2. The Year in Review
In 2012–2013, the PPSC worked on 77,926 files. This figure includes 46,685 files opened during the year, as well as 31,241 carried over from previous years. A file typically consists of an information or an indictment and may include more than one charge, involve more than one accused, and include charges under multiple statutes.
Moderate Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||320,504||326,045||348,589||346,011|
|# of Files||23,534||25,254||25,052||24,142|
In recent years, the number of files handled by the PPSC has levelled off. However, the amount of prosecutors’ time spent on highly complex files has increased over the same period. PPSC prosecutors are spending a large amount of time on a smaller number of complex and time-consuming files. Such files include terrorism prosecutions, organized crime prosecutions, and regulatory prosecutions.
“Mega” Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||249,477||266,947||264,684||264,396|
|# of Files||2,810||3,209||3,029||2,806|
Low Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||239,481||267,054||286,985||297,493|
|# of Files||49,023||49,466||49,822||50,860|
Note: The PPSC has updated the methodology used to count files in various categories, to more accurately reflect the organization’s workload. Some numbers that appeared in previous annual reports have been adjusted as a result of this revised methodology.
PPSC counsel prosecute offences in four broad areas:
- drug offences throughout the country;
- crimes that threaten national and international security, such as terrorism and war crimes;
- all federal offences in the three Northern territories, including Criminal Code offences; and
- economic crimes and regulatory offences under federal legislation.
Drug prosecution files represent a significant proportion of the PPSC’s total caseload. In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 58,793 prosecution files related to offences under the CDSA. Of those, 33,647 prosecutions were new and 25,146 were carried over from previous years. These prosecutions vary greatly in complexity; many are simple cases of possession of small quantities of marihuana, while others involve complex schemes to import large quantities of cocaine or to manufacture methamphetamine for domestic use or for export.
PPSC prosecutors are often engaged early in an investigation to ensure that investigators receive timely advice on the techniques they are using and that the evidence is gathered in a manner that complies with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the laws of evidence.
Cases targeting criminal organizations have increased in recent years, largely as a result of police forces focusing more of their efforts on investigations of such organizations. Trafficking in drugs is one of the key activities of most organized crime groups. In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 459 serious drug offence-related files that included criminal organization charges under the Criminal Code. This represents a 5.3% increase over the 436 such files handled in 2011–2012.
High-complexity drug cases require a significant amount of PPSC resources. These prosecutions can involve pre-trial litigation of such issues as the legality of the investigation, the constitutionality of the legislation or of the investigation, disclosure, allegations of abuse of process, and unreasonable delay. While high-complexity files represented only 2.04% of staff counsel’s drug caseload in 2012–2013, they took up 37.4% of the time dedicated to drug prosecutions. This represents a decrease in demand upon prosecutors’ time of 1.1% from 2011–2012 but an increase of 9% since 2007–2008 (the PPSC’s first full year of operation after its creation in December 2006).
Drug offences are frequently revenue-generating crimes, and thus continue to represent the majority of offences prosecuted by the PPSC that lead to the forfeiture of proceeds of crime and of the property used to commit the crime (
“offence-related property”). In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 2,291 cases involving either proceeds of crime or offence-related property (1,425 were carried over from previous years, and 866 were new). The proceeds or property at issue ranged from the money used to buy drugs from an undercover officer to real estate bought with proceeds of crime or used to produce drugs. A total of $38.8 million of proceeds of crime and offence-related property was forfeited during 2012–2013.
Addiction-motivated crime presents particular challenges. To try to address the addiction and to reduce the revolving door of crime committed to feed it, there are six federally funded Drug Treatment Courts in Canada: in Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa. As well, there are a number of community-funded Drug Treatment Courts, such as those found in Calgary, Kitchener, and Durham. These courts focus on the supervised treatment of an offender. Prosecutors work with judges, defence counsel, treatment providers, and others to cooperatively but accountably deal with the issues raised by the conduct of offenders diverted to these specialized courts. PPSC prosecutors currently staff all of Canada’s federally funded Drug Treatment Courts with the exception of the Regina Drug Treatment Court, which is staffed by prosecutors from the Ministry of the Attorney General of Saskatchewan. A PPSC prosecutor also works alongside the provincial prosecutor in the Calgary Drug Treatment Court.
Mohammad Momin Khawaja
Mohammad Momin Khawaja was convicted in 2008 of several Criminal Code terrorism-related offences for building detonators in his Ottawa basement for a United Kingdom terror group. As part of his defence, Mr. Khawaja challenged the constitutionality of the terrorism offence, contending that the definition of
“terrorist activity” in the Criminal Code included a motive component that infringed upon freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of association under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He was unsuccessful at trial and eventually convicted on the evidence. He asserted the same constitutional argument on appeal. On December 14, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed his appeal, and upheld the constitutionality of these terrorism provisions. The life sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal was also upheld.
