general information donations to legal fund Doug Stead, President
Tri-M Systems Inc.
6 - 1301 Ketch Court
Coquitlam, BC V3K 6X7 Canada
(604) 527-1100 or (800) 665-5600
fax: (604) 527-1110
Doug Stead In Trust - Photo Radar Defense
6 - 1301 Ketch Court
Coquitlam, BC V3K 6X7 Canada
|Trial progress and judgments|
1996-10-12 vehicle photographed 1997-04-30 first hearing 1997-12-02 second hearing, Defence files Outline of Submissions, Crown granted adjournment 1998-03-10 third and final hearing 1998-07-09 decision delivered: R. v. Tri-M Systems Inc. (July 9, 1998), unreported - written ruling on a motion, (B.C. Provincial Court - Traffic Division, New Westminster Registry No. SA300391011, Makhdoom JP), (31 pages). 1998 n/a appeal filed by Crown 1998-09-15 Defence (respondent) files statement of defence 1998-09-29 hearing in BC Supreme Court (New Westminster) 2:15 to 4:15 PM (Crown arguments) 1998-10-01 hearing in BC Supreme Court (Vancouver) 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Defence arguments), 2:00 to 2:30 (Crown rebuttal). Decision reserved. 1998-11-20 Decision delivered. Crown successful, sent back for new trial. 1998 n/a Appeal filed... going to BC Court of Appeal. 1999-06-?? BC Court of Appeal defence factum filed (in PDF format). 1999-11-04 BC Court of Appeal (one justice) to hear application for leave to appeal. 1999-11-16 Leave to appeal to BC Court of Appeal denied. 1999-12-08 Defence files application to vary order of 99-11-16 (in PDF format). 2000-02-02 Arguments heard by a three justice panel of the Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal granted! 2001-02-13 Appearance in Court of Appeal. 2001-04-11 Court of Appeal decision - Crown successful. 2001-June Leave to the Supreme Court of Canada being sought. 2001-10-19 Leave to the Supreme Court of Canada denied.
February 16, 2000 - What is it really all about? The BC Photo Radar Legal Battle
My fight is to protect everyone's basic right to be presumed innocent, while insisting the Crown/Government bear full responsibility of proving all the facts surrounding any allegation of wrong doing against an individual. A principle, hard won and paid for thousands, no millions of times with blood since it was conceived and proclaimed by King John of England in 1215, Magna Carta parchment.
Some 700 years later, Winston Churchill said in 1956, "... here is a law which is above the King and which even he must not break. This reaffirmation of a supreme law and its expression in a general charter is the great work of Magna Carta; and this alone justifies the respect in which men have held it." More recently Canadians added to this historical documents, enshrining additional protections, rights and liberties with our own parchment, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Specifically Section 11(d) of our Charter states that "Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal."
Cleverly crafted by the NDP, BC's photo radar laws legislates a presumption as to the identity of the driver, imposes an evidentiary burden on the accused to prove otherwise, and leaves open for the accused to be convicted despite the existence of a reasonable doubt in the mind of the Justice hearing the case. As early as June 1989 our NDP government was made aware that this type of legislation would "undoubtedly be open to Constitutional challenge" as reported in the Law Reform Commission of British Columbia Report on Vicarious Liability Under the Motor Vehicle Act.
The reality of this legislation is that the registered owner of a vehicle has to provide evidence to rebut the facts deemed into evidence. The ability of the accused to answer or offer any defence to this allegation is for all intensive purposes nil. Mailed photo radar tickets that could be lost, do not constitute legal notification as there is no certainty the owner ever gets it. The Crown often takes over two years to properly serve the owner with notice of the charge.
Put another way, the photo radar laws require a justice to find the accused guilty unless the accused can prove otherwise. This creates a mandatory presumption of guilt, whereby the Judge is required to find in favour of the Crown, when the totality of the Crown's case is based solely on the three "certificates of evidence" and no additional corroboration of any kind. This creating a situation where often no one, not the accused, not the Crown and not the Judge knows anything other then what is in the certificates.
