Northern Legal Aid lawyers named judges

The provincial and federal governments appointed two lawyers with Northern Manitoba connections as judges two days apart.

Theresa McDonald was appointed as a provincial court judge to serve in The Pas Oct. 11 by Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen. She is currently the rural area director of Legal Aid Manitoba and has practised law in the province’s north for more than 30 years. McDonald is also a mentor in the Manitoba Bar Association’s mentorship program and the elected representative of the Law Society of Manitoba northern district. Her past volunteer work includes serving T2 Thompson Toddlers Daycare, The Pas Committee for Women in Crisis, friendship centres and faith-based outreach groups, as well as being a tutor for children with learning disabilities. She was selected by a nominating committee chaired by Chief Judge Margaret Wiebe along with three community representatives, a representative from the Canadian Bar Association’s Manitoba branch and a provincial court judge.

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“It is an honour to appoint a new provincial court judge who has demonstrated a commitment to Manitoba’s north throughout her career,” said Cullen. “She has initiated many innovations that have improved access to justice in the north, and I am confident that she will continue to work to uphold and strengthen the rule of law in her new role.”

McDonald’s appointment came after Annette Horst, a supervising attorney at Legal Aid Manitoba, was appointed by the federal government as a Court of Queen’s Bench family division judge in Winnipeg Oct. 9.

Horst received her law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1998 and was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1999. She began her career with Legal Aid in The Pas before moving to Brandon. She returned to Legal Aid Manitoba in The Pas in 2002, practising family and child protection law. She moved to Winnipeg in 2015 to continue practising family and child protection law with Legal Aid Manitoba.
Horst has served as president of the Manitoba Bar Association, national treasurer of the Canadian Bar Association and a bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba as well as on committees through professional organizations including the Law Society of Manitoba's discipline committee and the access to justice stakeholders committee. She has also volunteered on the boards of Marigold Preschool in The Pas and the Westoba Credit Union board of directors in Brandon.

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