Federal Appeal


Prisons

INMATES’ RIGHTS
Incumbent on Minister to explain decision different from one that largely favoured transfer

Minister appealed decision of Federal Court setting aside refusal of accused’s request to be transferred from United States prison to Canada. Federal Court set aside Minister’s refusal of accused’s request to be transferred from United States prison to Canada. Federal Court found that Minister’s decision was unreasonable. In Federal Court’s view, record before Minister required him to give better explanation why accused’s request for transfer should be rejected. As well, Federal Court found that Minister applied unreasonably factors International Transfer of Offenders Act (Can.) required him to consider. Parties agree that Federal Court correctly selected reasonableness as standard of review but disagreed on whether Federal Court applied that standard correctly. Minister argued it reasonably found that accused left Canada with intention of abandoning Canada as his place of permanent residence under s. 10(1)(b) of Act and that alone was sufficient reason for Minister to refuse to grant transfer. Appeal dismissed with costs, fixed at $2,500 as agreed by parties. Reading that exalted abandonment factor under s. 10(1)(b) of Act above all other s. 10 factors was not reasonable reading of Act. It was true that in particular cases Minister may find that s. 10(1)(b) factor deserved significant weight but had that been Minister’s view in this case, court would nevertheless have found that it was incumbent on Minister to consider other s. 10 factors and explain why he was reaching decision different from assessments made by Director of International Transfer Unit of Corrections Canada that largely favoured transfer.

Carrera v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety) (Dec. 2, 2013, F.C.A., Evans J.A., David Stratas J.A., and Webb J.A., File No. A-266-13) Decision at 108 W.C.B. (2d) 406 was affirmed.  110 W.C.B. (2d) 567.

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