Thank you very much.
Division 20 of part 6 would create a remediation agreement regime in a new part of the Criminal Code. It would be XXII.1.
What is a remediation agreement? A remediation agreement is a made-in-Canada version of what other countries call a deferred prosecution agreement, which is essentially an agreement between a prosecutor and an accused whereby charges are stayed pending successful completion of the terms of an agreement that the parties make between them.
Remediation agreements would be a new tool for prosecutors in Canada to use at their discretion in appropriate circumstances where it's in the public interest to do so. They would be available for use in addressing corporate criminal wrongdoing, so serious economic crimes that are listed in the schedule that a corporation or an organization has been alleged to have committed.
The regime in the Criminal Code has a purpose clause that outlines the importance of making sure that the agreement constitutes an effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalty. Another purpose is to provide for reparation for harms done to victims and it is there intended to reduce the negative consequences to uninvolved third parties.
What the regime does is it sets out factors that the prosecutors are to consider in determining whether a remediation agreement would be appropriate, such as the the gravity of the offence, the degree of involvement of senior management of the corporation, whether the company is willing to identify implicated individuals, that sort of thing. There is an invitation to negotiate that the prosecutor issues to a company and part of the code sets out what that would contain. It would explain that the negotiations must be carried out in good faith. There would be a time limit for accepting the terms, and there's a lot of other procedural detail set out in the draft bill.
There are mandatory contents of remediation agreements so they must all have an agreed statement of facts. The company must admit responsibility for the act or omission that would constitute the offence. They have to co-operate. They have to forfeit any property that they've obtained through the commission of the wrongdoing and they have to pay a penalty. They have to make reparations or explain why that's not viable in the circumstances, if the victim cannot be identified, for example, and they have to pay a victim surcharge. Those are just some of them.
There are also optional conditions that may be included, and that can be anything, but the code would set out three. One of them is an obligation to enhance the compliance measures that the company has in place, such as training of employees. Another is to appoint an independent corporate compliance monitor to monitor the company's compliance with the terms of the agreement, in particular, the enhanced compliance measures, but it could be other....
There are four court processes. One is to approve the agreement; once the company and the prosecutor have negotiated what they considered to be a fair agreement, they go to court. The court will approve it if they are satisfied that the organization has been charged with an offence, that the terms are fair, proportionate, reasonable, and in the interests of justice. They will specifically advert to the victim reparation term.
During the course of the agreement, which could last— it's negotiated between the parties—in other jurisdictions three to five years, typically, the prosecutor may go back to court to vary the terms, typically to extend it to give the company more time to comply. They could go back and terminate it if there's non-compliance and it looks like there's no possibility of compliance. At the end of the process, the prosecutor will go back to the court and seek a declaration of successful completion, and the company can say they've been cleansed, that there are no proceedings hanging over their heads.
For transparency reasons, there is a requirement to publish all the orders as well as the agreement itself. That is for other companies to see the kinds of terms that might be negotiated, if they were in a similar situation.
There's authority to promulgate regulations to deal with compliance monitoring because it's new in the Canadian criminal system, but there's enough detail that it could operate without the regulations.
The offences to which it would apply are set out in a schedule. There are 31 of them right now, but there is a power of the Governor in Council to add or take away offences. The coming into force would be 90 days after royal assent.
In a nutshell, that's what it does.
I'm happy to answer any questions.