Alex Boudreault v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al.

(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Constitutional law - Sentencing, Cruel and unusual treatment or punishment (s. 12), Canadian charter (Criminal) - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Constitutional law - Criminal law - Sentencing - Victim surcharge - Cruel and unusual treatment or punishment - Accused ordered to pay surcharge under s. 737 of Criminal Code - Constitutionality of s. 737 Cr.C. - Whether victim surcharge should be considered mandatory minimum sentence - Whether majority of Court of Appeal erred in not recognizing that removal of judicial discretion to impose surcharge could violate principles of proportionality and individualization in sentencing - Whether majority of Court of Appeal erred in finding that there was no reasonable hypothetical that could result in infringement of s. 12 of Charter - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 12 - Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C 46, s. 737.


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In September 2013, Alex Boudreault pleaded guilty to four counts relating to various breaches of probation orders made between June and November 2012. A few months later, Mr. Boudreault pleaded guilty to other counts relating to breaches of a recognizance, breaking and entering dwelling houses, attempted break and enter, possession of stolen property, assault with a weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon.

In 2015, the Court of Québec sentenced Mr. Boudreault to imprisonment for 36 months and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of $1,400. The same judgment rejected Mr. Boudreault’s arguments to the effect that the victim surcharge provided for in s. 737 of the Criminal Code infringed s. 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The majority of the Court of Appeal held that the surcharge did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Duval Hesler C.J. would have allowed the appeal in part to declare s. 737 Cr.C. unconstitutional.