R v Soosay, Edmonton Queen’s Bench 2017 ABQB 478 per Burrows, J:


35 year old aboriginal woman pleaded guilty to trafficking in cocaine. $100 worth of cocaine sold to an undercover police officer. Accused’s record (10 prior convictions) included one drug conviction (simple possession in 2008). Numerous Gladue factors including: limited education and employment opportunities; considerable death / suicide in her family; family members attended residential school; addiction issues; personal experiences of violence; and her children not being in her care.

Held: 9 months jail.

Only aggravating factor was the accused’s criminal record. Accused had participated in a treatment program and had taken steps to restore her family relationships. Case law reviewed, including Corbiere, 2017 ABCA 164 and Legerton, 2015 ABCA 79 where 12 month jail sentences were imposed for cocaine trafficking by accused with various Gladue factors.

A. Lind – Defence Counsel