1 June 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the appointment of The Honourable Mr. Justice Warren K. Winkler, Regional Senior Judge of the Superior Court of Justice in and for the Province of Ontario for the Toronto Region, as Chief Justice of Ontario. He replaces the Honourable Chief Justice R. McMurtry who retired May 31, 2007.
Chief Justice Winkler is a nationally recognized legal scholar and author, an expert in labour law and class action law and practical jurist who has been a member of the Ontario court system for the past 14 years, the last three as the Regional Senior Judge for the Toronto Region. Chief Justice Winkler received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the University of Manitoba (Brandon College). Chief Justice Winkler’s impressive legal career spans more than four decades. As a lawyer he practiced with Winkler Filion and Wakely and its predecessor firms in Toronto. He was also very active in the legal community acting in numerous capacities with the Canadian Bar Association, including as member of its national executive committee, as chair of provincial and national labour law sections, and as founding chair of the environmental law section.
Appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) in 1993 and then appointed Regional Senior Judge for Toronto Region in March 2004, Chief Justice Winkler has acted as member of the Court’s Commercial List, as a member of the Divisional Court, as Team Leader of the Court’s Long Trial List, and as Team Leader for Class Actions Toronto Region. He has also acted as a judicial mediator for large multi-party disputes including the Walkerton water disaster, Ontario Hydro and Power Workers, Windsor-Michigan Tunnel dispute and the Air Canada restructuring. Chief Justice Winkler is a distinguished legal author and editor in the area of labour law, acting as a founding editor of the Labour Law Journal, editor of law reports ‘Labour Arbitration Cases’ (Canada Law Book), and co-author of O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms, 11th Ed., Labour Relations and Employment, Vols. 1 and 2 and Labour Arbitration: The Year in Review (Canada Law Book, 2006). He has been awarded two honourary doctorates and numerous other academic distinctions including, most recently, the Bora Laskin Award from the University of Toronto for outstanding achievements in Canadian labour law. Besides being a frequent speaker at legal and judicial conferences, Chief Justice Winkler is a global thinker and local actor for environmental responsibility, chairing the Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund and acting as a member of the Board of Directors of Bird Studies Canada.
This appointment is effective immediately.