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R. c. L.P.

2020 QCCA 1239

COURT OF APPEAL

 

CANADA

PROVINCE OF QUEBEC

REGISTRY OF

QUEBEC

 

No.:

200-10-003713-190

(640-01-040147-184) (640-01-040244-189) (640-01-040245-186) (640-01-040431-182)

 

DATE:

SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

 

 

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE

FRANCE THIBAULT, J.A.

SIMON RUEL, J.A.

SUZANNE GAGNÉ, J.A.

 

 

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

APPELLANT

v.

 

L. P.

RESPONDENT

 

 

JUDGMENT

(Order restricting publication under section 486.4 of the Criminal Code)

 

 

WARNING: The Criminal Code forbids that any information that could identity the victim shall be published in any document or broadcast or transmitted in any way (sections 486.4 (1)).

[1]           The Crown seeks leave to appeal a judgment rendered on October 25, 2019 by the Court of Québec, District of Abitibi (the Honourable Peggy Warolin),[1] which imposed on the respondent a sentence of imprisonment of two years less a day, less 199 days spent in pre-trial custody, followed by three years’ probation with supervision, after he pleaded guilty to seven counts related to two distinct sets of events of domestic violence.

[2]           For the reasons of Ruel, J.A., with which Gagné, J.A. concurs, THE COURT:

[3]           GRANTS the motion for leave to appeal;

[4]           ALLOWS the appeal;

[5]           REVERSES the judgment rendered by the Court of Québec in part, and, proceeding to render the judgment that should have been rendered, REPLACES the conclusions of the judgment under appeal at paragraphs 113 to 119 with the following:

[113] CONDEMNS the accused to serve, in the following files:

In file no. 640-01-040244-189

A sentence of 44 months on counts 1, 2 and 4, to be served concurrently;             

In file no. 640-01-040431-182

A sentence of 18 months on counts 3 and 4, to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed in file no. 640-01-040244-189;

To the 44-month total sentence in files no. 640-01-040244-189 and 640-01-040431-182, the time served by the respondent in pre-trial detention should be deducted at a 1.5 to one ratio, which is a deduction of 846 days (564 X 1.5), the net sentence being 492 days, or 16.4 months;

In file no. 640-01-040147-184

60 days on count 1, to be served concurrently with the sentences in the other records;

In file no. 640-01-040245-186

60 days on count 1, to be served concurrently with the sentences in the other records.

[114] ORDERS a prohibition to communicate directly or indirectly with the victim C. K. during the period of detention, according to section 743.21 of the Criminal Code;

[115] ORDERS the accused to respect the following conditions of his probation for a period of 3 years following his release, conditions to which he has consented:

·         Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;

·         Appear before the Court when required to do so;

·         Remain within the Province of Quebec;

·         Notify the probation officer of any change of address or name and quickly notify the probation officer of any change of employment or occupation;

·         Communicate with the probation officer within 5 working days of his release and thereafter on such terms as are imposed by the probation officer;

·         Refrain from communicating directly or indirectly with the victim, C. K., except if the probation officer obtains her previous consent and only for purposes of a process of apologizing, the terms of such process to be discussed and agreed upon with the victim;

·         Undergo a psychological and psychiatric evaluation, and follow any recommendations made by the health professionals;

·         FolIow the advice and directives of the probation officer regarding any psychological and psychiatric evaluation or follow-up;

·         Attend the [Center A], or another therapeutic program for his alcohol addiction and anger management issues, under the supervision of his probation officer;

·         Follow the advice and directives of the probation officer regarding any therapy or follow-up with regards to his alcohol addiction and anger management issues;

·         Participate in culturally adapted programs to address his alcohol addiction and anger management issues;

·         Provide the probation officer with the relevant authorization to allow him or her to receive information regarding his participation and progress in any kind of therapeutic follow-up;

·         Refrain from possessing any firearm except for the purpose of traditional activities.

The probation order applies on all records.

[116] AUTHORIZES the taking of samples of bodily substances according to section 487.051(1) of the Criminal Code (primary designated offence) and ORDERS the accused to comply, in files no. 640-01-040244-189 and no. 640-01-040431-182 on each count;

[117] PROHIBITS the accused from possessing any firearm, other than a prohibited  firearm or restricted firearm, and any crossbow, restricted weapon, ammunition and explosive substance for a period of 10 years (section 109 of the Criminal Code) except for the purpose of traditional activities (section 113(1) of the Criminal Code);

[118] ORDERS the accused to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (section 490.012 of the Criminal Code) for life.

[6]           Thibault J.A., dissenting, would not have altered the sentence imposed, but would have allowed the appeal for the sole purpose of transforming the recommendations contained in paragraph 114 of the trial judgment into an order, given the respondent's agreement to submit thereto, and so as to modify the calculation of the time spent in preventive detention in accordance with the figures indicated by Ruel J.A.

[7]           The dissent pertains to the demonstrably unfit nature of the sentence and to the existence of errors that had an effect on the sentence, in light of the objectives and principles set out in the Criminal Code, more specifically ss. 718.04, 718.201 and 718.2(e), and in light of the judgments in R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, and R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13.

 

 

 

 

FRANCE THIBAULT, J.A.

 

 

 

 

 

SIMON RUEL, J.A.

 

 

 

 

 

SUZANNE GAGNÉ, J.A.

 

Me Vincent Huet

Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions

For appellant

 

Me Caroline Jennis

Bureau d’aide juridique de Val-D’Or

For respondent

 

Date of hearing:

June 12, 2020 and June 17, 2020



 

 

 

REASONS OF RUEL, J.A.

 

 

Context

[8]           The victim, C. K., and the respondent, L. P., are residents of City B, a northern Inuit community of Nunavik on Hudson Bay. They had been in a common law relationship, qualified as “on and off”, for the previous twelve years. They have two sons, now aged 4 and 11 years. The respondent also has a 10-year-old daughter from another relationship.

[9]           The respondent has a long history of violent domestic abuse against the victim.

[10]        The pattern is more or less the same and the abuses occur when the respondent is in a severe state of alcohol intoxication. He commits abuses against the victim or members of their entourage as they attempt to protect the victim from the respondent’s violence The respondent is arrested, jailed, and the next day, has no memory of the events, feels guilty and wishes to apologize.

[11]        The respondent was charged in relation to two distinct incidents, in April 2018 and in January 2012. In both cases, the respondent was seriously intoxicated by alcohol. He verbalised having no memory of the incidents.

The events of April 2018

[12]        On April 9, 2018, after the birthday party of their eldest son, the respondent and the victim went to the home of P. P., the respondent’s cousin. There, they drank alcohol and became inebriated. Later that evening, P. was watching television when he heard noise from another room. When he reached the room, he saw the victim held firmly on the floor by the respondent who was choking her.[2]

[13]        P. P. tried to make the respondent stop by kicking him in the head. He attempted to expel the parties from his house, which was difficult because the respondent was very angry and would continuously harass the victim. When P. finally managed to get the parties out of his house, he waited for a moment and then called the police, telling them that the parties would likely be at the respondent’s house.[3]

 

[14]        The police arrived at the respondent’s house and met with E. P., the respondent’s mother. E. seemed scared and mentioned to the officers that she had heard furniture moving and bangs coming from the respondent’s bedroom, on the second floor.[4]

[15]        The police rushed upstairs. The door was blocked, but they could see through the opening that the victim was unconscious on a mattress. Her pants and her underwear were down and she no longer had her sweater on. The police shouted at the respondent to open the door. He complied, and they entered the room and attempted to restrain him. The respondent resisted his arrest and the police had to use force to remove him from the house.[5]

[16]        When the police intervened, the victim was unconscious. She was in critical condition. There was blood all over her pants and throughout the room. The victim had to be rushed by ambulance to City A Hospital.[6]

[17]        The nurse in charge at the hospital stated that the victim was covered with blood and wondered what had happened to her. The victim fell in and out of consciousness and managed to tell the medical staff that the respondent had introduced his fist into her vagina, causing intense pain and bleeding. The victim was in severe pain at the hospital. She had lost a considerable quantity of blood.[7]

[18]        Considering her critical condition and the unavailability of necessary medical equipment in City A, the victim had to be transferred by medevac to Montreal.[8]

[19]        The medical record reveals that: the victim had internal vaginal lacerations that were between 10 and 15 centimetres; she also had a laceration of one centimetre on the tongue because the respondent had bitten her; she lost one litre of blood, which required a transfusion; when arriving at the hospital, she was not able to walk; she endured severe pain; she was unconscious for a long time.[9]

[20]        The victim suffered severe consequences from the respondent’s assault. After being discharged from the hospital, she could not work and provide for her family. To this day, she is still very scared of the respondent. She was unable to attend the sentencing hearing on May 21, 2019, as she feared being in the respondent’s presence. The sentencing judge wrote that “the physical, psychological and emotional consequence of the sexual assault, and much more the aggravated sexual assault, are obvious”.[10]

[21]        The respondent was charged with and pleaded guilty to the following offences in relation to this incident: assault with a weapon,[11] assault causing bodily harm,[12] and aggravated sexual assault by maiming, wounding or endangering the life of the victim.[13]

[22]        While committing the offences, the respondent was under a probation order to keep the peace in relation to convictions for assault, assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm in March of 2017 (which will be discussed below). The respondent was therefore also charged with failure to comply with a probation order.[14]

The events of January 2012

[23]        In her declaration to the police regarding the events of April 9, 2018, the victim revealed that it was not the first time she had been assaulted by the respondent. She gave details about an event that occurred in January 2012, when she was assaulted and injured by the respondent.[15]

[24]        In the night of January 18, 2012, the respondent was highly intoxicated and became mad at the victim. He locked her in the house, grabbed her by the hair and beat her all over her body, including in the vaginal area, causing her injuries.[16]

[25]        She had a fractured jaw and bruises all over her body. Considering the seriousness of her injuries, the victim had to be transferred by medevac to Montreal. She had been bitten by the respondent on her left arm, and she also had facial and lower lip biting injuries caused by the respondent.[17]

[26]        The respondent was charged with and pleaded guilty to the following offences in relation to this incident: aggravated assault by maiming, wounding or disfiguring the victim,[18] and forcible confinement.[19]

Prior judicial record

[27]        As indicated, the respondent has a history of violent domestic abuse against the victim or members of the parties’ entourage who have attempted to protect the victim from the respondent’s violence:

·        In February 2014 (events of January 2014) - the respondent was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm against the victim and uttering death threats against his own mother. He received a suspended sentence, along with a 12-month probation order which included 60 and 30 hours of community service;

·        In October 2014 (events of March 2014) - the respondent was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm and forcible confinement against the victim. He received a suspended sentence, along with a 16-month probation, which included 140 hours of community service;

·        In June 2015 (events of April 2015) - the respondent was found guilty of forcible confinement and assault against the victim. He was also found guilty of assaulting a peace officer. He received a 6 month conditional sentence order, with a 12-month probation;

·        In March 2017 (events of December 2016), the respondent was found guilty of assault against his youngest son, as well as assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm against his brother-in-law as the latter was attempting to protect the victim. He was sentenced to 270 days of detention, less 88 days of pre-trial custody, with a 12-month supervised probation.

Gladue and pre-sentence reports

[28]        A first Gladue report was prepared in March 2017, in connection with the convictions for assault, assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm against the respondent’s son and brother-in-law.

[29]        The respondent grew up in City B and was raised in an environment free of violence or substance abuse. Because both of his parents were working, he spent most of his time with his brother and extended family members. He has good memories of his childhood as he was involved in traditional activities with his family and friends. At the age of 11, his father moved to City C, and he never saw him again, which affected him. He was subsequently raised primarily by his mother.

[30]        The respondent had good grades academically, until he was bullied in secondary II, which caused him to start smoking marijuana and abandon his education. The respondent has a limited work history. However, he is known as a good hunter, a traditional activity he would practice regularly, sharing his game with his family and relatives and with members of his community through the hunters’ support program.

[31]        The respondent takes his parental role seriously and is described as being good at taking care of his children. He brings one of his sons out hunting on the land, and wishes to pass Inuit traditions to his children. He is well surrounded by his family, including his mother, aunts, uncles and friends.

[32]        He suffered many losses in his community to suicide or shootings, including one of his closest cousins, a good friend of his, and a brother-in-law who was shot by the police in the community.

[33]        The respondent had an all-terrain-vehicle (“ATV”) accident when he was 26 years old. He was drunk and driving in his community. He suffered a head laceration and multiple fractures. He had to be transferred by medevac to Montreal where he underwent surgery for a moderate traumatic brain injury.

[34]        Since then, the respondent suffers from headaches and memory losses. It is from that point on, according to his mother and spouse, that his personality changed and he would have aggressive outbursts, particularly when drinking.

[35]        The respondent has a long history of drinking problems. He started drinking alcohol at the age of 14, and has been a regular drinker throughout his adult life. He was accused of multiple incidents of violence against the victim and members of his entourage while severely intoxicated.

[36]        The author of the Gladue report indicates that, after the 2016 violent incidents involving his son and brother-in-law, the respondent acknowledged his drinking problems and recognized that he needed to stop drinking. He agreed to meet with a community worker at the [Center A] to manage his anger and develop strategies to refrain from drinking, to participate in the activities of the [C Association], which is dedicated to assisting men with addictions, and also to take part in the activities of the [B Association] of City B, which promotes Inuit culture and traditions.

[37]        The “Gladue Considerations” of the 2017 report are as follows:

[…] we are looking at the case of L. P., a 30 year-old Inuk man from City B, an Inuit village who was affected deeply by policies of assimilations, which have contributed to weaken the culture and increase social problems up to this day. City B, like other Inuit villages, has gone through the pain caused by the forced placement of children into residential schools, where many suffered from discrimination, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. It is well documented by the Royal commission on Aboriginal people that the trauma endured by children in residential school and the disconnections from their family have had long lasting effects on them and on generation, which followed. At least one member of L.’s family, his grandmother M. P., has gone through residential school. The massacre of the Huskie dogs is also a governmental measure which have hurt profoundly Inuit, forcing them to a sedentary life style which they weren’t used to and prevented them to maintain their tradition alive and to remain independent. The aches and anger caused by this massacre is still talked about today and felt in some families in City B. L.’s grandfather G. P. was one of the many whose valuable Husky dogs were killed during this important massacre. City B has been also severely impacted by the relocation of families to City C, which occurred in the fifties. L.’s paternal grandmother, Z. Pa., and her family are amongst those who were relocated to City C. The relocation of families from City B has not only hurt the families who were left there to live in poor conditions, but as well the families who remained in City B and missed their loved ones who took many years to return.

As a young child, L. was left without adult supervision most of the time. He was bullied by his neighbors starting at age 9, as well as in Sunday school. When L. was 11, his father moved away in City C and he has never seen him again because of the distance. He was 12 when City B was severely impacted by 19 suicides, causing long lasting pain and trauma throughout the community. L. was bullied weekly in high school. He dropped out of school with only a secondary 1 completed, making it difficult for him to find sustainable employment. He was 21 when his sister Ma. committed suicide. Five years later, he lost his cousin W. to suicide as well. His brother-in-law J. was shot two years later. At age 29, he lost his close friend Er. to suicide. [Reproduced as written.]

[38]       Considering that the respondent “recognizes his problem with alcohol and anger management and has identified resources to help him deal with these issues, both in detention and in his community”, the Gladue report’s recommendations included that the respondent: attend programs related to his addiction and reduction of consumption, including the [C Association]; meet with a community worker at the [Center A]; and participate in traditional activities such as the [B Association].

[39]       The respondent was released from prison in relation to the incidents of December 2016 against his son and brother-in-law and returned to the community in September 2017. He initially moved back in with his mother, and then reunited with the victim and their children.

[40]       A few months later, on April 9, 2018, again, despite having acknowledged his drinking problems a few months earlier, and as he was bound to keep the peace and have a good behaviour under a probation order, the respondent violently assaulted the victim while under the influence of alcohol.

[41]       A supplemental Gladue report was prepared on February 7, 2019. The report noted that, while detained, the respondent participated in programs on healthy relationships and alcoholism. After being released in September 2017, he apologized to his brother-in-law and to the victim before moving back in with her. Unable to find work, he took care of the children while the victim worked at the [Company A] near City C, on a two-weeks on/two-weeks off schedule.

[42]        A number of additional tragic events occurred in the life of the respondent since his sentencing in March 2017: a teenager from the community was sexually assaulted and murdered; his friend’s sister was stabbed to death; one of his cousins hanged himself and another was shot by police officers.

[43]       Regarding the crimes committed in 2012 against the victim, the respondent stated that he could not remember anything considering his high level of intoxication. As for the events of April 9, 2018, the respondent remembers smoking marijuana and drinking six beers and a 10-ounce bottle of vodka before blacking out. He says he does not remember anything until he woke up at the police station the following morning.

[44]       The respondent, again, stated that he needed help to manage his anger and drinking issues. He planned on attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and participating in anger management programs. He hoped to attend the [Center A] in City D, because it is culturally adapted. Finally, the respondent mentioned that he wished to apologize to the victim and to keep providing country food for his family and community.

[45]       The supplemental Gladue report recommended that, while in detention, the respondent: undergo a psychological/psychiatric evaluation and follow any recommendations made; participate in culturally adapted programs to address his issues; and attend the [Center A] to deal with his addiction and trauma.

[46]       The report recommended that, once back in City B, the respondent: participate in a follow-up with a community worker at the [Center A] to receive help with alcohol addiction; apologize to the victim with the help of the justice committee and if the victim agrees to receive his apologies; participate in a follow-up with the justice committee; and participate in traditional activities with the [B Association] through the assistance of his aunt N. P. in order to maintain contact with his culture, provide country food for his family and manage his alcohol problem in a traditional way.

[47]       In addition to the supplemental Gladue report, a pre-sentence report was prepared on May 8, 2019. The report concludes that there is a “highly elevated” risk of re-offence against the victim. Despite the respondent’s history of extreme spousal violence against the victim, the report states that he “would like to get back with the victim if she is willing to”. The report further notes that although the respondent has expressed a certain feeling of shame, “he did not seemed [sic] to truly question himself about his wrongdoings”.

[48]       The respondent believes he can solve his alcohol problem by himself. While he expressed his willingness to quit drinking, he took no serious step in that direction. On the contrary, he “previously agreed to engage himself in follow-ups about alcohol, but failed to do so”. In addition, even if the respondent asserts that he would be ready to take action with respect to his drinking problem, he “still tends to minimize his responsibility for his violent behaviors, by putting the blame on alcohol, which is quite problematic”.

