in 1872 Bétournay became a judge in the recently proclaimed province of Manitoba. The appointment was to the Court of Queen’s Bench making him the first French Canadian to be appointed to a superior court in the west. The posting was to Fort Garry (Winnipeg) where he was soon involved in the legal aftermath of the Red River Rebellion. His court ordered Ambroise-Dydime Lépine's trial for the death of Thomas Scott. Lepine was Louis Riel’s lieutenant.