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Government of Canada and public service unions announce compensation for federal employees impacted

Canada's public servants deserve to be paid properly for their important work and the Government of Canada continues to take action on all fronts to resolve Phoenix pay issues.

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Publication date : 2019-05-03
PSAC rejects compensation offer for Phoenix pay fiasco, other groups accept
PSAC rejects compensation offer for Phoenix pay fiasco, other groups accept

The federal government says it has reached a tentative deal with some groups on compensation for workers affected by problems with the Phoenix pay system. But the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents the majority of federal employees, has rejected the offer.

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Publication date : 2019-05-03
Applying the Jordan framework: Are courts placing too much of the burden on the defence?
Applying the Jordan framework: Are courts placing too much of the burden on the defence?

In R v. Jordan, the Supreme Court put a hard cap on the duration of criminal trials — sending a thrill of panic through the justice system in the process. The ruling is roughly two and a half years old now. Time for the training wheels to come off.Now, that backlog of pre-Jordan charges has been largely cleared — the transitional period is over. But Crown and defence lawyers alike report that trial times aren’t speeding up; statistics cited in a recent Law Times article show that in the Ontario Court of Justice, average times to disposition and the number of court appearances have not diminished since Jordan. If the SCC intended the ruling as a salutary shock to the system, it didn’t work.So what happens now?

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Publication date : 2018-12-18
RCMP’s forensic firearm testing backlog adding delays to justice system

The RCMP’s forensics labs are taking nearly four times longer to analyze firearms than they did just four years ago, adding delays to a criminal justice system under pressure to speed up after a recent Supreme Court decision.

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Publication date : 2018-12-16
Court delays persist, despite Jordan
Court delays persist, despite Jordan

The Supreme Court of Canada decision in Jordanand the problems it tried to address are still top of mind in the criminal courts in Ontario nearly two-and-a-half years after it was released.

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Publication date : 2018-12-03
The performance pay saga reaches a settlement
The performance pay saga reaches a settlement

The issue is the prorating of performance pay in relation to pre-promotion period for the year in which lawyers are promoted. If a lawyer was eligible for performance pay and was promoted during the year, the Employer, rather than pay out a prorated performance pay for the period pre-promotion, paid out nothing at all regardless of your performance rating for the year. The AJC originally filed a grievance in 2011 and in response to that grievance, TB had conceded in the context of the adjudication hearing that pre-promotion service should be recognized. Unfortunately, the adjudicator originally disregarded TB's concession in his decision of 2015, requiring the AJC to file an application for judicial review, which eventually resulted on December 22, 2016 in a remedy limited to the right to pre-promotion performance pay for the year 2010-2011. Thus, the AJC filed another policy grievance on July 27th 2016. The hearing was scheduled for October 2018. We are pleased to announce that we now have a signed Memorandum of Settlement on this matter with TB.  

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Publication date : 2018-10-30

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Saskatoon police want public ‘to be aware but not afraid’ after courthouse bombing


The scene at provincial court. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)


The Saskatoon Police Service is cautioning the public to not panic after an improvised explosive device was set off at the city's provincial courthouse Wednesday night.


There were no injuries, but the exterior of the building was damaged.


"We want to encourage the public to be aware but not be afraid," said Saskatoon Police Sgt. Randy Huisman. "We would like them to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity."


Huisman stressed there were no links to international terrorism, and that the bomb in question was at the low end of the destructive spectrum.


Many police units, from the bomb squad to canine units trained in finding explosives, have been mobilized to try to find the person responsible.


For roughly half an hour, police blocked exits to a bar located a block away after the explosion to identify any suspects who may have come into the establishment.


Meanwhile, Saskatchewan's Ministry of Justice called the event very concerning, adding it will work with Saskatoon Police to find who was responsible.


The ministry said provincial courts will continue today at all points across Saskatchewan. The provincial government will review security to make sure all courts in Saskatchewan are safe.


'A huge bang'


Engineer Scott Dempster was out with a friend playing Pokemon GO when he saw a small fire coming from the courthouse.


He and his friend stopped to watch from across the street. Suddenly, they heard a loud bang and saw an explosion.


"I thought we were just watching a small fire, to make sure it didn't spread," he said. "Then, all of a sudden, there was a huge bang."


Dempster's 12-year-old Shih Tsu cowered on his lap at the loud noise. He and his friend got out of their car to take a closer look but kept their distance.


They called 911, and fire fighters quickly arrived and extinguished the blaze.


Police spoke to Dempster, his friend and others who had gathered to watch the scene. He didn't see anyone fleeing the scene, but the fire was already burning when he arrived.


"It's not something you expect in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan," he said.


Like a 'Molotov cocktail'


City councillor Hilary Gough stumbled across the scene shortly after 11 p.m. while she was riding her bike home.


She knew there was something odd when the car in front of her stopped in the street with its hazard lights on. The fire department arrived shortly afterward.


"You could tell there was some significant damage to the front entrance to the building," she said. "My initial thought was, it kind of looked like somebody threw a Molotov cocktail through the front window."


Gough said there was a small fire outside the building when she arrived which was quickly sprayed down by firefighters.


"It just looked very puzzling," she said. "It didn't look like an active fire in the sense that it was growing and existing inside the building in any major way."


While the city has recently received a number of false "white powder" scares over the past several months that have shut down traffic and cost the city thousands of dollars, Gough doesn't believe anyone should panic.


"I'm certainly concerned about seeing this kind of activity in our city," she said. "My initial thoughts aren't that this is indicating some sort of major thing that we need to be concerned about in a way that we haven't been before."


Suspicious package in February


In February, police found a backpack containing fireworks and roman candles outside the courthouse, along with a suspicious-looking device that was being tested.


The explosives disposal unit was brought in to destroy some of the items.


Police said they had no evidence that the two events were connected.