2. The Year in Review
In 2013–2014, the PPSC worked on 81,057 files. This figure includes 47,520 files opened during the year, as well as 33,537 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.
Note: The PPSC has refined the methodology used to count files in various categories, to more accurately reflect the organization’s workload. In particular, cross-referenced files that include distinct charge information are no longer excluded from the file count since they are not duplicates of the related main files. Such files represent an additional 2,274 files handled by the PPSC in 2013–2014. In addition, a total of 1,363 files that had been flagged as fine recovery files are actually also litigation files. As a result, the data extraction methodology was modified in order to distinguish between files that only contain fine recovery information and those that serve a dual purpose as litigation and fine recovery files.
Some numbers that appeared in previous annual reports have been adjusted in the charts on the next page as a result of this methodology.
In recent years, the total number of files handled by the PPSC has levelled off. However, the amount of prosecutors’ time spent on medium-complexity files has increased. PPSC prosecutors spent a large amount of time on a smaller number of these and complex, more time-consuming files. Such files included organized crime prosecutions and regulatory prosecutions.
PPSC counsel prosecute offences in several broad areas:
- drug offences throughout the country;
- crimes that threaten national or international security, such as terrorism and war crimes;
- Criminal Code offences in the three Northern territories;
- economic crimes; and
- regulatory offences under federal legislation.
High-Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||361,063||365,850||366,932||360,299|
|# of Files||4,017||3,839||3,626||3,234|
Medium-Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||382,849||404,068||400,050||445,056|
|# of Files||26,399||26,567||26,020||27,240|
Low-Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||334,748||340,546||343,931||335,785|
|# of Files||51,026||50,930||51,236||50,372|
Drug prosecution files represent a significant proportion of the PPSC’s total caseload. In 2013–2014, the PPSC handled 64,456 prosecution files related to offences under the CDSA. Of those, 37,027 prosecutions were new and 27,429 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.
High-complexity drug cases required a significant amount of PPSC resources. These prosecutions involved challenges to the legality of the investigation, the constitutionality of the legislation, disclosure, allegations of abuse of process, and unreasonable delay. While high-complexity files represented only 2.49% of staff counsel’s drug caseload in 2013–2014, they took up 37.33% of the time dedicated to drug prosecutions.
Drug offences are frequently revenue-generating crimes, and thus continued to represent the majority of offences prosecuted by the PPSC that led to the forfeiture of proceeds of crime and of the property used to commit the crime (
“offence-related property”). In 2013–2014, the PPSC handled 13,668 CDSA files involving either proceeds of crime or offence-related property (6,371 were carried over from previous years, and 7,297 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.
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 and provincially 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, although a PPSC agent attends to represent the PPSC when necessary. A PPSC prosecutor also works alongside the provincial prosecutor in the Calgary Drug Treatment Court.
Organized Crime Prosecutions
Trafficking in drugs is one of the key activities of most organized crime groups. Cases involving criminal organizations have increased in recent years, largely as a result of police forces focusing more of their efforts on investigations of such organizations. In 2013–2014, the PPSC handled 444 serious drug offence-related files that included an organized crime element. Over the past year, PPSC prosecutors provided advisory assistance to police in respect of a number of significant organized crime investigations.
The PPSC has concurrent jurisdiction with provincial prosecution services to prosecute terrorism offences. To date, the PPSC has conducted the prosecutions of all terrorism cases in Canada.
In April 2013, terrorism charges against Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were laid in Ontario relating to an alleged conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack against a Via Rail passenger train. In July 2013, John Stuart Nutall and Amanda Korody were charged with terrorism offences relating to an alleged conspiracy to build explosive devices and place them at the British Columbia legislature in Victoria on Canada Day. Trials in relation to both matters are anticipated to take place in 2015.
In June 2013, charges of hostage-taking in association with a terrorist group were laid in relation to a kidnapping of two Canadian citizens in Niger. There are outstanding warrants for the arrest of Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Oumar Hamaha, who are not believed to be in Canada.
