National Prosecution Awards for Top Prosecutors

Toronto – October 27, 2017 – The outstanding accomplishments of Canadian prosecutors were recognized by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee at an awards ceremony held last night. The award program, instituted in 2006, honours professional excellence, exemplary service, and outstanding achievements.

The following prosecutors were chosen for their contributions to advancing and promoting the role of prosecutors within the Canadian criminal justice system:

The Commitment to Justice Award 2017 was awarded to two prosecutors: Ms. Maureen Pecknold, Assistant Crown Attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario and Deputy Director of Military Prosecutions - Sexual Misconduct Action Response Team, and Mr. Ashley Finlayson, Q.C., prosecutor and Organized Crime Coordinator with the Specialized Prosecutions Branch of Alberta Justice.

Throughout her career as an Assistant Crown Attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario and lately as Deputy Director of Military Prosecutions - Sexual Misconduct Action Response Team, Ms. Pecknold has distinguished herself in countless ways, handling high-profile cases and mentoring less experienced prosecutors. Recently, she completed the Canadian Forces Joint Command and Staff Programme while retaining a full caseload of major cases, volunteering and participating in high level competitive sporting events.

Mr. Finlayson was recognized for his professional excellence, distinguished service and outstanding achievements as a prosecutor. He has demonstrated tremendous efforts and dedication in prosecuting high profile cases that generated considerable media interest and in subsequently sharing his wide-ranging experience with law enforcement professionals at various learning events and conferences.

The Courage and Perseverance Award 2017 was awarded to Mr. Matthew Ferguson and Ms. Céline Bilodeau, prosecutors with Quebec’s Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales for their professional excellence and outstanding tenacity. Their determination to complete the longest jury trial in Canadian history, which required them to put their personal and family lives on hold and give up well-deserved holidays, won the admiration of all.

The Humanitarian Award 2017 was awarded to Mr. Hafeez S. Amarshi, Crown Counsel with the Ontario Regional Office, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, for his high level of dedication to the ideals of justice and leadership in inspiring excellence among colleagues. This award recognizes his professional excellence and exemplary service in the legal profession and his outstanding contributions in the charitable and community sectors, both locally and internationally.

The FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee brings together the leaders of Canada’s prosecution services to promote assistance and cooperation on operational issues relating to criminal prosecutions. The Committee also provides the prosecution perspective to Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers and Deputy Ministers Responsible for Justice.

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Robert P. Doyle
Secretary, FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee

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