All on this week’s edition of Weird and Wacky Wednesdays!
Complaints have been filed against Julie Lauzon, a Justice of the Peace sitting in Ottawa. The complaints were initiated after Lauzon published a scathing editorial in the National Post, criticizing what she called a “broken” bail system in the Ontario courts. In Ontario, justices of the peace preside over bail hearings. They also, as in British Columbia, perform other judicial functions such as reviewing applications for search warrants.
The basis of the complaints was a concern that Ms. Lauzon’s article brought the administration of justice into disrepute, by publicly denigrating the reputation of Crown counsel and thereby also raised a reasonable apprehension of bias against the Crown. The complaints allege that Ms. Lauzon’s article harmed the justice system.
I call foul.
Richard Suter entered a guilty plea to refusal to provide a sample of his breath, after an accident causing death. He was having an argument with his wife, when he pressed angrily on the gas pedal. His intention was to hit the brake. His vehicle collided with a restaurant patio, striking several people and killing a small boy.
What is interesting about this case is that after Mr. Suter was arrested for impaired driving, he was given legal advice not to provide a sample. It is a criminal offence to refuse to blow, and this legal advice was incorrect. Mr. Suter nevertheless pled guilty, and sentenced to four months jail. On appeal, the Court of Appeal increased the jail term to 26 months. The issue on appeal was whether the incorrect legal advice gave rise to a mistake of law that ought to have allowed Mr. Suter a lighter sentence.
Under the Section 251 of the Act police have the power to impound your vehicle for a variety of reasons, including if they have reasonable grounds to believe you have a driving prohibition, your licence has been suspended, you have been racing or you have been driving at excessive speed (anything more than 40km/hr over the posted speed limit).