By Glen Jennings, Matthew Doak

The time has now arrived. A mechanism is finally in place in Canada that will allow for a better process to resolve criminal offences for corporations.

In response to a consultation that ended in November 2017, the federal government introduced legislation amending the Criminal Code to allow for remediation agreements (better known as “deferred prosecution agreements”) to address corporate criminal wrongdoing. The amendments to the Criminal Code received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018 and are coming into force on September 19, 2018. The remediation agreement regime will permit prosecutors to negotiate remediation agreements for certain criminal offences of an economic character, if it is in the public interest to do so. Offences of an economic character include, among other things, bribery, frauds on the government, municipal corruption, fraudulent manipulation of stock exchange transactions, secret commissions, and laundering the proceeds of crime. If an organization voluntarily agrees to enter into a remediation agreement and a judge approves it, the organization will be required to comply with the obligations imposed under the agreement in return for a stay of the charges.