 

 

[49]       The report identifies two “protective factors”: (1) the respondent’s motivation to avoid detention in order to be with his children and (2) the support of his family and friends. The respondent plans to stop drinking, find a job and be with his children. However, despite these factors, the pre-sentence report is quite pessimistic about the respondent’s true willingness to address his problem and the prospects of re-offending:

To conclude, we understand that Mr. P. can be a great asset for his family and his community. However, unless he seriously address his issues, we believe that the risk of reoffending, especially in a domestic context remains highly elevated. Mr. P. was recently given the chance to stay with his close ones, help them by providing for them and taking care of his family, but contrariwise, he ended up causing severe consequences on his intimate partner, once more. ln such, we wish to reiterate the fact that past sentencing in the community was far from successful and he did not seemed to take those correctional measure seriously. ln our opinion, it demonstrates that in order to obtain success in rehabilitating, a much higher level of supervision would be more appropriate. [Emphasis added; reproduced as written.]

Judgment under appeal

[50]       Considering the respondent’s past breaches of probation and undertaking, his history of domestic violence, his lack of insight concerning his alcohol problem, and the need to protect the victim and the community, the Crown was of the view that the respondent was not a good candidate for a probation order. It sought the imposition of a 6-year sentence, less time served in pre-trial custody.

[51]       On the other hand, because the respondent recognized the impact of his alcohol consumption and was willing to respect the conditions suggested by the Gladue report, the defense sought the imposition of a 44-month sentence, less time spent in pre-trial custody, which would bring the “net sentence” to two years less one day. That sentence could then be coupled with a supervised probation order.

[52]       Disregarding both the suggestions of the Crown and of the defense, and taking into account the considerations included in the Gladue reports, the judge imposed a global sentence of imprisonment of two years less a day, minus time spent in pre-trial custody, and a 3 year probation period with supervision.

[53]       The judge was concerned about the eventual return of the respondent within his community without supervision. Despite the alarming conclusions of the pre-sentence report, the judge did not believe that the respondent’s risk of recidivism was very high. While acknowledging that the “risk of recidivism is never totally absent”, she was “not convinced that the risk is too high to be supported by the society”.[20]

[54]       The judge did not endorse the pre-sentence report “as it does not appear complete and it expresses opinions which do not consider the Inuit values”.[21] To the judge, “it will be more beneficial for the accused and the society to impose a long period of supervised probation after two years less one day of detention”.[22]

[55]       The judge took into account the respondent’s criminal record, the fact that he was on probation when he committed the April 2018 aggression and the gravity of the offences, which were perpetrated against his spouse, who suffered both physical and psychological consequences.

[56]       On the other hand, the judge considered the following as mitigating circumstances: the guilty pleas; substance abuse: “[b]ecause of his high level of intoxication, the level of moral blameworthiness [of the respondent] should be reduced”;[23] the remorse expressed by the respondent; his personal situation and age; and his prospects for rehabilitation.

[57]       On that last point, according to the judge, the respondent recognizes his problem of substance abuse. He is sober while in detention and expressed the will to quit drinking. While he believes he can stay sober without help, the respondent is seriously considering enrolling at the [Center A] for his addictions.

[58]       The judge stated that she did not minimize the seriousness of the offences and the consequences on the victim. However, she felt bound to take into consideration the consequences of the detention, not only on the respondent, but also on his children.[24] She also highlighted the respondent’s injuries and memory issues resulting from his ATV accident, as well as the fact that he would like to receive appropriate treatment, which “will be the first step on his way to rehabilitation”.[25]

[59]       Moreover, the judge noted that the respondent had the support of his mother and of his extended family. The respondent’s aunt is a member of the Justice Committee and is willing to help him. The respondent could also benefit from the support of the [B Association]. The judge considered that the respondent was sufficiently well surrounded to achieve rehabilitation.

Analysis

[60]        The Crown argues that the sentence imposed on the respondent by the judge is demonstrably unfit and jeopardizes confidence in the administration of justice. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, the circumstances of this case clearly justified a significant penitentiary term.

[61]        The Crown submits that the judge should have emphasized the objectives of deterrence and denunciation. It notes that section 718.201 of the Criminal Code, which was recently enacted, sends a clear message that the increased vulnerability of female victims of domestic violence, especially to those who are Indigenous, should be properly considered in sentencing. The level of intoxication cannot always suffice to diminish blameworthiness, especially for violent crimes. One must look at all the circumstances of the case to fully appreciate such blameworthiness, which the judge failed to do.

[62]        The respondent contends that the judgment under appeal should be approached with deference. Even when the offence is a serious one and imprisonment is necessary, the Indigenous context must be considered. The sentencing judge correctly applied the principles set by the Supreme Court in Gladue[26] and Ipeelee.[27]

[63]        The respondent further submits that the Gladue report made recommendations to favour rehabilitation and reinsertion of the respondent within his community, which were reasonable. It is Parliament’s intention that the sentence be adapted according to aggravating circumstances, such as domestic violence, but the fundamental principle remains that the sentence must be individualized. The judge applied those principles and the Crown identified no error.

[64]        With great respect for the thorough analysis of the sentencing judge, considering the context of this case, which involves repeated instances of extraordinary domestic violence, the judge erred in principle: (1) by failing to properly consider and give weight to the increased vulnerability and the particular circumstances of the Indigenous female victim who was the subject of violent spousal abuses; (2) by unduly minimizing the respondent’s risk of recidivism and the imperative of isolating him to ensure the protection of the victim; and (3) by considering alcohol intoxication as a mitigating factor. These errors had a direct impact on the sentence imposed.

[65]        Consequently, the Court must perform its own analysis to determine a fit sentence for the respondent, applying the principles of sentencing afresh to the facts, without deference to the existing sentence.[28]

[66]        Sections 718 to 718.201 of the Criminal Code contain a list of objectives and principles guiding judges in sentencing, which is an inherently contextual and individual process.[29] None of these objectives trump the other and it is the difficult role of sentencing judges “to properly weigh these various principles and objectives, whose relative importance will necessarily vary with the nature of the crime and the circumstances in which it was committed”.[30]

[67]        When considering the sentence to be imposed on an Indigenous offender, section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code requires the judge to take into consideration “all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances and consistent with the harm done to victims or to the community […] with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders[emphasis added].

[68]        The Supreme Court interpreted that provision in R. v. Gladue, establishing that sentencing judges must consider: (1) the unique systemic or background factors having played a part in bringing the particular aboriginal offender before the courts; and (2) the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular aboriginal heritage or connection.[31] This framework was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in R. v. Ipeelee.[32]

[69]        With respect to the unique systemic or background factors, the sentencing judge must take judicial notice of and consider “the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and [] higher levels of incarceration for Aboriginal peoples”.[33]

[70]        Concerning the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate, “a significant problem experienced by aboriginal people who come into contact with the criminal justice system is that the traditional sentencing ideals of deterrence, separation, and denunciation are often far removed from the understanding of sentencing held by these offenders and their community”. According to the Supreme Court in Gladue, “most traditional aboriginal conceptions of sentencing place a primary emphasis upon the ideals of restorative justice” [emphasis in the original].[34]

[71]        Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code “is a direction to sentencing judges to consider certain unique circumstances pertaining to aboriginal offenders as a part of the task of weighing the multitude of factors which must be taken into account in striving to impose a fit sentence”.[35]

[72]        However, this provision should not detract from the judge’s “fundamental duty to fashion a sentence that is fit and proper in the circumstances of the offence, the offender and the victim[emphasis added].[36]

 

[73]        On this matter, it is important to underline that section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code was amended in 2015, which is after Ipeelee was rendered, to add “harm done to victims or to the community” as a consideration in sentencing Indigenous offenders.[37] In the parliamentary debates, the Minister of Justice stated that “[a]dding a requirement that the court also consider the harm done to victims and to the community would help to ensure there is a proper balance between the rights of offenders and those who have been victimized by offenders' behaviour”.[38]

[74]        Speaking of victims, the perspective and trauma suffered by the victims of domestic violence are aggravating contextual factors that must be taken into account by sentencing judges. Under section 718.2(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code, judges must take into consideration as an aggravating factor “evidence that the offender, in committing the offence, abused the offender’s intimate partner”.

[75]        Irrespective of whether domestic abuse or sexual violence occur in the Indigenous context, general denunciation and individual deterrence remain key considerations for preserving the confidence of victims in the criminal justice system.[39]

[76]        In 2019, sections 718.04 and 718.201 were added to the sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code to further emphasize the need to give proper consideration and weight to the increased vulnerability of female victims in cases of abuse, with particular attention to the circumstances of Indigenous female victims.

[77]        Section 718.04 is included as a sentencing objective, and reads as follows :

 

Objectifs — infraction à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable

718.04 Le tribunal qui impose une peine pour une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable en raison de sa situation personnelle, notamment en raison du fait qu’elle est une personne autochtone de sexe féminin, accorde une attention particulière aux objectifs de dénonciation et de dissuasion de l’agissement à l’origine de l’infraction.[Soulignements ajoutés]

Objectives — offence against vulnerable person

718.04 When a court imposes a sentence for an offence that involved the abuse of a person who is vulnerable because of personal circumstances — including because the person is Aboriginal and female — the court shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of the offence. [Emphasis added.]

[78]        Section 718.201 of the Criminal Code adds, as a sentencing consideration, the increased vulnerability of female victims of domestic violence or violence by intimate partners, with “particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal female victims”:

 

Considération additionnelle - vulnérabilité accrue

718.201 Le tribunal qui impose une peine pour une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’un partenaire intime prend en considération la vulnérabilité accrue des victimes de sexe féminin, en accordant une attention particulière à la situation des victimes autochtones de sexe féminin. [Soulignements ajoutés]

Additional consideration - increased vulnerability

718.201 A court that imposes a sentence in respect of an offence that involved the abuse of an intimate partner shall consider the increased vulnerability of female persons who are victims, giving particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal female victims. [Emphasis added.]

[79]        These provisions came into force on September 19, 2019,[40] that is between the presentation of the parties’ oral arguments (May 21, 2019) in the respondent’s case and the day the sentencing judgment was rendered (October 25, 2019).

[80]       The protection of vulnerable female Indigenous victims as a sentencing consideration is not a novelty, and was judicially considered prior to the enactment of sections 718.04 and 718.201 of the Criminal Code.

[81]        In R v. Whitehead, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal wrote that it was “vital that the application of s. 718.2(e) not be seen as discounting the lives of or harms done to Aboriginal victims of crime, their families and their communities”.[41] In R. v. Williams, the British Columbia Court of Appeal wrote that there was “much to be said for the sentencing judge’s concern for the protection of Aboriginal victims […] and for the role of deterrence in the Aboriginal community”.[42]

[82]        More specifically concerning the vulnerability of Indigenous women in the domestic context, in R. v. A.D.,[43] the Court of Appeal of Alberta wrote that:

[25] The fundamental purpose of sentencing is to protect society (s 718). Unfortunately, there is clear and overwhelming evidence that, when it comes to protecting Aboriginal women from violence and discrimination, more needs to be done. The homicide rate for Aboriginal women is six times that of non-Aboriginal women, and higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal men. Aboriginal women are almost three times more likely to experience violent victimization than non-Aboriginal women. Compared with non-Aboriginal women, Aboriginal women are almost three times more likely to report being the victim of spousal violence and, compared with non-Aboriginal victims of spousal violence, Aboriginal women are more likely to have experienced spousal violence on more than one occasion.

[26] The sad fact is that Aboriginal women are disproportionately affected by domestic violence and violence in general and this reality should inform the sentencing process if there is to be any hope of achieving the fundamental purpose of sentencing and meeting the objectives set out in section 718 of the Criminal Code, which include denunciation and deterrence. […]

[29] Taking the circumstances of Aboriginal victims into account in sentencing is consistent with the principles of sentencing, and arguably necessary in order to meaningfully achieve the fundamental purpose of sentencing, namely the protection of the public. The circumstances of both the victim and the offender must be considered as relevant factors and, along with other relevant factors (e.g. aggravating and mitigating), be considered by the sentencing judge to arrive at a fit sentence.[44] [Emphasis added.]

[83]        In the parliamentary debates, the Minister of Justice stated that the addition of sections 718.04 and 718.201 to the Criminal Code was intended to address recommendations 5.17 and 5.18 of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which was issued in 2019,[45] as well as concerns expressed by the Supreme Court in R. v. Barton.[46]

[84]        In its final report, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls noted that the rate of domestic family violence in the Indigenous context was extremely high.[47]

[85]        According to the Inquiry, pathways to violence include social and economic marginalization of Indigenous people: “[p]overty, lack of safe housing, food insecurity, and other socio-economic realities are widely understood to compromise the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of Indigenous people, and, in particular, Indigenous women, girls […]”.[48] Pathways to violence also include the insufficiency of institutional response to all forms of interpersonal violence suffered by Indigenous women and girls, including from law enforcement.[49]

[86]        The Inquiry emphasized that Indigenous victims of violence often feel re-victimized by the judicial system and that stereotypes against Indigenous women often justify a lack of action and the adoption of accountability measures for the offenders.[50]

[87]        The Inquiry concluded that the “Canadian criminal justice system fails to provide justice for Indigenous people, especially missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls […]” and to “hold accountable those who commit violence against [them]”.[51]

[88]        Regarding legislative shortcomings to address violence against Indigenous women, the Inquiry concluded that “the language used in the […] Criminal Code and in criminal justice proceedings, minimizes the nature and severity of violent offences and serves to minimize the responsibility of the offender and the impact of the crime”.[52]

[89]        In this spirit, the Inquiry made recommendations 5.17 and 5.18 as follows:

5.17     We call upon federal, provincial, and territorial governments to thoroughly evaluate the impacts of Gladue principles and section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code on sentencing equity as it relates to violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

5.18     We call upon the federal government to consider violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people as an aggravating factor at sentencing, and to amend the Criminal Code accordingly, with the passage and enactment of Bill S-215.[53]

[90]        In R. v. Barton, the Supreme Court wrote that: “to better ensure Indigenous women and girls receive the full protection and benefit of the law in sexual assault cases, our criminal justice system should take reasonable steps to address biases, prejudices, and stereotypes against Indigenous women and girls openly, honestly, and without fear”.[54]

[91]        Therefore, even before the enactment of sections 718.04 and 718.201 of the Criminal Code, the protection of vulnerable Indigenous women who were victims of abuse, whether or not in the domestic context, and the recognition of the suffering endured by these victims, were key considerations in sentencing offenders.

[92]        Systemic factors have affected and are continuing to affect Indigenous offenders facing the criminal justice system.[55] These factors have resulted in overrepresentation of Indigenous offenders in penitentiary institutions, a problem that Parliament sought to address by encouraging judges to use restorative approaches to sentencing when possible and appropriate,.[56]

[93]        In the present matter, the judge took into account the Gladue considerations diminishing the moral blameworthiness[57] of the respondent for his crimes, which include: historical wrongs, discrimination and abuses against the Inuit People; a governmental policy of forced sedentarization and the massacre of Husky dogs, which profoundly hurt the Inuit People; the relocation of families to other communities, including members of the respondent’s family; a dismal number of suicides in the community or involving close relatives and friends of the respondent; and chronic substance and alcohol abuse starting when the respondent was young.

 

[94]        This being said, the crimes committed by the respondent are of an extreme gravity. They were committed in a domestic context, against his spouse, the mother of two of his children. The violence keeps repeating itself, only increasing in intensity, gravity and depravity through time, culminating in 2018 with intrusive, damaging and degrading physical and sexual violence against the victim not dissimilar to the fact pattern in Barton.

[95]        The victim is very vulnerable.

[96]        Because of the recurrent criminality and incarceration of the respondent, she is currently assuming sole responsibility for the parties’ children. Although the respondent contributes to feeding his family through traditional hunting activities while he is not incarcerated, the victim is the financial provider for the family, working at the [Company A], which is not located in her community, on a two-weeks on/two-weeks off schedule.

[97]        She too, as an Inuk woman and victim, suffered from policies of community dislocation, sedentarization, forced relocation, suicides or shootings in the community. Historic, social and socio-economic realities clearly had inter-generational impacts in compromising her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and her personal integrity as an Indigenous woman.

[98]        As the Nunavut Court of Justice wrote in R. v. Iqalukjuaq:

[35] The inter-generational effects of colonialism have not only contributed to the staggeringly high rates of Indigenous offending. This was the problem sought to be addressed by Criminal Code section 718.2(e) and Gladue. The impact of colonialism also gave rise to the very same inter-generational effects which have left all Inuit women - and not just intimate partners - in a particularly vulnerable position in society. In my view, this reality ought to inform the deliberations of a Nunavut sentencing judge when sentencing an offender who has victimized an Inuk woman.[58] [Emphasis added.]

[99]        The victim was repeatedly assaulted by the respondent over the years. The parties live in a small and isolated community on Hudson Bay. The victim is trapped as she will inevitably be in close contact with the respondent when he returns from detention. The aggressions had a lasting impact on the victim who is terrified of the respondent, to the point that she could not attend the sentencing hearing for fear of being in his presence.[59]

[100]     She is one of many Indigenous women who are disproportionately affected by domestic violence. In a study released in January 2020, the Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Dr. Elizabeth Comack of the Department of Sociology and Criminology of the University of Manitoba concluded that “[g]endered violence against Inuit women is a problem of massive proportions”; in Nunavik, 74% of Inuit women reported experiencing violence in the home, and 46% reported experiencing sexual assault.[60]

[101]     The judge acknowledged that the victim was vulnerable but, in my view, erred in not adequately considering and weighing her increased vulnerability as an Indigenous woman who was the victim of extreme and repeated physical and sexual violence suffered at the hands of her spouse, the respondent, over the entire span of their relationship.

[102]     The judge did not believe that the respondent’s risk of recidivism was very high, considering that he was sober while in detention, recognized his problem with alcohol and expressed the desire to quit drinking. The judge erred in that regard.

[103]     The respondent has suffered from alcohol addiction for many years. The violent events against his spouse and members of his entourage keep repeating themselves while the respondent is intoxicated.

[104]     The first Gladue report prepared for sentencing of the respondent in relation to the December 16, 2016 assaults against family members indicated that he recognized his alcohol and anger management problems and had identified community resources to help him deal with these issues, which included participation in anger management and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, meetings with a community worker at the [Center A] and participation in traditional activities such as the [B Association].

[105]     Despite the availability of community resources and support, a few months after his return to the community, the respondent violently assaulted the victim. The pre-sentence report notes that “past sentencing in the community was far from successful and [the respondent] did not seemed [sic] to take those correctional measures seriously”.

[106]     The respondent’s belief that he can stay sober without help constitutes wishful thinking.

[107]    As regards the respondent's alcohol addiction, the pre-sentence report notes that, although he expressed his willingness to quit drinking, no information was provided about any serious steps taken in that direction. On the contrary, the respondent “previously agreed to engage himself in follow-ups about alcohol, but failed to do so”, including after the January 2017 guilty plea. In addition, even if the respondent now asserts that he would be ready to take action, he “still tends to minimize his responsibility for his violent behaviors, by putting the blame on alcohol, which is quite problematic”.

