Spencer Dean Bird v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Saskatchewan) (Criminal) (As of Right)


Criminal law - Right to liberty (s. 7) - Charter of Rights - Criminal law - Right to liberty - Long-term supervision - Residency requirement - Accused required to reside at community correctional centre or community residential facility as condition of long-term supervision - Accused failing to abide by order and charged with breach of long-term supervision - Trial judge finding that residency requirement violates s. 7 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and dismissing charge - Court of Appeal allowing appeal and entering conviction - Whether the Court of Appeal erred in law in its application of the doctrine of collateral attack - Whether the Court of Appeal failed to address the constitutional question of whether the Parole Board order infringes the Charter.


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The appellant was found to be a long-term offender and was given a sentence comprising a penitentiary term followed by a period of long-term supervision. The Parole Board determined that, as a condition of the long-term supervision, the appellant was to begin his period of supervision by residing at a community correctional centre or community residential facility. Upon completion of his prison term, the appellant took up residence in a community correctional centre, but soon left the centre and did not return. He was eventually apprehended and charged with failing to comply with a condition of his long-term supervision. He defended the charge by arguing that the residency requirement prescribed by the Parole Board was unlawful. The trial judge agreed and dismissed the charge, finding the requirement to be a violation of s. 7 of the Charter on the basis that it obliged the appellant to live in a penal institution even though he had completed his prison term. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, set aside the acquittal and entered a conviction. It was of the view that the trial judge erred in permitting the appellant to collaterally attack the residency requirement.