Ministry of the Attorney General Français
Ministry of the Attorney General

Estimates Briefing Book 2016-17

Ministry of the Attorney General

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ISSN # 2369-2235

Ce document est disponible en français

Contents

  1. Part I: 2016-17 Published Plan
    1. Ministry Overview
    2. Organizational Chart
    3. Ministry of the Attorney General Legislation
    4. Agencies, Boards and Commissions Reporting to the Ministry
    5. Ministry Financial Information
  2. Appendix: 2015-16 Annual Report

Part I: 2016-17 Published Plan

Ministry Overview

Mandate

The Ministry of the Attorney General administers the justice system to protect the public and ensure legality in government. To accomplish this, the ministry works to foster an inclusive environment that values service excellence, access to justice, accountability, innovation, and responsiveness to the diverse needs of Ontarians.

Ministry Contribution to Priority Outcomes

The ministry’s five-year strategic plan sets out the goals and priorities that guide the ministry’s actions in 2016/2017 as it works to deliver on its mandate. 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.

In 2016-17, the ministry will continue to implement the priorities set out in the 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.

Figure 1: Outline of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s 2014-2019 Strategic Plan

Ministry of the Attorney General - by the numbers

Ministry Programs

In 2016-17, the ministry will move ahead with a number of initiatives that reflect its strategic plan priorities and will help the ministry deliver on its mandated commitments.

Modernizing and Streamlining
Building a more accessible justice system.

To help the ministry grow and evolve with the times and build the strong and efficient justice system we envision for all Ontarians, we are exploring ways to make our services more affordable, convenient and modern.

Expanding Online Service Offerings

One key way the ministry is modernizing is by adapting available technologies to help improve processes and services.

In spring/summer 2016, the ministry will move forward with four key initiatives:

  1. Small claims court e-filing service: Following the success of the small claims e-filing service for fixed amounts in 2014-15, the ministry will soon begin accepting online claims for non-liquidated amounts (e.g., damage to property or personal injury).
  2. Online child support service: Developed in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ontario’s new easy-to-use online child support service will allow parents to set up or update child support without going to court.
  3. Search Warrant Tracking System: In 2015, the ministry launched a search warrant tracking pilot that allowed Toronto court locations to easily search for and determine the location of warrants filed within the region. The tool was rolled out province wide on March 1, 2016.
  4. The SCOPE System (Scheduling Crown Operations Prepared Electronically): In 2015-16, a new Crown case management system, designed and built by Crowns, was launched in Toronto, Durham, London, Ottawa, Windsor, Kingston and Chatham-Kent. The ministry continues to work with police and technology partners to establish more SCOPE locations. This will culminate in managing about seventy percent of all criminal prosecutions in Ontario by 2017.
Collaborating with our Justice Partners

Collaboration is fundamental to achieving the ministry’s vision of a better justice system. Our progress to date is a testament to how the most innovative, useful and practical ideas arise when people talk about shared challenges, and then identify opportunities and create solutions together.

Justice Roundtables – The 2015 roundtable meetings brought together key leaders and experts from across the justice sector to focus on improving access to justice in the family and criminal law systems. Building on their success the Attorney General’s Justice Roundtable is set to resume in the spring. It is anticipated that the focus of these discussions will be on improving access to justice for persons with mental health issues in the criminal justice system. They will focus on leveraging the use of technology to modernize and simplify court processes in the family justice system, including a discussion on family law rules and forms.

Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Justice Modernization Committee – co-chaired by Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve and Deputy Attorney General Patrick Monahan, the committee continues to move forward on initiatives that will:

Work on these initiatives is already underway and the committee anticipates they will be rolled out in early 2016.

Increased Access to Legal Aid

In 2016, Ontario will raise the threshold at which a person may qualify for legal aid by six per cent. This increase will be the third threshold increase in three years, and a $48.81 million investment in the legal aid system for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Taken together, these three threshold increases are expected to allow an additional 385,310 low-income Ontarians to become eligible for legal aid.

