R. v. Ladouceur, (1990) 108 N.R. 171 (SCC)

JudgeDickson, C.J.C., Lamer, Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateMay 31, 1990
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1990), 108 N.R. 171 (SCC);1990 CanLII 108 (SCC);56 CCC (3d) 22;40 OAC 1;1990 CanLII 20 (SCC);[1990] SCJ No 53 (QL);JE 90-905;[1990] ACS no 53;48 CRR 112;21 MVR (2d) 165;[1990] 1 SCR 1257;73 OR (2d) 736;108 NR 171;41 DLR (4th) 682;AZ-90111050;[1991] 1 SCR 285;[1991] 1 SCR 291;77 CR (3d) 110;62 CCC (3d) 190;1990 CanLII 21 (SCC);61 CCC (3d) 574

R. v. Ladouceur (1990), 108 N.R. 171 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

Gerald Jay Ladouceur (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent) and Attorney General of Canada, Attorney General of Nova Scotia, Attorney General for New Brunswick and Attorney General of Manitoba (intervenors)

(No. 20408)

Indexed As: R. v. Ladouceur

Supreme Court of Canada

Dickson, C.J.C., Lamer, Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.

May 31, 1990.

Summary:

A motor vehicle driver was convicted of driving while his licence was suspended, contrary to s. 35 of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 198. The offence was detected pursuant to a purely random stopping of the driver. Pursuant to s. 189a(1) of the Act, the police had the power, in the lawful execution of their duties, to stop motor vehicles. After an unsuccessful appeal from conviction, the driver obtained leave to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal under s. 114 of the Provincial Offences Act. The driver claimed a denial of his rights under ss. 7, 8 and 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, Brooke, J.A., dissenting in reasons but concurring in the result, in a judgment reported 20 O.A.C. 1, dismissed the appeal. The court held that the purely random stopping of motor vehicles to check for unlicensed drivers violated a driver's right not to be arbitrarily detained (s. 9) and such denial was not a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1 of the Charter. The court held that the evidence obtained (driving while suspended) was not to be excluded under s. 24(2) of the Charter, because admission of the evidence would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The court also held that s. 189a(1) was not for all purposes of "no force and effect" under s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, but remained valid in limited or restricted situations that did not infringe Charter rights. The accused appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. The court held that s. 189a(1) violated s. 9 of the Charter, but not ss. 7 or 8. The court also held that s. 189a(1) was a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1 of the Charter.

Sopinka, J. (Dickson, C.J.C., Wilson and La Forest, JJ., concurring), concurring in the result only, agreed with the Court of Appeal that s. 189a(1) violated s. 9, was not a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1, but that the evidence was not to be excluded under s. 24(2).

Civil Rights - Topic 3603

Detention and imprisonment - Detention - Arbitrary detention - What constitutes - Section 19 of the Highway Traffic Act required every motor vehicle driver to carry his licence with him when driving - Section 189a(1) empowered a police officer, in the lawful execution of his duties, to stop motor vehicles - Police officers returning from a surveillance assignment decided to stop a motor vehicle driver to check his licence - The random stop was made without any grounds for suspicion or belief that the driver committed or was committing an offence and there was nothing about the vehicle's appearance that would justify a stopping of the vehicle - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the motor vehicle driver was arbitrarily detained contrary to s. 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - See paragraphs 24 to 25.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - The Supreme Court of Canada set out the test to be used to determine whether a challenged law could be justified under s. 1 of the Charter - See paragraph 30.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the random stopping of a motor vehicle driver to check licence and insurance, without any grounds for suspicion or belief that an offence was committed, denied the motor vehicle driver's right not to be arbitrarily detained as guaranteed under s. 9 of the Charter - The court held that the limitation on the driver's Charter rights was a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1 of the Charter - See paragraphs 28 to 51.

Police - Topic 3208

Powers - Direction - Random stopping of persons - Section 189a(1) of the Highway Traffic Act empowered police, in the lawful execution of their duties, to stop motor vehicles - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that a purely random stopping of motor vehicles to check for unlicenced drivers was contrary to s. 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but was a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1 of the Charter.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200, appld. [para. 9].

R. v. Dedman, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 2; 60 N.R. 34; 11 O.A.C. 241; 20 C.C.C.(3d) 97, consd. [para. 10].

R. v. Hufsky, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 621; 84 N.R. 365; 27 O.A.C. 103, consd. [para. 16].

R. v. Waterfield, [1963] 3 All E.R. 659, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Therens, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 613; 59 N.R. 122; 40 Sask.R. 122; [1985] 4 W.W.R. 286; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 32 M.V.R. 153, consd. [para. 24].

R. v. Thomsen, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 640; 84 N.R. 347; 27 O.A.C. 85, consd. [para. 24].

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239, consd. [para. 30].

R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd. - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al.

Delaware v. Prouse (1979), 440 U.S. 648, disagreed with [para. 36].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1, sect. 7, sect. 8, sect. 9, sect. 24 [para. 14].

Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 83, sect. 3(1) [para. 13].

Constitution Act, 1982, sect. 52(1) [para. 15].

Game and Fish Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 182, sect. 14 [para. 47].

Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 198, sect. 18(1), sect. 19(1), sect. 189a(1) [para. 12].

Motor Car Act, 1958 (Victoria), sect. 22, sect. 29, sect. 40 [para. 50].

Motor Traffic Acts, 1909-1957 (New South Wales), sect. 5(1) [para. 50].

Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 301, sect. 5, sect. 15(a) [para. 47].

Road Traffic Act, 1961 (South Australia), No. 50, sect. 42 [para. 50].

Road Traffic Act, 1972 (U.K.), c. 20, sect. 159 [para. 50].

Road Traffic Act, 1974-1982 (Western Australia), sect. 53 [para. 50].

Traffic Act, 1949-1988 (Queensland), sect. 35, sect. 39 [para. 50].

Traffic Ordinances, 1949-1959 (Northern Territory), sect. 46, sect. 48, sect. 55 [para. 50].

Transport Act, 1962 (New Zealand), No. 135, sect. 66 [para. 50].

Authors and Works Noticed:

McRuer Report - see Ontario, Royal Commission on Civil Rights, Royal Commission Inquiry into Civil Rights. Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Facts (1980-1984) [para. 32].

Ontario, Royal Commission on Civil Rights, Royal Commission Inquiry into Civil Rights, Report No. 1, vol. 2, pp. 730-731 [para. 51].

Segal, M.D., R. v. Hufsky: Random Spot Check Programmes (1989), 1 J. Motor Vehicle L. 34, p. 44 [para. 44].

Counsel:

Morris Manning, Q.C., for the appellant;

S. Casey Hill and R.H. MacDonald, for the respondent;

Graham Garton, Q.C., for the Attorney General of Canada;

Rheinhold Endres, for the Attorney General of Nova Scotia;

Bruce Judah, for the Attorney General for New Brunswick;

Donna J. Miller, for the Attorney General of Manitoba.

Solicitors of Record:

Morris Manning, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

Attorney General for Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent;

John C. Tait, Q.C., Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervenor, the Attorney General of Canada;

Department of the Attorney General of Nova Scotia, for the intervenor, the Attorney General of Nova Scotia;

Attorney General for New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, for the intervenor, the Attorney General for New Brunswick;

Attorney General for Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the intervenor, the Attorney General for Manitoba.

This appeal was heard on November 6, 1989, before Dickson, C.J.C., Lamer, Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On May 31, 1990, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

Cory, J. (Lamer, L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier and McLachlin, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 54;

Sopinka, J. (Dickson, C.J.C., Wilson and La Forest, JJ., concurring), concurring in the result only - see paragraphs 55 to 68.

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