The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

British Columbia man has a right to trial in French, Supreme Court says

Joseph Roy Eric Bessette, who was charged in September 2014 with driving while prohibited

The Supreme Court of Canada says a British Columbia man charged with a driving offence is entitled to a trial in French.

The ruling comes today in the case of Joseph Roy Eric Bessette, who was charged under B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act in September 2014 with driving while prohibited.

The following January, Bessette appeared in provincial court in Surrey, B.C., and asked that his trial be held in French — a request the Crown contested.

A judge then refused to order a French trial, concluding that B.C. law does not include a right to one for provincial offences.

READ MORE: No French trial for francophone in Surrey

Bessette asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to intervene but the court declined, saying he would have to wait for an eventual appeal after having a trial in English.

Bessette unsuccessfully challenged the decision in the B.C. Court of Appeal, prompting him to take his case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

READ MORE: Distracted driving leading cause of injury crashes involving youth

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

West Kelowna reopens beach volleyball, new pickleball courts

The City of West Kelowna is asking residents to maintain safe distancing

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Most Read