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Strategic Outcome I: A fair, relevant and accessible justice system that reflects Canadian values

The Department of Justice works with partners across the federal, provincial and territorial levels of governments and with stakeholders across Canada to develop and maintain a fair, relevant and accessible justice system that responds to Canadians’ needs and expectations.

Program Activity: A1 – Justice policies, laws and programs

Financial Resources (in millions of dollars)
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011
423.9 420.9 411.8
Human Resources (in full-time equivalents)
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011
396 396 396

Under Canada’s federal system, the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal government and the provinces.Through this Program Activity, the Department fulfils its constitutional responsibility to ensure a bilingual and bijural national legal framework for the administration of justice by developing policies, laws and programs to strengthen the national framework within the following domains: Aboriginal justice, criminal justice (including youth criminal justice), family justice, access to justice and international public and private law.

As well, in recognition of the federal government’s shared interest in a sustainable justice system, the Department also provides significant ongoing funding to provinces and territories for the delivery of programs aimed at the day to day administration of justice, including legal aid, youth justice services and Aboriginal Courtworkers.

The following sections provide more detail on some of the Department’s key areas of focus for the planning period as well as the results for Canadians that are intended from these activities.

1. Criminal Justice

Within this domain, the Department monitors trends in criminal law, develops and implements options for criminal law reform and provides a centre of expertise for criminal law and procedure, criminal justice policy, sentencing and victims issues.

During the planning period, the Department will continue to address the critical intersection of drug, youth and property crime to ensure Canada’s communities are safe, through a combination of law reform and other measures. Departmental efforts will also be focused on violent crime and victims of crime.


The Department’s efforts on the drug file during 2008-2009 will be centred on the implementation of the National Anti-drug Strategy, with a clear focus on illicit drugs and a particular emphasis on youth. Its goal is to contribute to safer and healthier communities through coordinated efforts to prevent use, treat dependency and reduce production and distribution of illicit drugs. It encompasses three action plans: prevention, treatment and enforcement.

The prevention action plan supports efforts to prevent youth from using illicit drugs by enhancing their awareness and understanding of the harmful social and health effects of illicit drug use and to develop and implement community-based interventions and initiatives to prevent illicit drug use. The treatment action plan supports effective treatment and rehabilitation systems and services by developing and implementing innovative and collaborative approaches. And the enforcement action plan aims to contribute to the disruption of illicit drug operations in a safe manner, particularly targeting criminal organizations.

Many federal departments are engaged in a variety of programs and activities that support the Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement Plans. The Department of Justice leads this horizontal initiative, deals with appropriate penalties for drug crime, and is responsible for delivery of the Drug Treatment Courts and Youth Justice programs under the Strategy.

Through the Drug Treatment Courts Funding Program, the Department provides funding to maintain six Provincial courts in Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto. These six courts offer an alternative means of dealing with those accused of drug offences and are focused on offering a comprehensive approach to reducing the number of crimes committed to support drug dependence. Drug Treatment Courts which receive funding from the federal and provincial governments include the following interrelated components aimed at reducing drug substance relapses among drug treatment court clients: judicial supervision, comprehensive substance abuse treatment, random and frequent drug testing, incentives and sanctions, clinical case management, and social services support.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Coordinated federal response to concerns around illicit drug prevention, treatment and enforcement
  • Effective leadership of implementation of the National Anti-drug Strategy
Reduced drug substances relapse among drug treatment court clients
  • Relapse recidivism rates among drug treatment court clients

Youth Criminal Justice:

Canadians expect a youth justice system that ensures fairness and effectiveness in the application of criminal law to young people. Young offenders, like adults offenders, must face meaningful consequences for serious crimes. In response, proposed amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act have been introduced in the House of Commons.The first amendment is to include deterrence and denunciation in the Youth Criminal Justice Act as sentencing principles. This proposed amendment would allow the judge to consider both of these objectives when considering what sentence to impose on a youth. The second amendment will ease restrictions in the area of pre-trial detention, making it easier for judges to detain a broader range of young persons who pose a risk to public safety.

In addition to advancing proposals to amend the YCJA, the Government will launch a comprehensive review of the YCJA in 2008, to ensure that the youth criminal justice system fairly and effectively holds young offenders accountable for criminal conduct.

