Wendy Agnew, former principal at Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School, has been named a justice of the peace on Oct. 14. Agnew was at the high school for about six weeks and has worked in education for 20 years.
She was involved in the Angel Foundation for Learning, a charitable organization that offers many programs and services to Toronto Catholic school students including breakfast at several Catholic schools, learning enrichment programs, the Catholic student of the year award, and far too many more to list.
“Wendy is a compassionate person, very fair, dedicated to her profession,” said Bernice Peacock, vice principal. “She loves change and makes sure change takes place.”
Peacock says she thinks Agnew’s skills as a principal at a high school will help her in her new job as justice of the peace.
“She’s a good listener, fair person and empathetic,” Peacock said.
To become a justice of the peace, one must apply and then the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee chooses applicants. No law degree is necessary. As justice, Agnew has jurisdiction in criminal law and regulatory law that deal with provincial offences.
This means she will oversee bail hearings and other criminal offences and issue or deny summons and warrants. Though not as powerful as a judge, she can still rule over proceedings like a traffic violation. A justice of the peace cannot have any other job or be involved in political activity. Three more justices of the peace were also appointed this month. Ontario has 335 justices of the peace.
“Wendy has brought many strengths and talents to our board over the years that she has been with us, and we will miss her expertise and enthusiasm,” said Ann Perron, Director of Education. “Our loss is certainly the Ministry of the Attorney General’s gain. I have no doubt that she will bring the same level of dedication, energy and hard work to her new role as Justice of the Peace.”