fuerst, in Toronto. In 2006, she joined the Public Prosecution Service in Yellowknife, where her work included cases in small communities throughout the Northwest Territories. After a brief return to Toronto, she spent the past 14 years practicing in Edmonton. She has been a counsel in many legally significant cases before the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.  

Justice McGuire has been a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law since 2010, teaching Legal Research and Writing, and Appellate Practice and Procedure. She has volunteered with several charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, LitFest Alberta, and Wellspring Alberta.  She is a strong advocate for continuing legal education and regularly contributes her time as a speaker or facilitator in professional development programs.

Justice Kelsey L. Brookes received her Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Alberta in 1996 and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Distinction from the University of Alberta in 1999.  She was admitted to the Bar of Alberta in 2000. 

Justice Brookes started as an associate with Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP in 2000. Over the next 24 years, she developed a practice in the area of Municipal Law and Employment Law. As Co-Chair of the firm’s Municipal Law team, she provided advice to urban and rural municipalities on Council issues, municipal elections, planning and development, tax recovery, enforcement, bylaws, pecuniary interests, Codes of Conduct, expropriation, inter-municipal disputes and assessment. In addition, she helped municipalities with the more traditional issues faced by all corporations, including litigation and employment issues.

Justice Brookes was particularly interested in planning and development and working with Subdivision and Development Appeal Boards and has taught and lectured extensively on the topic, including teaching Planning Law at the University of Alberta in the School of Urban and Regional Planning for 6 years.

Justice Brookes enjoys spending time with her husband, four children, one grandchild, and two dogs in Alberta and British Columbia.  She is a devoted runner, but dabbles in cycling, swimming, and cross-country skiing when time permits.

Justice Shane Parker, K.C., received his Bachelor of Science with a major in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, his MPE from University of New Brunswick, and his LL.B. from Dalhousie Law School in 2000. He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 2001 and Law Society of Alberta in 2006.

Justice Parker was a Senior Prosecutor with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service based in Calgary. He took on high-profile and complex homicides. Previously, he was a Special Prosecutor for seven years in the Organized Crime Unit. He has prosecuted in Nova Scotia, and practiced with the criminal firm, Pink Murray Graham in Halifax. He was designated King’s Counsel in 2013 and was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2018 and worked on several of their committees. 

Justice Parker was a contributing author in the criminal law textbook, “From Crime to Punishment”.  He was the founder of the Alberta Prosecution Service’s intensive wiretap training course and lectured on search and seizure law.

Justice Parker coached university and junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. He and his wife, Frances, are very proud of their adult sons Jackson, Keegan and Cole. 

Justice M. Oliver Ho is a born and raised Calgarian. He obtained his B.A. and LL. B concurrently in 2002, and his MBA in 2016, from the University of Calgary. He was called to the Alberta bar in 2003, and the Ontario bar in 2022.

Justice Ho commenced his career at Gowlings but spent the next nearly 20 years practicing at JSS Barristers, including multiple years on JSS Barristers’ Executive Committee and a term as JSS Barristers’ Managing Partner. Justice Ho’s practice included a wide variety of commercial disputes, shareholders disputes, and estate litigation.

Justice Ho is passionate about sharing his time with a variety of communities that are close to him. He has been an active volunteer with the Legal Archives Society of Alberta, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Pro Bono Law Alberta, the Calgary Zoo, the University of Calgary, a number of local fine arts organizations, and has been a mentor to many law students and lawyers. In 2020, he was awarded The Advocates’ Society Alberta Excellence in Mentoring Award. He has been recognized by publications including Lexpert, Benchmark Litigation, and Best Lawyers.

Justice Ho enjoys running, making music, travelling, and above all else spending time with his wonderful wife and their lovely children.

Justice Derek Jugnauth remains forever proud of his small-town Saskatchewan heritage, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan in 1997. Following ten years with one of the world’s leading technology and consulting organizations, he changed direction in 2007 to pursue his long-held dream of becoming a trial lawyer. He earned his law degree from the University of Calgary in 2011 where he graduated with a host of academic awards, scholarships, and achievements. He was called to the Alberta bar in 2012.

Justice Jugnauth completed his articles with the national firm of Blakes Cassels & Graydon LLP after clerking for the Court of King’s Bench. He began his career as a criminal defence barrister under the tutelage of the legendary Hersh Wolch K.C. and alongside industry heavyweight Willie deWit K.C. (now of the Alberta Court of Appeal). After Hersh’s untimely passing in 2017, he helped to carry the torch of his legacy by continuing the firm in his name; continuing to represent clients charged in some of Alberta’s largest and most complex criminal investigations; and passing on the accumulated wisdom of the office by mentoring other lawyers newly into their careers.

Justice Jugnauth and his wife enjoy living in Calgary with their two wonderful children and two delightful dogs. When not at the office, he can be found volunteering on the Board of Directors for the KidZinc School Age Care Society of Alberta; running his kids to their various sports and activities; walking the pups; and taking advantage of Alberta’s incredible outdoors.

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