Reforming the Family Justice System

The ministry continues to work to strengthen the family justice system and help make it easier to use, less confrontational and more affordable.

Family Law Consultation and Report – Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada are sponsoring a public consultation on whether family legal services could be delivered by people who are not lawyers (e.g., paralegals, law clerks and law students). This consultation is expected to draw to a close in April 2016. The Honourable Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo, who is leading the consultation and subsequent review, is expected to deliver her final report to the Attorney General and Law Society by September 15, 2016.

Unified Family Court – The ministry remains committed to working with the federal government to increase the number of Unified Family Courts in Ontario. Unified Family Courts allow all family law issues, whether under provincial or federal legislation, to be dealt with in one court.

Better Support for Victims of Crime and Vulnerable People

The ministry continues to support the government’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan. The plan outlines concrete steps the government will take to help prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence, while also making the justice system more responsive to the needs of survivors.

In spring 2016, the ministry will launch a pilot program that will provide free, confidential legal advice to victims of sexual assault. In addition to comprehensive services already available province wide through the Victim/Witness Assistance Program, victims in the pilot locations (Toronto, Ottawa and Thunder Bay) will have access to free legal advice any time after the incident has occurred.

Better Serving the Needs of Indigenous People

Walking Together: Strategy to End Violence against Indigenous Women: In early 2016, the Ontario government launched a strategy that outlines actions to prevent violence against Indigenous women and reduce its impact on youth, families and communities. In 2016-17, the ministry will work to support this strategy by training crown attorneys, enhancing existing Indigenous victim services and developing new Indigenous-specific programs for domestic violence offenders.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG): The second National Roundtable on MMIWG took place in March 2016 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ontario will coordinate the development of the work related to the second National Roundtable, including coordination of the national public awareness campaign.

Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Justice System

Hand-in-hand with efforts to make the justice system more accessible, the ministry must also work to address the growing demand for services in a challenging fiscal climate, such as adjusting internal processes to be more efficient and effective.

In 2016-17, the ministry will continue to explore new models for delivering certain court services. For example:

Civil enforcement services – Following the close of public consultations in winter 2016, as part of the ongoing review, the ministry will consider all submissions received in determining the feasibility of delivering civil enforcement services using a delegated administrative authority or local service providers instead of public enforcement officers. The objective is to have a faster, more efficient process of enforcing court orders that provides access to more enforcement officers and reduces costs.

Sustainable Justice Infrastructure

The ministry is also working with Infrastructure Ontario on several key projects to ensure Ontario’s justice infrastructure is modern and efficient. For example:

Adjudicative Cluster Co-location Project – Beginning in September 2016, the ministry’s Toronto-based tribunal and cluster offices will be moving to a single location at 25 Grosvenor Street in Toronto. Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, with the exception of the Landlord and Tenant Board (Toronto South), will be the first to move in September 2016. The Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario will move in December 2017.

Toronto Courthouse – The new Toronto courthouse project continues to move forward. Once the planning, design and compliance aspects are completed, the Ministry of the Attorney General and Infrastructure Ontario will issue a request for qualifications for a team to design, build, finance and maintain the project. The request for qualifications is expected to be issued in spring 2016.

Other Initiatives

Establishing a Serious Fraud Office - In an effort to combat fraud and help reduce insurance rates for consumers, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services continue to work to create a Serious Fraud Office. On the recommendation of a special task force headed by the Honourable Stephen Goudge, the Serious Fraud Office will provide effective investigation and prosecution of fraud in Ontario, with a special focus on auto insurance fraud.

Motherisk Hair Analysis Review and the Motherisk Commission - Work is underway at the Motherisk Commission. Over the next two years, Commissioner Judith C. Beaman will lead a review and establish a resource centre that will provide legal, counselling and other support to individuals involved in child protection matters that may have been impacted by a flawed Motherisk test.

Construction Lien Act Review - Bruce Reynolds, the external legal counsel leading the Construction Lien Act Review, is expected to deliver his final report in April 2016. This report will identify ways to address payment issues in the construction sector.

