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Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

File photo. The federal justice minister has appointed three new judges in B.C., and all six this year are meeting the Liberal government's work to diversify the bench.
File photo. The federal justice minister has appointed three new judges in B.C., and all six this year are meeting the Liberal government's work to diversify the bench. Global News

Canada’s justice minister has taken a step towards addressing vacancies on the B.C. Supreme Court, appointing three new judges.

Jody Wilson-Raybould has appointed Barbara Norell, Wendy Baker and Sharon Matthews to the bench.

It comes two weeks after B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson took the unusual step of speaking out – saying appointments weren’t coming fast enough, which meant cases weren’t being heard.

READ MORE: More vacancies on B.C. Supreme Court to start 2018 despite new appointment process

So far this year the federal government has appointed six judges in B.C., but there are still eight vacancies on the B.C. Supreme Court and B.C. Court of Appeal.

All of the appointments this year satisfy the government’s push to diversify the bench.

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The Liberals pledged to increase diversity in the judiciary by appointing qualified women, Indigenous people, people of colour and members of the LGBTQ community.

And to do so, they changed the process for selections in 2016 – demanding high-quality candidates, but especially looking for people who will help the bench look like the communities they serve.

READ MORE: New justice appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Thursday’s three appointees are women.

Three made earlier this year include a Metis woman, a South Asian man, and a member of the LGBTQ community.

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