Department of Justice Canada Minister's Transition Book

Status of Key Justice Priorities

Status Key Justice Priorities
No. LEAD Priorities Current Status Outcome Actions required by June
Justice mandate letter priorities
1 JUS lead
HC
Medical Assistance in Dying

Lead a process, supported by the Minister of Health, to work with provinces and territories to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted death.
Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Complete-fully met
  • Bill C-14 received Royal Assent June 17, 2016
 
2 CIRNA lead
JUS
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls

Develop, in collaboration with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and supported by the Minister of Status of Women, an approach to, and a mandate for, an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada, including the identification of a lead Minister.
JUS Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made, facing challenges
  • Continued support to families via the Family Information Liaison Units (one-year extension to ensure in place post-Commission report in April 2019)
  • [redacted]
3 JUS Litigation Strategy Review

Review our litigation strategy. This should include early decisions to end appeals or positions that are not consistent with our commitments, the Charter or our values.
Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
 
4 JUS Consistency with the Charter

As Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, your overarching goal will be to ensure our legislation meets the highest standards of equity, fairness and respect for the rule of law. I expect you to ensure that our initiatives respect the Constitution of Canada, court decisions, and are in keeping with our proudest legal traditions. You are expected to ensure that the rights of Canadians are protected, that our work demonstrates the greatest possible commitment to respecting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that our government seeks to fulfill our policy goals with the least interference with the rights and privacy of Canadians as possible.
Complete
  • Bill C-51 (Charter Clean-up Phase II) received Royal Assent Dec 13, 2018 (coming into force December 2019)
  • As of January 12, 2019, 21 Charter statements tabled for government bills.
 
5 HC/JUS/PS Cannabis

Working with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health, create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Complete-fully met
  • Bill C-45 legislation and regulations came into force October 17, 2018
  • [redacted]
6 JUS lead
PS
Drug and Alcohol-Impaired Driving

Working with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health, create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
Complete
  • Bill C-46 came into force December 18, 2018
 
7   Supreme Court of Canada Appointments

Engage all parties in the House of Commons to ensure that the process of appointing Supreme Court Justices is transparent, inclusive and accountable to Canadians. Consultations should be undertaken with all relevant stakeholders and those appointed to the Supreme Court should be functionally bilingual.  
Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Complete-fully met
 
8 JUS Third Gender

Introduce government legislation to add gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to the list of distinguishing characteristics of “identifiable group” protected by the hate speech provisions of the Criminal Code.
Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Complete-fully met
  • [redacted]
9 JUS Criminal Justice System Review

You should conduct a review of the changes in our criminal justice system and sentencing reforms over the past decade with a mandate to assess the changes, ensure that we are increasing the safety of our communities, getting value for money, addressing gaps and ensuring that current provisions are aligned with the objectives of the criminal justice system. Outcomes of this process should include increased use of restorative justice processes and other initiatives to reduce the rate of incarceration amongst Indigenous Canadians, and implementation of recommendations from the inquest into the death of Ashley Smith regarding the restriction of the use of solitary confinementFootnote 1 and the treatment of those with mental illness.

AND

Undertake modernization efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, in cooperation with provinces and territories. This should include improved use of information technology to make the system more efficient and timely, exploration of sentencing alternatives and bail reform, and the creation of a unified family court.
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Support progress for Bill C-75 in Parliament
10 JUS lead
PS
Restorative Justice

You should conduct a review of the changes in our criminal justice system and sentencing reforms over the past decade with a mandate to assess the changes, ensure that we are increasing the safety of our communities, getting value for money, addressing gaps and ensuring that current provisions are aligned with the objectives of the criminal justice system. Outcomes of this process should include increased use of restorative justice processes and other initiatives to reduce the rate of incarceration amongst Indigenous Canadians, and implementation of recommendations from the inquest into the death of Ashley Smith regarding the restriction of the use of solitary confinementFootnote 2 and the treatment of those with mental illness.

AND

Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to address gaps in services to Aboriginal people and those with mental illness throughout the criminal justice system.

