Kamloops lawyer, judge Marchand named new chief justice of B.C.

Marchand named top judge

A former Kamloops lawyer has been named B.C.’s new top judge.

Len Marchand, who sits as a judge in the B.C. Court of Appeal, now has a new title — chief justice of British Columbia.

A longtime lawyer who worked extensively on First Nations reconciliation-related files, Marchand was made a Kamloops provincial court judge in 2013. He was moved up to B.C. Supreme Court four years later and, in 2021, was appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Marchand is the son of former Kamloops MP Len Marchand, Sr., who was the first status Indian elected to Parliament in 1968, and the first given a cabinet post in 1976.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made Friday's appointment.

“The Hon. Leonard Marchand is a highly respected member of British Columbia and Canada’s legal community,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“As he takes on his new role as chief justice of British Columbia and chief justice of the Court of Appeal of Yukon, I wish him continued success. I know he brings a wealth of experience to the position and will continue to serve the people of British Columbia and the Yukon.”

Marchand grew up in Kamloops and is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band.

He replaces Justice Robert J. Bauman, who retired earlier this year.

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