Personal Privacy Obliterated By Canada

Federal Government Is Continuing To Destroy Any Rights of Privacy

(from Patrick Ducharme’s blog at

Patrick Ducharme at a celebrity roast for charity
Patrick Ducharme

Are you worried about your privacy? You should be. The Canadian government intentionally exposes every Canadian to breaches of their privacy. Privacy breaches by the government and others are legislatively encouraged and protected. Access to private information is granted upon request, without a warrant or court order. Information that Canadians believe is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy is intentionally exposed.

There is really only one area where the Canadian government does, in fact, protect privacy. The prerequisite for privacy in this country will not surprise you. It occurs only if the information to be protected concerns the operation of the government. The more important the information is to protecting the Government’s image, the more ferociously they protect it from disclosure. Conversely, private information about you is routinely breached. Your telephone calls, emails, banking records, and personal interactions are not protected. The federal government has insidiously wiped out any hope of personal privacy.

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Safe Streets and Communities Act: the Omnibus Anti-Crime Package

By Patrick Ducharme, for the Annual Conference of the Ontario Criminal Lawyer’s Association.


Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme
Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme

In 2011 the Federal government introduced into law its first significant foray into omnibus criminal law with its Get Tough on Crime legislation. This was a series of new crime legislation bearing latitudinous titles such as the Truth in Sentencing Act, or, Standing Up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act. This writer, in a weak moment of sentimental liberalism, described the Get Tough on Crime agenda as having the unclean odour of politics all over it. The agenda played to the public’s irrational fears and did so in the face of an ever-developing and now overwhelming body of literature going to suggest that harsher sentences lead, if anywhere, to the same or more crime, not less. It was further suggested that the agenda was contrary to the accumulated wisdom of our finest judges, who were being told, in unmistakable terms, that they could not be trusted to exercise their discretion reasonably, competently, and compassionately. These legislative amendments appeared to represent the government, like the crayfish, crawling backwards into the future. Continue reading “Safe Streets and Communities Act: the Omnibus Anti-Crime Package”

Legislative Update: The Get Tough on Crime Agenda

Patrick J. Ducharme

Presented on behalf of the L.S.U.C.’s C.L.E. Program Series

The Six Minute Criminal Lawyer on April 2, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

Getting Tough on Crime: The Amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada
Pre-Sentence Custody The Truth in Sentencing Act has amended the Criminal Code to limit the credit a judge may give to an offender upon sentencing for any time spent in pre-sentence custody. Section 719 of the Criminal Code provides that in determining a sentence to be imposed a Court may take into
account time spent in pre-sentence custody but the Court shall limit the credit for that time to a maximum of one day for each day spent in custody. However, if and only if, the circumstances justify it, a judge may allow for a maximum of one and one-half days for each day spent in pre-sentence custody. A court is required to give reasons for this credit. This is never the case where the offender was detained because of a criminal record or breach of bail conditions. Continue reading “Legislative Update: The Get Tough on Crime Agenda”

Understanding Section 8: Search, Seizure and the Canadian Constitution

Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues
March, 2006

Patrick Ducharme

Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme
Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme

Since April 17, 1982 when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was proclaimed Canadian courts have developed certain principles pertaining to the nature of the Section 8 right to be secure against unreasonable search and This book effectively reviews and ultimately crystallizes those principles in a “reader friendly” manner that will prove valuable to any practitioner making or refuting a Section 8 Application.

The authors adopt a problem-solving approach to the issues surrounding searches and seizures. First, they discuss the fundamental principles of a Section 8 claim. After identifying the general principles applicable to all searches, they then address any exceptions to the general rules and the rationale for those exceptions.

Continue reading “Understanding Section 8: Search, Seizure and the Canadian Constitution”