2022 Judicial Compensation Commission
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There is 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 requires the appointment of an independent commission every four years to consider and report on all matters respecting the remuneration, allowances and benefits of Provincial Court judges and judicial justices.
Amendments were made to the Judicial Compensation Act in fall 2021. The appointment and functions of the 2022 Commission were deferred by six months. The deferral is set out in the transitional provisions of Bill 30 from that legislative sitting. The amendments also changed the cycle of the commission from every three to every four years; added a provision where the report must be filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly if the Legislative Assembly is not sitting; and added a simplified option whereby the Lieutenant Governor in Council may accept the commission’s recommendations on behalf of government, in circumstances where government is satisfied to accept all of the recommendations.
Consistent with the recent amendments, the 2022 Judicial Compensation Commission will operate between September 2022 and April 2023 to review and make recommendations concerning the remuneration, allowances and benefits for Provincial Court judges and judicial justices for the next four fiscal years (between 2023/24 and 2026/27). The commission will deliver its preliminary report not later than April 1, 2023, and its final report to the Attorney General not later than April 30, 2023. Within 15 days of receiving the report, the Attorney General must lay the report before the Legislative Assembly or file the report with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. As provided for by the recent amendments, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may accept the commission’s recommendations if government is prepared to accept all of the recommendations.
The following commissioners were appointed to the 2022 Judicial Compensation Commission:
- Lynn Smith, OC, KC (Chair)
- Vern Blair
- Lisa Castle
- Eric V. Gottardi, KC
- Robert Lapper, KC
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 B.C.
- Changes in the compensation of others paid by provincial public funds in B.C.
- The generally accepted current and expected economic conditions in B.C., and
- The current and expected financial position of the government over the three fiscal years covered by the report
The Act also states that the commission may consider other factors it considers relevant, but if it relies on another factor, the report of the commission must explain the relevance of the factor.
- Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia (PDF)
- Judicial Council of British Columbia (PDF)
- British Columbia Provincial Court Judges Association - Submission (PDF)
- British Columbia Judicial Justices Association - Submission (PDF)
- Government of British Columbia - Submission (PDF)
- Law Society of British Columbia (PDF)
- Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia Branch) (PDF)
- British Columbia Provincial Court Judges Association – Submission on Budget 2023 (PDF)
- British Columbia Judicial Justices Association – Supplemental Submission (PDF)
- Government of British Columbia – Submission on Budget 2023 (PDF)
- Government of British Columbia – Submission on Participation Costs (PDF)
- Government of British Columbia – Supplemental Submission re: Judicial Justices (PDF)
- Joint Recommendation of Government and Provincial Court Judges Association – Non-Judicial Pensions (PDF)