The Government looks forward to hearing the views of all those interested in youth justice. The review will benefit from advice provided by provincial and territorial governments, who bring a unique and valued perspective to the review because of their role in administering youth justice in Canada, as well as the many others who have been and continue to be actively committed to youth justice matters.

The Youth Justice Fund provides resources to provinces and territories and non-governmental organizations to support a variety of activities that respond to emerging issues and challenges in the youth justice system as well as to encourage innovation. In 2008-2009, this Fund will continue to implement two on-going priorities – Youth Crime Prevention (Guns, Gangs and Drugs) and the Youth Justice Anti-Drug Treatment Component. The first priority emphasizes developing projects that work with youth at-risk or involved in gangs, in order to help them make pro-social choices and resist gang involvement. The second priority is in response to the Treatment Action Plan under the National Anti-Drug Strategy which will target youth in the justice system who are addicted to illicit drugs.

The Department will also continue to implement and manage the Youth Justice Services Funding Agreements with the provinces and territories to ensure that they continue to sustain the programs and services for youth offenders that are essential to achieving federal youth justice policy objectives. In addition, the Department will finalize and implement new funding agreements with the provinces and territories for the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Program (IRCS), with a view to ensuring that all jurisdictions have the capacity to offer specialized assessment and treatment services to serious, violent youth offenders with mental health problems.

The table below identifies three core expected outcomes (and the associated performance indicators), which the Department seeks to achieve through its key areas of focus, including: a youth justice system that responds to emerging issues and encourages innovation; a sustainable youth justice system that is capable of innovation and supporting federal youth justice priorities; and, that jurisdictions have the capacity to implement sentencing options that provide specialized treatment programs for serious, violent youth offenders.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
A youth justice system that responds to emerging issues and encourages innovation
  • Issues and priorities identified to respond to challenges in the youth justice system
  • Federal contribution as a percentage of total expenditures of all levels of government on youth justice
  • Incidence of provincial/territorial delivery of high federal priority services for youth offenders – rehabilitation, re-integration, intensive support and supervision, attendance programs
A sustainable youth justice system that is capable of innovation and supporting federal youth justice priorities
  • Federal contribution as a percentage of total expenditures of all levels of government on youth justice
  • Incidence of provincial/territorial delivery of high federal priority services for youth offenders – rehabilitation, re-integration, intensive support and supervision, attendance programs
Jurisdictions have capacity to implement sentencing options that provide specialized treatment programs in the administration of appropriate sentencing for serious violent youth offenders
  • Orders issued for specialized treatment by jurisdiction
  • Cases receiving specialized treatment

Property Crime:

The Department will continue to pursue legislative changes to address the serious problem of identity theft, through changes to the Criminal Code that will permit police to intervene at an earlier stage of criminal operations, before identity fraud or other identity related crimes are attempted or committed. We will also pursue new measures to address the serious problem of auto theft.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Criminal law is reformed to respond to concerns around property crime
  • Amendments to the Criminal Code are advanced to address property crime issues

Violent Crime:

The Department will continue its work to implement the Tackling Violent Crime Strategy as well as the complementary Safer Community Strategy during 2008-2009. This includes advancing proposed legislation regarding mandatory penalties for gun crimes and stricter bail conditions for those charged with firearms offences. As well, tougher sentencing and management of sexual or violent offenders, an increased age of protection to further protect young persons from sexual exploitation, and improved laws for impaired driving will move forward. The Department will continue to identify the need for further reforms and to develop options for reforms to address emerging issues and to ensure that the criminal justice system is efficient.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Criminal law is reformed to respond to concerns around property crime
  • Tackling Violent Crime legislation is advanced

Victims of Crime Initiative:

Under the umbrella of the Federal Strategy for Victims of Crime, the Department is mandated to work toward improving the experience of victims of crime in the criminal justice system by pursuing a range of activities and initiatives to:

  • ensure that victims of crime and their families are aware of their role in the criminal justice system and services and of the assistance available to support them;
  • enhance departmental capacity to develop policy, legislation and other initiatives which take into consideration the perspectives of victims;
  • increase the awareness of criminal justice personnel, allied professionals and the public about the needs of victims of crime, legislative provisions designed to protect them and services available to support them;
  • develop and disseminate information about effective approaches both within Canada and internationally to respond to the needs of victims of crime; and
  • enhance victim participation in the criminal justice system.

The Department has a close working relationship with the provinces and territories that are tasked with the responsibility for victim service delivery and the provision of criminal injuries compensation to victims of violent crime, where such programs exist. As noted in the table below, the core expected outcome (and associated performance indicators) is to improve the experience of victims of crime in the criminal justice system.

Over the planning period, the Department will focus on implementing the existing and recently enhanced components of the Federal Strategy for Victims of Crime and the Victims Fund; undertake consultations with key stakeholders and partners on victim issues; monitor progress on implementation of Criminal Code provisions intended to benefit victims of crime; lead the annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week; support communities to participate in National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (April 14-18, 2008) and organize a federal symposium to start the week; and establish effective relationships with the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime and ensure responses to the Ombudsman’s enquiries and recommendations are coordinated and provided in a timely manner.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
The experience of victims in the justice system is improved.
  • Perceptions of victims of crime/results of victims’ feedback survey on their experience in the justice system
  • Number of registered victims receiving financial support to attend National Parole Board hearings
  • Number and nature of projects and activities supported that address needs of victims of crime
  • Perceptions of stakeholders (criminal justice professionals, victims services)
  • Criminal Code provisions intended to benefit victims are implemented

2. Family Justice

Within this domain, the Department develops and implements policy and program initiatives affecting Canadian families, children and young people. During the planning period the Department will continue working with provinces and territories to develop family justice policies that promote compliance with family law obligations to make the justice system fair and accessible. This process will aim to improve access to justice by taking into account the needs of all Canadians including Aboriginal groups and minority communities (immigrants, official languages communities).

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Increased compliance by parents with the terms and conditions of family law support and access orders
  • Trends in compliance with terms and conditions contained in family law orders

3. Access to Justice

Under this rubric, the Department promotes access to the justice system by working with provinces and territories, non-governmental and community-based organizations to develop and implement policies and laws that enhance access to justice, including access to justice in both official languages, while respecting the diverse nature and needs of all Canadians.We also work with other federal partners to promote access to justice and the rule of law internationally. Over the planning period, the Department will focus its efforts in two core areas – legal aid and international technical legal assistance.

Legal Aid:

The Department provides significant, ongoing funding to the provinces for criminal legal aid, in support of the Department's policy objective that economically disadvantaged adults facing serious and/or complex criminal charges and youth charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act receive legal aid services. Over the next year, the Department will focus on implementing new Legal Aid agreements and will continue to work in collaboration with jurisdictions to develop a sustainable legal aid strategy.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Provinces are assisted to deliver criminal and immigration and refugee legal aid to eligible persons
  • Federal Contributions for criminal legal aid as a percentage of eligible provincial expenditures on legal aid
  • Number of applications for criminal legal aid and percentage rejected on the basis of eligibility
  • Federal contributions for immigration and refugee legal aid as a percentage of allowable provincial immigration and refugee legal aid expenditures.

International technical legal assistance:

The Department provides significant support for Canada’s international and foreign policy objectives through the development and implementation of international technical legal assistance projects. Over the next year, the Department will continue to work with its federal partners, Foreign Affairs Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency, to promote foundational Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in transitional and fragile foreign countries.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Transitional and fragile foreign countries receive technical legal assistance needed to build, reform and strengthen their legal systems.
  • Number of countries with which the Department shares technical knowledge and expertise
  • Nature of technical knowledge and expertise shared

4. Aboriginal Justice

Within this domain, the Department develops and implements policy and laws aimed at addressing the needs of Aboriginal people in the justice system. It has been widely documented that Aboriginal people continue to be over-represented in the Canadian criminal justice system, both as victims and accused. The needs of Aboriginal people related to culture, economic position and/or social circumstances must be taken into account to make the system more relevant and effective.

