2 The year in review
In 2014–2015, the PPSC worked on 79,987 files. This figure includes 47,521 files opened during the year, as well as 32,466 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.
On October 1, 2014, following the coming into force of amendments to the Canada Elections Act, the Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE) was transferred from Elections Canada to the PPSC.
The CCE is responsible for ensuring that the Canada Elections Act and the federal Referendum Act are complied with and enforced. As a result of the transfer, the CCE’s employees are now PPSC employees, while remaining operationally independent. A statement of principles was jointly approved by the CCE and the DPP, which reflects the fact that the CCE and the DPP exercise their statutory duties independently from each other, even while operating within the same organization.
PPSC internal services now provide support to the CCE in several areas not related to the investigative function, including accommodations, human resources, and finance.
This report includes a section provided by the CCE on his activities under the Canada Elections Act in the last fiscal year.
High-Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||365,803||366,261||365,187||351,226|
|# of Files||3,848||3,604||3,083||2,718|
Medium-Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||408,863||405,226||442,363||457,161|
|# of Files||26,546||26,058||27,675||26,736|
Low-Complexity Files Over the Past Four Years – Number of Files and Time Spent
|# of Hours||329,155||333,584||314,986||317,605|
|# of Files||49,830||50,340||49,332||48,743|
|Guilty Plea (16,356) (58.83%)||Stay of Proceeedings (Crown) / Withdrawal of Charge (8,368) (30.10%)||Conviction (1,109) (3.99%)||Guilty Plea (Other/Lesser Off.) (963) (3.46%)||Acquittal (541) (1.95%)||Discharge (347) (1.25%)||Conviction (Other/Lesser Off.) (100) (0.36%)||Judicial Stay of Proceedings (16) (0.06%)|
Since 2001, 45 individuals have been charged with terrorism offences in Canada.
The investigation and prosecution of terrorism offences bring together the efforts of law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and prosecution services. To fulfill its mandate in this area, the PPSC engages in ongoing communication with investigative agencies and takes their operational requirements into account when allocating resources.
In addition to a group of senior counsel at headquarters, counsel are assigned in each regional office to fulfill the PPSC’s advisory or prosecution role, and to assist with training for law enforcement officers.
Beyond providing advice to the police, the PPSC decides whether to provide the Attorney General’s consent for applications for recognizances with conditions and terrorism peace bonds and for the initiation of prosecutions. These decisions are the product of a review of the evidence by investigators and prosecutors, both in regional offices and at headquarters. Such consent was granted seven times in 2014–2015.
The Project Samossa prosecution in Ottawa was completed in 2014. Hiva Alizadeh pleaded guilty to an explosives-related terrorism offence and received a 24-year jail sentence. Misbahuddin Ahmed was convicted by a jury of two of three related terrorism offences and sentenced to 12 years in jail. Khurram Syed Sher was acquitted of conspiring to facilitate a terrorist activity in a separate trial by judge alone. The dispositions against Mr. Alizadeh and Mr. Sher are final. Mr. Ahmed is appealing his sentence and the Crown has cross-appealed. The appeals have yet to be heard.
On March 20, 2015, after approximately 10 days of deliberation, an Ontario Superior Court jury in Toronto found Raed Jaser, 37, and Chiheb Esseghaier, 32, guilty of conspiring to commit murder in association with a terrorist group, contrary to s. 83.2 of the Criminal Code. Chiheb Esseghaier was also found guilty of conspiring to interfere with transportation facilities for the benefit of a terrorist group. That charge related to a plan to derail a VIA Rail passenger train travelling between New York and Toronto. The jury was unable to return a verdict on that count against Raed Jaser. Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser were also found guilty of multiple counts of participating in the activities of a terrorist group, contrary to s. 83.18(1), which each carry maximum penalties of ten years’ imprisonment. Sentencing hearings are scheduled to start in July 2015.
R. v. Sona
On August 14, 2014, Michael Sona was found guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice, in Guelph, Ontario, of one offence under the Canada Elections Act. He had been charged in April 2013 with wilfully preventing or endeavouring to prevent an elector from voting in the 2011 federal general election.
On November 19, 2014, he was sentenced to nine months in prison plus 12 months of probation. The PPSC filed a Notice of Appeal against sentence, on December 15, 2014, on the basis that the sentence imposed by the trial judge was demonstrably unfit and failed to reflect the gravity of the offence.
