'Trickle' of female judges appointed under Harper government

Gender imbalance in the Supreme Court

By Ryan Starr

On Monday November 14th, 2011

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 A report in Saturday’s Globe and Mail detailed how the appointment of female judges under the Harper government has “diminished to a trickle … “dashing any hopes that equal gender representation is on the doorstep.”

Kirk Makin reported that only eight women have been appointed to the federal judiciary this year — versus 41 men. In 2010, 13 women and 37 men were given judgeships. “There are currently 356 female judges among the total of 1,117 federally appointed judges on the bench,” he writes. “Parity had been within reach until the numbers began to skew under the Conservatives in 2006. In 2005, then-justice minister Irwin Cotler appointed female candidates approximately 40 per cent of the time.”

“The numbers should leap out and tell you something is wrong here,” Cotler told the Globe. “It doesn’t mean that the people being appointed are not good candidates, but when you have that kind of configuration, something is just not reflecting the proper equities.”