3. Regional Profiles


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

Files by Offence Type – All PPSC regional offices
  Files Involving Drug-Related Offences (65%) Files Involving Criminal Code Offences (22%) Files Involving Regulatory Offences and Economic Offenses (9%) Files Involving Proceeds of Crime and Offence-Related Property (3%) Files Involving Other Offence Types (1%)
  65% 22% 9% 3% 1%
Files by Offence Type – Regional offices located in the territories
  Files Involving Criminal Code Offences, including Homicides and Attempted Murder (88%) Files Involving Drug-Related Offences (5%) Files Involving Territorial Offenses (3%) Files Involving Regulatory Offences and Economic Offenses (2%) Files Involving Other Offence Types (2%)
  88% 5% 3% 2% 2%
Files by Offence Type – Regional offices located in the provinces
  Files Involving Drug-Related Offences (72%) Files Involving Criminal Code Offences (14%) Files Involving Regulatory Offences and Economic Offenses (10%) Files Involving Proceeds of Crime and Offence-Related Property (3%) Files Involving Other Offence Types (1%)
  72% 14% 10% 3% 1%
Time Spent by Offence Type – All PPSC regional offices
  Files Involving Drug-Related Offences (49%) Files Involving Criminal Code Offences (26%) Files Involving Regulatory Offences and Economic Offenses (15%) Files Involving Proceeds of Crime and Offence-Related Property (5%) Files Involving Other Offence Types (5%)
  49% 26% 15% 5% 5%
Time Spent by Offence Type – Regional offices located in the territories
  Files Involving Criminal Code Offences, including Homicides and Attempted Murder (93.1%) Files Involving Drug-Related Offences (3.0%) Files Involving Other Offence Types (2.8%) Files Involving Territorial Offenses (0.6%) Files Involving Regulatory Offences and Economic Offenses (0.5%)
  93.1% 3.0% 2.8% 0.6% 0.5%
Time Spent by Offence Type – Regional offices located in the provinces
  Files Involving Drug-Related Offences (53%) Files Involving Criminal Code Offences (25%) Files Involving Regulatory Offences and Economic Offenses (12%) Files Involving Proceeds of Crime and Offence-Related Property (6%) Files Involving Other Offence Types (5%)
  53% 25% 12% 6% 5%


Employee Distribution
Employees 117
Lawyers (LA) 62
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 15
Program and Administrative Services 38

The Alberta Regional Office is headquartered in Edmonton, with a local office in Calgary. In addition to the office’s in-house staff, agents handle drug prosecutions outside the two major centres.

Much of the region’s work centers on drug and organized crime prosecutions, which often present complex Charter of Rights and Freedoms issues. The office also handles a significant number of economic crime and regulatory prosecutions, which are often complex.

Over the past three years, file complexity in the Alberta Regional Office has increased dramatically. A proliferation of criminal gangs and gang activity and increased enforcement work by federal investigative agencies has contributed to a heavier workload. The concurrent rise in the use of procedural mechanisms in court and in the incidence of significant technical and legal issues (such as search and seizure and use of information technology) extended and increased the length and complexity of court proceedings.

The region undertook a number of initiatives designed to improve efficiency and systemic integrity. They include a new major-minor prosecution agreement with the province, a new case viability assessment plan to enhance efficient early case management, and development of an electronic case presentation and case management system.

In R. v. EGD Modern Design et al., EGD Modern Design was convicted after a trial on 12 charges under the Food and Drugs Act and the CDSA for selling products that they claimed were natural health products when they were in fact drugs under the law. The prosecution required a significant investment of resources by the PPSC. After a lengthy trial, EGD was fined $112,000.

In R. v. Reginald Alcantara and Alan Knapczak, Mr. Alcantara and Mr. Knapczak were convicted after a lengthy trial of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and aiding a criminal organization. The two, who were known Hells Angels, provided Hells Angels protection to a wholesale cocaine distribution organization run by another man through a “taxing” arrangement that provided substantial profits to Mr. Alcantara and Mr. Knapczak. They were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, and appeals are pending. The principal who ran the organization had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic cocaine and was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Éric Asselin

Éric Asselin worked as Vice-President of Finance for Norbourg Gestion d’Actifs, and later acted as a consultant to the company. Knowing that Norbourg’s bankruptcy was imminent, Mr. Asselin moved significant amounts of money to his own bank account. He then hid his assets from his creditors during his personal bankruptcy. He pleaded guilty of defrauding his creditors and was sentenced in January 2013 to three years in prison. He was also ordered to reimburse $50,000 to the trustee in bankruptcy.


Employee Distribution
Employees 66
Lawyers (LA) 41
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 2
Program and Administrative Services 21

The Atlantic Regional Office (ARO) carries out the PPSC’s mandate throughout the four Atlantic Provinces. The ARO’s regional headquarters is in Halifax, with local offices in Moncton and St. John’s.

Counsel in 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.

ARO prosecutors handle a wide variety of prosecution files, including complex drug and proceeds of crime files, files involving significant investigative resources and wiretap evidence, economic crimes involving contraband tobacco and tax offences, and immigration and Citizenship Act violations. Counsel work closely with various investigative agencies and provide pre-charge legal advice on a wide range of issues. Fisheries Act prosecutions are commonplace in the ARO, many of which raise interesting and complex issues related to Aboriginal rights claims.

The ARO divides its work among seven teams. Three of the teams are general prosecutions teams conducting primarily CDSA prosecutions in Halifax, Moncton, and St. John’s. The remaining teams are based in Halifax but provide advisory and prosecution services to the ARO in the following areas: agent supervision, economic crime, organized crime/proceeds of crime, and regulatory offences.

Prosecutors in the ARO are actively involved in various initiatives across the region dealing with justice efficiencies and the administration of criminal justice. PPSC counsel also participate in a large number of educational initiatives involving investigative agencies and continuing legal education in all four Atlantic provinces.

Counsel in the ARO have been involved in several cases involving important legal issues. In R. v. Level Carvery, ARO counsel are involved in an appeal based on the new provisions in the Criminal Code with respect to pre-trial custody and its value when a sentence is imposed. The case is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada this year.

An investigation into the flow of drugs into the correctional center in Halifax led to the arrest in late 2009 of Tyrone David, a sheriff employed by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. The file was concluded this year, when the accused was convicted of trafficking and sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. Expert evidence was called to demonstrate the substantial negative effect that drug trafficking has on correctional institutions.

R. v. Vautour involved fishing charges under the Canada National Parks Act. The defendants failed to establish the existence of a culturally distinctive, geographically identifiable Métis community in the area of Kouchibouguac and the trial judge further found that “the evidence would overwhelmingly suggest that none ever existed.”

British Columbia

Employee Distribution
Employees 110
Lawyers (LA) 64
Law Management (LC) 3
Paralegals (EC) 5
Program and Administrative Services 38

The British Columbia Regional Office (BCRO) has four locations in Vancouver. Prosecutors provide prosecution services throughout the province, assisted by standing agents.

Approximately 80% of the office’s workload is drug prosecutions; the balance is regulatory and economic prosecutions.

While the overall volume of files in BCRO is declining, the complexity of investigations and prosecutions is increasing. A number of investigative agencies, for example the Vancouver Police Department, Canada Revenue Agency, and the Canada Border Services Agency, have all been taking on higher-complexity files. Many cases are located outside the Lower Mainland, which necessitates extensive travel.

As a port city, Vancouver is the focus of many large cocaine importation files. It is also becoming a source of chemical drugs, such as methamphetamine and ecstasy, which are often manufactured for export.

In 2007, Baljinder Kandola, who at the time was employed as a Border Services Officer with the Canada Border Services Agency, was arrested and charged after he and two other individuals – Shminder Johal and Herman Riar – imported 208 kilograms of cocaine into Canada at the Pacific Highway Commercial Truck border crossing. The evidence revealed that Kandola had accepted bribes in exchange for allowing Johal and Riar to enter into Canada via his primary inspection booth using passenger vehicles that were filled with boxes of cocaine. In June 2012, following a lengthy trial in B.C. Supreme Court (BCSC), both Kandola and Johal were convicted of conspiracy to import cocaine as well as various breach of trust offences. Kandola was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment and Johal received 18 years’ imprisonment. Riar pleaded guilty at an earlier date and was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

In August 2012, a direct indictment including criminal organization charges was filed against members of the Hells Angels and associates. It is alleged that the accused provided undercover RCMP officers with $4 million cash as a down payment for 500 kilograms of cocaine. The matter is presently before the BCSC.


