PART I: Published Results-Based Plan 2006-07

Table of Contents:

Ministry Overview

MINISTRY OVERVIEW STATEMENT

The Ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for providing a fair and accessible justice system that reflects the needs of the diverse communities it serves across the province. It strives to manage the justice system in an equitable, efficient and affordable way. The Ministry employs approximately 7,800 staff engaged in providing services in criminal, civil and family courts, the prosecution of crime, services to victims, support of vulnerable people and legal services to Government.

The ministry is guided by four key strategies that assist the government in meeting its results and support the priority of "Stronger, Safer Communities".

Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System

The ministry protects community and personal safety through effective prosecution of offences. More than 850 Crown attorneys prosecute approximately 500,000 charges each year.

Protect the Interests of the Most Vulnerable

The ministry delivers or supports a number of special services to vulnerable people most in need. These services include decision-making for mentally incapable people with no one else to act on their behalf, legal representation of children, supervised access for families with custody and access issues, and funding for Legal Aid Ontario.

The ministry is also responsible for the Human Rights Code and for coordinating Ontario's obligations under international human rights treaties and agreements. The Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario – arms-length agencies responsible for administering the Code – are within the Attorney General's policy and administrative responsibilities.

Ensure Access to Victims Services

The ministry provides or supports services for victims of crime through community and court-based initiatives, such as the Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP). As an advisory agency, the Office for Victims of Crime works to strengthen victims' services by consulting with victims and advising government on ways to improve services to victims.

Deliver a Modern and Efficient Court System

Criminal, civil and family courts are co-ordinated by ministry employees, who provide courtroom and administrative support, maintain court records, enforce civil orders, collect fines and fees and convey information to the public.

Additionally, the Ministry is guided by a strategy that supports the priority of "Vital Public Interest". It is:

Support Key Government Functions

The Ministry supports the role of the Attorney General as Chief Law Officer of the Crown, by providing the government with expert legal advice, advocacy and representation before tribunals and at all levels of the court.

The ministry maintains public accountability for the administration of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Assessment Review Board, the Ontario Municipal Board, Board of Negotiation, and the Special Investigations Unit. Decision-making by these bodies is independent of the ministry.


Organization Chart

MINISTRY LEGISLATION

Administration of Justice

  • Administration of Justice Act
  • Age of Majority and Accountability Act
  • Arbitration Act, 1991
  • Bail Act
  • Blind Persons' Rights Act
  • Class Proceedings Act, 1992
  • Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act
  • Compensation for Victims of Crime Act
  • Courts of Justice Act
  • Crown Witnesses Act
  • Dog Owners' Liability Act
  • Evidence Act
  • Execution Act
  • Fines and Forfeitures Act
  • Habeas Corpus Act
  • Hospitals and Charitable Institutions Act
  • Inquiries Act
  • Human Rights Code
  • Interpretation Act
  • Judicial Review Procedure Act
  • Juries Act
  • Justices of the Peace Act
  • Legal Aid Services Act, 1998
  • Limitations Act, 2002
  • Negligence Act
  • Notaries Act
  • Ontario Municipal Board Act
  • Police Services Act (s. 113)
  • Provincial Offences Act
  • Public Inquiries Act
  • Real Property Limitations Act
  • Regulations Act
  • Rescuing Children from Sexual Exploitation Act (not in force)
  • Safe Streets Act, 1999
  • Statutes Act
  • Statute and Regulation Revision Act, 1998
  • Statutory Powers Procedure Act
  • Victims Bill of Rights, 1995

Family Law

  • Children's Law Reform Act
  • Domestic Violence Protection Act, 2000 (not in force)
  • Family Law Act
  • Parental Responsibility Act, 2000

