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Prosecutors hand out national awards

Friday, October 27, 2017 @ 1:49 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

The Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Heads of Prosecutions Committee honoured some of the top prosecutors in the country at the Oct. 26 National Prosecution Awards ceremony.

Maureen Pecknold and Ashley Finlayson were each given the 2017 commitment to justice award. 

Pecknold is assistant Crown attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario and acting deputy director of Reserves in the Canadian Military Prosecution Service. In announcing her award, the FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee noted that she “has distinguished herself in countless ways, handling high-profile cases and mentoring less experienced prosecutors.” Pecknold has also recently completed the Canadian Forces Joint Command and Staff Programme while retaining a full caseload of major cases.

Finlayson is a prosecutor and organized crime co-ordinator with the specialized prosecutions branch of Alberta Justice. He was recognized for his “professional excellence, distinguished service and outstanding achievements as a prosecutor.” Finlayson has prosecuted many high-profile cases and shares his experience with law enforcement professionals at learning events and conferences.

Two prosecutors won the 2017 courage and perseverance award: Matthew Ferguson and Céline Bilodeau. Both are prosecutors with Quebec's Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales. They were given the award to mark their professional excellence and outstanding tenacity while completing the longest jury trial in Canadian history.

Hafeez S. Amarshi
, a Crown counsel with the Ontario regional office, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, took home the 2017 humanitarian award, which is given to those who demonstrate a “high level of dedication to the ideals of justice and leadership in inspiring excellence among colleagues.” He was recognized for this exemplary service and for his local and international charity and community contributions. 

The FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee brings together the leaders of Canada's prosecution services to promote assistance and co-operation on operational issues relating to criminal prosecutions. The committee also provides the prosecution perspective to federal, provincial and territorial ministers and deputy ministers responsible for justice. The awards program began in 2006.