In April 2014, terrorism charges against Mouna Diab were stayed when it was determined the case no longer met the threshold test for prosecution.
Four additional terrorism-related prosecutions were ongoing as of May 2014: the trial of Mohamed Hassan Hersi is underway in Brampton, and charges against three individuals in Ottawa stemming from Project Samossa are before the Ontario Superior Court. One individual was tried by judge alone and a decision is expected in June 2014. The trial of a second accused commenced in May 2014, while the third accused will face trial in 2015.
Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes
Jacques Mungwarere, a Rwandan national who was residing in Windsor, was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, and was acquitted on all counts in July 2013. The acquittals were not appealed and are now final.
On May 7, 2014, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the convictions entered by the Superior Court of Quebec in 2009 against Désiré Munyaneza for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in relation to events that occurred in Rwanda in 1994.
Security of Information
Charges were laid in November 2013 against Qing Quentin Huang for communicating and attempting to communicate to a foreign entity, contrary to the Security of Information Act, information that the Government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard, and for breach of trust under the Criminal Code. The matter is before the courts at the pre-trial stage.
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 arrangements with the territories, certain offences under territorial legislation. In 2013–2014, the PPSC was responsible for 9,069 files in the territories, of which 8,433 involved Criminal Code offences. Of those files, 6,789 were new and 2,280 were carried over from previous years. Fifty of the Criminal Code files were homicide or attempted murder files. Northern prosecutions also included 514 files involving drug offences, 206 files involving regulatory offences, and 319 files involving territorial offences. Some files involved multiple offences.
Crown Witness Coordinators
Crown Witness Coordinators (CWC) provide support to witnesses to crime and victims of crime in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. There are currently 17 CWCs, based in the PPSC’s three Northern regional offices. They provide services in 63 communities. The primary role of a CWC is to act as a liaison between the Crown prosecutor and witnesses and victims. CWCs explain the criminal justice system and inform witnesses and victims of their rights and responsibilities under the law, including the right to file a Victim Impact Statement. In support of the prosecution process, CWCs’ work involves building relationships with witnesses and victims by providing court accompaniment, information regarding court dates and outcomes, assistance during testimonial preparation meetings and individualized support during testimony and sentencing hearings. They assess individual needs and provide informal support, such as translation during meetings with Crown counsel, and ensure appropriate referrals to specialized services available in communities.
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 witnesses and victims of crime with the focus on improving the CWC program to better support those who are called to testify in court.
Court Orientation Tool Kit
In the North, court is often held in local buildings such as community halls, gymnasiums, and offices. The court is often set up only minutes before proceedings begin, when community members and the accused are already present. CWCs often don’t have an opportunity to provide adequate court orientation to help witnesses understand what to expect. As a result, witnesses, particularly child witnesses, are more fearful, which can impact their ability to give a full and candid account of the evidence.
The Court Orientation Toolkit consists of a magnetic white board, magnets that depict the courtroom setting, and magnets that represent court participants who will be present during the child’s testimony. The toolkit also contains magnets that represent the child, their family, friends, and support workers, including those they wish to be present while they testify. The individual magnet pieces can be laid out to represent the room where the child will be testifying to help orient the child and increase their level of comfort, reducing their level of fear and supporting their ability to provide evidence.
Regulatory and Economic Prosecutions
The PPSC provides prosecution services related to legislation aimed at protecting the environment and the safety, health, economic security, and general welfare of the public. In addition to the imposition of files and sentences of imprisonment, these cases can result in the imposition of measures designed to enhance public health and safety, improve the management and protection of environmental resources, or discourage financial and economic malfeasance. In 2013–2014, the PPSC handled 6,933 files involving regulatory and economic offences, of which 3,323 were carried over from previous years.
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 Quebec, Operation Octane was a major investigation into anti-competitive price fixing among gasoline retailers. It led to charges against more than 50 individuals and corporations. In 2013–2014, Pétroles Global Inc. was found guilty after a trial. Three other individuals were required to pay fines. The PPSC also initiated criminal proceedings related to anti-competitive agreements related to Quebec infrastructure projects.
