Bill C-75 is a threat to the Paralegal scope of practice. If not amended, then the bill will effectively remove Paralegals from representing clients or acting as agents for lawyers in criminal cases using the summary conviction process. Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould seems to think that it should be up to the provinces to establish programs to allow Paralegals and Agents to act in these summary conviction cases. However, the Criminal Code limits Paralegal and Agent representation to infractions where on summary conviction would be up to six months in prison. Bill C-75 will change all summary conviction penalties to two years less a day. That would end Paralegal and Agent representation in criminal court as we know it.
Here is an excerpt from the House Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights first meeting on this bill.