Canadian Justice System: Latest News Stories

Photograph of a mounted bison's head flanked by to RCMP lances



Over the past week, there have been many news stories relating to various Canadian police departments and the criminal justice system.

Based on our review of these most recent articles, we have selected the following for your reading pleasure:





Manslaughter Conviction Thrown Out Over Lack Of Aboriginals In Ontario Jury PoolOntario’s top court ordered a new trial Friday for a man convicted of killing his friend after concluding that his rights had been violated because the province failed to ensure adequate aboriginal representation when it assembled its list of potential jurors — a problem that was “known and worsening” for years.

One legal expert said the ruling has the potential to influence court decisions in other areas inCanada with large aboriginal populations, and furthers the argument that aboriginal defendants — particularly in serious cases — deserve to be judged by juries with “distinct aboriginal perspectives.” Read more

The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Of Age – Three recent developments help us see the shape of things to come in the next iteration of the “war on terror”. They suggest a future with more, albeit low-level, terror attacks in the West. Domestically, this will mean that security in the name of counter-terror will intensify and deepen, while becoming more a part of normal life. Abroad, the “war on terror” is being universalised and merged with humanitarian intervention and state building, as the recent UN Security Council resolution on Mali so clearly demonstrates.

The first revealing development is the spate of “lone wolf” attacks. In Boston, London and Paris, disturbed and mal-adapted young men have outlined a horrifying response to a key problem for religious belligerents: how to bring violence to the West in an age of high security. Read more

Quebec’s ‘Distinct Society’ Proves To Be Riddled With Corruption Disease  – And what would we have? A small, deeply indebted country cut off from its supply of federal subsidies, its economy weak and state-dominated, its society riddled with corruption from top to bottom, struggling to survive in a much bigger, more successful marketplace uninterested in its cultural worries. Odds are it would be using someone else’s currency, the pragmatic reasoning for that being too strong to ignore. And a key problem would be in keeping its best and brightest at home, the prospects being so much brighter in better-run neighbouring countries. Read more

Alberta cops ask province for right to seize speeders’ vehicles – EDMONTON — Alberta cops are asking the province to help them target “prolific” speeders by giving them the right to seize vehicles caught going 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit.

The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) recently approved a resolution to call on the province to approve deterrent measures for excessive speeders, which would include discretionary vehicle seizures. Read more


Police Slashed Homeless Tents, Say Advocates In Abbotsford, B.C. – The Abbotsford, B.C., police chief has ordered an investigation into allegations the city’s officers destroyed tents belonging to homeless people, in a second controversy over how the city treats its homeless.

“Slashing tents is something we’ve heard a lot of over the years, where they’ll go in and they’ll use a knife or whatever to cut up tents, but the [use of] bear mace is the new thing,” said Pastor Ward Draper of The 5 and 2 Ministries, a Christian charity which helps Abbotsford’s homeless. Read more

Montreal Mayor Applebaum Arrested By Quebec’s Anti-Corruption Police – MONTREAL — Quebec’s anti-corruption police arrested Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum Monday morning, a UPAC spokesperson said.

Applebaum was arrested at his home and taken to the headquarters of the Sûreté du Québec, UPAC spokesperson Anne-Frédérick Laurence said. She refused to provide details. Read more

Two Men In Photo With Rob Ford And Murder Victim Were Arrested In Police Raids: Reports – TORONTO — The lawyer for a man arrested in this week’s massive police raids in Toronto says he’s concerned that media reports linking his client to the scandal surrounding Mayor Rob Ford may compromise the man’s right to a fair trial.

Reports published in the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail say two of the suspects arrested in Thursday’s operation targeting suspected drug and gun traffickers also appear with Ford in a widely publicized photograph connected to the scandal swirling around Ford and an alleged crack video. Read more

Vancouver Police Have New Command Centre On Wheels – When big crime breaks in the city, Vancouver police typically establish a makeshift command centre wherever they can — living rooms, fire halls, libraries.

But with a sleek new $800,000 truck, that’s all about to change. Read more

Fredericton’s Female Police Chief A 1st For Atlantic Canada: Leanne Fitch, Named To Post This Week, Says Conditions Improving For Women Police Officers – Atlantic Canada’s first female police chief says conditions are improving for women police officers.

But Leanne Fitch, who was named chief of the Fredericton Police Force this week, admits there’s still room for improvement, particularly in the higher ranks. Read more

Vancouver Police Expect To Charge 25 More Suspects In Stanley Cup Riot – On the second anniversary of the Stanley Cup riot, Vancouver police have said they expect to lay charges against another 25 suspects in the coming months, which would bring the total number of people charged to 350.

