Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has issued new micromanaging and politically correct orders to Ontario’s Crown Attorneys. Henceforth, Crowns will be further restricted in opposing bail in criminal cases. It’s a solution looking for a problem.
Overcrowding and abuse of solitary confinement in the Ontario corrections systems are a wide-spread problem that Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government has closed a blind eye to for the last 14 years.
The problem, and it’s rather a simple one, is that the correctional infrastructure has been sorely neglected. The provincial government hasn’t upgraded the prison system on a wide scale in many years. In Ottawa, for example, a detention centre has been frozen in time since 1971. Prisoners have been found housed in showers for lack of space.
Our creative AG announced a new restrictive bail directive telling Crowns to just loosen up and let more accused of crimes out on the streets. Presto – the inmate overcrowding problem gone. A couple of Crown attorneys were at wit’s end and called me about Naqvi’s political meddling.
Every Crown attorney, it has long been held, fulfils a kind of minister of the justice role. They are professionals expected to call the shots on serious criminal offences. The notion of winning or losing is not part of the job.