R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., 2002 ABQB 665

JudgeWatson, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateJuly 09, 2002
Citations2002 ABQB 665;(2002), 322 A.R. 32 (QB)

R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals (2002), 322 A.R. 32 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2002] A.R. TBEd. JL.073

Her Majesty The Queen (respondent) v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd. (appellant)

(Action No. 0068 41779 S1; 2002 ABQB 665)

Indexed As: R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial District of Edmonton

Watson, J.

July 9, 2002.

Summary:

An accused corporation was convicted of failing to ensure "as was reasonably practicable the health and safety of a worker" (Occupational Health and Safety Act, s. 2(1)(a)) and failing "to take all reasonable steps to ensure that such materials were contained or restrained to eliminate the potential danger" related to "a potential danger of dislodgment, or movement of materials, to wit: bales of wire" (General Safety Regulation, s. 67).

The Alberta Provincial Court, in a decision reported at [2001] A.R. Uned. 245, convicted the accused of both offences, but entered a conditional stay on the charge under s. 67 of the Regulations. The accused appealed.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the appeal.

Editor's note: for a related decision involving the same parties see 322 A.R. 63.

Criminal Law - Topic 7471

Summary conviction proceedings - Appeals - General - Evidence on appeal - Fresh evidence - An employer appealed its conviction for occupational health and safety offences and sought to introduce fresh affidavit evidence of industry practice - The Crown moved to cross-examine the affiants - Evidence of industry standard had been admitted at trial - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench stated that the four features of the test for the admissibility under s. 683 of the Criminal Code were due diligence, materiality, credibility and juridical significance - Because it was ultimately the interests of justice which had to determine the issue, due diligence was an element which might have to yield as a basis of exclusion - Weighing the criteria was a balancing exercise - In the case at bar, the cross-examination motion did not have to be granted in the interests of justice - The object of the cross-examination was to assist the court in determining the credibility aspect of the test - This was unnecessary where the other criteria for admission were not met - See paragraphs 44 to 66.

Trade Regulation - Topic 7874

Industrial safety - Offences - Defences - Due diligence - An employer appealed its convictions for occupational health and safety offences - The employer sought to introduce fresh evidence of industry practice - The Crown asserted that it would be "ironic" if an accused, convicted of a regulatory offence for which due diligence was a defence only if proved at trial, was allowed to supplement evidence said to relate to the question of due diligence when that evidence was available through the exercise of due diligence at trial - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench agreed - To approach the matter otherwise would endanger the integrity of the trial process in cases of regulatory offences governed by the principles enunciated in R. v. Sault Ste. Marie (City) (S.C.C.) - See paragraphs 57 and 58.

Trade Regulation - Topic 7874

Industrial safety - Offences - Defences - Due diligence - A 2080 pound bale of wire fell from a four high stack of bales and killed a worker - The industry practice was to stack bales four high - The employer was charged with failing to ensure, as was reasonably practicable, the worker's health and safety (Occupational Health and Safety Act, s. 2(1)(a)) and failing to take all reasonable steps to eliminate the potential danger (General Safety Regulation, s. 67) - The trial judge concluded that it was reasonably foreseeable that stacked bales could fall on nearby people and that the employer had not taken "all the care which a reasonable man might have been expected to take in the circumstances", namely "corrective action to remove the source of danger" - Accordingly, the defence of due diligence was unavailable - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench affirmed the decision - The trial judge had not ignored the industry practice, but simply found that it did not satisfy the reasonable conduct required by the legislation - The court rejected an assertion that what the employer did, having regard to its disbelief in the existence of real danger, constituted due diligence.

Trade Regulation - Topic 7883

Industrial safety - Particular offences - Failure to ensure health and safety of workers - [See second Trade Regulation -Topic 7874 ].

Trade Regulation - Topic 7884

Industrial safety - Particular offences - Failure to take every reasonable precaution - [See second Trade Regulation - Topic 7874 ].

Trials - Topic 1152

Summary convictions - Evidence - Appeals - [See Criminal Law - Topic 7471 and first Trade Regulation - Topic 7874 ].

Trials - Topic 1172

Summary convictions - Strict liability offences - Defence of due diligence or error of fact - [See both Trade Regulation - Topic 7874 ].

Trials - Topic 1181

Summary convictions - Appeals - General - A trial judge delivered reasons for summary conviction and later delivered reasons for sentencing - The accused appealed the conviction, asserting that the court was permitted to consider the trial judge's finding in the sentencing judgment as well as those in the conviction judgment - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench stated that, unless the interests of justice so required, it did not approve of the suggested approach for appellate purposes generally -See paragraphs 10 and 11.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Kienapple, [1975] 1 S.C.R. 729; 1 N.R. 322; 26 C.R.N.S. 1; 15 C.C.C.(2d) 524; 44 D.L.R.(3d) 351, refd to. [para. 3, footnote 3].

R. v. Prince, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 480; 70 N.R. 119; 45 Man.R.(2d) 93; 54 C.R.(3d) 97; [1987] 1 W.W.R. 1; 33 D.L.R.(4th) 724; 30 C.C.C.(3d) 35, reving. [1984] 2 W.W.R. 114; 27 Man.R.(2d) 63; 9 C.C.C.(3d) 155 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 3, footnote 4].

R. v. Palmer, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 759; 30 N.R. 181; 50 C.C.C.(2d) 193; 106 D.L.R.(3d) 212; 14 C.R.(3d) 22 (Eng.); 17 C.R.(3d) 34 (Fr.), refd to. [para. 7, footnote 5].

R. v. G.D.B., [2000] 1 S.C.R. 520; 253 N.R. 201; 261 A.R. 1; 225 W.A.C. 1; 143 C.C.C.(3d) 289; 32 C.R.(5th) 207; [2000] 8 W.W.R. 193; 81 Alta. L.R.(3d) 1, affing. (1999), 232 A.R. 307; 195 W.A.C. 307; 42 W.C.B.(2d) 1; 133 C.C.C.(3d) 309 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 7, footnote 6].

R. v. Sault Ste. Marie (City), [1978] 2 S.C.R. 1299; 21 N.R. 295; 85 D.L.R.(3d) 161; 40 C.C.C.(2d) 353; 3 C.R.(3d) 30; 7 C.E.L.R. 53, refd to. [para. 8, footnote 7].

R. v. Oldford (D.) (1999), 180 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 114; 548 A.P.R. 114; 139 C.C.C.(3d) 289 (Nfld. C.A.), refd to. [para. 10, footnote 8].

R. v. Lacasse, [1972] 5 W.W.R. 198; 8 C.C.C.(2d) 270 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 10, footnote 9].

R. v. Aleck (R.R.), [2000] B.C.T.C. 38 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 10, footnote 10].

R. v. Vescio, [1949] S.C.R. 139; 92 C.C.C. 161; 6 C.R. 433; [1949] 1 D.L.R. 720, refd to. [para. 10, footnote 11].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al. (2002), 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1; 211 D.L.R.(4th) 577, reving. [2000] 4 W.W.R. 173; 189 Sask.R. 51; 216 W.A.C. 51; 9 M.P.L.R.(3d) 126; 50 M.V.R.(3d) 70 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 16, footnote 14].

R. v. Rio Algom Ltd. (1988), 29 O.A.C. 349; 46 C.C.C.(3d) 242; 66 O.R.(2d) 674; 23 C.C.E.L. 85; 3 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 171 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 17, footnote 15].

R. v. Stolar - see R. v. Nielsen and Stolar.

R. v. Nielsen and Stolar, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 480; 82 N.R. 280; 52 Man.R.(2d) 46; 62 C.R.(3d) 313; [1988] 3 W.W.R. 193; 40 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 44, footnote 16].

R. v. Warsing (K.L.), [1998] 3 S.C.R. 579; 233 N.R. 319; 115 B.C.A.C. 214; 189 W.A.C. 214; 21 C.R.(5th) 106, reving. (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 137; 157 W.A.C. 137; 11 C.R.(5th) 383; 119 C.C.C.(3d) 385 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 50, footnote 17].

