GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE 2003 JUDICIAL COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS COMMISSION

ANNEX "A" - LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1

The Commission recommends that the salary of puisne judges be established as follows. Effective April 1, 2004, $240,000, inclusive of statutory indexing on that date, and for the next three years: $240,000 plus cumulative statutory indexing effective April 1 of each of those years.

Recommendation 2

The Commission recommends that the salaries of the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada and the chief justices and associate chief justices should be set as of April 1, 2004, and inclusive of statutory indexing, at the following levels:

Supreme Court of Canada
Chief Justice of Canada $308,400
Justices $285,600

Federal Court and Tax Court of Canada
Chief Justices $263,000
Associate Chief Justices $263,000

Supreme Courts and Courts of Queen's Bench
Chief Justices $263,000
Associate Chief Justices $263,000

Recommendation 3

The Commission recommends that the senior northern judges receive equivalent compensation to that of a chief justice until such time as chief justices are appointed in those jurisdictions.

Recommendation 4

The Commission does not recommend a salary differentiation between puisne judges who sit on courts of appeal and puisne judges who preside at trials.

Recommendation 5

The Commission recommends that the Judges Act be amended to provide for:

  • the possibility of dividing, upon conjugal breakdown, the judicial annuity deemed to accrue during a relationship, up to a 50% limit;
  • the judicial annuity to be deemed to accrue over the judge's entire period of judicial service, for the purpose of determining the portion of the judicial annuity that is subject to division upon conjugal breakdown;
  • a lump sum settlement option, to ensure a clean break and the possibility of deferring such settlement until the date when the judge will have attained age 55 and completed 10 years of service, if applicable; and
  • the demographic assumptions used for the most recent Actuarial Report on the Pension Plan for the Federally Appointed Judges to be used for purposes of determining the value of the judicial annuity and the expected retirement date of a judge in calculating the portion of the judicial annuity subject to division.

The Commission also recommends that the government amend the Judges Act and the Income Tax Act, as necessary, to allow the transfer of a portion of the former spouses' lump sum settlements to RRSPs as if the judicial annuity were a registered pension plan, at least for the portion of the judicial annuity up to the defined benefit pension limits applicable to registered pension plans under the Income Tax Act.

Recommendation 6

The Commission recommends that there be no change in the provision for survivor benefits for single judges until the matter is addressed by the government in the wider federal context.

Recommendation 7

The Commission declines to recommend any change to the judicial annuities payable to the judges who retired during the 1992 97 time period.

Recommendation 8

The Commission recommends that the Incidental Allowance of $5,000 per annum for each judge remain unchanged.

Recommendation 9

The Commission recommends that effective April 1, 2004, s. 27(6) of the Judges Act be amended such that regional senior judges in Ontario be added to the judges entitled to a representational allowance under that section, and that the representational allowance for such regional senior judges be set, in s. 27(7), at an accountable maximum yearly amount of $5,000.

Recommendation 10

The Commission recommends that the Judges Act be amended to provide for the payment of an isolated post allowance to the resident Labrador judge in the amount of $12,000 per annum, in conformity with the isolation allowances provided to the judges of the Northern Territories.

Recommendation 11

The Commission recommends that the requested extension not be granted and that the Office of the Commissioner of Federal Judicial Affairs be mandated to deal with any circumstances that in the Commissioner's view can reasonably be deemed 'unusual'.

Recommendation 12

The Commission recommends that, notwithstanding paragraphs 40(1)(c) and (e), claims under these paragraphs for expenses made in anticipation of a relocation, but prior to retirement or resignation from office, shall be reimbursable by a removable allowance, provided that:

  • the anticipated expenses are incurred no earlier than two years prior to the judge becoming eligible to retire, and
  • that all relocation expenses connected with that relocation be paid within the timeframes currently provided in the Removal Allowance Order and that no later expenses should be reimbursed.

Recommendation 13

The Commission recommends that the partners of judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Tax Court of Canada be reimbursed for incurred expenses in the obligatory relocation, up to an accountable $5,000 limit.

Recommendation 14

The Commission recommends that there be no change to the entitlement to the post retirement removal allowance.

Recommendation 15

The Commission recommends that justices of the Supreme Court of Canada be granted the exceptional privilege of eligibility for retirement on the full judicial annuity after 10 years of service on that bench regardless of age.

Recommendation 16

The Commission recommends that the Government pay 100% of the disbursements and two thirds of the legal fees (subject to assessment) incurred by the Association and Council in preparing their submissions and bringing them before the Commission.

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