Chaycen Michael Zora v. Her Majesty the Queen (B.C.)

Criminal law — Failure to comply with condition of undertaking or recognizance — Elements of the offence — Mens rea

Mr. Zora, applicant, was charged with several drug offences and was granted bail on the condition that he obey a curfew and present himself at his front door within five minutes of a police officer or bail supervisor attending to confirm his compliance with those conditions. On two occasions, Mr. Zora failed to present himself and he was ultimately convicted of breach of recognizance. Mr. Zora appealed his conviction on the basis that the trial judge erred by applying the wrong mens rea standard to the offence. The trial court and a majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeals. They found that while s. 145(3) was ambiguous and that there was conflict in the jurisprudence on the issue, the correct approach was to assess the mens rea of the offence objectively. Fenlon J.A., however, would have applied a subjective standard. In her view, neither the words nor the design of the offence supports a clear legislative intent to displace the presumptive subjective fault element that is the foundational principle of the criminal law.



Robert Must v. Her Majesty the Queen (Ont.)

Appeal — Leave to Appeal — Whether applicant raises a legal issue

iGate Staffing Solutions supplied contract staff to clients. iGate hired Mr. Must through his personal corporation to provide services to a client. To be paid for his work, Mr. Must was required to provide time sheets to iGate that were signed by a representative of the client. The client terminated its agreement with iGate and iGate informed Mr. Must by phone to cease work, but failed to give notice in writing to his personal corporation as required under the terms of their contract. Mr. Must continued to submit time sheets to iGate beyond the cease-work date. On each time sheet, he handwrote "M‑A‑I‑T" or "M‑A‑I‑F" in the space for the client's signature. He submitted that he was retained on "consultant maintenance". He was paid $21,699.60. He was charged with one count of fraud and 12 counts of uttering a forged document. He was convicted of fraud. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal and two motions to re‑open the appeal.