Ministry of the Attorney General Français
Ministry of the Attorney General

Estimates Briefing Book
2015-16

Ministry of the Attorney General

November 2015

Government of Ontario branding graphic

ISSN 2369-2235

Ce document est disponible en français.

Table of contents

  1. Part 1: 2015-16 published plan
    1. Organizational chart
    2. Ministry of the Attorney General legislation
    3. Agencies, boards and commissions reporting to the ministry
    4. Ministry financial information
      1. Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2015-16
      2. Table 2: Operating and capital summary by vote 2015-16
  2. Appendix: 2014-15 Annual report
    1. Table 3: Ministry expenditures 2014-15

Part I: 2015-16 published plan

Program Review, Renewal and Transformation 2015-16

Ministry overview

The Ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for providing a fair and accessible justice system that reflects the needs of diverse communities across the province. The ministry strives to manage the justice system in an innovative, sustainable and responsive way that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.

MAG by the numbers:

Most of the work the ministry does is non-discretionary and demand-driven. The ministry plays a fundamental role in supporting the people of Ontario through all of its core functions.

The ministry employs approximately 8,000 staff who work in criminal, civil, family and small claims courts, and the ministry's agencies. They prosecute crime, deliver services to victims, support vulnerable people and provide legal services to government.

The ministry’s core functions include:

Ministry’s Strategic Plan

A graphic outlining the ministry's vision, mission, priorities and strategic goals.

Our vision: An innovative, sustainable and responsive justice system that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.

Our mission: The mission of the Ministry of the Attorney General is to administer the justice system, protect the public and ensure legality in government. We accomplish this by fostering an inclusive environment that values service excellence, access to justice, accountability, innovation and responsiveness to the evolving needs of Ontario.

Priority: Modernize and streamline processes and supporting technology while maintaining core ministry functions.
Strategic goals for this priority:
1. Enhance access to justice through increase channels of service to the public.
2. Develop efficient tecnhology-enabled business processes.
3. Focus on core businesses.
4. Optimize allocation of human resoureces and physical infrastructure.

Priority: Develop and retain a skilled and engaged workforce.
Strategic goals for this priority:
5. Increase workforce and flexibility and mobility.
6. Develop leadership, management & professional skills.
7. Become an employer of choice within the OPS.

Priority: Promote accountability and value for money.
Strategic goals for this priority:
8. Instill a culture of continuous evaluation and improvement.
9. Improve evidence-based decision making.
10. Increase public reporting of outcomes.
11. Promote accountability across justice system participants.

In 2015-16, the ministry will continue to implement its five-year strategic plan (2014-19) and will identify strategies to achieve its long-term goals. The strategic plan helps ensure that all staff are working toward common, long-term goals, no matter what division they work in, where they are located, or what jobs they do.

The ministry’s strategic plan focuses on:

The ministry has fundamentally changed its approach and is focusing its efforts on projects that are incremental, targeted, and that meet the expectations of court and tribunal users and the public. In 2015-16, the ministry will be moving ahead with a number of initiatives to deliver on these goals.

Modernizing and Streamlining

Innovation Office: In 2014, the ministry launched its Innovation Office with a mandate to lead a coordinated, incremental approach to justice system modernization. In 2015-16, the Innovation Office will continue to work with divisions and other justice sector partners to implement a number of initiatives to improve how we do business and to ensure the justice system is responsive, accessible and user-friendly.

Better Justice Together Strategy: In late 2014, the Attorney General launched a comprehensive, multi-year strategy called Better Justice Together, which commits to making the justice system simpler, faster and less expensive to improve access to justice for all Ontarians. The strategy affirms the ministry’s focus to working with our justice partners in new and more collaborative ways.

To start, the strategy will focus on the following areas:

Adjudicative Cluster Co-location Project: The ministry will continue with its project to co-locate 18 of its Toronto-based adjudicative tribunals that fall under three clusters (Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario; Social Justice Tribunals Ontario; Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario) to a government-owned building at 25 Grosvenor St. This initiative will continue through to 2016-17 and will help achieve the ministry’s goals of modernizing the administrative justice system and providing better co-ordination and alignment of client services, improving access to justice and increasing operational efficiencies. Reducing third party leases will result in overall cost savings.