Inter-jurisdictional

  • Enforcement of Judgment Conventions Act, 1999
  • International Commercial Arbitration Act
  • Inter-Provincial Summonses Act
  • Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act
  • International Interests in Mobile Equipment Act (Aircraft Equipment), 2002 (not in force)
  • Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act
  • Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments (UK) Act
  • Settlement of International Investment Disputes Act, 1999 (not in force)
  • Trans-boundary Pollution Reciprocal Access Act

Property Statutes

  • Accumulations Act
  • Aliens' Real Property Act
  • Conveyancing and Law of Property Act
  • Disorderly Houses Act
  • Escheats Act
  • Expropriations Act
  • Fraudulent Conveyances Act
  • Mortgages Act Occupiers' Liability Act
  • Partition Act
  • Property and Civil Rights Act
  • Religious Organizations' Lands Act
  • Short Forms of Leases Act
  • Trespass to Property Act

Business Regulation

  • Absconding Debtors Act
  • Assessment Review Board Act
  • Bulk Sales Act
  • Business Records Protection Act
  • Charitable Gifts Act
  • Charities Accounting Act
  • Construction Lien Act
  • Costs of Distress Act
  • Creditors' Relief Act
  • Electronic Commerce Act, 2000
  • Employers and Employees Act
  • Frustrated Contracts Act
  • International Sale of Goods Act
  • Mercantile Law Amendment Act
  • Pawnbrokers ActSale of Goods Act
  • Statute of Frauds
  • Ticket Speculation Act
  • Unconscionable Transactions Relief Act
  • Wages ActWarehouse Receipts Act

Professional Regulation

  • Architects Act
  • Barristers Act
  • Law Society Act
  • Professional Engineers Act
  • Public Accountancy Act
  • Public Accounting Act, 2004
  • Solicitors Act

Crown Duties/Immunity

  • Crown Agency Act
  • Crown Attorneys Act
  • Ministry of the Attorney General Act
  • Ombudsman Act
  • Proceedings Against the Crown Act
  • Public Authorities Protection Act
  • Public Officers Act
  • Vendors and Purchasers Act

Estates

  • Absentees Act
  • Crown Administration of Estates Act
  • Declarations of Death Act, 2002
  • Estates Act
  • Estates Administration Act
  • Perpetuities Act
  • Powers of Attorney Act
  • Public Guardian and Trustee Act
  • Settled Estates Act
  • Substitute Decisions Act, 1992
  • Succession Law Reform Act
  • Trustee Act
  • Variation of Trusts Act

Other

  • Libel and Slander Act
  • Prohibiting Profiting from Recounting Crimes Act, 2002
  • Religious Freedom Act
  • Remedies for Organized Crime and Other Unlawful Activities Act, 2001
  • Time Act
  • Donation of Food Act
  • Executive Council Act
  • Good Samaritan Act
  • Lieutenant Governor Act
  • Members' Integrity Act
  • Ontario Association of Former Parliamentarians Act
  • Revised Statutes Confirmation and Corrections Act

Dormant Acts

  • Ontario Law Reform Commission Act

AGENCIES, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS REPORTING TO THE MINISTRY

DESCRIPTION ACCRUAL 2006-07
ESTIMATES
2005-06 INTERIM
ACTUAL
Expenditure
$
Revenue
$
Expenditure
$
Revenue
$
Assessment Review Board 7,591,700 5,866,700 7,459,561 2,484,565
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board 20,305,300   20,544,197  
Ontario Municipal Board 6,840,400 302,500 7,243,327 303,992
Ontario Human Rights Commission 13,423,400   12,703,092 13,880
Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario 920,600   1,201,830  
Public Inquiries 19,073,500   16,241,627  
Legal Aid Ontario 269,502,600 50,736,000 260,300,400 50,800,000

PUBLISHED RESULTS-BASED PLAN 2006-07

The Ministry of the Attorney General, through its Results-Based Plan, is committed to meeting the government's priorities of “Stronger, Safer Communities” and “Vital Public Interest”. The charts in Appendix A and B demonstrate how these priorities, their results and strategies relate to each other.

