Female judges in Alberta: a look at the numbers

In the provincial court, where judges are appointed by the province, men outnumber female judges four to one.

In provincial court, where judges are appointed by the province, men outnumber female judges 4 to 1

In Alberta, provincially-appointed male judges outnumber females by four to one. (CBC)

This week, federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay stirred up controversy when he suggested women aren't applying to be judges because they have "a greater bond with their children."

What's the situation like in Alberta? 

In the provinces two highest courts — where judges are appointed by the federal government — there is a fairly even mix of men and women sitting on the bench.

But in the provincial court — where judges are appointed by the province — men outnumber female judges four to one.

Of the 172 judges, only 36 —  or 20 per cent — are women.

Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said the government doesn't look at gender when appointing judges.

"I'm interested in the most qualified person for the job, regardless of gender," he said.

But Laurie Blakemen, the Liberal justice critic, says pretending the number of female judges in provincial court is not an issue is problematic in itself.

"I still find the federal government's attitude towards women antiquated," said Blakemen. "I find a provincial Conservative government's attitudes towards women even worse."

Here is how Alberta fares:

 

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