Both Mr. Sona and the PPSC have appealed the sentence; those appeals are ongoing.
Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes
In December 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to Désiré Munyaneza to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal of Quebec, which upheld his convictions for seven offences under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
There were no new charges laid for crimes against humanity or war crimes and there are no cases pending.
Security of Information
Qing Quentin Huang was committed to stand trial 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. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.
Canada Elections Act Prosecutions
The PPSC is responsible for the prosecution of offences under the Canada Elections Act. The CCE refers cases to the PPSC when the CCE believes on reasonable grounds that an offence under the Act has been committed. Based on his review of the file, the DPP decides whether to initiate a prosecution. PPSC prosecutors also provide legal advice to the CCE during the investigative stage.
While Canada Elections Act prosecutions were excluded from previous PPSC annual reports, they are now included, following amendments to the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.
On October 31, 2014, Dean Del Mastro and Richard McCarthy were found guilty of offences under the Canada Elections Act, relating to the 2008 federal general election, in the electoral district of Peterborough, Ontario. They are expected to be sentenced in late June 2015.
Drug prosecution files represent a significant proportion of the PPSC’s total caseload. In 2014–2015, the PPSC handled 64,464 prosecution files related to offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Of those, 37,520 files were new and 26,944 were carried over from previous years. These prosecutions vary greatly in complexity, ranging from simple cases of possession of small quantities of marihuana to 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 typically involved challenges to the conduct of the investigation, the constitutionality of the legislation, disclosure, allegations of abuse of process, and unreasonable delay. While high-complexity files represented only 2.35% of staff counsel’s drug caseload in 2014–2015, they took up 36.24% of the time dedicated to drug prosecutions.
Drug offences are frequently revenue-generating crimes, and 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 2014–2015, the PPSC handled 14,179 CDSA files involving either proceeds of crime or offence-related property (6,500 were carried over from previous years, and 7,679 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 crime committed to feed it, there are a number of Drug Treatment Courts in Canada. These are located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Kitchener, Durham, Peterborough, Halton, London, Kenora, Ottawa, and Kentville. As well, there is a Community Wellness Court in Yukon that exercises a similar function. 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 appearing before these specialized courts. PPSC prosecutors or agents currently staff all of Canada’s 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.
Project Newton began in mid-2010 as an undercover officer-led investigation by the Hamilton Police Service into police corruption and steroid trafficking. It quickly became a multi-jurisdictional drug investigation involving four different police forces. The investigation targeted a large-scale drug trafficking network of steroid production labs and wholesale marihuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine trafficking, spanning from Stoney Creek to Mississauga. Charges were laid in April 2011, when the undercover officer obtained 28 kg of methamphetamine from one target and a five-figure steroid order from another.
This case is an example of the successful early partnership between the PPSC and the police. Comprehensive bail packages and substantive event summaries, which included copies of some of the Crown’s key evidence for trial, were prepared and handed out to counsel for the accused on the day of takedown.
Despite the scope and complexity of the investigation, and the potential for various pre-trial evidentiary challenges, the case proceeded in a streamlined and efficient way. Charges for 11 of the 20 accused were disposed of within eight months of takedown. By October of 2014, all charges had been disposed of, and only one accused had proceeded to trial (he was convicted by a jury). Sentences were handed down for possession for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking a total of 28 kg of methamphetamine (12 years, on a guilty plea) and for trafficking 1 kg of cocaine (8 years, after trial by jury).
The investigation resulted in the seizure of offence-related property including more than $150,000 in cash, two vehicles, and a stun gun, as well as fines in lieu of forfeiture totaling $5,100.
Organized Crime Prosecutions
Trafficking in drugs is one of the key activities of many organized crime groups. Cases involving criminal organizations have remained high in recent years, largely as a result of the continuing focus by police forces on the investigation of such organizations. In 2014–2015, the PPSC handled 520 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.
Project E-Pleura saw convictions on a conspiracy to import 97 kg of cocaine to Canada through the use of hidden compartments in farming equipment. The accused were linked to criminal organizations in Canada and drug cartels in Mexico. After a 20 week trial, sentences ranging from 7 to 14 years were imposed.
