This is a 4 page paper discussing policing, police powers and police discretion in Canada. The police in Canada follow many administrative guidelines from municipal, provincial and federal levels. The Canadian Criminal Code, the Constitution Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are all balanced in order to allow the police to protect their communities but at the same time allow the citizens their own rights and freedoms. Despite the administrative guidelines under which police powers are maintained, police are given some discretionary powers within their work. In serious investigations, these powers may be increased by a writ of assistance which allows the police to further their investigations with fewer impediments. At the same time, police are also given the discretion to decide not to charge on minor offences where is it seen as unreasonable to expend the resources of the justice system.
Bibliography lists 3 sources.
initial guidelines of the Canadian Criminal Code. In Canada, the federal government is responsible for the creation of the criminal law but under the Constitution Act, it is the provinces
which are responsible for the administration of justice which includes policing. While most provinces contract their policing services out to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario and Quebec have
established their own provincial police systems (McKim, 2001). Despite the different contract arrangement, policing in Canada generally follows the guidelines of the RCMP Act in which the police are responsible
for: "enforcement of federal statutes; protection of foreign missions and important Canadian figures; contract policing to eight provinces, three territories and about 200 municipalities (for the RCMP); United Nations policing
duties abroad; and provision of a range of operations services to all police in Canada such as forensic services, police information systems, identification and advanced police training" (McKim, 2001). In
addition to the federal police force, the RCMP, and the provincial police forces found in Ontario and Quebec, municipalities across Canada are expected to form their own police force once
the area reaches a certain population. Municipalities do have options in forming their own police forces however as if they choose that they do not want to form their own
force they can join an existing municipal force or contract with the RCMP or the provincial police in order to police the area (McKim, 2001). In 1998, there were 571
municipal forces in Canada including 201 RCMP contracted forces and 29 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contracts. In addition to the federal, provincial and municipal policing administrations, the Aboriginal communities in
Canada have also formed many First Nations policing agreements (McKim, 2001). Policing comes under the direction of several different governmental areas depending on the province, attorneys general, solicitors general or