The Department takes specific measures to respond to the over-representation of Aboriginal Canadians in the justice system through initiatives such the Aboriginal Justice Strategy (AJS) and the Aboriginal Courtwork Program (ACW). The AJS strengthens the justice system by enabling Aboriginal communities to have increased involvement in the local administration of justice and by providing timely and effective alternatives to mainstream justice processes in appropriate circumstances, thereby allowing the mainstream judicial system to focus its energies and resources on more serious offences.

Over the planning period, the Department will continue implementation of the renewed and enhanced AJS, in collaboration with the provinces, territories and Aboriginal communities, with an emphasis on ensuring the sustainability of existing community-based justice programs, as well as increasing the reach of the AJS to new communities, particularly in the North, in urban areas, and those with a focus on youth. The Department will also support Aboriginal communities with AJS programs to provide better and more timely information on the results of their community-justice programs.

The Department increases access to justice for Aboriginal people by providing ongoing contribution funding to the provinces for the Aboriginal Courtwork Program to ensure that Aboriginal people in contact with the criminal justice system receive fair, equitable, culturally sensitive treatment. The Aboriginal Courtwork Program works within the mainstream justice system to provide direct services (information, non-legal advice and referrals) to all Aboriginal people (adult and youth) in conflict with the justice system and facilitates communication between the accused and criminal justice officials.

Over the planning period, the Department will complete the summative evaluation of the Aboriginal Courtwork Program, renew the ACW Program’s Terms and Conditions and enter into new 5 year contribution agreements with the provinces effective April 1, 2008.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Increased involvement of Aboriginal communities in the local administration of justice
  • Number of communities with Aboriginal Justice Strategy projects
  • Number of communities undertaking capacity building and training to support the administration of justice
  • Number of clients served by Aboriginal Justice programs (year over year data)
Reduced recidivism rates among AJS participants
  • Rate of Aboriginal recidivism for AJS participants
Aboriginal people charged with an offence have access to culturally sensitive services
  • Number of Aboriginal people charged with an offence who received culturally sensitive services from an Aboriginal Courtworker

Program Activity: A2 –
The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

This program activity raises awareness of the needs and concerns of victims in areas of federal responsibility provides an independent resource that addresses complaints of victims about compliance with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that apply to victims of offenders under federal supervision, and assists victims to access existing federal programs and services.

The Federal Ombudsman reports directly to the Minister of Justice and tables his reports to Parliament through the Minister. 3

3 For further information regarding the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime see:

Strategic Outcome II: A federal government that is supported by effective and responsive legal services

Under the Department of Justice Act, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General provides legal services to the federal government and its department and agencies. These services include the provision of legal advice, the conduct of litigation, the drafting of legislation and regulations, and the preparation of legal documents.

Program Activity: B1 – Services to government

The Department of Justice is one of a number of key federal organizations that supports all Government of Canada outcomes by providing common services to government departments and agencies. In this regard, the Department of Justice is responsible for the legal affairs of the government as a whole. As a common service provider, it offers an integrated suite of legal services to individual departments and agencies through functions related to the offices of the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice.These services include the provision of legal advice, the drafting of legislation and regulations, and the coordination and conduct of litigation to facilitate the work of departments and agencies to meet their policy and programming priorities and advance the overall objectives of the government. During the fiscal year 2006-07, the Department’s active file inventory included 66,564 files – approximately 57 percent were litigation files, 38 percent were advisory files and the remaining 5 percent were legislative files.4

Financial Resources (in millions of dollars)
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011
471.6 459.5 445.1
Human Resources (in full-time equivalents)
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011
3,904 3,908 3,908

As the government’s law firm, the Department is structured in a way that maximizes effectiveness in serving our clients’ needs. To this end, the Department delivers services through six “portfolios” – Aboriginal Affairs; Tax Law; Citizenship, Immigration and Public Safety; Central Agencies; Business and Regulatory Law; and the Justice Portfolio.

This portfolio approach to service provision is aimed at ensuring consistency of positions on important points of law, and in policies, programs, legislative and regulatory law initiatives developed across the federal government.