Evidence-based Decisions

Analytics Branch: To support the ministry in its modernization and core business fulfillment, a dedicated Analytics Branch within the Corporate Services Management Division has been created. The branch brings together ministry program subject matter experts, business analysts and Information Technology experts from Justice Technology Services to build integrated data analytics capacity to measure achievements and improve decision making across the ministry. Creating this resource has improved our ability to evaluate programs and make evidence-based decisions.

Value for Money/Fiscal Sustainability

Provincial Offences Act Consultation: As part of the ministry’s priority to deliver a sustainable and responsive justice system, MAG is moving forward with a number of initiatives which promote access to justice, value for money and long-term viability. For example, the ministry is considering moving to an online administrative monetary penalty system for certain charges currently under the Provincial Offences Act, which includes many traffic-related matters. A high volume of these charges are received every year, which takes up significant and costly justice system resources. Moving less complex matters to an online administrative system would help ensure that court resources are being used more efficiently and effectively. In March 2015, the ministry posted a public consultation paper online to explore these potential changes with court users, municipal and justice stakeholders and the public. The ministry is currently reviewing and analyzing the submissions and determining its next steps

Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario: On April 1, 2015, the ministry launched a new program called Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario to modernize the support provided to victims of crime and tragic circumstances. The new program replaced three existing programs and offers, in addition to existing services, enhanced support such as comprehensive needs assessments for vulnerable victims. Existing funding for the three preceding programs was redirected to the new program and redistributed to align with service demand. This modernization is part of the ministry’s commitment to provide timely and effective services to those in need.

Customer Service Excellence

E-Laws Website Upgrade: Over the past year, the ministry has been engaged in a process to update the e-Laws website – the database holding Ontario’s body of law – to make information about these laws easier to find and to improve overall user experience. In 2015, the ministry launched the new official e-Laws site with a number of refined key features while maintaining existing essential functions, such as print and download capabilities. The new site has: easier navigation between related documents; a quick and easy search function; a cleaner look and feel, and; simplified help information. In addition, the new site is more accessible for more people, including those who use screen readers. This change brings more online information into one place to make it faster and easier to use.

E-Filing: In 2014, the ministry launched a six-month pilot project to examine the possibilities around filing certain small claims court forms and paying court filing fees online. The project was initially rolled out in Brampton, Oshawa, Ottawa and Richmond Hill, but was later expanded to include the Toronto small claims court. Following on the success of the pilot, in 2015, the ministry launched the program province wide, providing court users with a fast, easy and convenient way to file a claim for certain matters without entering a courthouse, 24-hours-a-day. The ministry will continue to monitor and evaluate this program and our entire service offering to ensure that the justice system is accessible and responsive to those who use it.

Enabled and Supported Workforce

Employee Engagement Survey: As noted in the ministry’s strategic plan, our people are the key to our success. The ministry is committed to further developing a highly skilled and engaged workforce comprised of hardworking and passionate people. In 2014, we heard from 4,684 ministry employees - over 58% of MAG staff – about their experiences working in the organization through the OPS Employee Engagement Survey. This is a higher response rate than in 2011. The survey identified many positive results and highlighted areas where employees expressed satisfaction with ministry engagement actions, such as orientation and mentoring initiatives and town hall discussions. The survey also identified priority areas for improvement, including career advancement, performance barriers, organizational communication and recognition. In 2015, the ministry and divisional management teams will focus on working to improve these and other areas as we strive to become an employer of choice within the Ontario Public Service.

Sustainable Justice Infrastructure

Organizational Alignment: A key component to achieving long-term viability and success is to ensure that the organization is properly aligned to deliver its mandate. For 2015-16, we made a few essential changes to our ministry’s structure:

Legal Aid: The ministry will continue to make significant and important investments to expand access to legal aid. Ontario's 2014 budget committed to increasing the eligibility threshold by six per cent each year over three years. On April 1, 2015, the income eligibility threshold increased by another six per cent. This is the second increase to take place under our strategy, representing a $31.5 million investment for the 2015-16 year. Once the strategy is fully implemented, an additional one million low-income Ontarians will be eligible for legal aid services – more than double the number of people currently eligible for legal aid services.

