Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 17
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-26 16:32
Thanks to all of the witnesses—so many witnesses, so little time.
I want to first, if I may, just do a shout-out to Professor Parkes, whom I won't have time to ask a question of. Congratulations on your editorial in The Globe and Mail yesterday on the impact of mandatory minimum sentences, particularly on indigenous people. It was great, and thank you for introducing the term “sentence creep” to our vocabulary.
Ms. Cirillo, I just want to say, as a proud alumnus of the Downtown Legal Services, I know first-hand the important work that you people do. Thank you for doing it and for shining a light on what, I agree with all of you, is an unintended consequence of Bill C-75, that's to say, essentially shutting you out of the provincial court where you do such great work.
In a moment, I'll come back to you with solutions I'd like to get your take on, but I want to remind people of the quote I took from your excellent submission:
The unintended consequence of Bill C-75 would further exacerbate the access to justice issues facing Ontario criminal courts. SLASS clinics have worked for decades representing individuals charged with criminal summary offences, providing effective and efficient representation for those who would otherwise find themselves unrepresented in the criminal justice system. This bill will put an abrupt end to this legacy.
I couldn't have put it better than that.
Ms. Taman, if I could, I want to ask you a few questions. Thank you for the chart you gave us. I wish we had it when we started this little odyssey a few weeks ago.
In respect of the hybridization issue, you talked about the 136 indictable offences being hybridized, and you made an argument that I don't think had ever been made to our committee before. You said that part of the bill is the potential to significantly limit the accused's existing statutory right to elect to be tried by judge and jury and the effective shifting of this choice from the accused to the Crown. I don't think we've heard that before.
Well, if I may, so what? I understand the accused would lose that choice, but isn't it arguably in his or her best interest to go to a trial with a lower maximum penalty? If the person were to be tried by a jury in a higher court, they would likely be gambling on a harsher penalty. Is that a fair comment?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-24 16:41
Thank you.
I'm going to start with you, Mr. Fowler, because I think you've come the farthest. I want to say something to you, sir. I disagree with you on some things, but in terms of which is the right coast, I think we would agree that of course it's the left coast. I just wanted to put that on the record.
I think the thrust of your remarks was the need to improve and not abolish preliminary inquiries. I think everyone said that. I thought you said that very forcefully.
You did raise parenthetically the whole issue of peremptory challenges. You said that in your experience they were never misused. I think many people who have come here would say that in the Stanley case in Saskatchewan with Colten Boushie, in which there was an indigenous deceased, the lawyer for Mr. Stanley managed to get no indigenous people on the jury. It certainly caused a lot of Canadians who wrote to me great concern.
I appreciate that some people have indicated that they use peremptory challenges precisely to get racialized people onto juries. I'd just like to give you an opportunity to expand on your forceful remarks on peremptory challenges. I ask you whether you don't think that there was a misuse in at least that case.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-24 16:44
I understand, and we would have a longer debate that time doesn't permit here, but the Criminal Lawyers' Association, for example, has suggested that there be a stand-alone section that allows a judge at the end of the day to eyeball that jury to see if it is representative of the community. If that section were in place, I think we would probably avoid an all-male jury.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-19 16:08
Thank you.
Mr. Johnston, you were passionate about trying to expand the jury pool and we heard a lot about that yesterday as well, regarding the representativeness issue. Yesterday, we heard a suggestion that health cards are preferable to property rolls because, by definition, those that don't own property wouldn't be brought in. Today, you've suggested that criminal record holders should be added to the list in order to expand the pool, thereby adding 10% of the population, which is quite remarkable. We also heard yesterday that permanent residents ought to be included, as they have a sufficient connection to the community to be included.
Would you agree with those other suggestions?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-19 16:09
I only have 30 seconds.
On challenges for cause, section 640, you're very clear. We've had it since 1892. Essentially, you're saying that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However, we've heard a lot of people, although you're not one of them, who say we ought to agree with the bill and abolish peremptory challenges. Yesterday, Professor Roach said that if we remove peremptory challenges, maybe we need to beef up challenges for cause. If we chose that route, would you agree?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-19 20:28
Thank you, everyone.
I don't want to be accused of discriminating against Toronto, so I want to speak to Mr. Gover. It's nice to see you, Mr. Gover.
I understand very clearly that you and The Advocates' Society favour peremptory challenges. You've suggested that if we're going to change it, we need to do further studies and consultation. In the alternative argument, you said we should take a look at the Batson v. Kentucky procedure that the United States has implemented, which allows for addressing discrimination and so on. What would that look like? Would that look like more challenges for cause?
Mr. Cowper has said that if we were to do that, there would be this waterbed effect, that we might end up with more delay as we do more challenges for cause. Could you elaborate on how that would look? We've had some witnesses say we should give the courts the discretion to look at the representivity—if that is such a word—on the jury and decide whether that's fair. That's what we've heard others suggest. How exactly would you line up?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 16:16
Thanks to all the witnesses for being here. I have very little time, so I would like to start, please, with the Criminal Lawyers' Association.
