THE ADVOCATE 759
VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
Jan and Ellen decided that Justine should have a West Coast childhood,
so the family moved back to Vancouver in 2006 and Jan transferred to the
British Columbia Regional Office of the Department of Justice. In addition
to leading the high-profile cases mentioned already, Jan co-authored The
Annotated Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, revised sections of the
Department’s Civil Litigation Deskbook, chaired the Regional Litigation Committee
and sat as a member of the National Litigation Committee and the
Supreme Court of Canada Committee.
Universally, his colleagues at Justice rave about Jan’s rare combination
of extreme smarts and absolute humility. Jan always got to the heart of the
matter and provided sage advice on how to deal with it. As a team member,
if you had a problem, he would help you shoulder it and figure out a solution.
This is not to say that he did not have high expectations of those
around him—he did! But he wanted his colleagues to succeed and would do
all that he could to facilitate that.
No article on Jan would be complete without discussing the love of his
life: baseball! While his favourite major league team has shifted over the
years—he loves the Pirates, the Giants, the Mariners, the Blue Jays—his passion
for the game itself has been unwavering. Jan is a big fan of our local
team, the minor league Vancouver Canadians, and he finds his way to Nat
Bailey stadium at least a few times a year. One game a few years ago was
particularly memorable. Jan was dressed in his San Francisco Giants gear
and had his clipboard and scorecard as well as headphones attached to his
radio so that he could listen to the commentary. Unbeknownst to him, he
was being watched by other spectators in the row behind him, and at the
end of the ninth inning, they curiously approached him and asked if he was
a professional scout. Nothing could have made Jan happier than to be mistaken
for a pro scout!
Jan has successfully indoctrinated Justine into his love of baseball. He
enrolled Justine in tee-ball and that led to nine years on the softball team
for her and an assistant coaching gig for him. Eventually, Jan began umpiring
games for the Vancouver Minor Softball Association (foreshadowing?).
They have done multiple “daddy-daughter” weekend trips to Major League
Baseball stadiums across North America and hope to make it to all of them.
Justice Brongers was sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court of British
Columbia in early May 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there was no public
ceremony, but Jan was very pleased that Ellen, Justine and Lore (who is
now 87) were all with him for this incredibly special moment. And they were
equally as proud of him and are so excited to see the next chapter of his life
unfold. The rest of us very much look forward to celebrating Justice Brongers’
appointment in person at a future point as life slowly returns to normal.