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Message from the CF Provost Marshal regarding the transfer of jurisdiction for sexual assault and other criminal offences of a sexual ...

It's been getting cut (or actually being forced to follow a budget) a long time before Mr. Ford was Premier.

Used to be an inmate could just get on the phone to complain to his free lawyer that his meal was cold. Basically just to whine to an expensive earpiece on the taxpayers dime.

It was totally out of control.
And just to state that I can only speak of Ontario. I have zero idea how other provinces or federal systems work, or worked.
Yes, it’s been shrinking for longer than that. But he’s premier and chose to slash it markedly. He owns that.

A situation like what you describe is, of course, something I find silly. I’d say that’s the pendulum being way too far to the other side.

In the middle, those with no chance at funding their defence should at least have something. I think it’s important to protect that to safeguard the integrity of our justice system.

Edit to add: I’m not aware of there being any federal legal aid system.
I know we are taking this off subject but, unless I'm mistaken, didn't the Lawyers also help fund it?? If they did I'm curious how their funding went...
Ford cut legal aid funding in Ontario by 30%, which to me is unconsciounable. Part of the purported fairness of our system is the right to counsel and to make the case for your defense. Against the dizzying array of investigative techniques and procedures we can bring to bear, it’s a system that needs expert help to navigate.

Those charged with offences are, very disproportionately, those who are already poor, already in positions of vulnerability, and already have prior contacts with the justice system, which does stack the odds against them.

I’ve never charged someone I wasn’t very convinced ‘did the thing’. I’ve worked very hard on some files to take something sketchy and ambiguous, and to work to that degree of confidence. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had charges fall through because I was factually wrong about whether the person ‘did the thing’. But I have made errors of law, or other parts of ‘the system’ have erred or failed on my files in ways that prejudice the rights of the accused. Without attentive counsel, these things can be missed, and sometimes it really matters.

I don’t have answers for how to make the system work better or be more fair… But strangling access to defence counsel for the poor ain’t it.

I think the system of legal aid and access to funding is categorically unfair for the poor. Every province is the same and if you don't have money, you're screwed in terms of legal support.

Criminal lawyers costs many thousands of dollars before your file even makes it to a trial and thousands of dollars more if a trial is required.

General rule of thumb is: More Help = More $$$$

This is another reason I advise every soldier/sailor I've ever worked with to have an Emergency Fund. You never know what you'll need it for.

Most people probably think "I'm an angel, I would never be accused of breaking the law!"

Even Angels aren't perfect and can make mistakes.
In Ontario, a Reg F Pte(1) is ineligible for Legal Aid unless they have a minimum of 3 household members; for a Pte(2), they need a household of 5+.
There won't be a whole lot of CAF takeup of Legal Aid (in Ontario at least).

Oh absolutely. Basically anyone with employment is limited with how much the legal aid system will fund them.

I've always had a narrow view of why service members should get free legal assistance in respect of "criminal" charges. The rationale is that soldiers on foreign service and charged with a service offence would have a hard time getting civilian legal representation, and even in Canada, the procedural differences as between courts martial and the civilian courts would make finding effective civilian counsel more difficult.

The question though, especially for all those who argue for an end or limitation to s130 of the NDA, is why should a service member receive free or subsidized legal services when accused of and investigated and charged under the civilian legal system of committing a crime? Why should he/she be treated any differently than any ordinary Canadian citizen with their limited access to legal aid?

I guess that I'm on the "you can't have your cake and eat it too" side of this debate.

I've generally been in favour of s130 of the NDA but quite frankly, if the government wants to throw the jurisdiction for sexual assault under the bus, then there is very little rationale for keeping the remaining elements s130 for anything other overseas service. (And even more frankly, considering the very rare occasions that we have for taking a court martial overseas, maybe we should throw s 130 completely under the bus and simply given Canadian civilian courts jurisdiction to try service members for CCC offences committed oversea. Hell go all-in and for related "criminal" offences-such as stealing or fraud-make the election/option summary hearing or civilian courts. And coincidentally reduce the size of DMP and DDCS dramatically)

Its actually unfair to the middle class.

The poor and the rich are looked after. It's the working middle class that gets screwed.

Definition of middle class?
I saw that as I feel the definition of rich is substantial covering a segment of the middle class - and the lower middle class is actually poor
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Definition of middle class?
I saw that as I feel the definition of Rick is substantial covering a segment of the middle class - and the lower middle class is actually poor
Let's arbitrarily define middle class as that group of people who do not qualify for legal aid and who do not have enough spare cash sitting around to pay their lawyers with.

If anyone out there thought that the judicial process for these files was inconsistent and delayed before we transferred them, just wait until you see what happens when they're handed over to dozens of different city jurisdictions to manage for us.

Municipalities make the CAF look like greased lightening.

To bad the RCMP couldn't have taken them all on. At least you'd have one boss to answer for the files who wasn't accountable to a bunch of city counsellors who, more often than not, appear to be bat shit crazy.
Where we live with our thirteen fiefdoms maybe. It’s likely much more greased in other jurisdictions, and other city councillors aren’t necessarily clones of Ben.
Where we live with our thirteen fiefdoms maybe. It’s likely much more greased in other jurisdictions, and other city councillors aren’t necessarily clones of Ben.

Dude, careful....

Speak of the Devil and he doth appear.... ;)

devil satan GIF
Just make it like the medical system - publicly funded, fixed rates for procedures, etc.
Bumped with an update from the CF's top cop ....
The Military Police (MP) continue to diligently refer criminal sexual offence cases to civilian police in a victim-centric and trauma-informed manner, a process which has been ongoing since December 2021.

As I know that this matter is of great importance to the Defence Team and to the Canadian public I am providing a progress update on our efforts. The last was in December 2022.

As of 8 May 2023, of the 190 cases reported to the MP, 93 have been referred to federal, provincial, and municipal police services. Of these, 64 have been accepted and 29 have been declined.

Various reasons exist as to why 97 cases were not referred which include allegations that occurred outside the country, cases where the victim does not want to proceed with a police investigation and cases where the victim prefers an MP investigation. For example, of those cases not referred, 20 reflect cases whereby the victim preferred an MP investigation.

As we continue to implement the interim recommendation of Mme Arbour our primary concern remains the support to the victim, therefore MP coordination with the civilian police of concurrent jurisdiction is done in a deliberate manner, making every effort to minimize the impact on the victim.
Statement also attached in case link doesn't work.


  • CF-provost-statement-12may2023.pdf
    293.6 KB · Views: 0