Public Prosecution Service of Canada

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) (French: Service des poursuites pénales du Canada (SPPC)) was established on December 12, 2006 by the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.[1] For non-provincial or federal cases in Canada, a senior general counsel (Criminal Law) is assigned from the PPSC, an office of the Attorney General of Canada. The headquarters of the service is located in Ottawa, Ontario.

Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC)
Agency overview
Formed2006 (2006)
  • Federal Prosecution Service
Headquarters160 Elgin Street – 12th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H8
170 private-sector law firms
432 individually appointed lawyers
Annual budget$143,770,000 (2011)
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Kathleen Roussel, Director of Public Prosecutions
WebsitePPSC-SPPC Website


The PPSC's primary role is to prosecute offenses that belong to federal jurisdiction, such as those stemming from the Income Tax Act, Fisheries Act, Excise Act Customs Act, Canada Elections Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act and Competition Act.[2]

It also handles offenses related to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the country, except in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick where only drug cases initiated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are brought before court by the PPSC.[2] In Quebec, that would mean only narcotic cases with extraterritorial ramifications, as it already has its own provincial police force, the Sûreté du Québec.

In the three territories, the PPSC has jurisdiction on all Criminal Code offenses. In the provinces, it is only in charge of a limited number of Criminal Code cases, which are usually related to terrorism, criminal organizations, money laundering, tax evasion and other crimes that violate federal laws.

Beyond that, the PPSC can also give advice to any law enforcement agency nationwide and in various areas of federal legislation/[2]


The Public Prosecution Service of Canada was established in 2006 as an agency independent of the Department of Justice in order to remedy problems associated with the former Federal Prosecution Service located within the Department of Justice. The enacting legislation is the Director of Public Prosecutions Act, which was located within the Federal Accountability Act but is now listed as a separate statute.[3] It was introduced by the President of the Treasury Board, John Baird, and received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006.[4] The rationale for the Act was written by Wade Riordan Raaflaub of the Law and Government Division on 2 March 2006.[5]

Director of Public Prosecutions

  • Brian J. Saunders – 2008–2017 (acting 2006-2008)[6]
  • Kathleen Roussel – 2017–present [7]


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