Accused was convicted of two offences under Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (Ont.). Paralegal pleaded guilty for accused, in accused’s absence, and made representations on sentence. Trial took place in English. Accused appealed. During appeal to Ontario Court of Justice, accused was assisted by interpreter. Court dismissed appeal. Accused applied for leave to appeal. Application granted. Section 131(2) of Provincial Offences Act (Ont.) provides that no appeal shall be granted unless Court of Appeal considers that in particular circumstances of case, it is essential in public interest or for due administration of justice that leave be granted. It was unclear whether accused had asked for bilingual appeal before Ontario Court of Justice before presenting appeal. Accused insisted on fact that he had automobile insurance coverage and argued that provincial court judge should have proposed bilingual appeal. Crown maintained that accused did not have right to bilingual appeal according to statutes and procedures relating to provincial offences. Case raised issue which was particular to accused and which concerned linguistic rights of appellants in instances related to provincial offences, such as whether francophone appellants had right to bilingual appeal. It was in public interest and for due administration of justice that application should be granted.
R. c. Halich (Feb. 3, 2015, Ont. C.A., K. van Rensburg J.A., In Chambers, File No. CA M44068) 120 W.C.B. (2d) 410.