Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

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GenesisGT
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by GenesisGT »


I agree there is a problem with our judicial system, but my opinion rests on the lack of resources given to that branch. I would be interested to know GF what you see as lacking or troubling when it comes to our judiciary.


Scott, one item I heard reference the Stanley Cup riot was that police in BC cannot lay charges only the Crown Prosecutor can, this is why there have been delays in getting the charges to court. All police reports must go through the crown before charges are laid. The only reference I can find is a small difference in wording on web pages reference BC and Alberta and the role of the police.

"In British Columbia, it is Crown counsel who makes the decision about whether charges will be laid or not."

http://www.victimsinfo.ca/en/investigation-to-charge/laying-of-charges

In Alberta, police can lay a charge.

"A Crown prosecutor is a lawyer who is authorized to represent the Crown (i.e. the state) before all courts in the prosecution of offences.

The power to lay an information (i.e. a charge) is found in the Criminal Code of Canada. The police have no particular power to lay a charge, but rather the same power as any other individual."

http://justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/legal/Pages/lawyers.aspx

Take with a grain of salt, as I am not a lawyer, but as indicated this was identified as a problem with charging all the people participating in the riots.

A quick edit from Manitoba which is a lot more clear

2. Laying a charge

The decision to lay a charge rests with the police. If, based on reasonable grounds, the police believe a person has committed a crime, they may lay a charge. They must consider all evidence against the accused, witness statements, case law, burden of proof and other variables.

When the police lay a charge, they complete an information package describing all the evidence and deliver a package to the Crown attorney. The accused person or, more often, the accused person's lawyer, also receives a copy of the information package. The court receives a list of charges against the accused person from the police.

TOP
3. Deciding whether to prosecute

The Crown attorney is responsible for deciding whether to proceed with charges against an accused person. He or she is required to prosecute cases fairly and treat all parties in the case, including victims, witnesses and the accused, in a fair manner. He or she must also consider the public interest in making a decision. The Crown attorney must answer two very important questions:

Is there a reasonable likelihood of conviction?
Is it in the public interest to proceed?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, the Crown attorney will prosecute. If the answer to either or both of these questions is no, the Crown attorney will not prosecute. In this way, the Crown attorney exercises prosecutorial discretion. Another element of this discretion is that the Crown attorney may decide that it is not beneficial to proceed with all the charges against the accused. In that case, some of the charges may be dropped.

http://www.gov.mb.ca/justice/prosecutions/stepbystep.html
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grammafreddy
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by grammafreddy »

Good research, Genesis. I might need some clarification, though. Help me out here, please, if you are able ...

The Criminal Code of Canada says police cannot lay any charges.

Alberta and Manitoba police are able to lay charges?

And in BC the police cannot?

Is this just RCMP or any police force? One would think the CCofC would apply equally to all police forces anywhere in Canada.

Also, regardless of what the police can or cannot do, if the Crown decides to not proceed with the charge as the police have recommended, they are able to change or toss it?
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GenesisGT
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by GenesisGT »

grammafreddy wrote:Good research, Genesis. I might need some clarification, though. Help me out here, please, if you are able ...

The Criminal Code of Canada says police cannot lay any charges.

Alberta and Manitoba police are able to lay charges?

And in BC the police cannot?

Is this just RCMP or any police force? One would think the CCofC would apply equally to all police forces anywhere in Canada.

Also, regardless of what the police can or cannot do, if the Crown decides to not proceed with the charge as the police have recommended, they are able to change or toss it?


The way I understand it is that police (RCMP. city, etc) in every province except BC can lay charges, because the BC criminal code takes this authority away. The crown anywhere can either proceed, amend or drop charges laid by the police.
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WhatThe

Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by WhatThe »

There is very little wrong with the judicial system, it is the the fact that drug use is criminalized. No Im not necessarily saying legalization rather that drug use and addiction is a Health matter and until it's treated as such we will continue down the same path that we have for over 80 years.

Deal with drug use harshly and be prepared for more violence and high body counts on all sides, nevermind the extreme waste of money that could be going to your kids health care and education.

The evidence is out there and its fact but so long as there's "ultraviolets" out there believing in fantasy land we will continue getting no where.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by ScottRoss »

Grammafreddy, to be honest I do not know about what has been done or what is currently underway at a regional level in tackling drug-use.

