New judge appointed to Melfort Provincial Court

The Government of Saskatchewan announced on Monday that a new judge will be serving Melfort Provincial Court.

Jennifer Claxton-Viczko has been appointed to the Provincial Court in Melfort to fill a vacancy left by Judge Inez J. Cardinal, who will be transferring to Saskatoon.

“These judges are highly-regarded and qualified, hard-working, and committed to the communities where they will serve,” Minister of Justice and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said in a release.

“Today’s appointments will add significant strength to Saskatchewan’s Provincial Court and ensure that it continues to provide strong, equitable access to justice across Saskatchewan.”

Claxton-Viczko received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2001, and was called to the Bar in 2002 after articling with Behiel, Munkler & Will in Humboldt, where she remained as an Associate until 2004, when she took a position with Legal Aid in Prince Albert. Later in 2004, Judge Claxton-Viczko took a position with Public Prosecutions in Prince Albert. She was promoted to Senior Crown Prosecutor in 2009 and transferred to Public Prosecutions’ Saskatoon office in 2013 to pursue more specialized prosecutions, including of gang-related crimes.

Claxton-Viczko has maintained a focus on criminal law and courtwork throughout her career, and has developed expertise in criminal procedure, sentencing, trial advocacy, conflict resolution and the rules of evidence. Throughout her career, Judge Claxton-Viczko has had the opportunity to act as a mentor to many newly-appointed Crown Prosecutors.

She is a senior member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and a former member of the Saskatchewan Crown Attorney Association’s Board of Directors. She has also devoted time to her community.  She coached minor ball for 10 years and routinely volunteers her time on projects for her local St. Laszlo community association. She also enjoys swimming, hiking, and playing ball, and when she can find the time, loves to read and travel.

The Government of Saskatchewan also announced the appointment of three other new judges to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan.

Kim Armstrong, K.C., is appointed to the Provincial Court in Meadow Lake to fill a vacancy left by

Judge Michael Tomka, who will be transferring to Swift Current. David Chow, K.C., is appointed to the Provincial Court in Moose Jaw to fill a vacancy left by Judge Daryl Rayner, who will be transferring to Regina. Additionally, Darren Howarth is appointed to the Provincial Court in Saskatoon.

Armstrong received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2000 and was called to the Bar in 2001. After completing her articles with Stephens Arnot Barristers and Solicitors in Prince Albert, she took a position with the Prince Albert Legal Aid office in 2002. She transferred to the Saskatoon Legal Aid office in 2010, where she most recently held the position of Acting Legal Director.

Judge Armstrong has maintained a focus on criminal law, with extensive experience in bail hearings, criminal trials, therapeutic courts, review board applications, and representing young offenders. She is currently President of Saskatoon Community Mediation Services and a course facilitator, mentor and practice manager with the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education. She received her King’s Counsel designation in 2022, and was a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal recipient in 2023.

She is an active member of her community and has volunteered with a variety of non-profit agencies, including Friends of Prince Albert National Park and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lloydminster. She has also held various roles in promoting gymnastics in Saskatchewan, including as a board member with Marian Gymnastics and as a judge for Gymnastics Saskatchewan.

Chow received his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2000, and was called to the Bar in 2001 after articling with Chow and Company, Barristers and Solicitors. Upon completing his articles, he took a position with Chow McLeod, Barristers and Solicitors. He became a Senior Partner with the firm in 2012.

Throughout his legal career, Chow has developed significant expertise in civil litigation, family law, and commercial law, with a growing role in supporting Saskatchewan’s legal community and promoting the legal profession across the province. After two terms as an Elected Bencher with the Law Society of Saskatchewan from 2012 to 2018, Judge Chow was appointed to the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan, where he currently serves as Chair.

Chow is a past President of Moose Jaw United Way and sat on the Moose Jaw Family YMCA Board of Directors from 2008 to 2013. He is also heavily involved in the Tae Kwon Do community, and sat on the Saskatchewan Branch of the World Tae Kwon Do Federation’s Executive Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012.

Howarth received his Bachelor of Laws with Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2005, and was called to the Bar in 2006. He articled at Roberson Stromberg LLP Saskatoon before becoming an Associate Lawyer there in 2006, with a focus on commercial law, real estate, wills and estates, and securities. In 2011, he joined the Public Prosecutions office in Saskatoon, where he most recently held the title of Associate Regional Crown.

As a Crown Prosecutor, Judge Howarth has overseen cases involving assault, impaired driving, and fraud. Judge Howarth is a respected expert on prosecuting fraud cases, and has presented to police agencies and the Saskatchewan Crown Attorney’s Association on this issue. He has also presented to the College of Family Physicians on how to recognize and prevent the abuse of vulnerable adults. 

​Howarth has played an active role in promoting recreational sports in Saskatchewan over the last two decades and has been a coach and assistant coach for youth ringette, soccer and baseball.