Since standing up to the Government a little over four years ago, the costs of defending our rights to date have totalled almost $65,000.00. I have received hundreds of call and letter of support. Many of these included small sums of money, now totalling almost $5,000.00 towards the legal expenses I must bear in this battle. As recently as this January, I received a letter of support and a $50.00 donation. It came from a retired couple in Victoria, who stated "I have watched and admired your efforts from which we will all benefit. My cheque is enclosed to help contribute towards the cost of your action."
Last week the B.C. Court of Appeal (BCCA), comprised of The Honourable Justices Southin, Hollinrake, and Rowles issued a unanimous ruling against the Crown, stating
"We are also of the opinion that, because the issue raised here as to the constitutionality of s. 83.1 of the Motor Vehicle Act, the so-called "photo radar" section, is a matter of importance in the Province and there is a very great risk of conflicting decisions in the lower courts, leave ought to be given and this court should address the matter."
Clearly this indicates the BCCA lacks any great comfort with the photo radar laws, and perhaps even conveys the message that laws such as these bring the entire judicial system into question.
My lawyers estimate legal expenses and disbursements for this BCCA trial to cost a minimum of $30,000.00 and possibly as high as $60,000.00. This trial may be yet another first for BC: the three Justice panel has also ordered affidavit evidence. Evidence is not normally heard by higher courts, but if the photo radar legislation is found inconsistent with section 11(d) of the Charter, the Crown can try to "save" the legislation under section one of the Charter if such legislation can be shown to "be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." The Crown will try to argue that photo radar is necessary and that no less infringing alternatives exist. This will require us to show that photo radar is neither effective nor uniquely capable -- a task which we are absolutely able to do, but only through expert witnesses.
I have managed to keep up with the fees for the legal system to date, as prior expenses where spread over a 4 year period. But now it looks very much like I will have to support these expenses over a period as short as four months. If citizens would like to help with donations, these would be greatly appreciated. All money would go solely to cover legal expenses, with any residual being donated to the Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement organization (www.sense.bc.ca).
If you are so inclined to help, please make cheques payable to: Doug Stead In Trust - Photo Radar Defense
February 2, 2000 - Big Win for Tri-M in Photo Radar Case
VANCOUVER - Court of Appeal - February 2nd, 2000 at 4:00 PM. A three member panel of the BC Court of Appeal, consisting of Justices Southin, Hollinrake, and Rowles, ruled that not only did the Court have authority to review and modify the prior order of Madam Justice Proudfoot (who had earlier refused leave to appeal), but that they would vary her order and grant Tri-M leave to appeal it's photo radar case.
The order stipulated that the issues to be argued be confined to Section 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Also included in the order was permission for the Crown and Tri-M to enter written section one augments should the Court find the Photo Radar laws do violate the presumption of innocence section of the Charter.
In issuing this order, the Court noted that the 11(d) arguments in question were of sufficient merit, and importance to the people of BC, that the legal issues surrounding this legislation should be resolved so that lower courts would have guidance in deciding cases under this legislation.
January 30, 2000 - BC Photo Radar back before BCCA
Court of Appeal - Vancouver, February 2nd, 2000 at 10:00 am. A three Justice panel (gowned) made up of Judges of the British Columbia Court of Appeal will hear arguments on the Defendants application to review and vary the Order of Madam Justice Proudfoot's Order refusing to grant leave to appeal in the Photo Radar case of Regina v. Tri-M Systems Inc.
Coquitlam businessman Doug Stead and his legal council Art Grant of the firm Grant Kovacs Norell, who specialize in the practice of Constitutional law has filed this application using a very seldom used section [s. 9(6)] of the Court of Appeal Act. Opposing this application the B.C. Government has brought out it's most Senor legal council, William H. Ehrcke, Q.C..
In the application, Tri-M request the Court grant leave to appeal in respect to the legal arguments raised regarding the section 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which neither the British Columbia Supreme Court over turned of the Provincial Court win nor the in Chambers BCCA Order denying the appeal dealt with. In essences Tri-M has abandoned it section 7 arguments which where the bases used by both senior courts rulings against Tri-M and is seeking a ruling based solely only on the section 11(d) arguments which formed the majority of the Provincial Court ruling. A ruling that the Photo Radar Laws in this Province do violate the Charter.
