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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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 2018-10-30


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Trial delay crisis just getting worse

27-10-2016

Courts left scrambling under new rules to limit trial delays, Oct. 17

 

Defence counsel Daniel Brown hit the nail on the head when talking about the causes of trial delay: a shortage of judges and crowns, lack of court space and delayed disclosure.

 

We have been raising the alarm on the under-resourcing of the crown’s offices for many years. It has long been apparent that a crisis was inevitable. Anyone working in the criminal justice system could see “Jordan” coming and yet the government did nothing with respect to this key reasons behind it. In fact, they’ve done quite the opposite.

 

In the last few years, the government has effectively reduced the number of assistant crown attorneys in trial offices across the province. We estimate that there are at least 6,000 cases in Ontario that sit at the Supreme Court’s benchmark of 18 months. In trial offices across the province there are hundreds of matters set for trial that sit unassigned because there are no available prosecutors.

 

This is truly a crisis and yet there has been no meaningful response from the government. The attorney general’s most recent mandate letter doesn’t even address it. It is also critical for the public to understand that the problems run much deeper than trial delay.

 

They are also related to the ability to assess, prepare and prosecute cases properly. It is about full and fair service to victims, to accused persons, their counsel, the courts, police and the public. All deserve our full time and attention.

 

The criminal prosecutors of this province are extremely dedicated public servants, deeply committed to the principles of public safety and the proper administration of criminal justice. But there are not enough of us.

 

Criminal prosecutions have become increasingly complex and take much longer to prosecute. Yet the numbers of prosecutors in the trial offices has decreased. Increasingly we are concerned that we will be unable to comply with our professional obligations and duties to the public we serve.

 

The Ministry of the Attorney General spokesperson says they are taking several steps to reduce delay. Certainly, where effective efficiencies can properly be made, we welcome them.

 

However, those steps will be mere band-aids if the government does not take meaningful, significant and immediate steps to increase the number of assistant crown attorneys in Ontario.

 

Kate Matthews, president, Ontario Crown Attorneys Association

 

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2016/10/27/trial-delay-crisis-just-getting-worse.html