Accused pled guilty to failing to stop at a stop sign contrary to s. 37(a) of the Use of Highway Reg. (ROR). Two people died as a result of the accident. Crown sought 7 days jail plus a fine. Issue as to whether offence was an absolute or strict liability offence (jail only available if strict liability).

Held: $2000 fine plus probation and a 90 day license suspension.

The due diligence defence is available to charges under s. 37(a) ROR by virtue of s. 161 TSA. As per Sanders, 2006 ABQB 393, “The very existence of a provision like that in the Traffic Safety Act … connotes the intention of the Legislature not to have its offences … operate in an absolute liability manner.” Accordingly, the offence was a strict liability offence, and as per s. 7(1) POPA, jail was an available sentence to the Court.

D. Derie-Gillespie – Defence Counsel