R. v. Jones, (1983) 49 A.R. 135 (ProvCt)

Judge:Fitch, P.C.J.
Court:Provincial Court (Alberta)
Case Date:December 20, 1983
Jurisdiction:Alberta
Citations:(1983), 49 A.R. 135 (ProvCt)
 
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R. v. Jones (1983), 49 A.R. 135 (ProvCt)

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R. v. Jones

(CFC 6144)

Indexed As: R. v. Jones

Alberta Provincial Court

Fitch, P.C.J.

December 20, 1983.

Summary:

A pastor was charged with three counts of truancy under s. 180 of the School Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-3. He refused to send his children to public school and educated them and twenty other children in a schooling program of his own called Western Baptist Academy. Section 143(1)(a) of the Act permitted nonattendance of public school only if a Department of Education inspector certified the child was under efficient instruction. The pastor had no certificate, but proved efficient instruction by independent evidence. The Alberta Provincial Court in a judgment reported 43 A.R. 64 acquitted the pastor on the ground that he established the excuse of efficient instruction. The Court held that the provision that efficient instruction could be proved only by certificate violated the principle of fundamental justice under s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Attorney General of Alberta appealed on the ground that s. 7 of the Charter was put in issue without the required notice to the Attorney General. The Alberta Court of Appeal in a judgment unreported in this series of reports allowed the appeal and remitted the matter to the trial judge for further argument upon notice.

After re-hearing the Alberta Provincial Court affirmed its acquittal of the pastor.

Civil Rights - Topic 385

Freedom of religion - Infringement - Compulsory education - The Alberta Provincial Court held that the requirement of compulsory education under the School Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-3, s. 142(1), did not violate the right to freedom of religion under s. 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and s. 1(c) of the Alberta Bill of Rights - See paragraphs 17 to 20.

Civil Rights - Topic 3192

Trials - Fundamental justice - Noncriminal proceedings - Procedure contrary to fundamental justice - A pastor was charged with truancy under the School Act for educating his children outside a public school system - Section 143(1)(a) of the Act permitted non-attendance at public school only if a Department of Education inspector certified the child was under efficient instruction - The pastor had no certificate, but proved efficient instruction by independent evidence - The Alberta Provincial Court acquitted the pastor, holding that being able to prove efficient instruction only by certificate violated the principle of fundamental justice under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - See paragraphs 36 to 54.

Civil Rights - Topic 8302

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Effect of - General - The Alberta Provincial Court held that s. 52 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, established the primacy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and rendered any inconsistent statute of no force or effect - The Court held that in any trial where it is established that a statute is inconsistent with the Charter, the trial judge has the power and the duty to disregard the statute - See paragraphs 58 to 62.

Civil Rights - Topic 8504

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Enforcement - Jurisdiction - The Alberta Provincial Court held that, where in any trial it is established that a statute is inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the trial court has the power and a duty to disregard the statute as of no force and effect, irrespective of the power to grant a remedy for breach of rights under s. 24 of the Charter - See paragraphs 55 to 62.

Education - Topic 5108

Students - Attendance - Compulsory attendance - Exceptions - Proof of efficient instruction - A pastor was charged with truancy under the School Act for educating his children outside the public school system - Section 143 (1)(a) of the Act permitted non-attendance at public school only if a Department of Education inspector certified the child was under efficient instruction - The pastor had no certificate, but proved efficient instruction by independent evidence - The Alberta Provincial Court acquitted the pastor, holding that being able to prove efficient instruction only by certificate violated the principle of fundamental justice under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982).

Education - Topic 5116

Students - Attendance - Offences - Truancy - The Alberta Provincial Court set out the considerations in sentencing a pastor for failing to send his children to school, where he had his own alternative educational system - See paragraphs 69 to 70.

