R. v. O'Neil, (1991) 122 N.B.R.(2d) 163 (PC)

JudgeBrien, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of New Brunswick (Canada)
Case DateOctober 25, 1991
JurisdictionNew Brunswick
Citations(1991), 122 N.B.R.(2d) 163 (PC)

R. v. O'Neil (1991), 122 N.B.R.(2d) 163 (PC);

    122 R.N.-B.(2e) 163; 306 A.P.R. 163

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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


R. v. Brian O'Neil

Indexed As: R. v. O'Neil

New Brunswick Provincial Court

Brien, P.C.J.

October 25, 1991.

Summary :

The accused was charged with knowingly transmitting a false or fraudulent distress call contrary to s. 9(1)(a) of the Radiocom­munications Act.

The New Brunswick Provincial Court entered an acquittal.

Telecommunications - Topic 5423

Offences - Transmitting a false or fraudu­lent distress call - The accused telephoned the Coast Guard, telling them that his boat was taking on water and sinking, when in fact it was not - He was charged with transmitting a false or fraudulent distress call contrary to s. 9(1)(a) of the Radio­communications Act - The New Bruns­wick Provincial Court acquitted the accused because the Crown failed to prove that the telephone call was a radio­communication within the meaning of the Act - The court offered an interpreta­tion of s. 9(1)(a) - The court also opined that if the call was a radiocommunication, then it would have constituted a false dis­tress call.

Cases Noticed :

R. v. Nipawin and District Satellite T.V. Inc. and Zanyk (1988), 65 Sask.R. 151; 42 C.C.C.(3d) 32 (C.A.), affd. (1991), 120 N.R. 159; 93 Sask.R. 99; 4 W.A.C. 99, refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Clark (1973), 11 C.C.C.(2d) 370 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Crawford, [1960] S.C.R. 527, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Paul (1982), 42 N.R. 1; 67 C.C.C.(2d) 97 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 22].

R. v. Philips Electronics Ltd. (1980), 55 C.C.C.(2d) 312 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 22].

R. v. Budget Car Rentals (Toronto) Ltd. (1981), 57 C.C.C.(2d) 201 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 22].

Statutes Noticed:

Interpretation Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-21, sect. 11 [para. 22].

Radiocommunications Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. R-2, sect. 2 [para. 24]; sect. 9 [para. 3]; sect. 9(1)(a) [para. 1].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Driedger, E.A., Composition of Legisla­tion, p. 11 [para. 27].


Andrew Lemesurier, for the Crown;

Theodore Wilson, for the accused.

This case was heard in Saint John, New Brunswick, before Brien, P.C.J., of the New Brunswick Provincial Court, who delivered the following decision on October 25, 1991.

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