[108]    Consequently, the pre-sentence report concludes that “unless [the respondent] seriously address his issues [which he is conscious of], we believe that the risk of reoffending, especially in a domestic context remains highly elevated”.

[109]     According to the judge, the moral blameworthiness of the respondent is reduced because of his high level of intoxication when the offences were committed. I cannot adhere to that statement in the present matter.

[110]     A high degree of intoxication may, in some circumstances, reduce the moral blameworthiness of an accused and have an impact on sentencing as part of the contextual factors to be considered to render a just sentence.[61] However, that will depend on the circumstances. For example, “some persons become more dangerous while under the influence of intoxicants, and the penalty may reflect that dangerousness”.[62]

[111]     In Régimballe c. R., our Court wrote that intoxication may be treated as a mitigating or aggravating factor in sentencing, depending on the circumstances, but generally, for violent crimes, alcohol intoxication will be considered an aggravating factor, or in the best case scenario, a neutral factor.[63] The consideration of substance or alcohol intoxication in sentencing may thus be considered a mixed factor - aggravating or mitigating, with the emphasis depending on the circumstances.[64]

[112]     The circumstances may include whether the accused knew that, while intoxicated, he may become aggressive or violent but nonetheless kept drinking of failed to meaningfully address an addiction. In such a context, the accused’s blameworthiness is higher and the consumption of alcohol may become an aggravating factor.[65]

[113]     In the present matter, while the respondent’s heavy drinking problems and associated violent behaviour cannot be dissociated from the Gladue considerations discussed above, given the particular circumstances of this case, his consumption of alcohol should be considered an aggravating factor. His high level of intoxication cannot be considered a mitigating factor. It is, at best, a neutral factor.

[114]     The offences involved a high degree of violence. The respondent was aware of the fact that he loses control over himself when he drinks. These were not the first instances of violent offences perpetrated by the respondent while intoxicated. Yet, he drank six beers and a 10-ounce bottle of vodka before the events of April 9, 2018. Despite the fact that the respondent was obviously cognizant of his addiction, the pre-sentence report noted that he “did not mobilized [sic] himself in order to get rid of his alcohol addiction”.

[115]     As to the length of his imprisonment, in file no. 640-01-040244-189 (events of April 9, 2018), a sentence of 44 months per count, to be served concurrently, for a total of 44 months - the quantum recommended by the defense - should be imposed, which will fulfill the objectives of general denunciation, individual deterrence and the need to isolate the respondent to ensure the protection of the victim.

[116]     As for file no. 640-01-040431-182 (events of January 18, 2012), a sentence of 18 months per count, to be served concurrently, for a total of 18 months, should be imposed on the respondent.

[117]     A review of the jurisprudence shows that the sentences imposed for crimes involving serious sexual violence (sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault causing bodily harm or aggravated sexual assault) committed in a domestic context range from one year to 10 years, with a median sentence in the 4- to 6-year range.[66]

 

[118]     In the present case, the objective gravity of the offences is high. The maximum sentence for assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and forcible confinement is 10 years,[67] whereas it is 14 years for aggravated assault.[68] An offender who commits an aggravated sexual assault is liable to imprisonment for life.[69]

[119]     There are numerous aggravating factors in the present case: the high degree of violence with which the offences were perpetrated; the fact that these crimes constitute domestic violence; the vulnerability of the victim, an Indigenous woman; the fact that the respondent committed the offences of April 9, 2018 while subject to a probation order; the respondent’s alcohol consumption; the high risks of recidivism; and the respondent’s long history of violence towards the same victim.

[120]     On the other hand, due consideration should be given to the historical, sociological and economic factors described in the Gladue reports concerning the respondent as an Inuk offender. In a way, he is the product of policies of assimilation which have contributed to weakening the traditional culture of the Inuit and of the social fabric of the communities. The respondent was affected by the departure of his father to City C when he was a child. He was impacted by the despair of the youth in his community as manifested by addictions and multiple suicides, including the suicides of family members and friends.

[121]     He pleaded guilty to the offences. The community has offered to support the respondent in his stated intention to rehabilitate himself.

[122]     This being said, Gladue and Ipeelee do not suggest that, “as a general practice, aboriginal offenders must always be sentenced in a manner which gives greatest weight to the principles of restorative justice, and less weight to goals such as deterrence, denunciation, and separation”.[70]

[123]     There are some serious offences and some offenders for which and for whom the aforementioned goals of deterrence, denunciation, and separation remain fundamentally relevant.[71] In cases of sexual violence against Indigenous women, the Gladue factors affecting the offender have to be weighed against the necessity to give appropriate consideration to the historical and systemic circumstances of Indigenous women victims of sexual violence in the domestic context, the whole to meaningfully achieve the fundamental purposes of sentencing and the protection of the public.

 

 

[124]     This is a difficult question of balancing but, in this case, considering the increased vulnerability of the victim as an Inuk woman, the extreme gravity and repeated nature of the domestic abuse, and the grim prospects of the respondent re-offending, denunciation, deterrence and the need to isolate the respondent to ensure the protection and security of the victim are preponderant considerations.

[125]     In balancing all of these elements, as recommended by the defense, I therefore believe that total sentences of 44 months (events of April 9, 2018) and of 18 months (events of January 18, 2012) of imprisonment are fit and appropriate.

[126]     The question now is whether these sentences should be consecutive or concurrent with one another. When faced with multiple offences arising from distinct events, courts must first determine the appropriate sentence for each offence, decide if the sentences should be imposed concurrently or consecutively and finally, in the latter case, determine if the total sentence is in accordance with the principles of totality and proportionality.[72]

[127]     Here, the sentences of 44 and 18 months should in principle be imposed consecutively, considering that the offences committed on April 9, 2018 and January 18, 2012 “do not arise out of the same events or series of events”.[73] This would amount to a total sentence of 62 months, or just over 5 years.

[128]     However, taking into account the Gladue considerations as well as the need to have a probation order so as to maximize the respondent’s chances of rehabilitation and to ensure the protection of the victim and the community, I am of the view that a sentence of 5 years would be excessive with regards to the principles of totality and proportionality. Therefore, the sentences shall be imposed concurrently.

[129]     With respect to the deduction of pre-trial custody, the judge wrote that the respondent has been detained since April 9, 2019.[74] Considering the seriousness of the offences, she applied a one to one ratio and consequently deducted 199 days of pre-trial custody from the sentence of incarceration.

[130]     The judge made a calculation error, which was conceded by the parties. In fact, the respondent has been detained since his arrest on April 9, 2018. Therefore, at the moment of sentencing, the judge should have considered a total of 564 days of pre-trial custody (199 + 365). If the judge had not made that error, the net sentence imposed on the respondent (at a 1:1 ratio) would have been 166 days, or 5.5 months.

[131]     In this case, the circumstances justify the application of a 1.5 to one ratio under section 719(3.1) of the Criminal Code.[75] In fact, the application of a one to one ratio is “insufficient to account for the full impact of that detention, both quantitatively and qualitatively”,[76] considering the detrimental impact of detention on Indigenous offenders[77] and the loss of eligibility for early release because the time in pre-trial detention does not count for the purposes of eligibility for parole.

[132]     Consequently, after deducting the time served by the respondent in pre-trial detention at a 1.5 to one ratio, which is a deduction of 846 days (564 X 1.5), from the total 44-month concurrent sentence, the net sentence is 492 days, or 16.4 months.

[133]     The respondent clearly needs serious help to cure or at least manage his addiction and associated impulsiveness and aggressiveness. As it stands, in the absence of treatment and tight supervision, he remains a grave danger to the victim and to his community. He suffered a serious ATV accident from which he seems to harbour psychological, psychiatric or neurological issues which need to be further investigated.

[134]     Eventually, the respondent will return to his community of City B and will inevitably cross paths with the victim, the mother of two of his children.

[135]     In this context, the judge adequately considered that a probationary period was necessary to ensure that the respondent is properly medically investigated, and that his addiction is treated, so as to increase his chances of rehabilitation. A probationary period also ensures that the respondent will not be released without a safety net, as he would be supervised in the community.

[136]     Indeed, “the main aim of probation is rehabilitation and reintegration of an offender into the community, although protection of the public is not offside as a companion factor”.[78] As a result, “society benefits from constraints aimed at facilitating rehabilitation and protecting society”.[79]

[137]     Probation will remain available with a sentence of 44 months which, less the deduction for pre-trial detention, amounts to a net sentence of 16.4 months.

[138]     In fact, under section 731(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, a court that sentences an offender to imprisonment “for a term not exceeding two years [may] direct that the offender comply with the conditions prescribed in a probation order”. Section 731(1)(b) refers to the “the actual term of imprisonment imposed by the court after taking into account any time spent in pre-sentence custody”,[80] that is the “net sentence” after deduction of the time spent in pre-sentence custody.

[139]     The duration of the probation order in the respondent’s case should be three years.

[140]     The judge made recommendations in her judgment, which should be made mandatory, considering the consent of the respondent communicated by counsel to this Court, namely that he: (1) undergo a psychological and psychiatric evaluation and follow recommendations made by the health professionals; (2) attend the [Center A], or another therapeutic program, for his alcohol addiction and anger management issues, under the supervision of his probation officer; and (3) participate in culturally adapted programs to address his alcohol addiction and anger management issues.

[141]     For these reasons, I would grant the motion for leave to appeal, allow the appeal, and reverse the judgment of the Court of Québec in part to the following effect:

·        In file no. 640-01-040244-189, impose on the respondent a sentence of 44 months on counts 1, 2 and 4, to be served concurrently;

·        In file no. 640-01-040431-182, impose on the respondent a sentence of 18 months on counts 3 and 4, to be served concurrently, with the sentence imposed in file no. 640-01-040244-189;

·        To the 44-month total sentence in files no. 640-01-040244-189 and 640-01-040431-182, the time served by the respondent in pre-trial detention should be deducted at a 1.5 to one ratio, which is a deduction of 846 days (564 X 1.5), the net sentence being 492 days, or 16.4 months;

·        Impose the following probation conditions on the respondent, for a period of 3 years following his release, conditions to which he has consented:

o   Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;

o   Appear before the Court when required to do so;

o   Remain within the Province of Quebec;

o   Notify the probation officer of any change of address or name and quickly notify the probation officer of any change of employment or occupation;

o   Communicate with the probation officer within 5 working days of his release and thereafter on such terms as are imposed by the probation officer;

o   Refrain from communicating directly or indirectly with the victim, C. K., except if the probation officer obtains her previous consent and only for purposes of a process of apologizing, the terms of such process to be discussed and agreed upon with the victim;

o   Undergo a psychological and psychiatric evaluation, and follow any recommendations made by the health professionals;

o   FolIow the advice and directives of the probation officer regarding any psychological and psychiatric evaluation or follow-up;

o   Attend the [Center A], or another therapeutic program for alcohol addiction and anger management issues, under the supervision of his probation officer;

o   Follow the advice and directives of the probation officer regarding any therapy or follow-up with regards to alcohol addiction and anger management;

o   Participate in culturally adapted programs to address alcohol addiction and anger management issues;

o   Provide the probation officer with the relevant authorization to allow him or her to receive information regarding his participation and progress in any kind of therapeutic follow-up.

 

 

 

 

SIMON RUEL, J.A.

 


 



 

 

 

MOTIFS DE LA JUGE THIBAULT

 

 

[142]     Voici la peine prononcée par la juge de première instance :

[113]    CONDEMNS the accused to serve, in the following files:

640-01-040244-189

2 years less one day (730) of detention less the preventive custody (199)[81] for a total of 531 days as of today on counts 1, 2 and 4, concurrently with all the counts.

640-01-040431-182

18 months on counts 3 and 4, concurrently with all the counts and with the other record.

640-01-040147-184

60 days on count 1, concurrently with the other records.

640-01-040245-186

60 days on count 1, concurrently with the other records.

[114]    RECOMMENDS, during the detention, that the accused:

-           Undergo a psychological/psychiatric evaluation and follows any recommendations that will be made;

-           Participate in culturally adapted programs to address his issues;

-           Attend [Center A] to deal with his addiction and trauma.

[115]    ORDERS a prohibition to communicate directly or indirectly with the victim C.K. during the period of detention according to section 743.21 Cr.C.

[116]    ORDERS the accused to respect the following conditions of his probation for a period of 3 years:

-           Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;

-           Appear before the Court when required to do so;

-           Remain under the jurisdiction of the Province of Quebec;

-           Notify the probation officer of any change of address or name and quickly notify of any change of employment or occupation;

-           Communicate with the probation officer following the 5 working days of his release and after following the modalities imposed by the probation officer;

-           Prohibition to communicate directly or indirectly with the victim C.K., except if the probation officer obtain her previous consent and only in a process of apologies, the modalities having to be discussed and agreed with the victim;

-           Follow the counsels and directives of the probation officer regarding any medical, psychological, psychiatric or neuropsychiatric follow-up and follow the medical recommendations and prescription;

-           Follow the counsels and directives of the probation officer regarding any therapy or follow-up with regards with drugs and alcohol addiction and anger management;

-           Provide the probation officer with the relevant authorization to allow him or her to receive information regarding the accused’s participation and evolution in any kind of therapeutic follow-up;

-           Prohibition to possess any firearm except for the purpose of traditional activities;

The probation order applies on all records.

[117]    AUTHORIZES to take samples of bodily substances according to section 487.051 (1) Cr.C. (primary designated offence) and ORDERS the accused to comply, in the files: 640-01-040244-189 and 640-01-040431-182 on each count.

[118]    PROHIBIT the accused from possessing any firearm, other than a prohibited firearm or restricted firearm, and any crossbow, restricted weapon, ammunition and explosive substance for a period of 10 years (section 109 Cr.C.) except for the purpose of traditional activities (section 113 (1) Cr.C.).

[119]    ORDERS the accused to comply with Sex Offender Information Registration Act (section 490.012 Cr.C.) for life.

[143]     La peine imposée par la juge de première instance peut être qualifiée de clémente, mais, à mon humble avis, elle ne constitue pas une peine manifestement non indiquée au regard des circonstances particulières de l’affaire et du droit applicable. De plus, la juge n’a commis aucune erreur de principe qui a eu une incidence sur la peine.

***

[144]     La juge de première instance reconnaît de façon expresse la nature extrêmement violente des agressions commises par l’intimé (paragr. 33), leur caractère répétitif, le contexte de relation conjugale pendant laquelle elles ont été perpétrées (paragr. 34-36), la grande vulnérabilité de la victime, incluant le fait qu’il s’agit d’une victime autochtone (paragr. 38) ainsi que les conséquences importantes subies par cette dernière (paragr. 37 à 44 et 99).

[145]     Après une revue des facteurs atténuants et aggravants ainsi que l’étude des rapports Gladue et présentenciel, la juge impose à l’intimé une peine d’emprisonnement de deux ans moins un jour, assortie d’une longue période de probation (trois ans), une mesure qui vise tant à assurer la protection de la société qu’à faciliter la réinsertion sociale du délinquant (alinéa 732.1(3)h) C.cr.). Il s’ensuit que l’intimé sera sous autorité judiciaire pendant cinq ans, assujetti à des conditions qui visent à connaître l’origine de ses pertes de mémoire, la nature de ses problèmes de santé, à traiter son alcoolisme, source de sa criminalité, ainsi qu’à exercer un contrôle et une surveillance de ses activités.

[146]     La juge de première instance prend appui sur le rapport Gladue. Celui-ci décrit l’ampleur des facteurs systémiques et historiques affectant les membres de la communauté dans laquelle vit l’intimé. En plus, le rapport énumère certains événements traumatiques qui ont marqué sa vie :

It is important to consider the systemic, historic and individual factors of Aboriginal people that may have played a part in bringing the individual in front of the Court and therefore, in this case factors that may have impacted L.’s life and behaviours directly or indirectly, to seek proper response to his crimes. In the present situation, we are looking at the case of L. P., a 30 year-old Inuk man from City B, an Inuit village who was affected deeply by policies of assimilations, which have contributed to weaken the culture and increase social problems up to this day. City B, like other Inuit villages, has gone through the pain caused by the forced placement of children into residential schools, where many suffered from discrimination, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. It is well documented by the Royal commission on Aboriginal people that the trauma endured by children in residential school and the disconnections from their family have had long lasting effects on them and on generation, which followed. At least one member of L.’s family, his grandmother M. P., has gone through residential school. The massacre of the Huskie dogs is also a governmental measure which have hurt profoundly Inuit, forcing them to a sedentary life style which they weren’t used to and prevented them to maintain their tradition alive and to remain independent. The aches and anger caused by this massacre is still talked about today and felt in some families in City B. L.’s grandfather G. P. was one of the many whose valuable Husky dogs were killed during this important massacre. City B has been also severely impacted by the relocation of families to City C, which occurred in the fifties. L.’s paternal grandmother, Z. Pa., and her family are amongst those who were relocated to City C. The relocation of families from City B has not only hurt the families who were left there to live in poor conditions, but as well the families who remained in City B and missed their loved ones who took many years to return.

As a young child, L. was left without adult supervision most of the time. He was bullied by his neighbors starting at age 9, as well as in Sunday school. When L. was 11, his father moved away in City C and he has never seen him again because of the distance. He was 12 when City B was severely impacted by 19 suicides, causing long lasting pain and trauma throughout the community. L. was bullied weekly in high school. He dropped out of school with only a secondary 1 completed, making it difficult for him to find sustainable employment. He was 21 when his sister Ma. committed suicide. Five years later, he lost his cousin W. to suicide as well. His brother-in-law J. was shot two years later. At age 29, he lost his close friend Er. to suicide.

These are some of the Gladue factors that require a specific attention by the Court and should be considered.

[Transcription textuelle]

[147]     Le rapport contient les recommandations suivantes :

•           That L. undergoes a psychological/psychiatric evaluation and follows any recommendations that will be made;

•           That L. participates in culturally adapted programs to address his issues;

•           That L. attends [Center A] to deal with his addiction and trauma.

Once back in City B :

•           That L. lives with his mother E. P.;

•           That L. participates in a follow-up with [Social Worker 1], community worker at [Center A], on an individual and group setting to receive help with alcohol addiction, on a schedule agreed with the worker;

•           That L. apologizes to the victim with the help of the justice committee if the victim accepts to receive his apologies;

•           That L. participates in a follow-up with the justice committee and participates to the outings with the committee when they occur;

•           That L. participates in traditional activities with [B Association] and/or with his aunt N. P. to maintain contact with his culture, provide country food for his family and manage alcohol abuse in a traditional way.

