R. v. Araujo (A.) et al., 2000 SCC 65

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateDecember 14, 2000
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations2000 SCC 65;(2000), 143 B.C.A.C. 257 (SCC)

R. v. Araujo (A.) (2000), 143 B.C.A.C. 257 (SCC);

    235 W.A.C. 257

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

....................

Temp. Cite: [2000] B.C.A.C. TBEd. DE.011

Angela Araujo, Spencer Leslie, Neil Grandmaison, Christina Khoury, Victor Camara, Robert Jenkins, Tiffany Muriel Leslie, Kevin Lathangue and Jolene Irons (appellants) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent)

(26899; 26904; 26898; 26943; 26968; 2000 SCC 65)

Indexed As: R. v. Araujo (A.) et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.

December 14, 2000.

Summary:

The accused faced multiple charges of trafficking, possession, conspiracy and weapons charges related to their cocaine trafficking ring. Much of the Crown's evi­dence was obtained from a wiretap. The 130 page affidavit filed in support of the wiretap authorization was prepared by an RCMP officer (Rosset) based on information gathered from the handlers of 10 police informants. The affidavit contained a number of errors of varying importance. For ex­ample, the affidavit listed the 10 informants as A through J. In several places, the affida­vit referred erroneously to the wrong infor­mant. The officer became aware of the errors after the wiretap authorization was granted, but did not disclose them to anyone. The trial judge found that the officer's dam­aged credibility tainted the whole affidavit and rendered it unreliable, resulting in a finding that the issuing judge should not have granted the authorization. The trial judge also held that the require­ment of investiga­tive necessity had not been estab­lished as required by s. 186(1)(b) of the Criminal Code. Accord­ingly, evidence obtained under the wiretap was inadmissible and, absent further evi­dence, the accused were acquitted. The Crown appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported 109 B.C.A.C. 131; 177 W.A.C. 131, allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial. The accused appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. Although the Court of Appeal applied the wrong test respecting the inves­tigative necessity requirement of s. 186(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, the court reached the right conclusion in upholding the issuing judge's authorization.

Criminal Law - Topic 5274.4

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications (incl. video sur­veillance) - Application for - Requirement of investigative necessity - Section 186(1)(a) of the Criminal Code provided that a wiretap authorization could be issued only if, inter alia, "other investiga­tive procedures are unlikely to succeed" - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the investigative necessity requirement of s. 186(1)(b) was met where there was "prac­tically speaking, no other reasonable alter­native method of investigation" - The court stated that the issue was not, as stated by the Court of Appeal, whether the issuing judge "despite the fact that other investiga­tive techniques may have had promise ... could have concluded that the most effica­cious way of fully investigating all those involved" was the use of a wiretap - The proper test was necessity, not efficiency - See paragraphs 19 to 35.

Criminal Law - Topic 5274.4

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications (incl. video sur­veillance) - Application for - Requirement of investigative necessity - The accused faced multiple charges of trafficking, pos­session, conspiracy and weapons charges related to their cocaine trafficking ring - Much of the Crown's evidence was ob­tained from a wiretap - The 130 page af­fidavit filed in support of the wiretap authorization was prepared by an RCMP of­ficer (Rosset) based on information gathered from the handlers of 10 police informants - The accused challenged the wiretap authorization on the ground that the requirement of investigative necessity was not established (Criminal Code, s. 186(1)(b)) - The Supreme Court of Canada rejected this ground, stating that "there was ... evidence in the affidavit to negate argu­ments for other investigative techniques and to make the case that wiretapping was, practically speaking, the only reasonable alternative, taking into account the nature and purpose of this particular investiga­tion." - See paragraphs 36 to 43.

Criminal Law - Topic 5274.5

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications (incl. video sur­veillance) - Application for - Evidence in support - The Supreme Court of Canada offered practical suggestions as to the form of affidavits on wiretap authorization applications - The legal obligation on anyone seeking an authorization was full and frank disclosure of material facts - The affidavit should be clear and concise - It need not include every minute detail of the police investigation over a number of months and even years - Boiler plate language should be avoided - At best, such language adds extra verbiage and seldom means anything - At worst, there exists the potential to trick the reader into thinking that the affidavit means something that it does not - An affidavit should set out the facts "truthfully, fully and plainly" - While there is no legal requirement to obtain affidavits directly from those with firsthand knowledge of the facts set out therein, doing so would strengthen the material by making it more reliable - See paragraphs 45 to 49.

