Crown appeal of 5.5 year sentence. Accused convicted of transporting 5.5 kg of cocaine valued at $500,000 from Vancouver to Edmonton in a secret compartment of his truck. Trial judge found that the accused was wilfully blind.

Held: Appeal allowed. 8 year sentence imposed.

Error to find a lower moral culpability based upon wilful blindness, as a finding of wilful blindness is a finding of actual knowledge, merely through a different route. As per Sidhu, 2009 ONCA 81: “As a matter of principle and policy, we ought not to be sending a message to would-be-couriers that if they wear blinders, they will receive a lower sentence than if they actually learn the nature and quantity of the substance they are importing.”

A. Juneja – Defence Counsel