Federal Involvement in the Case of Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh

Process Improvements Implemented

Extradition Process

Without question, this report and the Nova Scotia report on the MacIntosh case shine a light on serious shortcomings in the execution of the extradition process in this case. The International Assistance Group was entirely responsible for an eleven-month delay of the 18-year saga moving the file forward while the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service has admitted responsibility for the remainder of the delay. Better communication would have also assisted, especially because Nova Scotia had little experience with the extradition process. As a result, the following improvements have been made at the federal level:

  • Strengthened systems for file management to ensure ongoing monitoring of progress of all active files:
    • A team consisting of a lawyer and a paralegal is now assigned to each file, rather than just one person.
    • Teams report regularly to their team leader on the progress of each file; the team leader reports to the Director General.
    • An electronic “bring-forward” system is now in place to automatically flag files requiring attention.
  • Increased education and collaboration with provincial authorities:
    • The International Assistance Group is in the process of creating a publicly available Internet site containing information on how to make extradition requests, along with contact information.
    • The International Assistance Group now offers training to provincial authorities. Nova Scotia prosecutors received the training in September 2013.
    • The International Assistance Group now has a designated official to act as liaison with Nova Scotia authorities.

Passport Process

This report highlights the shortcomings in the passport renewal process in both 1997 and 2002 when Mr. MacIntosh lived in India. The passport program has since adopted numerous measures aimed at a more systematic, proactive and risk-based approach to the exercise of passport refusal and revocation powers. These measures include:

  • Providing a copy of the arrest warrant to support entries on the Passport Control List (or watch list) is now standard practice.
  • Passport security officials have direct access to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
  • Program integrity resources have been increased significantly from just three persons responsible for all intelligence, information-gathering and fraud and criminality reviews in 1998, to 60 persons in 2013.
  • Daily electronic exchanges from Correctional Services Canada occur in order to obtain details of federal offenders.
  • Passport officials systematically query CPIC for all passport applications where risk factors are identified and for applications to replace lost or stolen passports.
  • Outreach to security, intelligence and law enforcement partners is in place to collect information on threats to the integrity of the passport program.
  • Facial recognition software has been introduced into the passport screening process.
  • The passport refusal and revocation decision-making processes have been modernized to increase efficiencies and timeliness.

Further program integrity and security improvements are being considered as part of the passport modernization strategy.

Border Control Process

Canada’s border services operations have undergone significant improvements in recent years, particularly in relation to identifying and detaining persons who are the subject of active warrants.

Key areas that have been strengthened include the following:

  • Systems are in place at all primary inspection lines at automated ports of entry (nearly all) to automatically generate active Canada Border Services Agency lookouts.
  • Border Services officers are required to record identity documents of all travellers upon entry.
  • Border Services officers working in secondary inspection at automated ports of entry have access to CPIC.
  • Border Services officers are authorized to arrest and detain persons subject to outstanding warrants for federal offences in force in the jurisdiction.
  • Canada Border Services Agency now receives pre-arrival information for air travel.
  • Measures have been taken since a comprehensive 2012 review to strengthen reporting, monitoring, oversight and accountabilities in the Canada Border Services Agency lookout process.
  • By end of 2014, all in-bound passengers, including Canadian citizens, will be screened against national and international warrant lists.
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