About Us


Welcome! We are researchers from the journalism department at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

A few years ago, we wondered why certain people and organizations received creative sentencing funds in Alberta — and others didn’t.

As part of our investigation, we undertook a Phase 1 study of 83 creative sentencing cases in Alberta for environmental crimes. Then we followed with Phase 2 study of the R vs. Syncrude case which had the largest creative sentence in Alberta’s history.

We found a very closed creative sentencing process for environmental crimes in Alberta when it came to sourcing funds and becoming a lucky beneficiary.

Our findings have been submitted for publication. We loaded our source documents here as service to the public.

Please cite this WordPress site as:  Janice Paskey & James Wilt, Mount Royal University, retrieved as albertacreativesentencing.wordpress.com

Background: Creative sentencing is an important and intriguing part of the judicial process in Alberta. The creative sentencing provisions in Alberta law are meant to be in the public interest as well as preserve our environment and prevent environmental crimes from happening in the future. In short, a judge can order that, in addition to a fine, a company may pay a sum to an organization (or beneficiary) for a project that meets creative sentencing goals. The Crown Prosecutor, Defence counsel, Judge, and Beneficiary are partners in the process. The end beneficiary, though, should be the natural habitat and the people of this province.

We’ve organized the legal material and provided briefs in a way that we hope will make sense to you. We’ve included some media reports and academic articles that pertain to creative sentencing.

We are deeply thankful to Mount Royal University’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability (Michael Quinn and Connie van der Byl) for project grants that allowed us to explore this fascinating field. Thank you to our Faculty of Communication Studies web producer Kerri Martin for help with this WordPress site.


Phase 1

Janice Paskey, Principal Investigator, Associate Professor, Journalism, jpaskey@mtroyal.ca, (403) 440-8744

James Wilt, Research Assistant

Phase 2

Janice Paskey, Principal Investigator, Associate Professor, Journalism, jpaskey@mtroyal.ca, 403 440-8744

Gillian Steward, PhD, Co-Investigator

Cassie Riabko, Research Assistant


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