R v Larsen, 2017 Calgary Provincial Court – Waiting For Drug Analysis Not Defence Delay

Accused charged with trafficking marijuana seeds. Section 11(b) application.  As of hearing date total delay was 18 months 28 days, but trial was scheduled to continue in June 2018. Crown argued that 15 weeks should be deducted as defence delay as waiting for certificates of analyses to be disclosed before setting dates was unnecessary.

Held: s 11(b) breach; stay granted.

In routine drug cases certificates of analyses would not be required to set dates. “This, however, is not a usual case…the seed analysis lies at the heart of issues Mr. Larsen seeks to advance…In any event, Defence ultimately did not wait for full disclosure before setting the matter down, no doubt becoming ever more confident as time passed with no proof of seed viability that the case would result in a discharge.” This delay was thus not attributable to defence. Net delay exceeded 18-month presumptive ceiling. Delay fell mainly at the foot of the Crown and was not justified by exceptional circumstances.

K. Tousaw – Defence Counsel