It has now been almost a year since the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v. Jordan, overhauling the test for a right to a trial in a reasonable time. Last week, the Court revisited the issue of delay in the case of R. v. Cody and confirmed its ruling in Jordan, upholding the 18 and 30 month ceilings for a trial. (As a colleague succinctly put it, the Court essentially re-iterated: "We meant what we said.")
In the past few days, the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling have rightly dominated headlines and my social media feeds. In the days and weeks after of such tragic and senseless events, it is hard not to feel helpless. As I was listlessly scrolling through my twitter feed this afternoon, I was struck by this link to a vox.com article entitled "5 questions every citizen should know about police accountability.' It references a number of tweets from ljeoma Oluo, an editor for 'the Establishment' and urges those wondering what they can do to help to ask themselves whether they are familiar with their city's police accountability procedures. It also asks about mechanisms for civilian oversight, as well as the threshold for an officer being indicted. While Canada's systems are slightly different, and handled provincially, the message and answers are just as important so I'm sharing the procedures for my city and province here.
With the federal election only days away, I had lofty aspirations of providing a concise overview of the parties' platforms with respect to the criminal justice system. However, the campaign has not touched on these issues very much, and it is only the Conservatives who have focused on safety and crime. In reading through the Conservative party's platform on "Safe Streets", the following paragraph caught my eye: