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Labour officials, N.S. government to meet to discuss Bill 148

Representatives with organized labour and the Nova Scotia government will meet to discuss how to address outstanding issues with a contentious piece of legislation used to impose wage restraint. Bill 148, passed by the former Liberal government to impose wage patterns and remove a lump-sum retirement benefit known as the long-service award, continues to be tied up in court. 

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Date de parution : 2022-06-17
Alberta: Prioritizing high-quality prosecution services

Alberta’s government has approved market adjustments for Alberta’s Crown prosecutors as part of prioritizing high-quality prosecutions. Alberta’s Crown prosecutors will receive market adjustments to make their pay competitive with other provinces and the federal prosecution service. Now, Alberta will be able to attract new prosecutors and keep experienced prosecutors, which is critical to an effective criminal justice system.

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Date de parution : 2022-05-02
Alberta Crown prosecutors meet to consider strike
Alberta Crown prosecutors meet to consider strike

The Alberta Crown Attorneys' Association (ACAA) met Wednesday evening to consider taking job action.  The group, representing 380 Crown prosecutors across the province, sent a letter to Premier Jason Kenney to address what it called "the crisis in the justice system" and the possibility of taking "drastic steps." The association alleges that "chronic underfunding" of Alberta's prosecution service is coming to a head and that all attempts to meet with the current and former justice ministers had been rejected. 

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Date de parution : 2022-04-06
Statement by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association on the attack on Ukraine
Statement by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association on the attack on Ukraine

The CLA condemns the brutal, unjustified and unlawful invasion of Ukraine by the Russian State. International Law is clear. The brutal and unprovoked attack on the Ukraine breaches fundamental principles of international law. The loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure are appalling and a humanitarian outrage. 

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Date de parution : 2022-03-03
IAP Statement Regarding the Events in Ukraine and the Russian Federation

The International Association of Prosecutors joins the international community in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ordered by the President of the Russian Federation. This act violates both Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law. A state is prohibited from the use or threat of force against another state unless acting in self-defence or acting pursuant to a United Nations Security Council resolution. Neither of these two exceptions is applicable to Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

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Date de parution : 2022-03-01
B.C. risks losing top Crown prosecutors if it scraps existing salary structure, association warns
B.C. risks losing top Crown prosecutors if it scraps existing salary structure, association warns

The association representing Crown lawyers in B.C. says the province will be at risk of losing its most experienced prosecutors if it doesn't agree to keep their old salary structure intact. The warning from the B.C. Crown Counsel Association comes after a contract dispute between the lawyers and the province hit the two-year mark without a solution.

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Date de parution : 2022-02-10

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Crown attorneys to challenge letters of reprimand over October walkout


Judicial review requested on the Nova Scotia public service commissioner's decision-making authority


Sixty-one Nova Scotia Crown attorneys who walked off the job in October to protest legislation revoking their right to binding arbitration are challenging the discipline against them.


Each Crown received a letter in April from Laura Lee Langley, Nova Scotia's public service commissioner, that will go into each of their personnel folders. The letters were made public this week.


The Crowns are seeking a judicial review of the discipline.


While each letter is unique to each lawyer, the general script is the same.


"This behaviour is considered insubordinate and unprofessional; it is unacceptable and must not reoccur," reads part of the letter.


"Additionally, as a civil servant, you owe a duty of loyalty to your employer and are expected to support the efforts of our elected government to develop and implement law and public policy.


"Instead actions of the [Nova Scotia Crown Attorney Association] were harmful to the trust and confidence of elected officials and the citizens we serve."


The letter from Langley goes on to say: "I have determined that written discipline is warranted under the circumstances."


The letter also notes hours the Crowns were absent without leave "will be deducted from your pay."


The lawyer for the Crowns argues Langley has no authority to discipline them.


In an email to CBC News, Gail L. Gatchalian of Pink Larkin said the tone of the letters is "disrespectful and insulting."


"To suggest that a lawyer, and in particular a Crown Attorney, is unprofessional is a very serious accusation," Gatchalian said.


"Every one of these Crown Attorneys is a professional and at all times conducted themselves in an appropriate and professional manner."


Gatchalian said the letter also failed to acknowledge "the only reason" why the Crowns did not attend work Oct. 23-25. 


In the middle of collective bargaining, the association had indicated it would be sending its dispute to interest arbitration, she said.


In that time, the government introduced Bill 203, the bill that would deny the Crowns' right to binding arbitration. The bill passed but the government decided to not proclaim it into law.


"Government gave no advanced warning to the Association of its intention to introduce the legislation," Gatchalian said.


"Instead of bargaining in good faith, government used its legislative hammer to take away a promise it had made in the previous round of collective bargaining to grant the Crown Attorneys the right to interest arbitration for 30 years in exchange for their agreement to the government's desired wage restraint."


Further, Gatchalian said the Crowns told the Public Prosecution Service, their employer, about the walkout in advance to protest the bill and also made arrangements with their managers and the courts to ensure public safety was upheld.


She said it's "disappointing" the commission would "issue such inflammatory letters that impugn the professionalism of Crown Attorneys" when both sides ended up successfully concluding a collective agreement and "appeared ready to move forward in good faith."


Gatchalian noted these letters "are particularly shocking" because the Crowns had received an apology from Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey.


"The letters have set back the relationship considerably, and demonstrate deplorable labour relations, especially so given that the letters were placed on their personnel files in the midst of a global pandemic and a state of emergency," Gatchalian said.


The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service as well as Nova Scotia Public Service Commission declined to provide a comment for this story because it's a matter before the courts.


The applicants for the Crowns are scheduled to appear before a judge in chambers at the Law Courts in Halifax on July 30. They plan to make a motion for an order giving directions for the judicial review, including the date and time for a hearing.