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Feds appoint three judges to Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Monday, December 14, 2020 @ 2:35 PM | By John Chunn


The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced three judicial appointments for the province of Ontario.

Patrick J. Boucher, regional senior justice of the Ontario Court of Justice in Sudbury, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice Boucher replaces Justice Louise Gauthier (Sudbury), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Aug. 29, 2017.

John Krawchenko, a sole practitioner at Krawchenko Law in Hamilton, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice Krawchenko replaces Justice Jane A. Milanetti (Hamilton), who resigned effective Feb. 29, 2020.

Byrdena MacNeil, solicitor for the City of Hamilton, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice MacNeil replaces Justice Harrison Arrell (Hamilton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 30, 2020.

According to the DOJ press release, Justice Boucher is bilingual and was born in Kapuskasing, Ont. He received his BA (honours) from McGill University and his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa. 

Justice Boucher entered private practice and spent most of his time in family and criminal litigation in Cochrane North. During that time, he was an active volunteer in the community, including at the Clinique juridique Grand-Nord Legal Clinic as well as the health care recruitment and retention committee. After his appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2009, Justice Boucher was a local administrative judge, a director of the Association of Ontario Judges, an education chair for the Northeast and a member of the chief justice’s Judicial Pre-trial Best Practices Working Group. After his appointment as regional senior justice for the Northeast in 2015, he was an active member of several of the chief justice’s executive committees and worked on educational programming for the court. 

Justice Boucher was a member of the Ontario Judicial Council and the Ontario Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee.

Justice Krawchenko received his BA from the University of Manitoba in 1983 and his bachelor of laws from Robson Hall, University of Manitoba, in 1986. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1988 and started his own firm in Hamilton in 1991.

Justice Krawchenko was appointed as a deputy judge of the Superior Court of Justice small claims court in 1999 and as administrative deputy judge for the Hamilton small claims court in 2013. His areas of practice include family law, wills and estates, estate litigation, civil litigation and real estate law. He is a past president of the Hamilton Law Association and the 2019 recipient of their Emilius Irving Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the legal community.

In 2019 Justice Krawchenko also became the vice-chair of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations. He is a frequent presenter at continuing education events in the areas of estates and trusts, real estate and the small claims court. He has also been an active participant and leader in community organizations outside the legal profession.

Justice MacNeil received her LL.B. from Queen’s University Law School in 1994 after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where she earned a bachelor of music in performance (piano) degree. She obtained her LL.M. in administrative law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1999. Called to the bar in 1996, Justice MacNeil has worked both in private practice and in municipal government, focusing on civil litigation and administrative law, including human rights law, privacy law and public health law.

Justice MacNeil commenced her practice at Shibley Righton LLP in Toronto as a civil litigator. While there, she worked with the education and public law group and had a varied practice that primarily involved representing school boards and other educational organizations. In 2006, she joined the City of Hamilton Legal Services Division as a civil litigator. In addition to representing the city in legal proceedings, she provided advice on municipal, regulatory, administrative, operational and enforcement matters.

Justice MacNeil has appeared before numerous tribunals, the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She has also spoken at conferences, written several articles and presented to client departments on legal issues of interest to them.