A former Winnipeg mayor officially has a new title – Justice Brian Bowman.

On Friday, Bowman was sworn in as a judge on the Court of King’s Bench.

“To be honest, I never considered the Bench,” Bowman said at his swearing-in ceremony. “But the more we talked and the more that I spoke with other judges about the role of a judge, I became more intrigued and motivated by the possibility.”

According to the former mayor, the seed was planted by former Manitoba chief justice Richard Chartier after Bowman announced he wouldn’t run for a third term in office back in late 2020.

“He stressed to me that this might afford me the opportunity to leverage some skills and knowledge of our community that I gained in public office in a different way and one that tapped into my legal training,” Bowman explained.

Prior to his time as mayor, Bowman worked as a lawyer in Winnipeg for more than a decade starting in 2000. He specialized in privacy, access to information and social media law.

Bowman, a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation, became Winnipeg's first Indigenous mayor when he was elected in 2014.

"I was proud to break ground at city hall, being the first Indigenous mayor,” Bowman said during his address. “But here at the courts, I'm not the first Indigenous judge — I'm not even the first Métis judge, and I think that's awesome.”

Bowman was re-elected in 2018. Following his departure from politics in 2022, he took a job at Canada Life as vice-president of sustainability and social impact.

Bowman said he’ll continue to “appropriately advance reconciliation and human rights.”

“I’ll vow to devote myself to the advance of the law and rededicate myself to serving our community in this new capacity.”


- With files from CTV’s Danton Unger