Outside of certain circles, you likely have never heard of Murray Segal. But the deputy attorney general of Ontario has been involved in some of the province’s biggest and most controversial cases, his advice on a wide range of matters sought at Queen’s Park.
Now 62, after more than three decades with the ministry, Mr. Segal is retiring from the civil service and heading into the outside world, setting up shop at Simcoe Chambers in Toronto, where he plans to offer advice to companies and governments. He will be toasted on Thursday at a reception with a speech from former Chief Justice Roy McMurtry.
He began his career prosecuting white-collar crime. In the 1980s, he argued before the Supreme Court in a landmark case that Ontario’s system of roadside drunk-driving spot checks was constitutional, among other cases.
As a senior official in the criminal law division, he oversaw the prosecution of the province’s highest-profile criminals, including killer Paul Bernardo and the controversial plea-bargain with his wife Karla Homolka. He later helped spearhead the province’s “guns and gangs” strategy after the daylight shooting of teenager Jane Creba in downtown Toronto on Boxing Day in 2005.
In a recent chat in his office, he acknowledged, when asked, that he regretted more progress on his watch has not been made computerizing the courts. But he pointed to the “Justice on Target” initiative, which was starting to reduce delays by cutting the number of times people need to show up to court.
He says he is looking forward to stepping out from behind the veil of the civil service: “I’ve deliberately been very quiet. It’s not that I am without opinions ... But I’m in the background. So now I will have a new life, and I will be able to speak out a lot more.”
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