Residency condition was reasonable, well supported, consistent with criteria

Criminal law – Prisons and prisoners – Release

Accused was convicted of offences, including to those relating to two armed bank robberies, and his appeal was dismissed. Accused’s warrant expiry date was 2025 and he was denied parole when eligible. Parole Board of Canada decided to impose residency condition on accused in context of statutory release, after receiving initial submissions from accused but with further submissions received too late for Board’s consideration. Accused’s appeal to Appeal Division of Board was denied, without consideration of substance of further submissions. Accused applied for judicial review. Application dismissed. Board and Appeal Division were not empowered to conduct type of wide-ranging inquiry into merits of convictions which result in inmate’s incarceration which accused sought, which was vested in Minister of Justice of Canada under XXI.I of Criminal Code of Canada. Appeal Division did not err in not addressing accused’s complaints about accuracy of information in Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) file, where he had chosen not to pursue formal process provided by CSC to address such concerns. It was not unreasonable for Board not to consider accused’s claims of innocence relevant and reliable, given thorough appellate review. Accused waited until near deadline to mail his further submissions and so bore risk that material would not arrive in time. Appeal Division did not exhibit signs of bias in affirming Board’s decision not to receive accused’s additional submissions past deadline. Accused contended generally that it was unreasonable to impose residency condition because he believed that index offences, which he denied having committed, were not violent but Board reasonably concluded that victims of armed robbery had suffered serious harm. Board properly considered accused’s offence history, failure to demonstrate accountability or assume responsibility for his actions, persistent negative attitude towards institutional programming and problematic conduct toward correctional staff and other participants. Appeal Division properly held that Board’s decision to impose residency condition was reasonable, well supported, and consistent with decision-making criteria.

West v. Canada (Parole Board) (2020), 2020 CarswellNat 156, 2020 FC 126, Richard G. Mosley J. (F.C.).

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