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Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Ontario

June 12, 2023

NationTalk: Department of Justice Canada – The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Catherine H. Rhinelander, Assistant Crown Attorney at the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, Criminal Law Division, in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Justice Rhinelander fills one of the three remaining positions authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1.


“I wish Justice Rhinelander every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve Ontarians well as a member of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”

—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Catherine H. Rhinelander is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation in Treaty #8 territory and the daughter of a residential school survivor. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University and was called to the Ontario bar in 1993.

Justice Rhinelander began her legal career as a defence counsel with a large criminal law firm in Toronto and opened her own practice in 1996. In 2007, she joined the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Guns and Gangs Unit, where she oversaw large-scale complex prosecutions largely based on the interception of private communications. She was part of a team that represented Ontario at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and has presided as a deputy judge in Small Claims Court.

Justice Rhinelander was a member of the Death Investigation Oversight Council, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity, the Indigenous Bar Association, and the Aboriginal Law Summer Student Program, and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Group to the Law Society of Ontario. Throughout her career, she has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto, presented at conferences, and helped design courses delivered to Crown attorneys in Ontario. Outside of law, she worked with families focused on healing through land-based art, bringing awareness to the public of MMIWG2S+ loved ones, and with the Board of Governors of Humber College, the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Race Relations, and various sports organizations for her children.

Adventuresome and family-oriented, Justice Rhinelander enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, reading, playing sports, and undertaking new challenges.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 620 judges since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQI+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
  • To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two associate judges at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.
  • Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.
  • Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.
  • The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.
  • Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.


For more information, media may contact:

Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada