Fairness Has Nothing to do With It: Another Disturbing IRP Policy Change

Last week, we received a decision in a case we argued challenging the seven-day limitation period for Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. Our clients in the challenge had not filed for review in the first seven days. They asked for an extension from RoadSafetyBC, but due to a policy change in their office, RoadSafetyBC determined that it would no longer accept extensions of the seven-day time period.

We challenged that policy change but were unsuccessful. You can read more about it here. We have also already filed an appeal in the BC Court of Appeal. One of the things that was evident in the decision of the Court, however, was that the decision not to allow the extensions of the seven days is just plain old unfair. The Court wrote this:

Nevertheless, I agree with the petitioners that the seven day period permitted to seek a review of a 90 day prohibition is not appropriate in all cases as a matter of policy and can be too short a period.  I also find that it would be appropriate for the Legislature to consider an amendment setting out an exception to the seven day period.  Clearly this regime is to be considered in the policy context of rapid determinations in the context of an effort to address the problems of driving while intoxicated.  Nonetheless, in unusual circumstances, it would seem to me appropriate to enable the Superintendent, in his or her discretion, to extend the seven day period to seek a review.  In my opinion, the present period can be too short a window in all circumstances and the Superintendent should have at least a discretion to consider an extension in extenuating circumstances such as those of Mr. Isinger and Mr. Derkuch.

After we received the decision, the Justice Minister spoke to the media, stating that fairness was always something the Government was concerned about, and that it is important to constantly be looking at the legislation in order to enhance fairness for drivers.

So what has the Government done to make the law more fair, since the ruling last week?