The ministry employs approximately 7,800 staff engaged in providing services in criminal, civil and family courts, the prosecution of crime, services to victims, support of vulnerable people and legal services to government.

Stronger, Safer Communities

Respecting the priority of Stronger, Safer Communities, the government has established the following results:

  • Make Ontarians safe in their communities
  • Enable young offenders to become contributing members of society
  • Make Ontario a safe place for victims of domestic violence
  • Better Protect Ontario's children.

To support the achievement of these results, the ministry has established four strategies. They are outlined below along with a number of related objectives for 2006-07:

Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System

The ministry works to protect community and personal safety through the prosecution of offences in all criminal matters and criminal appeals before all levels of courts in the province. More than 850 Crown attorneys prosecute approximately 500,000 charges per year. The ministry is working to improve the effective and efficient functioning of the criminal justice system. The causes of backlog and delay are complex and inter-related. Managing the growing caseload requires a multi-faceted, coordinated approach and the cooperation of all partners in the justice system, who include Crowns, police, the judiciary and the private bar.

In 2006-07, the ministry will be establishing the first Bail Blitz Teams consisting of police, Crown prosecutors and duty counsel, who will work together to expedite the bail court process at certain sites for criminal cases, including those involving guns. The teams will ensure that the accused are dealt with quickly and appropriately, and that public safety is enhanced.

The Government has also appointed 46 judges to the Ontario Court of Justice since October 2003.

Backlog reduction courts have been set up at sites with the greatest need, and case management teams have been established in high volume areas to monitor caseload and identify charges that might be in jeopardy due to systemic delay.

The ministry has instituted a Bail Best Practices Protocol to reduce the number of in-custody appearances prior to setting a date for trial. The ministry has also implemented first appearance disclosure and early pre-trial conferences between Crown counsel and the defence to reduce the time required to deal with each case. Early judicial pre-trials have been implemented, where appropriate, increasing the number of early resolutions and reducing court time needed.

The ministry has moved to increase the number of pre-trials, to expedite them as necessary in cooperation with the judiciary, and to reduce the number of times matters can be adjourned.

Finally, the ministry continues to work closely with the judiciary of the Ontario Court of Justice, which determines the assignment of judges, to help ensure that courtrooms are being utilized to their maximum, with no lost time.

The goal is to move most criminal cases through the system faster. A more efficient system will allow the ministry to focus its resources on high priority criminal offences and offenders, which will enhance public safety and confidence in the criminal justice system. To this end, the percentage of criminal charges that actually went to trial was 9% in 2004-05 and is expected to be maintained at or below 9% in 2006-07. Additionally, the percentage of criminal charges resolved without a trial date set (Early Resolution Rate) was 72% in 2004-05 and is expected to be at or above 72% in 2006-07, thereby saving court time for those charges that cannot be resolved prior to trial.

The Attorney General also announced in January 2006 that the government intends to establish a new Law Commission of Ontario.

The commission's mandate will be to work with government, the legal profession, the judiciary, the faculties and students of all Ontario law schools and the public, to:

  • Examine issues of significant interest and importance;
  • Develop recommendations designed to improve the administration of Ontario's justice system; and
  • Enhance access to justice.

On April 19, 2006 the government introduced the Independent Police Review Act, 2006. This bill, if passed, would implement recommendations made by Justice Patrick LeSage, former chief justice of the Superior Court of Justice in April of 2005. This would create an independent civilian body to administer the police review system in Ontario. The proposed system would seek to have the confidence and respect of both the public and the police.

Enhanced Anti - Gun Gang Violence Strategy

As part of its anti-gun strategy, the government will continue to work with all levels of government and members of the community to find legislative changes and community-based initiatives to end gun violence.

