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

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Rossland council passes plastic bag ban despite legal questions

Appeal court ruling threw bylaw in limbo, but council voted to move forward

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Fire engulfs car on weekend

No one injured in incident

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read