Within this portfolio structure, a significant proportion of the Department’s counsel are assigned to one of the 42 departmental legal services units (DLSUs), which are co-located with client departments and agencies. DLSUs provide legal advice to their clients with respect to their powers and duties, and ensure that the conduct of their affairs is in accordance with the law. In doing so, DLSUs also provide advice with respect to the statutes and regulations that apply to the Government of Canada, and strategic advice concerning policy development and other initiatives.

The Department also maintains a number of specialized legal capacities within national headquarters. The Litigation Branch, which is comprised of the Civil Litigation Division and the Criminal Litigation Division, has functional responsibility over the litigation in which the Government of Canada is involved and is responsible for extradition, mutual legal assistance and national security. The Department of Justice has a major role to play in representing the interests of the Crown before the courts. The courts are responsible for settling disputes about how the legislative and executive powers of government are handled. The courts interpret and establish law, set standards, and raise questions that affect all aspects of Canadian society. Court decisions provide guidance on what is acceptable conduct and on the nature and limits of law.

The Legislative Services Branch is also unique and provides support to the six portfolios through a range of legislative and regulatory drafting services.The Branch drafts and provides related advisory services for government legislation to establish the legislative framework for Government policies and programs and for regulations made by the Governor in Council and delegates. The Branch is also responsible for the publication of federal laws, notably an electronic consolidation of Acts and regulations that is available on the internet. Revision services are also provided to drafters of tax legislation within the Central Agencies Portfolio.

The Public Law Sector is the centre of expertise for departments and the government as a whole by providing advice on highly specialized areas of law such as human rights law, constitutional and administrative law, information law and privacy, and international public and private law.

4 Department of Justice Canada Performance Report for the period ending March 31st, 2007, p. 38,

Similarly, the Official Languages Law Group provides specialized legal advice on language rights to departments, agencies and other federal institutions.

In addition to a national headquarters and a network of legal services units, the Department provides services across the country through a network of regional offices and sub-offices. Six regional offices – serving the North, British Colombia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces – support the Portfolio structure by serving clients and handling litigation and legal advisory work locally. Roughly half of the Department’s staff works in regional offices. Regional staff are responsible for effectively managing a large volume of litigation and for providing advisory services at the local level to client departments. They work closely with their portfolio and policy colleagues to handle complex, high-profile files.

The following sections provide an outline of the key areas of focus across Portfolios for the upcoming year.

Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio

The Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio provides legal, legal policy and strategic advice to federal government departments and agencies on a wide spectrum of Aboriginal law issues related to federal Crown-Aboriginal relations. This involves close collaboration with departments and agencies in support of federal operations, policies, programs and other initiatives on Aboriginal matters.

A key partner is the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and its associated departments and agencies, notably the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians and the Office of the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada. It also requires working closely with other sectors of the Department of Justice in support of the Attorney General of Canada, particularly in the context of litigation.

Within the broad spectrum of Aboriginal law, federal counsel focus on key issues relevant to government operations: fiduciary relationship of the Crown with Aboriginal peoples; Aboriginal and treaty rights; Charter and other constitutional issues relating to Aboriginal peoples; resolution of Aboriginal claims and historic grievances; and more broadly the role of the law in support of the honour of the Crown and reconciliation between the Crown and Aboriginal Canadians.

The Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio has identified two areas for focus in 2008-2009: providing effective and responsive legal advisory and litigation services in support of the short and medium-term priorities identified in the RPP 2008-2009 of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, particularly implementation of the Specific Claims Plan of Action; and offering effective and responsive legal policy and strategic advice to support the federal government to manage key horizontal issues, particularly the consultation and accommodation duties of the federal Crown.

Tax Law Portfolio

The Tax Law Portfolio is responsible for providing a full range of legal services to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), including legal advice, litigation services, training, drafting services, legal issues coordination and risk management. The Minister of National Revenue is responsible for more than 30 statutes and regulations. Most legal issues are in the Income tax, GST, and Employment Insurance areas.

The majority of legal services are delivered through regional Tax Law Services (TLS) sections, located in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon/Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Portfolio headquarters include the Office of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, the National Litigation Coordinator, and the Legal Services Unit located at the CRA.Portfolio counsel are highly specialized and understand the CRA’s business and its responsibility for the administration of tax laws and various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system.

