THE ADVOCATE 431
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
Arthur was a charming person who later became a travel writer. He often
came by her chambers, entertaining judges, secretaries and law clerks. Both
enjoyed golf and belonged to the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club. (MJP
challenged a 1987–1988 law clerk, Cheryl Khanna, to best MJP’s 15 handicap,
but Cheryl has only ever managed a 16!) In late 1994 or early 1995,
Arthur was given a devastating cancer diagnosis. MJP became his advocate
to try to get him into remission or at least reduce his pain. This was a terrible
time for both of them. Arthur died on August 1, 1996.
MJP was a judge for almost 40 years. She was:
• appointed to the Provincial Court in October 1971, the first woman
to sit in Family Court and then in Criminal Court;
• appointed to the County Court in 1974, the first woman to sit on
• appointed to the B.C. Supreme Court in 1977, the first woman to sit
on this court;
• appointed as deputy judge to the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory
• appointed as deputy judge to the Supreme Court of the Northwest
Territories in 1991;
• appointed as a member of the Pension Appeal Board for the
Canada Pension Plan in 1994 (until 2010); and
• elevated to the Court of Appeal of B.C. and the Yukon Territory in
1989, the third woman to sit on this court, thus becoming the first
woman to sit on every court in B.C.
She retired in 2010.
Stories about MJP’s time on the bench are unending. They include the
• The Honourable Bryan Davis, in his eulogy, mentioned events
concerning her appointment as the first woman on the B.C.
Supreme Court. The Advocate featured her picture on the cover.
And the front cover notice of a Vancouver Bar Association publication
gave advice on how to address the first female judge at the B.C.
Supreme Court. “To lay all doubts to rest, it should be noted that
she should be addressed as the Honourable Madam Justice Proudfoot.
Madam is spelled without an ‘e’ and should not be abbreviated.
She should also be referred to as ‘My Lady’ or ‘My Ladyship’.”
As MJP could be very sharp to unprepared and disrespectful