Ministry of the Attorney General Français
Ministry of the Attorney General

Annual Report 2016-17 and 2017-18

Court Services Division
Ministry of the Attorney General

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Table of Contents

  1. Foreword by the Assistant Deputy Attorney General
  2. Chapter 1: Introduction to the Court Services Division
    1. Our Mission
    2. Our Vision
    3. Our Values
    4. Court Services Division Strategic Plan
    5. Role of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General (ADAG)
    6. Court Services Division Organization
    7. Regional Structure
    8. CSD Corporate Structure
  3. Chapter 2: Introduction to Ontario’s Courts
    1. The Court of Appeal for Ontario
    2. The Superior Court of Justice
    3. Ontario Court of Justice
  4. Chapter 3: 2016-17 & 2017-18 Overview and Initiatives
  5. Chapter 4: Report on Resources
    1. PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
    2. Human Resources by Region
    3. 2017-18 Statement of Expenditures

Foreword by the Assistant Deputy Attorney General

It is my pleasure to release the Court Services Division Annual Report for the period covering April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018. Our division has made enormous strides over the past two years to ensure we provide effective and accessible justice services to the people of Ontario. As the Assistant Deputy Attorney General (ADAG) for Court Services Division (CSD), I am very proud of the results that we have achieved together.

The CSD Operational Plan was launched in spring 2018, establishing the foundation of our future commitments. The goals and objectives of our division are reflected in the revised CSD Strategic Plan and Operational Plans; these important documents are our roadmap going forward.

Modernization of our services continues to be one of the division’s main priorities driven by our commitment to excellence in customer service and access to justice. Numerous modernization initiatives such as on-line filing in the Superior Court of Justice and e-orders in the Ontario Court of Justice continued to expand in 2016-17 and 2017-2018 and we remain committed to providing a full complement of services whether in-person or electronically. These important initiatives, along with a wide range of others included in this Report, are well supported by the strong operational policy and legal work provided corporately, and by the engaged and focused staff in the regions. I am proud of our division’s commitment to advancing accessible and accountable court services.

My personal goal of moving the division toward being an employer of choice has led to the expansion of our full-time Court and Client Representative (CCR) position. CCR positions provide variety, flexibility, stability and advancement. Supported by a commitment to training, my focus continues to be supporting and optimizing our collective skills. CSD is about people, not buildings.

Numerous independent partners and stakeholders all with different priorities create the justice ecosystem within a courthouse. It is my honour to lead the Court Services Division at this important time. Thank you to all staff in the division who have worked tirelessly and diligently to support CSD’s commitment to provide modern, effective and accessible justice services across the province. The partners and stakeholders we work with everyday count on our division to be the backbone of the administration of the courts, and together we deliver.

Sheila Bristo

Assistant Deputy Attorney General

Court Services Division

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Court Services Division

Our Mission

The Ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for administering justice in Ontario. Within the ministry, the Court Services Division is responsible for the administration of the courts.

The mission of the Court Services Division is to modernize the delivery of accessible and accountable court services and support an engaged, professional and client-focused workforce that works collaboratively with justice participants to inspire public trust.

Our Vision

A modern and professional court service that supports accessible, fair, timely, and effective justice services.

Our Values

Our values are collaboration, respect, innovation, professionalism, service excellence, inclusion, accountability, integrity.

Court Services Division Strategic Plan

The Court Services Division’s Strategic Plan was launched in the fall of 2014 and revised in 2017. It outlines our division’s vision, mission, values (see previous page), strategic goals, and our key priorities. The Plan aligns with and supports the Ministry of the Attorney General Strategic Plan and focuses on our division’s vision for the future.

The Strategic Plan outlines our division’s vision, mission, values, strategic goals, and our key priorities.

Role of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General (ADAG)

The ADAG of CSD oversees the administration of Ontario’s courts and is responsible for legislative, regulatory and operational policy and program development related to improving the court system.

Court Services Division Organization

Organization chart for CSD.

Regional Struct ure

For the provision of court services, the division is organized into seven administrative regions. Each region is managed by a Director of Court Operations who reports to the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Court Services Division. Regions are responsible for:

Map of Ontario displaying the seven administrative regions.