R. v. Price (S.L.), [1993] 3 S.C.R. 633; 157 N.R. 378; 145 A.R. 231; 55 W.A.C. 231, affing. (1992), 131 A.R. 54; 25 W.A.C. 54 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 51, footnote 18].

R. v. Thomson (B.C.) (1995), 63 B.C.A.C. 60; 104 W.A.C. 60; 102 C.C.C.(3d) 350 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 51, footnote 19].

R. v. Haché (A.J.) (1999), 175 N.S.R.(2d) 297; 534 A.P.R. 297; 136 C.C.C.(3d) 285 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 51, footnote 20].

R. v. Cobham, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 360; 172 N.R. 123; 157 A.R. 81; 77 W.A.C. 81; 92 C.C.C.(3d) 333; 6 M.V.R.(3d) 89; 33 C.R.(4th) 73, reving. (1993), 135 A.R. 249; 33 W.A.C. 249; 80 C.C.C.(3d) 449; 15 C.R.R.(2d) 79; 44 M.V.R.(2d) 1 (C.A.), reving. (1992), 124 A.R. 136; 11 C.R.(4th) 122; 35 M.V.R.(2d) 176 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 52, footnote 21].

R. v. Lévesque (R.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 487; 260 N.R. 165; 148 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 191 D.L.R.(4th) 574, reving. (1998), 130 C.C.C.(3d) 107; J.E. 98-2019 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53, footnote 22].

R. v. P.S.M. - see R. v. McBirnie (P.S.).

R. v. McBirnie (P.S.) (1992), 59 O.A.C. 1; 77 C.C.C.(3d) 402 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 56, footnote 23].

R. v. Nickerson (L.E.) (1993), 121 N.S.R.(2d) 314; 335 A.P.R. 314; 81 C.C.C.(3d) 398 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 56, footnote 24].

R. v. Smith (J.) (2001), 154 O.A.C. 51; 161 C.C.C.(3d) 1 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 56, footnote 25].

R. v. Fosty - see Reference Re Breese (A.R.).

Reference Re Breese (A.R.), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 836; 255 N.R. 202; 148 Man.R.(2d) 315; 224 W.A.C. 315; [2000] 6 W.W.R. 201; 146 C.C.C.(3d) 319, affing. [1999] 3 W.W.R. 118; 131 Man.R.(2d) 161; 187 W.A.C. 161 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 56, footnote 26].

Adrien v. Ontario (Minister of Labour) - see Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Bankrupt), Re.

Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Bankrupt), Re, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 27; 221 N.R. 241; 106 O.A.C. 1; 154 D.L.R.(4th) 193; 36 O.R.(3d) 418n; 50 C.B.R.(3d) 163; 33 C.C.E.L.(2d) 173; 98 C.L.L.C. 210-006, refd to. [para. 63, footnote 29].

R. v. Schuldt, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 592; 63 N.R. 241; 38 Man.R.(2d) 257; 23 C.C.C.(3d) 225; 49 C.R.(3d) 136; [1986] 1 W.W.R. 673; 24 D.L.R.(4th) 453, refd to. [para. 65, footnote 30].

Tembec Forest Products (1990) Inc., Re, [1994] O.O.H.S.A.D. No. 3, refd to. [para. 69, footnote 31].

R. v. Cancoil Thermal Corp. and Parkinson (1986), 14 O.A.C. 225; 27 C.C.C.(3d) 295; 23 C.R.R. 257; 11 C.C.E.L. 219; 52 C.R.(3d) 188 (C.A.), dist. [para. 76, footnote 32].

R. v. Molis, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 356; 33 N.R. 411; 55 C.C.C.(2d) 558; 116 D.L.R.(3d) 291, refd to. [para. 76, footnote 33].

R. v. Jorgensen (R.) et al., [1995] 4 S.C.R. 55; 189 N.R. 1; 87 O.A.C. 1; 102 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 43 C.R.(4th) 137, refd to. [para. 76, footnote 34].

R. v. Pontes (P.), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 44; 186 N.R. 81; 62 B.C.A.C. 241; 103 W.A.C. 241; 100 C.C.C.(3d) 353; 41 C.R.(4th) 201; 12 B.C.L.R.(3d) 201; 32 C.R.R.(2d) 1; 13 M.V.R.(3d) 145, refd to. [para. 77, footnote 36].