Statutes - Topic 6255

Operation and effect - Effect on earlier statutes - Contrariety or conflict between statutes - General and special statutes - S. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, provided for the primacy of the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - The Alberta Provincial Court held that s. 52(1) was opposite in effect to the ordinary rule of statutory construction generalia specialibus non derogant - See paragraph 58.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Broda, [1983] 5 W.W.R. 747; 25 Sask.R. 37 (Sask. C.A.), refd to. [para. 10].

Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), 406 U.S. 205, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Wiebe, [1978] 3 W.W.R. 36 (P.C.A.), consd. [para. 22].

R. v. Ulmer, [1923] 1 W.W.R. 1; [1923] 1 D.L.R. 304; 19 Alta. L.R. 12 (C.A.), consd. Duke v. R. (1972), 18 C.R.N.S. 302 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 27].

Iskon v. City of Edmonton (1979), 16 A.R. 365 (Alta. S.C.T.D.), consd. [para. 29].

R. v. Engler and Latimer (1979), 12 A.R. 194; 44 C.C.C.(2d) 1 (Alta. C.A.), consd. [para. 29].

D., Re (1982), 22 Alta. L.R.(2d) 228 (P.C.A.), consd. [para. 29].

Regina ex rel. Christoffersen v. Minister of Highways, 28 W.W.R.(N.S.) 36 (Alta. S.C.), consd. [para. 37].

Reference re Section 94(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 288, [1983] 3 W.W.R. 756 (B.C.C.A.), consd. [para. 47].

R. v. Sault Ste. Marie, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 1299; 21 N.R. 295; 40 C.C.C.(2d) 353; 85 D.L.R.(3d) 161; 3 C.R. (3d) 30, consd. [para. 47].

Re Potma and R. (1983), 2 C.C.C.(3d) 383; 3 C.R.R. 252 (O.C.A.), dist. [para. 50].

Balderstone v. R. (1983), 19 Man.R.(2d) 321; 2 C.C.C.(2d) 37 (M.Q.B.), consd. [para. 52].

R. v. MacIntyre (1982), 69 C.C.C.(2d) 162 (Alta. Q.B.), appld. [para. 56].

R. v. G.B.; Re Southam, Inc., 24 Alta. L.R.(2d) 226 (Alta. Q.B.), refd to. [para. 58].

Soenen v. Director of Edmonton Remand Centre et al. (1983), 48 A.R. 31 (Q.B.), consd. [para. 63].

Borowski et al., v. Minister of Justice of Canada and Minister of Finance of Canada, [1982] 1 W.W.R. 97; 39 N.R. 331 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Altseimer (1983), 2 C.R.R. 119 (O.C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Allan (1983), 2 C.C.R. 46 (Alta. Q.B.), consd. [para. 71].

Jamieson v. R. et al. (1983), 3 C.R.R. 193 (Q.S.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. MacKay (1981), 33 N.R. 1; 54 C.C.C.(2d) 129 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Appleby (1971), 3 C.C.C.(2d) 354 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Cadeddu (1982), 4 C.C.C.(3d) 97 (O.S.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Hayden (1983), 31 C.R.(3d) 363 (Man. P.C.), reversed as to s. 7, affirmed on other grounds 23 Man.R.(2d) 315, consd. [para. 71].

Smythe v. R. (1972), 16 C.R.N.S. 147 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Moore, [1978] 1 S.C.R. 195; 24 N.R. 181, consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Sample (1963), 40 C.R. 245 (Alta. S.C.T.D.), consd. [para. 71].

DiIorio & Fontaine v. Brunet & Warden et al. (1976), 8 N.R. 361; 35 C.R.N.S. 57 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

Leland v. Oregon (1952), 343 U.S. 790, consd. [para. 71].

Southam Inc. v. Director of Investigation and Research of The Combines Investigation Branch et al., [1983] 3 W.W.R. 386; 42 A.R. 108 (Alta. C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Chomokowski, [1973] 5 W.W.R. 184 (Man. C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

Price, Fraser and McRae v. A.G. of B.C. et al., [1976] 5 W.W.R. 656 (B.C.S.C.), consd. [para. 71].

