October 9, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the new judicial application process announced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Jeffrey F. Harris, a partner at Myers Weinberg LLP, is appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba in Winnipeg. He replaces Justice K.I. Simonsen, who was appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal on August 29, 2018.
Connie F. Petersen, principal at Petersen King, is appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba (Family Division) in Winnipeg. She replaces Justice D.M. Little, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 2, 2017.
Annette J.R. Horst, a supervising attorney at Legal Aid Manitoba, is appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba (Family Division) in Winnipeg. She replaces Justice M.E. Goldberg, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 16, 2017.
Justice Jeffrey F. Harris obtained his B.A. in 1974, his B.Ed. in 1976, and his LL.B. in 1982, all from the University of Manitoba. He articled at Pollock and Company in Winnipeg and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1983. In 1987, he was one of the founding partners of Keyser, Baragar, Harris and Sadana (later Keyser, Harris) where he practised until 1996. At that time, he joined the firm now known as Myers LLP, where he was practising at the time of his appointment.
Early in his career, Justice Harris maintained a practice focused on criminal, civil and family litigation. His work later evolved to focus on Indigenous legal issues, including claims negotiations, settlement trusts and child protection. He has acted as outside general counsel for two First Nation child and family service agencies and has represented agencies in several inquests. He has appeared at most levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Throughout his career, Justice Harris has been active in the Canadian and Manitoba Bar Associations, serving as President of the Manitoba Bar Association (MBA), and as Chair of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and MBA Aboriginal Law Sections, in addition to serving in many programs and on committees of both associations. Justice Harris has presented several papers for the CBA, the MBA and other professional organizations on Indigenous legal issues. As a member of the Speakers’ Bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba since its inception, he has presented to numerous community, school and government groups about the historical and constitutional importance of Treaties and how they shape our relationship with Indigenous people in Canada.
Justice Harris and his spouse, Suzanne Mulaire, have three incredible children and three beautiful grandchildren, with whom they spend as much time as possible. In his down-time, Justice Harris enjoys time at the family cottage, training for half-marathons, cycling and scuba diving.