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Munsee Delaware Nation lawyer appointed as justice to the Ontario Court of Justice
Posted on January 11, 2019 In Anishinabek, News
http://anishinabeknews.ca/2019/01/11/mu … f-justice/
(picture at the link)
BARRIE—Justice Jodie-Lynn Waddilove looks forward to her new role after being appointed as one of five new justices to the Ontario Court of Justice, effective Dec. 26.
“It’s been a long-term goal of mine professionally," says Waddilove, a Munsee Delaware Nation citizen who was called to the bar in 2004 after studying law at the University of Ottawa. “So it was a surprise that it happened, but it was also like ‘my goodness, finally’. So it was a sense of accomplishment as well."
Waddilove says she wanted to be a lawyer since she was 10-years-old.
“I dreamed of being a lawyer and when I was 26, I became a lawyer," Waddilove says. “And I’ve been working ever since I was 26 as a practicing lawyer. Shortly after becoming a lawyer, learning about the role of judges and what judges do, it was something I aspired to do."
Waddilove says she didn’t see many First Nations judges in the province or across the country during her career as a lawyer.
“So when I got the call, it was kind of the moment of ‘my goodness, I’ve finally done it’," Waddilove says. “So it was a great moment."
Waddilove was assigned to the Barrie Court by Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve. Her official swearing-in ceremony is on Feb. 4, but she will start presiding in court before then.
“Effective Dec. 26, I am a justice in the Ontario Court of Justice," Waddilove says.
Waddilove says there was plenty of support and encouragement from the community to her appointment.
“Everybody was very excited for me," Waddilove says. “People who know me know that I’ve always been a very ambitious hard-working person, so a lot of people said they weren’t surprised but were very happy for me."
Waddilove says many people were happy to see someone who was born and raised and served as a councilor in her community being appointed as a justice.
“My husband is from Wiikwemkoong, so his extended family has also been very supportive and very happy for us as well," Waddilove says. “So lots of support, which is always really nice to have."
Waddilove previously served as senior legal counsel with the Independent Street Checks Review, the Independent Police Oversight Review and Ontario’s Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls joint national inquiry team. She also served as the assistant commission counsel for the Ipperwash Inquiry at the beginning of her career. The Ipperwash Inquiry looked at and reported on the events surrounding the death of Dudley George, who was shot by an Ontario Provincial Police officer in 1995 during a protest by First Nations at Ipperwash Provincial Park.
“The [Independent] Street Checks report was just released last week by Justice [Michael] Tulloch, and I worked with him on the [Independent Police] Oversight Review prior to the Street Checks report," Waddilove says. “So those reports in my mind are not only significant to the legal profession, but to the public and to the people of Ontario."
Waddilove and the four other new justices were appointed by Caroline Mulroney, Attorney General for Ontario. The other justices are: Justice Aubrey Danielle Hilliard, Justice Susan Mary Magotiaux, Justice Christine Elizabeth Jahns Malott and Justice Donald Lyle Wolfe.
The Ontario Court of Justice deals with about 500,000 adult and youth criminal charges, about 20,000 family proceedings and millions of provincial offence matters such as traffic tickets per year.