Developing and Retaining a Skilled and Engaged Workforce

In 2016-17 the ministry will continue to roll out the MAG Talent Strategy. It will forecast work requirements and competencies needed to support employees in linking their career goals to workplace needs, and help managers to identify positions that will require internal skills development.

Each division is analyzing its unique career paths, and how its employees’ skill sets can be developed so they are ready for positions at the next level. Initiatives include talent discussions, career talks, learning plans, mentoring, coaching, leadership training and developmental assignments.

Promoting Accountability and Value for Money

In 2016-17, the ministry continues to move forward on its Open Government commitments, as outlined in its 2015 action plan, Open Justice.

By fall 2016, the ministry aims to create a protocol and mechanism for identifying and posting high-demand data for public use, as well as other measures for promoting a culture of openness and transparency across the ministry and broader justice sector.

Organizational Chart

This is a text version of an organizational chart for the Ministry of the Attorney General as of February 22, 2016. 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. Acting Executive Assistant & Legal Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General - Marie Irvine
        2. Acting Legal Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General - Jane Marshall
        3. Acting Legal Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General - Linda Shin
      2. Director, Communications - Marianne Summers

      1. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Court Services Division – Sheila Bristo
        1. Director, Corporate Planning Branch - Brian Garrah
        2. 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
        3. Director, Criminal/POA Policy & Programs - Diana Hunt
        4. Acting Director, Civil & Family Policy & Programs - Vaia Pappas
        5. Exec. Legal Officer, Ontario Court of Justice - Lori Newton
        6. Acting Sr. Legal Officer, Court of Appeal - Alison Warner
        7. Exec. Legal Officer, Superior Court of Justice - Roslyn J. Levine
      2. 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, Crown 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
      3. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Modernization Division - Lynn Norris
        1. Acting Executive Director, Innovation – Meredith Brown
          1. Director, Strategic Business - Christopher Johns
          2. Director, Project Management Office – Maura Dales
        2. Acting Director, Analytics Branch – Susan Kyle
        3. Acting Director, Criminal Justice Modernization – Michael Waby
      4. 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 (Government/Social Services) – David Costen
          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 (Acting)
            5. Energy & MEDEI/MRI - Carlyn Calwell
            6. MMAH - Joanne Davies
        5. Portfolio Director (Local/Direct Public Services) - Julia Evans (Acting)
          1. Group of 7 Directors, Legal Services
            1. CRIA - Tom Schneider (Acting)
            2. FRO - Shannon Chace (Acting)
            3. MTO - Mary Gersht
            4. MCSS/MCYS - Diane Zimnica
            5. PPAGS/MTCS - Peter Spencer (Acting)
            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
      5. Chief Legislative Counsel - Mark Spakowski
      6. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division – Juanita Dobson
        1. Director, Programs & Community Development, Ontario Victim Services - Linda Haldenby
        2. Director, Policy & Program Development, Ontario Victim Services (Not assigned)
        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
      7. 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. Director, Justice Sector Security Office - Matt Crone
        5. Coordinator, Freedom of Information - Enza Rangone*
        6. Coordinator, French Language Services - Sabine Derbier*
        7. Director, Audit Services - David Horie*
      8. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice Division - Kimberly Murray
        1. Acting Director, Aboriginal Justice - Kingsley Laurin
      9. Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Policy & Innovation Division - Irwin Glasberg
        1. Director, Justice Policy Development - Andrea Strom
      10. 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 – David Field†
        4. Registrar & CEO, Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario - Jean Major†
        5. Acting 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. Acting Executive Lead, Environment and Land Tribunals of Ontario - Anne Marie Predko†
        9. Acting Executive Lead, Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards - Anne Marie Predko†
        10. Acting Executive Director, Ontario Human Rights Commission - Dianne Carter†
        11. Executive Director, Human Rights Legal Support Centre - Kathy Laird†
      11. 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.

