Feb 4 2017 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg – http://wp.me/p1fJaD-Sn
The Crown appealed Justice Harvie’s decision from May 2016 (successfull delay motion). It was heard Feb 3rd in MBQC by Justice Vic Toews who was formerly the Federal Justice Minister. It could have not been a better Justice in terms of being unbiased. Toews reserved his decision until Mar 2nd.
There were many in attendance at the court room including Andrew Slough of the prosecutions branch of the province and about 10 Crown attorneys observing the arguments – as a lot turns on this decision.
Several points from ACJ Krahn’s decision in R v. Yaworski were referenced by the Crown and Defense as well as the Prescott, Segodnia and other decisions.
Based on how the hearing went and the Judges comments we assume the decision will be in favor of the Crown but likely with institutional criticism that will likely compel the Crown/Province to stay trials in the system 18 months or more.
So it appears that this appeal will be won by the Crown – but a win with respect to establishing the Jordan Supreme Court establishing 18 months maximum to clear cases. The Crown would have lost this appeal, had the ticket been 18 months rather than one week shy of 18. This is the strong expectation of the decision that will be read on march 2nd – but is unknown of course at this point.
Justice Toews has made it clear he is a big supporter of R v. Jordan (SCC) which stated 18 months ceiling for criminal matters at Provincial court and that simple matters should be handled in less time but didn’t specify a ceiling.
It is too bad that the delay motion in R v. Yaworski was not denied as it could have been appealed which would have resulted in a better outcome.
In Yaworski the delay was 18 months 9 days and in Grant it was 7 days short of 18 months.
In R. v. Prescott the delay was just short of 18 months as well but was also found to be unreasonable and stayed. This decision was brought up but did not appear to alter the 18 months ceiling.
Toews comments give the impression that strong language will be used in his decision to infer anything older than 18 months should not be prosecuted.
There will likely be a press announcement on Mar 2nd that the Crown will be staying all offenses of 18 months or more.
R. v. Morin SCC shone the light on the issue with the delays and in these cases the delay is with the court not the crown.
Justice Harvie’s decision said simple traffic matters should be handled within 4 to 6 months. Toews was very critical of this and agreed with the Crown that this was just personal opinion with no basis or caselaw to rely on so means nothing.
This is because these simple matters are a very light burden, i.e. they mail the ticket, no time spent with discovery etc…so there is much less administrative burden and it is the courts that are delaying.
We will see when the decision is read on Mar 2.
That said the City and Province need to and should have already addressed the root cause of the delays which is the approximate 300,000 traffic and parking alleged offenses being issued every year in Winnipeg with the vast majority proven to be unfair or unlawful. This resulting in up to 25% or more being contested. This volume per capita and rate of contesting is higher than anywhere in Canada.
This volume is trending up and with no annual accurate and complete safety improvement stats the photo enforcement program is in breach of the Conditions of Authority the Province granted and is grounds for termination.
This occuring because of aggressive targeted enforcement by WPS and for profit partners ACS / Xerox and TSS of locations with known and sometimes created engineering deficiencies in proper and safe speed limits, signage, amber times and others. WPA with for profit partner G4S Tech also aggressively targeting parking locations with known deficient or confusing signage.
Elected and appointed officials are ignoring these serious safety issues even when repeatedly brought to their attention by WiseUpWinnipeg, whistle blowers, the media and members of the public. This involves up to $70 Million / year taken from drivers, vehicle owners and businesses. The Province takes 50%, City 25% and WPS / WPA 25% after paying their for profit partners. With velocity of money this involves up to $420 Million per year taken from the economy or $ Billions since 2003.
This exposed via Court action, FIPPA requests, Ombudsman, whistle blowers, media and the hard work and time of many WiseUpWinnipeg members and some others in the public. Some have spend considerable amounts on this cause with no personal gain.
There is many other legal, charter and civil rights issues with Photo Enforcement the way it is being operated in Winnipeg and elsewhere. These recently proven in court in Quebec and is resulting in Class Action lawsuits.
This needs to be challenged in Manitoba using the QC decision and if convicted appealed and then it will set a precedence. Then the class action to get all the unlawfully collected money refunded. The City should cancel the contracts and sue ACS and G4S Tech for their involvement in unlawful behavior to collect their share so it is not all coming out of the public’s pocket as the incompetent or worse politicians and officials have already wasted the City and Provinces shares.
See section in the pinned post for 11b for information on how to file a delay motion with 11b challenge and more info on Grant, Segodnia, Yaworski and Prescott Decision and related.
To learn more about the changes WiseUpWinnipeg is advocating for and what has been exposed related to unfair and unlawful traffic and parking enforcement and related.
Visit http://www.wiseupwinnpeg.com to see the current pinned post.