Section 3: Looking Ahead
Throughout 2007–2008, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) will continue its prosecutorial activities and take further steps towards developing its corporate services model.
Program Activities for 2007–2008
In support of its mandate to “
prosecute criminal offences under federal law in a manner that is independent of any improper influence and respects the public interest,” the PPSC has identified five program activities as its focus for 2007–2008
- prosecuting drug, organized crime, and Criminal Code offences;
- prosecuting federal offences to protect the environment, natural resources, and economic and social health;
- addressing criminal issues, in the context of prosecutions, to contribute to a safer world for Canada;
- promoting a fair and effective justice system that reflects Canadian values within a prosecutorial context; and
- ensuring the sustainability of the PPSC.
Prosecuting Drug, Organized Crime, and Criminal Code Offences
This program activity focuses on the prosecution of drug-related crimes, organized crime, and Criminal Code offences throughout Canada.
Under this program activity, the PPSC is responsible for the following:
- Providing advice during police investigations and prosecuting drug charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, regardless of whether the case arises from a federal, provincial, or municipal police agency investigation. In Quebec and New Brunswick, however, the PPSC only prosecutes drug offences investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
- Prosecuting organized crime cases and, pursuant to arrangements with the provinces, Criminal Code offences in cases where drug offences are the “
major” charges and Criminal Code offences are the “
- Prosecuting all Criminal Code offences in the three territories.
Prosecuting Federal Offences to Protect the Environment, Natural Resources, and Economic and Social Health
The PPSC carries out this program activity by providing advice and support to federal investigative agencies and by prosecuting federal offences under approximately 50 federal statutes.
These regulatory prosecutions include offences falling under legislation such as the Income Tax Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In cases where a specialized knowledge of specific legislation is required, teams of prosecutors with expertise on the specific statute are dedicated to the prosecutions. For example, the Atlantic Regional Office has a dedicated team of counsel devoted to prosecuting fisheries offences, and a group of PPSC prosecutors is dedicated to prosecutions under the Competition Act.
Addressing Criminal Issues to Contribute to a Safer World for Canada
The focus of this program activity is to prosecute offences under federal statutes such as the anti-terrorism provisions of the Criminal Code, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Terrorist Financing Act, the Customs Act, the Excise Act, and the Excise Tax Act. This activity combats transnational crime and terrorism. The PPSC may also assist in executing extradition and mutual legal assistance requests before Canadian courts under the Extradition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act. While this program activity is expected to involve a small number of cases, some will be resource intensive and lengthy in duration.
Promoting a Fair and Effective Justice System
The PPSC contributes to strengthening the criminal justice system in Canada. It provides legal training to investigative agencies and prosecutors, and promotes federal, provincial, and territorial cooperation within the prosecution community on shared issues. Better trained investigators and prosecutors benefit the Canadian justice system and enhance the public's confidence in the system.
With respect to the training of prosecutors, the PPSC operates a School for Prosecutors. The faculty includes senior federal prosecutors, judges, senior provincial prosecutors, and investigators. The School currently offers two programs. One is offered to prosecutors with up to five years prosecution experience, and covers a wide variety of areas. It is a broad and well-rounded course aimed mostly at prosecutors engaged in high-volume, mid-level prosecution work. The other program focuses on specialized, high-complexity prosecutions, such as complex organized crime cases and cases involving electronic surveillance.
The School for Prosecutors program has been highly successful and the PPSC is currently examining the feasibility of expanding it to accept more participants.
The PPSC collaborates with investigative agencies and provincial Heads of Prosecutions with respect to training. In particular, the PPSC and its federal partners, including the RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency, plan and develop joint training activities, and the PPSC co-chairs a Federal-Provincial Heads of Prosecutions training committee. During the coming year, the PPSC will cooperate with all of its partners to develop more approaches to training, and to increase training for both prosecutors and investigators.
Ensuring the Sustainability of the PPSC
Over the past several years, the federal prosecution workload has grown as a result of increases in investigative resources, realignments of investigative priorities, and changes to investigative strategies. This is particularly true with respect to mega cases, which are extremely resource intensive. Addressing these pressures and ensuring the sustainability of the PPSC will be a priority in the year ahead.
Operational Priorities for 2007–2008
The PPSC's operational priorities for 2007–2008 are aimed at ensuring the establishment of the organization as a distinct entity, while providing the necessary support to our prosecutors and other staff nationally.
Support for Our Staff
The support for our prosecutors, who appear on behalf of the federal Crown every day in courts across the country, and for all our staff will continue to be our first priority. In 2007–2008 we will continue ensuring that we have in place the structures and services that allow prosecutors to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards in the fulfillment of the Attorney General of Canada's criminal litigation mandate.
Directives and Assignments
Directive on the FPS Deskbook: The PPSC will continue the process of reviewing the Federal Prosecution Service Deskbook (FPS Deskbook).
Assignment on Best Practices: The PPSC will develop best practices for prosecuting fraud against governments through a consultation involving heads of prosecutions in other jurisdictions, both nationally and internationally. The objective is to learn about their operations and benefit from their experiences.
We will continue in 2007–2008 with our efforts towards completing the transition. The PPSC must offer the services, policies, and plans required to support its employees and functions in such areas as human resources, information technology, communications, and finance and administration.
The PPSC must also meet requirements placed on all federal departments and agencies, such as standards applicable to employment equity and professional development, among others.
In 2007–2008 we will focus on broadening our internal communication efforts through new and existing mechanisms to ensure that both staff and management benefit from an improved dialogue and exchange of information.
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