I would make a prima facie argument against placing a greater onus on a regional government than our municipal one. Though regional programs may have tremendous benefit I believe there are city policies that must be adopted and integrated, similar to how Vancouver has done with the four pillars of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement.

A liaison between addicted criminal offenders and treatment is something our city can do by working with the RCMP and the provincial government and does not exist currently.

I do not suggest all responsibility should be placed on our municipal government but I would like to see our city government do more, and in looking at other municipalities and what Kelowna has done in other areas, I believe we can.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

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Genesis, whether police or the Crown should have the power to lay charges is a complicated issue. I agree it sounds as if they should but I am not entirely decided; my doubt rests in legal costs.

With prosecutors being able to choose who they charge many cases that would only lead to a not guilty verdict are prevented from incurring huge costs to our legal system. If police can impose charges without the legal experience that prosecutors have, our legal system could be even more overburdened from cases, and these cases might have little chance of being won.

Other provinces may have other mechanisms to prevent weak cases from proceeding from police charges, but that would require a real comparative analysis of the impacts such mechanisms would have in our legal system.

I think this is a discussion that our provincial government needs to have and study. I can see the possible merit of police laying charges but any change would have repercussions in our system, and the costs and benefits would have to be weighed.
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GenesisGT
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

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ScottRoss wrote:Genesis, whether police or the Crown should have the power to lay charges is a complicated issue. I agree it sounds as if they should but I am not entirely decided; my doubt rests in legal costs.

With prosecutors being able to choose who they charge many cases that would only lead to a not guilty verdict are prevented from incurring huge costs to our legal system. If police can impose charges without the legal experience that prosecutors have, our legal system could be even more overburdened from cases, and these cases might have little chance of being won.

Other provinces may have other mechanisms to prevent weak cases from proceeding from police charges, but that would require a real comparative analysis of the impacts such mechanisms would have in our legal system.

I think this is a discussion that our provincial government needs to have and study. I can see the possible merit of police laying charges but any change would have repercussions in our system, and the costs and benefits would have to be weighed.


Scott. I expected your response and any other politician to be, if the procedure is different in BC "I would ask the RCMP how they feel it affects their ability to reduce crime in Kelowna." If the RCMP believe this to be a problem then it should be raised from the grassroots level to have it changed.
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ScottRoss
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

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Genesis, so I don't misinterpret your point, are you suggesting that support for the RCMP to lay charges should come from the grassroots level only if the RCMP claim it will reduce crime? I ask because as I mentioned above, it is a complicated issue and to be prudent other governmental bodies should be consulted.

Giving the RCMP the ability to charge suspects would incur substantial costs, and whether we like to admit it or not, many decisions in our legal system are determined by finances. Costs can be mitigated by the adaption of a mechanism within the RCMP that reviews the probability of conviction, similar to other provinces, but again a comprehensive analysis would have to be conducted to ensure justice is maximized and costs are minimized.
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GenesisGT
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by GenesisGT »

ScottRoss wrote:Genesis, so I don't misinterpret your point, are you suggesting that support for the RCMP to lay charges should come from the grassroots level only if the RCMP claim it will reduce crime? I ask because as I mentioned above, it is a complicated issue and to be prudent other governmental bodies should be consulted.

Giving the RCMP the ability to charge suspects would incur substantial costs, and whether we like to admit it or not, many decisions in our legal system are determined by finances. Costs can be mitigated by the adaption of a mechanism within the RCMP that reviews the probability of conviction, similar to other provinces, but again a comprehensive analysis would have to be conducted to ensure justice is maximized and costs are minimized.


GF made a statement;
I think the biggest problem is the judicial system right now.

You replied;
I would be interested to know GF what you see as lacking or troubling when it comes to our judiciary.

I replied with information that has been identified as a difference/possible problem with the judiciary.

Why would you even ask for examples, if your immediate response is to unilaterally determine it "would incur substantial costs" the other provinces do it differently so there must be some merit to it. As I have shown the Crown always has the option to proceed/amend/drop charges. I was just passing on information that you requested and not a debate, but your response provides insight on how you would respond to issues. EOM
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001TT
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Re: Tackling the drug problem in Kelowna

Post by 001TT »

How would more police and enforcement be paid for?

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