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 Accrual 2015/16 estimates 2014/15 interim actual
Expenditure
$
Revenue
$
Expenditure
$
Revenue
$
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario 28,680,600 26,294,300 30,403,000 25,761,400
Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario 17,294,000 6,032,500 17,127,200 837,500
Ontario Human Rights Commission 5,652,200 5,5,256,200
Human Rights Legal Support Centre 5,336,200 5,936,200
Public Inquiries 1,000 333,100
Office of the Independent Police Review Director 7,070,000 6,625,000
Legal Aid Ontario 393,359,100 50,800,000 389,219,100 50,800,000
Social Justice Tribunals 76,763,400 13,000,200 79,180,000 12,000,800
Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario 20,349,900 14,838,000 6,513,200 80,000
Totals 554,506,400 110,965,000 540,593,000 89,479,700

*Interim Actuals reflect the numbers presented in the Ontario Budget

Ministry financial information

Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2016-17

Ministry Planned Expenditures 2016-17
Operating expense 1,723,332,314
Capital expense 104,181,900
Total 1,827,514,214

Table 2: Operating and Capital Summary by Vote 2016-17

Operating and Capital Summary by Vote 2016-17
Vote Estimates 2016-17 Change from 2015-16 estimates Estimates 2015-16* Interim actuals 2015-16* Actuals 2014-15*
$ $ % $ $ $
OPERATING AND CAPITAL EXPENSE
Ministry Administration 261,559,300 22,135,900 9.2 239,423,400 228,620,200 227,837,656
Prosecuting Crime 269,510,900 17,391,000 6.9 252,119,900 261,802,800 262,934,204
Policy, Justice Programs and Agencies 589,833,600 24,950,300 4.4 564,883,300 575,190,200 545,331,505
Legal Services 32,681,600 1,852,800 6.0 30,828,800 34,254,500 30,944,379
Court Services 487,433,700 24,165,200 5.2 463,268,500 470,600,200 466,619,371
Victims and Vulnerable Persons 174,650,600 3,031,400 1.8 171,619,200 170,398,800 168,994,745
Political Contribution Tax Credit 5,652,400 (1,277,200) (18.4) 6,929,600 2,669,600 13,456,500
Total Including Special Warrants 1,821,322,100 92,249,400 5.3 1,729,072,700 1,743,536,300 1,716,118,360
Less: Special Warrants - - - - - -
Total Operating and Capital Expense to be Voted 1,821,322,100 92,249,400 5.3 1,729,072,700 1,743,536,300 1,716,118,360
Special Warrants - - - - - -
Statutory Appropriations 6,192,114 (216,900) (3.4) 6,409,014 31,104,368 26,080,556
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Expense 1,827,514,214 92,032,500 5.3 1,735,481,714 1,774,640,668 1,742,198,916
Consolidation & Other Adjustments 40,250,000 (3,188,000) (7.3) 43,438,000 41,884,000 40,093,142
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments 1,867,764,214 88,844,500 5.0 1,778,919,714 1,816,524,668 1,782,292,058
OPERATING AND CAPITAL ASSETS
Ministry Administration 1,000 (8,800) (89.8) 9,800 9,800 17,494
Prosecuting Crime 1,000 (1,431,100) (99.9) 1,432,100 1,432,100 1,304,195
Policy, Justice Programs and Agencies 4,274,900 801,500 23.1 3,473,400 3,450,500 1,566,551
Legal Services 1,000 (216,000) (99.5) 217,000 217,000 199,562
Court Services 7,471,200 (24,893,200) (76.9) 32,364,400 9,324,500 10,222,939
Victims and Vulnerable Persons 1,000 (87,200) (98.9) 88,200 88,200 87,294
Total Including Special Warrants 11,750,100 (25,834,800) (68.7) 37,584,900 14,522,100 13,398,035
Less: Special Warrants - - - - - -
Total Operating and Capital Assets To be Voted 11,750,100 (25,834,800) (68.7) 37,584,900 14,522,100 13,398,035
Special Warrants - - - - - -
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Assets 11,750,100 (25,834,800) (68.7) 37,584,900 14,522,100 13,398,035

*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: 2015-16 Annual Report

2015-16 Achievements

In 2015-16, the Ministry of the Attorney General made significant progress towards its goal of building an innovative, sustainable and responsive justice system that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.

Modernizing and streamlining the justice system

Building a more accessible justice system.

Following through on its commitment to make justice services simpler, more affordable and convenient, the ministry pursued an ambitious modernization agenda in 2015-16. Highlights for the year include:

Greater protection of public expression and participation – On November 3, 2015, the Protection of Public Participation Act came into force. The legislation aims to reduce the risk of citizens being threatened with legal action when speaking out on matters of public interest. It contains a fast-track review process that will allow the courts to quickly identify and deal with these types of strategic lawsuits.

Small claims court e-filing service expanded – following the success of its eight month pilot in several regions across the province, in April 2015 the ministry rolled out its award-winning small claims court e-filing service for fixed (liquidated) claims province wide.

Access to legal aid increased - As of April 1, 2015, Ontario raised the income level at which people qualify for legal aid by six per cent — the second of three planned annual increases of six per cent. Already, these first two increases have given an estimated 250,000 more low-income Ontarians access to legal aid.

Justice Roundtables begin – Established in spring 2015, the Attorney General’s Justice Roundtable serves as a forum to promote communications and collaboration among ministry and justice system stakeholders on issues related to access to justice. The roundtable met twice in 2015 to discuss two key family and criminal access to justice issues: how to streamline the family court process and how to better support the mentally ill in our criminal justice system. This input will be invaluable as the ministry decides what solutions to implement and how to move forward.

Family law consultation begins – In February 2016, the ministry, in partnership with the Law Society of Upper Canada, proposed stakeholder and public consultations to determine whether the delivery of family legal services should be expanded to include people who are not lawyers, such as paralegals, law clerks and law students. The Honourable Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo, of the Ontario Court of Justice, was appointed to lead the consultation and subsequent review.

Improved access to justice in French - In May 2015, the ministry and Ontario’s Chief Justices launched a pilot project which will last at least one year. This project will ensure court users receive timely and seamless services in French from the moment they enter the Ottawa courthouse, and it will reduce any challenges for French-speaking litigants, lawyers and others using the Ontario court system in Ottawa. The pilot will also help identify best practices for improving access to justice in French for Ontarians.

New division to lead modernization efforts – In February 2016, the Modernization Division was created to lead the strategic development, operation and integration of ministry modernization initiatives, focusing on the delivery of services to the public. In order to facilitate the work of this new division, three existing ministry program areas that currently work very closely will be transferred to the new division, including the Innovation Office, Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Justice Modernization unit, and the Analytics Branch.

Better services and supports for victims of sexual harassment and sexual violence

In 2015-16, the ministry worked with justice sector partners to develop programs and initiatives to make Ontario's justice system more responsive to survivors, and to encourage more survivors to report sexual assaults.

Independent legal advice pilot - The ministry is developing a pilot program to give survivors of sexual assault access to free legal advice. The pilot will launch in spring 2016 and will run for two years. In March 2016 the ministry began recruiting lawyers to be a part of a roster of independent legal advisors.

New funding for sexual assault centres – In September, Ontario increased the base funding for all 42 sexual assault centres across Ontario by $1.75 million per year so they can enhance their services for survivors of sexual violence.

Enhanced training for prosecutors – To help ensure that sexual assault prosecutions are handled as fairly, effectively and consistently as possible, the ministry created a Sexual Violence Advisory Group of experts in the fall of 2015. The experts were invited to share best practices and develop training and education tools for the prosecution of sexual violence offences.

Eliminating limitation period for civil and compensation claims – In 2015-16, the ministry also led two legislative amendments that were passed into law on March 8, 2016:

Better responding to the needs of Indigenous people

In April 2015, the ministry created an Aboriginal Justice Division, led by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Kimberly Murray. This new division was recommended by former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci in his report, First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries.

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system

In 2015-16, the ministry continued efforts to make the justice system as effective and efficient as possible, while continuing to deliver high quality services to the public.

Highlights included:

Serious Fraud Task Force and Report - In 2015, the Attorney General received the final report from the Serious Fraud Task Force, led by the Honourable Stephen Goudge, which provided recommendations for a long-term model for the effective investigation and prosecution of fraud in the form of a Serious Fraud Office. The ministry is reviewing the report to determine next steps in the implementation of a Serious Fraud Office. It is anticipated that next steps will be announced in 2016.

Civil Enforcement Consultation - Ontario began reviewing the feasibility of delivering civil enforcement services using a delegated administrative authority or local service providers instead of public enforcement officers. The objective is to have a faster, more efficient process of enforcing court orders that provides access to more enforcement officers and reduces costs.

Adjudicative Tribunal Cluster Transformation - In an effort to facilitate better, more streamlined client services and promote collaboration among its 18 tribunals, the ministry has been working towards moving its Toronto-based tribunal and cluster offices to one government-owned location at 25 Grosvenor Street in Toronto. The co-location would make it easier for MAG’s tribunals and clusters to work together and share resources and expertise.

Strengthening and Improving the Government Act - In December 2015, the Strengthening and Improving Government Act was passed. The legislation included a number of small, but important changes to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of government, including updates to the Family Law Act, and 14 other statutes. Taken together, these amendments will make things easier for families and businesses by modernizing government processes and creating systems that are simpler to navigate.

Building up our courthouse infrastructure – In 2015-16, the ministry is forecasting to spend $80.25 million in capital projects to strengthen the justice system. A number of major courthouse construction and renovation projects achieved key milestones in 2015-16, including the expansion of the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse in Brampton, which kicked off in January 2015. Planning work also continued on a new modern and accessible courthouse for downtown Toronto, which will bring together several courts operating across the city. Amalgamation of justice programs and services is expected to reduce operational and facilities costs, make court administration more efficient, and better respond to the needs of the community.

Developing and retaining a skilled and engaged workforce

In support of the ministry’s strategic priority of growing the skilled and engaged workforce needed to deliver on its mandate, the ministry is working to develop employees’ leadership, management and professional skills. In 2015, the MAG Talent Strategy was established to help address employee career growth, support groups that are under-represented in leadership positions and meet advancement needs at all levels in the organization by enhancing the development of current incumbents and potential successors.

Promoting Accountability and Value for Money

Open Government - To support the province’s Open Government initiative, in 2015 the ministry developed an action plan aimed at fostering more transparent and accessible processes and information, while providing greater opportunities for the public to engage the ministry on issues that matter to them.

Highlights of these successes include:

Other Major Initiatives

Motherisk Hair Analysis Review and the Motherisk Commission - 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. In December 2015 Justice Lang reported back to the ministry with findings that the immunoassay biochemical hair-testing method used by the Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory between 2005 and 2015 was inadequate and unreliable for use in child protection and criminal proceedings, and that the laboratory did not meet internationally recognized forensic standards. On her recommendation, the Attorney General created a second review of the use of the laboratory’s hair-testing evidence in child protection matters. Justice Judith Beaman was appointed to lead this review in December 2015.

Construction Lien Act Review - In February 2015, the ministry launched an expert review of the Construction Lien Act that will include the examination of payment issues within the construction sector. Ontario selected Bruce Reynolds as counsel to lead the review, which was commissioned 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.

Table 3: Ministry Expenditures 2015-16

Ministry Expenditures 2015-16
Ministry Expenditures ($) 2015-16
Operating 1,702,779,468
Capital 71,861,200
Staff Strength (as of February 29. 2016) * 7,873.17

Interim Outlook 2015-16, The Ministry of the Attorney General (Excludes Consolidations) (Restated)

* Human Resources - MAG