Cornwall Ontario – In Ontario you don’t have to be a lawyer or paralegal to be appointed as a Justice of the Peace. You don’t need any legal training or background. Essentially you need a highschool diploma, which is why former Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger couldn’t become one, and really good political connections.
Former Cornwall Community Police Staff Sgt Brian Snyder was complaining locally about being pushed out of his job with the CCPS three years before he wanted to retire.
Next thing we know he’s been appointed as a highly paid Justice of the Peace here in Cornwall and with zero experience in adjudication will be making decisions that will impact people’s live.
What’s also disturbing is that there is zero public consultation before appointing a JP.
“Justice of the Peace Brian Wilfrid Snyder has been working at the Cornwall Community Police Service for 39 years, most recently serving as staff sergeant. He has been a volunteer with Special Olympics Ontario since 1987, chairing the 1996 Provincial Spring Games in Cornwall. Justice of the Peace Snyder also volunteered at The Children’s Treatment Centre for over 20 years, organizing events to raise funds and awareness for the centre. He served as the chair of the Cornwall Stormont Dundas Glengarry Situation Table Advisory Committee, board member of the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) Steering Committee and a representative for multiple advisory committees. He received the Police Exemplary Service Award in 1999 and again in 2009 and the Order of Merit for police in 2013 from the Governor General of Canada.
Associate Chief Justice-Coordinator of Justices of the Peace Faith M. Finnestad has assigned Justice of the Peace Snyder to Cornwall.”
Clearly the process to become a JP has a very very low threshold with lots of gooey areas that can be smoothed through. IE you can get a free pass if your life experience meets the whim of the day.
(15) A candidate shall not be considered by the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee unless he or she has performed paid or volunteer work equivalent to at least 10 years of full-time experience and,
(a) has a university degree;
(b) has a diploma or advanced diploma granted by a college of applied arts and technology or a community college following completion of a program that is the equivalent in class hours of a full-time program of at least four academic semesters;
(c) has a degree from an institution, other than a university, that is authorized to grant the degree,
(i) under the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000
(ii) under a special Act of the Assembly that establishes or governs the institution, or
(iii) under legislation of another province or territory of Canada;
(d) has successfully completed a program designated as an equivalency under subsection (16); or
(e) meets the equivalency requirement set out in subsection (17). 2006, c. 21, Sched. B, s. 3.
(16) For the purposes of clause (15) (d), the Attorney General may designate programs that involve training in the justice system, including programs designed to enhance diversity in the justice system, as programs that meet the educational equivalency, and shall make the list of programs so designated public. 2006, c. 21, Sched. B, s. 3.
(17) For the purposes of clause (15) (e), a candidate may be considered to have met the equivalency requirement if he or she clearly demonstrates exceptional qualifications, including life experience, but does not have the educational requirements set out in clauses (15) (a) to (d). 2006, c. 21, Sched. B, s. 3.
In fact, while on Duty, Mr. Snyder witnessed an assault on yours truly and literally laughed, telling me to take my case to a JP who when we were in session, watching a video of the assault which included the man admitting on camera while complaining to a police officer, still refused to issue a charge.
He also is alleged to have witnessed a lawyer threaten a CAS worker, in court no less, and given the lawyer, who now is a judge, a free pass. There is a thick file on Brian Snyder so how does the Attorney General’s office of Ontario end up allowing such an appointment?
And Justices do have power. They can deny bail. They can keep you in jail pending your hearings. They can inflict financial damage which would then require expensive appeals.
Please note that petition data can take awhile to appear.
Surely anyone in such a position of power should have to have some sort of actual legal qualifications when one considers the punitive cost of gaining any justice in this province?
With a starting salary of $109K per year they are on the Sunshine List as well. And without any legal degrees or real training other than a brief session.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? Should Gilles Latour be appointed JP next? You can post your comments below.
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