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Two new judges appointed to Ontario Court of Justice

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 9:49 AM | By John Chunn

Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General announced the appointment of Justices Claudia Cynth Belda Perez and Vince Scaramuzza to the Ontario Court of Justice, effective March 4, 2021.

According to the government’s press release, Justice Belda Perez was called to the bar in 2004. Soon after, she began working at the Nishnawbe Aski Legal Services Corporation where she spearheaded the Ontario Telejustice Project, an initiative to increase access to justice in remote Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities. Since then, she has worked with the Ontario Justice Education Network and several private practice law firms. Justice Belda Perez has a decade of private practice experience in child protection, family law, alternative dispute resolution and as duty counsel in family and criminal courts throughout Northern Ontario.

Since 2004, Justice Belda Perez was a member of the Thunder Bay Law Association, where she held several positions, including president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary and committee chair. She also developed and implemented the Indian Residential Schools Awareness Project and was a member of the board of the directors of the NorWest Community Health Centres. She volunteered with the Mandatory Information Program for new family law litigants and Pro Bono Students Canada, an organization that provides free legal services.

Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve has assigned Justice Belda Perez to Thunder Bay, Ont.

Justice Scaramuzza was called to the bar in 1993 and started his legal career as staff duty counsel with Legal Aid Ontario. In 1995, he opened a private practice where he developed experience in Gladue Court, administrative tribunals, youth justice, mental health, criminal law, civil litigation and acted as a per diem assistant Crown attorney. Justice Scaramuzza was also an instructor for George Brown College’s General Law course. In 2017, he was appointed as a tribunal member with the Administrative Penalty Tribunal for the City of Toronto.

Since 2006, Justice Scaramuzza acted as a director of Springboard, an organization that helps vulnerable youth and adults through critical life transitions. He has also dedicated time as volunteer kitchen staff with the Out of the Cold program and served as a member of Legal Aid Ontario's Criminal Law Youth Panel Standards Advisory Committee. Justice Scaramuzza was an instructor for the Criminal Law Skills course and the Professional Responsibilities course with the Law Society of Ontario bar admission course. Following that, he was a mentor and assessor with the Law Practice Program since its inception at Ryerson University.

Chief Justice Maisonneuve has assigned Justice Scaramuzza to Thunder Bay.