New judge sworn in here

Fort Frances got its first resident judge in almost 15 years after Justice Alan Thomas McKay was sworn in at the Fort Frances Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.
Many dignitaries, representatives from the local legal community, and friends and family members were on hand for the ceremony, including Brian W. Lennox, Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, and Donald G. Fraser, regional senior justice for the Northwest region, Ontario Court of Justice.
Also on hand was Justice Terrance Platana, who presided in Fort Frances in 1991.
“It has been too long that Fort Frances has been without a resident judge,” Justice Fraser said.
“I feel both excited and privileged,” Justice McKay said of his appointment. “I look forward to moving to Fort Frances and becoming part of this community.”
“Justice McKay’s appointment is one of six new positions specifically to deal with our child protection caseload,” noted Chief Justice Lennox, who once presided in Fort Frances.
“I cannot tell you how pleased we are with this new appointment,” local lawyer Lawrence Phillips said on behalf of the District of Rainy River Law Association.
Justice McKay had been practising law in Dryden for the past 18 years, though he was born in Rainy River District.
He has practised in criminal, family, and child welfare law. He also has worked in remote First Nation communities, and has been a deputy judge for the Small Claims Court.
His appointment was announced by Attorney General Michael Bryant on Oct. 31.