Decision of the Week

The first “Decision of the Week” concerns an argument that comes up from time to time:

[1]         When is a human being a person?  Shouldn’t a human being be able to escape a photo-radar ticket fine because The Highway Traffic Act C.C.S.M. c. H60 (“HTA”) does not apply to humans, but rather only to persons?

R. v. Penner, 2018 MBQB 200

Mr. Penner, as agent for his wife, challenged a photo-radar speeding ticket. Martin, J. quashed the appeal orally with written reasons to follow.

[3]         I write them not to convey any insightful legal analysis but to provide precedent for the many justices of the peace and provincial court judges who are increasingly facing these specious arguments, gussied up like legal briefs with all the accompanying bafflegab.  Those judicial officers should feel confident that they can dismiss nonsensical submissions summarily.  And those promoting these points of view should know that their arguments will get the time and attention they deserve, little to none.

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued a lengthy decision on this issue in 2012, Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571. While nowhere near as lengthy, perhaps Justice Martin’s decision can be as useful.

New Book Display: Impaired Driving

We’ve put together a display of relevant resources on impaired driving both physical, and electronic to help you and your clients in the New Year. 

Books in the library:

desLibris (Behind the Law Society of Manitoba Member’s Portal)


  • Segal’s Motor Vehicle and Impaired Driving Newsletter
  • Impaired Driving NetLetter

*Newsletter distribution service is only offered to member’s of the Law Society of Manitoba.

To take out one of these books, please see a staff member.

Manitoba eLaw – New Edition – Criminal Law Update

December 2018, Issue No. 88 highlights:

  • Breathalyser Maintenance Records Subject to Third Party Disclosure Rules: SCC (R. v. Gubbins, 2018 SCC 44 and R. v. Awashish, 2018 SCC 45)
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentence under s. 151(a) of the Criminal Code Unconstitional: MBCA (R. v. J.E.D., 2018 MBCA 123)
  • Overemphasising Collatoral Immigration Consequences an Error: MBCA (R. v. Yare, 2018 MBCA 114)
  • “A Court of Appeal Hearing is Not a Tea Party”: MBCA (R. v. Van Wissen, 2018 MBCA 100)
  • Legislative Update
  • Criminal Justice Conference: CBA

The full edition is available here

Criminological Highlights

In Episode 82 of The Docket, a legal podcast broadcast by Michael Spratt and Emilie Taman, the hosts summarized the latest issue of Criminological Highlights, itself a summary of research on criminal justice policy. 

Criminological Highlights is designed to provide an accessible look at some of the more interesting, high quality, criminological research that is currently being published. Its focus is on research that is policy-relevant.

Table of Contents from the most current issue:

  • What kinds of police activities suppress voter turnout?
  • How are people affected by police shootings of unarmed civilians?
  • Are politicians right when they suggest that higher rates of pretrial detention would reduce crime?
  • Who benefits from high concentrations of immigrants in a neighbourhood?
  • When punishments are decreased in a jurisdiction and crime goes up, is it possible to determine whether one caused the other?
  • How good are people at evaluating forensic science evidence in court?
  • Should restorative justice conferences be used with youths charged with crimes?
  • Does it matter where accused people sit in court during their trials?

While the highlights are free, there may be a fee to access full text of the articles referenced. Contact us if you need further information. 

And if you like legal podcasts, subscribe to The Docket. I find it very informative and entertaining. 

Considering Cannabis – CPD Series Addressing the Legalization of Cannabis

The federal government’s legalization of non-medical (recreational) cannabis on October 17, 2018, marks the end of a 95-year prohibition in Canada. The magnitude of this change on a societal level is yet to be determined and understood, but lawyers are already grappling with the legal rules and ramifications of legalization. In its continuing professional development (CPD) series Considering Cannabis, the Law Society of Manitoba will offer programs addressing the legalization of cannabis from a variety of legal perspectives.

Our first program in the series features RCMP Sergeant Mark Hume who will speak about the extensive changes to the transportation provisions of the Criminal Code, with a focus on the sections relating to drug-impaired driving. This CPD  Reforms to Transportation Offences and Drug-Impaired Driving Offences takes place this Thursday, November 22, and registration for in-person or webinar  attendance is still available.

Coming up next in the series, on January 10, 2019, Tracey L. Epp, Pitblado LLP  will review the workplace impacts of cannabis legalization, including the need for employers to amend existing policies to address the use of recreational cannabis.

Please watch for further updates about Considering Cannabis programs to come in 2019.