Stay of Proceedings in a Private Prosecution of the Prime Minister of Canada

Montreal – March 6, 2023 – Due to a lack of sufficient evidence, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) has today stayed the proceedings initiated on January 5, 2023, in response to a private information laid against the Prime Minister of Canada.

According to the PPSC Deskbook Guideline on Private Prosecutions, private prosecutions should be taken over by the PPSC and stayed if, after examination, there is insufficient evidence or if it is not in the public interest to proceed.

The information in question is founded on two public statements attributed to the Prime Minister of Canada:

  1. A tweet posted to Twitter on January 27, 2017, and later deleted, that allegedly violated section 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) by illegally aiding, abetting or encouraging several individuals to enter Canada.
  2. A speech delivered on June 12, 2022, that allegedly unlawfully communicated false and misleading information for the purpose of encouraging immigration to Canada, contrary to section 127 of IRPA.

In this case, an objective assessment of all the evidence established that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction. In other words, the available evidence does not meet the threshold required in the PPSC Deskbook Guideline on the Decision to Prosecute.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is a national organization responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.

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