Paul Bychok sworn in as Nunavut's newest judge
'I thought that my days of travelling around to all the communities in Nunavut were over'
Justice Paul Bychok took his oath at the Nunavut Court of Justice Monday, becoming Nunavut's newest judge.
Bychok spent most of his 30-year-legal career as a Crown prosecutor, with more than 12 years in Nunavut with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Before that, he was a prosecutor in Halifax from 1989 to 2003.
"I thought actually that my days of travelling around to all the communities in Nunavut were over," he said at the courthouse Monday.
"I've been to every one of our communities. So the chance to go back now in a different role, and to meet many people I thought I wouldn't be meeting again… in the flesh... is exciting! I'm looking forward to it very much."
Bychok retired last April, and was later appointed to the bench. He replaces Justice Andrew Mahar, who was appointed to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories in May.
He admits the role of judge will be "a huge challenge."
He says Nunavummiut face many challenges, frequently including unemployment and substance abuse, which leads to a cycle of domestic and sexual violence.
And, he said, without proper services, those people end up right back in court.