Ottawa gets a new justice minister

Media

In Monday morning’s cabinet shuffle, prime minister Justin Trudeau appointed David Lametti, MP for the Montreal riding of LaSalle–Émard–Verdun, as the new federal justice minister and attorney general, replacing Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was shuffled to veterans affairs.

“I love the law,” Lametti told reporters assembled at Rideau Hall after he was sworn into office. “I have done my best to teach and to think about the ways in which law has an impact on our daily lives. I will continue to do that,”

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Michael Spratt, partner at Abergel Goldsein & Partners LLP in Ottawa, also lists places where he hopes Lametti will address issues of concern to the defence bar.

“He has a lot of work to do,” says Spratt. “Bill C-75, the massive overhaul of the justice system, is before the Senate, and is going to require significant work as it moves through the Senate and likely comes back to the House with amendments.”

Spratt adds that mandatory minimum sentences, the rolling-back on sentencing changes around conditional sentences and other non-custodial forms of sentencing, dealing with the ongoing work of de-coupling mental health and addiction issues as well as poverty from the Criminal Code, and the over-representation of Indigenous people in the justice system as having been largely untouched.

“It needs to have significant movement and significant work put into it,” says Spratt. “The justice agenda over the last three years has not been very ambitious.”

Read Dale Smith’s full article: Canadian Lawyer