Counsel provide services on complex issues concerning the CRA’s unique governance model, its development of new business partnerships, collection of debts, confidentiality of taxpayer information, excise duties and taxes, income taxation, international taxation, GST/HST, investigation of fraud. The Portfolio also works closely with the Tax Counsel Division at Department of Finance to develop proposals for amendments to federal fiscal statutes and regulations.

For 2008-2009, the Tax Law Portfolio will be engaged in providing high-quality and cost-effective legal services for the CRA; and supporting the CRA to achieve its priorities. For example, legal services will support CRA's focus on detection and resolution of non-compliance, tax collection, and areas of greatest risk. Counsel will provide legal advice on issues regarding the Agency’s unique governance model and support the CRA during the design and implementation stages of expanded business, such as for the single corporate income tax for Ontario. TLS will also review their services standards and ensure that their internal reporting is consistent with that of the CRA and responds to the common needs of both the CRA and Justice.

As well, in alignment with the Clerk’s priorities of Public Service Renewal, and in light of expected retirements, TLS will be placing greater emphasis on training of counsel and paralegals. Through a new Memorandum of Understanding, they will have more access to technical training provided by the CRA (Compliance Programs Branch). In return, they will deliver to the CRA specific courses to meet their identified needs, as well as continuing to deliver Legal Awareness training across the country. In light of CRA priorities, TLS will adapt their training program in terms of compliance priorities. They will also increase the involvement of our senior counsel to ensure that new and mid-level counsel play important roles in complex files in order that they will be ready to conduct complex cases and render complex legal opinions. The Portfolio will also involve counsel early in the tax assessment process in order to better defend the interests of the CRA and to ensure TLS counsel increase their exposure to tax planning and complex investment schemes.

Central Agencies Portfolio

The Central Agencies Portfolio is responsible for the delivery of legal services to the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Canada Public Service Agency, the Canada School of Public Service, the Public Service Commission, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Portfolio counsel manage critical horizontal legal, policy and operational issues related to the central agency functions of government. The Portfolio provides legal advice on: federally-registered financial institutions, employer-sponsored pension plans, public service employment and labour law, government operations and public management law, tax law, Crown law, money laundering and terrorist financing, machinery of government, and the federal Budget. The Portfolio is also tasked with representing Treasury Board, deputy heads and separate agencies in labour and employment litigation before the Public Service Labour Relations Board, the Public Service Staffing Tribunal, Appeals Officers under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

While the Legislative Services Branch is responsible for drafting government legislation, Central Agencies Portfolio carries out some legislative and regulatory drafting related to tax legislation and the tax aspects of federal Budget implementation bills.

For 2008-2009, the Central Agencies Portfolio will be working on several important matters including Budget 2008, measures to address terrorist financing, capital markets crime, establishing the Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Office, as well as a number of initiatives and projects in order to support the Department’s focus on several thematic areas. These initiatives are: leading the Departmental initiative to increase its capacity to deliver high quality legal advice over the long-term in the area of commercial law; enhancing litigation risk management by implementing its newly-designed tools that provide Portfolio counsel and managers with easy to access and up-to-date information on litigation of interest; developing a “commercial law” brochure for dissemination to students for recruitment purposes; developing knowledge transfer tools in the area of pension litigation and public service employment litigation; development of an electronic inventory of departmental experts in commercial law; additions to, refinements and further demonstrations of the electronic updated FAA commentary; and achieving outreach objectives by enhancing the Portfolio’s ability to interact with the business world and the private bar.

Citizenship, Immigration and Public Safety Portfolio

The Citizenship, Immigration and Public Safety Portfolio (CIPS) provides a full range of strategic legal services (legislative, advisory and litigation) to the Department of Public Safety Canada and its component agencies (Correctional Service of Canada, National Parole Board, RCMP, CSIS, and the Canada Border Services Agency) and to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC). CIPS is also responsible for managing the Department of Justice’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program.

