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.

Just Posted

Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum has headed heart clinic for past 14 years

PHOTOS: A summer morning in Oak Bay

A walkabout at Oak Bay Marina

Annual study shows high satisfaction with B.C. post-secondary schools

Study also reveals men tend to dominate higher paying jobs in the trades

Pavement work to close Fort Rodd Hill

Historic site scheduled to be closed to public Sept. 3 to 6

Victoria Shamrocks shoot for the WLA title on home floor

Senoir lacrosse team takes on Maple Ridge in Colwood Sunday at 6 p.m.

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Most Read