2016 Judicial Compensation Commission

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The Supreme Court of Canada has imposed a constitutional obligation on governments to set compensation for provincial court judges and judicial justices through an independent, objective and effective commission process.

In accordance with this obligation, the provincial Judicial Compensation Act, S.B.C. 2003, c. 59 (“Act”) requires an independent commission be appointed every three years to consider and report on all matters respecting the remuneration, allowances and benefits of provincial court judges and judicial justices. In 2015, the Act was amended to merge the provincial court judges and the judicial justices compensation commissions into a single Judicial Compensation Commission.

The 2016 Judicial Compensation Commission completed its review of the remuneration, allowances and benefits for provincial court judges and judicial justices for the period of April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2020 and delivered its final report (PDF, 4.6MB) with recommendations to the Attorney General on October 27, 2016.

On September 18, 2017 the Attorney General re-tabled the report in the Legislative Assembly and on October 25, 2017 the Legislative Assembly adopted government’s proposed response to the report.

Commission members

The following Commissioners were appointed to the 2016 Judicial Compensation Commission:

  • The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, CC, QC (Chair)
  • Peter Lloyd
  • Brenda Eaton
  • Robin N. McFee, QC
  • Randal J. Kaardal, QC

Maia Tsurumi was counsel to the Commission.

Commission hearings and recommendations

The Judicial Compensation Act (section 5) stipulates that the Commission must be guided by the need to provide reasonable compensation for Provincial Court judges and judicial justices, taking into account all of the following:

  • The need to maintain a strong court by attracting highly qualified applicants
  • Changes, if any, to the jurisdiction of Judges or Judicial Justices
  • Compensation provided in respect of similar judicial positions in Canada, having regard to the differences between those jurisdictions and BC
  • Changes in the compensation of others paid by provincial public funds in BC
  • The generally accepted current and expected economic conditions in BC
  • The current and expected financial position of the government over the three fiscal years covered by the report