In 2008-2009, CIPS will assist the government in delivering on important priorities such as maintaining a safe and secure Canada. It will do so by: providing extensive support to the Air India and Iacobucci inquiries and providing advice on the implementation of recommendations made at the conclusion of the Arar inquiry; supporting the government’s national security initiatives such as the new National Security Statement and implementing the introduction of a special advocate in security certificate proceedings under amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; providing advice on security measures required in relation to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver; strengthening border security with amendments to the customs and immigration legislation as well as providing advice related to the arming of CBSA border guards; providing advice related to parole and correction reforms; and coordinating the prosecution of the first person arrested and charged in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act for their alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

CIPS will also advise the government with respect to its priority of ensuring Canada’s prosperous future by providing advice on various CIC initiatives such as immigrant inventory management, foreign credential recognition and temporary worker reforms. The portfolio will also support the RCMP in its implementation of the David Brown Report and will support CIC in responding to the Safe Third Country Agreement constitutional challenge.

Business and Regulatory Law Portfolio

The Business and Regulatory Law Portfolio is a large and varied group of departmental legal service units (DLSUs) serving 23 client Departments and Agencies whose mandates share a regulatory or business focus. For example, clients of the Business and Regulatory Law Portfolio are involved in science and technological innovation (several departments and agencies), Canadian competitiveness and consumer protection (Industry Canada and the Competition Bureau), health and public health safety of Canadians (Health Canada), environmental protection (Environment Canada), Canada’s international roles and commitments (CIDA) and the support of cultural institutions and industries (Canadian Heritage).Portfolio lawyers also advise on federal transportation matters, fisheries management, real property, and energy projects.

Counsel and paralegals in the portfolio advise clients, help manage legal risks, conduct and support cases in courts brought by or against the Crown and assist in the development of regulations and legislation. Many of the portfolio’s key clients maintain extensive national presence and thus the portfolio delivers services to regional client departments in most provinces and territories through the network of Departmental regional offices across Canada.

For 2008-2009, the Business and Regulatory Law Portfolio will continue to provide advice and services to client Departments and Agencies on a variety of significant issues and government priorities including to the Department of Canadian Heritage and other departments and agencies in the portfolio contributing to the planning for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The portfolio will be engaged in the implementation of the Government of Canada Science and Technology Strategy, and the increased emphasis on public-private research and commercial partnerships. As well, portfolio counsel will play a role in key environmental initiatives by Environment Canada such as limiting greenhouse gas emissions across all major industrial sectors, implementing new legislation respecting bio-fuels and enhancing the federal Government’s ability to investigate and prosecute environmental laws.

The Natural Resources Canada DLSU will provide advice and support to streamlining the effectiveness and timeliness of the regulatory system of major natural resources projects. In October, 2007, the Government established a Major Project Management Office (MPMO) to coordinate regulatory activities of departments involved in the regulatory approval of major natural resource projects.

Staff at the CIDA DLSU will provide advice and support to CIDA activities such as increasing the efficiency of international assistance, assisting with the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan and providing mechanisms to encourage companies to make life-saving drugs available to persons in developing countries.

Portfolio counsel will also assist Human Resources and Development Canada in the negotiation and drafting, as well as the implementation, of federal-provincial agreements to transfer labour market programs from the federal government to the provinces.

Justice Portfolio

The Department also provides legal services through the Justice Portfolio to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada as well as providing legal services in situations where the interests are more broadly the government at large (i.e., the issues are broader than one portfolio).

Performance Results

The table below identifies the four expected outcomes (and the associated performance indicators), which the Department seeks to achieve through its key areas of focus, including: representing the Crown’s interests to enable government to attain its priorities; comprehensive delivery on the Government’s legislative agenda; client-focused service delivery and effective management of legal risks.

Expected Outcomes Performance Indicators
Representing the Crown’s interest to enable government to attain its priorities
  • Active and closing advisory and litigation inventory
  • Workload indicators (and associated costs)
  • Value of settlements and awards
  • Crown results for litigation files – final outcome indicators
  • Significant issues before the courts
Comprehensive delivery on the Government’s legislative agenda
  • Bills tabled in the House of Commons
  • Regulations published in the Canada Gazette
  • Government responses to private members bills
Client-focused service delivery
  • Client feedback on responsiveness, timeliness and usefulness of legal services
Effective management of legal risks
  • Trends in risk profile for litigation inventory
  • Levels of effort by risk level