Overview

The Supreme Court of Canada has imposed a constitutional obligation on provincial governments to use an independent commission process to set the compensation for judicial officers, including Provincial Court judges and Court of Queen’s Bench masters in chambers.

Several pieces of provincial legislation are relevant to the judicial compensation commission process:

2013 commission

The 2013 Judicial Compensation Commission reviewed and recommended changes in compensation for:

  • Provincial Court judges
  • Court of Queen’s Bench masters in chambers

For both groups, the 2013 commission examined the following for the period between April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2017:

  • salary rates
  • design and level of pension benefits
  • types  and kinds of benefits and allowances
  • any other issues relevant to financial security that the commission agreed to resolve

On July 8, 2015, the Lieutenant Governor in Council approved all the 2013 commission’s recommendations.

2017 commission

The 2017 Judicial Compensation Commission presented its report of recommendations to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General on May 9, 2019 and an amended report was provided on May 23, 2019:

Report and Recommendations of the 2017 Alberta Judicial Compensation Commission

Cabinet responded to the Commission’s recommendations by Order in Council dated September 13, 2019:

Provincial Judges and Masters in Chambers 2017 Compensation Commission Regulation (web page) or PDF version (381 KB).

Judicial compensation review

In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada determined that there is a constitutional obligation on governments to set compensation for judicial officers through an independent, objective and effective commission process.

An independent Judicial Compensation Commission was established under Alberta’s Judicature Act to review and recommend the appropriate level of compensation for the Provincial Court of Alberta judges and Court of Queen’s Bench masters in chambers, for the period April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2021.

The Commission held a public hearing in 2018.

Written submissions

Initial submissions

Submission of the Alberta Provincial Judges’ Association (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Submission of the Law Society of Alberta (PDF, 52 KB)

Submission of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Reply submissions

Reply Submission of the Alberta Provincial Judges’ Association  (PDF, 735 KB)

Rebuttal Submission of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General (PDF, 4.5 MB)

Reports

View the reports of past judicial compensation commissions

Contact

To learn more, contact:

Ruth Fast
Legal Counsel
Email: ruth.fast@gov.ab.ca
Phone: 780-644-7696
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)