Map: http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/ocj/structure-of-the-ocj/

CSD Corporate Structure

CSD is also consists of three corporate branches, each of which is managed by a Director who reports to the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Court Services Division. The corporate branches are responsible for:

Corporate Support Branch

  • Business planning, controllership and financial reporting for expenditures and revenue
  • Infrastructure and facilities planning
  • Workforce and strategic planning
  • Management of court operational information and data
  • Centralized front-line services such as: Defaulted Fines Control Centre, Bail & Restitution and Deputy Judge per diem/expense processing.

Operational Support Branch

  • Legislative and regulatory changes with respect to the criminal, civil and family justice systems, including participation on Civil and Family Rules Committees
  • Legal support and advice in all practice areas
  • Operational policy, program development and justice reform strategies in all practice areas.

Program Management Branch

  • Program support in the areas of court interpretation, court reporting and jury management
  • Family mediation and information services development and contract management, delivered by external fee-for-service providers
  • Oversight of the municipally-administered courts that hear Provincial Offences Act matters
  • Management of obligations, relationships and activities under the Writs System Licence Agreement with Teranet, Inc.
  • Judicial library services and court website services.

Chapter 2: Introduction to Ontario’s Courts

Authority over the judicial system in Canada is divided between Parliament and the provincial Legislatures. In Ontario, the Courts of Justice Act is a key part of the legislative framework for Ontario courts. The act among other matters establishes the primary jurisdiction of each of the province’s three (3) courts: Court of Appeal for Ontario, Superior Court of Justice, and Ontario Court of Justice.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is Ontario’s highest court. The Court hears:

The Court of Appeal is situated in downtown Toronto at Osgoode Hall. The Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal is the Honourable George R. Strathy; the Associate Chief Justice of Ontario is the Honourable Alexandra Hoy.

The Court of Appeal is the last avenue of appeal for most Ontario litigants. Although the Court’s decisions can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, this usually requires leave. The Supreme Court of Canada hears less than three (3) percent of the cases that have already been heard by the Court of Appeal.

For more information on the Court of Appeal and its history, visit the Court of Appeal website:

http://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/en/

The Superior Court of Justice

The Superior Court of Justice hears civil, family, and criminal matters, including the following:

The Superior Court sits in over 50 court locations in Ontario and its headquarters is at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. In 2016-2018, the Court was led by Chief Justice Heather J. Smith. The Chief Justice of the Superior Court is supported by Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco, who also oversees the Divisional Court and the Small Claims Court. The Chief Justice has the statutory authority to direct and supervise the sittings of the Superior Court as well as the assignment of judicial duties. These powers are delegated, subject to the direction of the Chief Justice, to eight regional senior judges to exercise in their respective regions. In turn, the regional senior judges may designate local administrative or lead judges to assign and schedule cases at certain court sites. Senior Family Justice George Czutrin advises the Chief Justice on specific matters related to the Family Court and performs other duties relating to family justice throughout the province, as assigned by the Chief Justice.

For more information on the Superior Court of Justice and its history, visit the Superior Court of Justice website: http://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/news/annual-reports/

Ontario Court of Justice

The Ontario Court of Justice hears criminal, family, and provincial offence matters in over 200 locations across the province. Among the matters Ontario Court of Justice judicial officers preside over are:

Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve is the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. Associate Chief Justice Peter DeFreitas and Associate Chief Justice Coordinator of Justices of the Peace Faith Finnestad provide support to the Chief Justice. Both Associate Chief Justices have special delegated responsibilities as well as those set out by statute.

There are several other positions that provide important leadership and support in their respective areas of the Ontario Court of Justice. For the period of April 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016 the Senior Advisory Family Judge was Debra Paulseth, from January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 this position was held by Wendy Malcolm. For the entirety of the reporting period (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018), the Senior Advisory Justice of the Peace was Bernard Swords, the Senior Justice of the Peace was Kathy Lou Johnson, and the Senior Indigenous Justice of the Peace was Marcel Donio.

