'A historic moment': Judicial appointment gives N.S. court gender parity

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's provincial court has achieved gender balance with the appointment of a veteran prosecutor to the bench.

Ann Marie Simmons, chief federal prosecutor in Halifax, was appointed Friday as a new provincial and family court judge.

Eighteen of the province's 35 full-time provincial and family court judges are now women.

Earlier this year the province appointed two black lawyers, an openly gay lawyer and a female Crown attorney as judges, just two months after it appointed the first Mi'kmaq woman and the third black woman to the provincial and family courts.

Premier Stephen McNeil said Friday that "achieving gender parity on the bench is a historic moment" for the province.

Simmons joined the public prosecution service of Canada in 2005 after almost a decade with Nova Scotia's prosecution service.

Over her federal career, Simmons led many complex criminal prosecutions, including money laundering, historic sexual assault and was a member of the organized crime and proceeds of crime team.

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