R. v. Docherty, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 941; 101 N.R. 161; 78 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 315; 244 A.P.R. 315; 51 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 17 M.V.R.(2d) 161; 72 C.R.(3d) 1, affing. (1988), 69 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 232; 211 A.P.R. 232 (Nfld. C.A.), refd to. [para. 77, footnote 37].

R. v. J.H. (2002), 155 O.A.C. 146; 161 C.C.C.(3d) 392 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 81, footnote 39].

R. v. Hasselwander, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 398; 152 N.R. 247; 62 O.A.C. 285; 81 C.C.C.(3d) 471; 20 C.R.(4th) 277, reving. (1991), 50 O.A.C. 186; 5 O.R.(3d) 225; 67 C.C.C.(3d) 426; 9 C.R.(4th) 281 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 82, footnote 41].

R. v. Barrington Lane Developments Ltd. et al. (1994), 129 N.S.R.(2d) 92; 362 A.P.R. 92 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 84, footnote 42].

R. v. Canron Inc., [1993] O.J. No. 666 (C.J. Prov. Div.), refd to. [para. 87, footnote 43].

R. v. Olson (Stuart) Construction Inc. (1993), 108 Sask.R. 164 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 87, footnote 44].

R. v. Daishowa Canada Co. (1991), 118 A.R. 112 (Prov. Ct.), affd. (1993), 135 A.R. 179; 33 W.A.C. 179 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 94, footnote 46].

R. v. Chapin, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 121; 26 N.R. 289; 45 C.C.C.(2d) 333; 7 C.R.(3d) 225; 95 D.L.R.(3d) 13, refd to. [para. 95, footnote 47].

Grace Plastics Ltd. v. Ship Bernd Wesch II, [1971] F.C. 273 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 96, footnote 48].

R. v. Wyssen (J.) (1992), 58 O.A.C. 67 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 101, footnote 50].

R. v. London Excavators & Trucking Ltd. - see Ontario v. London Excavators & Trucking Ltd.

Ontario v. London Excavators & Trucking Ltd. (1998), 110 O.A.C. 94; 125 C.C.C.(3d) 83 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 102, footnote 51].

R. v. Ellis-Don Ltd. et al., [1992] 1 S.C.R. 840; 134 N.R. 236; 53 O.A.C. 312; 71 C.C.C.(3d) 63, reving. (1990), 42 O.A.C. 49; 61 C.C.C.(3d) 423; 2 C.R.(4th) 118; 76 D.L.R.(4th) 347; 1 O.R.(3d) 193 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 108, footnote 53].

R. v. Shell Canada Ltd. (1999), 253 A.R. 143 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 111, footnote 54].

R. v. Imperial Oil Ltd., [1998] O.J. No. 5405 (C.J. Prov. Div.), refd to. [para. 113, footnote 55].

R. v. Wholesale Travel Group Inc. and Chedore, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 154; 130 N.R. 1; 49 O.A.C. 161; 67 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 8 C.R.(4th) 145; 84 D.L.R.(4th) 161; 38 C.P.R.(3d) 451, reving. in part (1989), 37 O.A.C. 331; 70 O.R.(2d) 545; 63 D.L.R.(4th) 325; 52 C.C.C.(3d) 9; 73 C.R.(3d) 320; 46 C.R.R. 73; 27 C.P.R.(3d) 129 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 114, footnote 56].

R. v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. - see Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd.

Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1031; 183 N.R. 325; 82 O.A.C. 243; 41 C.R.(4th) 147; 99 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 17 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 129; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 24 O.R.(3d) 454; 30 C.R.R.(2d) 252, refd to. [para. 114, footnote 57].

R. v. Timminco Ltd. (2001), 144 O.A.C. 231; 153 C.C.C.(3d) 521; 42 C.R.(5th) 279; 54 O.R.(3d) 21 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 114, footnote 58].

R. v. B.C. Hydro and Power Authority, [1997] B.C.T.C. Uned. A98 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 115, footnote 59].