For the purposes of judicial administration, the Ontario Court of Justice has seven regions, each of which has a regional senior judge and a regional senior justice of the peace. Local administrative judges and justices of the peace assist the regional senior judges and regional senior justices of the peace respectively.

For more information on the Court and its history, visit the Ontario Court of Justice website: www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj

Chapter 3: 2016-17 & 2017-18 Overview and Initiatives

In 2017-18 each of CSD’s regions and corporate branches developed an operational plan which ensures the division is meeting its strategic goals and priorities as identified in the CSD Strategic Plan.

The initiatives below are samples of how the division is implementing its strategic plan. The success of these initiatives can be attributed to the unique blend of policy, program, and operational expertise that CSD staff across the province bring to delivering high quality justice services.

Fair and Accessible Justice System

Unified Family Court

The Unified Family Court (UFC) is a court model that brings all family law and child protection issues, whether under provincial or federal legislation, into one court. A phased UFC expansion proposal was developed in consultation with both Offices of the Chief Justice. UFC expansion aims to improve the Family Court user's overall experience with the court process by:

Ontario had 17 Unified Family Courts and submitted a proposal to the federal government to support the phased, province-wide expansion of UFC. Phase 1 sought expansion to the following eight (8) new sites: Belleville, Picton and Pembroke, Kitchener, Welland, Simcoe, Cayuga, and St. Thomas. In its 2018 Budget, the federal government committed to funding, as of April 1, 2019, the expansion of UFCs by creating thirty-nine (39) new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Twelve (12) of these positions were allocated to Ontario to support its Phase 1 plan.

Small Claims Court Online

The Small Claims Online filing service allows people to file claims and other documents in small claims court electronically and pay court fees online. Delivered through ServiceOntario’s online business portal, the service allows people to prepare and submit certain small claims court forms online, 24-hours-a-day, pay court fees securely by credit card or debit, and receive court-issued documents by email.

The tool was launched as a pilot for certain types of claims in August 2014 in four locations and expanded province-wide in the spring of 2015. In April 2016, the service was expanded to include all claim types.

Civil Claims Online

Civil Claims Online is a new service that allows documents to be filed online in civil court actions in the Superior Court of Justice. The service allows individuals and business to file civil court claims 24/7 without having to make a trip to the courthouse. It was initially introduced as a pilot in spring 2017, to enable the online filing of claims in five court locations. In November 2017 the service was expanded to allow the online filing of claims in all court locations throughout province. Future waves of the online filing service will expand on the documents that can be filed in a civil proceeding in the Superior Court of Justice.

Courthouse WiFi

Wi-Fi was installed in 73 of 75 base courts across the province in three phases, completed in Spring 2019. Two base courts have been deferred to a later date pending completion of ongoing assessments and construction.

Online Child Support Service

The online Child Support Service (CSS) launched province-wide in April 2016 to allow parents to set up and update child support online without going to court, diverting simple child support proceedings from the court system. This allows separated parents to save time and money when having to resolve new and ongoing support obligations. The online CSS provides eligible applicants with an easy-to-use alternative to attending court, which improves the experience of justice stakeholders, as well as saving divisional and judicial resources.

The regions continue to provide support and staff training to promote the online CSS.

Central Divorce Registry Integration

In January 2018, MAG launched a pilot to replace the paper-based process of requesting and obtaining a clearance certificate from the federal Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP) office for divorce claims. The Central Divorce Registry Initiative replaces the manual collection of information with an electronic exchange of information between the court case tracking system and the federal CRDP databases. CDRI will expand province wide post pilot evaluation.

Video Conferencing

The regions continue to use video conferencing to enhance access to justice and provide other options to attend court proceedings when travel is prohibitive. The Northwest Region piloted Justice Video network (JVN) JVN-Me, a laptop-based video conferencing solution for advance day court in Armstrong. This allowed clients to request adjournments or plea on advance days as an alternative to attending court. In turn, court days could be utilized for more appearances such as trials. The JVN-Me technology has also been used for remote testimony when approved by the presiding justice.

As part of the division’s modernization initiatives, a significant investment in courtroom technology was made to a courtroom at the Superior Court of Justice in Windsor. The equipment is used regularly for remote witness testimony and electronic evidence presentation and has supported video appearances of in-custody individuals for Criminal Assignment Court and 90-Day Detention Reviews.

