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

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

RCMP evacuate Cowichan detachment due to explosive device

Device disposed of without incident after man brings in discovered explosive

CO’s call off attempts to trap bear who attacked North Island man

Woss man recuperating after incident on remote logging road

Memorial ride set for fallen Vancouver Island mountain biker

Event scheduled for Tuesday evening for the mountain biker who died in the Cumberland trail system

UPDATED: Saanich Police arrest driver after serious hit and run

Motorists advised to avoid area of McKenzie Avenue and Shelbourne Street

Silly Boat Regatta fills Nanaimo harbour with silly sailing

Island Red Cedar Construction wins this year’s race

SLIDESHOW: ‘Lightning’ hits Vancouver Island for annual Sproat Lake regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

SLIDESHOW: Vancouver Islanders gather for classic cars and cool aircraft

Campbell River’s annual Wings & Wheels event held at city’s airport

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Island man narrowly escapes being run down by his own truck

Saanich resident working on his truck on Darwin Avenue, when it started to roll on him

Firefighters keep flames away from evacuated Langford townhouse

Crews respond after brush fire near Walmart jumps to garden shed

Vancouver Island bid to host 2021 national championships falls short

Hockey Canada hasn’t announced successful bid, but has advised it won’t be Nanaimo

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

Most Read