The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announced May 4, 2018 that Thomas J. Crabtree, Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia, has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Chilliwack.
Chief Judge Crabtree has served the people of British Columbia for 19 years as a Provincial Court Judge, and as the Court’s Chief Judge for the past eight years. His accomplishments in that role include working with communities around the province to support the development of five new Indigenous and First Nations sentencing courts in North Vancouver, Duncan, Kamloops, Merritt and Prince George, and Aboriginal child protection case conferences in New Westminster.
Committed to improving the public’s access to justice, Chief Judge Crabtree oversaw the development and implementation of a new trial scheduling model and served on the executive of Access to Justice BC. He has also been a leader in Canadian judicial education, serving on the board of directors of the National Judicial Institute and as a frequent speaker at education programs for judges and others.
Chief Judge Crabtree demonstrated his commitment to openness, accountability, and public access to information by hosting two live Twitter town halls. The first judge in Canada to engage directly with the public in this way, during each of these events he responded to tweeted questions for a two-hour period. Under his leadership the court became a justice system leader with its online communications, including an expanded plain language website, bi-weekly news articles, and an active Twitter account with a conversational tone.
Associate Chief Judge Melissa Gillespie said, “I know the Court’s Judges, Judicial Justices and staff join me in congratulating Chief Judge Crabtree on his appointment. We wish him the very best in his new role, but we will miss his thoughtful leadership, endless energy, and openness to innovative solutions to the challenges facing the court.”