The Crown position is firstly that BCCA has no jurisdiction to review or vary the Single Justice Order refusing to grant level to appeal and secondly that the BC Photo Radar Laws do not violate 11(d) of the Charter in that the lower court is not required to convict the owner/accused solely on the bases of Certificate evidence, which Certificates legislatively prove all the elements of the Crowns case and make up all the evidence against the owner/accused.
Depending on the ruling of this special Panel of the BCCA, BC's Photo Radar laws may be allowed a full hearing in open court at the BC Court of Appeal level, or the way may be opened for an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.
November 4, 1999 - BC Court of Appeals decide on leave application for Photo Radar Consitutional Challenge
TODAY - Thursday Nov. 4th, 1999, at 9:30am the BC Court of Appeals on Smythe Street Vancouver, will hear the application for leave to appeal the BC Supreme Court ruling which overruled the BC Provincial Court Justice Markhdoom's 31 page decision stating that Photo Radars laws in BC violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.
Photo Radar protagonist Doug Stead who over the last three years pushed his photo radar ticket all the way to the BC Court Appeals says "BC’s Attorney General Department is pulling out all the stops in its efforts to terminate my case and keep it from being heard before our Provinces highest Court authority and if necessary beyond to the Supreme Court of Canada."
Stead, who had to hire a new law Firm, Grant Kovac Norell, after his original attorney left the practice of law for medical reasons, further states that "Art Grant and his team of highly experienced Constitutional lawyers, have fine tuned the Section (11D) and Section (7) arguments to the point that the Government of BC will have a very difficult time keeping BC’s photo radar laws on the books. That is, providing the BCCA grants the application and hears my appeal."
For justice to be done, it must be seen to be done.
December 20, 1998 - Photo Radar - here today gone tomorrow?
The NDP Government has not heard the last of independent Coquitlam businessman Doug Stead and his fight to declare BC Photo Radar laws unconstitutional. Notice has been filed in The Court of Appeal of British Columbia seeking a declaration that section 83.1 and 83.2 of the Motor Vehicle Act violate an individual right to the presumption of innocents, basic tenets of fundamental justice and principles of procedural fairness.
Stead stated "The good news is that even though I lost the battle in BC Supreme Court, I have not lost the war nor my will to fight! After consultations with my lawyer, Barbara Brown, we have launched an appeal on the grounds that the Honourable Justice Brenner erred in holding that the ability to drive is not protected within section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and further that the Photo Radar laws of BC do violate section 11(d) in that they remove the accused right to a full defence while shifting the burden onto the accused to prove his innocents."
Further Stead stated "I feel I just can’t walk away from what I started. If I do, this BC Supreme Court ruling would stand as a precedent for this government and those that follow to use these new powers they have created, combined with BC Supreme Court approved policies and administrative expediency, to screw the individual out of hard won rights, to say nothing of their money." Further Stead vows "Should I loss at the highest Court in this Province, I will push this issue all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa."
"It is long past time in this country, for individuals stand up and let those we elect know, they can no longer get away with the “we can do whatever the help we want, because you elected us” attitude. At all government levels the “we now best, because we have a majority” does not somehow translates into "we can do any thing we damned well want."
As Canadian people, especially here in BC, we have had great difficulty attracting quality people to elected office. If we were to face facts, government or opposition, BC politicians have the well earned social stature rivaling that of a convicted low-life-charity thief. Without Canadian Charter of Rights, BNA ACT and the Magna Carta acting as the foundation of our Canadian culture, combined with our Courts and the 5th Estate, the individual would have little if any voice to effect change when the creeping corruption of absolute power, greed and political expediencies becomes the all encompassing purpose of being government.
It is left to vigilant individuals, willing to fight, win or loss, to balance the absolute power we hand the leader of the winning party. This is the duty and the price we should all be willing pay to protect rights of the individual form being taken away one chip at a time. To date almost 3800.00 dollars has be donated by individuals to help defray the legal costs. Those interested in helping, may send cheques to Barbara Brown, Photo Radar Trust, Suite 1311, Box 12155, 808 Nelson Street, Vancouver BC V6Z 2H2.