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 2014–2015, the PPSC was responsible for 8,516 files in the territories. Of these files, 7,967 involved Criminal Code offences (including 46 homicide or attempted murder files), 459 files involved drug offences, 133 files involved regulatory offences, and 221 files involved territorial offences. The total includes 6,174 new files and 2,342 carried over from previous years. Some of the files involved multiple offences.
The PPSC regularly deals with serious violent crime and repeat offences in the northern territories. In all northern regional offices, dedicated paralegals have been assigned to help manage applications for dangerous offender and long-term offender designations. In the Yukon, the PPSC successfully applied for dangerous offender designations relating to three persons, two of whom were convicted of sexual assaults and one who was convicted of spousal violence. In addition, a long-term offender application was granted following a conviction for attempted murder of an RCMP officer and robbery.
Crown Witness Coordinators
The PPSC employs 18 Crown Witness Coordinators (CWCs) who provide services to victims of crime and witnesses to crime in 63 communities across the three northern territories. The role of the CWC is to help victims and witnesses understand the court process, their rights and responsibilities as witnesses, and the various roles of the court participants.
CWCs provide court accompaniment, information regarding court dates and outcomes, assistance during testimonial preparation, and individualized support during trial and sentencing hearings. CWCs also act as liaisons between the Crown prosecutor and victims and witnesses, ensuring their concerns are considered during the justice process and also ensuring that victims are referred to appropriate services in the community when necessary.
In recognition of the importance of the program and the need to increase services to victims of crime, Crown Witness Coordinator Supervisor positions were created in each northern regional office to provide increased support to the growing team of CWCs across the North.
The Crown Witness Program Coordinator provided ongoing coordination through quarterly teleconferences and video conference training sessions on various topics related to victimization. In-person training on Mental Health First Aid for Northern Peoples was provided to staff in the Yukon Regional Office and the Northwest Territories Regional Office, and will be delivered in the Nunavut Regional Office in 2015–2016.
Restorative justice practices are well-established in many communities across the North. Where there are community-based justice programs and related local justice committees, the PPSC works with communities to consider alternatives to the court process for resolving certain types of conflict and behaviour. This practice is commonly known as diversion. In essence, this means in cases where charges have been laid and where the prosecutor deems it appropriate and in accordance with the PPSC Deskbook, the local community justice committee may be consulted to determine if the resolution of a particular accused’s matter can be addressed at a community level, rather than having the accused go through the formal justice system.
In such cases, the accused is generally required to comply with certain measures imposed by the committee (referred to as a diversion agreement); these measures often have a community focus. At the end of the diversion process, when the terms of a diversion agreement have been met, the accused is not required to attend court and the prosecutor stays the charges, thereby putting an end to the prosecution. However, if the offender fails to comply with the terms of a disposition or diversion agreement, he or she will generally be required to appear before the courts and will be dealt with according to the usual rules of the formal justice system and its processes.
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 fines 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 2014–2015, the PPSC handled 7,362 files involving regulatory and economic offences, of which 3,285 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 2014–2015, the PPSC handled 57 files dealing with competition law, notably a major bid-rigging trial before jury that started in Ottawa in the fall of 2014, and ended with acquittals in April 2015. In Quebec, in a joint prosecution with the provincial Crown, a number of individuals and corporations charged with bid-rigging and fraud were committed to trial after a preliminary inquiry. The PPSC is also prosecuting charges of bid-rigging against a company and six individuals in relation to federal government contracts for the supply of professional information technology services to Library and Archives Canada. In Ontario, two Japanese suppliers of motor vehicle components were fined $4.5 million and $2.45 million respectively for participating in an international bid-rigging conspiracy for the supply of motor components and anti-vibration components in the Canadian motor vehicle market.
Integrated Market Enforcement Teams
The 2014–2015 fiscal year marked the tenth anniversary of the creation of Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET). PPSC prosecutors provide legal advice in the context of investigations of suspected financial market fraud to teams located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. During the past year, the PPSC worked on 43 IMET-related files, nine of which were new.
The PPSC has concurrent jurisdiction with the provinces to prosecute fraud charges under the Criminal Code. During the past year, the PPSC prosecuted four such files.
