5 new judges appointed as Alberta deals with court backlogs

Alberta is getting five new Court of Queen’s Bench judges. 

Two of the appointments announced by the federal government are to fill spots left by retiring judges, while the other three fill new positions that were created by the federal government last year. 

The three new positions are all in Calgary.

The new judges are:

  • James T. Neilson in Edmonton.
  • Jane Fagnan in Edmonton.
  • Nancy Dilts in Calgary.
  • Anne Kirker in Calgary.
  • April Grosse in Calgary.

The appointments come after months of controversy over shortages on Alberta’s courts, which had the highest vacancies in the country prior to Friday’s announcement. 

Alberta now has seven Court of Queen’s Bench vacancies and three vacancies on the court of appeal. 

It’s a pressing issue in the wake of the Supreme Court’s so-called Jordan decision, which puts timelines on when a trial must start. 

Hundreds of cases have been thrown out of court for unreasonable delays since that ruling. 

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