October 28, 1998 - What the NDP & ICBC would rather you DIDN'T know when you get a Photo Radar ticket!
Since starting my quest for basic justice regarding BC's Photo Radar laws, I have been asked by hundreds of unhappy BCers what they should or could do about a Photo Radar Ticket they had received. Do they have to pay? Will ICBC somehow get them if they do not pay? What is likely to happen if they fight? And what are the steps to take and what could they expect to happen if they do stand up and dispute a Photo Radar allegation?
The following is my personal opinion which is based upon my experiences and observations gained while attending the BC University of Normally Disinterested People (BCU-NDP). My self imposed part-time study project has lasted more then two years during which I have exercised my guaranteed right to a full defence in BC Provincial Court disputing the validity of the Photo Radar law. I have not, as yet, disputed the alleged infraction contained in the Photo Radar ticket. Hence what I am doing is not about speeding, it is about our governments slowly eroding away rights and liberties that I as a Canadian expect, and am willing to fight to keep!
To do the job properly I invested a great many hours studying the BC Motor Vehicle Act and The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, reading and re-reading hundreds of pages of court rulings and precedents set in other court cases, consulting a lawyer for clarification of all of the above, filing the proper court documents, corresponding with Crown Counsel and lastly, attending numerous court hearings. All of this, much to my surprise, culminated with one courageous Justice of The Peace issuing a 31 page written ruling. This the "Makhdoom Ruling" thoroughly impugned our NDP government's Photo Radar Laws as violating numerous civil rights and liberties enshrined within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
First, a little history. The Magna Carta was issued by King John of England in 1215. This document bound not only himself but his "heirs, for ever" to grant "to all freemen of our kingdom" the rights and liberties his great charter described. With the Magna Carta, King John placed himself and future sovereigns, magistrates and rulers within the rule of law. More then 700 years later, Winston Churchill said in 1956, "...here is a law which is above the King and which even he must not break. This reaffirmation of a supreme law and its expression in a general charter is the great work of Magna Carta; and this alone justifies the respect in which men have held it."
As individual Canadians, we are protected from our sovereigns, magistrates and rulers by the Magna Carta, and most recently, we as a people added further protections, rights and liberties guaranteed in our own parchment, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Two of the major rights and liberties granted by King John, reaffirmed and added to in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are that all Canadians enjoy a presumption of innocence with the Crown bearing the total burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that all Canadians have the right to make full answer and defence in front of an independent and impartial court of law. These are fundamental principles that have taken western civilization thousands of years to develop. In this century alone, literally hundreds of thousands of men and women have given their lives defending these simple ideas.
As the owner of a British Columbia registered automobile, your first notice that your vehicle allegedly contravened BC's Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) by speeding when Photo Radar was used to gather all the particulars of this offense, will be a regular letter in the mail. Whether or not you were the driver makes no difference what so ever. Under the Photo Radar laws you, as the owner, are left holding the bag- unless of course you want to nominate a member of your family, a friend or perhaps one of your union brother or sisters for the offence. Nominating provides ICBC with the additional bonus of adding 3 points (an ICBC $$$ bonus) to the driving record of your soon to be estranged acquaintance. But hey, with ICBC firmly in control of all the driver/owner records, the poor sod nominated will likely get the chance to remember you at least once a year while renewing insurance.
Back to your postal surprise. Inside your letter you find a computer image of what is purportedly your car/van/truck allegedly violating the posted speed at a certain location, time date and other particulars. Also enclosed in this letter is an ICBC brochure informing you of all kinds of dire consequences should you fail to cough up the prescribed amount of money- plus tax. None of which is worth the paper it is printed on. At best, it is an invitation to voluntarily donate money and admit guilt. At worst, a thinly veiled, legal extortion racket .
The courts of this land only recognize legal notification, which includes Photo Radar offenses, if they are served in person. Which is different than all other speeding offenses where the Officer almost always personally serves you at the time of the incident by handing you a ticket. So unless someone personally hands you these same documents you can not be convicted of anything. Which means neither the NDP Government nor ICBC have any legal or moral right to withhold renewing of insurance or drivers licenses. Anyone telling you different is violating your basic RIGHTS as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
So, when you read over the ICBC brochure, highlight the word "MAY" just prior to all the bad things ICBC say MAY happen if you don't send them money. NONE of these things can occur until such time as you have been convicted of the alleged offense by a duly authorized court operating in accordance with fair, public and lawful procedures. Which of course, can't happen unless you are served in person with these same papers.