In Ontario, a major investigation into anti-competitive price fixing of chocolate confectioneries led to criminal proceedings against three corporations and three individuals. Hershey Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to participation in this cartel and was fined four million dollars. The proceedings against the other accused are before the courts.
Another major investigation into bid-rigging in the auto parts industry resulted in guilty pleas from five companies, who were fined a total of $49.2 million; one company was fined $30 million. Two airlines pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to fix the price of air cargo. They were fined $2.475 million in aggregate.
In Alberta, an individual was found guilty of having given misleading information related to the implementation of an online job opportunities scam and of having violated a court order. He received a total sentence of 30 months’ imprisonment.
Integrated Market Enforcement Teams
Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. PPSC counsel assigned to IMETs provide legal advice to RCMP agents and other investigators of suspected financial market fraud.
In addition to supporting IMETs, the PPSC has concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute fraud charges under the Criminal Code.
In 2013–2014, the PPSC provided legal advice at the pre-charge stage in 43 IMET-related files, 37 of which were carried over from previous years and 6 of which were new.
In 2013–2014, the PPSC prosecuted charges related to the
“Carrefour” file, a file dealing with the alleged diversion of money from retirement accounts. In 2013–2014, six defendants pleaded guilty and five of them were sentenced.
The PPSC is prosecuting three individuals, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Colpitts, and Mr. Potter, on charges of fraud, fraud affecting the public market, and conspiracy to commit fraud affecting the public market. These charges relate to the trading of stock in Knowledge House Inc. During 2013–2014, a series of pre-trial motions were heard. The trial is expected to begin in early 2015.
The PPSC prosecutes offences under all statutes administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The most common offences prosecuted are those under the Income Tax Act, such as tax evasion, and those under the Excise Act, 2001, such as those dealing with contraband tobacco.
The files PPSC prosecutors worked on throughout the year reflected the CRA’s focus on complex tax evasion schemes, cross-border crime, and on individuals and groups who promote the idea that a
“natural person” is exempt from paying tax. These files present many challenges, such as the complexity of the schemes, the use of requests for mutual legal assistance to obtain evidence, information sharing between agencies, and the self-representation of many of the accused.
In 2013–2014, PPSC prosecutors conducted prosecutions related to the activities of Paradigm Education Group, run by Russell Porisky. According to Paradigm’s teachings, a
“natural person” is not subject to the Income Tax Act. In January 2014, Mr. Gerald Blerot, among others, was found guilty before the Court of Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan of tax evasion and of having counselled others to withhold taxes. The evidence presented to the court showed that Mr. Blerot, an
“educator” with Paradigm Education group, aided and encouraged individuals to evade taxes. He received a sentence of three years and nine months in prison, and a $58,139.03 fine. The court considered a number of aggravating factors: his role as
“educator,” the number of
“clients” who were taught his principles, the costs borne by those clients for his services, the unfounded legal premises under which Paradigm operated, the absence of remorse on the part of the accused, and the fact that he did not recognize the court’s jurisdiction. Mr. Blerot has since appealed his conviction.
In Regina, Mr. McCaw and a company he owned and controlled, Jake’s Oilfield Construction Ltd., were convicted of tax evasion. Mr. McCaw was fined $164,728 and Jake’s Oilfield Construction Ltd. was fined $99,607. Mr. McCaw was also sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment. The evidence showed that Mr. McCaw had paid fees to Mr. Blerot.
David John Barrett, a businessman from Langley, British Columbia, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in July 2013. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and was required to complete 150 hours of community service and to pay a fine of $214,323. Mr. Barrett had received advice from Paradigm Education Group.
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 Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA), and the Canada National Parks Act.
In New Brunswick, Gregory Logan pleaded guilty to seven counts of unlawfully exporting narwhal tusks to the United States, contrary to WAPPRIITA. Mr. Logan purchased narwhal tusks from northern suppliers in legitimate transactions between 2003 and 2009. However, he failed to obtain permits from the Minister of Environment to export the tusks as required under WAPPRIITA. Mr. Logan exported and sold an estimated 250 narwhal tusks for a total price of approximately $692,000 in 46 transactions. He received an eight-month conditional sentence, four months of which were to be served as house arrest, and a fine of $385,000.