Criminal Law - Topic 5283

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications (incl. video sur­veillance) - Authority for - Judicial review of - General - Much of the Crown's evi­dence against the accused was obtained from a wiretap - The 130 page affidavit filed in support of the wiretap authoriza­tion was prepared by an RCMP officer (Rosset) based on information gathered from the handlers of 10 police informants -The affidavit contained errors of varying importance - For example, the affidavit listed the 10 informants as A through J - In several places, the affidavit referred erroneously to the wrong inform­ant - The officer became aware of the errors after the wiretap authorization was granted, but did not disclose them to any­one - The trial judge found that the offi­cer's damaged credibility tainted the whole affidavit and rendered it unreliable, result­ing in a find­ing that the issuing judge should not have granted the authorization - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the standard of review was whether "there was reliable evidence that might reasonably be believed on the basis of which the authorization could have issued" - The trial judge erred in overturning the authorization on the basis of a subfacial challenge to its relia­bility - After excising the erroneous infor­mation, the affidavit still provided ample evidence to an issuing judge and estab­lished probable grounds and investigative necessity - Further, amplification would permit the reading of the now-corrected information - See paragraphs 50 to 61.

Criminal Law - Topic 5283.3

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications (incl. video sur­veillance) - Authority for - Judicial review - Evidence - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the use of amplifica­tion evidence to correct erroneous infor­mation resulting from simple error rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead an authoriz­ing judge - See paragraphs 57 to 59.

Criminal Law - Topic 5287

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications (incl. video sur­veillance) - Authority for - Validity of - Severability of defective portions - [See Criminal Law - Topic 5283 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Ewanchuk (S.B.), [1999] 1 S.C.R. 330; 235 N.R. 323; 232 A.R. 1; 195 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Biniaris (J.), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 381; 252 N.R. 204; 134 B.C.A.C. 161; 219 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 18].

Southam Inc. v. Hunter, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Garofoli et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1421; 116 N.R. 241; 43 O.A.C. 1; 36 Q.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Sanelli, Duarte and Fasciano, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 30; 103 N.R. 86; 37 O.A.C. 322, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Commisso, [1983] 2 S.C.R. 121; 49 N.R. 26, refd to. [para. 24].

R. v. Thompson et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1111; 114 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 24].

R. v. Lachance, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1490; 116 N.R. 325; 43 O.A.C. 241; 36 Q.A.C. 243, refd to. [para. 24].

R. v. Finlay and Grellette (1985), 11 O.A.C. 279; 23 C.C.C.(3d) 48 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Playford (1987), 24 O.A.C. 161; 40 C.C.C.(3d) 142 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Smyk (K.W.) et al. (1993), 88 Man.R.(2d) 303; 51 W.A.C. 303; 86 C.C.C.(3d) 63 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Barbeau (1996), 110 C.C.C.(3d) 69 (Que. C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Grant (I.M.) (1998), 131 Man.R.(2d) 36; 187 W.A.C. 36; 130 C.C.C.(3d) 53 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Bankrupt), Re, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 27; 221 N.R. 241; 106 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 26].

CanadianOxy Chemicals Ltd. et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [1999] 1 S.C.R. 743; 237 N.R. 373; 122 B.C.A.C. 1; 100 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Madsen, [1988] N.W.T.R. 82 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 28].

R. v. Todoruk (1992), 78 C.C.C.(3d) 139 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. McCreery, [1996] B.C.J. No. 2405 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Shalala (R.H.) (2000), 224 N.B.R.(2d) 118; 574 A.P.R. 118 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 30].

Berger v. New York (1967), 388 U.S. 41 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 32].

Katz v. United States (1967), 389 U.S. 347 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 32].

United States v. London (1995), 66 F.3d 1227 (1st Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

United States v. Torres (1990), 901 F.2d 205 (2nd Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

United States v. Commito (1990), 918 F.2d 95 (9th Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

United States v. Guerra-Marez (1991), 928 F.2d 665 (5th Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

United States v. Milton (1998), 153 F.3d 891 (8th Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

United States v. Smith (1994), 31 F.3d 1294 (4th Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

United States v. Green (1994), 40 F.3d 1167 (11th Cir.), refd to. [para. 33].

R. v. Hiscock (1992), 72 C.C.C.(3d) 303 (Que. C.A.), leave to appeal denied, [1993] 1 S.C.R. ix, refd to. [para. 34].

R. v. Paulson (J.Y.) (1995), 57 B.C.A.C. 217; 94 W.A.C. 217; 97 C.C.C.(3d) 344 (C.A.), disagreed with [para. 38].

R. v. Cheung (Y.W.) (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 161; 157 W.A.C. 161; 119 C.C.C.(3d) 507 (C.A.), disagreed with [para. 38].

Dalglish v. Jarvie (1850), 2 Mac. & G. 231; 42 E.R. 89, refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Kensington Income Tax Commis­sioners, [1917] 1 K.B. 486 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Church of Scientology of Toronto and Zaharia (1987), 18 O.A.C. 321; 31 C.C.C.(3d) 449 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 46].

United States of America v. Friedland, [1996] O.J. No. 4399 (Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Bisson (J.) et autres, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 1097; 173 N.R. 237; 65 Q.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 51].

R. v. Grant (D.), [1993] 3 S.C.R. 223; 159 N.R. 161; 35 B.C.A.C. 1; 57 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 52].

Mitton et al. v. British Columbia Securities Commission (1999), 123 B.C.A.C. 263; 201 W.A.C. 263 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Allain (S.) (1998), 205 N.B.R.(2d) 201; 523 A.P.R. 201 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Krist (J.) (1998), 113 B.C.A.C. 176; 184 W.A.C. 176 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Monroe (D.T.) (1997), 90 B.C.A.C. 256; 147 W.A.C. 256; 8 C.R.(5th) 324 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Morris (W.R.) (1998), 173 N.S.R. (2d) 1; 527 A.P.R. 1; 134 C.C.C.(3d) 539 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 54].

R. v. Plant (R.S.), [1993] 3 S.C.R. 281; 157 N.R. 321; 145 A.R. 104; 55 W.A.C. 104, refd to. [para. 55].

R. v. Madrid (L.A.) (1994), 48 B.C.A.C. 271; 78 W.A.C. 271 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 59].

R. v. Harris & Lighthouse Video Centres Ltd. (1987), 20 O.A.C. 36; 35 C.C.C.(3d) 1 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 59].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 186(1) [para. 15].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Driedger, Elmer A., Construction of Stat­utes (2nd Ed. 1983), p. 87 [para. 26].

Counsel:

Adrian F. Brooks, for the appellant, Arau­jo;

David N. Lyon, for the appellant, S. Les­lie;

Michael Code and Jonathan Dawe, for the appellant, Grandmaison;

Robert C. Claus, for the appellant, Khoury;

Michael J.B. Munro, for the appellant, Camara;

Sidney B. Simons, for the appellants, Jenkins, T.M. Leslie and Irons;

D. Mayland McKimm, for the appellant, Lathangue;

S. David Frankel, Q.C., and Peter W. Hogg, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Adrian F. Brooks, Victoria, B.C., for the appellant, Araujo;

David N. Lyon, Victoria, B.C., for the appellant, S. Leslie;

Sack Goldblatt Mitchell, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant, Grandmaison;

Green & Claus, Victoria, B.C., for the appellant, Khoury;

Michael J.B. Munro, Victoria, B.C., for the appellant, Camara;

Simons MacKenzie Law Corp., Victoria, B.C., for the appellants, Jenkins, T.M. Leslie and Irons;

Mayland McKimm & Associates, Victoria, B.C., for the appellant, Lathangue;

Attorney General of Canada, Vancouver, B.C., for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on April 11-12, 2000, before McLachlin, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Basta­rache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On December 14, 2000, LeBel, J., deliv­ered the following judgment in both official languages for the court.

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434 cases
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