Canadian judges are one of the highest-aid professions in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. In exchange for this compensation, they must focus exclusively upon their official judicial duties and are not allowed to seek additional remuneration in other businesses.
Canada's Constitution Act of 1867 requires the salaries of judges to be funded by Canada's Parliament . According to Article 26 of the Judges Act of 1985, the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission must convene on an annual basis to determine if the salaries of Canada's judges are adequate and what pay increases, if any, should be awarded.
Judges' salaries in Canada are intended to be very high to promote judicial independence, according to the Canadian Judicial Council. Financial security allows Canadian judges to act independently and not rely upon financial pressure imposed by external sources that might influence the judge's decisions in court.
The average base salary for all federal judges in Canada was $260,000 in 2009, says Tracey Tyler, a legal affairs reporter for the Toronto Star. Provincial court judges earned an average of $225,000 in 2009. For 2010, the average base salary of federal courts justices, appeals court justices and provincial justices was increased to $271,400 per year, according to the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada.
Chief and senior justices earn more than their lesser experienced peers, according to the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada. For example, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada earned $348,800 in 2010, compared to $322,900 paid to the puisine, or less experienced, justices.