What can you do? At this point you have two viable options, well three if you'r looking to screw a friend or family member with the additional 3 penalty points placed against the lucky person's drivers licence via the nomination option.
1) file the letter, picture and brochure with all your other junk mail (which breaks No law).
2) send in the toll.
If you file the mailed ticket in the round container (my personal recommendation) you may or may not in future be served in person with acceptable legal notice. Due to the volumes Photo Radar generates and with more and more vehicle owners ignoring postally served tickets, the government has hired companies to personally deliver/serve these notices. For $16.00 to $23.00 per ticket, some gainfully employed person (new jobs for which the NDP can take full credit) will supposedly try a minimum of three times to hand deliver the proper judicial notice in person to the owner of the vehicle in question. Of course, if you live in the boonies, an apartment, gated community or just plain don't open your door to total strangers, a vast number of these tickets never do get properly served.
ICBC does however have the gall to record the ALLEGED infraction along with the fine based on the "not legal postal notice". ICBC puts this ALLEGEDLY owed fine into their data base along with all the other information they have collected on you and then patiently wait until the next required time you have to deal with them. Then, they will try to get you to "voluntarily" pay and may imply that they will not give you whatever brought you to their office in the first place. Don't be fooled, in Canada we still have a few RIGHTS left, and in the end ICBC will do what is legal. Stand your ground and ICBC will override their computer and issue the documentation you are there to get.
If ICBC doesn't play by the rules, keep a record of the time, date, name of the person and details of the events. You may be eligible for some future money in the event of a class action suit which may be launched against ICBC and its agents who falsely try to collect money not legally due. Remember, ICBC has absolutely no legal authority to refuse to issue you a drivers licence or auto insurance unless you have been properly convicted in a BC Court of law, period, full stop, end of story.
Back to that Photo Radar ticket. Lets assume you do deep six the postal notice(s) and happen to be unlucky enough to be home when some newly employed, minimum wage, process server, personally hands you a Photo Radar ticket. Don't panic! No matter what you do, the very worst thing that can happen is that you will be forced to pay the amount indicated. This is providing they got the paper work right and the photo bears a likeness to your vehicle and licence plate number.
You have 30 days from the date of having been served in person to either;1) pay up,
2) do nothing,
3) write on the face of the notice "dispute" and mail it back to arrive prior to the 30 day expiration period.
As you have gone to all the trouble of ignoring them, yet they haven't got the good-manners to reciprocate, I recommend you do not send any money at this juncture. This leaves you doing nothing, or spending $0.45 on a stamp requesting your day in court. Doing nothing has the same effect as pleading guilty. When the 30 day waiting period is up the amount due is put into collection. This may effect your credit rating and/or cause you to have to deal with another minimum wage worker, who's daily crust is earned cajoling, hounding, threatening or otherwise interrupting your day with efforts to get money from you. This is another area where a class action suit may return some money to those who have had their credit rating sullied unfairly. A traffic fine can hardly be called a legitimate commercial debt and has nothing to do with one's personal credit history. Personal credit ratings are based on civil contracts of one kind or other where obligations have not been met. A fine is a fine. That is, a punishment doled out for infraction of laws or regulations. It seems to me an impossible leap by ICBC to mix the two. Sure, if you don't pay your monthly insurance they should set the hounds after you, but for a fine which may or may not have been imposed by a court!?! This type of creative administrative expediency is certainly a humongous advantage for the Government/ICBC and which oddly enough, just as greatly disadvantages the average Joe.
Sometime after sending in your dispute of the notice which was personally served to you as the owner of a vehicle which allegedly violated section 151 of the BC MVA, you will be notified by mail of your trail date in BC Provincial Court. The court location is usually the one closest to the location where the alleged offence occurred.
When your date rolls around, you have two choices:1) show up.
2) don't show up.