Sgt. Randy Fincham said police have identified seven of the top ten rioters they are targeting, but don’t yet have an end date for the quest to find and charge suspects. Read more

Montreal Police Arrest Trio In Their 60s In Alleged Plot To Strike At Armoured Cars – MONTREAL – Three men in their 60s face charges after police cracked an alleged plan to rob at least one armoured truck and had to destroy a possible bomb found in a Montreal apartment.

Police arrested the trio, aged 62, 63 and 65, on Friday and the suspects are expected to appear in court on Monday. Read more


Manitoba RCMP Dog Killed In Saskatchewan Crash – A Manitoba RCMP officer has serious injuries and a service dog is dead following a crash on Highway 16 in Saskatchewan.

RCMP said the crash happened just after 6 p.m. on June 14, when a pickup truck and an RCMP dog unit vehicle collided just north of Saskatoon. Read more

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson Apologizes For Perceived Slight Against Mentally ill The RCMP commissioner says he is “truly sorry” for making a sound and gesture during a town hall earlier this year that some have interpreted as a slight against people suffering from mental-health issues.

A six-minute audio clip of Bob Paulson’s remarks — delivered to K Division members in Alberta in April — was recently posted on an RCMP watchdog website. Read more

TV Show To Pump Mounties’ Image Cost Taxpayers Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars – The RCMP spent almost a million dollars on self-promotion, at a time when critics say they should have been focusing on fixing internal cultural problems. iPolitics has learned that the national police force, and ultimately Canadians, paid $845,000 to participate in a program called Courage in Red.

Ottawa-based JenCor productions approached the RCMP in 2008 with the idea of starting a show on the force. The program was loosely based on Truth, Duty, Valour, a similar documentary series featuring the Canadian Military.  Read more

RCMP Crown Vic Vehicle Of Choice For A Number Of Law Enforcement Agencies – Its the end of an era.  The Ford Crown Victoria has been the cruiser of choice for a number of law enforcement agencies across North America, but in 2011, Ford discontinued the model.

This week, in Prince George, the RCMP received two of the final Crown Vics available. Read more

Ottawa Wants To Claw Back Two Weeks Pay From Public Servants – The Conservative government is proposing to claw back four per cent of the public service payroll from its employees as part of its sweeping plan to modernize its pay system and bring it in line with the private sector.

Public Works and Government Services Canada, the federal paymaster and receiver general, want to recover two weeks pay from every public servant’s paycheque for the next year beginning Jan. 1. All new hires will start on the new system when they begin work and would have the first two weeks of their pay withheld. Read more


Distribution of this message to all  Pacific Region RCMP regular members’ personal electronic mailboxes is authorized by S/Sgt. Metro Yakiwchuk “E” Division Staff Relations Representative.

Late last week your SRR’S  learned through the media reporting that the Government of Canada may be examining changes to the way they administer Public Servant pay operations, which would include a “with holding” of two weeks wages. The Chair of the SRR Pay Committee immediately made contact with our compensation policy center and he was advised by the policy center that there was no such item on their agenda of activities. 

Over the past few days there has been more media attention paid to the potential of changes to the Public Service pay operations. We have continued our contact with the pay policy center and reiterate, their is no such item on their agenda of activities. We were further informed that RCMP pay operations are managed through a different pay system than the broader Public Service. 

It was not reported in the media that this would effect members of the RCMP, however, based on erroneous interpretations of the media reporting,  it has been presented in some venues that this media speculation would translate into a 4% “claw back”  of  member compensation.  This speculation is not based in fact. Your SRR Pay committee is in regular contact with our compensation policy center. Your SRR  National Executive has reached out to RCMP senior management to insure that should any changes be contemplated to our pay operations, meaningful consultation would take place, and this would not be a unilateral  act.

 As is always the case, we will continue to provide the membership with accurate, fact based information.

 Mike Casault and Abe Townsend – SRR National Executive

Mountie Enrolment Down Almost 80 Percent Compared To Four Years Ago – REGINA – The Mounties are defending their hiring practices this week after newly released numbers showed there are less than 400 cadets enrolled at the Depot training division in Regina this year.

That’s the lowest that number has been in at least a decade and a far cry from the nearly 1,800 enrolled just four years ago.

But chief superintendent Garry Jay says it isn’t an accident. Read more


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