[148]     En plus de considérer les facteurs systémiques et historiques qui affectent directement les Autochtones de Ville B et expliquent la présence de l’intimé devant les tribunaux, la juge énumère plusieurs circonstances qui ont marqué l’intimé encore plus profondément, notamment le fait qu’il a été laissé à lui-même durant pratiquement toute son enfance, la séparation de ses parents, l’abandon par son père, l’intimidation dont il a été victime dès son jeune âge, le suicide de plusieurs membres de sa communauté et, plus particulièrement, de personnes qui lui étaient chères (sa sœur, son cousin et un ami), deux accidents qui l’ont laissé avec des séquelles physiques et psychologiques notables, sa consommation d’alcool et de marihuana depuis l’adolescence, etc.

[149]     Le rapport présentenciel indique que l’intimé peut devenir un actif pour sa famille et sa communauté. Il précise cependant que, si ce dernier ne règle pas son problème de consommation, le risque de récidive est élevé. Le rapport recommande une peine comportant plus de supervision qu’une peine dans la communauté :

To conclude, we understand that Mr. P. can be a great asset for his family and his community, However, unless he seriously address his issues, we believe that the risk of reoffending, especially in a domestic context remains highly elevated. Mr. P. was recently given the chance to stay with his close ones, help them by providing for them and taking care of his family, but contrariwise, he ended up causing severe consequences on his intimate partner, once more. In such, we wish to reiterate the fact that past sentencing in the community was far from successful and he did not seemed to take those correctional measure seriously. In our opinion, it demonstrates that in order to obtain success in rehabilitating, a much higher level of supervision would be more appropriate.

[Je souligne]

[150]     Même si ce rapport fait état d’un risque très élevé de récidive, la juge conclut que la réhabilitation de l’intimé demeure réaliste, notamment parce que ce dernier peut compter sur le support de sa famille ainsi que sur l’appui du Justice Committee of City B et [de l'Association B], des organismes locaux dont l’implication dans la communauté est reconnue. Elle tient compte de la recommandation du rapport présentenciel et elle impose à l’intimé une peine d’emprisonnement de deux ans moins un jour accompagnée d’une probation de trois ans comportant des conditions visant notamment à combattre son problème d’alcoolisme, des mesures bénéfiques pour l’intimé, ses jeunes enfants (dont il s’occupe de près) et sa communauté.

[151]     Vu la gravité ainsi que le nombre de crimes commis, le contexte de violence conjugale et la vulnérabilité de la victime, il peut être tentant d’imposer une peine plus sévère que celle infligée par la juge de première instance. Mais, à mon avis, ce n’est pas le rôle d’une cour d’appel. Celle-ci doit se concentrer sur le caractère manifestement non indiqué de la peine imposée par un juge d’instance, qui connaît la communauté où les crimes ont été commis, les services qui y sont offerts et leur efficacité.

[152]     De plus, l’idée d’imposer une peine plus sévère uniquement parce que des crimes violents ont été commis dans un contexte de relation conjugale à l’égard d’une victime autochtone vulnérable, sans tenir compte à sa juste valeur du facteur Gladue et de toutes les circonstances de l’affaire, serait de nature à perpétuer la surreprésentation des Autochtones dans le système de justice pénale, une problématique que le législateur et les enseignements de la Cour suprême cherchent à résoudre depuis plusieurs années. Cette situation dramatique, faut-il le rappeler, affecte autant les femmes que les hommes autochtones[82].

***

[153]     Comme on le sait, une réforme législative majeure a vu le jour en 1996 par l’ajout, entre autres, de l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. Cette disposition prescrit que, lors de la détermination de la peine, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les délinquants autochtones, le tribunal examine toutes les sanctions substitutives qui sont raisonnables dans les circonstances et qui tiennent compte du tort causé à la victime et à la communauté.

[154]     Il s’agit d’une disposition réparatrice destinée à réduire la surreprésentation des Autochtones dans le système de justice pénale canadien, une problématique bien documentée[83]. Pour paraphraser la Cour suprême dans R. c. Gladue, « les chiffres sont criants et reflètent ce qu’on peut à bon droit qualifier de crise dans le système canadien de justice pénale. La surreprésentation critique des Autochtones au sein de la population carcérale comme dans le système de justice pénale témoigne d’un problème social attristant et urgent »[84].

[155]     En 1999, la Cour suprême a eu l’occasion d’interpréter cette disposition pour la première fois dans l’affaire R. c. Gladue, au terme d’une réflexion nourrie par l’étude de rapports d’expertise documentés et éclairants ainsi que par la consultation de statistiques révélatrices.

[156]     Il s’agit d’un arrêt singulier pour deux raisons.

[157]     En premier lieu, dans sa discussion concernant l’objet réparateur de la disposition en question, la Cour suprême reconnaît le problème du recours excessif à l’incarcération au Canada, et la récurrente remise en question de son efficacité à l’égard des objectifs traditionnels de la peine ainsi que la surreprésentation des Autochtones canadiens dans les établissements de détention, et ce, dans le cadre de la discrimination systémique subie par les Autochtones dans le système de justice pénale. Ces enjeux étant à l’origine de l’intention législative de l’alinéa 718.2eC.cr., la Cour suprême reconnaît la responsabilité du système judiciaire :

65        […] Plusieurs aspects de cette triste réalité sont hors du champ des présents motifs. Mais ce qu’on peut et doit examiner, c’est le rôle limité que joueront les juges chargés d’infliger les peines dans le redressement des injustices subies par les autochtones au Canada. Les juges qui prononcent les peines comptent parmi les décideurs qui ont le pouvoir d’influer sur le traitement des délinquants autochtones dans le système de justice. Ce sont eux qui décident le plus directement si un délinquant autochtone ira en prison, ou s’il est possible d’envisager des solutions de rechange qui permettront peut-être davantage de restaurer un certain équilibre entre le délinquant, la victime et la collectivité, et de prévenir d’autres crimes.

[158]     Le plus haut tribunal du pays conclut que l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. est une disposition réparatrice. Il observe que cette disposition ne se limite pas à réaffirmer des principes existants, mais qu’elle a plutôt un caractère réparateur, ancré dans l’objet de remédier à l’incarcération disproportionnée des Autochtones.

[159]     En deuxième lieu, la Cour suprême établit un cadre d’analyse différent à l’occasion de la détermination de la peine d’un délinquant autochtone. Pour que la peine joue ce rôle réparateur, le juge chargé de la fixer doit prendre en compte les circonstances dans lesquelles se trouvent les délinquants autochtones, notamment : (1) les facteurs systémiques ou historiques pouvant être à la source de leur criminalité et (2) les types de procédures de détermination de la peine et de sanctions qui, dans les circonstances, peuvent être appropriées à leur égard en raison de leur héritage ou de leurs attaches autochtones.

 

 

[160]     En ce qui concerne (1) les facteurs systémiques et historiques, la Cour suprême met l’accent sur les années de bouleversement et de développement chez les Autochtones qui se sont traduites « par de faibles revenus, un fort taux de chômage, un manque de débouchés et d’options, une instruction insuffisante ou inadéquate, l’abus de drogue ou d’alcool, l’isolement et la fragmentation des communautés »[85], des facteurs qui contribuent à l’incidence élevée du crime et de l’incarcération des Autochtones.

[161]     En ce qui concerne (2) les procédures de détermination de la peine et les sanctions appropriées, la Cour suprême rappelle que les Autochtones ont une conception différente des procédures de détermination de la peine. La dénonciation, la dissuasion et l’isolement sont des concepts éloignés de leur façon d’envisager la peine. Ils accordent une valeur primordiale aux idéaux de justice corrective, une tradition extrêmement importante pour l’analyse de l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr.[86].

[162]     Dans sa recherche de la peine appropriée pour un délinquant autochtone, le tribunal doit ajouter ces considérations particulières aux autres principes qui régissent la détermination de la peine. Il incombe au juge chargé d’infliger la peine de prendre connaissance d’office, d’exiger de la preuve ou encore de s’efforcer de se renseigner sur la situation particulière du délinquant autochtone, incluant les solutions de rechange à l’incarcération. La Cour suprême conclut en rappelant, d’une part, que l’alinéa 718.2eC.cr. n’exige pas une réduction automatique de la peine et, d’autre part, que cette disposition s’applique à tous les Autochtones peu importe l’endroit où ils résident.

***

[163]     Les enseignements de la Cour suprême dans l’arrêt Gladue n’ont pas eu les effets escomptés sur la surreprésentation des Autochtones dans le système de justice, comme celle-ci le note dans R. c. Ipeelee[87], rendu 13 ans après. Dans cette affaire, la Cour suprême réexamine, confirme et renforce les orientations données dans Gladue. Elle fait une analyse poussée des principes de détermination de la peine de façon générale en droit canadien, insistant sur le principe fondamental de la détermination de la peine — la proportionnalité — et son objectif essentiel — le maintien d’une société juste, paisible et sûre par l’imposition de sanctions justes.

[164]     Plus d’une décennie après son arrêt Gladue, la Cour suprême constate que la surreprésentation des Autochtones dans le système pénal est encore plus problématique. À ce jour, la situation a encore empiré[88].

[165]     Dans Ipeelee, la Cour suprême note que les juges d’instance sont des acteurs clés dans le traitement de cette problématique pour deux raisons. D’abord, ceux-ci peuvent s’appliquer à réduire le taux de criminalité dans les collectivités autochtones en suivant le principe selon lequel les pratiques qui ne contribuent pas effectivement à la prévention de la criminalité et à la réadaptation des délinquants doivent être écartées[89]. Ensuite, considérant la relation intrinsèque entre des facteurs socio-économiques et la discrimination dans la détermination de la peine[90], les juges sont les mieux placés pour évaluer ces critères de façon à ce qu’ils ne contribuent pas à la persistance de la discrimination raciale systémique[91]. La Cour cite à l’appui de son propos un extrait éloquent d’un article du professeur Quigley[92] :

[TRADUCTION]  Les facteurs socio-économiques comme la situation d’emploi, le niveau d’instruction, la situation familiale, etc., semblent à première vue des critères neutres. Le système juridique les considère comme tels. Ils peuvent toutefois dissimuler un parti pris extrêmement fort lors du processus de détermination de la peine. Les personnes reconnues coupables d’infractions qui pourraient, à la limite, leur valoir une peine d’emprisonnement sont beaucoup moins susceptibles d’être envoyées en prison lorsqu’elles occupent un emploi stable et mènent une vie stable, ou qu’elles peuvent à tout le moins espérer y parvenir. Les chômeurs, les personnes sans domicile fixe, celles qui ont peu d’instruction sont les meilleurs candidats à l’emprisonnement. Lorsque les facteurs sociaux, politiques et économiques de notre société font entrer un nombre disproportionné d’Autochtones dans ces catégories de personnes, notre société en condamne littéralement un plus grand nombre à la prison. C’est ce qu’on appelle la discrimination systémique.

[166]     La Cour suprême rappelle l’interprétation donnée à l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. et répète qu’il s’agit d’une disposition réparatrice destinée à remédier au grave problème de surreprésentation des Autochtones dans les prisons canadiennes, qui invite les juges à aborder la détermination de la peine dans une perspective corrective : « Cette disposition ne se borne pas à confirmer les principes existants de détermination de la peine; elle invite les juges à utiliser une méthode d’analyse différente pour déterminer la peine appropriée dans le cas d’un délinquant autochtone »[93].

[167]     La Cour suprême intègre les considérations de l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. dans la détermination de la peine de manière claire et éloquente.

 

[168]     La Cour explique comment les deux catégories de circonstances décrites dans Gladue « se rapportent à la question ultime de déterminer une peine juste et appropriée »[94]. Ces catégories sont, comme je l’ai déjà écrit : « (1)  les facteurs systémiques et historiques distinctifs qui peuvent être une des raisons pour lesquelles le délinquant se retrouve devant les tribunaux; et (2) les types de procédures de détermination de la peine et de sanctions qui, dans les circonstances, peuvent être appropriées à l’égard du délinquant en raison de son héritage ou de ses liens autochtones »[95].

[169]     Les facteurs systémiques et historiques sont directement intégrés dans l’analyse commandée par le principe de proportionnalité. Il est question du degré de culpabilité du délinquant et de l’effet de ces facteurs sur le caractère volontaire de sa conduite criminelle :

[73]      Enfin, les facteurs systémiques et historiques peuvent influer sur la culpabilité du délinquant, dans la mesure où ils mettent en lumière son degré de culpabilité morale. L’arrêt Wells souligne plus clairement, peut-être, l’importance de cette influence lorsque le juge Iacobucci décrit ces circonstances comme « des facteurs systémiques ou historiques distinctifs qui peuvent être considérés comme des circonstances atténuantes parce qu’ils peuvent avoir contribué à la conduite du délinquant autochtone » (par. 38). On se rappellera que le droit pénal canadien repose sur la prémisse selon laquelle seule une conduite volontaire entraîne la responsabilité criminelle. Or, de nombreux délinquants autochtones se trouvent placés dans des situations économique et sociale défavorables et confrontés à un manque de débouchés et des possibilités limitées de développement harmonieux. Bien qu’on ne puisse que rarement — sinon jamais — affirmer à bon droit que leurs actes n’étaient pas volontaires et ne sont donc pas passibles de sanction criminelle, leur situation difficile peut, en fait, atténuer leur culpabilité morale. Par exemple, dans l’arrêt R. c. Skani, 2002 ABQB 1097, 331 A.R. 50, après avoir décrit les facteurs contextuels ayant mené à l’inculpation de M. Skani, la juge Greckol de la Cour du Banc de la Reine de l’Alberta s’est exprimée en ces termes, au par. 60 : [traduction] « Peu d’êtres humains peuvent vivre une telle enfance et une telle jeunesse sans développer de graves problèmes. » Ne pas tenir compte de ces circonstances contreviendrait au principe fondamental de détermination de la peine — la proportionnalité de la peine à la gravité de l’infraction et au degré de responsabilité du délinquant. […]

[Soulignement et italiques dans l’original]

 

[170]     Autrement dit, la Cour suprême « appuie solidement le principe selon lequel les délinquants autochtones doivent recevoir des peines différentes de celles des délinquants non autochtones »[96]. Certains voient dans cette approche un changement de paradigme, « away from centuries of criminal justice thinking and practice », axé sur une conception binaire de responsabilité individuelle et vers une conception plus nuancée de la responsabilité comme étant partiellement déterminée par la réalité sociale d’un individu[97]. On parle ici d’une « thicker and more contextual understanding of proportionality »[98] ou encore d’une responsabilité partagée ou collective[99].

[171]     Consciente de l’accueil mitigé de ses enseignements dans l’affaire Gladue, la Cour suprême répond aux trois critiques formulées à l’égard de l’interprétation qu’elle a donnée à l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. : (1) la détermination de la peine n’est pas un moyen valable de lutte contre la surreprésentation des Autochtones dans le système judiciaire; (2) cette interprétation confère aux Autochtones une réduction de la peine fondée sur la race et (3) réserver un traitement de faveur aux Autochtones est, en soi, inéquitable.

[172]     La Cour suprême reconnaît que le processus de détermination de la peine n’est pas le seul ni même le principal moyen de résoudre le problème de surreprésentation des Autochtones dans le milieu carcéral, mais elle affirme qu’il s’agit d’un moyen de redresser les injustices subies par les Autochtones et qu’il permet d’envisager des solutions de rechange davantage susceptibles de restaurer un équilibre entre le délinquant, la victime et la collectivité.

[173]     La Cour suprême réfute aussi l’idée que son interprétation de l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. entraîne une réduction de la peine fondée sur la race. Selon elle, les facteurs systémiques et historiques peuvent influer sur la culpabilité du délinquant autochtone dans la mesure où ils mettent en lumière son degré de culpabilité morale. En réalité, la situation économique difficile et la condition sociale défavorable dans lesquelles les Autochtones se trouvent peuvent atténuer leur culpabilité morale. Les facteurs afférents aux procédures de détermination de la peine et aux sanctions appropriées n’ont pas trait qu’à la culpabilité morale du délinquant, mais ils se rattachent aussi à l’efficacité de la peine sur lui. Pour la plupart des Autochtones, les concepts de détermination de la peine sont inadaptés à leurs besoins, à leurs expériences et à leurs valeurs :

 

[74] […] Comme l’affirme la CRPA, à la p. 336 de son rapport, le « lamentable échec » du système canadien de justice pénale à l’endroit des peuples autochtones découle de ce qu’« autochtones et non-autochtones affichent des conceptions extrêmement différentes à l’égard de questions fondamentales comme la nature de la justice et la façon de l’administrer ». Les principes énoncés dans l’arrêt Gladue obligent le juge, lorsqu’il détermine la peine, à éviter de présumer que tous les délinquants et toutes les collectivités partagent les mêmes valeurs, et à reconnaître que, compte tenu de la présence de conceptions du monde foncièrement différentes, l’imposition de sanctions différentes ou substitutives peut permettre d’atteindre plus efficacement les objectifs de détermination de la peine dans une collectivité donnée. 

[Je souligne]

[174]     La troisième critique, étroitement liée à la deuxième, s’en prend au caractère inéquitable de la méthode d’analyse différente préconisée par la Cour suprême pour déterminer la peine à infliger à un délinquant autochtone. La Cour suprême écarte cette critique qui ne tient aucunement compte de l’histoire vécue par les peuples autochtones ni du message essentiel découlant des rapports, des commissions sur les peuples autochtones et les systèmes de justice. Ceux-ci attestent que le taux de criminalité chez les peuples autochtones est intimement lié à l’héritage du colonialisme vécu par ces derniers.

[175]     L’étude par la Cour suprême de la jurisprudence post-Gladue l’a aussi amenée à constater la présence d’erreurs commises par les tribunaux canadiens, erreurs qui ont considérablement restreint la portée de l’effet réparateur de l’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr., soit : (1) l’exigence de la démonstration d’un lien de causalité entre les facteurs systémiques et historiques et la conduite criminelle du délinquant et (2) le refus d’appliquer Gladue dans le cas de crimes graves et violents.

[176]     Selon la Cour suprême, l’exigence d’un lien de causalité entre les facteurs systémiques et historiques et la criminalité du délinquant reflète une mauvaise compréhension des effets intergénérationnels dévastateurs des expériences collectives vécues par les peuples autochtones, tout en leur imposant un fardeau de preuve trop exigeant :

[83] De plus, ainsi que le souligne la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario dans Collins, un délinquant autochtone devrait affronter d’extrêmes difficultés pour établir un lien de causalité direct entre sa situation et la perpétration de l’infraction. Ces corrélations sont tout simplement trop complexes. Les commissaires chargés de l’Enquête publique sur l’administration de la justice et les peuples autochtones au Manitoba l’expliquent, à la p. 86 :

[traduction] L’oppression culturelle, les inégalités sociales, la perte de l’autonomie gouvernementale et la discrimination systémique — l’héritage du traitement accordé par le gouvernement canadien aux peuples autochtones — sont des facteurs intimement liés et interdépendants. Rares sont les cas où il est possible d’établir un lien simple et direct entre l’un de ces facteurs et les événements ayant mené un Autochtone à commettre un crime ou à être incarcéré.