“Carrefour” file, Mr. Gia Tuong Quan was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and fraudulent stock manipulation. Mr. Quan used the stock market to manipulate the value of investors’ accounts through a series of pre-arranged transactions. The scheme affected more than 100 victims and resulted in losses of over three million dollars. The court emphasized the importance of deterrence and denunciation in fraud cases, particularly financial market fraud. The trial of other defendants in the same investigation is expected to take place in 2015.
In Halifax, the prosecution of Messrs. Clarke, Colpitts, and Potter continues. They are accused of fraud, fraud affecting the public market, and conspiracy to commit fraud affecting the public market in connection with the trading of stock in Knowledge House Inc. A series of pre-trial motions was heard by the court this year. The trial is expected to take place in 2015.
Bloom Lake General Partner Limited
On December 19, 2014, Bloom Lake General Partner Limited was ordered by a Judge of the Court of Quebec to pay $7.5 million upon pleading guilty to 45 charges under the Fisheries Act. This represents the highest penalty ever imposed for environmental infractions in Canada. The company operated an iron ore mine in northeastern Quebec on Bloom Lake. The charges related to several incidents including the breach of a tailings pond dam which, over a period of seven days, permitted over 200,000 cubic meters of deleterious substances to be released into fish-bearing waters. In addition, there were offences of failing to take measures as directed by an Environment Canada officer and offences related to a separate release of 14,500 litres of ferric sulfate into fisheries waters. Of the $7.5 million penalty, $6.83 million was ordered to be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund.
The PPSC provides advice to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigators and conducts prosecutions under all statutes administered by the CRA, notably those dealing with tax evasion and contraband tobacco.
The files investigated and prosecuted dealt with complex tax evasion schemes and cross-border crime. These files involve many challenges, such as obtaining evidence abroad, communicating information between organizations, presenting evidence of a complex scheme, and the fact that many accused are self-represented.
R. v. Kendall is an example of such a complex file. On March 18, 2015, Steven Kendall and Christopher Houston were convicted of fraud against Her Majesty the Queen. Mr. Kendall and Mr. Houston had asked investors to withdraw funds from their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) and reinvest them in Canadian companies abroad. The defendants falsely promised excellent returns and that no tax needed to be paid, claiming the transfer was RRSP-eligible. CRA was deprived of $14.1 million in unpaid tax. CRA opened an investigation in 2007, and the PPSC began providing legal advice to investigators in 2008. Sentencing recommendations will be made in the coming months.
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, and the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
On July 18, 2014 in Provincial Court in Red Deer, Alberta, Plains Midstream was ordered to pay $850,000 in penalties after pleading guilty to one offence under the Fisheries Act and one offence under provincial environmental legislation. The charges arose from the failure to notify authorities when crude oil was released from an underground pipeline owned by Plains Midstream into the Red Deer River, which is fish-bearing. Of the total monetary penalty, $400,000 relates to the federal Fisheries Act offence; $20,000 of that amount is a fine and $380,000 was to be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund.
During the first week of November 2014, in Alberta Provincial Court in Edmonton, GRI pleaded guilty to one count of depositing a deleterious substance in fish-bearing waters contrary to the Fisheries Act. The scrap metal recycling company received a $75,000 penalty. On April 28, 2012, Environment Canada received notification that
“oily water” was being pumped from GRI property into a storm sewer. An enforcement officer attended the site and observed a four-inch hose discharging industrial wastewater into the sewer, which flows into Mill Creek and subsequently the North Saskatchewan River. Both bodies of water are fish-bearing. Mill Creek is home to various types of small minnows, while the North Saskatchewan River is home to a number of fish species, including lake sturgeon and walleye. $73,000 of the penalty was allocated to the Environmental Damages Fund.
Corruption of Foreign Public Officials
In 2014–2015, the PPSC continued to provide pre-charge advice and training to RCMP units engaged in the investigation of offences under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA).
The prosecution of Mohammad Ismail, Ramesh Shah, Kevin Wallace, Zulfiquar Ali Bhuiyan, and Abul Hasan Chowdhury for alleged violations of the CFPOA is ongoing. The charges related to bribes allegedly to be paid to officials in Bangladesh in order to secure a contract for SNC – Lavalin in relation to a bridge construction project financed by the World Bank.
