I’m going to be talking today about diversion in our Ontario criminal justice system. Now, what is diversion? What does it mean when you’re charged with a criminal offense, if it’s a very minor offense? I’ll give you some examples, such as a shoplifting, some mischief charges where there’s property damage and now, fortunately, even minor possession drug charges. The crown attorneys have this program set up. It’s negotiable, by the way, with your lawyer, where the matter can get diverted out of the system, meaning you can do certain things such as counseling, charitable contribution, anger management, counseling, this type of thing, restitution. If there’s been a damaged goods and if you successfully complete diversion, the crown will will withdraw the charge. And again, it’s basically only for minor or minor criminal offenses. And as I mentioned, the government, the federal prosecution service recently announced in the summer of 2020 that for minor drug possession charges where there’s no aggravating circumstances, such as a weapon was not found on you or you weren’t in a vehicle with kids and that sort of thing, or the charges can be diverted for, you know, in return for certain things like addiction counseling, for example. And this is helping us clear up our justice system. We’re very clogged in the courts, especially during covid and even on a normal times. And the idea is, let’s let look, let’s give a first time offender a break. Let’s get them the counseling they need and avoid a criminal record that’s going to affect the rest of their livelihood and life. So that’s in a nutshell, what diversion is for minor criminal offenses in the criminal justice system.

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