Mr. Ladue, an Aboriginal man, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for breaching a long term supervision order. At issue is the interpretation of section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code which requires a consideration of reasonable alternatives to imprisonment for all prisoners, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders. The case deals with the appropriate consideration of the principles set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Gladue on sentencing Aboriginal offenders.
The BCCLA was an intervener in this case, which was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The BCCLA argued that the trial judge failed to consider alternatives to imprisonment, the unique position of Aboriginal people given their increasing overrepresentation in the criminal justice system and the importance of considering restorative and rehabilitative principles in the sentencing all offenders.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada forcefully reaffirmed the teachings of Gladue, holding that sentencing judges must utilize a different method of analysis in determining what is a fit and just sentence for an Aboriginal offender. The decision also reaffirmed that rehabilitation of offenders is one of the core goals in sentencing, even in cases dealing with individuals subject to long term supervision orders.
The BCCLA was represented by Kent Roach of the University of Toronto and Kelly Doctor of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP.