New judge assigned to Gore Bay courthouse

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TORONTO – On February 13, Attorney General of Ontario Doug Downey announced the appointment of three new justices to the Ontario Court of Justice effective February 13. One of the new appointments has been assigned to the Gore Bay courthouse.

According to a release announcing the new appointments, Justice Jessica Wolfe was called to the bar in 2007. Specializing in criminal law, she recently served as the Ministry of the Attorney General’s legal lead for the Kenora Justice Centre. In this role, she worked with Indigenous leaders and organizations to integrate justice, health, education, housing and social services to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the local criminal justice system. 

Prior to this, Justice Wolfe was the Aboriginal Justice Strategy Policy Counsel and lead for Legal Aid Ontario, overseeing consultations and providing legal and policy advice. She was also Crown Counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Indigenous Justice Division and was senior counsel at Aboriginal Legal Services, a legal clinic which provides legal services to low-income Indigenous persons in the areas of human rights and poverty law.  Aboriginal Legal Services engages in test case litigation, coroner’s inquests and interventions at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition to her legal experience, Justice Wolfe was also a member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Community Advisory Board and taught at the University of Sudbury.

Chief Justice Maisonneuve assigned Justice Wolfe to Gore Bay.

As for the other new appointments, Justice Michael Callaghan was called to the bar in 1998 and has been an assistant Crown attorney in the downtown Toronto Crown attorney’s office for 22 years. With a specialty in criminal law, Justice Callaghan has prosecuted hundreds of Criminal Code offences in the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice, conducted appeals at the Ontario Court of Appeal and represented the attorney general at the Ontario Review Board. Justice Callaghan also provided advice and ongoing legal training to the Toronto Police Service as an embedded Crown and volunteered with Pride Toronto and Rainbow Railroad. Most recently, Justice Callaghan worked on the ministry’s Justice Centre project as the lead for Toronto’s Downtown East neighbourhood.

Chief Justice Maisonneuve has assigned Justice Callaghan to Toronto.

Justice M. Samantha G. Peeris was called to the bar in 1994 and restricted her practice to criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory law. She has been a sole practitioner since 2003, representing clients on a broad range of matters. From 2002 to 2016, Justice Peeris also served as an alternate chair of the Ontario Review Board at hearings for individuals found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. Justice Peeris has volunteered as a tutor within the adult literacy program at West Neighbourhood House since 2012.

Chief Justice Maisonneuve has assigned Justice Peeris to Toronto.