 

[177]     Le refus d’appliquer les principes établis dans l’arrêt Gladue dans le cas de crimes graves ou violents constitue, selon la Cour suprême, « le plus important problème » présenté dans la jurisprudence postérieure à cet arrêt[100]. L’alinéa 718.2e) C.cr. serait ainsi privé de son effet réparateur, d’une part, et empêcherait le tribunal de tenir compte des circonstances propres aux délinquants autochtones, d’autre part.

***

[178]     En 2019, le Code criminel a été amendé[101] pour prévoir, au chapitre des objectifs de la peine, l’obligation d’accorder une attention particulière à la dénonciation et à la dissuasion dans le cas de mauvais traitements infligés à une personne vulnérable, notamment une partenaire intime autochtone de sexe féminin :

718.04 Objectifs - infraction à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable - Le tribunal qui impose une peine pour une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable en raison de sa situation personnelle, notamment en raison du fait qu’elle est une personne autochtone de sexe féminin, accorde une attention particulière aux objectifs de dénonciation et de dissuasion de l’agissement à l’origine de l’infraction.

 

(…)

 

718.201 Considération additionnelle - vulnérabilité accrue - Le tribunal qui impose une peine pour une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’un partenaire intime prend en considération la vulnérabilité accrue des victimes de sexe féminin, en accordant une attention particulière à la situation des victimes autochtones de sexe féminin.

718.04 Objectives - offence against vulnerable person - When a court imposes a sentence for an offence that involved the abuse of a person who is vulnerable because of personal circumstances - including because the person is Aboriginal and female - the court shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of offence.

 

(…)

 

718.201 Additional consideration - increased vulnerability - A court that imposes a sentence in respect of an offence that involved the abuse of an intimate partner shall consider the increased vulnerability of female persons who are victims, giving particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal female victims.

[179]     Ces dispositions consacrent les préoccupations exprimées par la Cour suprême[102] et les cours d’appel canadiennes[103] au sujet de la violence dont les femmes — en particulier les femmes autochtones — font l’objet et elles répondent aux recommandations faites dans le rapport final de l’Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées[104]. Celui-ci révèle que « les violations persistantes et délibérées des droits de la personne et des droits des Autochtones, et les abus qui en découlent, sont à l’origine des taux effarants de violence envers les femmes, les filles et les personnes […] autochtones ». Le rapport fait aussi état « d’un contexte marqué par les traumatismes multigénérationnels et intergénérationnels et par la marginalisation sous forme de pauvreté, de logement précaire ou d’itinérance et d’obstacles à l’éducation, à l’emploi, aux soins de santé et au soutien culturel ». Les experts entendus ont parlé « des politiques coloniales et patriarcales qui ont éloigné les femmes de leur rôle traditionnel dans les communautés et au sein de la gouvernance et diminué leur statut social, les rendant ainsi vulnérables à la violence ».

[180]     Je retiens de ces sources que les femmes autochtones sont doublement affectées par les politiques coloniales et la discrimination systémique dont les Autochtones ont fait l’objet pendant des décennies.

[181]     L’affaire récente R. v. Iqalukjuaq[105], dans laquelle le juge applique ces nouvelles dispositions, a été commentée par le professeur Tim Quigley. Celui-ci voit poindre une certaine tension entre les articles 718.04 et 718.201 C.cr. - lesquels prescrivent qu’une attention particulière doit être accordée aux objectifs de dénonciation et de dissuasion dans le cas de mauvais traitements infligés à une partenaire intime autochtone de sexe féminin — et l’alinéa 718.2 e) C.cr. - une disposition réparatrice destinée à remédier au grave problème de surreprésentation des Autochtones dans les prisons canadiennes - dans les cas où la victime et le délinquant sont tous deux des Autochtones[106] :

Cette affaire illustre la tension qui existe maintenant entre certaines des dispositions du Code criminel portant sur la détermination de la peine.

[…]

L'intention derrière les modifications au Code est louable. Il y a longtemps que l’on aurait dû reconnaître la violence et la violence sexuelle perpétrée contre les femmes de même que le fait que, souvent, cette violence est perpétrée contre des conjointes. Il est aussi important de reconnaître que le préjudice découlant de ces infractions est disproportionnellement infligé aux femmes autochtones.

[…]

La tension découle cependant du fait que les nouvelles modifications entrent en conflit avec l'objectif de réduction de l'incarcération des Autochtones au moyen de l'al. 718.2e). Malheureusement, comme l'a fait remarquer la Cour suprême dans Ipeelee, cette disposition n'a pas véritablement réussi à atteindre son objectif. L'emprisonnement disproportionné des Autochtones demeure une constante dans le système de justice canadien. C'est ce que démontrent les dernières données de Statistique Canada.

[…]

Si les efforts consacrés par suite des arrêts Gladue et Ipeelee furent en grande partie vains, il est difficile de voir comment les nouvelles dispositions n'empireront pas la surincarcération des délinquants autochtones.

Dans R. c. Friesen, 2020 CSC 9, même si elle a milité en faveur de peines accrues pour les infractions sexuelles commises contre des enfants, la Cour suprême a reconnu les limites de ce que pouvait faire le système de justice criminelle pour réduire la fréquence de tels crimes. La Cour a donc demandé des actes dans d'autres domaines, comme la santé et l'éducation, pour mieux s'attaquer à la violence sexuelle contre les enfants. Il doit en être de même pour la violence contre les femmes en général et, plus particulièrement, pour la violence contre les femmes autochtones. Il est très clair que le Canada ne peut pas atteindre les objectifs de protection des victimes vulnérables et de réduction de l'incarcération des Autochtones au moyen du système de justice criminelle et, plus particulièrement, au moyen de l'incarcération.

[182]     À mon avis, cette tension apparente doit se résoudre, chaque fois, en tenant compte des circonstances de l’affaire. Tel que le précise l’article 718 C.cr., une peine juste vise un ou plusieurs des objectifs qui y sont mentionnés : la dénonciation du comportement du délinquant et des torts causés, la dissuasion de commettre une infraction, notamment une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable autochtone de sexe féminin, l’isolement du délinquant du reste de la société, la réinsertion sociale du délinquant, la réparation des torts causés, la prise de conscience du tort causé à la victime et à la collectivité, la vulnérabilité de la victime.

[183]     La juge du procès jouit donc d’une large discrétion pour façonner une peine juste, adaptée à la nature de l’infraction, à la situation du délinquant, à celle de la victime, et, plus globalement, à toutes les circonstances de l’affaire.

***

[184]     À mon avis, la peine déterminée par la juge de première instance respecte en tous points les enseignements de la Cour suprême dans Gladue et Ipeelee et elle tient compte des objectifs et principes pénologiques pertinents applicables en matière de crimes commis à l’endroit d’une partenaire intime vulnérable et autochtone.

[185]     La juge a cherché la mesure corrective la plus juste en présence (1) de crimes graves commis par un délinquant lourdement affecté par des facteurs systémiques et historiques présents dans sa communauté, affligé de conditions personnelles sérieuses et préoccupantes et (2) de crimes commis sur sa conjointe, une victime autochtone des plus vulnérables ayant subi des conséquences graves et tragiques à la suite des crimes. La lecture du jugement montre que la juge de première instance a accordé une attention particulière au fait que la victime est une femme vulnérable autochtone :

[38]      The Court shares the position of Justice Lacoursière expressed in 2016 regarding the personal situation of the aboriginal victims:

[135] They (the victims) too have been subject to historical forces and the years of upheaval and economic development in this community. In addition to being victims of the accused’s actions, they suffer from direct or systemic discrimination. They are equally likely to suffer the negative after-effects of resettlement and, according to the Gladue report, some of them are economically and socially disadvantaged, unlike the accused. In addition, three of them are now unable to live permanently in the community.

[Je souligne]

[186]     Lorsque l’intimé a commis son dernier crime, il n’avait pas encore résolu son problème de consommation, source de sa violence. Il aurait peut-être pu s’attaquer à cette problématique après sa dernière incarcération, vu qu’il connaissait l’existence de certaines ressources dans sa communauté. Mais, il faut s’éloigner de la description selon laquelle l’intimé est une personne ordinaire (parce qu’il a vécu dans un environnement exempt de violence et de consommation de drogues dans sa jeunesse), qui néglige de se prendre en main. L’intimé est un Inuit lourdement affecté non seulement par le facteur Gladue, mais, en plus, par les conditions personnelles décrites par la juge de première instance. À cela, il faut ajouter qu’aucun programme de désintoxication n’est offert dans la localité où il habite et que, pour en bénéficier, il aurait dû se rendre dans une ville éloignée, ce qui n’est pas à la portée d’une personne sans ressources financières. L’intimé est détenteur d’un diplôme de secondaire 1 et ses perspectives d’emploi sont des plus limitées. De plus, à cette époque, le milieu ne s’était pas encore mobilisé pour lui apporter l’aide et le support requis.

[187]     L’alcoolisme est un fléau dans les communautés autochtones comme l’est la violence conjugale. L’infliction de longues périodes de détention n’est pas le seul moyen de punir les délinquants et de protéger les victimes, surtout lorsque le délinquant est un Autochtone. La Cour suprême a d’ailleurs signalé l’inefficacité de telles peines, rappelant que l’isolement, la dissuasion et la dénonciation ne seront pas nécessairement atteints par de longues peines d’emprisonnement en raison des valeurs et conceptions des peuples autochtones[107]. Une période de détention qui tient compte de la culpabilité morale du délinquant et une ordonnance de probation adaptée, jumelée à l’aide de sa famille ainsi que le support d’organismes qui ont fait leurs preuves dans la communauté sont davantage susceptibles d’atteindre l’effet recherché, soit de punir le contrevenant et de protéger les victimes.

[188]     Selon les termes de l’ordonnance de probation prononcée par la juge, l’état de santé de l’intimé devait être évalué durant sa détention, il devait participer à des programmes d’activités culturelles adaptés à ses problèmes et fréquenter le Centre A pour recevoir des traitements destinés à combattre son alcoolisme. Avec de telles mesures, le support de sa famille ainsi que celui d’organismes de soutien dont notamment le Justice Committee of City B et [l'Association B], la réhabilitation de l’intimé constituait un objectif réaliste et souhaitable. On sait maintenant que les autorités carcérales n’ont pas suivi les recommandations de la juge de première instance et que l’intimé n’a pas encore bénéficié de programmes d’aide durant sa détention. Selon les renseignements contenus dans le rapport présentenciel, cela résulte du fait qu’il a été placé dans le secteur à sécurité maximum de l’établissement, en raison de la nature des accusations. Cette décision est regrettable parce que la violence de l’intimé, associée à la consommation d’alcool, est nécessairement absente dans le milieu carcéral. Avec le consentement de l’intimé, la Cour est maintenant en mesure de transformer les recommandations de la juge de première instance en ordonnance mandatoire pour mieux encadrer la réhabilitation lors de la probation.

[189]     Il ne faut pas perdre de vue que la juge de première instance agit aux premières lignes du système de justice dans un contexte difficile en raison de l’effet sur les peuples autochtones et ses membres des facteurs systémiques et historiques; à titre de juge de la Cour du Québec en Abitibi, elle connaît personnellement et institutionnellement la communauté qu’elle dessert, en particulier ce petit village isolé situé au nord du Québec, les besoins de ses habitants[108], les ressources dont ils disposent, les valeurs qu’ils partagent, les organismes qui peuvent aider les délinquants, les programmes offerts ainsi que leur efficacité, les bénéfices que ceux-ci peuvent en retirer, la vulnérabilité des femmes autochtones et la violence qui sévit dans cette communauté, notamment en raison de la consommation d’alcool. La juge précise d’ailleurs dans son jugement qu’elle a une connaissance judiciaire des différents programmes et des mesures alternatives offerts dans la communauté de l’intimé. Ils sont énumérés de façon succincte dans les recommandations du rapport Gladue reprises par la juge dans le paragraphe 93 de son jugement.

[190]     La décision d’un juge instance en matière de peine mérite une grande déférence comme le rappelle la Cour suprême dans R. c. Nasogaluak[109]. Voici les éléments importants qui se dégagent de cet arrêt :

1.    Les articles 718 à 718.2 C.cr. sont rédigés de façon suffisamment large pour conférer au juge un large pouvoir discrétionnaire de façonner une peine adaptée à la nature de l’infraction et à la situation du délinquant;

2.    Le prononcé d’une peine juste demeure un processus individualisé qui oblige le juge à soupeser les objectifs de la peine en tenant compte des circonstances de l’affaire;

3.    Il appartient au juge de déterminer s’il faut accorder plus de poids à un ou plusieurs objectifs;

4.    La peine sera ensuite ajustée, à la hausse ou à la baisse, dans la fourchette des peines appropriée selon l’importance relative des circonstances atténuantes ou aggravantes;

5.    Une cour d’appel ne peut conclure à l’existence d’une erreur de principe parce qu’elle aurait accordé un poids plus important à un facteur pertinent ou moins à un autre, car cela serait faire fi de toute déférence.

[191]     Dans R. c. Friesen[110], la Cour suprême écrit ceci au sujet de la norme de contrôle empreinte de déférence en appel :

[38] La norme de contrôle empreinte de déférence en appel est conçue pour veiller à ce que le juge chargé de déterminer la peine puisse adapter cette démarche tant au chapitre de la méthode que de celui du résultat. Le juge de la peine jouit d’une latitude considérable pour appliquer les principes de détermination de la peine d’une manière qui se prête aux caractéristiques d’un cas donné. Il peut même s’avérer nécessaire d’employer différentes méthodes pour tenir dûment compte des facteurs systémiques et historiques pertinents (Ipeelee, par. 59). De même, une combinaison de facteurs aggravants et de facteurs atténuants peuvent requérir l’infliction d’une peine qui se trouve loin de tout point de départ et qui déroge à toute fourchette (voir Lacasse, par. 58; Nasogaluak, par. 44; R. c. Suter, 2018 CSC 34, [2018] 2 R.C.S. 496, par. 4).

[192]     Dans le présent cas, vu l’expérience rattachée à sa connaissance de la communauté visée et au vécu de ses membres, je préfère m’en remettre à la sagesse de la juge d’instance lorsqu’elle applique les objectifs et principes de détermination de la peine et choisit, après pondération des principes, objectifs et facteurs  pertinents, la peine qu’elle estime appropriée compte tenu de toutes les circonstances. J’y reviendrai.

***

[193]     À mon avis, la juge de première instance n’a commis aucune erreur de principe qui a eu une incidence sur la peine infligée.

[194]     Le rapport présentenciel conclut que, si l’intimé ne s’attaque pas efficacement à sa problématique de consommation, les risques de récidive sont très élevés. La juge n’écarte pas cette conclusion, au contraire. Elle suit les recommandations énoncées dans le rapport. À cet effet, en plus d’infliger à l’intimé une peine d’emprisonnement de deux ans — qu’il purgera dans un établissement, comme le suggère le rapport présentenciel — elle l’assujettit à une longue probation qui comporte des conditions destinées à l’aider à combattre sa dépendance à l’alcool, d’une part, et elle s’assure du support de sa famille et d’organismes communautaires reconnus, d’autre part.

[195]     La juge de première instance estime que l’intoxication de l’intimé au moment de la commission des crimes constitue un facteur atténuant parce qu’à son avis, cette situation était de nature à diminuer son niveau de culpabilité morale. Cette question n’appelle pas une réponse unique. Tout dépend des circonstances. Lorsqu’il est question d’un Autochtone comme l’intimé, issu d’une communauté où consommation et violence sont omniprésentes, il ne m’apparaît pas erroné de conclure qu’il s’agit d’un facteur atténuant. C’est ce qu’a décidé la Cour d’appel de la Colombie-Britannique dans R. v. Pop[111], R. v. Leslie[112] et notre Cour dans Denis-Damée c. R.[113].

[196]     De plus, il appert que, même si la juge avait commis une erreur en considérant l’intoxication de l’intimé comme un facteur atténuant, celle-ci n’a eu aucun impact sur la peine infligée. La portion du jugement qui porte sur la détermination de la peine n’en fait d’ailleurs pas mention. Ce sont les possibilités de résoudre les problèmes de santé et de consommation de l’intimé, la perspective réaliste de réhabilitation et l’intérêt de ses enfants qui ont le plus compté dans la décision de la juge.

 

***

 

[197]     Il appert de l’étude de la jurisprudence que la fourchette des peines applicables aux délinquants autochtones[114] pour les crimes commis (un à neuf ans avec une prédominance pour des peines de trois à cinq ans) est fort similaire à celle applicable aux délinquants non autochtones[115] (un à dix ans avec une prédominance pour des peines de quatre à six ans).

[198]     Cela m’amène à aborder les deux aspects suivants.

[199]     Premièrement, la lecture de la jurisprudence applicable aux délinquants autochtones démontre une application inadéquate par les tribunaux concernés des facteurs développés dans Gladue et Ipeelee[116].

[200]     À titre d’exemple, la Cour suprême des Territoires du Nord-Ouest et la Cour suprême du Yukon dans R. v. Betsidea[117] et R. v. D.C.[118] commettent toutes deux l’erreur de ne pas considérer le contrevenant comme « assez autochtone » pour accorder du poids aux facteurs Gladue. La décision R. v. J.A.[119] s’en tient, sans faire les distinctions appropriées, au mantra énoncé dans le paragraphe 79 de Gladue, selon lequel plus violente est l’infraction, plus similaire sera la peine d’un Autochtone à celle d’un non Autochtone[120]. Les affaires R. v. G.M.F.[121] et R. v. G.C.P.[122] révèlent un raisonnement qui transforme les facteurs Gladue en facteurs aggravants[123]. La première retient la normalisation par le contrevenant de la violence faite aux femmes, en raison de son contexte social et historique, comme une considération aggravante[124]. La seconde justifie l’application d’une peine pour adulte à un contrevenant mineur, entre autres, en raison de la maturité qui découle de son histoire troublante[125].

[201]     Deuxièmement, à la question plus large de savoir si la jurisprudence actuelle révèle une application effective des enseignements de la Cour suprême dans Gladue et Ipeelee dans le contexte d’infractions violentes, les études menées par d’éminents auteurs démontrent que ce n’est pas le cas.

[202]     Les professeures Denis-Boileau et Sylvestre font une revue de 635 jugements de première instance et d’appel rendus après l’arrêt Ipeelee entre 2012 et 2015 et qui traitent de la détermination de la peine d'une personne autochtone[126]. Cette étude révèle que :

·        34 % des décisions ne mentionnent pas de facteurs historiques et systémiques;

·        15 % des décisions les considèrent non applicables ou moins applicables, soit en raison de la gravité de l’infraction (dans la moitié des cas), soit pour d’autres raisons (liens trop ténus avec communauté autochtone, délinquant pas « assez victime », des facteurs historiques et systémiques, absence de lien de causalité, manque d’information, priorité à la sécurité du public, etc.);

·        31 % des décisions n’expliquent pas comment ces facteurs ont été considérés et/ou quel était l'impact de cette prise en considération sur la détermination de la peine;

[203]     Il s’ensuit que seulement 20 % des décisions affichent une « analyse satisfaisante »[127] des facteurs historiques et systémiques. Ce chiffre tombe à 15 % lorsque l’analyse concerne les cas de violence conjugale et familiale[128]. Par ailleurs, sur l’échantillon général, seule une décision sur cinq inclut les facteurs historiques et systémiques dans l’analyse du principe de proportionnalité, les tribunaux ayant tendance à privilégier la notion de gravité objective à celle du degré de responsabilité[129].

[204]     De la même façon, le professeur Roach recense les arrêts rendus par les cours d’appel du pays depuis Ipeelee jusqu’à avril 2019[130]. Il présente des observations spécifiques pour chacune des cours et, de manière générale, il conclut que le rapport entre les facteurs historiques et systémiques et le degré de culpabilité morale « remains a nascent and under-theorized development »[131]. Les cours d’appel se limitent à affirmer ce rapport plutôt qu’à l’expliquer ou à en tenir véritablement compte[132]. L’analyse de la culpabilité morale en appel demeure donc superficielle. Ainsi, l’application des facteurs historiques reste surtout confinée à la réhabilitation, objectif qui perd de l’importance dans les cas les plus graves. Aucune cour d’appel n’a systématiquement associé des facteurs historiques à l’effectivité des objectifs tels que la dissuasion, la dénonciation ou l’isolement et aucune cour d’appel n’a discuté de la pertinence du droit autochtone dans la détermination de la peine.

[205]     Ce même auteur dénonce aussi le recours à des « slogans » fréquemment employés par les tribunaux, selon lesquels les facteurs Gladue ne constituent pas « une excuse » ou « une réduction automatique » de la peine afin d’en éviter l’application[133].

[206]     En ce qui concerne les raisons pour lesquelles les tribunaux démontrent une résistance à l’application des enseignements de la Cour suprême, plusieurs auteurs soulignent des obstacles législatifs et des obstacles pratiques, tels que la difficulté d’obtenir un rapport Gladue et le manque de ressources dans les communautés[134]. Il est aussi question de l’ignorance des juges quant aux programmes et traitements disponibles[135].

[207]     Les auteures Denis-Boileau et Sylvestre mentionnent aussi les raisons suivantes : la difficulté à concevoir la peine autrement que de façon afflictive, la large portée du concept de « gravité » du crime, la façon dont les facteurs Gladue augmentent le risque de récidive[136], la conception de responsabilité individuelle et, enfin, une préoccupation d’égalité formelle « que des sentences en apparence réduites pour les délinquants autochtones pourraient laisser certains croire que les victimes autochtones méritent moins de protection »[137]. Sur ce dernier point, le professeur Roach déplore que « urgent needs to respond to and minimize the criminal victimization of Indigenous people became a reason for courts to retreat from or even abandon their obligation to apply Gladue factors to all sentencing purposes ». En refusant d’appliquer les facteurs de l’arrêt Gladue, les tribunaux risquent « d’empiler la souffrance sur la souffrance », écrit le professeur Roach[138].

[208]     L’auteur Wernikowski discute de la conception de responsabilité individuelle, trop fortement ancrée dans le système judiciaire, alors que l’arrêt Ipeelee demande aux juges, ses principaux acteurs, de considérer des éléments qui sortent de leur domaine d’expertise, tels que les clivages raciaux, l’histoire du colonialisme et de la discrimination, la pauvreté et les autres réalités sociales. L’auteur constate que les pratiques jurisprudentielles de détermination de la peine, telles que le recours aux « points de départ »[139] et aux « fourchettes de peine », lient les tribunaux et les empêchent de considérer des options non carcérales, des approches innovatrices ou des peines visant une justice réparatrice.

***

[209]     La juge de première instance n’a pas commis les erreurs relevées et critiquées par les auteurs. Elle a tenu compte de toutes les circonstances de l’affaire. Elle a notamment pondéré le fait que le crime vise une conjointe de fait vulnérable (paragr. 34 à 37), elle a tenu compte de la situation de vulnérabilité des femmes autochtones (paragr. 38), des conséquences des crimes sur la victime (paragr. 39 à 44) et du fait que le délinquant présente un degré de culpabilité moindre en raison du facteur Gladue.

[210]     Elle a choisi une peine de deux ans moins un jour (cela constitue une gradation substantielle, quatre fois plus sévère, par rapport aux peines infligées pour les crimes antérieurs) assortie d’une longue probation (trois fois plus longue) adaptée. Cette peine, tout en comportant un aspect dissuasif et de dénonciation (il sera sous l’autorité de la justice pendant cinq ans), mise sur la réhabilitation de l’intimé, un des objectifs de la détermination de la peine (alinéa 718 d) C.Cr.). C’est ici un objectif réaliste compte tenu (1) de l’appréciation de la preuve par la juge de la volonté de l’intimé de régler notamment son problème d’alcoolisme, (2) de l’aide offerte par ses proches, (3) du support et de la mobilisation d’organismes reconnus dans sa communauté, (4) des recommandations du rapport Gladue, et cela, sans négliger la protection de la victime et des autres membres de la communauté.

 

[211]     Cette peine n’est pas manifestement non indiquée. En plus de tenir compte de tous les objectifs et principes pénologiques, il ne faut pas être insensible au fait que les conditions d’incarcération d’un Autochtone (dans une prison non autochtone) sont beaucoup plus pénibles que pour les non autochtones, vu l’absence de support linguistique et culturel, l’isolement des proches, l’isolement linguistique, la discrimination de la part des autres détenus, etc.

[212]     J’ajoute que les mesures choisies par la juge pour favoriser la réhabilitation de l’intimé reflètent aussi les valeurs reconnues par la justice autochtone en accordant un poids important à l’implication d’un organisme communautaire de Ville B :

 

 


Société [...]

May 17. 2019

To Whom it May Concern

Re: Support to L. P. in his reintegration to City D

The justice committee of City B, named L. P. of City B has at this time 1 coordinator 1 Assistant A. N. and 6 members who can offer support and guidance to L. P.. The justice committee members offer non-formal traditional counselling. The committee will also organize traditional activities with clients and at time, which could include family or spouse. L. P. will also meet with an aunt who will guide him and support him since he forgets easily of what he needs to remember for example if he needs to see a coordinator or member of justice that the aunt N. P. will guide him. The committee will be able to meet L. as soon as he is released back to his community.

City B has additional resources that L. could be supported by, and the justice committee can liaise with those resources as well, to ensure that L. receives the support and structure he needs in various forms.

L. has asked support to the justice committee and therefore, the justice committee has been reached and is willing to work with Ph. A. or to the assistant A. N. to guide him to stay on a positive and healthy path.

 

 

 

 


***


 

 

[213]     Conséquemment, je ne modifierais pas la peine imposée, mais j’accueillerais l’appel à la seule fin de transformer les recommandations contenues au paragraphe 114 du jugement de première instance en ordonnance, vu le consentement de l’intimé de s’y soumettre et de modifier le calcul du temps passé en détention provisoire selon les chiffres retenus par mon collègue Ruel.

 

 

 

FRANCE THIBAULT, J.A.


 

 

ANNEXE 1 TRANSLATION

 


 

 

 

REASONS OF THIBAULT, J.A.*

 

 

[142]     This is the sentence the trial judge imposed:

[113]    CONDEMNS the accused to serve, in the following files:

640-01-040244-189

2 years less one day (730) of detention less the preventive custody (199)[140] for a total of 531 days as of today on counts 1, 2 and 4, concurrently with all the counts.

640-01-040431-182

18 months on counts 3 and 4, concurrently with all the counts and with the other record.

640-01-040147-184

60 days on count 1, concurrently with the other records.

640-01-040245-186

60 days on count 1, concurrently with the other records.

[114]    RECOMMENDS, during the detention, that the accused:

-           Undergo a psychological/psychiatric evaluation and follows any recommendations that will be made;

-           Participate in culturally adapted programs to address his issues;

-           Attend [Center A] to deal with his addiction and trauma.

[115]    ORDERS a prohibition to communicate directly or indirectly with the victim C.K. during the period of detention according to section 743.21 Cr.C.

[116]    ORDERS the accused to respect the following conditions of his probation for a period of 3 years:

-           Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;

-           Appear before the Court when required to do so;

-           Remain under the jurisdiction of the Province of Quebec;

-           Notify the probation officer of any change of address or name and quickly notify of any change of employment or occupation;

-           Communicate with the probation officer following the 5 working days of his release and after following the modalities imposed by the probation officer;

-           Prohibition to communicate directly or indirectly with the victim C.K., except if the probation officer obtain her previous consent and only in a process of apologies, the modalities having to be discussed and agreed with the victim;

-           Follow the counsels and directives of the probation officer regarding any medical, psychological, psychiatric or neuropsychiatric follow-up and follow the medical recommendations and prescription;

-           Follow the counsels and directives of the probation officer regarding any therapy or follow-up with regards with drugs and alcohol addiction and anger management;

-           Provide the probation officer with the relevant authorization to allow him or her to receive information regarding the accused’s participation and evolution in any kind of therapeutic follow-up;

-           Prohibition to possess any firearm except for the purpose of traditional activities;

The probation order applies on all records.

[117]    AUTHORIZES to take samples of bodily substances according to section 487.051 (1) Cr.C. (primary designated offence) and ORDERS the accused to comply, in the files: 640-01-040244-189 and 640-01-040431-182 on each count.

[118]    PROHIBIT the accused from possessing any firearm, other than a prohibited firearm or restricted firearm, and any crossbow, restricted weapon, ammunition and explosive substance for a period of 10 years (section 109 Cr.C.) except for the purpose of traditional activities (section 113 (1) Cr.C.).

[119]    ORDERS the accused to comply with Sex Offender Information Registration Act (section 490.012 Cr.C.) for life.

[143]     The sentence the trial judge imposed may be described as lenient, but in my humble opinion, it is not demonstrably unfit in light of the particular circumstances of the case and the applicable law. Moreover, the judge did not commit any error in principle that had an effect on the sentence.

***

[144]     The trial judge expressly acknowledged the high level of violence of the offences committed by the respondent (para. 33), their repetitive nature, the conjugal context within which they were perpetrated (paras. 34-36), the victim’s great vulnerability, including the fact that she is an Aboriginal victim (para. 38) and the significant consequences she suffered (paras. 37 to 44 and 99).

[145]     After considering the mitigating and aggravating factors and reviewing the Gladue and pre-sentence reports, the judge imposed a sentence of imprisonment of two years less a day on the respondent, coupled with a long probation period (three years), a measure intended both to protect society and to facilitate the offender’s successful reintegration into the community (s. 732.1(3)(h) Cr.C.). As a result, the respondent will be under judicial authority for five years, during which time he will be subject to conditions aimed at understanding the nature of his memory issues and of his health problems, treating his alcoholism, which is the source of his criminal activities, and controlling and supervising his activities.

[146]     The trial judge relied on the Gladue report. The report describes the extent of the systemic and background factors affecting members of the community in which the respondent lives. The report also sets out certain traumatic events that marked his life:

It is important to consider the systemic, historic and individual factors of Aboriginal people that may have played a part in bringing the individual in front of the Court and therefore, in this case factors that may have impacted L.’s life and behaviours directly or indirectly, to seek proper response to his crimes. In the present situation, we are looking at the case of L. P., a 30 year-old Inuk man from City B, an Inuit village who was affected deeply by policies of assimilations, which have contributed to weaken the culture and increase social problems up to this day. City B, like other Inuit villages, has gone through the pain caused by the forced placement of children into residential schools, where many suffered from discrimination, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. It is well documented by the Royal commission on Aboriginal people that the trauma endured by children in residential school and the disconnections from their family have had long lasting effects on them and on generation, which followed. At least one member of L.’s family, his grandmother M. P., has gone through residential school. The massacre of the Huskie dogs is also a governmental measure which have hurt profoundly Inuit, forcing them to a sedentary life style which they weren’t used to and prevented them to maintain their tradition alive and to remain independent. The aches and anger caused by this massacre is still talked about today and felt in some families in City B. L.’s grandfather G. P. was one of the many whose valuable Husky dogs were killed during this important massacre. City B has been also severely impacted by the relocation of families to City C, which occurred in the fifties. L.’s paternal grandmother, Z. Pa., and her family are amongst those who were relocated to City C. The relocation of families from City B has not only hurt the families who were left there to live in poor conditions, but as well the families who remained in City B and missed their loved ones who took many years to return.

As a young child, L. was left without adult supervision most of the time. He was bullied by his neighbors starting at age 9, as well as in Sunday school. When L. was 11, his father moved away in City C and he has never seen him again because of the distance. He was 12 when City B was severely impacted by 19 suicides, causing long lasting pain and trauma throughout the community. L. was bullied weekly in high school. He dropped out of school with only a secondary 1 completed, making it difficult for him to find sustainable employment. He was 21 when his sister Ma. committed suicide. Five years later, he lost his cousin W. to suicide as well. His brother-in-law J. was shot two years later. At age 29, he lost his close friend Er. to suicide.

These are some of the Gladue factors that require a specific attention by the Court and should be considered.

[Reproduced as written]

[147]     The report contains the following recommendations:

•           That L. undergoes a psychological/psychiatric evaluation and follows any recommendations that will be made;

•           That L. participates in culturally adapted programs to address his issues;

•           That L. attends [Center A] to deal with his addiction and trauma.

Once back in City B:

•           That L. lives with his mother E. P.;

•           That L. participates in a follow-up with [Social Worker 1], community worker at [Center A], on an individual and group setting to receive help with alcohol addiction, on a schedule agreed with the worker;

•           That L. apologizes to the victim with the help of the justice committee if the victim accepts to receive his apologies;

•           That L. participates in a follow-up with the justice committee and participates to the outings with the committee when they occur;

•           That L. participates in traditional activities with [B Association] and/or with his aunt N. P. to maintain contact with his culture, provide country food for his family and manage alcohol abuse in a traditional way.

[148]     In addition to considering the systemic and background factors that have a direct impact on Aboriginals from City B and explain the respondent’s presence before the courts, the judge listed several circumstances that had an even more profound effect on the respondent, including the fact that he was left to his own devices virtually throughout his childhood, the separation of his parents, the abandonment by his father, the intimidation he suffered at a young age, the suicide of a number of members of his community and, more specifically, of people dear to him (his sister, his cousin and a friend), two accidents that left him with significant physical and psychological aftereffects, his alcohol and marijuana use since adolescence, etc.

[149]     The pre-sentence report states that the respondent can become an asset to his family and community. It observes, however, that if the respondent does not resolve his substance abuse, the risk of recidivism is high. The report recommends a sentence involving more supervision than a sentence to be served in the community:

To conclude, we understand that Mr. P. can be a great asset for his family and his community, However, unless he seriously address his issues, we believe that the risk of reoffending, especially in a domestic context remains highly elevated. Mr. P. was recently given the chance to stay with his close ones, help them by providing for them and taking care of his family, but contrariwise, he ended up causing severe consequences on his intimate partner, once more. In such, we wish to reiterate the fact that past sentencing in the community was far from successful and he did not seemed to take those correctional measure seriously. In our opinion, it demonstrates that in order to obtain success in rehabilitating, a much higher level of supervision would be more appropriate.

[Emphasis added]

[150]     Even though the report points to a very high risk of recidivism, the judge concluded that the respondent’s rehabilitation is still realistic, particularly because he can rely on the support of his family and that of the Justice Committee of City B and the [B Association], local organizations with an acknowledged involvement in the community. She took into account the recommendation in the pre-sentence report and imposed a prison sentence of two years less a day on the respondent, coupled with three years’ probation comprising conditions designed, among other things, to address his alcoholism — measures beneficial to the respondent, his young children (of whom he takes close care) and his community.

[151]     Given the egregiousness and number of crimes committed, the conjugal nature of the violence and the victim’s vulnerability, it may be tempting to impose a stiffer sentence than the one the trial judge imposed. In my view, however, that is not the role of an appellate court. An appellate court must focus on the demonstrably unfit nature of the sentence imposed by the trial judge, who knows the community where the offences were committed as well as the services offered there and their effectiveness.

[152]     Moreover, the idea of imposing a more severe sentence simply because the violent crimes were committed in the context of a conjugal relationship against a vulnerable Aboriginal victim, without giving due consideration to the Gladue factor and to all the circumstances of the case, would perpetuate the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the penal justice system, an issue that Parliament and the guidance provided by the Supreme Court have sought to resolve for a number of years. It should be noted that this dramatic situation affects both Aboriginal women and men.[141]

***

[153]     As we know, there was a major legislative reform in 1996, which resulted in the addition, inter alia, of s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. This provision prescribes that, when sentencing, the court must consider all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances and consistent with the harm done to victims and to the community for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders.

[154]     It is a remedial provision designed to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples within the Canadian penal justice system, which is a well-documented problem.[142] As stated by the Supreme Court in R. v. Gladue, “[t]he figures are stark and reflect what may fairly be termed a crisis in the Canadian criminal justice system. The drastic overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples within both the Canadian prison population and the criminal justice system reveals a sad and pressing social problem”.[143]

[155]     In 1999, in R. v. Gladue, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to interpret this provision for the first time, through an analysis based on a review of documented and enlightening expert reports and revealing statistics.

[156]     It is a singular decision for two reasons.

[157]     First, when discussing the remedial purpose of the provision in question, the Supreme Court acknowledged the problem of over-incarceration in Canada, and the recurring doubts about the effectiveness of incarceration in achieving the traditional objectives of sentencing, as well as the over-representation of Aboriginal Canadians in detention centres, in a distinct context of systemic discrimination faced by Aboriginals in the penal justice system. Given that these issues informed Parliament’s intention in enacting s. 718.2(eCr.C., the Supreme Court acknowledged the responsibility of the judicial system:

65        […] There are many aspects of this sad situation which cannot be addressed in these reasons. What can and must be addressed, though, is the limited role that sentencing judges will play in remedying injustice against aboriginal peoples in Canada. Sentencing judges are among those decision-makers who have the power to influence the treatment of aboriginal offenders in the justice system. They determine most directly whether an aboriginal offender will go to jail, or whether other sentencing options may be employed which will play perhaps a stronger role in restoring a sense of balance to the offender, victim, and community, and in preventing future crime.