Employee Distribution
Employees 47
Lawyers (LA) 24
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 4
Program and Administrative Services 17

The Manitoba Regional Office (MRO), located in Winnipeg, provides service to the entire province. This includes attendance at over 60 circuit points and regular attendance at the six major judicial centres. Four agents assist the office.

Two counsel are assigned to work with the Financial Integrity Unit (formerly IPOC) of the RCMP. All other counsel conduct prosecutions in all levels of court. These prosecutions primarily deal with drug offences but also include criminal organization offences, economic offences and offences concerning the health and safety of the public.

In Manitoba in the past year, two sets of prosecutions (Project Deplete and Project Flatlined) targeted outlaw motorcycle gangs, resulting in the incarceration of most of the active Hells Angels and Rock Machine members, as well as many of their support club members. File counts continue to grow and the increasing sophistication of police investigations are resulting in increased effectiveness in court.

The MRO has also prosecuted serious environmental offences and offences investigated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with international implications.

The MRO is pursuing closer ties with prosecution agencies in the United States in an effort to share strategies and outcomes to the benefit of both jurisdictions. The Integrated Border Enforcement Team is exploring issues of enforcement common to both countries.

National Capital

Employee Distribution
Employees 75
Lawyers (LA) 43
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 12
Program and Administrative Services 18

The National Capital Regional Office (NCRO) is situated in Ottawa and is responsible for all federal prosecutions in eastern and northern Ontario, as well as in four districts in western Quebec. In early 2013, the PPSC’s Competition Law Section became part of the NCRO.

The majority of prosecution files in the NCRO relates to drug offences. Many of these are associated with criminal organizations, as the current focus of police agencies appears to be on these larger and well-organized groups. In many jurisdictions, the police have also targeted street-level drug trafficking, resulting in an increase in referrals of these files. Several agencies that investigate regulatory offences under various federal statutes are in the process of reorganizing. This has led to a decrease in the volume of file referrals, but an increase in their complexity as limited resources are focused on more serious investigations.

The NCRO also prosecutes alleged terrorism offences, such as those arising from the Project Samossa investigation, and alleged crimes against humanity, such as the prosecution of Jacques Mungwarere.

The NCRO is participating in the development of a special court to deal with the issues faced by Aboriginal offenders. The NCRO is also involved in the Ontario Justice on Target initiative, which focuses on improving the use of limited court resources. Frequent discussions with the Ottawa Crown Attorney’s Office and Ottawa Police Service have been directed at improved cooperation on joint prosecutions and disclosure issues.

Training in the PPSC

The PPSC is proud to be a training organization, focused on providing employees with training opportunities to enable them to succeed in their careers. The School for Prosecutors offers training to lawyers at all stages of their careers, enhancing their skills as effective prosecutors. The Federal Prosecutor Development Program, which launched in the spring of 2013, is a comprehensive program of training, mentoring, and on-the-job activities designed to equip new prosecutors with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to advance in their prosecutorial careers. The PPSC maintains a Knowledge Management database, which collects materials prepared by prosecutors across the organization and enables prosecutors to learn from the work their colleagues in other jurisdictions have done. The PPSC also provides opportunities for employees to perfect their second language skills.

Northwest Territories

Employee Distribution
Employees 48
Lawyers (LA) 17
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 4
Program and Administrative Services 25

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) serves an area of over 1 million square kilometres and is located in Yellowknife, the territorial capital. Communities throughout the NWT are served by circuit in both Territorial Court and Supreme Court, and prosecutors travel by air to some 20 communities, and by road to one. In 2012–2013, there were 20 Supreme Court jury trials in 11 communities, ranging from Ulukhaktok in the north to Fort Smith in the south. There were 87 Territorial Court circuits outside of Yellowknife, and 74 weeks of Territorial Court in Yellowknife. The Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court sat 22 times in Yellowknife, and as of April 1, 2013 it also sits in Behchoko.

The NWTRO’s lawyers and CWCs are divided into three regionally based teams, resulting in greater consistency in prosecution practices and an enhanced appreciation of community values.

The NWTRO again offered training to its prosecutors and Crown Witness Coordinators in Fixed-Wing Aircraft Safety, Wilderness First Aid, and Arctic Survival. Lawyers also received separate safety training in winter driving and skid control. Participants practiced driving into a ditch to avoid a collision, a skill that was put into use soon after on a driving circuit to Behchoko, when one of the lawyers had to do just that.

All staff received vicarious trauma training. Vicarious trauma is commonly experienced by individuals who are indirectly exposed to traumatic events, either by listening to or by witnessing other people’s suffering. All NWTRO staff attended aboriginal awareness training camps. Participants travelled the ice road to Dettah, an aboriginal community near Yellowknife, and then by snowmobile to the camp. They learned about the First Nations history of the area, how to clean and fillet fish before cooking it over an open fire, and traditional medicine.

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

Spousal assaults continue to be a significant problem in the NWT. The Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court, which began hearing cases in 2011, has run three programs, and 16 participants (13 male, three female) have successfully completed the program. An additional two participants were not successful. A fourth program began in early March 2013.


Employee Distribution
Employees 37
Lawyers (LA) 13
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 1
Program and Administrative Services 21

Nunavut encompasses over 2 million square kilometres and 25 communities. PPSC offices are located in Iqaluit, the territorial capital, and in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The local office in Yellowknife serves the Kitikmeot area, which is more easily reached from Yellowknife than from Iqaluit.

The PPSC Nunavut Regional Office (NRO) is responsible for all prosecutions that occur in the territory, including Criminal Code matters, matters under the CDSA, regulatory prosecutions and Territorial Act prosecutions.

Crimes of violence, from assaults to homicides, continue to present the greatest challenge to the NRO. The NRO opened fewer files last year, but the severity of the files remains far above the national average. In addition, there were several serious historical sexual assault matters involving allegations of breach of trust with young complainants.

Prosecutions under the Nunavut Liquor Act and the CDSA have increased as a result of greater emphasis on these offences by investigative agencies.

Nunavut continues to have the highest per capita rate of assaults, sexual assaults and homicides in Canada. This has been the case since 2001. With respect to homicides, over one half were committed by a spouse or other family member. Not only does the territory suffer from the highest crime rate in Canada, it also has the highest scores on both the Crime Severity Index and the Violent Crime Severity Index. Crimes committed in Nunavut tend to be more serious than in other parts of the country.

At the same time, criminal charges laid in Nunavut have declined each year since 2008–2009. As well, the NRO resolved more cases in the last year than in any year previous and is substantially reducing the amount of time it takes to prosecute a file. The NRO will continue to work with justice partners at all levels to make positive advances in the administration of criminal justice in Nunavut.


Employee Distribution
Employees 188
Lawyers (LA) 121
Law Management (LC) 3
Paralegals (EC) 22
Program and Administrative Services 42

The Ontario Regional Office (ORO) is responsible for all of southern Ontario, from Windsor in the west to Trenton in the east, and from Georgian Bay-Peterborough/Lindsay in the north to the Niagara frontier in the south. The regional headquarters is in Toronto, and there are local offices in Brampton, Kitchener, and London.

While the major portion of the ORO’s caseload consists of the prosecution of drug offences, the office also prosecutes various regulatory matters, including tax evasion cases.

The ORO continues to see a proliferation of marihuana grow operations and methamphetamine laboratories, which frequently pose dangers to the communities in which they are located. The office has also noticed an increase in prosecutions related to the increasing activity of organized crime groups outside the Greater Toronto Area, including the Kitchener area.

The ORO has undertaken efforts to improve electronic disclosure in major cases. The office is also working closely with the RCMP and the CRA as they undergo their respective restructuring exercises.

In 2012–2013, the ORO was responsible for prosecutions arising from Project O’Board, in which importers who brought in more than 100 kilograms of drugs into Canada were convicted. The ORO is also responsible for an ongoing prosecution arising from Project Ink, in which an alleged criminal enterprise is being prosecuted for its alleged involvement in a massive cocaine importation scheme, and in which over $1 million in proceeds of crime were seized.


Employee Distribution
Employees 91
Lawyers (LA) 53
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 11
Program and Administrative Services 25

The Quebec Regional Office (QRO) is located in Montreal, and has prosecutors working with an Integrated Market Enforcement Team and an Integrated Proceeds of Crime unit in Quebec City. The QRO is responsible for federal prosecutions in 31 of Quebec’s 34 judicial districts.

Prosecutors in the QRO deal primarily with complex and high-profile prosecutions, particularly relating to organized crime, economic crime, money laundering, terrorism, tax evasion, and national and border security. More than 400 of the office’s 2012–2013 files were megacases or cases of high complexity.

Prosecutors provide advice to investigative agencies in the area of capital market fraud offences, in addition to conducting the related prosecutions. They also deal with prosecutions under the Fisheries Act that raise complex questions such as Aboriginal ancestral rights claims.

Several prosecution files were handled under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, notably cases of false claims of residence in Canada.

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 the course of major investigations led by the RCMP in matters of national security, drugs, and organized crime.

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

MV Sun Sea and MV Ocean Lady

The PPSC is responsible for a series of prosecutions arising in the wake of the arrival of two ships carrying undocumented migrants. The MV Ocean Lady arrived in British Columbia in 2009, carrying 76 migrants, and the MV Sun Sea, carrying 492 migrants, arrived in 2010. Several individuals were charged under the human smuggling provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for having facilitated the entry of undocumented migrants into Canada. The accused in the MV Ocean Lady case successfully argued that the human smuggling provisions were overly broad and should therefore be invalidated. The case is currently under appeal. Four of the accused in the MV Sun Sea case are currently awaiting trial, while one of their co-accused has fled to France and another to Sri Lanka.


Employee Distribution
Employees 27
Lawyers (LA) 14
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 2
Program and Administrative Services 9

The Saskatchewan Regional Office (SRO) is based in Saskatoon. An integrated proceeds of crime unit is located at RCMP Headquarters in Regina. Standing agents assist the SRO in handling files of all complexities at 80 court locations.

Organized crime (drugs, proceeds of crime, money laundering and weapons offences) and tax files are the mainstay at the SRO. Regulatory matters such as environmental offences, labour code violations resulting in workplace injuries and fatalities, customs, immigration, copyright, and bankruptcy files make up most of the rest of the workload.

The SRO has seen an upward trend in drug enforcement activity by the three provincially funded organized crime units, municipal police forces throughout the province, and 1,300 RCMP members at 83 detachments. Although 67% of the provincial population is urban, economic growth in construction and mining sectors means criminal activity extends to rural areas where such development occurs. The SRO has seen an increase in violence and the use of weapons in organized crime activity, and has required the assistance of security personnel in several instances. The SRO has noticed an increase in the use of postal services for smuggling drugs, including heroin and marihuana, from Europe and the Middle East.

The SRO collaborates with its partners in the justice system, including the courts and the provincial Ministry of Justice, to reduce the time needed for the waiver of charges and probationary or conditional sentences to other jurisdictions when the offender is not a Saskatchewan resident. Similar efforts have reduced the time accused persons await trial.

Notable files prosecuted by the SRO include R. v. Taylor, in which a correctional officer was found guilty after a three-week jury trial of smuggling various drugs into a jail and was sentenced to five years for drug trafficking and obstruction of justice.


Employee Distribution
Employees 31
Lawyers (LA) 11
Law Management (LC) 2
Paralegals (EC) 1
Program and Administrative Services 17

The Yukon Regional Office (YRO) is located in the capital city of Whitehorse. YRO employees are responsible for 14 court locations, including Whitehorse. There are six regularly scheduled Territorial Court circuits in each location outside Whitehorse each year, with special sittings scheduled for complex and lengthy matters. 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.

Criminal Code prosecutions sometimes involve disturbing material and images, which can be very difficult for those involved. In 2012–2013, the YRO renewed the training program for all regional office staff to help them deal with vicarious trauma. The training is provided one-on-one, with the opportunity for follow-up counselling with the facilitator on request. This training and counselling is mandatory for all new employees in 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 plead 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). This program requires a guilty plea from the accused and the acceptance of onerous release conditions which provide for regular meetings, programming, education, psychological assessment and counselling, random testing for substance use and other conditions specific to the needs of the accused. At the end of the process, which takes on average 18 to 24 months, the offender receives a sentence mitigated by his or her involvement in the process.

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