Investments were made in a number of other court locations to enhance or add to their existing digital courtroom technology and included evidence display screens, remote and/or vulnerable witness testimony equipment, or courtroom audio improvements.

Electronic Scheduling Program

Led by the Ontario Court of Justice, the Electronic Scheduling Program (ESP) is an online application that enables province-wide scheduling for OCJ’s criminal cases. Today ESP has been implemented in 4 sites: Milton, Oshawa, London, and Peterborough. Bay. A strategy for province-wide implementation is under development.

Mental Health Initiatives

Court Services Division continues to participate on the Interministerial Mental Health and Justice Committee, a forum for ongoing discussions about various mental health issues affecting the justice system. This committee is comprised of officials from the Ministries of the Attorney General, Health and Long-Term Care, Community Safety and Correctional Services, Children and Youth Services, and Community and Social Services (now Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services).

The division is working collaboratively with colleagues in the Criminal Law Division and other ministries to ensure timely and better-coordinated access to mental health assessments for accused persons across the province.

Coordination of Accessibility Services

The division reviews and updates guidance materials and procedures for Accessibility Coordinators and supports accessibility training.

The ADAG is the co-chair of the Ontario Courts Accessibility Committee (OCAC), along with Justice Pardu of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. The OCAC has representatives from all levels of court, legal organizations, government senior management and advocacy organizations for persons with disabilities. The committee meets every four months to discuss community and facility needs as well as accessibility support in courthouses. The Committee was established in 2007 to provide advice to the court system on accessibility-related matters, including the recommendations outlined in the Report of the Committee on Accessibility to the Justice System for Persons with Disabilities, in support of an accessible, barrier-free court system in Ontario.

Based on the client satisfaction survey for 2017-18 86% of respondents were satisfied with accessibility for persons with disability-related needs (a 24% increase from 2016-17).

Accessible Court Forms

In partnership with Ontario Shared Services, CSD continues to ensure that all new forms and changes to forms on the Ontario Court Forms website reflect the principles of accessibility. Currently, there are over 500 court forms and documents posted on the website in an accessible-compliant PDF format for both English and French.

In addition to the PDF accessible versions, the ministry continues to extend an active offer for alternative formats to ensure accessibility for all Ontarians in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005.

Access to French Language Services

The Ministry of the Attorney General, in partnership with Ontario’s Chief Justices, launched the 18-month Seamless Access to Justice in French pilot project at the Ottawa Courthouse that ended in November 2016. The pilot aimed to reduce challenges for French-speaking litigants, lawyers, and others using the Ontario court system in Ottawa. Services in French were actively offered through greetings, public announcements, and signage in both official languages. French-speaking individuals were informed of their language rights at the earliest opportunity to help them navigate Ontario’s justice system and exercise their right to proceed in French. The ministry released a final report on October 11, 2017, which is available at https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/access_to_justice_in_french/.

The division supports French language services (FLS) in partnership with the Ministry of Francophone Affairs. An annual review confirms adequate FLS capacity to deliver court services throughout the province in French. Based on the client satisfaction survey conducted for 2017-18 95% of respondents were satisfied with the French language services (an increase of 8% from 2016-17).

Cultural Awareness

The division has established a working group to develop a protocol to support the Indigenous practice of smudging in ministry buildings, including courthouses.

Led by the Indigenous Justice Division, the Bimickaway program was arranged and provided for working group members. The name Bimickaway is an Anishinabemowin word that means “to leave footprints”. The delivery of Bimickaway is unique as it is delivered to small groups in person and uses participatory exercises in an attempt to challenge the participants to consider what they think they know and how they learned about Indigenous peoples. The overall goal of this initiative is to ensure that the Ontario government is advancing toward cultural competency and respectful and accurate communications with, and about, Indigenous people and realities in Ontario.

The Bimickaway program has been delivered in several regions and corporate branches throughout CSD with extremely positive feedback being provided by participants.

