Impaired driving case arising out of Ponoka. Defence application to change the venue of the trial to Wetaskiwin, given that trial dates were available 3 months earlier in Wetaskiwin.

Held: Application granted.

A change of venue was expedient to the ends of justice: CJC, 2005 BCSC 694. The presumption is that trials ought to proceed in the court location closest to where the alleged offence occurred. However, there was no “territorial division” change sought. Both the court staff and the Crown for Ponoka were administered out of Wetaskiwin. As well, the two police detachments are only minutes apart from each other. Delay was prejudicial to the accused, as his licence was subject to an administrative suspension found to have been unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal. “We reiterate the important role trial judges play in curtailing unnecessary delay”: Cody, 2017 SCC 31.

A. Pearse – Defence Counsel