R. v. Northwood Pulp Timber Ltd., [1992] B.C.J. No. 2690 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 115, footnote 60].

R. v. Trainer, [1990] Y.J. No. 226 (Y.T.C.), refd to. [para. 116, footnote 61].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Cross on Evidence (7th Ed. 1990), p. 735 [para. 61, footnote 28].

Driedger, Elmer A., Construction of Statutes (2nd Ed. 1983), p. 87 [para. 80, footnote 38].

Driedger, Elmer A., Construction of Statutes (3rd Ed. 1994), pp. 131 [para. 81, footnotes 39, 40]; 163, 164, 176, 177 [para. 81, footnote 39].

Fleming, John G., The Law of Torts (7th Ed. 1987), generally [para. 87, footnote 45].

Counsel:

A. Brian Beresh (Beresh, Depoe, Cunningham), for the appellant;

David G. Myrol (Ministry of Justice of Alberta), for the defendant (applicant).

Watson, J., of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial District of Edmonton, heard this appeal on May 16 and 17, 2002, and delivered the following reasons for judgment on July 9, 2002.

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19 practice notes
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    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
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    ...CarswellOnt 211 (C.J. Prov. Div.), refd to. [para. 60, footnote 31]. R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., [2002] A.W.L.D. 393; 322 A.R. 32; 5 Alta. L.R.(4th) 327 ; 2002 CarswellAlta 869 ; [2002] 11 W.W.R. 81 ; 2002 ABQB 665 , affd. [2003] A.W.L.D. 273; 327 A.R. 84 ; 296 W.A.C.......
  • R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., (2003) 322 A.R. 63 (QB)
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    ...sentence. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the appeal. Editor's note: for a related decision involving the same parties see 322 A.R. 32. Criminal Law - Topic Punishments (sentence) - Fines, penalties and compensation orders - Victims fine surcharge - A corporation was fined for ......
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    ...(1989), 100 A.R. 241; 70 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 15]. R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., [2002] 11 W.W.R. 81; 322 A.R. 32; 5 Alta. L.R.(4th) 327 (Q.B.), leave to appeal refused (2003), 327 A.R. 84; 296 W.A.C. 84 (C.A.), refd to. [para. R. v. Salerno Dairy Products......
  • R. v. Beusekom (J.) et al., 2003 ABPC 158
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    • Provincial Court of Alberta (Canada)
    • October 23, 2003
    ...refd to. [para. 79]. R. v. Molis, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 356; 33 N.R. 411, refd to. [para. 80]. R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd. (2002), 322 A.R. 32; 2002 ABQB 665 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. R. v. Goebel (W.) (2003), 338 A.R. 201; 2003 ABQB 422, refd to. [para. 82]. R. v. Glenshiel Towing C......
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19 cases
  • Nielsen Estate et al. v. Epton et al., 2006 ABQB 21
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • January 6, 2006
    ...CarswellOnt 211 (C.J. Prov. Div.), refd to. [para. 60, footnote 31]. R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., [2002] A.W.L.D. 393; 322 A.R. 32; 5 Alta. L.R.(4th) 327 ; 2002 CarswellAlta 869 ; [2002] 11 W.W.R. 81 ; 2002 ABQB 665 , affd. [2003] A.W.L.D. 273; 327 A.R. 84 ; 296 W.A.C.......
  • R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., (2003) 322 A.R. 63 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • December 19, 2002
    ...sentence. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the appeal. Editor's note: for a related decision involving the same parties see 322 A.R. 32. Criminal Law - Topic Punishments (sentence) - Fines, penalties and compensation orders - Victims fine surcharge - A corporation was fined for ......
  • R. v. Goebel (W.), 2003 ABQB 422
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    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • May 9, 2003
    ...(1989), 100 A.R. 241; 70 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 15]. R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., [2002] 11 W.W.R. 81; 322 A.R. 32; 5 Alta. L.R.(4th) 327 (Q.B.), leave to appeal refused (2003), 327 A.R. 84; 296 W.A.C. 84 (C.A.), refd to. [para. R. v. Salerno Dairy Products......
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