OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 27, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, the Honourable Chris Alexander, today announced that the Government of Canada will conduct an internal review of federal involvement in the case of Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh.
"I am pleased to announce this review. This case has concerned me since my time in Opposition-and months after our Government was elected in 2006 the accused was extradited to face charges in Canada," said Minister MacKay. "Our Government takes offences involving child abuse very seriously and it is important to review this matter to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again."
Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh was the subject of one of the longest and most complex sexual assault cases in Nova Scotia's history. His return from India to Canada in 2007 was the culmination of a lengthy investigation and extradition process involving both provincial and federal authorities, which had begun in February 1995 when the first complainant went to the police. Mr. MacIntosh was found guilty on a total of 18 counts by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, however, set aside the convictions, finding that the delay in bringing Mr. MacIntosh to trial breached his Charter right to be tried within a reasonable time. On April 22, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the Crown's appeal of this decision, marking the final chapter in an 18-year process.
The internal review, which will be conducted by the Department of Justice, will include an analysis of the Government of Canada's actions in relation to the extradition, passport and border control aspects of the MacIntosh case. The internal review will have the full support of all Federal organizations and agencies involved in this case, including Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency.
"This internal review is essential to the public's confidence in Canada's justice system. Our Government has also committed to continue improving protections and ensuring sanctions reflect the gravity of the crimes committed" added Minister MacKay.
"As a father of two young girls, I am particularly concerned that those who victimize children not find loopholes or exploit policy weaknesses of any kind," said Alexander. "That is why I have asked officials to take an immediate and thorough examination of the facts of this case in order to determine what has been done, and what still needs be accomplished to ensure that the mistakes of previous governments are not repeated and that victims are not denied justice."
"Those affected by this case expect and deserve answers," said Minister Blaney. "Our Government is following through on its commitment to review its actions in this case and to take the necessary steps to ensure these circumstances do not reoccur."
The findings of the internal review will be made public no later than October 31, 2013.
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