Crown appeal of directed acquittal. Respondent was charged with obstruction for refusing to produce his driver’s licence to police in the course of a parking infraction. Trial judge found that the conduct could have been addressed by Traffic Safety Act provisions and thus could not have supported a Criminal Code conviction for obstruction.

Held: Appeal dismissed.

 “The rule flowing from Sharma [[1993] 1 SCR 650] is clear: where a bylaw or provincial offence provides a means of enforcement, police must resort to that means of enforcement – rather than to the criminal law of obstruction of justice – when without more an accused refuses to comply with police demands that he do what the legislation provides.” TSA provisions include s 166(2) requiring driver to stop for a peace officer and provide information, s 167(1) creating offence of failing to produce documents, and power to arrest without a warrant under s 169(1) if 166(2) is not complied with and officer has inadequate identification information. Thus, the TSA provided an alternate scheme to address the accused’s conduct.

S. Labahn – Defence Counsel.