Sequestering criminal records…

Apr 25, 2022

Smart Justice Network Canada received the following invitation last week and we will respond with two experienced Network partners.  However, we would also like to let our readers know of this event and suggest that you or your group may wish to pursue participation as well.

“On behalf of Public Safety Canada, we would like to invite you to participate in a virtual engagement session on the proposed automated sequestering of criminal records (ASCR) system on May 9, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time via ZOOM (additional dates will be added if required). You are welcome to invite one additional participant from your organization whom you feel may best represent members of the community you work with. For the purposes of this engagement, an ASCR system is defined as an automated program by which a criminal record would be kept separate and apart from other criminal records, at no cost and without an application by the individual, after they have completed their sentence and certain additional conditions are met, as required by legislation…

This engagement stems from the Government’s commitment to advance reforms to the record suspension program in order to address systemic barriers, promote reintegration and ensure the criminal justice system is fair and proportionate. As part of these reforms, Public Safety (PS) and portfolio agencies (Parole Board of Canada (PBC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)) are exploring what would be needed for an ASCR system to be implemented in Canada. We are inviting organizations and individuals to share their views on how they foresee this system being implemented and what key issues and parameters should be considered.”

The focus is a more progressive view of dealing with the criminal record of offenders.  The proposal is to end the present criminal record practice and pardons / record suspensions process thereby ending as well the secondary punishments for a criminal history, especially in employment.  If you know of groups who might be interested in participating in that session, please encourage them to email with the subject line “Living/Lived Experience Engagement Session”.

Canadian Press – Jim Bronskill
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Global News – Amanda Connolly
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CBC News –
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There is a controversy brewing around police killings in Canada.  Edmonton City police are in the spotlight for the highest number of civilians killed by police.  The controversy is not about the killings but whether the stats represent a momentary surge from co-incidence or if the stats represents an on-going reality.  The controversy has also led to to notion that perhaps the Edmonton police are overly aggressive and that perhaps not all police constables need to be armed with pistols.  Related article:  CBC News – Edmonton leading the country in fatal police shootings in 2022

CBC News – Jorge Barrera
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 Toronto Star – Laura Osman, The Canadian Press
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When government invoked the Emergency Act to deal with the Truckers’ Convey problems, government committed to a review of the use of the Emergency Act after its first use and expiry within 60 days.  “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Ontario Appeal Court Justice Paul S. Rouleau as the inquiry commissioner. Rouleau must provide a final report in English and French to the federal government by Feb. 20, 2023.”   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Megan Gillis  Ottawa police call in backup for ‘Rolling Thunder’ event, vow to head off ‘another unlawful protest’ – City police say they have a plan and reinforcements coming to tackle this coming weekend’s “Rolling Thunder” event