Accused pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and possession of stolen motor vehicle. Appellant was permanent resident and 10-month global sentence imposed would likely trigger deportation. Issue on appeal of whether trial judge erred in treatment of collateral immigration consequences.
Held: Appeal dismissed.
Sentencing courts should first determine a fit and proper sentence “irrespective of immigration consequences”, and only then proceed to consider collateral immigration issues. As per Pham, 2013 SCC 15, collateral consequences cannot overtake the sentencing process. Here, appellant had lengthy record and received sentence of close to 6 months’ incarceration for prior offences. “The appellant is not asking for a modest reduction in sentence but rather a reduction from a global sentence of 10 months to six months less a day. A reduction of 4 months and 1 day to avoid the collateral immigration consequences would render this an unfit sentence and one that is inconsistent with the fundamental purpose and principles identified in the Criminal Code.”
D. Hatch – Defence Counsel