A prisoner, who was being transfered from Calgary to Toronto on an RCMP plane (Air Canada and Westjet refused to transport him) and was acting unruly, was ultimately tied up with an extension cord “like a horse”, a tactic Justice Gary Trotter found to be “heavy-handed”. As reported in the Toronto Star, Justice Trotter did not take the next step and completely stay proceedings against the man.
This is one of those cases, similar to many cases involving police strip searches, where there is not evidence found as a result of the Charter breach. This can make it difficult to determine the appropriate remedy for the breach. While a stay of all proceedings is often appropriate, in some cases, especially for more egregious charges or where there may have been some justification for police behaviour (here, Justice Trotter explained that although the accused did not deserve the treatment he received, police were not acting out of “retaliation or punishment”), a stay may not be the appropriate remedy. This of course raises the question of what an appropriate remedy is, if any at all.
In this case Justice Trotter explained that he will take the Charter breach into account when passing sentence.
This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman. Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at email@example.com.