Indigenous Cultural Competency Training

Court Services Division, along with the broader Ontario Public Service (OPS), has committed to participating in comprehensive Indigenous Cultural Competency Training. This initiative has participants attending a multi-module virtual training with interactive feedback. This virtual training also hosts numerous online discussions with facilitators and fellow participants over an eight (8) week period.

Court Services is committed to ensuring all managers and corporate employees will attend the training.

Juror Support Program

In January 2017, CSD launched the Juror Support Program (JSP). The program, delivered by Morneau Shepell provides free, confidential counselling to jurors at the end of a trial or coroner’s inquest if and when they choose to make use of it. Following its introduction, the JSP has received positive feedback.

Improving Juror Experience

A new interim Juror Questionnaire was developed and implemented for the 2016 jury roll. The new questionnaire is the product of community engagement sessions that were led by the Debwewin Jury Review Implementation Committee. The interim Juror Questionnaire has helped address key recommendations stemming from the Honourable Frank Iacobucci’s report “First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries”, which can be found online at http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/default.asp#iacobucci.

Criminal e-Orders

Since the launch of the Criminal e-Orders initiative in 2014, staff continue to receive positive feedback on this initiative. These e-orders are created on-screen using an electronic form, printed on multi-functional devices, and signed in the courtroom. They are then shared electronically with justice partners, such as police, probation officers, and victim services. This has significantly expedited the production of court orders.

The division is working closely with the Office of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice to conceptualize and implement the second phase of e-Orders, which is anticipated to be released province wide in July 2018. This phase involved the design, development, and implementation of a comprehensive electronic Youth Sentence Order in English and French, as well as adult ancillary orders (relating to DNA analysis, the Sex Offender Information Registry Act, and driving and weapons prohibitions).

Family Law Rules Amendments

Court Services Division continues to lead and participate in the Family Rules Committee’s ongoing work to improve procedures for family law litigants. For example, the Family Law Rules were amended to:

Civil Court Rules

Court Services Division continues to participate in the Civil Rules Committee’s ongoing work to improve procedures for litigants in civil proceedings in the Superior Court of Justice and Small Claims Court. Rule changes were made during the April 2016-March 2018 period to:

Court Interpreters

The division recognizes the changing needs of Ontario’s diverse society by providing interpretation in all languages, including visual language services.

The division continues to access interpreters in the most commonly used languages, as well as other languages that are increasing in demand. Between 2016 and 2018, 32 new interpreters were added to the Registry of Accredited Freelance Court Interpreters.

CSD offers regular test preparation sessions to current and prospective court interpreters, which includes providing resource materials to support the development of their interpretation skills. Once accredited, freelance court interpreters are required to consistently abide by the ministry’s Rules of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters.

Support for Family Mediation and Information Services Improvements

Family Mediation and Information Services (FMIS) is the suite of services currently funded by the ministry for family law clients. These services include Information and Referral Coordinators (IRCs), the Mandatory Information Program (MIP), and on-site and off-site mediation. CSD has contracted with external service providers to deliver these services across Ontario.

Public Access Computers and Printers in Family Law Information Centres (FLICs)

In order to improve public access to family justice information, public access computers and printers are being piloted in 16 Family Law Information Centres (FLIC) across Ontario. FLIC clients are now able to use this equipment to access online resources and complete and print court forms for filing.

Phase 1 of the initiative was implemented, and an initial evaluation will be completed in in 2018-19. The pilot phase will continue for one additional year in 2019-20, to inform any future plans.

Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) Program

DROs are private family lawyers who have been selected by the Regional Senior Justice to hear case conferences in family matters, primarily in motions to change cases, but in other cases as well if they have been specifically referred to them by a judge. The DRO program is offered in nine Superior Court of Justice locations: Barrie, Brampton, Durham, Hamilton, Milton, Newmarket, London, St. Catharines and Toronto.

The DRO program supports the delivery of a streamlined and effective court system by maximizing the likelihood of the earliest possible resolution without the need for judicial attendance. When conducting a first case conference, DROs may:

The ministry has been working with the SCJ to develop tools to evaluate the program, including surveys to measure client satisfaction. The results of the evaluation will be used to identify opportunities for program enhancements.

