Former Thompson lawyer Judge Malcolm McDonald will serve as associate chief judge of Manitoba’s provincial court for seven years beginning Aug. 1, taking over from current associate chief Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta.
McDonald has been a provincial court judge in The Pas since 2010. Prior to that, he was a partner at McDonald Huberdeau, now Law North, in Thompson and had 26 years’ experience as a lawyer in Northern Manitoba handling both family and criminal law cases. A 1982 graduate of the University of Manitoba’s law school, McDonald also spent time as an independent prosecutor for the province, prosecuted drug cases as a federal Crown attorney for the Department of Justice and acted as counsel to Manitoba Child and Family Services and Consumer Affairs.
“Judge McDonald brings a wealth of experience to the bench, and his commitment is evident in the roles he has chosen to take outside of the court including as an educator, facilitator and mentor,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen in a June 23 news release announcing the appointment. “I’m confident he will serve Manitobans well in this new role.”
During his time as a provincial court judge in The Pas, McDonald has also sworn in town councillors and school trustees, appeared before student groups to explain the functioning of the provincial court and presented at education sessions of the provincial court on procedure and rules in provincial family court proceedings. He is chairperson of the facilities committee of the provincial court and is also a member of the Family Rules Committee, the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges and the Committee on Access to Justice. McDonald was a facilitator at a joint Manitoba/Saskatchewan bench conference and served as a mentor for a recent judicial appointment.
Associate chief judges are appointed for a non-renewable seven-year term.
McDonald, who was recommended for the position by Cullen in consultation with the provincial court’s chief judge, will be officially sworn in before taking over from Hewitt-Michta.