New Leadership for Alberta’s Court of King’s Bench
Today, in a momentous announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the appointment of the Honourable D. Blair Nixon as the new Associate Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, situated in Calgary. This landmark decision signifies a shift in leadership for one of Alberta’s most prominent legal institutions.
Replacing Retiring Associate Chief Justice Rooke
Associate Chief Justice Nixon assumed the role from Associate Chief Justice John D. Rooke, who retired from his post effectively on December 16, 2022. The retirement of Justice Rooke led to a vacancy at the helm of the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, which subsequently prompted the selection of Justice Nixon for this crucial role.
Prime Minister Trudeau Extends His Best Wishes
In response to the appointment, Prime Minister Trudeau expressed his well-wishes for Honourable D. Blair Nixon, saying,
“I wish the Honourable D. Blair Nixon every success as he takes on his new role as Associate Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta. He is a respected member of the legal community and has extensive experience in many areas of the law. I am confident Associate Chief Justice Nixon will be a great asset to Albertans.”
The Role of Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices
Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices in Canada are responsible for the leadership and administration of their courts. They also serve as members of the Canadian Judicial Council, which works to improve the quality of judicial services in the superior courts of Canada.
The Appointment Process
Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices are appointed by the Governor General, following advice from the Cabinet and recommendations from the Prime Minister. This meticulous process ensures that individuals selected for these esteemed positions are carefully chosen to uphold the highest standards of justice and legal expertise.
Moreover, this appointment holds substantial significance in Alberta’s legal landscape, underscoring the government’s dedication to maintaining a vibrant and effective judiciary and serving the province’s people diligently.
A Distinguished Legal Career
The Honourable D. Blair Nixon was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in 2014 and as Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of Yukon, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, and the Nunavut Court of Justice in 2016. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Associate Chief Justice Nixon was a lawyer with Felesky Flynn, in Calgary. Over the course of his career, he developed a broad practice involving corporate tax law, tax litigation, arbitration, Indigenous law, and estate planning.
A Wealth of Experience
Associate Chief Justice Nixon received his Fellowship from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta in 2006. Furthermore, he served on the executive team of that organization and held positions as a member of the Fiscal and Tax Competitive Council of the C.D. Howe Institute, the Editorial Board of the Canadian Tax Journal, and the Tax Court of Canada’s Bench and Bar Committee.
Academic Background and Recognitions
Associate Chief Justice Nixon received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta in 1978 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary in 1987. He became a member of the Alberta Bar in 1988 and received the appointment as King’s Counsel in 2004. His rich academic and professional background further underscores his qualifications for his new role as Associate Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.