Become an Employer of Choice within the OPS

Review of Courtroom Staffing Model

Beginning in March 2016 CSD engaged in a review of courtroom staffing aimed at addressing frontline workforce challenges, strengthening excellence in service to the public and judiciary, and better aligning Ontario’s courtroom staffing with other Canadian jurisdictions. The review has been conducted in collaboration with the judiciary and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) to arrive at co-created solutions that are reflective of CSD’s commitment to judicial and jury support, and our labour relations obligations.

In September, 2017 CSD announced a new vision for court staffing that focuses on the multi-functional position of court and client representative (CCR). CSD committed to focusing on hiring hire full-time CCRs who, supported by training, will have the knowledge and skills required to carry out both in-court and out-of-court functions. Fixed term positions continue to be an essential part of the courtroom staffing model to support the fluctuating nature of our work.

By hiring CCRs, CSD is able to offer more opportunities for full-time work at a higher classification than historical single function positions.

Committing to Employee Engagement

CSD employees participate in the annual OPS Employee Experience survey which provides the division with valuable statistics and understanding of our organization. CSD is committed to using the findings from this survey to strive to continually improve the experience of our employees. A divisional committee is responsible for analyzing the findings, comparing them to the broader OPS, and reporting back on the initiatives that are undertaken to ensure CSD is responsive to issues identified by our workforce.

Employee Engagement Committee

The Court Services Division (CSD) Employee Engagement (EE) Committee consists of staff and management representatives from the operational regions, chief offices, and corporate branches. Meetings take place on a quarterly basis where EE members discuss the division’s EE Action Plan and action items based on priorities identified through the annual Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employee Experience Survey. The survey is hosted by an independent third-party organization and runs for approximately 10 – 14 days. The survey explores a variety of EE themes, such as, Leadership Practices, Organizational Communication, Performance Barriers, Recognition, Hiring Practices, Workplace Morale, etc. Survey results are tallied by the independent organization before it is released to the OPS.

The EE Committee is also a platform where representatives can request support and feedback from their counterparts, share ideas and accomplishments from their local EE committees.

Learning and Development

Supporting employee and manager learning and development is a key priority for CSD. In the strategic plan, CSD has committed to attracting, developing and retaining a professional, skilled, engaged and inclusive workforce which promotes accountability and service excellence.

In support of this goal, a training directive was issued February 10, 2017 which commits to ensuring employees are fully trained in the requisite skills prior to being scheduled into a proceeding. The directive also provides managers and peer mentors with consistent reference and training support materials, including quick reference guides for staff.

CSD has developed new learning and development strategies to improve the onboarding process for new hires, as well as business line specific materials to enable cross-training initiatives. It has also developed consistent baseline training that is used across the province.

As part of the learning and development program, subject matter experts were identified and have delivered in-person training to over 200 coach/mentors from across the province. The materials encompass the criminal, civil and family practice areas as well as court reporting. These local coach/mentors, located in every region, will assist with the consistent training and on-boarding of staff.

The division identified bail and remand training as a training priority and has delivered in-person training provincewide to staff and managers who are responsible for the bail and remand procedures. By the end of March 2017, approximately 84 Bail & Remand refresher sessions were held across the province providing this important information to approximately 1,011 staff.

Other key training initiatives have included:

Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program

The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program focuses on the development of the OPS competencies and the MAG leadership standards that are required to support the division’s strategic plan.

LEAD training was successfully delivered to over 340 managers between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018.

Each session is developed and delivered to provide participants with the critical tools they will require in their roles as managers and aligns with the division’s strategic plan.

The sessions offered are as follows:

Talent Management Strategy

Court Services Division actively embraces the MAG Talent Strategy to enhance the development of current incumbents and potential successors to ensure:

CSD is experiencing ongoing modernization initiatives, dynamic business environments and multigenerational demographics in the workplace. Throughout this time, the division remains focused on talent management efforts as a means of ensuring strong high-quality leaders for the future. The division closely follows the ministry’s talent management roadmap that aims to provide a holistic approach to talent management through assessing business critical positions, identifying high potential talent, and developing high potential talent for critical roles.