Chabot v. School Commissioners of Lamorandiere and A.G. for Quebec (1957), 12 D.L.R.(2d) 796 (Que. C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Big M. Drug Mart Ltd., [1983] 4 W.W.R. 54 (P.C.A.), affd. 49 A.R. 194 (Alta. C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Boardwalk Merchandise Mart (1972), 10 C.C.C.(2d) 50 (Alta. C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Miller, [1967] 1 C.C.C. 383 (B.C.S.C.), consd. [para. 71].

Lambton v. Beauchamp (1979), 10 R.F.L. (2d) 354 (O.P.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Drybones, [1970] 3 C.C.C. 355 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Shelley (1981), 37 N.R. 320; 59 C.C.C.(2d) 292 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 71].

Dumoulin and R., Re (1983), 6 C.C.C. (3d) 190 (O.S.C.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Stanger (1983), 46 A.R. 241 (Alta. C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. Oakes (1983), 2 C.C.C.(3d) 339 (O.C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

R. v. D.G. (1983), 51 A.R., refd to. [para. 71].

Statutes Noticed:

Alberta Bill of Rights, R.S.A. 1980, c. A-15, Preamble [para. 71]; sect. 1(a) [para. 44]; sect. 1(c) [para. 1]; sect. 3, sect. 4 [para. 71].

Alberta Act, S.C. 1905, c. 3, sect. 17 [para. 71].

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sect. 2(a), sect. 7, sect. 24.

Constitution Act, 1982, c. 52 [para. 58].

Constitution Act, 1867, sect. 93 [para. 71].

Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 577(3), sect. 730 [para. 71].

Department of Education Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. D-17, sect. 10 [paras. 16, 25].

Education Act, R.S.N.S. 1982, c. E-2, sect. 81 [para. 71].

Education Act, R.S.S. 19, c. E-0.1, sect. 156 [para. 71].

Public Schools Act, S.M. 1980, c. P-250, sect. 261(b) [para. 71].

School Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-3, sect. 142(1), sect. 143, sect. 180(1), sect. 181.

School Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1974, c. S-2, sect. 49(3)(a) [para. 71].

Schools Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. S-5, sect. 59(3)(a) [para. 71].

School Ordinance, R.O.Y. 1978, c. S-3, sect. 29(c) [para. 71].

School Attendance Act, R.S.N. 1978, c. 78, sect. 8(d) [para. 71].

Summary Convictions Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-26, sect. 10 [para. 68].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Bayefsky, A Catch in the Charter that Could Erode Rights, Toronto Globe and Mail, 19/12/83 [para. 59].

Black's Law Dictionary [5th Ed.] [para. 52].

Corpus Juris Secundum, vol. 16A, pp. 603-607 [para. 71].

Evans, Janisch, Mullan, Risk: Administrative Law: Cases, texts and materials (1980), pp. 69-97 [para. 71].

Ewaschuk, Charter: An Overview and Remedies (1982), 26 C.R.(3d) 54 [para. 71].

Hogg, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Commentary (1982), p. 13 [para. 61].

Canadian Charter of Rights - Annotated (1982) [para. 71].

Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (1977) [para. 71].

Jackson, The Bill of Rights and Freedom of Religion, 7 U.B.C.L.R. 125 [para. 71].

Jones, Speculations on the Effect of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on Administrative law; paper delivered at the midwinter meeting of the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Bar Association (1983) [para. 71].

Maxwell, The Interpretation of Statutes (12th Ed.), p. 196 [para. 58].

McLellan, The Charter of Rights: A Challenge to the Profession, Without Prejudice, U. of A. Faculty of Law, (Autumn 1982) [para. 71].

Counsel:

W. Henkel, Q.C., for the Attorney General of Alberta;

B. Bauer, for the prosecutor Robert Bach;

P. Carr, for the accused.

This case was heard at Calgary, Alberta, before Fitch, P.C.J., of the Alberta Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on December 20, 1983:

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