In The News

Kyla in News 1130: Most fines for defying mandatory mask policy on Metro Vancouver transit unpaid

Over $143,000 in tickets were handed out to people not wearing a mask when it was mandatory on Metro Vancouver transit, but the vast majority of those fines have not been paid.

Transit police data shared with NEWS 1130 shows 626 tickets were issued between November 2020 and the end of June 2021.

Lawyer Kyla Lee says the number of unpaid tickets is not shocking.

“I think that what we’ve seen over the last 10 months that we’ve had masks on transit and in B.C., is we’ve seen the type of people who are opposed to wearing masks on transit are the type of people who are generally defiant to any type of COVID-19, protections including vaccination and other social distancing measures,” she says.

“The fact that they’re not going to participate in the process of paying their tickets when they don’t agree with all of this — that doesn’t surprise me in any way.”

Read the full story here.

Kyla on Back On The Beat with John Daly

“Unfortunately BC can’t legislate in areas that would effect Albertans… The Province only has the power to create legislation that applies within it’s provincial borders… Without Alberta’s government getting onboard and saying we mutually agree to close the border between our two provinces, we can’t keep them from coming in.”

Kyla in The Guelph Mercury Tribune: Here’s how B.C. plans to keep people from travelling outside their health regions

B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has announced a legal order to restrict travel of people outside their own health regions.

“We need to work together to get through the coming weeks. For now, we have to hunker down and stay local,” Minister Mike Farnworth said at a Friday press conference.

Kyla Lee, a Vancouver-based defence lawyer specializing in driving and traffic stops, says the government should immediately provide clarification on the documentation that would be required, and the permissible scope of questioning that police are going to have.

“How far can (police) go, or are there going to be limits?” she told the Star.

Read the full story here.

Kyla on CTV News: Lawyers say B.C.’s COVID-19 travel roadblocks might discriminate, will be challenged in court

Details of B.C.’s new plans to restrict travel within the province won’t be announced until Friday, but lawyers are already predicting that it will spell trouble.

The new order will give police the power to conduct COVID-19 road blocks aimed at curbing travel between health regions, and civil rights and criminal lawyers are saying that aspects of it are likely to be challenged in court.

Lee expects she will hear from British Columbians who are issued fines for crossing health region boundaries.

“Everybody who is getting a ticket for this I think will seriously consider fighting it, and I think a lot of people will.”

Watch the full news story here.

Kyla in The Vancouver Sun: COVID-19: B.C. announces travel restrictions, lowers eligible age for AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C. Premier John Horgan on Monday announced sweeping new travel restrictions that prohibit people from travelling outside their health authority to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee said police would have the power to question people on where they are going, creating an obligation for people to answer.

“That raises important questions about your right to silence,” Lee said.

“If you are compelled to provide information to police, in an accident for example, under our system of law those statements that you make can’t be used as evidence against you.

Read the full story here.

Kyla on CTV News: Teachers, first responders pleased with B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans while others feel left behind

After hearing the news that essential workers would be prioritized in the next phase of B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, many in the selected industries said they were pleased with the plan, while others expressed they felt left behind.

On Thursday, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced employees like first responders, educational staff, postal workers, grocery store workers and bylaw officers will be next in line to receive an AstraZeneca shot. Appointments for those doses are expected to begin in April.

Kyla Lee, a criminal lawyer in Vancouver, said she was disappointed that court staff, defence counsel and Crown counsel weren’t included in the most recent priority list either.

“Our professions have put us at risk for months,” Lee wrote on Twitter. “Court proceedings are integral to our democracy and cannot all be done remotely or with distancing.”

Read the full story here.

Kyla Lee in The Standard: Meng Wanzhou, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig: Here’s how we got here and what’s likely to happen next

The fate of two Canadian men facing trial in China is now, for all intents and purposes, up to U.S. President Joe Biden to decide, experts say.

China’s announcement this week that it will have snap trials for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, imprisoned since December 2018, is a political move to pressure Washington to withdraw its extradition request for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Kyla Lee, a defence lawyer practicing in Vancouver, told the Star that even if these arguments prove unsuccessful, the process could still take years.

With Meng’s resources, she can easily afford to appeal the decisions and fight this all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“The abuse of process angle is an important one. In my experience, the training and implementation of Charter rights by border officials is not up to the standard that it should be, and this case because of its profile could inform massive changes in that procedure,” Lee said.

“That being said, the standard to prove that (Meng’s treatment) amounted to an abuse of process is very high. The defence will essentially have to show that this was deliberate conduct, and not simply some ignorance of Charter obligations by the police.”

Read the full story here.

Kyla in The Lawyer’s Daily: Perspective, experience necessary conditions for Crown employment

As a criminal lawyer, one of things that I do in my efforts to defend my clients is to find out about them. I use the information about their circumstances to try to provide context to the alleged offence, help the Crown to understand the way in which a criminal conviction may adversely impact my client, and to persuade the Crown that seeking a conviction is not in the public interest.

Read more here.

Kyla on Wind speaker: Indigenous identity fraud law would be ‘a dividing line in the sand,’ says filmmaker

“What happens when someone overtly steals something from you, like your lands, your culture or the identity that’s yours?” asked Tamara Bell on Monday.

The Haida filmmaker launched a campaign on Jan. 18 for Canada to create legislation to stop a longstanding trend: People fraudulently claiming Indigenous identity to gain funding or opportunities.

Kyla Lee, a Métis defence lawyer practicing in Vancouver, told Windspeaker.com that despite a few potential legal red flags with the legislation as proposed, it’s high time for consequences to prevent a rampant and historic problem.

“This is something that’s perhaps long overdue,” Lee said in an interview. “People take advantage of the fact that in Canada we have Indigenous communities that include people who are white-passing, myself as a good example of that.

“There does need to be a way this type of behaviour can be controlled and addressed in more than just the use of ‘cancel culture.’”

Read more here.

Kyla Lee on Radio NL

Acumen Law’s Kyla Lee discusses the potential ban on inter-provincial travel and whether BC could implement it or does it violate charter rights?

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