R. v. Picard & Canadian Fertility Consulting Ltd.
This case marked the first prosecution under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA). In August of 2011 Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC) received a complaint alleging that Canadian Fertility Consulting Ltd. (CFC) was purchasing ova in contravention of section 7(1) of the AHRA. A second complainant contacted the AHRC in September of 2011 and similarly reported allegations of multiple violations of the AHRA and Criminal Code. In October of 2011 the matter was referred to the RCMP for investigation.
In December 2013, CFC pleaded guilty to purchasing ova and paying a surrogate, and was fined $20,000 on each count. Ms. Picard pleaded guilty to accepting payment for arranging the services of a surrogate and was fined an additional $20,000.
In Alberta, SemCAMS ULC, one of the largest sour gas processors in the province, pleaded guilty to one count under the Fisheries Act and one count under the provincial Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. After a joint submission, the company was ordered to pay $350,000. The charges related to a release of 852,000 litres of industrial wastewater from a ruptured pipeline into muskeg and a small unnamed creek near Fox Creek, Alberta. Hundreds of dead fish were discovered in the creek downstream of the spill during the investigation and cleanup. The wastewater had been generated from the processing of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons at the SemCAMS facility, and was being transported by an underground pipeline when the pipeline ruptured. Sample analysis confirmed the wastewater was harmful to fish. SemCAMS ULC was required to pay a federal penalty of $200,000. Of this penalty, $185,000 was directed to the Environmental Damages Fund, and $15,000 was a fine. The remaining $150,000 of the total penalty related to the provincial offence.
Corruption of Foreign Public Officials
In 2013–2014, the PPSC continued to provide pre-charge advice to RCMP units engaged in the investigation of alleged offences under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA).
The work of PPSC prosecutors in Ottawa resulted in the first conviction of an individual under the CFPOA. On August 15, 2013, Nazir Karigar was found guilty of paying bribes to Indian government officials in order to obtain favourable treatment in the awarding of a contract for security software to Air India. On May 23, 2014, Mr. Karigar was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
Five individuals have been charged with violations of the CFPOA in relation to a bridge project in Bangladesh. PPSC prosecutors from Montreal and Toronto worked together to conduct the prosecution of Ramesh Shah and Mohammad Ismail, Kevin Wallace, Zulfiquar Ali Bhuiyan, and Abul Hasan Chowdhury.
In October 2013, the PPSC’s activities in relation to anti-corruption were subject to on-site reviews by both the Organization of American States and the United Nations. These reviews were part of the ongoing efforts by each organization to monitor the implementation of its respective anti-corruption convention to which Canada is a signatory. Canada’s involvement in these organizations helps provide an ongoing international focus on corruption issues.
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 2013–2014, 42,780 files of the total PPSC caseload were handled by agents. Of these, 23,599 were new files and 19,181 were carried over from previous years.
The Agent Affairs Program (AAP) is responsible for ensuring that agents provide high-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 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.
The PPSC has in place a regime of fixed-term agreements for agents, for terms up to five years. Under this regime, any law firm or lawyer interested in becoming an agent can apply when an opening occurs. Agents are selected pursuant to a competitive process.
In 2013–2014, 41 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, 2014, the PPSC had retained the services of 473 agents from 201 law firms.
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 PPSC is presently exploring various avenues to outsource parts of the collection process to an external entity. A PPSC team will continue to administer the program and will be responsible for coordinating efforts with partner organizations.
In 2013–2014, the program recovered a total of almost $4.6 million, and 2,958 new files were opened. These new files represent $27 million in fines, bringing the total of outstanding fines to almost $147 million.
Federal-Provincial-Territorial National Prosecution Awards
The Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Heads of Prosecutions Committee has instituted a national awards program to honour professional excellence, exemplary service, and outstanding achievements among prosecutors.
