Four new Alberta justices include former Olympic boxer Willie deWit

New Alberta justices include former Olympic boxer

CALGARY — Former Olympic boxer Willie deWit is one of four new judges named to sit on the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced the appointments Friday.

DeWit, a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary, won a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and boxed professionally until 1988.

He won 21 of 23 bouts, including four Canadian heavyweight titles.

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said she’s pleased with the announcement.

She said the new judges are desperately needed in Alberta where the justice system faces severe backlogs. 

She noted that funding for 12 more judges was announced in this week’s federal budget.

“I have been advocating for more judges on Alberta’s superior courts since I was elected,” Ganley said in a release. “I’d like to thank the federal government for being willing to meet us at the table, hear our concerns and take meaningful action.”

Ganley pointed out that Ottawa had created only two new Queen’s Bench positions and one on the Court of Appeal since 1996.

“Since this time, the backlogs in our system have been growing steadily.”

The other appointments Friday include Marilyn Slawinsky, Ritu Khullar and Michele Hollins.

Slawinsky worked with Alberta Justice and the Calgary Police Commission before she was appointed a provincial court judge in 2015.

Khullar has been a managing partner of Chivers Carpenter Lawyers since 2009 and has represented the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Hollins is a former national president of the Canadian Bar Association and has been a partner at Dunphy Best Blacksom since 2004.

 

The Canadian Press