Appellant convicted after trial of driving while disqualified and breach of probation. Police were conducting proactive patrols with a view to detecting stolen vehicles, specifically targeting Ford trucks. Appellant was driving a Ford F150 registered to a female. At trial, defence alleged a s. 9 Charter breach. The Trial Judge held that the traffic stop was authorized by the Traffic Safety Act and therefore not arbitrary.
Held: Appeal allowed; s 9 breach, evidence excluded and acquittal entered.
The issue was whether an authorized legal stop and detention could “morph into an unauthorized arbitrary detention in the context of the Traffic Safety Act and the Charter.” The Court cited Le, 2019 SCC 34, and held, “the lawfulness generated by the Traffic Safety Act is exceeded where the aim of the stop is combined with a purpose that encapsulates general detection of criminal activity or speculative criminal investigation, or a ‘fishing expedition.’”