On January 5, 2006 the government announced it is intensifying its effort to fight gun violence with immediate funding for several new initiatives that will be implemented in 06/07. These initiatives include:

  • Provincial Operations Centre — Establishing a state-of-the-art operations centre that will bring expertise and technology under one roof. The Centre participants will include the newly-expanded Toronto Guns and Gangs Task Force, the Toronto Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Crown prosecutors, support staff, probation and parole officers, and victim services' staff.
  • Further Expansion of the Toronto Guns and Gangs Task Force — The task force, which will be housed in the Provincial Operations Centre, will be increased by an additional 31 Crown prosecutors, and additional support staff, and 12 victim/witness services staff. This is in addition to the expansion of 32 Crown prosecutors and 26 experienced police officers announced by the Attorney General in October 2005.
  • Major Crimes Court — Establishing courts designed to increase the criminal justice system's capacity to respond to large-scale prosecutions. The courts will be equipped with high levels of security and be capable of dealing with multiple defendants. Three new judges will also be appointed in order to deal with any additional volume of work.

The ministry is also implementing the following additional anti gun and gang violence initiatives:

  • Ontario's Witness Protection Program — improvements to encourage more community members to come forward when they have witnessed a serious crime. The ministry is working toward improving short-term protection, reducing red tape involved in obtaining a new identity, and expediting admission to the program.
  • Community Impact Evidence — Crown prosecutors are developing and presenting community impact evidence to the courts about the devastating impact of gun violence on individuals and communities, in an effort to seek tougher sentences.
  • Stiffer Sentences — Expert Crown prosecutors have developed, and will continue to supplement, a firearms prosecution package available to Crown prosecutors as a resource in seeking tougher sentences.

Youth Justice Committees — The Youth Justice Committee program, an alternative to the formal court process that holds low-risk young offenders accountable and addresses issues that may lead to re-offending, has been expanded to a total of 23 communities across the province. The government is doubling funding for the program over the term of its mandate for further expansion to even more communities in Ontario.

On an ongoing basis, the ministry supports Aboriginal programs, the Special Investigations Unit and the Proceeds of Crime program.

Protect the Interests of the Most Vulnerable

The ministry is committed to protecting the interests of the most vulnerable in the province. A range of services is provided by the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, the Office of the Children's Lawyer, the Supervised Access program, the Bail Verification and Supervision program and Legal Aid Ontario (LAO).

Some key performance measures related to these services are, as follows:

  • percentage of Bail Verification and Supervision Program clients who attend all of their court appearances was 81% in 2004-05 and is expected to increase to 83% in 2006-07, thereby continuing to expedite the court process
  • percentage of pooled investment funds for clients of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, for which the rate of return exceeded the benchmark was 75% in 2004-05 and is expected to be maintained at or above 75% in 2006-07, thereby contributing to the financial welfare of minors and vulnerable adults
  • percentage of safe visits and exchanges (without incident) between children and their non-custodial parent in Supervised Access Centres was 99.9% in 2004-05 and is expected to be maintained at or above 98% in 2006-07, thereby better protecting Ontario's children and victims of abuse.

In 2006-07, the Attorney General intends to engage representatives of the bar in discussions about how to strengthen legal aid, how to give LAO more room to grow, how to enable LAO to deliver more services and how to ensure that LAO remains the strongest, most dynamic legal aid system in the country.

The ministry is also responsible for the Human Rights Code and for co-ordinating Ontario's obligations under international human rights treaties and agreements. The Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, which are arms-length, agencies responsible for administering the Code, are within the Attorney General's policy and administrative responsibilities.

On February 20, 2006, the Attorney General announced his intention to introduce legislation in spring 2006 that would, if passed, transform Ontario's 40 year-old human rights system so that it can better respond to modern human rights issues.

The proposed new model for human rights would provide a quicker, more efficient way to resolve complaints by allowing claims to be filed directly with an enhanced Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The new model would also strengthen the Ontario Human Rights Commission and allow it to place greater emphasis on proactive measures to address human rights issues.

In February 2006, the Ontario legislature passed the Family Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005, which mandates that all family law arbitrations in Ontario are to be conducted only in accordance with Canadian law.

Under this legislation, resolutions based on other laws and principles — including religious principles — will have no legal effect and will not be enforceable by the courts.

The Family Statute Law Amendment Act also requires that family arbitrations be subject to the general rules of the family law of Ontario. Integrating family arbitrations into the Family Law Act will improve legal protections for women and children.

The family arbitration amendments will come into effect when the regulations are made. The ministry is working with interested individuals and groups to draft regulations, which are expected later in 2006.

Ensure Access to Victim Services

The ministry provides direct support, information and referrals to victims and witnesses of crime involved in the criminal court process. The percentage of clients satisfied with the services provided by this Victim Witness Assistance Program was 92% in 2004-05 and it is expected that clients will continue to be satisfied with this kind of support through 2006-07, demonstrating the extent to which victims of crime feel they have received support during the court process. In addition, the ministry funds community-based agencies to deliver a broad range of services, including: crisis assistance and referral services, sexual assault services, child witness programs, behavioural programs that counsel men who have assaulted their partners, and safety planning for persons at risk of violence.

This year, the ministry will establish two new French-language sexual assault centres, bringing the total number of sexual assault centres to 38.

In the area of Domestic Violence, the ministry will continue to expand Domestic Violence Courts to achieve province-wide coverage and continue to implement the Bail Safety Program. The ministry will also continue to implement initiatives as part of the government-wide Domestic Violence Action Plan, including: improving the enforcement of restraining orders, improving communication between family and criminal court in cases involving domestic violence, completing research and evaluations on the Domestic Violence Courts and making improvements based on the results.

As part of its Domestic Violence Action Plan, the government is investing $66 million over four years in programs and services related to addressing domestic violence, including education and training, more money for supports for shelters and second-stage housing, counselling, prevention and strengthening the justice system response.

In 2006-07, the ministry will build on the success of its community grant process by developing new or enhanced approaches to meet the various needs of victims and strengthen community capacity to deliver victim services.

The ministry will also continue to support the newly established Hate Crimes Community Working Group. This group will provide advice to the Attorney General and the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services on possible approaches to better address hate crimes in the province. These will include measures to enhance services to hate crime victims and to reduce hate crime victimization, directed at both individuals and communities at large.

Deliver a Modern and Efficient Court System

The ministry is responsible for the administration of criminal, civil and family courts in Ontario and is committed to providing a modern and professional court service that supports accessible, fair, timely and effective justice services. Services include: providing public information at court counters, maintaining court records, providing courtroom support for the judiciary, managing juries, delivering family and civil mediation programs, enforcing court orders, managing the appointment of judges, justices of the peace, masters, notaries public and commissioners for taking affidavits.

Some key performance measures related to these services are, as follows:

  • percentage of customers satisfied with counter services in civil court was 84% in 2004-05 and it is expected that this level of satisfaction will continue through to 2006-07, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the court system
  • percentage of family court cases that proceed to mediation, settled (full and partial) through the mediation process was 79% in 2004-05 and it is expected to remain steady through to 2006-07, thereby increasing the efficiency of the court system
  • percentage of customers satisfied with counter services in small claims court was 88% in 2004-05 and it is expected that this level of satisfaction will continue through to 2006-07, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the court system.

The ministry is committed to improving access to justice. The Access to Justice Act began second reading in the Legislature on February 13, 2006. If passed, the Act would provide greater openness, transparency and accountability and bolster public confidence in the justice system. The Access to Justice Act would reform the justice of the peace system and regulate paralegals. It would also amend the Courts of Justice Act and the Limitations Act, and create a new act that would be a single source for rules about Ontario's laws.

Court access for at-risk children and their families is also being improved with an increase to the complement of judges that hear family and child protection cases. The ministry is working with the judiciary and our justice partners to move child protection cases through the system as quickly and effectively as possible. A steady increase in child protection cases has led to the need for more family judges. Recent initiatives, undertaken to address potential delays in child protection cases, include:

  • Education sessions for parents' counsel through the Law Society of Upper Canada
  • A brochure for families involved in child protection cases
  • Work on child protection mediation
  • Greater use of videoconferencing in the North.

The ministry has also been working with the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice on a joint initiative to establish pilot court and community liaison committees in the court locations that will benefit from the increase in the complement of family judges. This is already helping to foster cooperation and solutions at the local level.

Vital Public Interest

In 2006-07 the ministry, through its Legal Services Division, will continue to support the role of the Attorney General as Chief Law Officer of the Crown by providing the government with expert legal advice, advocacy and representation before tribunals and at all levels of court. The percentage of ministry clients satisfied with services provided by the Legal Services Division was 92% in 2004-05 and it is expected to be maintained at or above 90% in 2006-07.

As well, the Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities (CRIA) unit will continue to seek to compensate victims and protect property in the province through forfeitures of property and damages arising from unlawful activities.

The ministry also provides administrative support for public inquiries. Currently there are three ongoing inquiries: the SARS Commission, the Ipperwash Inquiry and the Cornwall Inquiry.

The ministry will continue to maintain public accountability for the administration of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Assessment Review Board, the Ontario Municipal Board, and the Board of Negotiation. A key performance measure related to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is the percentage of decisions issued within 30 days of the end of a hearing. In 2004-05, 76% of OMB decisions were issued within 30 days of the end of a hearing and it is expected to increase to 80% in 2006-07, thereby continuing to improve the efficiency of this key government function.

APPENDIX A

Title: Ministry of the Attorney General
Priority: Stronger, Safer Communities

Priority: Stronger, Safer Communities
Results:
-      Make Ontarians safe in their communities
-      Enable young offenders to become contributing Members of Society
-      Make Ontario a safe place for victims of domestic violence
-      Better protect Ontario's children
Strategies, Activities, Measures:
-      Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system
o      Criminal Prosecutions
o      Aboriginal Programs
o      Special Investigations Unit
o      Proceeds of Crime
-      Protect the interests of the most vulnerable
o      Office of the Children's Lawyer
o      Supervised Access Program
o      Bail Verification and Supervision
o      Legal Aid Ontario
o      Public Guardian and Trustee
o      Ontario Human Rights Commission
-      Ensure access to victim services
o      Office for Victims of Crime
o      Criminal Injuries Compensation
o      Court-Based Victim Support
o      Community Victims Services
-      Deliver a modern and efficiet court system
o      Criminal, Civil, Family and Small Claims Court Operations
o      Judicial Services

APPENDIX B

Table 1:  Ministry Planned Expenditures 2006-07

Ministry Planned Expenditures ($) 2006-07
OPERATING EXPENSE 1,233,735,944
CAPITAL EXPENSE 67,119,700
TOTAL 1,300,855,644

Table 2:  Ministry Planned Expenditures by Program Name 2006-07

Program Name Ministry Planned Expenditures ($) 2006-07
OPERATING EXPENSE  
Ministry Administration Program 149,379,500
Prosecuting Crime Program 207,438,100
Family Justice Services Program 340,673,300
Legal Services Program 68,133,200
Court Services Program 336,943,500
Victim Services Program 89,141,100
TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSE 1,191,708,700
Statutory Appropriations 4,752,244
Net Consolidations Adjustment-Legal Aid Ontario 37,275,000
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments 1,233,735,944
CAPITAL EXPENSE  
Ministry Administration Program 44,675,700
Court Services Program 18,564,000
TOTAL CAPITAL EXPENSE 63,239,700
Net Consolidations Adjustment-Legal Aid Ontario 3,880,000
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments 67,119,700
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets) 1,300,855,644

Ministry of the Attorney General
The Printed Estimates, 2006-07