Sri Lankan-born Suranganie Kumaranayake was appointed Superior Court of Justice for the Province of Ontario in Brampton. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada made the announcement she was recommending the appointment of 19 new judges recently.
Seven provinces are getting 19 new judges as the federal government tries to narrow the number of judicial vacancies in a stressed system, according to a report by CP.
Justice Kumaranayake replaces Justice D.F. Dawson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 11, 2018.
Justice Kumaranayake holds a B.A. (Honours) in psychology and sociology from Queen’s University, an LL.B. from the University of Windsor, and a Certificate in Mental Health from Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development, according to her bio released by the ministry.
Prior to her appointment, Justice Kumaranayake practised exclusively in child protection for close to 16 years, initially as legal counsel with the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. In December 2003, she joined the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton as legal counsel. Prior to entering the field of child protection, she worked as Staff Criminal Duty Counsel. In this role, she appeared in several courthouses throughout Toronto, as well as in the specialized court programs at Old City Hall: the Toronto Drug Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, Integrated Domestic Violence Court, and Gladue Court.
Migrated to Canada as a child
Justice Kumaranayake completed her articles in civil litigation with Fellowes, McNeil. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 1997, she interned as a legal researcher in Namibia. After completing this internship, she joined Fellowes, McNeil as an associate.
As an undergraduate and law student, she was involved in a variety of activities, including volunteering as a prison literacy tutor, peer health counsellor, and Community Legal Aid caseworker. Prior to law school, she spent a summer working in the Victim/Witness Assistance Program at the Scarborough courthouse. She also spent her summers during law school working for the Ontario Legal Aid Plan.
Justice Kumaranayake immigrated to Canada as a child with her parents and siblings, having first lived in Sri Lanka and England. She grew up in Ottawa and Burlington. She learned the value of a strong work ethic and compassion from the example set by her parents. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, family and friends while supporting and encouraging her daughter in her various interests.