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How it went down: IRPs at the Supreme Court of Canada

IRPs at the Supreme Court of Canada

Seven heavy-duty judges, cameras and a very impressive room filled with lawyers. Kyla was the first to step up and speak to the Court. It was an impressive sight seeing how it went down when we finally got to discuss IRPs at the Supreme Court of Canada.[pullquote]We think the lawyers on both sides made their best efforts before the Court to advance their arguments. Still, we can always imagine a better method of sorting this out.[/pullquote] Our first impression was that we got out the essential points and the Court seemed to understand our concerns with the scheme. The next day...

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Prepared for a big day in IRP history

IRP History

We've arrived in Ottawa. We've got all of our material and argument together. We're prepared for a big day in IRP history. And it will be a big day. Last Friday we received a fax from the registry at the Supreme Court of Canada listing the order of cases and speakers. The Wilson case will be first which means that Kyla is the first one to speak at the Supreme Court of Canada about IRPs. She is allotted 30 minutes. Counsel for the BC Government will speak next and Kyla will be permitted a 5-minute reply. Then the Wilson case will...

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Supreme Court of Canada next week

Supreme Court of Canada to hear Wilson and IRPs

In one week the Wilson case and the Goodwin (Sivia) case will be argued at the Supreme Court of Canada. It's hard to believe what a long road this has been, but here we are. We're at the Supreme Court of Canada next week.[pullquote]For us it's a no-brainer because some officers have told us that there were occasions when they felt they didn't have the right opinion despite the test results.[/pullquote] Our role is exclusive to the Wilson case. When Kyla looked at the BC Court of Appeal decision in Wilson she felt that the Court failed to apply the correct...

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The laws have changed

The laws have changed and you didn't even notice

You wake up one morning and the laws have changed. You realize that the society around you is no longer recognizable to you. The ideas and concepts that you have long considered abhorrent and contrary to the dignity of yourself and your fellow humans have now become the law. The laws have changed. What do you do?[pullquote]Got an IRP and feeling lonely? You're not alone. You're part of a community with a particular common experience and particular insight into the state of justice in our province.[/pullquote] Three years ago we told our readers where things are going in BC. It saddens...

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Steps to eliminate justice

House of cards

It's a disturbing time to be living in Canada. In BC we see that our provincial Government is attempting to undermine the justice system. For political and economic reasons they want to eliminate justice. It's an upsetting trend.[pullquote]No, the actual purpose from what we can see is to stack the deck in favour of the Government because they know that actual lawyers pose the biggest risk to the Government.[/pullquote] We watched in recent years as legal aid has been reduced to such an extent that legal aid lawyers no longer have the resources to put up much resistance to the Government...

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Funny doings in Victoria


We keep our finger on the pulse of the legislative action in Victoria when it comes to the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. Mind you, “action” probably isn’t the appropriate term because it suggests a level of intensity that just isn’t there. And "pulse" would suggest that there is one; as though democracy was alive and well and fulfilling the purposes we expect of it.[pullquote]As a member of the opposition you may feel you have no choice but to vote for a bad law because you know your political fate hangs on how you deal with this particular...

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IRP for Good Guys, DUI for Bad Guys

Good guys get IRPs. Bad Guys get DUIs

One of the cruel ironies of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme is that good people who have no history with the police are treated worse than people who drive drunk with some regularity. When you get pulled over and blow Fail on an ASD in BC, the police issue an IRP for good guys and a DUI for bad guys. It's one of the most offensive parts of the IRP scheme that almost nobody talks about except police officers themselves. Many cops think the IRP scheme stinks for this very reason. Allow me to explain.[pullquote]In BC good guys don't get...

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The new burden of proof with IRP hearings

Burden of Proof in IRP hearings

When a case is handled in court there is always an obligation on one of the parties to prove something. For example, if you're alleging that another party is negligent, you need to go to court and present the evidence to persuade the court of your allegation. The burden of proof is on you.[pullquote]The onus under the new law is on the driver to prove, even without evidence from the other side, that they are in fact innocent.[/pullquote] In a criminal court, the burden of proof is on the Crown prosecutor to show that the accused committed the crime. If the...

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Section 215.41 – 215.51 and 251.1 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act with Bill 15 provisions included

Bill 15 changes the Motor Vehicle Act regarding IRPs

We expect that the proposed changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act will be enacted into law within weeks. Most of the time proposed legislation is BC becomes law with little debate in our legislature. Usually the final version of the law is identical to the one introduced at first reading. Legislation that amends laws that are already on the books are almost always difficult to sort out. They remove a word or phrase, included new sections and refer to sections that are not yet in place. It's confusing to everyone, including lawyers. The members of the legislative assembly don't often...

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The lawyers can save us

Lawyers can save us (if Jesus won't)?

The function of the legislative process in British Columbia is very disappointing to us as citizens, taxpayers and British Columbians. We've noticed that the Government issues deceptive press releases, introduces a bill and then passes it within weeks with little or no discussion in our legislature. It turns out that it's all a fait accompli. The decisions are made behind closed doors. The quality of the debate in our provincial house is abysmal. The MLAs seem to have little understanding of the laws that they pass. It's not what we we're told we're getting living in a democracy.[pullquote]If you want...

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