Majority of Calgary COVID tickets being thrown out of court

Calgary Police are frustrated that a majority of summons being issued for violating public health rules are being tossed in court.

Brendan Boucher Ottawa ON

Calgary Police are frustrated that a majority of summons being issued for violating public health rules are being tossed in court according to CTV News Calgary.

The Alberta Crown Prosecutors Service has been involved in dropping many of the cases. They claim the cases are being dropped as they "assess these cases as they do all cases."

Crown Prosecution spokeswoman Carla Jones said in a statement provided to the Calgary Herald, "The Alberta Crown Prosecution Service does not commence/continue prosecutions unless the evidence establishes a reasonable likelihood of conviction," she continued, "This is a higher standard of proof than that of the police. Courts have an even higher standard to meet—before a person may be convicted of any crime, the case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

The Crown Prosecution Service will not reveal specific numbers about the cases being dismissed or withdrawn. Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said that withdrawal do not represent a majority of the summons issued.

The Calgary Police Service issued a statement that reads in part, "We are working towards addressing some of the issues in the legislation that have caused some challenges when our summonses go to court." The Police service outlined specific concerns with repeat offenders, "We have ticketed rally and protest organizers for violating the orders on several occasions, but with limited impact to their behaviour."

These legal troubles come at a time when Calgary is seeing an increasing number of protest against the COVID-19 lockdown measures. There has even been clashes between anti-lockdown protestors and counter protestors this past month according to CTV News Calgary.

Similar issues have plagued the courts in Ontario as Ontario courts computers are unable to process Quarantine Act tickets that exceed $1,000 meaning that they are also being dismissed in large numbers.


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