3 Regional Profiles

Overview

The PPSC has 11 regional offices across the country, as well as a number of smaller local offices. Each local office reports to a regional office, and each regional office is headed by a Chief Federal Prosecutor (CFP).

Employee Overview
Total Employees 988
Women 671
Aboriginal Peoples 44
Persons with Disabilities 50
Visible Minorities 116

Files by Offence Type – All PPSC Regional Offices

Pie chart showing Files by Offence Type – All PPSC Regional Offices
Long description

Files by Offence Type – Regional Offices located in the territories

Pie chart showing Files by Offence Type – Regional Offices located in the territories
Long description

Files by Offence Type – Regional Offices located in the provinces

Pie chart showing Files by Offence Type – Regional Offices located in the provinces
Long description

Alberta

Employee Distribution – Alberta
Total Employees 113
Law Group (LA) 60
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 36
Paralegals 15

The Alberta Regional Office includes a regional headquarters in Edmonton and a local office in Calgary, with a total complement of 113 staff, including counsel and legal support staff, under the direction of the CFP. Approximately 25 agents handle drug and some regulatory prosecutions in court circuit points outside Edmonton and Calgary.

Federal prosecutors handled a wide range of drug, organized crime, proceeds of crime, regulatory, and economic crime prosecutions throughout the province, with a significant volume of complex cases. Federal prosecutors assigned to drug and organized crime prosecutions worked closely with investigative agencies, including the RCMP, municipal police, federal investigative agencies, and specialized combined forces special enforcement units. Prosecutors with the Regulatory and Economic Crime group dealt with federal departments and agencies that have an enforcement mandate and handle significant high-profile public interest cases.

The Alberta Regional Office carried out progressive initiatives in areas such as major case management, electronic case presentation, knowledge management, and educational exercises, as well as a significant and highly successful initiative in restorative justice through the operation of Drug Treatment Courts. It collaborated with senior representatives of the Alberta Department of Justice and police forces to improve criminal practice and law enforcement support activities. These have included new and innovative work on a protocol for major-minor prosecutions, electronic court briefs, and a court case management system.

In 2011-2012, PPSC prosecutors and legal agents in the Alberta Regional Office handled 6,573 files.

Atlantic

Employee Distribution – Atlantic
Total Employees 70
Law Group (LA) 45
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 21
Paralegals 2

The Atlantic Regional Office (ARO) carries out the PPSC’s mandate throughout the four Atlantic Provinces.

The ARO’s regional headquarters is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with local offices in Moncton, New Brunswick and in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The ARO does not currently maintain an office in Prince Edward Island.

Prosecutors of the ARO travel extensively throughout the region delivering prosecution and advisory services in 52 judicial districts. In New Brunswick, prosecutions are regularly conducted in both official languages. There are 45 prosecutors and 23 support staff in the ARO. In addition to staff prosecutors, the PPSC has retained the services of 36 legal firms to work as agents in the region.

The ARO is comprised of seven different teams: General Prosecution Teams (which prosecute drug matters) in Halifax, Moncton, and St. John’s; an Agent Supervision Team in Halifax; an Organized Crime and Proceeds of Crime Team in Halifax; an Economic Crimes Team with members in Halifax and St. John’s; and a Regulatory Prosecutions Team with members in Halifax, Moncton and St. John’s.

Fisheries Act prosecutions are commonplace in the ARO. In 2011-2012, 121 files with charges under the Fisheries Act were opened for prosecution by the Regulatory Prosecutions Team.

Cases of particular interest in the ARO this year included a human smuggling file and a file in which a lawyer was charged with smuggling drugs into a prison.

The human smuggling file, known as Operation Jada, involved four individuals who were charged under the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with conspiring to smuggle persons from New Brunswick to the United States, in violation of the immigration laws of the United States. The trial led to the conviction of three individuals, all of whom received terms of imprisonment.

Anne Calder was smuggling a package of drugs to a client in a Nova Scotia correctional facility. A search of her home and law office led to the discovery of two similar ‘prison packages’ containing drugs. She was charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act with trafficking and possession for the purposes of trafficking. She was convicted of the charges, and sentenced to a term of 30 months imprisonment. The conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal.

British Columbia

Employee Distribution – British Columbia
Employees 112
Law Group (LA) 65
Law Management Group (LC) 1
Program and Administration Services 41
Paralegals 5

The British Columbia Regional Office (BCRO) is based in Vancouver. Its counsel travel throughout the province, including Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) and several remote coastal communities.

Prosecutors worked on a wide range of files, including those involving drug offences, organized crime, economic crimes, and prosecutions directed towards protecting the environment. PPSC counsel worked closely with investigative agencies and provided pre-charge legal advice. In 2011-2012, the BCRO handled 12,918 files.

During the year, the BCRO worked closely with the RCMP on two projects aimed at identifying marihuana grow operations in northern British Columbia and on Vancouver Island. As a result of these two projects, approximately 60 cases have been referred for prosecution, including grow operations with as many as 8,000 plants, with a street value of over $4 million.

In the area of tax-related prosecutions, the BCRO prosecuted Russell Porisky, who operated schools under the name Paradigm Education Group to teach others to evade the payment of income taxes. He made over $1 million teaching courses and selling the training materials. None of that income was reported. He was convicted in relation to both his personal income evasion and for counselling others to evade the payment of taxes. A number of the students who applied the teachings were convicted of tax evasion themselves and sentenced to jail terms.

Manitoba

Employee Distribution – Manitoba
Employees 45
Law Group (LA) 22
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 17
Paralegals 4

The Manitoba Regional Office (MRO) provides service to the entire province, consisting of five judicial centers and over 60 circuit points. There are 22 federal prosecutors in the office. All but two prosecute drug and regulatory cases. Two are assigned to the Integrated Proceeds of Crime Section and work offsite.

A total of 3,227 files were handled by the MRO in 2011-2102, the majority of which were of moderate complexity. Approximately 85% of these files related to Controlled Drug and Substances Act matters. The remaining 15% involved regulatory matters relating to tax, immigration, smuggling, border integrity, food inspection, and public safety.

2011-2012 saw an increase in prosecutions of criminal organizations, as two major police investigations targeting drug trafficking led to a significant number of prosecutions.

Project Deplete, conducted by the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force, targeted drug traffickers. A civilian agent who was a member of an outlaw motorcycle group provided information and physical and electronic surveillance was also used. The project resulted in numerous prosecutions and the dismantling of an organized drug trafficking group.

Project Flatlined, conducted by the Winnipeg Police, targeted the Hells Angels and their puppet club, the Redlined. Electronic intercepts and physical and electronic surveillance were used to collect evidence. The project resulted in numerous prosecutions, and the Redlined puppet club was dismantled.

In general, police investigations in Manitoba have become increasingly sophisticated to combat an increase in gang activity. The increased sophistication has led to increased charges, which has meant a corresponding increase in the number of files handled by the MRO.

National Capital

Employee Distribution – National Capital
Employees 77
Law Group (LA) 43
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 20
Paralegals 12

The National Capital Regional Office (NCRO) is based in Ottawa, and is responsible for all federal prosecutions in Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, a portion of Central Ontario, and Western Quebec.

The office includes specialized teams focused on prosecuting offences related to drugs, regulatory matters, anti-terrorism, and national security issues, and complex prosecutions involving drug trafficking and related proceeds of crime activities of organized crime groups. Prosecutors provide legal advice and assistance to law enforcement and federal investigative agencies throughout the investigations leading to these prosecutions.

The Agent Supervision Unit handles the day-to-day supervision of approximately 50 standing agents spread across the region and supports them in their work to ensure that agents provide quality legal services. Prosecutors from the NCRO regularly support circuit court activities in the PPSC’s Nunavut Regional Office by conducting prosecutions in Nunavut.

Prosecutors participate in outreach initiatives with local justice partners to improve the delivery of services. Ongoing training is provided to police services in relation to search and seizure issues, wiretap law, and disclosure obligations. Prosecutors also work with judges, defence counsel, and treatment providers to cooperatively but accountably deal with the issues raised by the conduct of offenders diverted to the specialized drug treatment and mental health courts.

In 2011-2012, the NCRO handled 9,439 files. NCRO prosecutors are involved in the ongoing prosecutions arising from Project Samossa, an anti-terrorism investigation in the Ottawa area.

Northwest Territories

Employee Distribution – Northwest Territories
Employees 43
Law Group (LA) 17
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 21
Paralegals 3

The PPSC is responsible for the prosecution of all offences under federal legislation in the Northwest Territories (NWT), and also conducts most territorial prosecutions. The Northwest Territories Regional Office (NWTRO) is located in Yellowknife. Communities throughout the NWT are served by circuit in both Territorial and Supreme Courts, and prosecutors travel by air to some 20 communities and by road to one. In 2011-2012, 27 Supreme Court jury trials were held in 12 communities. There were 91 Territorial Court circuits held outside of Yellowknife, and at least one court was held in Yellowknife each week.

In 2011-2012, the NWTRO offered two training sessions to its prosecutors and Crown Witness Coordinators in Fixed Wing Aircraft Safety, Wilderness First Aid and Arctic Survival. The training included an overnight wilderness component during which the participants experienced a simulation in which their plane had crashed, search and rescue was expected to be days away, and they had to build their own shelter. They constructed quinzees (snow huts) and lean-tos and set signal fires. The first session, at the end of February, experienced temperatures in the -30s. The second session, in late March, had warmer temperatures, but had to deal with wet, soft snow, which created different challenges.

The NWTRO is partnering with the University of Victoria Law School Co-op Program, and offers work placements to participating students. To date two of the co-op students have gone on to article in the NWT – one with the PPSC and one with the Department of Justice Canada.

In 2011-2012, the NWTRO handled 3,984 files: approximately 88% involved charges under the Criminal Code and 4% related to charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The remainder of the files involved charges under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, territorial legislation, the Fisheries Act, and the Indian Act.

Spousal assaults continued to be a significant problem in the NWT, comprising approximately 17% of the files handled by the regional office. The Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court began hearing cases in Yellowknife in March 2011, and the NWTRO expects a positive impact as offenders and their counsel see the benefits of participating in the program.

In 2011-2012, the NWTRO conducted three dangerous offender applications, all of which resulted in dangerous offender designations. Each application involved an assessment by a forensic psychologist, followed by a lengthy hearing.

R. v. Bulatci

Emrah Bulatci shot and killed RCMP Constable Christopher Worden on October 6, 2007 in Hay River, Northwest Territories. After a lengthy jury trial in 2009, Mr. Bulatci was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Both the crime and the case had a profound effect on the community.

In January 2012, Mr. Bulatci appealed his conviction to the Northwest Territories Court of Appeal. He argued that wiretap evidence had been illegally gathered by the police, that the process of jury selection was unfair, and that the trial judge wrongly admitted bad character evidence against him. In April 2012, the Northwest Territories Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal on all three grounds and upheld the conviction.

Nunavut

Employee Distribution – Nunavut
Employees 32
Law Group (LA) 15
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 14
Paralegals 1

The Nunavut Regional Office (NRO) serves a territory which encompasses over 2 million square kilometres. Within that area, 25 communities hold criminal court sittings. The northernmost is Grise Fiord, which is located at a latitude of 76.5 degrees North, 1,160 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, and experiences 24-hour daylight from May to August and 24-hour darkness from October to early February. The PPSC Regional Office is situated in Iqaluit, the territorial capital. All other communities are served by circuit courts, which have periodic sittings. In 2011-2012, the PPSC transferred two prosecutors to Yellowknife, NWT, to serve the five Kitikmeot communities located in the western part of Nunavut.

There are 15 resident prosecutors in the NRO, ranging in experience from newly called lawyers to lawyers with 25 years of experience. The region’s complement also includes an additional two prosecutors in the Kitikmeot local office located in Yellowknife.

In addition to the Crown counsel in the Nunavut offices, prosecution services are occasionally provided by prosecutors from southern Canada. Known colloquially as “Fly Ins”, these prosecutors provide expertise in certain areas of law, deal with files that are conflicts for the NRO, and relieve resident prosecutors when scheduling matters present challenges. Last year, Fly Ins were used for approximately 50 weeks of Court time.

The NRO is responsible for all prosecutions conducted in the territory, including all Criminal Code matters, matters under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, regulatory prosecutions, and even prosecutions under territorial statutes. In 2011-2012, the NRO handled 3,143 matters ranging from homicides (there are currently 15 homicides being prosecuted in Nunavut) to Liquor Act contraventions (many Nunavut communities limit the amount of alcohol that can be brought in). As well, the office handles all criminal appeals. One of the office’s Crown counsel attended the Supreme Court of Canada to make submissions on a case this year.

Ontario

Employee Distribution – Ontario
Employees 180
Law Group (LA) 115
Law Management Group (LC) 3
Program and Administration Services 40
Paralegals 22

The Ontario Regional Office (ORO) has responsibility for all PPSC prosecutions in southern Ontario. Headquartered in Toronto, the region stretches from Windsor in the west, to Trenton in the east, and from Fort Erie in the north to Midland and Orillia. The region encompasses the largest population concentrations in the country.