Toronto Courthouse: The ministry will also continue to make strategic investments in our physical court infrastructure across the province. We are moving forward with plans to construct a new, modern and accessible courthouse for Toronto. The facility will bring together many of Toronto’s Ontario Court of Justice criminal courts to reduce operational and facilities costs and make administration more efficient. The ministry is investigating the feasibility of including Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice family courts in the building, depending on building capacity. The new courthouse will better serve Toronto by having justice programs and services in a single location.

Brampton Courthouse: We are also making significant investments at the Brampton courthouse, as population growth in the area continues to put pressures on the facility. The ministry has committed to building a permanent addition to the courthouse with two floors of courtrooms and four additional floors that will be completed to meet future caseload demand.

Organizational chart

This is a text version of an organizational chart for the Ministry of Government Services as of October 9, 2015. The chart shows the following hierarchical structure with the top level assigned to the Attorney General.

  1. Attorney General - Madeleine Meilleur
    1. Deputy Attorney General - Patrick Monahan
      1. Group of three Legal counsel to the Deputy Attorney General
        1. (A) Executive Assistant & Legal Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General - Marie Irvine
        2. (A) Legal Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General - Jane Marshall
        3. (A) Legal Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General - Linda Shin
      2. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Court Services Division - Lynne Wagner
        1. (A) Executive Lead, Modernization - Lynn Norris
        2. (A) Director, Corporate Planning Branch - Brian Garrah
        3. (A) Director, Divisional Support Branch - Sheila Bristo
        4. Group of 7 Directors, Court Operations
          1. Toronto - Beverly Leonard
          2. Central East - Sarina Kashak
          3. East - Danielle Manton
          4. Central West - Pauline Mousticalis
          5. West - Samantha Poisson
          6. Northeast - Cathy Kulos
          7. Northwest - Jo Dee Kamm
        5. Director, Criminal/POA Policy & Programs - Diana Hunt
        6. (A) Director, Civil & Family Policy & Programs - Vaia Pappas
        7. Exec. Legal Officer, Ontario Court of Justice - Lori Newton
        8. (A) Sr. Legal Officer, Court of Appeal - Alison Warner
        9. Exec. Legal Officer, Superior Court of Justice - Roslyn J. Levine
        10. Director, Criminal Justice Modernization Strategy - Michael Waby
      3. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Law Division - James Cornish
        1. Director, Strategic Operations and Management Centre (SOMC) - Tammy Browes-Bugden
        2. Director, Crown Law Office, Criminal - Howard Leibovich
        3. Director, Guns & Gangs - Fred Braley
        4. Director, Crown Strategic Initiatives - Mark Saltmarsh
        5. Director, Major Cases - James M. Stewart
        6. Group of 6 Directors, Court Operations
          1. Toronto - Andrew Locke
          2. Central East - John Sotirakos
          3. East - Hilary McCormack
          4. Central West - Lowell Hunking
          5. West - Lowell Hunking
          6. North - John Luczak
      4. Director, Communications - Marianne Summers
      5. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Legal Services Division - Malliha Wilson
        1. Director, Crown Law Office, Civil - Troy Harrison
        2. Chief Counsel, Constitutional Law - Michel Hélie
        3. Director, Legal Services Program Support Branch - Suzanna Birchwood
        4. Portfolio Director (Gov/Social Services)
          1. Group of 6 Directors, Legal Services
            1. MEDU/MTCU - Prabhu Rajan
