R. v. Piecowye (C.J.), 2015 SKQB 10

Judge:Acton, J.
Court:Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan
Case Date:January 12, 2015
Citations:2015 SKQB 10;(2015), 464 Sask.R. 314 (QB)

R. v. Piecowye (C.J.) (2015), 464 Sask.R. 314 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] Sask.R. TBEd. JA.040

Christopher James Piecowye (appellant) v. Her Majesty the Queen as represented by the Attorney General of Saskatchewan (respondent)

(2014 QBCA No. 27; 2015 SKQB 10)

Indexed As: R. v. Piecowye (C.J.)

Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial Centre of Saskatoon

Acton, J.

January 12, 2015.


The accused was found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while his blood-alcohol content exceeded the legal limit. He appealed the trial judge's finding that there was no breach of his s. 10(b) Charter rights given that the police (a) denied him a meaningful right to speak to counsel of choice, and (b) never confirmed that he was satisfied with the advice that he received from Legal Aid.

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

Civil Rights - Topic 4604

Right to counsel - General - Denial of or interference with - What constitutes - [See Civil Rights - Topic 4620.6 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 4610

Right to counsel - General - Impaired driving (incl. demand for breath or blood sample) - [See Civil Rights - Topic 4620.6 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 4612

Right to counsel - General - Waiver or abandonment of - [See Civil Rights - Topic 4620.6 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 4620.6

Right to counsel - General - Right to counsel of choice - Piecowye was charged with impaired driving offences - At the police station, Piecowye had called his counsel of choice (Piché) twice and left messages, then called the Merchant Law Group twice and left messages, and then spoke to a Legal Aid lawyer - On appeal, Piecowye argued that his s. 10(b) Charter right to counsel of choice was violated when he was not permitted to call Piché again after speaking to Legal Aid - The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the appeal - The trial judge did not err when he found that Piecowye waived his right to counsel of choice when he subsequently attempted to contact the Merchant Law Group - It was unreasonable for Piecowye to assume that he could continue to leave messages for Piché when he had already left four messages for two different law firms which had not been returned.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Drysdale (K.G.) (2013), 432 Sask.R. 46; 2013 SKQB 392, refd to. [para. 8].

R. v. Mitchell (R.) (2013), 291 Man.R.(2d) 231; 570 W.A.C. 231; 2013 MBCA 44, refd to. [para. 8].

R. v. Burns (R.H.), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 656; 165 N.R. 374; 42 B.C.A.C. 161; 67 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 9].

R. v. Ryland (C.) (2010), 352 Sask.R. 143; 2010 SKQB 62, refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Menkerios (A.T.) (2011), 370 Sask.R. 284; 2011 SKQB 128, refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Blackett (B.K.), [2006] O.T.C. 689; 36 M.V.R.(5th) 223 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Willier (S.J.), [2010] 2 S.C.R. 429; 406 N.R. 218; 490 A.R. 1; 497 W.A.C. 1; 2010 SCC 37, refd to. [para. 11].

R. v. Herman (D.C.) (2001), 204 Sask.R. 79; 2001 SKQB 100, refd to. [para. 12].


Ronald P. Piché, for the appellant;

Tamara A. Rock, for the Crown.

This appeal was heard before Acton, J., of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial Centre of Saskatoon, who delivered the following judgment on January 12, 2015.

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