Ontario creates new position for Aboriginal justice
The Ontario government is implementing a key recommendation from former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci related to Aboriginal people and the justice system.
The province announced Friday that it will create a new leadership position in the Ministry of the Attorney-General: Assistant Deputy Attorney-General, Aboriginal Justice.
A government news release said the appointee will lead the development of new programs and services to support Aboriginal people in the justice system.
The person will also be responsible for overseeing the government's response to Iacobucci's report last year dealing with First Nations representation on Ontario juries.
Attorney-General Madeleine Meilleur said the individual chosen for the position "will be a recognized leader, innovator and expert who will build inclusive, positive and respectful relationships with our partners in Aboriginal communities."
The release quoted Barney Batise, a Nishnawbe-Aski Nation elder and member of the Jury Review Implementation Committee, as saying "First Nations have fought for years to uncover the truth around systemic exclusion within the justice system." Batise said the new position is a key first step in ensuring that First Nations are adequately represented in the Ontario justice system.
The government says it will fill the job by recruiting through an open, merit-based process beginning this month. The recruitment process will include outreach to Aboriginal organizations and communities across Canada.