The PPSC has concurrent jurisdiction with provincial prosecution services to prosecute terrorism offences. To date, the PPSC has concluded proceedings in four prosecutions under the anti-terrorism provisions of the Criminal Code: R. v. Namouh in Quebec, R. v. Khawaja in Ontario, charges stemming from Project Osage, also in Ontario, and R. v. Thambithurai in British Columbia. Convictions were entered in all of these proceedings.
In December 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the convictions and life sentence for Mohammad Momin Khawaja. In February 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear appeals over sentencing considerations in the Project Osage-related cases of R. v. Amara, R. v. Khalid, and R. v. Gaya. Their sentences of life imprisonment, 20 years, and 18 years, respectively, were therefore upheld.
As of March 31, 2013, three additional terrorism-related prosecutions were ongoing. In August 2010, charges were laid against three individuals in Ottawa stemming from Project Samossa. In March 2011, charges were laid against Mohamed Hassan Hersi in Brampton, and in July 2012, terrorism charges were laid against Mouna Diab in Montreal. All matters are proceeding through the courts.
Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes
The PPSC is responsible for prosecuting offences under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
The PPSC’s first prosecution under the Act resulted in the conviction of Désiré Munyaneza for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in relation to events that occurred in Rwanda in 1994. Mr. Munyaneza received a life sentence in 2009. An appeal to the Quebec Court of Appeal was heard in April 2013 and at the time of publication, the judgment was under reserve.
A second case is ongoing. R. v. Mungwarere concerns a Rwandan national who was residing in Windsor, Ontario in 2009 and was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial was completed in March 2013, and the decision of the trial judge is expected in the coming months.
Security of Information
The prosecution of Jeffrey Paul Delisle for communicating and attempting to communicate safeguarded information, contrary to the Security of Information Act, and for breach of trust under the Criminal Code resulted in a guilty plea. In October 2012, Mr. Delisle was sentenced to 20 years in prison less time served.
Prosecutions in Canada’s North
In Canada’s three Northern territories, the PPSC prosecutes all Criminal Code offences, in addition to offences under other federal legislation and under territorial legislation. In 2012–2013, the PPSC was responsible for 9,243 files in the territories, of which 8,559 involved Criminal Code offences. Of those files, 7,311 were new, and 1,932 were carried over from previous years. Northern prosecutions included 504 drug offences, 214 regulatory offences, and 254 territorial offences. Some files involved multiple offences. Of the Criminal Code files, 53 were homicide or attempted murder files.
Regulatory and Economic Prosecutions
The PPSC provides prosecution services related to legislation aimed at protecting the environment and the health, safety, economic security, and general welfare of the public. Some offences in this category require evidence of mens rea (criminal intent), while others are strict liability offences.
Outcomes in these cases may generate large fines and penalties, and can result in remedial and preventative measures that enhance public health and safety, improve the management and protection of environmental resources, or discourage financial and economic malfeasance. In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 8,700 files involving regulatory and economic offences, of which 3,812 were carried over from previous years. Approximately $18 million in fines and surcharges were imposed by the courts.
Regulatory and economic prosecutions can be complex and resource-intensive. Because of the nature of these cases, specialized teams of prosecutors have been established in most regional offices.
The PPSC prosecutes offences under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, as well as fraud offences related to, and uncovered during, the bankruptcy and insolvency process. In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 125 such files, 73 of which were carried over from previous years.
Information uncovered during the bankruptcy proceedings of Ottawa-based ICI Construction Management led to charges under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Criminal Code against Roland Eid, the principal of ICI, in relation to his alleged activities during the years 2005 to 2009. Some 146 ICI creditors claimed aggregate losses of $10.7 million. The prosecution is ongoing.
In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 53 files related to offences under the Statistics Act, 24 of which were carried over from previous years. These files relate to individuals who refused to answer questions on the census form for the 2011 Census of Population and the 2006 Census of Population.
In 2006, Sandra Finley refused to answer questions on the 2006 Census of Population long-form questionnaire. She was charged under the Statistics Act and was found guilty, after a trial. Ms. Finley unsuccessfully challenged the constitutional validity of the offence provision of the Statistics Act. Her appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal was heard in 2012–2013 and the finding of guilt was upheld.
Citizenship and Immigration Offences
The PPSC has carriage of prosecutions related to offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. In 2012–2013, PPSC prosecutors worked on 481 files dealing with such offences. The PPSC also prosecutes related offences under the Criminal Code.
In R. v. Farhan, Faisal Farhan was charged with offences under the Criminal Code relating to the possession and use of fraudulent passports as part of his scheme to kidnap his children from their mother in Kuwait, who had legal custody, and to bring them to Canada. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to two years in prison and one year of probation.
Competition Law Offences
The PPSC handles prosecutions under the Competition Act as well as the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act, and the Precious Metals Marking Act. The PPSC also provides legal advice to the Competition Bureau on investigative files that may lead to prosecutions. In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 105 files dealing with competition law.
In Quebec, Operation Octane was a major investigation into anti-competitive price fixing among gasoline retailers. In recent years, it has led to charges against more than 50 individuals and corporations. In 2012–2013, three individuals were found guilty after a trial, and three others pleaded guilty and were required to pay fines.
In British Columbia, Maxzone Auto Parts was found guilty and fined $1.5 million for having participated in a conspiracy to fix the price of replacement headlights.
Corruption of Foreign Public Officials
In 2012–2013, the PPSC continued to provide pre-charge advice to the two full-time RCMP units dedicated to the investigation of alleged offences under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). These units have reported a combined caseload of 35 active investigations in 2012–2013.
PPSC prosecutors in Ottawa conducted the first prosecution of an individual under the CFPOA. The case involves allegations that Nazir Karigar paid bribes to Indian government officials in order to obtain favourable treatment in the awarding of a contract for security software to Air India. The trial commenced in the fall of 2012 with the court hearing evidence for a total of three weeks. Closing arguments were heard on March 27, 2013 with a verdict expected later in the year.
PPSC prosecutors from Montreal and Toronto are working together to conduct the prosecutions of two individuals, Ramesh Shah and Mohammad Ismail, charged with violations of the CFPOA in relation to a bridge project in Bangladesh. Preliminary inquiries have been completed, and the accused have been ordered to stand trial. Trial dates have not yet been set.
Environmental and Fisheries Offences
The PPSC prosecutes offences under statutes aimed at managing fisheries and other environmental resources and at protecting the natural environment, wildlife, and public health, such as the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the Canada National Parks Act. In 2012–2013, the PPSC handled 2,665 files dealing with offences under the Fisheries Act (838 carried over from previous years), and 181 files related to other environmental legislation (79 carried over from previous years).
In Ontario, Bruce Power and Bruce Power Ltd. Partnership pleaded guilty to one count of failing to conduct a yearly leak test on a component of a refrigeration system, which is a contravention of the Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003, and consequently, an offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Bruce Power was sentenced to pay a fine and other penalties totalling $100,000.
In Alberta, Shell Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to an offence of depositing a deleterious substance in fish-bearing waters. The charge came about after a spill of 12,500 litres of a chemical solution into the Peace River. The company paid a fine of $22,500 and paid a further $202,500 into the federal Environmental Damages Fund. The moneys paid into the Fund are to be used to promote the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat in the Peace River, one of the largest rivers in Alberta.
In British Columbia, Carl Eric Peterson was found guilty in September 2012 of offences under the Species at Risk Act and the Fisheries Act for harassing and disturbing killer whales. The charges arose from an incident in August 2010, when fisheries officers on patrol observed a recreational power boat repeatedly accelerating towards two killer whales. The boat eventually powered up behind the whales at a distance of 15 to 25 metres from them, contrary to established whale watching guidelines in Canada, which state that a minimum distance of 100 metres should be maintained between vessels and whales. Mr. Peterson was fined $7,500 and ordered to write an article for the local newspaper warning others not to harass whales.
Food Protection Offences
The PPSC prosecutes cases under federal statutes such as the Food and Drugs Act, the Meat Inspection Act, the Health of Animals Act, and the Plant Protection Act to ensure compliance with the food safety inspection and process regimes and the humane treatment of domestic animals.
In New Brunswick, after pleading guilty to mistreating poultry during transport, Nadeau Poultry Farm Ltd. was fined $21,000 for offences under the Health of Animals Act.
In an ongoing matter, the PPSC is prosecuting Richardson International Limited (RIL), a commodities trading company based in Winnipeg, on charges under the Plant Protection Act. The charges relate to shipments of soybeans worth US$30.6 million and were laid after a formal complaint was made to Canada by the Russian Federation.
Human Health and Medical Offences
In 2012–2013, the PPSC undertook the first-ever prosecution under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act following the conclusion of Project Sentimental, an extensive RCMP investigation into the activities of two former Canadian Food Inspection Agency employees. These individuals, one of whom is currently before Canadian courts, face five charges under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act, and other federal charges, relating to alleged illicit activity they undertook in respect of a human pathogen.
Another first for the PPSC in 2012–2013 was the prosecution of charges laid by the RCMP against a fertility doctor under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. The charges relate to the alleged purchase of ova, payments to surrogate mothers, and acceptance of consideration for arranging for the services of surrogate mothers.
Integrated Market Enforcement Teams
PPSC counsel assigned to Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) provide legal advice to RCMP agents and other investigators who investigate suspected financial market fraud. In 2012–2013, the PPSC worked on 69 IMET-related files, 39 of which were carried over from previous years and 30 of which were new. IMET units are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.
In addition to supporting IMETs, the PPSC has concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute fraud charges under the Criminal Code.
Intellectual Property Offences
The PPSC prosecutes offences under the Copyright Act, as well as offences related to intellectual property under the Criminal Code and other federal statutes.
In R. v. Craddock, Debbie Craddock was convicted of offences under the Copyright Act, the Criminal Code, and the Customs Act for the importation from China and the sale in Canada of counterfeit jewellery from 2004 to 2009. She was sentenced to a total of 34 months and 12 days in prison.
In R. v. Strowbridge, Donald Strowbridge was convicted of various Copyright Act and Criminal Code offences for selling counterfeit goods, including hair styling equipment. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail followed by three years of probation.
The PPSC prosecutes offences under all statutes administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), notably the Income Tax Act. Specialized PPSC prosecutors provide advice during the investigative stage, conduct prosecutions throughout Canada, and provide training to investigators. In 2012–2013, 464 prosecution files were concluded. A total of $3.5 million in fines was imposed by the courts during this period.
The PPSC is continuing to handle prosecutions arising from a national tax avoidance scheme developed by Mr. Russell Porisky. Found guilty by the Supreme Court of British Columbia of tax evasion and counselling in 2012, Mr. Porisky appealed his conviction and his sentence of four and a half years’ imprisonment. Mr. Porisky conducted his activities under the business name
“Paradigm Education Group”. He gave seminars and sold material advising others on how to structure their affairs as a
“natural person” so as to avoid paying income tax. The British Columbia Court of Appeal has not yet issued a decision in the matter.
In 2012–2013, some of Mr. Porisky’s followers were convicted. Among others, Ms. Tania Kovaluk and Mr. Lee Williams of Ottawa were sentenced for not having declared their income and for counselling others to commit fraud. Ms. Kovaluk was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment and a fine of $887,328, and Mr. Williams was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $56,756. Clarke and Mary Margaret Webster both pleaded guilty to tax evasion in January 2013, and were fined $264,811 and $75,596, respectively. In addition, a Conditional Sentence Order (CSO) was entered for each. Mr. Webster’s CSO is for the term of one year, with the first six months being served under house arrest and the remaining six months under curfew. Mrs. Webster’s CSO is for the term of six months, with the first three months being served under house arrest and the remaining three months under curfew.
Operation H-Telex involved a five-month RCMP investigation into a cigarette smuggling group in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Over the course of the investigation, police determined that members of the group were making regular trips to reserves in the Montreal area to pick up contraband cigarettes and transport them to a storage facility in Dartmouth. Police eventually arrested six people and seized approximately 100 cases of contraband cigarettes. The various accused received sentences under the Excise Act, 2001 ranging from fines of over $100,000 and conditional jail sentences of up to nine months.
In R. v. Hamade, the PPSC is appealing the 12-month conditional sentence imposed against Fatme Hamade following her conviction after trial in Ottawa under the Excise Act, 2001. Ms. Hamade was found by the trial judge to have handled 1,000 boxes of contraband cigarettes (i.e. 10 million cigarettes) over the course of six months. The trial judge imposed a three-month curfew (requiring her to stay at home between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.), but no house arrest. Her co-accused, Masoud Ahmadi, who also pleaded guilty, received a seven-and-a-half-month jail term.
Workplace and Transportation Safety
The PPSC prosecutes Canada Labour Code offences following investigations conducted by health and safety officers of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada regarding the protection of workers employed in the operation of federal works, undertakings, and businesses. It also prosecutes matters that ensure the safety of Canada’s transportation industry.
A number of cases prosecuted by the PPSC in 2012–2013 involved workplace deaths and serious injury.
In September 2011, a worker died in an accident in a grain elevator in Rosetown, Saskatchewan. Charges under the Canada Labour Code were laid against the company, Viterra Inc., in the fall of 2012.
In August 2012, after pleading guilty, the RCMP was fined $100,000 in relation to a workplace incident that seriously injured an officer in Alberta.
The PPSC retains the services of private-sector lawyers as agents to conduct prosecutions where it does not have a regional office or where it is impractical or otherwise not cost-effective for staff counsel to handle cases. In 2012–2013, 41,741 files of the total PPSC caseload were handled by agents. Of these, 22,501 were new files and 19,240 were carried over from previous years.
The Agent Affairs Program (AAP) looks after the management of agents. Its objective is to ensure that agents provide quality legal services at a reasonable cost. Each of the PPSC’s regional offices (with the exception of the Northern regional offices) has an Agent Supervision Unit to handle the day-to-day supervision of agents and to support them in their work.
As part of its management control framework, the AAP uses modern audit techniques, such as risk management, for agent file review. Benchmarks have been developed for a number of case profiles under federal statutes such as the CDSA, the Fisheries Act, and the Income Tax Act.
In 2008–2009, the PPSC introduced a regime of fixed-term agreements for agents, replacing indeterminate appointments. Under this regime, any law firm or lawyer interested in becoming an agent can apply for a five-year term when an opening occurs. The selection of agents is done pursuant to a competitive process.
The PPSC’s transition to fixed-term agreements is progressing in accordance with a five-year plan which ends in fiscal year 2013–2014. In 2012–2013, 30 fixed-term agreements were entered into with agents — a combination of incumbents as well as new private-sector lawyers and firms. As of March 31, 2013, the PPSC had retained the services of 450 agents from 205 law firms.
Crown Witness Coordinators
The PPSC employs 16 Crown Witness Coordinators (CWC) in the three Northern territories. The role of CWCs is to help victims, witnesses, and complainants understand the court process, their rights and responsibilities, and the various roles of the court participants. They provide court updates, accompany witnesses to court, provide support during and after testimony, and assist with trial preparation. CWCs are liaisons between Crown counsel and victims and witnesses, ensuring their concerns are considered during the criminal justice process. Their work includes identifying victims’ support needs, providing translation support during meetings with Crown counsel, and ensuring victims are referred to appropriate support agencies to address their needs.
The CWC program is coordinated by a Crown Witness Program Coordinator (CWPC). The CWPC liaises with CWCs in the territories, Crown prosecutors, senior management, and officials from the Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice Canada to develop an integrated assessment of the issues and concerns regarding court-based services provided to victims and witnesses of crime with the focus on developing an improved CWC program.
In February 2013, 13 CWCs and the CWPC participated in an annual training program in Toronto. The focus of the program was on improving the CWCs’ skills and the PPSC’s overall services and support to victims of violent crime, especially when dealing with the unique circumstances of domestic violence cases. Support for victims of domestic violence is essential to ensure that they understand the judicial process, to avoid re-victimization, and to maximize the prospect that they will participate in the judicial process as witnesses. The training included a one-day group meeting to address the resources needed to support such victims, and a two-day certification program focused on increasing the CWCs’ ability to provide effective support to victims throughout the criminal justice process. This training strengthened CWCs’ ability to afford effective support to victims, witnesses, and prosecutors, while balancing their own self-care in a challenging work environment.
The PPSC is responsible for administering the National Fine Recovery Program under the terms of an assignment issued by the Attorney General of Canada in 2007. The Program recovers outstanding court-ordered fines under federal statutes.
The National Fine Recovery Program was affected by the federal government’s 2010–2011 strategic review exercise. The PPSC decided to entrust fine recovery to either a private collection agency or to the provinces. A national team will administer the program and will be responsible for coordinating efforts with partner organizations.
In 2012–2013, the program recovered a total of almost $7.3 million during the year, and 2,369 new files were opened. These new files represent $21.7 million in fines, bringing the total of outstanding fines to almost $168 million.
The PPSC’s national legal committees provide advice and guidance on matters of law and policy for all regions of Canada. This national perspective helps to ensure that federal prosecutors apply the law consistently throughout the country and that Canadians everywhere are treated equitably.
National Litigation Committee and Supreme Court of Canada Litigation
The role of the National Litigation Committee is to advise the DPP on questions of law in the context of litigation, especially in the Supreme Court of Canada.
This involves making recommendations to the DPP with respect to the approval of applications for leave to appeal and factums in the Supreme Court, the filing of interventions in the DPP’s name in any Canadian court and, on occasion, the provision of legal advice on other litigation issues.
During 2012–2013, the Committee considered 20 litigation files, 18 in the Supreme Court of Canada and two in lower courts. The Committee also recommended a position on one legal issue.
During the year, PPSC prosecutors appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada in 14 cases: seven appeals, four interventions, and three oral hearings on a leave application.
National Prosecution Policy Committee
The National Prosecution Policy Committee serves as a senior advisory body on matters that affect the PPSC nationally and which are not related to a specific ongoing prosecution, investigation, appeal or intervention. The Committee’s purpose is to promote and ensure consistency and quality in PPSC legal advice, policy development and prosecution practices.
During 2012–2013, the Committee reviewed 16 guidelines and directives.
Major Case Advisory Committee
The Major Case Advisory Committee is composed of senior PPSC prosecutors with expertise in major prosecutions from offices across Canada. It considers prosecution plans for complex prosecutions referred to it by Chief Federal Prosecutors, and makes recommendations to the responsible Deputy DPP. The Committee examined seven such plans in 2012–2013.
Griffiths Energy International
Griffiths Energy International Inc. (GEI) is a privately held oil and gas exploration company headquartered in Calgary. In November 2011, GEI voluntarily disclosed that former senior officers had made payments to the Chadian Ambassador to Canada and his wife, to gain an advantage in securing oil exploration rights in the Republic of Chad. The offering of such payments is a violation of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). This was the first prosecution under the CFPOA resulting from a voluntary disclosure of an offence.
Following the disclosure, GEI conducted an extensive internal investigation and cooperated fully with the RCMP and the PPSC. GEI pleaded guilty based on an agreed statement of facts and was fined $9 million, plus a $1.35 million victim fine surcharge.
PPSC National Awards
The recognition of excellence and exceptional performance on the part of PPSC employees is of great importance to the organization. The PPSC has, therefore, created awards to recognize extraordinary merit at the national and local levels. There are three national awards:
- the Excellence Award, which recognizes exceptional performance and professionalism;
- the Leadership Award, which recognizes leadership in inspiring excellence, professionalism, and ethical behaviour; and
- the Team Achievement Award, which recognizes exceptional performance and contributions beyond normal expectations for a team or group.
There are two types of local awards: the Merit Award and the Immediate Recognition Award. Local awards allow managers to recognize employees who have exceeded normal performance expectations.
Team Achievement Award
Divide Team — Manitoba Regional Office
Chris Mainella, Sadie Bond, Mark Lafreniere, Stacy Cawley, Ian Mahon, Christine Langdon, Cynthia DeSousa, Susie Barros, Suzanne Moquin, Anne Krahn, Erin Magas
The Divide Team was recognized for its exceptional contribution to the investigation and prosecution of
“Project Divide,” a high-profile organized crime file involving 34 members of the Hells Angels and of an associated puppet club.
School for Prosecutors
The PPSC School for Prosecutors offers annual training designed to promote professional development relevant to the prosecution function.
In 2012, the School held three separate training events.
The Level One (Prosecution Fundamentals) course covered a range of topics of particular interest to PPSC prosecutors, including the role of the Crown, witness and trial preparation, and ethical issues in practice.
The Level Two (Advanced Issues for Prosecutors) course focused on wiretap authorization and complex case issues.
The Written Advocacy course helped counsel perfect their factum-writing skills.
The Official Languages Committee continued to ensure that the PPSC met its obligations under the Official Languages Act. It also ensured the fulfillment of any follow-up on measures outlined in the reports issued by the Commissioner of Official Languages, Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The PPSC has begun to introduce mechanisms for reporting on minority-language prosecutions and supports for official language minority communities. Bilingual PPSC prosecutors have taken language courses to improve their capacity to plead cases in the minority language in their jurisdiction. The PPSC is a contributing partner for the Jurisource.ca website, which provides references and working tools for legal practitioners.
One of the PPSC’s official languages co-champions sits on the federal Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions, a group responsible for promoting official languages throughout the public service and exchanging best practices.
The PPSC continued to support and advance external relations with key national and international stakeholders involved in the criminal justice field throughout the year.
Senior PPSC officials met with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada on two occasions, to discuss issues of mutual interest, including the accreditation of courses provided by the PPSC’s School for Prosecutors. In November 2012, a PPSC senior prosecutor briefed members of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court Judges Association (SPCJA) on recent changes to the CDSA contained in Bill C-10 (Safe Streets and Communities Act) at the SPCJA’s fall conference.
In September 2012, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, George Dolhai, led a Canadian delegation at a high-level meeting of the Americas in Mexico City to discuss a hemispheric approach to transnational organized crime.
In late September 2012, the PPSC participated in a counter-terrorism workshop in Mexico sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Canadian presentation focused on the national experience in the investigation and prosecution of acts of terrorism.
Throughout the year, PPSC prosecutors continued to provide training to the RCMP and other police forces on search and seizure issues, wiretap law, and disclosure obligations.
The PPSC hosted interns from prosecution services in Argentina, Guatemala, and France who came to Canada to learn more about Canada’s criminal justice system.
Meetings with Foreign Delegations
On January 22, 2013, a delegation of members of the French National Assembly visited PPSC Headquarters in Ottawa to discuss judicial control over intelligence activities in the criminal law environment. Discussions also covered prosecutorial independence.
On June 15, 2012, senior PPSC officials, including the DPP, met with a delegation from the Netherlands in Canada to discuss approaches to investigating and prosecuting serious crimes.
On September 24, 2012, Morris Pistyner, the Chief Federal Prosecutor of the PPSC’s Ontario Regional Office, met with members of a delegation visiting from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China, to learn about the role of Canadian prosecutors and the organizational structure of the PPSC.
Public Works and Government Services Canada
In October 2009, an engineer died in a boiler explosion at an Ottawa plant operated by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) that supplies heating and cooling to approximately 50 government buildings in Ottawa and Gatineau. In 2012, PWGSC pleaded guilty to three charges under the Canada Labour Code and agreed to a $300,000 fine. Sentencing proceedings are ongoing.
FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee
The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee brings together the leaders of Canada’s prosecution services to promote assistance and cooperation on operational issues. The DPP is permanent co-chair of the Committee and
the PPSC acts as its secretariat.
The Committee held two meetings in 2012. The first, in April 2012, was organized jointly with the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec. It was held in Quebec City immediately before the 2nd North American and Caribbean Regional Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) and featured a joint meeting with the Executive Committee of the National District Attorneys Association. The second, in October 2012, was organized jointly with the Manitoba Prosecution Service and featured the National Prosecution Awards Ceremony. The PPSC also organized several meetings and teleconferences of subcommittees and working groups of the Committee.
International Association of Prosecutors
The International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) is a non-governmental and non-political organization. It promotes the effective, fair, impartial, and efficient prosecution of criminal offences through high standards and principles, including procedures to prevent or address miscarriages of justice. It assists prosecutors internationally in the fight against organized or other serious crime, and fosters measures for the elimination of corruption in public administration. The PPSC participated in the Seventeenth Annual Conference and General Meeting of the IAP in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2012, where the DPP chaired the final plenary session on the expansion of transnational organized crime in new areas of activity.
A PPSC representative sits as vice-president on the board of the Association internationale des procureurs et poursuivants francophones, a sister organization of the IAP.
The PPSC also has a representative on the development board of the Global Prosecutors E-Crime Network (GPEN), a web-based platform launched by the IAP for specialist e-crime prosecutors that provides access to a library of documentary and training resources. The GPEN site offers cybercrime prosecutors a contacts database, a discussion forum, and a virtual library and training materials. The PPSC is responsible for the Canadian content of the GPEN site, which is developed in consultation with the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Cybercrime.
The Administration Services Division is responsible for the delivery of programs and services in the areas of facilities management, security, occupational health and safety (OHS), and informal conflict management. Key activities undertaken in 2012 included:
- completing the final planning stages, including the application of Workplace 2.0, for the consolidation of the Headquarters facility in the National Capital Region (construction currently underway);
- application of Workplace 2.0 to the design of the new National Capital Regional Office, the Nunavut Regional Office, and the Calgary Local Office, all scheduled for occupancy in summer 2013;
- the establishment of the PPSC Informal Conflict Management System, which allows employees to resolve conflicts in an informal and collaborative manner;
- the continued provision of security advice and support for personnel security and employee safety by applying measures to prevent and respond to incidents of intimidation against employees, presenting awareness sessions on security of information, and providing security briefs during the office design stage of facilities management projects; and
- coordination of the PPSC OHS program, including the publication of the PPSC Policy for the Prevention and Resolution of Violence in the Workplace and the Policy on Small Appliances and Devices, coordination of the ongoing work of the PPSC National OHS Policy Committee, support to regional workplace committees, and advice to management and employees on OHS issues.
The Communications Group is responsible for the PPSC’s communications activities aimed at the public and the media, as outlined in the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.
The Group provides communications products, services, and advice to PPSC prosecutors and managers. It is also responsible for internal communications and for publishing the PPSC intranet and other internal communications vehicles.
In 2012–2013, the Group provided media training sessions in regional offices and at Headquarters to assist prosecutors in the performance of their public and media communications role.
The Office of the Corporate Counsel (OCC) provides advice to the DPP and to PPSC management on administrative and public law matters, values and ethics, conflicts of interest or duties, employment law issues, access to information, political activities, post-employment measures, litigation against the PPSC, law society legal issues, application of Treasury Board policies and guidelines and agent-related issues. In addition, the OCC is involved in the provision of advisory services in areas pertaining to management issues.
Fernand Gilbert Ltée
Fernand Gilbert Ltée was responsible for the construction of a section of route 175 between Quebec City and the Saguenay region. As a result of the work, a significant quantity of sediment was deposited in watercourses that run into the Jacques Cartier River, causing substantial harm to fish habitats. Fernand Gilbert Ltée pleaded guilty to six counts of destruction of fish habitat under the Fisheries Act. It was ordered to pay a penalty of $165,000, most of which will be used to promote conservation and protection of fish habitat in the Jacques-Cartier National Park and the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve.
Finance and Acquisitions
The Finance and Acquisitions Directorate provides leadership, advice, and services in acquisition management, resource management, accounting management, policy, and quality assurance to the PPSC. In addition to fulfilling its ongoing commitments, the Directorate:
- implemented projects that streamlined business processes and enhanced forecasting and reporting (e.g., cost recovery, financial statements);
- developed and implemented an internal control framework that included controls over financial reporting, an action plan to address necessary adjustments, and remedial actions to correct identified weaknesses; and
- took over all financial management and acquisitions regional services that were formerly delivered by the Department of Justice Canada.
The Human Resources Directorate (HRD) is responsible for human resources management.
In 2012–2013, HRD worked on tools to better track learning initiatives and investments. The PPSC also increased its attention to less formal types of training, such as mentoring. Through its partnership with the Department of Justice Canada, the introduction of mentoring tools has increased the efficiency of participant matching and a new communication strategy targeted at new mentors and existing participants has increased participation in the program.
The PPSC has continued to work on the development of a Disability Management Initiative designed to address concerns about employee absence due to illness and injury. The PPSC’s approach to disability management emphasizes ongoing communication between employees, their managers, and other stakeholders.
The PPSC Code of Conduct came into effect May 1st, 2013. The Code, which applies to all PPSC employees, complements the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and is based on the PPSC’s core values of respect, integrity, excellence, and leadership. The codes describe the behavioural expectations that must be met by employees during and after their employment.
