The Supreme Court of Canada has imposed a constitutional obligation on governments to set compensation for judicial officers through an independent, objective and effective commission process.
In accordance with this obligation, the 2009 Alberta Judicial Compensation Commission was appointed to review and recommend changes in compensation for Alberta’s Provincial Court Judges and Masters in Chambers for the period April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2013. The Commission is mandated under Alberta's and was constituted under the Alberta Provincial Judges and Masters in Chambers Compensation Commission Regulation.
The following Commissioners were appointed to the Commission:
J. Patrick Peacock, Q.C. - Chairperson
Craig W. Neuman, Q.C.
Andrew C. L. Sims, Q.C.
The Commission conducted an inquiry respecting:
- The appropriate level of salary for the judges and masters;
- The appropriate design and level of pension benefits; and
- The appropriate level and kinds of benefits and allowances.
As part of this inquiry, the Commission held a hearing at the Edmonton Law Courts from May 16 to 18, 2011. They presented a report with their recommendations to the Minister of Justice on September 12, 2011. The government had 120 days from the presentation of the report to decide on the acceptance of the Commission's recommendations and, if any of these recommendations are not accepted, to ensure that reasons are provided.
An Order-in-Council, issuing a Judicial Compensation Order, as required under the Compensation Commission Regulation, was signed December 15, 2011. Pursuant to that Order, the Commission’s recommendations for salary increases from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2013 and for an enhancement to the pension plan cost of living indexing for Alberta’s judges and masters were approved. The recommendation to provide a full pension to any judge who has served for a period of 25 years was not accepted. Read the news release.
Compensation for Alberta's judges and masters is set out in the Provincial Court Judges and Master in Chambers Compensation Regulation and in the Provincial Judges and Masters in Chambers Registered and Unregistered Pension Plans regulation.
The next judicial compensation commission process for Alberta is expected to begin in 2013.
Judicial Compensation Order:
Report and Recommendations of the 2009 Alberta Judicial Compensation Commission - 2.3
Submission of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General in and for the Province of Alberta - 479
Submission of the Alberta Provincial Judges’ Association - 519
Submission of the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch - 198
Submission of the Honourable Judge Cheryl L. Daniel - 1.2
Reply Submission of the Minister of Justice to the Alberta Provincial Judges’ Association - 3.4
Reply Submission of the Minister of Justice to The Honourable Judge Cheryl L. Daniel - 388
Reply Submission of the Alberta Provincial Judges' Association to the Minister of Justice - 284
Reply Submission of the Honourable Judge Cheryl L. Daniel - 250
Submission of the Law Society of Alberta - 326
Subsequent Submission of the Minister of Justice re: Pension Costings - 669
Subsequent Submission of the Alberta Provincial Judges' Association re: Pension Costings - 223
Request for Submissions and Notice of Hearing - 87