R v Blanchard, 2017 Edmonton Queen’s Bench 485 per Macklin, J:


Accused convicted of various offences including aggravated sexual assault. Defence brought a mistrial application, and called a witness (Wilcox), who testified that the complainant had lied. Crown application to call two witnesses in response. These witnesses’ anticipated evidence was that the accused approached them while they were prisoners at the Remand Centre, and asked them to either threaten the complainant, or to come forward with accounts consistent with the accused.

Held: Application denied.

The proposed evidence was not relevant, as it was not probative of a fact in issue. “[T]he proposed evidence does not actually make the proposition – that Mr. Wilcox concocted his evidence at the behest of Mr. Blanchard – more likely than it would be in the absence of the evidence. Therefore, the evidence is not relevant to a material issue”. Even if the evidence was relevant, its probative value (ie, a collateral fact) would be very low, while its potential prejudicial effect was high.

T. Engel – Defence Counsel