Manitoba Attorney General Gord Mackintosh addresses a news conference in Winnipeg, Monday, Sept.5, 2001 (Photo: Wayne Glowacki/CP)
"Diversity is valued, along with the other qualifications for advancement to the bench."Mackintosh said that according to the Manitoba Bar Association, McKenzie is the first known transgender judge in Canada. A news release from the Manitoba government notes that McKenzie also served in the Canadian Forces, and has volunteered for organizations including the Canadian Bar Association, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the North American Indigenous Games and Winnipeg's Rainbow Resource Centre. The release said McKenzie was selected by a list of candidates recommended by an independent judicial nominating committee, chaired by Chief Judge Ken Champagne. Mackintosh, who was also attorney general back when legislation was changed to require consideration of diversity for the bench, said the change recognized the provincial bench wasn't reflecting the face of Manitoba and needed to be strengthened. "That elevates the status of the court and its credibility among citizens, but it also strengthens insights that are available to the court," Mackintosh said.
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