• Addressing delay in the courts: Flirting with transformative change

    The preliminary inquiry historically served the central purpose of weeding out non-viable cases. But it is a resource- and time-intensive procedure. And with the evolution of professional policing, constantly improving investigative standards, talented and spirited defence-bar oversight and pro-active case-vetting by prosecutors, the preliminary inquiry as a screening mechanism has been in a death spiral for years… the costs and delays to maintain it system-wide are no longer broadly justifiable.

  • Information watchdog blasts Liberals ahead of her retirement

    “Bill C-58 is a bill for the bureaucracy, it’s definitely not a bill for transparency,” she said of the proposed legislation now in front of the Senate. “The government has made some amendments to the proposed legislation, but it is still regressive in many respects.” Ms. Legault laments the fact the legislation would allow the government to refuse to respond to requests that are too vaguely defined, stating that goes against the principle at the heart of access to information.

  • Liberal reform of StatsCan checks all the right boxes

    The former Conservative government’s argument that the census is an outrageous invasion of privacy, an argument it used to briefly kill the long-form version, was a fatuous one. The Liberal government was right to bring back the mandatory long-form census in 2015. The Liberal’s latest reform also establishes the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council, which will issue an annual report on the state of the national statistics system, and spells out the role of the Chief Statistician of Canada in greater detail.

  • Justin Trudeau has unfinished business after Supreme Court pick

    Martin is bilingual and has been at the forefront of arguing in favour of women’s rights before the courts. She is also known as an advocate for increasing the representation of minorities — including Indigenous people — in the legal profession and the courts… it is high time to see an Indigenous judge on the Supreme Court and the longer it takes the more pressing the demand will be.

  • Ontario policing reforms will mean officers can be suspended without pay

    The creation of an inspector general to monitor police services, penalties for officers who fail to co-operate in police watchdog investigations, and the ability to suspend officers without pay were part of an announcement Thursday to revamp policing and the police oversight system in Ontario…. Other proposed changes include: Greater SIU powers of investigation… Expanded SIU powers to lay criminal charges… Penalties for non-cooperation…

  • Law society’s new policy compels speech, crossing line that must not be crossed

    This policy crosses a line that should not be crossed. It is not enough that we obey. Now we must also agree and actively promote… “The source of the most insidious peril… is not evil wrongdoers seeking to do harm, but parochial bureaucrats seeking to do good.” I suspect Borovoy would be shocked that his warning would apply so acutely to the governing body of the legal profession.

  • Justin Trudeau goes halfway on access to information

    The new legislation, the first major update to the act since it was passed more than 30 years ago, does offer a number of welcome and significant improvements to the current system… What the legislation doesn’t do, however, is extend the disclosure rules to PMO or cabinet documents… Instead, the Liberals have tried to placate the public and transparency advocates by including a measure that would force ministerial offices to “proactively disclose” certain information.

  • Another government, another attempt to undermine the budget watchdog

    The new legislation… seek[s] to make the head of the PBO an independent officer of Parliament, like the auditor general or the privacy commissioner… as if to ensure the watchdog is not made too independent, the bill goes on, proposing a series of reforms that would limit the office’s access to information and eliminate important aspects of its mandate.

  • Ontario should create a college of policing

    “The requirements needed to enter and continue in the profession of policing in Ontario remain largely static, ill-defined, and inconsistent One solution, Tulloch argued, would be for the province to create a regulatory college that would oversee training and uphold ethical standards for police, as similar bodies do for law, medicine and many other professions…

  • Police oversight isn’t broken, it was built this way

    Thanks to Justice Michael Tulloch, who led the review and published his report last week, we have new clarity on the strategic dysfunction that is the SIU. Tulloch has made 129 recommendations for better police oversight, including dozens for the SIU. Many of Tulloch’s recommendations are painfully obvious… The tradition of having former police investigate current ones helps to explain why more than 97 per cent of all SIU investigations end without an officer being criminally charged.