Nyron Dwyer appointed provincial court judge
Entering the University of Manitoba in the late 1970s to pursue his undergraduate degree, Nyron Dwyer was unsure about his career path.
It didn’t take long for him to find his calling.
“I got into law because I thought it would be interesting,” he said. “And I chose criminal law because I really believed I could make a difference. I like the personal nature of criminal law because you are working for an individual and it’s about making sure that people are treated fairly. I like the independence of that kind of practice.”
After two decades practicing in Ontario, Dwyer – who was a small claims court deputy judge in Toronto – has been appointed a provincial court judge. Assigned to preside in Newmarket, his first day in his new role was on October 14.
“This is certainly a significant milestone in my life,” said Jamaican-born Dwyer, who migrated with his two older siblings to Winnipeg at age seven in 1968 to join their parents. “I hope I can make a contribution to the African-Canadian/Caribbean community and the wider society.”
A younger brother was born in the Canadian Prairies.
Graduating from the University of Manitoba with an undergraduate degree in economics and a law degree, Dwyer was hired by Winnipeg lawyer, Greg Brodsky.
“He’s an excellent criminal lawyer and one of my most important mentors,” said Dwyer. “I have no lawyers in my family and I didn’t know any at the time when I entered the profession. Seeing Greg work and his passion and energy impressed me greatly.”
Called to the Manitoba Bar in 1986, Dwyer relocated to Ontario shortly after to join his siblings who were in the Greater Toronto Area. He was called to the Ontario Bar two years later.
“I did commercial litigation for four years with the firm I articled with before a criminal lawyer hired me,” said the married father of two boys. “We subsequently became partners before he retired.”
A former St. Stephen’s Community House board member who coached the teams of several neighbourhood sports organizations, Dwyer’s appointment follows those of former Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) president, Phillip Sutherland, in February 2014 and Marquis Felix two months later.
The son of former Dominica cricket captain, Augustus “Val” Felix and nephew of Archbishop Kelvin Felix, who last year was appointed the English-speaking Caribbean’s first-ever cardinal, the younger Felix was an assistant crown attorney and crown attorney for many years and leader of the Justice on Target strategy in Hamilton prior to being appointed a judge.
He presides in Oshawa.
A total of 32 Black judges have been appointed in Canada since Guyanese-born Maurice Charles, who passed away in June 2013 at age 92, broke the colour barrier 46 years ago.