Background
In process • [redacted]
Targeted Completion:
[redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
11 JUS lead
PS/ISC
Overrepresentation

Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to address gaps in services to Aboriginal people and those with mental illness throughout the criminal justice system.

AND

You should conduct a review of the changes in our criminal justice system and sentencing reforms over the past decade with a mandate to assess the changes, ensure that we are increasing the safety of our communities, getting value for money, addressing gaps and ensuring that current provisions are aligned with the objectives of the criminal justice system. Outcomes of this process should include increased use of restorative justice processes and other initiatives to reduce the rate of incarceration amongst Indigenous Canadians, and implementation of recommendations from the inquest into the death of Ashley Smith regarding the restriction of the use of solitary confinement and the treatment of those with mental illness.
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
  • [redacted]
  • Development of a Pan-Canadian Strategy on the Overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the Criminal Justice System in collaboration with provinces and territories.
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Pan-Canadian Strategy on the Overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the Criminal Justice System [redacted]
  • [redacted]
12 JUS Creation of Unified Family Courts

Undertake modernization efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, in cooperation with provinces and territories. This should include improved use of information technology to make the system more efficient and timely, exploration of sentencing alternatives and bail reform, and the creation of a unified family court.
In process
  • Bill C-74 (BIA1 2018) received Royal Assent June 21, 2018 and the relevant amendments to the Judges Act will come into force Apr 1, 2019
  • 39 new UFC judicial positions
  • [redacted]
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Funding secured through Budget 2018, to appoint judges and begin in 2019-20.
  • [redacted]
13 JUS lead
PS/SWC
Domestic Assault

Implement our platform commitments to toughen criminal laws and bail conditions in cases of domestic assault, in consultation with stakeholders and with the goal of keeping survivors and children safe. You should undertake this work in consultation with the Minister of Status of Women and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Background
In progress PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Support progress of Bill C-75 and Bill C-78 before the House and Senate
14 JUS Sentencing Reform



Undertake modernization efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, in cooperation with provinces and territories. This should include improved use of information technology to make the system more efficient and timely, exploration of sentencing alternatives and bail reform, and the creation of a unified family court.
[redacted]
  • [redacted]
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
Shared Mandate Letter Priorities
15 FIN lead CRA/JUS Modernization framework for charities & not-for-profit sectors

Work with the Ministers of Finance and National Revenue to develop a modernized regulatory and legal framework governing the Charitable and Not-for-Profit sectors.
JUS Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
  • Bill C-86 received Royal Assent on December 4, 2018
  • Permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector established to provide advice on important issues facing charities.
  • Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector to be established.
16 PCH lead
JUS
Court Challenges Program

Support the Minister of Canadian Heritage to restore a modern Court Challenges Program.  
JUS Complete PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
17 PS lead
JUS
National Security

Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in his efforts to repeal key elements of Bill C-51, and introduce new legislation that strengthens accountability with respect to national security and better balances collective security with rights and freedoms.
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
  • TARGETED COMPLETION: [redacted]
  • Support progress of C-59 in Parliament
18 PS lead
JUS
Firearms, including handguns

Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in his efforts to repeal key elements of Bill C-42 and implement our commitment to reduce the number of handguns and assault weapons on our streets.
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Support ongoing progress of C-71 in Parliament
19 CIRNA lead ISC/JUS Nation to Nation Relationship/ Reconciliation

...No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Background
In process, [redacted] PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made, facing challenges
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Support progress of C-262 (UNDRIP) in Parliament
20 CIRNA coordination lead Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action (CTA)

(see Annex 1 for list of JUS led and caretaker CTAs)


(CIRNA Minister: I expect you to build on the progress that has been made already, including… and the progress made across government on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.)

Background on current status: (note list is safety and security, broader than JUS CTA responsibilities)
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made, facing challenges
  • [redacted]
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Red Earth Cree Justice System ceremony February 2019 (TBC)
  • Indigenous Justice Systems Symposium (May 2019)
  • [redacted]
21 TBS lead
JUS
Democratic Reform
Access to Information Act Reform

Work with the President of the Treasury Board to enhance the openness of government, including supporting his review of the Access to Information Act to ensure that Canadians have easier access to their own personal information, that the Information Commissioner is empowered to order government information to be released and that the Act applies appropriately to the Prime Minister’s and Ministers’ Offices, as well as administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.