Robert Barra, Dario Berini, and Shailesh Govindia are charged with violating the CFPOA in the course of bidding on contracts in India. Mr. Govindia is also charged with fraud under the Criminal Code. Messrs. Barra and Berini are American citizens who live in the United States, and Mr. Govindia is a resident of the United Kingdom. Investigations in Canada and in the United States proceeded simultaneously, and cooperation between the two countries has been extensive.
SNC-Lavalin Inc. has been charged in relation to the alleged payment of bribes to secure an advantage for the company in relation to major construction projects in Libya. Two individuals, Sami Bebawi and Stéphane Roy, are also charged in relation to the matter.
Each of these prosecutions is in its early stages.
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 processing regimes and the humane treatment of domestic animals.
On April 13, 2015, 0865838 B.C. Ltd. (doing business as Pitt Meadows Meats Ltd.) pleaded guilty to selling 1,500 kg of beef that was unfit for human consumption contrary to the Food and Drugs Act. The meat was unfit because it derived from a batch that tested positive for E. coli. The Court fined the company $125,000, which amounted to approximately 10% of its annual labour costs. The president of the company apologized in open Court and the company paid the fine in full.
Supreme Court of Canada Litigation
During 2014–2015, PPSC prosecutors appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada in 12 cases: eight appeals, two interventions and two oral hearings on a leave application. PPSC prosecutors also responded in writing to 26 applications for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
PPSC prosecutors intervened in R. v. Fearon, in which the Supreme Court defined the parameters of search powers applicable to mobile phones incidental to arrest, without prior judicial authorization.
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 2014–2015, 43,246 files of the total PPSC caseload were handled by agents. Of these, 24,295 were new files and 18,951 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 of 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 2014–2015, 34 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, 2015, the PPSC retained the services of 410 agents from 183 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.
A request for proposals has been issued to outsource part of the collection process to a private collection agency, and a privacy impact assessment has been completed to ensure that Canadians’ privacy rights are protected.
School for Prosecutors
The PPSC School for Prosecutors offers annual training designed to promote professional development relevant to the prosecution function.
In 2014, the School delivered three courses: two week-long training courses — one for junior counsel, the other for senior counsel — and a three-day legal writing course.
Level One (Prosecution Fundamentals) focused on criminal law topics, including the role of the Crown, the law and procedure on voir-dires, and the trial. There were 41 participants.
Level Two (Advanced Issues for Prosecutors) focused on issues related to wiretaps and complex cases. The goal of this training was to enhance the ability of experienced practitioners to analyse complex legal and operational issues that arise in federal prosecution practice. There were 43 participants.
Written Advocacy, a course designed to help counsel perfect factum-writing skills, had 40 participants.
The teaching methods included a combination of lectures, seminars, panel discussions, and small group problem solving and workshop sessions.
School for Prosecutors: Prosecution Fundamentals
School for Prosecutors: Written Advocacy
School for Prosecutors: Advanced Issues for Prosecutors
Federal Prosecutor Development Program
The Federal Prosecutor Development Program (FPDP), launched in May 2013, 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).
Over the past year, the PPSC has reviewed the effectiveness of the program, and has updated the tools developed to evaluate participants’ performance. The program has been effective in facilitating frequent interactions between participants and their supervisors.
During 2014–2015, the PPSC continued to support and advance external relations with national and international stakeholders involved in the law.
PPSC staff provided training to police associations, students at educational institutions, and other government departments on prosecution-related topics throughout the year.
On June 9, 2014, senior PPSC officials met with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to discuss issues of mutual interest, including the PPSC Deskbook guidance on the initiation and conduct of federal prosecutions.
In June 2014, the DPP participated in a meeting of federal, provincial, and territorial deputy ministers responsible for justice and public safety held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. This meeting was an opportunity for federal, provincial, and territorial deputy ministers responsible for justice and public safety to be briefed on the progress achieved on priority issues related to justice and public safety and to discuss new issues that had arisen.
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 to cooperate 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 2014. The first was held in Halifax in May, and was organized jointly with the Canadian Military Prosecution Service. The second, held in Charlottetown in October, was organized jointly with the Crown Attorney’s Office of Prince Edward Island and featured the National Prosecution Awards Ceremony.
Meetings with Foreign Delegations
In July 2014, PPSC senior officials met with the Prosecutor General and officials of the Central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan to discuss efforts to combat corruption. The meeting was organized by the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).
