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Five new justices named to Ontario Court of Justice

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 @ 1:27 PM | By Peter Carter

Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey announced the appointment of five new justices to the Ontario Court of Justice, effective Oct. 22, 2020.

Justice Cidalia Conceição Gouveia Faria was called to the bar in 1996 and has worked at the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) for over 20 years as an assistant Crown attorney, practising criminal law. Justice Faria has appeared before the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice and the Ontario Review Board.

According to a MAG press release, Justice Faria is vice-president of the Abrigo Centre, which supports victims of violence and provides services to parents, youth and elders in the community. Justice Faria is a member of the Portuguese Canadian Lawyers Association and secretary of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion for the Ontario Crown Attorneys Association. She has lectured at King’s University College (Western University) and has educated legal stakeholders and professionals in Tanzania about gender-based violence.

Justice Peter N. Fraser was called to the bar in 2007 and has extensive criminal litigation experience. As an assistant Crown attorney at the Ministry of the Attorney General for over 10 years, he prosecuted criminal cases and conducted trials, bail hearings, sentencing proceedings and dangerous offender hearings. Justice Fraser has appeared before the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Since 2019, he has worked as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Justice Fraser served on the board of directors for Turning Point Youth Services, which provides mental health services to youth in need. He has coached minor hockey with the North York Knights Hockey Association since 2016.

Justice Derek Ishak was called to the bar in 2008 in Ontario and Quebec. Justice Ishak has worked as an assistant Crown attorney at the Ministry of the Attorney General, where he conducted trials in both English and French at the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice, including several jury trials. During his time at the ministry, he also managed a team of lawyers as the acting deputy director in the Court Services Division and provided legal advice to the government on criminal, civil and family law. Most recently, Justice Ishak has been legal counsel to the Deputy Attorney General.

Justice Ishak has volunteered as a mentor for programs including Connexions and the Mentoring for Career and Inclusion Program.

Justice Jennifer Deanna Strasberg was called to the bar in 2000. Since 2018, she has been the education lead at the Ontario Provincial Strategy to Combat Internet Crimes Against Children where she educated and advised Ontario Crown attorneys and Canadian police on cases involving internet child exploitation. Prior to that, Justice Strasberg prosecuted a wide range of criminal cases as an assistant Crown attorney and appeared before the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice. From 2016 to 2018, she was a deputy Crown attorney in the Etobicoke Crown Attorney’s Office.

Justice Strasberg has served as a committee member with Alli’s Journey whichsupports young adults with cancer, as well as ORT Toronto, a Jewish educational and vocational training charity.

Justice Lori Anne Thomas was called to bar in 2009. Since 2016, she worked as a sole practitioner specializing in criminal defence trials. Justice Thomas has appeared before the Court of Appeal and the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice. In this role, she has also mentored staff, including associates and law and articling students. Justice Thomas has been the president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers since 2019 and served on the Criminal Lawyers’ Association Board since 2015. She has been a course developer and instructor at the Ryerson Law Practice Program since 2018.

Justice Thomas has assisted unrepresented parties as a volunteer lawyer for the Summary Conviction Appeal Program since 2013 and volunteers with Outof the Cold and Meals on Wheels.

Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve has assigned all five justices to Toronto