Salary hike for provincial court judges

A day after the Quebec Minister of Justice suffered a stinging setback following a Superior Court decision that held that the Chief Justice of the Court of Quebec can require bilingualism in the judicial appointment process, even against the wishes of the minister, the Quebec government begrudgingly gave the green light to increase the salary of provincial court judges.

The Quebec executive and the judiciary have not seen eye-to-eye since Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barette maintained last spring that bilingualism was not a prequisite to be appointed to the Court of Quebec, a position diametrically opposed by Chief Justice Louise Rondeau. Tensions between the two branches of power were further exarcerbated last fall over competing visions on how to deal with domestic and sexual violence cases.

In a 55-page ruling, Quebec Superior Court Justice Christian Immer ruled that the minister had no say on how magistrates set the professional and linguistic requirements of provincial judges.

A day later the Quebec government issued a 27-page report that stated it intends to approve a significant salary hike to provincial judges after a five member blue-ribbon panel of legal and financial experts recommended boosting the renumeration of Court of Quebec judges from the current $255,000 to $310,000 by July 2022, which would make them the third best paid provincially appointed judges, behind Ontario and Saskatchewan.

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