On October 31, 2013, two PPSC prosecutors were recognized by the Committee for their contributions to advancing and promoting prosecutions within the Canadian criminal justice system:
- Mr. Erick Bouchard, a PPSC prosecutor located in Quebec City, was awarded the Courage and Perseverance Award 2013. Mr. Bouchard, a tetraplegic, did not let his physical handicap deter him from pursuing a law degree and a challenging legal career.
- Mr. Yvan Poulin, who worked as a prosecutor in the PPSC’s Montreal office until his appointment as a judge of the Court of Quebec in September 2013, was awarded the Commitment to Justice Award 2013. Mr. Poulin was recognized for his professional excellence and service towards the community at large.
School for Prosecutors
The PPSC School for Prosecutors offers annual training designed to promote professional development relevant to the prosecution function.
The School’s 2013 course offerings included two intensive one-week training courses; one for junior counsel, the other for senior counsel, and a rigorous three-day legal writing course.
The Level One (Prosecution Fundamentals) course focused on criminal law topics of particular interest to PPSC prosecutors, including the role of the Crown, expert evidence, witness and trial preparation, and ethical issues in practice. Fifty prosecutors were trained.
The Level Two (Advanced Issues for Prosecutors) course trained 50 prosecutors, with a focus on wiretap and complex case issues.
The Written Advocacy course helped 36 counsel perfect their factum-writing skills.
An oral advocacy course has been piloted in British Columbia and is expected to be rolled out nationally during 2015–2016.
Federal Prosecutor Development Program
In May 2013, the PPSC’s Federal Prosecutor Development Program (FPDP) was launched. The FPDP is a comprehensive program of training, mentoring, and on-the-job activities, designed to provide prosecutors with the opportunity to advance from the developmental level (LP-01) to the working level (LP-02) through specific training designed to help them gain the knowledge, experience and competencies needed to meet the level requirements. Forty-four prosecutors were placed in the program’s initial intake.
School for Prosecutors: Prosecution Fundamentals
School for Prosecutors: Advanced Issues for Prosecutors
To enable legal professionals to share information and learn from each other’s experience, the PPSC has developed a knowledge management (KM) database. The KM site brings together information supplied by users throughout the PPSC, such as facta, policy documents, and training materials.
In 2013–2014, a number of additional types of information were added to the site, including training materials and material developed for the School for Prosecutors. A specialized sub-site for PPSC paralegals was launched, and two new regional sites will also soon be launched, enabling prosecutors in the regions to access specialized information relevant to particular regional concerns.
Throughout the year, the PPSC continued to support and advance external relations with key national and international stakeholders involved in the law.
On June 11, 2013, senior PPSC officials met with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to discuss issues of mutual interest, including national mobility and accreditation of PPSC courses for continuing professional development.
In September 2013, PPSC officials, together with officials from the RCMP and non-governmental organizations, met with the United Nations officials responsible for the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women to report on Canada’s efforts with respect to violence against missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
In October 2013, the DPP and PPSC senior officials, including François Lacasse, Vice President of l’Association internationale des procureurs et pursuivants francophones, met the Attorney General for Guatemala, Ms. Claudia Paz y Paz, at a luncheon hosted by the Department of Justice Canada.
Meetings with Foreign Delegations
In April 2013, a delegation of senior officials from the recently created Kenyan Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions visited PPSC Headquarters in Ottawa to learn about the PPSC’s approach to benchmarking and the organizational structure of the PPSC.
On July 3, 2013, PPSC senior officials met with officials from the Ministry of Supervision of the People’s Republic of China to discuss the role of Canadian prosecutors and, in particular, the application of the law with respect to fraud offences against government.
In September 2013, a delegation of Palestinian prosecutors participating in a prosecution research and technical mission to Canada was received by the Department of Justice Canada. During the course of the delegation’s visit, PPSC officials delivered presentations on the roles and functions of the PPSC as well as other issues related to the prosecution of criminal and regulatory offences.