[158]     The highest court in the land concluded that s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. is a remedial provision. It noted that the provision was not limited to reiterating existing principles, but rather had a remedial character, rooted in the purpose of addressing the disproportionate incarceration of Aboriginal peoples.

[159]     Second, the Supreme Court established a different analytical framework for sentencing Aboriginals. In order for the sentence to play a remedial role, the judge charged with sentencing must pay attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders, including: (1) the systemic or background factors that may be at the root of the offender’s criminality and (2) the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular Aboriginal heritage or connection.

[160]     Regarding (1) the systemic and background factors, the Supreme Court emphasized the years of dislocation and economic development among Aboriginal peoples that have resulted in “low incomes, high unemployment, lack of opportunities and options, lack or irrelevance of education, substance abuse, loneliness, and community fragmentation”,[144] factors that contribute to a higher incidence of crime and incarceration among Aboriginals.

[161]     Regarding (2) sentencing procedures and sanctions, the Supreme Court noted that Aboriginal peoples have different conceptions of sentencing procedures. Denunciation, deterrence and separation are often far removed from their approach to sentencing. They place a primary emphasis on the ideals of restorative justice, a tradition that is extremely important to the analysis under s. 718.2(e) Cr.C.[145]

[162]     In determining a fit sentence for an Aboriginal offender, the court must add these special considerations to the other sentencing principles. The sentencing judge must take judicial notice of the particular circumstances of the Aboriginal offender, require evidence of such circumstances or attempt to acquire information regarding them, including alternatives to imprisonment. The Supreme Court concluded by pointing out that s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. does not require an automatic reduction of a sentence and that this provision applies to all Aboriginals regardless of where they reside.

***

[163]     The guidance provided by the Supreme Court in Gladue did not have the desired effect on the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the justice system, as the Court noted 13 years later in R. v. Ipeelee.[146] In that decision, the Supreme Court reconsidered, confirmed and reinforced its guidance in Gladue. It performed an in-depth analysis of sentencing principles under Canadian law generally, stressing the fundamental principle of sentencing—proportionality—and its fundamental purpose—the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society through the imposition of just sanctions.

[164]     More than a decade after its judgment in Gladue, the Supreme Court noted that over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the criminal system was even more of an issue. To date, the situation has worsened still.[147]

[165]     In Ipeelee, the Supreme Court noted that sentencing judges are key players in addressing this problem for two reasons. First, they can endeavour to reduce crime rates in Aboriginal communities by applying the principle that practices that do not effectively deter criminality and rehabilitate offenders should be avoided.[148] Next, considering the intrinsic connection between certain socio-economic factors and discrimination in sentencing,[149] these judges are in the best position to evaluate these criteria to ensure that they are not contributing to ongoing systemic racial discrimination.[150] In support of its statement, the Court cited an eloquent excerpt from an article by Professor Quigley:[151]

Socioeconomic factors such as employment status, level of education, family situation, etc., appear on the surface as neutral criteria. They are considered as such by the legal system. Yet they can conceal an extremely strong bias in the sentencing process. Convicted persons with steady employment and stability in their lives, or at least prospects of the same, are much less likely to be sent to jail for offences that are borderline imprisonment offences. The unemployed, transients, the poorly educated are all better candidates for imprisonment. When the social, political and economic aspects of our society place Aboriginal people disproportionately within the ranks of the latter, our society literally sentences more of them to jail. This is systemic discrimination.

[166]     The Supreme Court referred to the interpretation of s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. and reiterated that it is a remedial provision designed to ameliorate the serious problem of over-representation of Aboriginals in Canadian prisons, and to encourage sentencing judges to have recourse to a restorative approach to sentencing: “It does more than affirm existing principles of sentencing; it calls upon judges to use a different method of analysis in determining a fit sentence for Aboriginal offenders”.[152]

[167]     The Supreme Court clearly and eloquently incorporated the s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. considerations into sentencing.

[168]     It explained how both sets of circumstances described in Gladue “bear on the ultimate question of what is a fit and proper sentence”.[153] As previously described, these sets of circumstances are: “(1) the unique systemic and background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular Aboriginal offender before the courts; and (2) the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular Aboriginal heritage or connection”.[154]

[169]     Systemic and background factors form an integral part of the proportionality analysis. They determine the offender’s degree of culpability and have an impact on the voluntary nature of his or her criminal conduct:

[73]      First, systemic and background factors may bear on the culpability of the offender, to the extent that they shed light on his or her level of moral blameworthiness. This is perhaps more evident in Wells where Iacobucci J. described these circumstances as “the unique systemic or background factors that are mitigating in nature in that they may have played a part in the aboriginal offender’s conduct” (para. 38). Canadian criminal law is based on the premise that criminal liability only follows from voluntary conduct. Many Aboriginal offenders find themselves in situations of social and economic deprivation with a lack of opportunities and limited options for positive development. While this rarely — if ever — attains a level where one could properly say that their actions were not voluntary and therefore not deserving of criminal sanction, the reality is that their constrained circumstances may diminish their moral culpability. As Greckol J. of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench stated, at para. 60 of R. v. Skani, 2002 ABQB 1097, 331 A.R. 50, after describing the background factors that lead to Mr. Skani coming before the court, “[f]ew mortals could withstand such a childhood and youth without becoming seriously troubled.” Failing to take these circumstances into account would violate the fundamental principle of sentencing — that the sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender: […]

[Underlining and italics in the original]

[170]     In other words, the Supreme Court stated “its strong defence of the need to sentence Aboriginal offenders differently”.[155] Some see this approach as a paradigm shift “away from centuries of criminal justice thinking and practice” focused on a binary understanding of individual responsibility towards a more nuanced understanding of responsibility as being partially determined by an individual’s social circumstances.[156] It is viewed as a “thicker and more contextual understanding of proportionality”[157] or even a shared or collective responsibility.[158]

[171]     The Supreme Court was aware of the lukewarm reaction to its guidance in Gladue and addressed the three criticisms of its interpretation of s. 718.2(e) Cr.C.: (1) sentencing is not an appropriate means of addressing over-representation of Aboriginal people in the judicial system; (2) this interpretation provides a race-based sentencing discount for Aboriginal offenders and (3) providing special treatment to Aboriginal offenders is inherently unfair.

[172]     The Supreme Court acknowledged that sentencing is not the sole, or even the primary, means of addressing Aboriginal over-representation in penal institutions, but it stated that sentencing is one means of remedying injustice against Aboriginal peoples and provides the opportunity to consider other options which will play perhaps a stronger role in restoring a sense of balance to the offender, victim, and community.

 

[173]     The Supreme Court also refuted the idea that its interpretation of s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. results in a race-based sentencing discount. In its view, systemic and background factors may bear on the culpability of an Aboriginal offender, to the extent that they shed light on his or her level of moral blameworthiness. In fact, the difficult economic situation and unfavourable social circumstances of Aboriginal peoples may reduce their moral blameworthiness. Factors related to sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate do not pertain only to the moral blameworthiness of the offender, but also to the effectiveness of the sentence on him or her. For most Aboriginals, sentencing concepts are poorly tailored to their needs, experiences and values:

[74] […] As the RCAP indicates, at p. 309, the “crushing failure” of the Canadian criminal justice system vis-à-vis Aboriginal peoples is due to “the fundamentally different world views of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with respect to such elemental issues as the substantive content of justice and the process of achieving justice”. The Gladue principles direct sentencing judges to abandon the presumption that all offenders and all communities share the same values when it comes to sentencing and to recognize that, given these fundamentally different world views, different or alternative sanctions may more effectively achieve the objectives of sentencing in a particular community. 

[Emphasis added]

[174]     The third criticism, closely related to the second, attacks the lack of fairness in the different analysis method advocated by the Supreme Court for determining sentences to be imposed on Aboriginal offenders. The Supreme Court dismissed this criticism, stating that it completely ignores the history of Aboriginal peoples and the overwhelming message emanating from the reports and commissions on Aboriginal peoples’ involvement in the justice system. These indicate that levels of criminality among Aboriginals are intimately tied to the legacy of colonialism they experienced.

[175]     From its examination of post-Gladue jurisprudence, the Supreme Court also noted the presence of errors committed by Canadian courts, errors that have significantly limited the scope of the remedial impact of s. 718.2(e) Cr.C., namely: (1) the requirement that an offender establish a causal link between background factors and his or her criminal conduct and (2) the refusal to apply Gladue to serious and violent crimes.

[176]     In the Supreme Court’s view, requiring a causal link between the systemic and background factors and the offender’s criminality reflects an inadequate understanding of the devastating intergenerational effects of the collective experiences of Aboriginal peoples, while imposing an excessively onerous evidentiary burden on them:

[83] As the Ontario Court of Appeal goes on to note in Collins, it would be extremely difficult for an Aboriginal offender to ever establish a direct causal link between his circumstances and his offending. The interconnections are simply too complex. The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba describes the issue, at p. 86:

Cultural oppression, social inequality, the loss of self-government and systemic discrimination, which are the legacy of the Canadian government’s treatment of Aboriginal people, are intertwined and interdependent factors, and in very few cases is it possible to draw a simple and direct correlation between any one of them and the events which lead an individual Aboriginal person to commit a crime or to become incarcerated.

[177]     According to the Supreme Court, the refusal to apply the principles established in Gladue to serious or violent crimes represents the “most significant issue” in the post-Gladue jurisprudence.[159] Not only does it deprive s. 718.2(e) Cr.C. of its remedial effect, it prevents courts from considering the particular circumstances of Aboriginal offenders.

***

[178]     In 2019, the Criminal Code was amended[160] to require, as part of the sentencing objectives, the obligation to give particular attention to denunciation and deterrence in cases of abuse inflicted on a vulnerable person, including an intimate partner who is an Aboriginal female:

718.04 Objectives - offence against vulnerable person - When a court imposes a sentence for an offence that involved the abuse of a person who is vulnerable because of personal circumstances - including because the person is Aboriginal and female - the court shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of offence.

 

(…)

 

718.201 Additional consideration - increased vulnerability - A court that imposes a sentence in respect of an offence that involved the abuse of an intimate partner shall consider the increased vulnerability of female persons who are victims, giving particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal female victims.

718.04 Objectifs - infraction à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable - Le tribunal qui impose une peine pour une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’une personne vulnérable en raison de sa situation personnelle, notamment en raison du fait qu’elle est une personne autochtone de sexe féminin, accorde une attention particulière aux objectifs de dénonciation et de dissuasion de l’agissement à l’origine de l’infraction.

 

(…)

 

718.201 Considération additionnelle - vulnérabilité accrue - Le tribunal qui impose une peine pour une infraction qui constitue un mauvais traitement à l’égard d’un partenaire intime prend en considération la vulnérabilité accrue des victimes de sexe féminin, en accordant une attention particulière à la situation des victimes autochtones de sexe féminin.

 

[179]     These provisions reflect the concerns expressed by the Supreme Court[161] and Canadian appellate courts[162] as regards violence suffered by women—in particular Aboriginal women—and they are a response to the recommendations made in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.[163] The report reveals that “persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and […] people”. The report also points to “a surrounding context marked by multigenerational and intergenerational trauma and marginalization in the form of poverty, insecure housing or homelessness and barriers to education, employment, health care and cultural support”. The experts who testified spoke to “specific colonial and patriarchal policies that displaced women from their traditional roles in communities and governance and diminished their status in society, leaving them vulnerable to violence”.

[180]     I note from these sources that Aboriginal women are doubly affected by the colonial policies and systemic discrimination that Aboriginal people have faced for decades.

[181]     Professor Tim Quigley commented on the recent ruling in R. v. Iqaluakjuak,[164] in which the judge applied these new provisions. He sees a certain tension between ss. 718.04 and 718.201 Cr.C.—which prescribe that particular attention must be paid to denunciation and deterrence in cases of abuse inflicted on a vulnerable person who is an Aboriginal female intimate partner—and s. 718.2 (e) Cr.C.—a remedial provision designed to ameliorate the serious problem of over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian prisons—in cases in which both the victim and the offender are Aboriginals:[165]

This case illustrates the tension that now exists between and among some of the Criminal Code provisions dealing with sentencing.

[…]

These amendments to the Code are laudable in their intent. It is long overdue that recognition be given to violence and sexual violence against women and the fact that, often, that violence is perpetrated against intimate partners. It is also important to recognize that the harm these offences cause is disproportionately inflicted upon Indigenous women.

 […]

The tension, however, is that the newer amendments are in conflict with the aim of reducing Indigenous incarceration through s. 718.2(e). That provision has, unfortunately, not been very successful in its aim, as was noted by the Supreme Court in Ipeelee. The disproportionate jailing of Indigenous people remains a constant in the Canadian justice system. The latest data from Statistics Canada bears this out.

[…]

If efforts made as a result of Gladue and Ipeelee have largely been unsuccessful, it is difficult to see how the new provisions will do anything more than exacerbate the overincarceration of Indigenous offenders.

In R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9, although calling for increased sentences for sexual offences committed against children, the Supreme Court acknowledged the limitations of the criminal justice system to reduce the incidence of such crimes. The Court therefore called for actions in other fields, such as health and education, to better deal with the sexual abuse of children. The same need exists to reduce violence against women in general, and especially against those who are Indigenous. It is very clear that Canada cannot achieve the goals of protecting vulnerable victims and reducing Indigenous incarceration through the criminal justice system and, in particular, through incarceration.

[182]     In my view, this apparent tension must be resolved, each time, by considering the circumstances of the case. As stated in s. 718 Cr.C., a fit sentence has one or more of the objectives mentioned therein: to denounce the offender’s conduct and the harm caused, to deter the offender and others from committing an offence, including an offence that involves the abuse of a person who is a vulnerable Aboriginal female, to separate the offender from society, to rehabilitate the offender, to provide reparations for the harm done, to have the offender acknowledge the harm done to the victim and to the community, the vulnerability of the victim.

[183]     The trial judge therefore has broad discretion to determine a fit sentence that is tailored to the nature of the offence, to the offender’s situation, to that of the victim and, more generally, to all the circumstances of the case.

***

[184]     In my opinion, the sentence determined by the trial judge is consistent in all respects with the Supreme Court’s guidance in Gladue and Ipeelee and takes into account the relevant penological objectives and principles applicable to crimes committed against an intimate female partner who is Aboriginal and vulnerable.

[185]     The judge looked for the most just remedial measure when faced (1) with serious crimes committed by an offender who was severely impacted by systemic and background factors present in his community and suffered from serious and worrisome personal circumstances and (2) with crimes committed against his spouse, a highly vulnerable Aboriginal victim who suffered serious and tragic consequences as a result of those crimes. Upon reading the judgment, one notes that the trial judge paid particular attention to the fact that the victim is a vulnerable Aboriginal woman.

[38]      The Court shares the position of Justice Lacoursière expressed in 2016 regarding the personal situation of the aboriginal victims:

[135] They (the victims) too have been subject to historical forces and the years of upheaval and economic development in this community. In addition to being victims of the accused’s actions, they suffer from direct or systemic discrimination. They are equally likely to suffer the negative after-effects of resettlement and, according to the Gladue report, some of them are economically and socially disadvantaged, unlike the accused. In addition, three of them are now unable to live permanently in the community.

[Emphasis added]

[186]     When the respondent committed his most recent crime, he had not yet resolved his substance abuse problem, which was at the root of his violence. He could have addressed this problem after his most recent incarceration, given that he was aware of certain resources in his community. However, one needs to depart from the description of the respondent as an ordinary person (because he lived in a violence-free and drug-free environment during his youth) who has failed to take charge of his own life. The respondent is an Inuit who has been heavily impacted not only by the Gladue factor, but, in addition, by the personal conditions the trial judge described. Moreover, it should be noted that no substance abuse treatment program is available in the community where he lives and he would have had to travel to a faraway city, which is not within the reach of a person without financial resources. The respondent completed secondary 1 and his employment prospects are extremely limited. In addition, at that time, his entourage had not yet mobilized to provide him with the necessary assistance and support.

[187]     Alcoholism is a blight on Aboriginal communities, as is conjugal violence. Imposing long detention periods is not the only means to punish offenders and protect victims, especially when the offender is Aboriginal. Indeed, the Supreme Court mentioned the ineffectiveness of such sentences, noting that due to the values and perceptions of Aboriginal peoples, separation, deterrence and denunciation will not necessarily be achieved through long prison sentences.[166] A custodial period that takes into account the moral blameworthiness of the offender and a suitable probation order coupled with the help of the offender’s family and the support of organizations with proven results in the community are more likely to achieve the sought-after objective, that is, to punish the offender and protect the victims.

[188]     According to the terms of the probation order imposed by the judge, the offender’s state of health was to be assessed during his detention and he was to participate in cultural activity programs tailored to his problems and attend the [Center A] to receive treatment to fight his alcoholism. With such measures and with the backing of his family and of support organizations such as the Justice Committee of City B and the [B Association], the respondent’s rehabilitation was a realistic and desirable objective. We now know that the prison authorities did not follow the trial judge’s recommendations and that the respondent has not yet benefitted from any assistance programs while in custody. According to information in the pre-sentence report, this is due to the fact that he was placed in the facility’s maximum security section because of the nature of the charges. This is an unfortunate decision, given that the respondent’s violence, which is associated with alcohol consumption, is necessarily absent in a prison environment. With the respondent’s consent, the Court is now in a position to transform the trial judge’s recommendations into a mandatory order to better circumscribe his rehabilitation during probation.

[189]     One should not lose sight of the fact that the trial judge was acting on the front lines of the justice system in a difficult context resulting from the effect of systemic and background factors on Aboriginal peoples; as a judge of the Court of Québec in Abitibi, she has personal and institutional knowledge of the community she is serving, particularly this small isolated village located in northern Québec, the needs of its citizens,[167] the resources available to them, the values they share, the organizations that can assist offenders, the programs offered and their effectiveness, the benefits such offenders can derive from them, the vulnerability of Aboriginal women and the violence that is rampant in this community, particularly due to alcohol consumption. Indeed, in her judgment, the judge indicated that she had taken judicial notice of the various programs and alternative measures offered in the respondent’s community. They are listed succinctly in the recommendations of the Gladue report which the judge reproduced in paragraph 93 of her judgment.

[190]     The sentencing decision of a trial judge merits considerable deference, as the Supreme Court recalled in R. v. Nasogaluak.[168] The following are the principal points that emerge from that judgment:

6.    The language in ss. 718 to 718.2 Cr. C. is sufficiently general to ensure that the judge has broad discretion to craft a sentence that is tailored to the nature of the offence and the circumstances of the offender;

7.    The determination of a fit sentence is an individualized process that requires the judge to weigh the objectives of sentencing while considering the circumstances of the case;

8.    It falls to the judge to determine which objective or objectives merit the greatest weight;

9.    The relative importance of any mitigating or aggravating factors will then push the sentence up or down the scale of appropriate sentences;

10. An appellate court cannot find that there is an error in principle because it would have given more weight to a relevant factor or less weight to another, since doing so would amount to abandoning deference altogether.