            2. MCIIT & MGCS - Fateh Salim
            3. TBS - Sean Kearney
            4. MOF - Michael Waterston (A)
            5. Energy & MEDEI/MRI - Carlyn Calwell
            6. MMAH - Joanne Davies
        5. Portfolio Director (Local/Direct Public Services) - Julia Evans (A)
          1. Group of 7 Directors, Legal Services - David Costen
            1. CRIA - Tom Schneider (A)
            2. FRO - Shannon Chace (A)
            3. MTO - Mary Gersht
            4. MCSS/MCYS - Diane Zimnica
            5. PPAGS/MTCS - Peter Spencer (A)
            6. FSCO - Michael Doi
            7. MOHLTC - Janice Crawford
        6. Portfolio Director (Resources & Economics) - Jane Mallen
          1. Group of 8 Directors, Legal Services
            1. MOECC - Halyna Perun
            2. MNRF - Leith Hunter
            3. MAA - Raj Dhir
            4. OMAFRA - Jeff Schelling
            5. MCSCS - Brian Loewen
            6. Agencies (CCB, COIC, OCPC, LHINS) - Jeff Simser
            7. MOL - Bridget Lynett
            8. MNDM - Andrew Macdonald
      6. Chief Legislative Counsel - Mark Spakowski
      7. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division - Louise Stratford
        1. Director, Programs & Community Development, Ontario Victim Services - Linda Haldenby
        2. Director, Policy & Program Development, Ontario Victim Services
        3. Children's Lawyer - Lucy McSweeney
        4. Public Guardian and Trustee - Ken Goodman
          1. Chief Financial Officer - Joy Stevenson
          2. Director, Client Services - Tanya Weber-Kinch
      8. Assistant Deputy Attorney General & CAO, Corporate Services Management Division - Dante Pontone
        1. Director, Business and Fiscal Planning - Jatinder Singh
        2. Director, HR Strategic Business Unit - Barbara Ross
          1. Manager, Business Continuity & Emergency Management - Megan Dykie
        3. Director, Facilities - Susan Patterson
        4. (A) Director, Analytics Branch - Susan Kyle
        5. Director, Justice Sector Security Office - Matt Crone
        6. Coordinator, Freedom of Information - Enza Rangone*
        7. Coordinator, French Language Services - Sabine Derbier*
        8. Director, Audit Services - David Horie*
      9. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice Division - Kimberly Murray
        1. (A) Director, Aboriginal Justice - Kingsley Laurin
      10. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Policy & Innovation Division - Irwin Glasberg
        1. Director, Justice Policy Development - Andrea Strom
        2. Executive Director, Innovation - Meredith Brown
          1. (A) Director, Strategic Business - Christopher Johns
          2. Director, Project Management Office - Maura Dales
      11. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Agency & Tribunal Relations Division - Ali Arlani
        1. Director, Agency Relations - Ana Kapralos
        2. Director, Tribunal Relations - Robin Dafoe
        3. President & CEO, Legal Aid Ontario - Bob Ward
        4. Registrar & CEO, Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario - Jean Major
        5. (A) Executive Lead, Social Justice Tribunals Cluster - Ellen Wexler
        6. COO, Office of the Independent Police Review Director - Michael Mamo
        7. Executive Officer, Special Investigations Unit - William Curtis
        8. (A) Executive Lead, Environment and Land Tribunals of Ontario - Anne Marie Predko
        9. (A) Executive Lead, Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards - Anne Marie Predko
        10. (A) Executive Director, Ontario Human Rights Commission - Dianne Carter
        11. Executive Director, Human Rights Legal Support Centre - Kathy Laird
      12. Justice Cluster Chief Information Officer & ADM, JTS - Robin Thompson*
        1. Head, Solutions Branch - Catherine Emile*

† Denotes an arms-length organization.

* Denotes positions which provide service to Justice Cluster.

Justice Technology Services provides support to MAG and MCSCS.