Unconscious Bias and Barrier-Free Recruitment Training

Regional Management Teams (RMTs) continue to participate in training on unconscious bias and barrier-free recruitment provided by the ministry’s Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Office. The sessions generate thoughtful discussions on how unconscious bias can create barriers in hiring practices.

Vicarious Trauma Support for Employees

The division has co-led a ministry-wide vicarious trauma committee, with the ADAG as one of the four co-champions (CSD, Criminal Law Division, Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division, and Indigenous Justice Division). The MAG Vicarious Trauma committee has been in existence since 2013. CSD has co-chaired the committee since 2016. The mandate of the committee is to research and develop programs for ministry staff and managers that will assist them recognizing when they are being impacted by vicarious trauma and then access the appropriate level of assistance.

The MAG Vicarious Trauma Committee is currently working with Morneau Shepell to develop an e-learning Vicarious Trauma awareness program for all staff and managers. It is anticipated that this program will be implemented by year-end 2019.

Promoting Accountability and Value for Money

Memoranda of Understanding between the Attorney General and the Chief Justices

In accordance with section 72 of Ontario’s Courts of Justice Act, the Attorney General may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with each of the Chief Justices governing any matter relating to the administration of the respective court.

On August 24, 2016, a revised MOU was signed by the Attorney General and the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, which sets out a framework and set of principles governing the financial, operational and administrative responsibility and accountability between the ministry and the Ontario Court of Justice.

The MOUs for the Ontario Court of Appeal, dated May 24, 2012, and for the Superior Court of Justice, dated May 5, 2008, remain in place.

Resource Based Allocation Model

Court Services Division is responsible for ensuring the allocation of funds and human resources based on evidence and data. CSD relies on a number of data sources and tools to support and manage our business.

The division is responsible for collecting, storing, managing, and analysing operational data on court activity, human resources, and financial expenditures. This data is collected from many sources such as court information databases, surveys, and enterprise-wide financial and human resources systems. The information gathered from these sources is used to support the maintenance of a defined and metric-based methodology to build budgets based on practice area on an annual basis.

This approach to resource allocation ensures that CSD is meeting or exceeding the benchmarks identified and supporting the government’s commitment to being accountable and fiscally sustainable. CSD is committed to being an open and transparent organization, to this end, financial statements are included in the Printed Estimates Briefing Book, which is available to the public. The goal for CSD’s resource allocation model is to ensure that financial and human resources are allocated to where the work is.

Establishing and Maintaining Key Performance Indicators

Performance indicators are an important method that contribute to the goal of public confidence and trust in the justice system.

CSD tracks key performance indicators to ensure it meets its own vision of being a modern and professional court service that supports accessible, fair, timely, and effective justice services. As a division within the Ministry of the Attorney General, CSD’s performance measures also support the ministry’s vision of being an innovative, sustainable and responsive justice system that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.

CSD’s performance indicators include the overall cost per capita of administering justice to Ontarians, the percentage of clients who are satisfied with the service they receive, the number of clients who are engaging in the use of electronic service channels, and the maintenance of service standards. These performance indicators are reflected in the ministry’s results, and also are reported to Treasury Board on an annual and ad hoc basis.

A summary of KPI findings can be found in the Performance and Achievements section of Chapter 4 below.

Supporting Client Focused Service

The division evaluates services to ensure efficient and optimal allocation of court resources, enhance access to justice, and provide alternate service options.

Data is collected regularly to monitor court counter wait times and client satisfaction with services provided (see Performance and Achievements section below). The division also collects information to ensure the accessibility needs of clients are met and clients are aware of the option to request French language services. Metrics reflecting client satisfaction with both accessibility and French language services are included below.

Client Satisfaction Survey

In January and February of each year, the division conducts its annual Client Satisfaction Survey, which measures organizational performance at court locations across the province. During both the 2016-17 and 2017-18* years, the survey was conducted online and at 17 in-person court locations in 2016-17 and 16 in-person court locations in 2017-18. The survey focused on client satisfaction with court counter services for the civil, family, criminal, and Small Claims Court practice areas. The following are some of the key findings:

Family Mediation and Information Services

The division measures the percentage of clients satisfied with the Family Mediation Services, Mandatory Information Program and Family Law Information Centres (see Performance and Achievement section below). The evaluation of these measures supports the following divisional strategic priorities:

The following are some of the key findings (the below and additional metrics can be found in the Performance Measures and Achievements section):

Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) satisfaction

Mandatory Information Program (MIP) satisfaction

Family Mediation Services satisfaction

Family Mediation settlement rates

Chapter 4: Report on Resources

PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Performance Measures

2016-17

Achievement

(Target)

2017-18

Achievement

(Target)

% of court clients whose maximum wait time for counter service is 30 minutes

82.3%

(85%)

90.4%

(90%)

% of cases that proceeded to Family Mediation that reached full or partial settlement ****

77.8%

(76%)

80.2%

(76%)

% of Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) clients satisfied with FLIC services

90.8%

(90%)

86.4%

(90%)

% of Family Mediation clients satisfied with Family Mediation Services

92.2%

(90%)

92.2%

(90%)

% of Family Law clients satisfied with the services they received in the Mandatory Information Program (MIP)

81.1%

(70%)

81.7%

(70%)

% of Small Claims Court customers whose default judgments were issued within 5 business days once the filed requisitions for default judgments were complete and judicial direction, if required, had been obtained

78.7%

(90%)

81.94%

(90%)

% of Civil Court customers whose default judgments were issued within 5 business days once the filed requisitions for default judgments were complete and judicial direction, if required, had been obtained

90.5%

(90%)

91.19%

(90%)

% of Civil Court customers whose certificates of Appointment of Estate Trustee were issued within 15 business days once the applications were complete and judicial direction, if required, had been obtained

67.7%

(90%)

71.04%

(90%)

% of clients with a disability who access court services, and who ask for assistance in meeting their disability-related needs, were satisfied with the help they received

62.0%

(85%)

85.4%

(85%)

% of clients who were served in a courteous, professional and respectful manner

93%

(100%)

90.9%

(100%)

% of court forms and guides that are available in French and English

Not Available

(100%)

88.0%

(100%)

% of court locations that have an accessibility coordinator assigned

95.8%

(100%)

98.1%

(100%)

**** Full settlement reflects agreement on all issues brought to mediation, whether on a final or temporary basis. A partial agreement reflects an agreement on one or more of the issues brought to mediation, whether on a final or temporary basis. Settlement in this KPI refers to mediation settlement and does not necessarily reflect settlement of the court case itself for those who have also initiated court action.

Human Resources by Region

Bar chart of human resources by region for fiscal 2017-18.

Notes:

  1. Data Source: FTE Tracker Tool - Human Resources Strategic Business Unit
  2. FTE (Full Time Equivalent) numbers are a “point in time” count of active employees as of the last business day in March each year.
  3. FTE numbers convert all part-time employees to an equivalent full-time number. For example, a regular part-time employee working 21.75 hours per week is counted as 0.6 FTE, while a full-time employee is counted as one FTE.
  4. Human resources do not include judiciary or judicial support staff.
  5. There are a total of 2,741 FTEs in Court Services Division.

Pie chart of total revenue for fiscal 2017-18.

2017-18 Statement of Expenditures

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

Salaries and Wages

$154,575,936

Employee Benefits

$26,282,113

Transportation and Communication

$9,753,061

Services

$60,359,807

Supplies and Equipment

$6,214,296

Transfer Payment

$1,284,084

TOTAL:

$ 258,469,297

JUDICIAL SERVICES

Salaries and Wages

$142,839,649

Employee Benefits

$10,875,415

Transportation and Communication

$2,919,029

Services

$18,153,076

Supplies and Equipment

$616,682

Transfer Payments

$231,951

TOTAL:

$ 175,635,802

BAD DEBT EXPENSE

$17,964,871

TOTAL OPERATING EXPENDITURES

$452,069,970

TOTAL OPERATING ALLOCATION

$436,726,900

CAPITAL EXPENDITURES

$44,760,570

CAPITAL ALLOCATION

$51,502,800

Source: Public Accounts of Ontario, 2017-18