A strange type of justice was reported in the National Post on Saturday.
A bizarre decision by a jury in Montreal convicted a woman of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
The woman stopped on the highway to help 2 ducklings on the side of the road. Now she could be facing a lengthy prison sentence.
A motor cyclist ran into the back of her parked vehicle killing himself and his passenger, his 16-year-old daughter.
It was estimated that the motor cycle had been travelling at between 113 and 129 kilometres an hour at the moment of impact. Over the speed limit and certainly a contributing factor in the accident.
This case is bizarre for several reasons.
There was clearly no criminal intent involved, carelessness, negligence, irresponsibility, poor judgement and skewed priorities, maybe.
She was neither behind the wheel nor in the vehicle when the accident occurred, how can she possibly be convicted of any driving charge other than illegal parking or stopping on a highway?
If in fact that is always an offence. Vehicles do break down and stop of their own accord in the most inconvenient places.
The motor cyclist was travelling above the speed limit, a contributing factor in the accident.
In every country in which I have lived or driven and in many cases I have read about in Canada, the vehicle which runs into the rear of another is always the guilty party unless either a third vehicle or major mechanical failure caused the leading vehicle to stop without warning.
The prosecutors desperate attempt to obtain a jail sentence and remark that “a clear message is sent to society that we don’t stop for animals on the highway” smacks of a more vindictive and strange justice system than is found in many third world countries.
It is a source of absolute incredulity to me that the Canadian justice system refuses to accept that accidents do happen, its determination to find someone guilty of the most serious offence it can in every incident and to impose draconian punishments for incidents that would not be considered offences in many other countries.
Adding to the incredulity is the reluctance of the authorities to take action and use the necessary force against certain groups of protesters, aboriginal people blocking roads and rioting students destroying property being two examples. Compared to its heavy-handed treatment of others. Particularly older, white, male, licensed gun and property owners.
A few years ago, a major oil company in Alberta was fined a million dollars because 100 ducks drowned in a tailing pond. That makes an Albertan duck worth $10 000, but trying to save a duck in Quebec results in a criminal conviction and a possible jail sentence.
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