Background
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Bill C-58 referred to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
22 SWC
TBS/JUS
Gender-based Violence and Harassment

Minister SWC: Work with experts and advocates to implement and monitor the comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies. You will be supported by the Minister of Justice to make any necessary Criminal Code changes and by the President of the Treasury Board who will develop strategies to combat sexual harassment in federal public institutions.
In process PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Anticipatory call for proposals issued, funding to begin [redacted]
23 ESDC lead JUS/PS/FIN Seniors

Lead work with the support of the Ministers of Justice, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Finance to address crimes that target seniors including elder abuse and online financial scams.
In process, beyond mandate
PCO ML Tracker:
Actions taken, progress made
  • [redacted]
  • Ongoing Victims Fund support to projects that address the needs of senior citizen victims of crime and survivors of crime in the criminal justice system.
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Highlight G&C investments in support of meeting commitment (e.g. Victims Fund)
Other Justice Priorities
24 JUS Judicial Appointments   Complete
(Process updates) Appointments ongoing
  • Reforms to the Superior Court judicial appointments process to increase transparency, accountability, strengthen bilingual capacity and promote greater diversity
  • Created 75 new judicial positions across Canada responding to the needs of Canadians and the courts
  • More than 250 judicial appointments since November 2015
  • Greater diversity, including:
    • More than 56% of judges appointed are women;
    • 8 are Indigenous
    • 22 are members of visible minority communities
    • 12 identify as LGBTQ2S
    • 3 identify as people with disabilities
  • Merit-based appointment process established for Judicial Advisory Councils in each province and territory as well as for the Tax Court. JACs provide non-binding, merit-based recommendations to the Minister of Justice on federal judicial appointments.
  • Ongoing appointments through June 2019
25 PPSC lead
JUS
Remediation Agreement

News release
Complete
  • Bill C-74 received Royal Assent June 21, 2018 and Bill C-86 received Royal Assent Dec 13, 2018
 
26 JUS Strengthening & Modernizing the Family Justice System

Background
In process Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Support progress of Bill C-78 before the House and Senate
27 JUS Bestiality and Animal Fighting

Background
In process Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • Support progress of Bill C-84 in Parliament
28 JUS [redacted] [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
29 JUS
TBS/ISED
Privacy Act Reform [redacted]
  • [redacted]
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
30 JUS [redacted] [redacted]
  • [redacted]
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
31 JUS lead
GAC
[redacted] [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]
32 TBS
HC/AAFC/Transport JUS
Legislative and Regulatory Drafting



Background (pgs. 73 – 76
)
In process, [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Timely, effective legislative and regulatory drafting
Targeted Completion: [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • Staff hired.
33 JUS [redacted] [redacted]
  • [redacted]
  • [redacted]

Annex 1

Department of Justice led Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action:

Reducing Overrepresentation of Indigenous People in the Criminal Justice System
#30- Overrepresentation of Indigenous People in custody
#31- Alternatives to imprisonment
#32- Amend Criminal Code – mandatory minimum sentences and conditional sentences
#34- Address needs of offenders with FASD
#38- Overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in custody
#40- Indigenous-specific victim programs & services
Administration of Justice
#42- Recognition & Implementation of Indigenous justice systems
#43- UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People as framework for reconciliation
#50- Fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes
#92- Corporate sector in Canada to adopt UNDRIP as a reconciliation framework (caretaker)
Renewed Legal Relationships and Equity for Indigenous People
#26- Review & amend statutes of limitations
#46- Covenant of Reconciliation
#47- Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius
#51- Transparency in publishing legal opinions
Education and Cultural Change in the Canadian Legal System
#6- Repeal Section 43 of Criminal Code
#27- Federation of Law Societies of Canada and cultural competency training (caretaker)
#28- Law schools and requisite course on Indigenous People and the law (caretaker)