Matt MacFarlane - Critic for Justice

Matt MacFarlane lives in Augustine Cove and practices law through offices in Summerside and Charlottetown. For almost 15 years he has maintained a general law practice, serving clients throughout the province. After obtaining his law degree in 2000 and prior to returning to PEI with his wife Johanna, Matt worked in Ottawa as a Legislative Assistant in the Senate of Canada and as a Market Research Officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

Matt has volunteered with the Kidney Foundation of Canada since 2004, serving as President of both the PEI Chapter and the Atlantic Canada Branch and sitting on the National Board of Directors.  He is vice-chair of the PEI Labour Relations Board and volunteers with numerous local community organizations. Matt regularly donates his time by presenting to community groups on various legal issues and offering legal support. Having received a kidney and the gift of life from his sister in 2001, Matt advocates for organ donation at every opportunity and reminds us to talk to our families about our organ donation wishes.

"As a lawyer in private practice for almost fifteen years, I have seen where our justice system succeeds and where it fails. Gaps in the area of justice can have devastating consequences on people’s lives. I believe we can strengthen our system of justice to make it more accessible and better representative of the people who need it. My vision is a justice system in Prince Edward Island that is more proactive than reactive, with the resources, flexibility and inclusiveness to best address the needs of all Islanders – regardless of background, income level, age, gender or ethnicity."

Latest blogs

The recently released annual report from the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) outlines the financial status of the organization and highlights recent enhanced education efforts to increase employee safety in the workplace -- a worthwhile endeavour for prevention of workplace injuries. In the report, the WCB board also celebrates that “the average duration for a claim was 20 per cent shorter, with more workers returning to work more quickly than the previous year” (Guardian, July 2018).

On October 3, 2016 Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the provinces had until 2018 to adopt a carbon pricing scheme, or the federal government would create one for them.  Each province had complete latitude to create the plan in its own best interests, so long as certain minimum thresholds were met. All revenue generated under the carbon pricing scheme would remain within the province.

Provincial reaction to the announcement varied: Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec already have carbon pricing regimes in place, and are generally fine with the federal mandate.  They have indicated that their economies have suffered no ill-effects under carbon pricing.


On May 22, 2018 the federal government introduced Bill C-78 which sets out to amend the Divorce Act and other federal legislation that touch on child custody and child support. The Bill attempts to streamline the process for varying child support, and moves away from divisive language such as “custody” and “access” -- terms which have been known to drive conflict between parents sparring over their children.

In Canada we are fortunate to have access to a publicly-funded health care system to meet our medical needs when sickness or injury occurs.  But what about access to justice when unforeseen legal issues arise?  

The issue of “access to justice” most commonly refers to the inability of a growing number of people to obtain legal representation.  In many cases, these are people requiring assistance with family law matters, including child custody and access rights and child support.