February 2018

MLA Mike Morris Desperately Needs a History Lesson


MLA Mike Morris was BC’s former minister of public safety.
​Yesterday, I read a very disappointing article that summarized an interview with BC MLA Mike Morris about the NDP Government’s commitment to a $50 Million dollar investment in preserving Indigenous languages in British Columbia.


As a Metis person, I could not be happier with this commitment. The vast majority of Indigenous languages are endangered. When I was completing my undergraduate degree, I had the privilege of studying the Musqueam language, which sadly lost its last fluent speaker a few years before I took the course. These languages are only preserved as a result of the hard work of scholars and communities, and having provincial funding to make that happen is so refreshing and inspiring.

Make No Mistake — Point to Point Speed Cameras are Just a Cash Grab

The NDP Government in conjunction with Victoria’s Capital Regional District Traffic Safety Committee has proposed installing point-to-point speed cameras on the Malahat Highway. What these cameras are, essentially, are cameras set at various points throughout the Malahat drive capturing images of the vehicles that pass by them.

Then, based on the distance between the cameras and the time at which the vehicles pass by, the cameras work together to calculate a speed for any given vehicle. Speed is calculated by measuring the distance the vehicle travelled over time. Those vehicles which are speeding will then be ticketed. Drivers in British Columbia have been asked to provide their opinions to Mike Farnworth by March 1, 2018.

Measuring THC Blood or Urine Content Will Not Detect Impairment

The Canadian and BC governments are facing some difficult legal hurdles if they continue to pursue the notion of punishing people on the basis of having consumed particular qualities of marijuana before driving. 

​Earlier this month, I wrote about how the BC government will be introducing a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition for marijuana impaired driving and the flawed options available to how they will determine if someone is driving while impaired. 

And I’ve previously been quoted in articles about how significant an effect these poorly conceived laws will have on medical users. 

But what does it look like when Criminal courts, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, try to handle cases involving marijuana impairment? 

Urine and blood tests can prove a person consumed marijuana. That much is agreed upon and established in the courts. But that’s it.

It can only prove that the person used marijuana in the past. What urine and blood tests cannot do is prove whether a person was impaired as a result of marijuana use.

Immediate Roadside Prohibition? Don’t Take the Second Test

(CTV News Photo)

​A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on the topic of the second test in an Immediate Roadside Prohibition case. At the time, I discussed how the right to a second test functioned as a double-edged sword. In one sense, it could exonerate you. In another sense, it could become inculpatory evidence.

A lot has changed since that blog post, and I wanted to revisit the question of whether taking a second test is really worthwhile for drivers. My conclusion based on the current state of the law is that taking a second test is a foolhardy idea. It’s a trap.

Administrative prohibitions announced for marijuana-impaired driving

​Today, the BC Government announced its stance on marijuana legalization. Unsurprisingly, the announcement comes with some indication about how the province intends to tackle the issue of marijuana impaired driving.

Without giving away the details, the Government has announced that it will be introducing a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition for marijuana impaired driving. Nothing about this is surprising, as we had long suspected that the so-called success of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition would be translated into drug impaired driving when the time came. However, what is confusing is how the Government expects to administer the law effectively.

If the Government intends to make this a roadside penalty, similar to the IRP scheme, then there are essentially two equally flawed options available to them. If they intend this to be a 90-day prohibition based on a more thorough investigation, then that too holds inherent flaws.

So what are the options?

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