On October 24, 2013, a delegation from the Attorney General’s Chambers in Singapore visited the PPSC’s Ontario Regional Office in Toronto to learn about the PPSC’s approach to knowledge management.
In January 2014, a visiting delegation of representatives from various legal institutions from the Republic of Mongolia (including the judiciary, Parliament, law associations and the National Police Agency) headed by the Mongolian Minister of Justice met with PPSC senior officials, including the DPP, as part of the delegation’s Knowledge Sharing Study Tour.
Also in January 2014, a delegation of members of the French National Assembly visited Ottawa and met with officials from the PPSC and the Department of Justice Canada to discuss the division of responsibilities between the federal and provincial jurisdictions in the area of prosecutions and to learn about diversion and alternatives to sentencing.
In March 2014, a delegation from the Conseil supérieur de la magistrature of France visited PPSC Headquarters and met with the DPP and senior PPSC officials to discuss prosecutor recruitment, retention, training and discipline.
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 2013. The first was held in Edmonton in May, and was organized jointly with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. The second, held in Fredericton in October, was organized jointly with the New Brunswick Public Prosecution Services and featured the National Prosecution Awards Ceremony.
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 Eighteenth Annual Conference and General Meeting of the IAP in Moscow, Russia in September 2013, where the DPP chaired the final plenary session to review the conference theme,
“the Prosecutor and the Rule of Law,” and how its aims had been achieved.
The DPP is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the IAP and 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 continued its contribution to the development 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 2013–2014 included:
- completing the consolidation of the Headquarters office in the National Capital Region;
- completing the relocation of the National Capital Regional Office, the Nunavut Regional Office, and the PPSC’s Calgary office; and
- through a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, providing informal conflict management services that allow staff to address conflicts in an informal and collaborative manner.
R. v. Jason Croft, Jonathan Aldaba, and Steven Whipple
Jason Croft, Jonathan Aldaba, and Steven Whipple were charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine, and trafficking methamphetamine. They were alleged to have conspired to secure wholesale quantities of methamphetamine in B.C. to traffic in Edmonton. There were complex pre-trial motions including constitutional challenges and numerous Charter motions related to a failure to retain drafts of affidavits filed in support of wiretap authorization (WT affidavit), warrantless seizures of telephone subscriber information, an arrest on private property without a Feeney warrant, compliance with wiretap authorization conditions (e.g. live monitoring, solicitor-client prohibition, live visual surveillance in custody facilities), searches of cellular telephones incident to arrest, standing to excise information from a WT affidavit seized contrary to a third party’s Charter rights, and the use of a general warrant to delay implementation of s.10 of the Charter in vehicle stops. All of these motions have been litigated in the course of proceedings. A jury trial is now in progress.
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.
The Corporate Counsel provides legal services to management in various areas of the law including administration, labour, and access to information and privacy. The Corporate Counsel is also responsible for ensuring oversight of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector within the PPSC. In this capacity, the Corporate Counsel responds to inquiries under the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, the Treasury Board Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post–Employment and the Code of Conduct of the PPSC. In addition, as Designated Representative for Political Activities, the Corporate Counsel responds to enquiries regarding political activities.
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 2013–2014, in addition to fulfilling its ongoing commitments, the Directorate:
- advanced discussions with central agencies on long-term funding and cost recovery requirements;
- realized savings through the centralization and standardization of processes and services that resulted in the creation of a centralized acquisition office, and a reduction in travel costs; and
- transformed business processes to implement government policies and reporting requirements for travel, hospitality, conference, and events expenditures and to pay Crown agents’ fees and disbursements directly and to recover costs from government departments and agencies for the provision of prosecution services.
In 2013–2014, the Human Resources Directorate (HRD) repatriated the majority of the HR services previously provided to the PPSC by the Department of Justice Canada. An innovative HR service delivery model was introduced, which provides for a more cohesive approach to the planning and delivery of HR services within the PPSC.
The Disability Management Initiative was launched to address absences from work as a result of illness, injury, or disability, and to prevent the risks that cause these absences. The initiative clearly describes the roles and responsibilities of employees and managers and emphasizes communication between the employee, the manager and any other relevant stakeholders.
