THE ADVOCATE 591
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
By R.C. Tino Bella
The Honourable Judge Jodie Harris
April 12, 2021 saw the swearing in of Judge Jodie
Harris to the Provincial Court by Chief Judge Gillespie.
Judge Harris will sit in Abbottsford. The swearing
in took place in the physical presence of Judge
Harris’s family and in the virtual presence of many
others from various parts of Canada, the U.K. and the
United States. In the Robson Street courthouse that
day were Judge Harris’s husband Todd, her children Zoe and Ava, her
mother Diane and her stepfather Bob. Missing and assuredly missed was
her late father Mel, whom she described as her constant and ever-present
teacher, supporter and champion from early days including law school until
the day he passed in August 2020.
Unsurprisingly, Jodie attributes much of her rise through life to the support
she received from the people who surrounded her at various points.
She was born in Winnipeg. Her brother Tyler followed three years later.
Before starting kindergarten, she consumed Nancy Drew novels voraciously
and commenced a lifelong love of reading. Jodie’s parents were
teachers, which meant she did not escape much and could not avoid anything
academically. Her mother Diane taught elementary school and was
Jodie’s grade 5 and 6 teacher, which meant she was on the hot seat academically
at all times. This is probably where she learned to become an able
negotiator and patient lawyer. Jodie’s father Mel taught junior high and
later high school, imparting other skills to his daughter, including getting
through high school algebra and learning how to skate. Her parents gave her
the self-confidence she required to leave Winnipeg in later years. It is fair
to say her writing and analytical skills started early. She attended Agassiz
Elementary. From there, she participated in French immersion in both mid-