The ORO provided advice to the police and other agencies that investigate offences ranging from drug possession, trafficking, cultivation and importation, to regulatory offences. Aside from the prosecution of drug offenders, including those who are members of organized crime groups, the ORO’s principal cases were those involving alleged members of terrorist organizations, persons involved in human smuggling, and those who evaded the payment of income and harmonized sales taxes.

ORO staff include 115 prosecutors and 62 support staff. The office was also assisted by 69 private firms who are retained as agents. In 2011-2012, 24,459 files were handled by prosecutors and agents in the ORO.

The ORO staff is organized into teams that provide advice to the police on the investigation of proceeds of crime offences and on capital market offences, and litigation teams which prosecute drug offences, tax fraud cases, and alien smuggling cases. Most of the teams are located in Toronto, but others are located in local offices situated in Brampton, Kitchener, and London.

Quebec

Employee Distribution – Quebec
Employees 94
Law Group (LA) 53
Law Management Group (LC) 3
Program and Administration Services 28
Paralegals 10

The Quebec Regional Office (QRO) is located in Montreal, with an Integrated Proceeds of Crime unit in Quebec City. The QRO is responsible for federal prosecutions throughout Quebec, except for Western Quebec, where prosecutions are handled by the National Capital Regional Office.

Prosecutors in the QRO deal primarily with complex and high-profile prosecutions, particularly relating to organized crime, economic crime offences, money laundering, terrorism, tax evasion and fraud, and national and border security. Approximately 59% of the QRO’s 2,184 files in 2011-2012 were megacases or cases of high complexity.

Prosecutors provided advice to investigative agencies in the area of capital market fraud offences, in addition to conducting the related prosecutions. The QRO also handled prosecutions under the Fisheries Act that raised complex questions such as Aboriginal ancestral rights claims.

A dozen specialized QRO prosecutors acted as agents for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for the purpose of obtaining authorizations for wiretap and video surveillance. In addition to authorizations obtained in the course of major investigations led by the RCMP in matters of national security, drugs, and organized crime, the work of these agents also applied to less traditional fields such as fraud, bankruptcy, and strategic goods.

The QRO also worked with Quebec’s Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions in the prosecution of fraud, organized crime, and terrorism offences.

Saskatchewan

Employee Distribution – Saskatchewan
Employees 25
Law Group (LA) 13
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 8
Paralegals 2

The Saskatchewan Regional Office (SRO) is based in Saskatoon. Counsel travel throughout the province and supervise agents to cover over 80 court locations.

The SRO has seen a significant increase in the areas of organized crime and drug cases. Cases are increasing in complexity, as different types and quantities of drugs are involved, and the number of accused in each group has increased. As a result, police resources have been increased in the various integrated drug enforcement units by both the provincial and federal governments, and federal prosecutors are certainly noticing the impact of these new resources.

In 2011-2012, SRO prosecutors and legal agents handled 3,708 files.

Yukon

Employee Distribution – Yukon
Employees 30
Law Group (LA) 10
Law Management Group (LC) 2
Program and Administration Services 17
Paralegals 1

The Yukon Regional Office (YRO) is located in Whitehorse. The YRO covers court in 14 locations throughout the territory, including Whitehorse. A minimum of six Territorial Court circuits are held in each location outside Whitehorse each year. The Supreme Court sits in each community on a special sitting basis, depending on demand. Prosecutors travel by road to all locations, except for Old Crow, which can only be accessed by air.

The YRO has 30 employees, including ten prosecutors and three Crown Witness Coordinators. In 2011-2012, a total of 3,424 charges were handled in the YRO, approximately 94% of which were Criminal Code offences, 3% of which were Controlled Drugs and Substances Act offences, and 2% of which were youth offences.

Criminal Code prosecutions sometimes involve disturbing material and images, which can be very difficult for those involved in the files. In 2011-2012, the YRO offered training to all regional office staff to help them deal with vicarious trauma. The training was provided one-on-one, with the opportunity for follow-up counselling with the facilitator on request. This training and counselling will be repeated in 2012-2013 and will also be offered to all new employees to the YRO.

A large number of offences in the YRO are related to spousal violence. The YRO appears before the Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court in the Yukon, which is available in Whitehorse and in the community of Watson Lake. This Court provides a treatment-based approach to spousal assault matters. It requires that the accused pleaded guilty at the outset, after which he or she may be eligible to receive treatment focused on spousal violence and addictions. At the end of the process, which takes on average 12 months, the offender receives a sentence mitigated by his or her involvement in the process.

The YRO is also an active partner in the Community Wellness Court, which deals with individuals affected by alcohol or drug addiction, mental health issues, or a cognitive deficiency (including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder).


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