How does a Public Inquiry work in Canada?

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By Published On: June 1, 2023

How does a Public Inquiry work in Canada?

OTTAWA PUBLIC INQUIRY LAWYER – Public inquiries make Canadian headlines fairly often, and this fall season is no exception.

We’ve been seeing a great deal of writing and discussion surrounding the upcoming Robert Pickton federal inquiry. Set to occur this fall, the public inquiry will investigate the circumstances around a series of murders in British Columbia. Just yesterday, it was announced that a former Attorney General of Canada will be in charge of the Pickton inquiry.

And not too long ago, organizations across the country were calling for a public inquiry into the events surrounding the G20 economic summit in Toronto this summer.

Understanding Public Inquiries: Insights from an Expert Criminal Defence Lawyer

These inquiries are serious proceedings, and they’re important for getting the story straight when it comes to matters of public interest. An individual who participates in a public inquiry can be put under a public microscope. Therefore, such an individual’s reputation is at stake as well.

But you might still be thinking: how does one work? Having represented key figures in a number of high-profile public inquiries, including the Oliphant and Gomery inquiries, Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Richard Auger is an expert on the subject. We’ve prepared a useful article to help explain the process, entitled Public Inquiries in Canada: A Lawyer’s Perspective.

In this article, you’ll find information about what separates an inquiry from a criminal investigation, and why lawyers are often present at inquiry proceedings.

As the Pickton Inquiry prepares to move ahead – not to mention the countless others that are called periodically in Canada – I hope this information helps you gain a better understanding of what’s happening.

If you arrived at this because you’re preparing to testify or participate in a public inquiry yourself, your best bet might be to speak to a defence lawyer with courtroom representation experience. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence and inquiry lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 699-8192 or email

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