You really focused in on the jury representation issue but didn't do justice to the excellent points you made elsewhere in your brief. There are three points I want to get on the record and see if you want to elaborate on any of them.
The first involves preliminary inquiry reform. You are against what's in this bill.
Second, your position on increasing the maximum sentences to two years less a day for all summary convictions—clause 319—is that you're against those changes.
Third, on the routine police evidence, clause 278, you point out that, in your judgment, this clause is unnecessary.
I want to make sure that's on the record.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 16:20
I think the same point was made by Mr. Star in the anecdote he gave about a day-long preliminary inquiry that saved lots of time down the road. Your reference to Professor Webster's material I think is also helpful in that regard.
In the interest of time, I want to go back to your issues on the jury selection process. You have an elegantly simple suggestion in terms of giving the judge the opportunity, by adding subsection 629(4) to simply allow either party to challenge the jury panel on the ground of unrepresentativeness, as found by successive studies and judicial inquiries.
You said two things. You said this would allow the prosecutor or the accused to make that motion and the judge to have that overriding discretion, but then you also said that you wanted to make the statutory challenges for cause provision more robust. Exactly how could you do that? Would you amend the challenge for cause sections? If so, how would you do that to make sure it wasn't abused?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 16:22
You have no specific suggestions as to how we would amend the sections of the challenge for cause provisions, even though you just remarked that we need to do so if we were to get rid of the peremptory challenge.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 18:52
Thanks very much to both of you gentlemen for appearing.
I'd like to drill down a bit into the brief that Professor Roach provided.
In connection with your proposed amendment number two, you talk about something I'm not, frankly, familiar with—the concept of volunteer jurors from indigenous communities. It says it's been used in Ontario and in New York and was recommended by Justice Iacobucci.
I wonder if you could explain a bit more how that would work.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 18:55
Right.
I'd like to talk about another thing I don't know much about, which is the notion of stand-asides, which accompanies your proposed amendment number four. You have recommended that we add a section allowing judges to use stand-asides to maintain confidence in the administration of justice. They already have the ability to do that. You're simply suggesting that if we added the phrase, making sure we have fair representation of aboriginal people, that would give a further clue to the courts that this is what that section could already be used to address. So it's an abundance of caution, a clarification, an elaboration that you're talking about.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 18:56
In 1991, Senator Sinclair, then Justice Murray Sinclair, and Mr. Hamilton did a report on aboriginal justice in the Province of Manitoba. One of their recommendations, interestingly, was that the Criminal Code be amended so that the only challenges that you could make to prospective jurors be challenges for cause, and that both stand-asides and peremptory challenges be eliminated. I wonder what your take on the stand-aside part of that would be.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 18:58
Section 633 already contemplates this, but you're proposing we add the phrase to give greater clarity to it. Could that stand-aside provision have been effectively used in the Stanley case to avoid the embarrassment that occurred?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 19:41
I'm tempted not to ask any questions and just invite you two to debate. I think you'd get a lot more out of it than my questions would elicit.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Murray Rankin: I suppose I just want to clear one thing up, Mr. Friedman, because you challenged the good Professor Roach on his recall of recommendation 15 of the Iacobucci report. I'll read it to you, because I think you're both right. It says:
the Ministry of the Attorney General discuss with the Implementation Committee the advisability of recommending to the Attorney General of Canada an amendment to the Criminal Code that would prevent the use of peremptory challenges to discriminate against First Nations people serving on juries.
It goes on to say:
It should also be recalled that the Manitoba Inquiry report recommended the abolition of peremptory challenges to avoid the underrepresentation of Aboriginal people on juries.
In the middle of the recommendation, as I think you suggested, there's a reference to the American practice of using this specifically in order to address the discrimination head on. I think you're both right, but I just wanted to clear the record because I think that's fair.
Professor MacDonnell, you acknowledged the difficulty for the federal government to do much where the real issue is the rolls—how they are generated and so on. You said at the end of your remarks that you agreed with each of the recommendations made by Professor Roach. One of the ones I found provocative was his recommendation that in order to deal with this problem we allow people who are merely permanent residents of Canada to be jurors. Do you have any thoughts on that?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2018-09-18 19:44
Practically speaking, the federal government could nudge the provinces at federal-provincial meetings of attorneys general, but really, they can do whatever they want in terms of best practices. I'm very persuaded personally, by the way, about using the health card. Should the federal government perhaps be giving seed funds or starting a pilot project, something to get the provinces to do the right thing?
What happened in Saskatchewan is an abomination, and Justice Iacobucci had serious problems with what happens in Ontario, too. This is a national problem.
Results: 1 - 15 of 17 | Page: 1 of 2

1
2
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data