To support resourcing activities, the HRD implemented a national fast track service to manage large administrative staffing actions. In response to the results of the Public Service Commission staffing audit as well as the results of the 2012–2013 Departmental Staffing Accountability Report, the resourcing team reviewed all mandatory staffing policies, and a staffing monitoring framework was approved and implemented.
HRD supported the implementation of the new Treasury Board Directive on Performance Management by ensuring the establishment of an organizational review committee to oversee the implementation of the Directive, the completion of the mandatory Canada School of Public Service training by PPSC managers and the provision of customized training to managers and employees on the new directive and PPSC processes.
Information Management and Technology
The Information Management and Technology Directorate (IMTD) is responsible for managing and overseeing the delivery of library, information management (IM), information technology (IT), and application services to PPSC staff. These services are provided by the Department of Justice Canada and by Shared Services Canada in most regions of Canada through partnership agreements. In 2013–2014, IMTD focused on the following priorities:
- providing significant IM and IT support for Headquarters and regional office relocations;
- providing training and support to PPSC staff for the migration to a new records management system;
- continuing a number of internal IM and IT initiatives in support of the core function of the PPSC from the previous year; and
- partnering with the Department of Justice on Government of Canada-wide projects, including the Windows 7 migration and the E-mail Transformation Initiative.
The Internal Audit Division (IAD) 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 2013–2014, the PPSC published two internal audit reports: the Audit of the Atlantic Regional Office and the Audit of Learning, Training and Professional Development. The IAD also conducted a preliminary survey of security and 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 values and ethics, risk management, internal controls, governance, planning, and financial reporting.
The effectiveness of the internal audit function was further demonstrated this year by an overall opinion of
“Generally Conforms”(the highest rating possible) as a result of an External Practice Inspection by a qualified independent external reviewer.
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 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 2013–2014, the PPSC responded to 82 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, and carries out training and education activities to raise awareness among PPSC employees and Crown agents about their roles and responsibilities under these acts. During 2013–2014, the ATIP Office processed 65 requests under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, representing an increase of 44% in the number of ATIP requests processed over the previous fiscal year. The Office also responded to 58 ATIP consultations from other government departments, and completed PPSC-specific manuals of internal procedures for processing requests under both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
Strategic Planning and Performance Management
The Strategic Planning and Performance Management Division is responsible for corporate-level strategic and business planning and reporting, integrated risk management, performance measurement, and research and evaluation.
The Division coordinates the preparation of the PPSC’s annual estimates reports to Parliament (Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Report).
In 2013–2014, the Division contributed to annual performance reports on horizontal initiatives in which the PPSC participates, including the National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS), the Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorist Financing (AML-ATF) Regime, the Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) initiative, as well as the Lawful Access Initiative.
The Division’s Research and Evaluation Unit directed the PPSC’s participation in a Treasury Board-mandated horizontal evaluation of the Measures Against Contraband Tobacco. It also led the development of performance measurement strategies to determine the extent to which the PPSC is meeting its service commitments to investigative agencies, and to more accurately portray the extent to which the PPSC is meeting international commitments regarding anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.
R. v. Nazir Karigar
Nazir Karigar was convicted in 2013, following a trial, of agreeing to pay a bribe to foreign public officials to secure a contract on behalf of Cryptometrics, an Ottawa-based software company.
Mr. Karigar approached Cryptometrics in 2005 informing the company of an Air India contract for biometrics that he could help them get, based on his contacts in India. Mr. Karigar made several introductions between the company and senior Air India officials and provided what appeared to be inside information on the contracting process. By 2007, payments of $200,000 and $250,000 were provided to Mr. Karigar on the understanding that this money would be used to bribe Indian officials in order to secure the contract for Cryptometrics. There is no evidence that Mr. Karigar ultimately paid any bribes to Indian officials and the contract was never awarded. All that is required to prove a violation of the CFPOA is an agreement between two or more individuals to offer a bribe.
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