Month: November 2017

Unpopular Opinion: Allan Schoenborn is a victim, too

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Allan Scheonborn was found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder after killing his three children. (RCMP)


​​In 2008, the small country town of Merritt, British Columbia was rocked when news broke that Allan Schoenborn had stabbed his estranged wife and killed their two children while they slept. He had suffered a psychotic break, and believed that that his children were being sexually assaulted. He killed them, in the horrific, mistaken belief that doing so would somehow save them from the humiliation of the ordeal. 

Kyla Lee on Global News: Interview on dangerous driving after cyclist killed in fatal collision

Kyla Lee on Global

Lawyer Kyla Lee being interviewed by Grace Ke on Global BC.

​Family members of a cyclist who was killed in Richmond last year are outraged after learning the driver who allegedly ran him down won’t face serious charges.

“I was very confident that he would be criminally charged,” said Lianne Dean, whose son was six cyclists who were struck head-on while riding on River Road last November.

Thirty-three-year-old Brad Dean died, while two other riders were seriously injured.

What happened to the NDP promise to restore legal aid funding?

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BC Attorney General David Eby. (BC Government Photo)


​The Attorney General of British Columbia, David Eby, was recently interviewed by the Vancouver Sun. One of the issues covered in the interview was the question of Legal Aidfunding. During his campaign, Attorney General Eby promised to restore funding to Legal Aid, which is a critical issue in the access to justice sphere.
 
That has not happened yet.
 
Unfortunately, Attorney General Eby’s response was less than comforting, particularly for those who cannot get legal aid funding for their criminal matters.

Kyla Lee on The Province: New distracted driving penalties “a way for the government to line its own pockets”


​The B.C. government’s latest crackdown on distracted driving should be good news for Kyla Lee, a Vancouver defence lawyer who specializes in fighting traffic tickets in court.

That’s because every time the government’s hammer comes down, the calls to her law office go up. It’s happened every time the people in charge have ramped up penalties against drivers using their mobile phones behind the wheel.

New penalties won’t lead to a decrease in distracted driving in BC


​This week, the Provincial Government announced changes to the distracted driving laws in British Columbia. Again. They are raising the fines and penalties again. If you don’t recall, I wrote about this last year when the fine amounts and penalty points were increased

Now, the BC Government has decided to increase the penalty again, because drivers aren’t getting the message. This policy, however, actually amounts to a substitution of penalties and will not lead to a decrease in distracted driving overall.

Here’s why.

Canada’s Bill C-51 compromises sexual assault fair trial rights

Jody Wilson-Raybould

Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced Bill C-51 in June 2017 (facebook.com/MPJodyWR)

This last week, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin waded into the #IBelieveSurvivors debate. She made some startling but important and refreshing comments about the rights of an accused person in a sexual assault trial, and the rights of complainants in sexual assault cases.
 
Her comments that have been most quoted are these: “no one has the right to a particular verdict.” And she is absolutely right.
 
However, the Government has proposed a piece of legislation that seems to codify the opposite. With Bill C-51, the Federal Government is trying to make it so that sexual assault complainants are, in essence, guaranteed a verdict unless the defence shows that a sexual assault did not occur.
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