What you do here makes little difference. The amount of the fine can no longer be reduced by the Judge for economic hardship or any other reason. Our NDP, the same self proclaimed protectors of the little guy, slipped this little gem by the loyal opposition late last year when they increase all the traffic fines. It would seem that absolutely no one, including the court system is going to be allowed to get in the way of maximizing the revenue to be squeezed from people who happen to be the registered owner of a vehicle in this province. Nevertheless, I highly recommend you do attend. It makes them (Our trusted leaders in Victoria, who are only out to save us from ourselves) earn their squeeze. It can also be fun and educational to say nothing of the socially redeeming feeling you will get in fully participating while at the same time exercising the rights given you by King John so long ago.
Also, not showing up is the same as pleading guilty!
Arriving at the appointed time and place you will most likely find yourself sitting with perhaps as many as 10 or 11 fellow BCers, who, like you, found their Photo Radar ticket repugnant. Each of you will in turn be called before the Justice of the Peace (JP). The Crown Lawyer will provide you and the JP a copy of three certificates containing the allegations against you. The charges will be read into record and the Crown Lawyer will then close his case. At this point, if you do nothing, you will be convicted. This is because our government crafted the photo radar laws within the MVA to force the JP to conclude that all the facts of the allegation have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, based solely on the certificates entered into evidence. In short, this leaves you with the burden of proving yourself innocent of the allegation, when in the vast majority of cases, all the facts surrounding the event lay within the sole possession of the Crown or its agents.
To date, the Crown/government/ICBC/RCMP have opposed at every turn the release to the accused of Photo Radar maintenance records, reliability reports or studies, technical information on the inner working of the equipment or any other data that would be helpful in establishing a reasonable doubt regarding the accuracy and reliability of the device solely responsible for collecting all the evidence against the owner of a vehicle. Why would all these servants of the public hide behind a claim that these are 3rd party records, which are confidential to the manufacture of the Photo Radar hardware and software? While at the same time these same public servants know hiding this information effectively makes any defence offered by an accused merely illusionary!
All of the above may shortly become mute. The BC Supreme Court has heard the appeal of the lower court ruling and will be handing down a decision one way or the other any day now.
In Canada it is still your right to challenge the government of the day. In fact, it is your duty, as participation is the price of democracy.
My personal formula for a better Canada is:
(Democracy + Liberty + Freedom)
x (Participation + Conviction + Courage)
= Social Justice + Prosperity + Tolerance
I, Doug Stead, am a BC Small Business owner and entrepreneur. I am not a lawyer nor I have had any legal training whatsoever. My Companies employ British Columbians working within the high technology sector designing, engineering and manufacturing embedded electronics for hostile environments. British Columbia is a great place to do business from, unfortunately most Canadians do not appreciate what we have and how lucky we are to live in this part of the world.
September 24/29, 1998 - Photo Radar - here today gone tomorrow?
Attached is the statement of defence which has been filed in BC Supreme Court to defend the lower court ruling which was won by Doug Stead. If the BC Supreme Court upholds the lower court finding, BC's current Photo Radar laws are effectively finished. Of course, this assumes Stead wins, and that the powers brokers in our government don't seek to further appeal to the BC Court of Appeals or beyond to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The issues in this case are not unimportant or small, but they are simple and basic to how our court system works. This case has become a pivotal point on which the interpretation of Canadian Law and the protection of individual rights, by this, and future governments. A precedent one way or the other will be set.
At stake, in addition to million of dollars, is a movement of the line separating the power of government vs the protection of hard won liberties and freedoms. Can a government substantially change the way our court system works based wholly on the method used to collect "all" the alleged evidence? Can a law mandate a conviction in a Canadian Court when "all" of the alleged evidence submitted is in the form of certificates, without further prof, consequences of perjury or other checks and balance which come into play if any other method is used in the collection of evidence? What happens here in the Supreme Court of BC, may well determine a fundamental change in fairness we take for granted in dealing with what we hope to be an independent and impartial court system.
News Release - For Release September 29th 1998
Doug Stead Battles Photo Radar Today
New Westminster, BC - Doug Stead of Tri-M Systems Inc. will be speaking at a public rally being held at 12:30PM today in front of the New Westminster Court House, about the unconstitutionality of Photo Radar. Immediately following the rally, Doug Stead will appear in court at 2:00PM defending against Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh's appeal of the Lower Court Ruling impugning photo-radar.
Doug Stead, the Coquitlam businessman who has been at the center of the Photo Radar battle for the last two years, believes it is against a persons constitutional rights to be presumed guilty based purely on hearsay certificate evidence. Justice of the Peace, Z. Makhdoom agreed and Stead won the first round, in what is turning into a very expensive legal battle
Doug Stead stated, Photo Radar directly undermines the foundation of Canadian society's most basic fundamental rights, justice, privacy and fairness. It takes away the right of presumption of innocence and further mandates the accused a burden to prove their innocence. The accused is convicted when the crown's entire case is based wholly and solely on hearsay certificate evidence".
I am not a lawyer nor have I had any legal training what-so-ever, I simply believe that this type of law is the thin edge of the wedge. If not stopped now, hard-fought freedoms and rights will be further diminished as time goes by", said Doug Stead of Tri-M Systems Inc.
Doug will be available to answer any Photo Radar questions at 12:30PM, Tuesday September 29th 1998, at the New Westminster Court House, on the front steps and encourages the public to stop by and listen. There is also information available on the web at www.sense.bc.ca (Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement). A trust fund has been set up to help Stead fight Photo Radar, the appeal battle could cost between $4000 - $10,000 dollars.
August 21, 1998 - Latest on Photo Radar Appeal The people of this province have yet to see a Pedophile taken to BC Supreme Court in 60 days, but September 29th is the date the NDP government has arranged to appeal and hopefully save their most cherished tax grab yet, Photo Radar!
The public campaign to raise money to defend the courageous ruling by Justice of the Peace, His Worship Z. Makhdoom, that BC's Photo Radar laws do violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, is ramping up.
After John Westwood, Executive Director of The BC Civil Liberties Association (run by an NDP dominate board) declined to offer any assistance concluding "the fact that a law or policy is illegal or offends the Charter does not automatically make the issue a civil liberties one." has left Mr. Stead to stand alone in this David vs Goliath legal fight.
At issue are the very foundation protections of Canada's hard won Rights together with the Principles of Fundamental Justice. To date 1850.00+ dollars have been donated by individual to help cover the legal cost to off set the seeming limitless supply of tax dollars/traffic fines our NDP government has at it's disposal to overturn Makhdoom at the BC Supreme Court and beyond.
Barbara Brown, the Lawyer looking after the Photo Radar Trust Fund set up at Ste. 1311 - 808 Nelson St., unit 12155, Vancouver BC V6Z 2H2, has received more than 40 letters with cheques and notes of support.
Comments enclosed with some of these donations include:"Thanks for taking this on and best of luck."Money and offers of support have come in from all over the province and even a donation from Washington State in the amount of 100.00 US dollars. Local fund raising coordinators have volunteered in Kamloops and Penticton with each city out to better the other in total money raised.
"We'd love to send more if we could afford. We will be watching your progress & will send a further donation when funds allow. Good Luck."
"Glen Clark & Hitler are 2 peas in a pod, 60 years apart. Kick his ass!"
"Not much but if we all gave $15 the fight would be easier. Good Luck."
"Many thanks. Good Luck to you and your Father, may God Bless."
"I hope the enclosed $50.00 will help battle against the governments radar taxation system. This is nothing but another driver rip-off, perpetrated by the present government."
Fight Photo Radar posters are being donated and will be available to those wishing to contribute a little time and effort in their own communities. All moneys raised will be used exclusively to cover legal cost to fight the NDP's appeals of the Makhdoom ruling higher courts. Any excess money will be donated to the Orphans Fund.
Anyone interested in helping is asked to contact Doug Stead (see contacts information above)
July 27, 1998 - Appeal filed in Constitutional decision... I would like to bring to your attention the appeal the government of B.C. has launched against the courageous ruling handed down by Justice of the Peace Z. Makhdoom regarding the unconstitutionality of B.C.'s Photo Radar regime. The Notice of Crown's Appeal Against my Acquittal was hand delivered by the Communication/Media Relations Officer from the Integrated Traffic Camera Unit located in Richmond.
As the Crown has managed to arrange a date of September 29, 1998 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia at New Westminster, the financial pressure to defend JP Makhdoom's historic ruling is high. I have consulted a couple of well-qualified Charter Lawyers and have been given estimates of $4,000.00 to $10,000.00 to properly defend this lower court ruling. In addition to this there may well be future actions at the B.C. Court of Appeal level -- perhaps all way to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.
My quest for justice, and the conviction that I am right may be a noble attempt to make our system work, but it has also been personally inconvenient, frustrating, time consuming and expensive. I need the public's help in the form of financial assistance to help further protect our liberties and assure the Makhdoom written ruling receives a full defense in appeal.
Several people have sent me cheques in amounts of $10.00 to 20.00 dollars. In checking with an accountant, I find that I personally can not accept these without attracting a 54% tax. I ask that those who wish to help to permanently remove Photo Radar please send their donations for whatever they can afford, made out to (lawyer) Barbara Brown In Trust - Photo Radar Defense, Box 12155, 808 Nelson Street, Vancouver, V6Z 2H2. All monies donated will be used only to cover legal expenses to defend against Photo Radar. Any excess money will be given to the CKNW Orphans Fund.
I am not a lawyer nor have I any legal training whatsoever. I simply believe that this type of law is the thin edge of the wedge and if not stopped at the beginning, hard-fought freedoms and rights will be further diminished as time goes by.
For those interested in reading the ruling of JP Makhdoom and why it is unconstitutional, can find it on the SENSE web site.
My contention at trial, and the opinion rendered by JP Makhdoom, is that section 83.1 and 83.2 in combination with 141(1) and s.26 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act directly undermine the very foundation of our most basic fundamental rights as protected and set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms s.11(d) and s.7. As the Crown declined, at trial, to introduce any s.1 arguments or evidence of any compelling reason for procedural short cuts and administrative expediency, the appeal remaining will determine how deeply our government can cut or change guaranteed Charter protections. Below I outlined only a few of the serious questions on which this appeal now pivots -- the most basic, I think, of principles of justice and fairness. To wit:
Other areas of concern to the BC public may be the much wider issues of the Individual's Privacy verses the States desire to place cameras and create data bases of the comings and going of its citizens. These laws may also require the accused to nominate his or her spouse as the only viable defense, thereby eroding the sanctity of marriage and the family unit along with the rules of law regarding provision of evidence against his or her mate.
- The BC government has legislated two different sets of procedural rights, standards and freedoms for the same offence. Those where s.151(1) MVA charges are brought using Photo Radar as the method of alleged evidence for collection; versus all other s.151(1) charges where any other method of alleged evidence is gathered.
- This BC government legislation effectively places a reverse onus on the accused, thus violating the right of presumption of innocence and further mandating the accused a burden to prove his innocence.
- The accused are convicted when the Crown's entire case is based solely on hearsay certificate evidence, despite that the legislation requires the trier of fact to convict the accused even if the trier has a reasonable doubt concerning the hearsay certificate.
December 2, 1997- Appeal filed in Constitutional decision... Today at New Westminster B.C. Law Courts, Justice Makhdoom granted Crown Councils request for an delay to more fully prepare arguments against Mr. Doug Stead submission that BC's Photo Radar legislation violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and hence are of no force or effect. Both the Justice and the Crown Council commended Mr. Stead for the quality and substance of his submission.
Crown Councils' original request for an adjournment on the grounds that Mr. Steads' (a lay-person representing himself) Notice of Constitutional Question was incomplete was rejected by Justice Markhdoom. He did however grant the Crown time to better prepare as an act of fairness as Mr. Stead was given this consideration at an earlier proceeding. He also asked the attending Crown Council to get together with Mr. Stead to go over any outstanding issues to assure there will be no further delays. The Crown having been represented by three different prosecutors to date, stated that Mr. Nils Jensen their specialist in Photo Radar and Charter Challenges, will be handling the case in future hearings.
Justice Makhdoom instructed the Court Clerk to set the next hearing date as early as date as possible in January 1988.