Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety

NEWS RELEASE – Ministers from across Canada gather in Halifax to discuss justice and public safety priorities

October 14, 2016 – Halifax,  NS – Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

 Today, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible  for justice and public safety concluded two days of productive engagement,  working on justice and public safety priorities for Canadians.

 An Elder welcomed ministers to traditional Mi'kmaw territory.

 Ministers discussed key issues including violence against Indigenous  women and girls and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous  Women and Girls; tangible responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission  Calls to Action; the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the  Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian context; and how best to address overrepresentation  of and gaps in services to Indigenous peoples throughout the justice system.  The FPT ministers also approved  the release of a compilation of recommendations from published reports which  address violence against Indigenous women and girls.

 Ministers talked about the importance of continuing to support  professional, dedicated and culturally responsive policing services in  Indigenous communities.  Ministers will  continue to collaborate towards a renewed approach for policing in Indigenous  communities, recognizing the need for adequate and sustainable funding.

 A significant point of discussion was the federal government's ongoing  review of the criminal justice system to make it more effective and efficient. The  federal ministers provided an overview and update on their discussions to date  with stakeholders.  FPT ministers noted  the importance of this review to address delays in the completion of criminal  cases.  Ministers also expressed the need  to address issues affecting vulnerable people and Indigenous overrepresentation  in the criminal justice system.

 Provincial and territorial ministers were updated on the implementation  of the Office for Community Outreach and Countering Radicalization to Violence  and on the Government of Canada's national security consultation. Ministers reaffirmed  their commitment to coordinate their efforts to counter radicalization to  violence.

 Ministers received recommendations on bail, remand, judicial case  management, and the need to modernize fingerprinting legislation.  Discussions also took place on challenges  related to cybercrime and progress made on justice system innovation. They  agreed to explore ways to improve access to justice for sexual assault  complainants and to share best practices and lessons learned.

 They discussed the challenges that the justice system faces in  appropriately responding to those with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)  and other neurocognitive disabilities and agreed to publicly release the Final  Report of the Steering Committee on FASD and Access to Justice.  They also considered the social and economic  impact of alcohol abuse and supported the need for FPT collaboration to  identify solutions.

 The FPT ministers also agreed to continue  to work together to address issues leading up to the legalization of marijuana  for non-medical use.

Ministers also met with leaders and representatives from five National  Indigenous Organizations to hear their perspectives on justice and public  safety matters and future engagement.

Quick Facts

  • The       meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of       Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., the Minister of Public Safety       and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, P.C., and the Minister of       Justice and Attorney General of Nova Scotia, Diana Whalen.
  • Federal, provincial and territorial attorneys  general and ministers responsible for justice and public safety usually meet at  least once a year to discuss key justice and public safety issues and give  direction to government officials from the various jurisdictions on new and  ongoing collaborative work being conducted over the year.
  • The five National Indigenous Organizations  represented were: the Assembly  of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Native Women's Association  of Canada, and  the Congress  of Aboriginal Peoples.


"I truly appreciate the opportunity to meet with my  provincial and territorial colleagues again as well as Indigenous leaders for  an open and frank discussion on the issues that confront us all. By maintaining  strong partnerships we can ensure that our justice system meets the highest  standards of equity and fairness, respects the Charter, and keeps our  communities safe."
Jody  Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"Once again, I was very impressed with the high level of dedication  and passion ministers expressed while discussing key issues affecting public  safety in Canada. Together, through the sharing of best practices, varying  perspectives and innovative thinking, we can make real progress for the benefit  of all Canadians."
Ralph Goodale
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

"The meeting this week in Halifax gave us a valuable opportunity to share  good ideas, find common ground and work together to address many of the most  critical challenges facing all provinces and territories, including Nova Scotia."
Diana Whalen
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nova Scotia

Associated Links

Department  of Justice Canada
Public  Safety Canada
Department  of Justice Nova Scotia

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Valérie Gervais
Office of the Minister of  Justice Canada
(613) 992-4621
Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
(613) 957-4207

Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and  Emergency Preparedness
(613) 998-5681
Media Relations Office
Public Safety Canada
(613) 991-0657