Download printer-friendly organizational chart (PDF)


Ministry of the Attorney General Legislation

Agencies, boards and commissions reporting to the ministry

Table showing expenditures and revenues of agencies, boards and commissions reporting to the ministry, for 2014/15 (actual) and 2015/16 (estimates).
Description Expenditure (Accrual 2015/16 estimates)
$
Revenue (Accrual 2015/16 estimates)
$
Expenditure (2014/15 interim actual)
$
Revenue (2014/15 interim actual)
$
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario 29,177,200 25,641,000 30,113,900 25,650,800
Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario 17,229,200 1,900,000 18,012,000 1,176,300
Ontario Human Rights Commission 5,576,500 5,830,600
Human Rights Legal Support Centre 5,336,200 5,336,200
Public Inquiries 1,000 2,402,600
Office of the Independent Police Review Director 7,014,200 7,334,900
Legal Aid Ontario 386,089,100 50,800,000 364,155,600 50,800,000
Social Justice Tribunals 76,217,900 12,410,800 78,823,200 12,390,700
Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario 7,062,000 80,000 7,384,800 80,000
Totals 533,703,300 90,831,800 519,393,800 90,097,800

Ministry financial information

Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2015-16
Table showing the ministry's planned operating and capital expenses for 2015-16.
Operating expense 1,652,152,514
Capital expense 84,229,200
Total 1,736,381,714
Table 2: Operating and Capital Summary by Vote 2015-16
Table showing the ministry's operating and capital expenses and assets
Vote Estimates 2015-16
$
Change from 2014-15 estimates
$
Change from 2014-15 estimates
%
Estimates 2014-15*
$
Interim Actuals 2014-15*
$
Actuals 2013-14*
$
Operating and capital expense
Ministry administration 235,957,200 (823,800) (0.3) 236,781,000 232,668,100 211,505,191
Prosecuting crime 254,152,900 (4,935,000) (1.9) 259,087,900 259,086,300 256,987,438
Policy, justice programs and agencies 564,883,300 11,976,800 2.2 552,906,500 549,104,800 543,071,164
Legal Services 30,828,800 (1,670,000) (5.1) 32,498,800 32,498,700 49,450,385
Court Services 465,601,700 1,055,800 0.2 464,545,900 465,277,800 462,012,906
Victims and Vulnerable Persons 171,619,200 (6,352,800) (3.6) 9,973,000 13,456,500 8,212,600
Political Contribution Tax Credit 6,929,600 (3,043,400) (30.5) 9,973,000 13,456,500 8,212,600
Total including special warrants 1,729,972,700 (3,792,400) (0.2) 1,733,765,100 1,724,896,800 1,699,767,425
Less: Special warrants - (766,492,800) (100.0) 766,492,800 - -
Total operating and capital expense to be voted 1,729,972,700 762,700,400 78.9 967,272,300 1,724,896,800 1,699,767,425
Special warrants - (766,492,800) (100) 766,492,800 - -
Statutory appropriations 6,409,014 (334,600) (5.0) 6,743,614 20,651,668 94,995,520
Ministry total operating and capital expense 1,736,381,714 (4,127,000) (0.2) 1,740,508,714 1,745,548,468 1,794,762,945
Consolidation and other adjustments 43,438,000 9,788,000 29.1 33,650,000 34,764,000 18,060,706
Total including consolidation & other adjustments 1,779,819,714 5,661,000 0.3 1,774,158,714 1,780,312,468 1,812,823,651
Operating and capital assets
Ministry administration 9,800 1,400 16.7 8,400 8,400 15,805
Prosecuting crime 1,432,100 84,900 6.3 1,347,200 1,347,200 1,315,084
Policy, justice programs and agencies 3,473,400 (4,487,300) (56.4) 7,960,700 2,561,600 1,376,588
Legal Services 217,000 25,500 13.3 191,500 191,500 203,383
Court Services 32,364,400 (4,244,500) (11.6) 36,608,900 10,278,900 93,472,350
Victims and Vulnerable Persons 88,200 3,700 4.4 84,500 84,500 85,979
Total including special warrants 37,584,900 (8,616,300) (18.6) 46,201,200 14,472,100 96,469,189
Less: Special warrants - (19,250,500) (100.0) 19,250,500 - -
Total operating and capital assets to be voted 37,584,900 10,634,200 39.5 26,950,700 14,472,100 96,469,189
Special warrants - (19,250,500) (100.0) 19,250,500 - -
Ministry total operating and capital assets 37,584,900 (8,616,300) (18.6) 46,201,200 14,472,100 96,469,189

*Estimates for the previous fiscal year are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure. Interim actuals for Operating and Capital Expense reflect the numbers preseted in the 2015 Ontario Budget



Appendix: Annual report 2014-2015

Ministry overview

The Ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for providing a fair and accessible justice system that reflects the changing needs of diverse, growing communities. The ministry strives to manage the justice system in an innovative, sustainable and responsive way that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.

In 2014-15, the ministry made significant progress and had many achievements in pursuit of its mandate.

Modernizing the justice system

In fall 2014, Minister Meilleur articulated the ministry’s vision for a more accessible justice system with the launch of the Better Justice Together strategy: a plan to work in collaboration with justice partners to deliver simpler, faster and less expensive justice services to Ontarians. The strategy will focus on:

Also, in 2014, the ministry continued to gain momentum in its effort to build a more modern justice system by planning and implementing new innovative programs and services.

Key initiatives included:

In 2014-15, Legal Services Division undertook a detailed review of its work designed to ensure long-term sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness while maintaining high standards in the quality of legal advice, prosecutions and litigation. In addition to a proposal to review the funding formula for all civil litigation services across government, the division:

Increased access to legal aid

In 2014-15, the ministry made progress on a plan that, once fully implemented, will allow over one million more people to qualify for legal aid services.

Working together with Legal Aid Ontario, the ministry is raising the eligibility threshold at which people can qualify for legal aid assistance. The 2014 budget included an initial investment to increase the eligibility threshold by six per cent per year for the first three years of the plan. The first increase took place on November 1, 2014, and the second on April 1, 2015.

As a result of these two threshold increases, an additional 250,000 low-income Ontarians are now eligible to receive legal aid. Once fully implemented, an additional one million low-income people will have access to legal aid services -- more than double the number of people eligible for legal aid services prior to these investments.

Protecting public expression and participation

In December 2014, the Attorney General re-introduced Bill 52, the Protection of Public Participation Act. Bill 52 aims to help protect public participation in matters of public interest by giving Ontario’s courts a fast and efficient way to identify and deal with strategic lawsuits. Second Reading on the legislation began on December 10, 2014, and continued in March 2015.

Expanding the Ombudsman’s Jurisdiction

The Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 was passed in December 2014 which amended the Ombudsman Act. The amendments to the Ombudsman Act are not yet in force. Once in force, every Ontarian will have access to an ombudsman to receive their complaints about municipalities, school boards and universities.

Appointing new judges and justices of the peace

In 2014-15, the ministry continued to support a strong justice system with the appointment of 25 judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, one regional senior judge to the Ontario Court of Justice, and four regional senior justices of the peace.

Civil remedies for illicit activities

The Civil Remedies Act, 2001 allows the Attorney General to ask the civil court for an order to freeze, take possession of, and forfeit to the Crown, property that is determined to be a proceed or an instrument of unlawful activity. These funds are then used to compensate victims, recover the Crown's costs and disburse grants to designated institutions to support programs and initiatives that assist victims of unlawful activity or prevent unlawful activity that leads to victimization.

Civil forfeitures – by the numbers

Since November 2003, at a total of $47.1 million in property has been forfeited to the Crown. Ontario has approximately $13.8 million in frozen property, pending completion of civil forfeiture proceedings. A total of $21.4 million has been distributed to direct victims and $10.9 million has been distributed in grants. In 2014-15, a total of $1.2 million was disbursed in civil remedies grants to 23 law enforcement agencies (municipal, provincial and federal) across the province for projects that prevent unlawful activities and help victims.

Better serving the needs of Aboriginal communities

In 2014-15, the ministry made considerable progress toward addressing the recommendations made by the Honorouble Frank Iacobucci in his report, First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries:

Adjudicative Tribunal Cluster Transformation

The ministry continued to work on co-locating its 18 Toronto-based adjudicative tribunals that fall under three clusters: Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO), Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO) and Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO), to a government-owned building. Further clustering work was also completed, which added the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to SJTO effective April 1, 2015. To consider options for a more modern and cohesive legal and business framework for administrative justice at MAG, the Administrative Justice Executive Committee (AJEC) was established. The ministry also continued its work to support the government’s decision to transfer the automobile insurance dispute resolution system to the Licence Appeal Tribunal of the SLASTO cluster.

Serving victims of crime and vulnerable people

The ministry’s Ontario Victim Services program offers a number of important services and supports for victims of crime and their families. In 2014-15, these programs continued to report positive results. For example:

The ministry also supports a wide array of services for vulnerable people.

In 2014-15, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) acted as guardian for approximately 13,106 mentally incapable people. In addition, OPGT received approximately 5,536 treatment referrals and performed 200 screening and field investigations into allegations of harm, self-neglect or abuse.

The Office of the Children’s Lawyer represents children in child protection proceedings, litigation and custody and access disputes. The office helps over 20,000 children at any given time with the assistance of approximately 80 staff and 750 fee-for-service legal and clinical agents across the province.

Building up our courthouse infrastructure

Throughout 2014-15, Ontario continued to fund its new courthouse construction program and invest in existing courthouses. New courthouses are providing more modern, efficient and accessible justice services and are boosting regional economies by creating and supporting hundreds of jobs. All new courthouses are being designed and built to meet the Canada Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards, incorporating environmentally sustainable construction practices and energy-efficient design.

A number of major courthouse construction and renovation projects reached key milestones in 2014-15, including:

Improving efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system

The ministry and its justice partners continued efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system and reduce delay through the Justice On Target (JOT) strategy.

JOT applies an evidence-based approach to the criminal justice system, fostering collaboration and innovation to improve processes while monitoring and measuring results. The strategy works with local and regional leaders to set goals to improve the percentage of cases meeting established benchmarks – a general number of appearances and days for most adult criminal cases in the system, taking into account that not every case can or should meet benchmarks 100% of the time.

In 2014, the province’s criminal justice system completed:

Public Inquiry into Algo Centre Mall collapse concludes

After months of research and consultation, the work of the independent inquiry into the events surrounding the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake concluded in 2014. Commissioner Paul R. Bélanger’s final report was submitted to the Attorney General in October at an event held in the Elliot Lake community.

While committing to consider all recommendations, the government immediately agreed to taking the following steps:

In addition, the ministry committed to implementing a number of suggestions for improving the public inquiry process, and will work with Professional Engineers Ontario and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on recommendations impacting the engineering profession.

Seeking answers to payment issues in the construction sector

In 2014, the ministry launched an expert review of the Construction Lien Act in response to stakeholder concerns related to prompt payment and effective dispute resolution in Ontario's construction industry, such as encouraging timely payment for services and materials, and making sure payment risk is distributed fairly.

Led by Bruce Reynolds, a leading expert in construction law and a senior partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, the review will include the examination of payment issues within the construction sector.

It is anticipated that the review will be completed by December 2015.

Examining the adequacy and reliability of hair testing at Motherisk

In November 2014, the Attorney General appointed former Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Susan Lang to lead an independent review of the Motherisk hair analysis program.

Specifically, the review was asked to look into:

Note: in April 2015, the Honourable Susan Lang recommended an increase in the scope of her mandate in order to carry out a broader review of the program. As a result, the independent review’s mandate was expanded to:

The findings of this independent review will determine whether further action is needed to ensure public confidence in the province's child protection and criminal justice systems. To help ensure the independent review has the necessary time and resources to fulfil its expanded mandate, a final report is now due December 15, 2015.

Table 3: Ministry Expenditures 2014-15

Table showing the ministry's 2014-15 expenditures
Ministry expenditures ($) 2014/15
Operating 1,667,202,158
Capital 78,346,300
Staff strength (as of March 31, 2015) 7,866.36

Interim outlook 2014/15, the Ministry of the Attorney General (excludes consolidations) (restated)
*Human resources - MAG