Thank you, and of course I appreciate the importance of the budget, so I'm not at all concerned about the delay. That was obviously important.
It's a pleasure, of course, to meet with the committee today and to discuss my candidacy for the office of Director of Public Prosecutions.
In beginning, I'd like to thank the Attorney General and the selection committee for the confidence they have shown in me by sending me here today. You've obviously seen my resumé, but I'm going to tell you a little about myself.
I was born in Baie-Comeau, Quebec. After a few moves, my family settled in Hawkesbury, Ontario, a small town about an hour east of Ottawa. Very early on, I decided that I wanted to become a lawyer. At the time, my concept of the profession was shaped by what I saw on television and was very focused on criminal law.
When I graduated from high school, I attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where I completed an honours degree in religion. I subsequently moved to Ottawa to attend law school, where I was fortunate to be accepted in the French common law program. While it can't be said that I particularly enjoyed law school, I had the opportunity to work at the student legal aid clinic, which helped me confirm my interest in criminal law. I went on to practise criminal law with a small firm here in Ottawa.
By pure chance one day, I was asked by a former prosecutor, now a judge, if I'd be interested in working with the government. To be honest, I had never really considered it. Being generally open to opportunity, I decided to explore it further. That led to contracting work and eventually to being hired by Justice Canada to further my legal practice in what was then called the Canadian Firearms Centre.
My time at Justice was valuable in allowing me to further my legal skills. In addition to my knowledge and interest in criminal law, I was able to discover a profound interest in administrative and labour law. Those newly acquired skills have, over time, served me well, not only in the provision of advice to government departments, but also in management, whenever I am called upon to make a decision that affects someone's interests.
Over time, as a result of increasing management responsibilities, I took an interest in financial matters and in other management functions not usually found in a legal job description. In my functions as deputy director fo the Public Prosecution Service, I was placed in a role where I would be called on to manage law as well as a number of corporate services. I believe these experiences have prepared me well for the role of director of Public Prosecutions.
The Director of Public Prosecutions serves a dual function: deputy attorney general and deputy head of a small department.
As deputy attorney general, the DPP needs to have a sound understanding of criminal law and to ensure that the organization meets its obligations to the Attorney General and to the general public. The DPP needs to be able to provide clear guidelines to prosecutors that guide their exercise of discretion and allow the Attorney General to be notified of prosecutions that raise issues of general interest in sufficient time for her to react. As deputy attorney general, the DPP also needs to be a good ambassador and has an important outreach role with provincial colleagues and other justice participants in Canada and abroad.
As deputy head, the DPP has an equally important role. He or she must manage the PPSC in a fiscally responsible manner, while ensuring the well-being of PPSC employees.
I believe I can acquit myself of both functions of the DPP. I look forward to your questions.