The Public Service Commission audited the PPSC in 2012 and evaluated the PPSC’s staffing framework, systems, and practices. The audit identified a number of opportunities for improvement in the PPSC’s staffing policies and procedures, and made recommendations. The PPSC has already taken steps to address many of these recommendations, including a review of the PPSC’s Policy on Area of Selection, the drafting of a staffing monitoring framework, and the posting of the organization’s staffing priorities and strategies.
As part of its obligations under the Employment Equity Act, the PPSC undertook an Employment Systems Analysis. This exhaustive analysis of the organization’s employment policies, practices, and systems aims to identify and eliminate systemic and behavioural obstacles to the recruitment of members of designated groups (women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities). The results of the Employment Systems Analysis will be known in 2013–2014.
Information Management and Technology
The Information Management and Technology Directorate is responsible for the planning, management, and delivery of library, information management, information technology, and application services to all PPSC staff.
In addition to providing ongoing operational services and overseeing those provided by the Department of Justice Canada and Shared Services Canada during 2012–2013, the Directorate:
- established and negotiated support service agreements with Shared Services Canada;
- established a number of priority information management and information technology projects in support of the core function of the PPSC; and
- provided assistance with the planning of Headquarters and regional office relocation projects.
The Internal Audit Division (IAD) assesses the effectiveness of the PPSC’s processes and works with the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) to provide objective advice and recommendations to the DPP regarding the sufficiency, quality, and results of the organization’s risk management, control, and governance frameworks and processes.
In 2012–2013, the PPSC published three internal audit reports: the Audit of the Northwest Territories Regional Office, the Audit of Governance and Integrated Planning, and the Audit of the Alberta Regional Office. The IAD also conducted two follow-up reviews of management action plans addressing prior audit recommendations. The DAC, which is chaired by the DPP, met three times during the year and reviewed a number of audit-related items including the audit of PPSC appointment activities, conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada, values and ethics, security, risk management, internal controls, governance, planning, and financial reporting.
Ministerial and External Relations
The Ministerial and External Relations Secretariat (MERS) is responsible for ministerial liaison, Cabinet and parliamentary affairs, correspondence, relations with external groups, and access to information and privacy.
MERS oversees the timely delivery of quality briefing material to the Office of the Attorney General pursuant to the DPP’s obligation under section 13 of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act, which requires that the DPP inform the Attorney General of cases that raise important questions of general interest. In addition, MERS responds to incoming correspondence from the general public as well as requests for information on PPSC activities, including inquiries from Parliament. In 2012–2013, the PPSC responded to 72 questions placed on the Order Paper of the House of Commons.
The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office is responsible for the application of access to information and privacy legislation at the PPSC. The ATIP Office ensures that the PPSC complies with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It also carries out training and education activities to raise awareness among PPSC employees and agents about their roles and responsibilities under these acts. In 2012–2013, the ATIP Office processed 28 requests under the Access to Information Act and 15 requests under the Privacy Act. It also responded to 48 ATIP consultations received from other government departments.
Project Faril was an 18-month cross-border investigation into drug smuggling across the Canada-United States border. A criminal organization courier service used modified vehicles, encrypted internet communications on handheld devices, and GPS to fix meeting points at remote border locations along the Montana-Saskatchewan border to exchange drugs and money. In excess of 1,300 kg of cocaine was smuggled from the west coast of the United States into Canada, and over 1 million pills of ecstasy (MDMA) were smuggled in the reverse direction. The total street value of the drugs seized exceeded $150 million. The leader of the courier service, Brock Palfrey, was sentenced in Canada to 18 years’ imprisonment. Two of his couriers, Bruce Larsen and Troy Swanson, were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years respectively. Other couriers were prosecuted in the United States.
Strategic Planning and Performance Management
The Strategic Planning and Performance Management Division is responsible for corporate-level strategic and business planning, integrated risk management, performance management and reporting, research and evaluation as well as central agency liaison.
In 2012–2013, the Division directed the PPSC’s participation in the Treasury Board mandated evaluation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS), and of the Measures to Address Contraband Tobacco (MACT). It also contributed to annual performance reports on initiatives in which the PPSC participates, including the NADS, the Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorist Financing (AML/ATF) Regime, the Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) initiative, and the Lawful Access Initiative. In addition, the Division supported the implementation of the management responses and action plans stemming from previously completed evaluations of these initiatives.
Finally, the Division’s Research and Evaluation Unit undertook a review of crimorg.ca, an organized crime research resource database managed by the PPSC and accessible to Canadian law enforcement bodies, to assess its relevance, design, preliminary results, efficiency, and opportunities for improvement. It also compiled and analyzed data obtained from an inter-jurisdictional survey on the jury recruitment process for trials to be conducted in French or in both official languages. This survey was undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Justice Canada for the FPT Working Group on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages.
- Date modified: