Wing Wha Wong v. Her Majesty the Queen
(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)
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Criminal law – Miscarriage of justice – Guilty plea – At time of pleading guilty to trafficking cocaine, applicant not informed that conviction would make him inadmissible to Canada on grounds of serious criminality pursuant to s. 36(1)(a) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27 – Applicant’s counsel also not discussing with him defence of entrapment – Applicant appealing conviction on basis of ineffective assistance of counsel – Whether Court of Appeal erred in assessment of applicant’s request to withdraw guilty plea after finding applicant was uninformed of significant collateral consequences of plea – Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 686(1)(a)(iii).
Mr. Wong, applicant, pled guilty to one count of trafficking cocaine. At the time he entered the plea, his counsel had not informed him that a conviction for trafficking cocaine would make him inadmissible to Canada on grounds of serious criminality pursuant to s. 36(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27. Nor had his counsel discussed the defence of entrapment with him. On appeal, Mr. Wong argued his plea should be set aside on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. It found that allowing the conviction to stand, despite Mr. Wong’s uninformed plea, would not amount to a miscarriage of justice, because there was no evidence that he would not have pled guilty had he been informed of the collateral immigration consequences of his plea. Specifically, the court noted that Mr. Wong did not depose in his affidavit that had he known the jeopardy a conviction created to his permanent resident status, he would not have pled guilty.
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