Month: April 2018

Roadside Prohibitions for Saliva Drug Testing – A New Government Low

The biggest hint to date about what British Columbia’s drug-impaired driving scheme is going to look like is finally here. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth was quoted in The Province today as saying that a legislative scheme not unlike the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme might soon become a reality.
 
It’s nice to know he’s creating a new prohibition scheme when the one that he criticized while in opposition remains unrepaired.
 
But what the article in The Province hints at is that roadside testing will be done by way of saliva testing. And this is inherently problematic.

29 Year Old Veteran Investigator: Now, The Accused

Cst. Jim Fisher makes an appearance in court for allegations including sexual assault charges.

The ex-VPD detective was facing a host of charges against him including a number of sexual assault counts which have now been dropped.

The 29-year veteran investigator instead pleaded guilty to three charges: two separate counts of breach of trust and one of committing sexual exploitation.

Radio NL Kamloops: Kyla Lee is raising the alarm over federal justice reforms

A lawyer with Acumen Law is raising the alarm over the Trudeau government’s so called bold criminal justice reforms.
Kyla Lee says Bill C-75’s faults have been getting a lot of media attention but she says one concerning aspect has been overlooked..

Lee says the bill limits cross examination of police officers over what it calls routine police evidence, which might not sound nefarious.

“But the definition in the bill of routine police evidence is actually very significant. It encompasses everything a police officer does from identifying an accused individual to anything they say with them or otherwise interacting with them. It covers the collection, handling, and identification of evidence as well as making observations. That is everything that policing is.”

Joint Sentencing Submissions and the Case of Former Detective Constable Fisher

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Detective Constable Jim Fisher. (CTV. March 28, 2018)

Last week, disgraced former Vancouver Police Department Detective Constable Jim Fisher pleaded guilty to three charges of abuse of trust and sexual exploitation of a minor. He had been facing a slew of charges, which had slowly been whittled away by the Crown and ultimately pleas were entered on three of them. Each of the three charges refers to his interactions with minors who were also witnesses in cases that he was managing.

The Court ordered a pre-sentence report, and the matter was adjourned for that to occur and for the submissions of counsel. Prior to the pleas being formally entered, the court was asked to canvass certain provisions of the Criminal Code with Fisher. The judge seized of the matter warned him that he would not be bound by the position of Crown and defence.

With this in mind, the case raises very interesting issues relating to the law of joint submissions.

In Canadian criminal law, a longstanding tradition has been that agreements between the Crown and Defence are to be followed by judges, unless there is good reason to depart from the joint position. However, until recently there was no hard and fast rule about this. In late 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R. v. Anthony-Cook, a decision addressing joint submissions. The Court ruled that judges should not depart from a joint submission unless the administration of justice would be brought into disrepute or the proposed sentence would be contrary to the public interest.

The Government’s Drug-Impaired Driving Scheme May Ruin The Rest of Your Life – And I’m Not Joking

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(CBC Photo)

This weekend, an opinion piece in CBC got me thinking: what happens to Canadians who want to seek entry into the United States but are marijuana users, after marijuana is legal?

The Government has not anticipated the host of problems that legalization will pose for cross-border travellers. And while use of marijuana is a ground to exclude entry into the United States, my greater concern is how driving-related marijuana offences recorded on the driving record will impact those seeking entry into the United States.

Currently, every province is considering how it will address the problem of drug-impaired driving once legalization is complete. In British Columbia, the Government has hinted at the likelihood of a further roadside prohibition scheme to address the so-called problem of drug-impaired driving. Leaving aside the fact that drug-impaired driving is both already an issue and already addressed in legislation, making all of this really a non-issue, an expanded roadside prohibition scheme will have devastating consequences of the type the alcohol-impaired schemes do not.

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