In October 2014, a delegation of Palestinian prosecutors met with Justice Canada and PPSC officials as part of a research and technical mission. During the visit, PPSC officials delivered presentations on issues such as the new PPSC Deskbook and the PPSC’s processes for trials and appeals. The visit included a meeting between the DPP and the Attorney General of Palestine.
Also in October 2014, the Chief Federal Prosecutor (CFP) of the PPSC’s Ontario Regional Office addressed a delegation of prosecutors from the People’s Republic of China. The CFP described the role of PPSC prosecutors and their relationship with law enforcement officers and the courts. He also described the various prosecution service models in Canada, and provided an overview of the PPSC.
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 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 participated in the Nineteenth Annual Conference and General Meeting of the IAP in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November 2014, where the DPP attended a meeting of the Executive Committee and chaired a special interest group meeting. The DPP also attended a meeting of the Executive Committee in Quebec City in May 2014.
The PPSC continued its contribution to 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, information management and technology, occupational health and safety, and informal conflict management. Key activities undertaken in 2014–2015 included:
- the integration of the information management and information technology (IMIT) function into the Administration Services Division;
- the provision of online training to all employees on the subject of the Canada Labour Code, Part II; and
- the launch of the PPSC’s Employee Protection Program.
The Communications Division 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 division 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 communications vehicles.
In addition to these ongoing responsibilities, in 2014–2015, the Communications Division designed and produced both print and electronic editions of the PPSC Deskbook in preparation for its adoption.
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. To ensure that employees are informed of their obligations under the PPSC Code of Conduct, the Corporate Counsel developed a mandatory learning activity on the Code. 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 services in acquisition management, resource management, accounting management, policy, and quality assurance to the PPSC. In addition to fulfilling its ongoing commitments in financial management and acquisitions, the directorate:
- adopted a new integrated service delivery model that strengthened financial management activities within the PPSC and increased the quality of service while reducing the cost;
- implemented the new government travel system and direct deposit initiative; and
- introduced changes to processes to reduce non-essential approval levels and ease the reporting burden on managers.
A reorganization of the Human Resources Directorate (HRD) occurred in June 2014. The Human Resources Administration Unit (HRAU) was created to provide administrative support to HRD programs and services in the following areas: awards and recognition, fast-track human resources (HR), HR reporting, HR requests and general inquiries, required training, training self-service, and official languages.
A new PPSC Delegation of Human Resource Authorities Instrument was finalized and will shortly be implemented in the PPSC. The instrument consists of the Delegation of Human Resources Authorities, which provides a summary of the authorities and the delegation levels, while the Human Resources Delegation of Authorities Instrument and Supporting Notes includes references.
The new PPSC awards and recognition policy and program were adopted on April 2, 2015. The policy aims to recognize the significant contribution that employees make through the excellence of the work they perform, the exemplary behaviour they demonstrate, and the positive results they achieve. The program is composed of both informal and formal awards and recognition practices.
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 2014–2015, the PPSC published one internal audit report, the Audit of the National Capital Regional Office, and conducted a consulting engagement for management. The IAD also conducted a follow-up review 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.
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 handles correspondence from the general public and from Parliament. During 2014–2015, the PPSC responded to 152 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. During 2014–2015, the ATIP Office processed 49 requests under the Access to Information Act and 12 requests under the Privacy Act. The office also responded to 40 ATIP consultations from other government departments. This includes requests relating to the Office of the CCE.
Also during 2014–2015, the ATIP Office developed a Privacy Management Framework for the organization. The Framework outlines how the PPSC assigns privacy responsibilities, manages privacy risks, and ensures compliance with the Privacy Act and its regulations.
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). It also coordinates responses to the Management Accountability framework (MAF) assessment process. The MAF process helps federal departments and agencies measure how well they meet Treasury Board’s expectations for good public service management.
In 2014–2015, the division contributed to annual performance reports on horizontal initiatives in which the PPSC participates, including the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime, as well as the Integrated Market Enforcement Teams initiative.
Working collaboratively with investigative agencies is an ongoing PPSC priority. In order to support this priority, the division undertook a second survey of investigative agencies to seek input on the PPSC’s legal advice and prosecution-related activities from members of police and federal regulatory agencies. The responses are currently being analyzed; results are expected to be available by September 2015.
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