[191]     In R. v. Friesen,[169] the Supreme Court stated the following regarding the deferential appellate standard of review:

[38] The deferential appellate standard of review is designed to ensure that sentencing judges can individualize sentencing both in method and outcome. Sentencing judges have considerable scope to apply the principles of sentencing in any manner that suits the features of a particular case. Different methods may even be required to account properly for relevant systemic and background factors (Ipeelee, at para. 59). Similarly, a particular combination of aggravating and mitigating factors may call for a sentence that lies far from any starting point and outside any range (see Lacasse, at para. 58; Nasogaluak, at para. 44; R . v. Suter, 2018 SCC 34, [2018] 2 S.C.R. 496, at para. 4).

[192]     In the present case, given the knowledge tied to the trial judge’s familiarity with the community in question and with the personal experiences of its members, I prefer to defer to her wisdom in applying sentencing objectives and principles and her choice of the sentence she considered appropriate in light of all the circumstances, after weighing the relevant principles, objectives and factors. I will come back to this later.

***

[193]     In my opinion, the trial judge did not commit any error in principle that had an effect on the sentence imposed.

[194]     The pre-sentence report concludes that, if the respondent does not efficiently address his substance abuse problem, the risks of recidivism are very high. The judge did not dismiss this finding. On the contrary, she followed the recommendations in the report. To that effect, in addition to imposing a two-year prison sentence—which the respondent will serve in custody, as the pre-sentence report suggests—she imposed a long probation period that includes conditions intended to help him fight his alcohol dependency and she also ensured that he would have the support of his family and recognized community organizations.

[195]     The trial judge considered the respondent’s intoxication at the time he committed the crimes to be a mitigating factor because, in her opinion, it decreased his degree of moral blameworthiness. There is no one answer in this situation. Everything depends on the circumstances. When the situation involves an Aboriginal person, such as the respondent, who comes from a community where substance abuse and violence are omnipresent, I do not believe it is an error to conclude that it is a mitigating factor. This is what the British Columbia Court of Appeal held in R. v. Pop[170] and R. v. Leslie[171] and our Court in Denis-Damée c. R.[172]

[196]     Furthermore, it appears that, even if the judge had committed an error in considering the respondent’s intoxication to be a mitigating factor, the error did not affect the sentence imposed. The portion of the judgment that deals with sentencing does not mention it. The judge’s decision focused most on the possibilities of resolving the respondent’s health and substance abuse problems, the realistic prospects for rehabilitation and the interests of his children.

 

***

 

 

 

[197]     A review of the jurisprudence indicates that the range of sentences applicable to Aboriginal offenders[173] for the crimes committed (one to nine years, with sentences of three to five years being most common) is very similar to that applicable to non-Aboriginal offenders[174] (one to ten years, with sentences of four to six years being most common).

[198]     This leads me to make the following two points.

[199]     First, a reading of the jurisprudence applicable to Aboriginal offenders shows an inadequate application by the courts of the factors developed in Gladue and Ipeelee.[175]

[200]     For example, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory, in R. v. Betsidea[176] and R. v. D.C.,[177] both erred in not considering the offender to be “sufficiently Aboriginal” to give weight to the Gladue factors. In R. v. J.A.,[178]  the judge, without making the necessary distinctions, held fast to the mantra stated in paragraph 79 of Gladue to the effect that the more violent the offence, the more similar the sentence of an Aboriginal will be to that of a non-Aboriginal.[179] The decisions in R. v. G.M.F.[180] and R. v. G.C.P.[181] reveal reasoning that transforms the Gladue factors into aggravating factors.[182] The first considers the fact that the offender has normalized violence towards women, due to his social context and background, as an aggravating consideration.[183] The second justifies imposing an adult sentence on a minor due, among other things, to the level of maturity stemming from his troubling history.[184]

[201]     Second, on the broader question of whether the current jurisprudence reveals an effective application of the Supreme Court’s guidance in Gladue and Ipeelee in the context of violent offences, studies by leading authors show that this is not the case.

[202]     Professors Denis-Boileau and Sylvestre reviewed 635 trial and appellate judgments rendered after Ipeelee, between 2012 and 2015, that deal with sentencing of an Aboriginal person.[185] This study revealed the following:

 

·        34% of decisions do not mention background and systemic factors;

·        15% of decisions consider that these factors are not applicable or less applicable, because of the seriousness of the offence (in half the cases), or for other reasons (connection to the Aboriginal community too tenuous, offender not “enough of a victim”, of the background and systemic factors, lack of a causal link, lack of information, prioritization of the security of the public, etc.);

·        31% of the decisions do not explain how these factors were considered and/or the impact of their consideration in arriving at the sentence;

[203]     It follows that only 20% of the decisions can be classified as having a “satisfactory analysis”[186] of the background and systemic factors. This figure falls to 15% when the analysis pertains to instances of conjugal and family violence.[187] Moreover, out of the general sample, only one judgment in five includes background and systemic factors in the proportionality analysis, because the courts tend to favour the notion of objective gravity over the notion of degree of responsibility.[188]

[204]     Similarly, Professor Roach identified the judgments rendered by Canadian appellate courts since Ipeelee up to April 2019.[189] He makes specific observations for each court and, generally, concludes that the connection between background and systemic factors and the degree of moral blameworthiness “remains a nascent and under-theorized development”.[190] Rather than explaining this connection or truly taking it into account, appellate courts have merely asserted it.[191] Consequently, the analysis of moral blameworthiness on appeal has remained superficial. Background factors are applied chiefly to rehabilitation, an objective that loses importance in the most serious cases. No appellate court has systematically associated background factors with the effectiveness of objectives such as deterrence, denunciation or separation and no appellate court has discussed the relevance of Aboriginal law in sentencing.

[205]     Professor Roach also decries the reliance on “slogans” often used by the courts—to the effect that Gladue factors are not “an excuse” or “an automatic reduction” of the sentence—in order to avoid applying those factors.[192]

[206]     As for the reasons why courts have shown resistance to applying the guidance of the Supreme Court, a number of authors point to legislative hurdles and practical hurdles, such as the difficulty in obtaining a Gladue report and the lack of community resources.[193] They also note that judges are unaware of the available programs and treatments.[194]

[207]     Authors Denis-Boileau and Sylvestre also mention the following reasons: the difficulty to conceive of a sentence in anything other than punitive terms, the broad scope of the concept of the “gravity” of the offence, the manner in which Gladue factors increase the risk of recidivism,[195] the conception of individual responsibility and, lastly, the concern for formal equality that “imposing reduced sentences for Indigenous offenders could send the message that Indigenous victims are less deserving of protection”.[196] On this last point, Professor Roach deplores the fact that “urgent needs to respond to and minimize the criminal victimization of Indigenous people became a reason for courts to retreat from or even abandon their obligation to apply Gladue factors to all sentencing purposes”. According to Professor Roach, by refusing to apply the Gladue factors, courts risk “piling suffering on top of suffering.”[197]

[208]     Author Noah Wernikowski discusses the concept of individual responsibility, one that is overly embedded in the judicial system, while Ipeelee invites judges, the key players in that system, to consider elements outside their realm of expertise, such as race relations, the history of colonialism and discrimination, poverty and other sociological realities. The author notes that jurisprudential sentencing practices, such as using “starting points”[198] and “sentencing ranges”, bind the courts and prevent them from considering non-incarceration options, innovative approaches or restorative justice oriented sentences.

***

[209]     The trial judge did not commit the errors identified and criticized by the authors.  She considered all of the circumstances of the case. In particular, she weighed the fact that the crime involved a vulnerable common-law spouse (paras. 34 to 37), she considered the vulnerability of Aboriginal women (para. 38), the consequences of the crimes on the victim (paras. 39 to 44) and fact that the offender had a lesser a degree of blameworthiness because of the Gladue factor.

[210]     She chose a sentence of two years less a day (which represents a substantial increase, being four times harsher in relation to the sentences imposed for the prior crimes) coupled with a tailored long probationary period (three times longer). Although the sentence has a deterrent and denunciatory component (the respondent will be under judicial authority for five years), it focuses on the respondent’s rehabilitation, one of the objectives of sentencing (s. 718 (d) Cr.C.). This is a realistic objective given (1) the judge’s assessment of the evidence that the respondent has an interest in resolving his alcoholism, among other things, (2) the assistance offered by his entourage, (3) the support and mobilization of reputable organizations within his community, and (4) the recommendations in the Gladue report, all without neglecting the protection of the victim and of the other members of the community.

[211]     This sentence is not demonstrably unfit. In addition to considering of all the penological objectives and principles, one must not be insensitive to the fact that the conditions of incarceration for an Aboriginal person (in a non-Aboriginal prison) are much harsher than for non-Aboriginals, given the absence of linguistic and cultural support, the isolation from one’s loved ones, the linguistic isolation, discrimination on the part of the other inmates, etc.

[212]     I would add that the measures chosen by the judge to encourage the respondent’s rehabilitation also reflects the values recognized by Aboriginal justice, by giving significant weight to the participation of an City B community organization:


 

 

 


Société [...]

May 17. 2019

To Whom it May Concern

Re: Support to L. P. in his reintegration to City D

The justice committee of City B, named L. P. of City B has at this time 1 coordinator 1 Assistant A. N. and 6 members who can offer support and guidance to L. P.. The justice committee members offer non-formal traditional counselling. The committee will also organize traditional activities with clients and at time, which could include family or spouse. L. P. will also meet with an aunt who will guide him and support him since he forgets easily of what he needs to remember for example if he needs to see a coordinator or member of justice that the aunt N. P. will guide him. The committee will be able to meet L. as soon as he is released back to his community.

City B has additional resources that L. could be supported by, and the justice committee can liaise with those resources as well, to ensure that L. receives the support and structure he needs in various forms.

L. has asked support to the justice committee and therefore, the justice committee has been reached and is willing to work with Ph. A. or to the assistant A. N. to guide him to stay on a positive and healthy path.

 

 

 

 


***

 

[213]     Consequently, I would not alter the sentence imposed, but I would allow the appeal for the sole purpose of transforming the recommendations contained in paragraph 114 of the trial judgment into an order, given the respondent’s agreement to submit thereto, and so as to modify the calculation of the time spent in preventive detention in accordance with the figures indicated by my colleague Ruel, J.A.

 

 

 

FRANCE THIBAULT, J.A.

 

 



[1] R. v. L.P., 2019 QCCQ 8755 [Judgment under appeal].

[2] Judgment under appeal, at para. 2.

[3] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 3 to 5.

[4] Judgment under appeal, at para. 6.

[5] Judgment under appeal, at para. 7.

[6] Judgment under appeal, at para. 8.

[7] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 9 to 10.

[8] Judgment under appeal, at para. 10.

[9] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 11 to 12.

[10] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 39 to 44. She refers to R. v. Arcand2010 ABCA 363.

[11] Criminal Code, at s. 267(a).

[12] Criminal Code, at s. 267(b).

[13] Criminal Code, at s. 273(1)(2)(b).

[14] Criminal Code, at s. 733.1(1)(b).

[15] Judgment under appeal, at para. 13.

[16] Judgment under appeal, at para. 14.

[17] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 13 and 15.

[18] Criminal Code, at s. 268(1).

[19] Criminal Code, at s. 279(2)(a).

[20] Judgment under appeal, at para. 48.

[21] Judgment under appeal, at para. 97.

[22] Judgment under appeal, at para. 103.

[23] Judgment under appeal, at para. 53.

[24] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 99 and 100.

[25] Judgment under appeal, at paras. 101 and 102.

[26] R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688.

[27] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13.

[28] R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9, at paras. 26 and 27; R. v. Lacasse, 2015 SCC 64, at paras. 41, 43 and 44.

[29] R. v. Suter, 2018 SCC 34, at para. 46; R. v. Lacasse, 2015 SCC 64, at para. 54; R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 6, at para. 43; R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at para. 38.

[30] R. v. Lacasse, 2015 SCC 64, at para. 54; R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 6, at para. 43.

[31] R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at para. 66.

[32] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at para. 1.

[33] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at para. 60; Denis-Damée c. R., 2018 QCCA 1251, at para. 68.

[34] R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at para. 70.

[35] R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at para. 88.

[36] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at para. 69.

[37] Victims Bill of Rights Act, S.C. 2015, c. 13, s. 24. Before this amendment, section 718.2(e) read: “all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders”.

[38] House of Commons, House of Commons Debates, 41st Parl., 2nd Sess., vol. 147, no. 72, April 9, 2014, p. 4489 (P. MacKay).

[39] R. c. Guerrero Silva, 2015 QCCA 1334, at para. 72; Veillette c. R., 2010 QCCA 410, at para. 20; R c. Laurendeau, 2007 QCCA 1593, at para. 19.

[40] An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, S.C. 2019, c. 25, sections 292.1 and 293.1; under section 406 of this Act, sections 292.1 and 293.1 came into force on the 90th day following royal assent, which occurred on June 21, 2019; therefore, sections 718.04 and 718.201 of the Criminal Code came into force on September 19, 2019.

[41] R v. Whitehead, 2016 SKCA 165, at para. 83.

[42] R. v. Williams, 2011 BCCA 194, at para. 9.

[43] R. v. A.D., 2019 ABCA 396; while the case was rendered on October 21, 2019, it did not specifically address or discuss the application of the new section 718.201 of the Criminal Code.

[44] R. v. A.D., 2019 ABCA 396, at paras. 25, 26 and 29.

[45] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Ottawa, 2019.

[46] House of Commons, House of Commons Debates, 42nd Parl., 1st Sess., vol. 148, no. 435, June 17, 2019, p. 29245 (D. Lametti); Library of Parliament, Legislative Summary - Bill C-75: An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, May 7, 2018, at p. 11, online: https://lop.parl.ca/staticfiles/PublicWebsite/Home/ResearchPublications/LegislativeSummaries/PDF/42-1/c75-e.pdf.

[47] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1a, Ottawa, 2019, at p. 55.

[48] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1a, Ottawa, 2019, at p. 442.

[49] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1a, Ottawa, 2019, at pp. 461 and 469 to 471.

[50] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1a, Ottawa, 2019, at pp. 693 to 700.

[51] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1a, Ottawa, 2019, at p. 717.

[52] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1a, Ottawa, 2019, at p. 717.

[53] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, vol. 1b, Ottawa, 2019, at p. 185; Bill S-215, titled An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for violent offences against Aboriginal women), 42nd Parl. (Can.), 1st Sess., 2016, was defeated in the House of Commons’ second reading on April 10, 2019; it provided that the fact that the victim of the offence was “a female person who is Indian, Inuit or Métis” had to be considered as an aggravating circumstance, but only for a few specific offences (such as murder or sexual assault).

[54] R. v. Barton, 2019 SCC 33, at para. 204.

[55] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at para. 60.

[56] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at paras. 59 and 63; R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at paras 50 and 93.

[57] R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at para. 73.

[58] R. v. Iqalukjuaq, 2020 NUCJ 15, at para. 35.

[59] Judgment under appeal, at para. 43.

[60] Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Dr. Elizabeth Comack, “Addressing Gendered Violence against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat”, University of Manitoba, January 9, 2020, at p. 6, 12, online: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rvw-plc-prctcs-pauk/rvw-plc-prctcs-pauk-en.pdf, quoted in R. v. Iqalukjuaq, 2020 NUCJ 15, at para. 10.

[61] R. v. Espinosa Ribadeneira, 2019 NSCA 7, at para. 79; R. v. Leslie, 2016 BCCA 213, at para. 34; R. v. Pop, 2013 BCCA 160, at para. 28; Clayton C. Ruby et al., Sentencing, 9th ed., Toronto, LexisNexis, 2017, at paras. 5.275, 5.278 and 5.279.

[62] Clayton C. Ruby et al., Sentencing, 9th ed., Toronto, LexisNexis, 2017, at para. 5.275.

[63] Régimballe c. R., 2012 QCCA 1290, at para. 62; see also: Gignac Joncas c. R., 2019 QCCA 1635, at para. 16; E.D. c. R., 2016 QCCA 544, at para. 38; Clayton C. Ruby et al., Sentencing, 9th ed., Toronto, LexisNexis, 2017, at para. 5.279.

[64] G.D. c. R., 2013 QCCA 726, at para. 21; Hugues Parent and Julie Desrosiers, Traité de droit criminel, 2nd ed., t. 3 “La peine”, Montreal, Thémis, 2016, at p. 149, para. 96.

[65] R. c. Quévillon, J.E. 99-677, 1999 CanLII 13599, at p. 10 (Que. C.A.).

[66] R. c. M. C., 2004 CanLII 15515 (CQ) (the offender forcibly had sexual intercourse with the victim and punched her in the face; global sentence of 48 months, including 12 months for sexual assault causing bodily harm plus a 3-year probation); Veillette c. R., 2010 QCCA 410 (as the victim was lying down, the offender walked into the room with a knife, held her down, threatened her, stuck her vagina with the point of the knife; global sentence of 6 years, including 24 months for sexual assault with a weapon); R. v. Dariani, 2011 BCCA 143 (the offender anally and vaginally raped the victim, he inserted different objects in her; global sentence of 3 years, including 3 years for sexual assault with a weapon); R. v. Ahmadzai, 2013 BCCA 410 (the offender forcibly had sexual intercourse with the victim, keeping an imitation of a pistol close to him to intimidate her; global sentence of 7 years, including 4 years for sexual assault using an imitation firearm); R. v. M.A, 2019 BCSC 1544 (the offender forced the complainant to have vaginal and anal intercourse on a regular basis, two of the assaults involved the offender inserting a knife into the victim’s vagina or anus; global sentence of 9 years, including 4 years for sexual assault causing bodily harm and 4 years for sexual assault with a weapon, consecutively); R c. S.B., 2019 NBCP 8 (the offender forcibly had anal intercourse with the victim and inserted different objects into her vagina; global sentence of 8 years including 6 years for sexual assault with an weapon and causing bodily harm); R v. Dyck, 2014 SKCA 93 (the offender caused serious anal and vaginal injuries to the victim; global sentence of 7 years, including 6 years for aggravated sexual assault); R. c. E.F., 2016 QCCQ 4547 (the offender strangled the victim while sexually assaulting her; global sentence of 8 years, including 8 years for aggravated sexual assault); R. v. Asapace, 2011 SKCA 139 (as the victim was sleeping with her new boyfriend, the offender walked into the room, hit her with a baseball bat on her head, her back and her ankles, and forced her to perform fellatio while continuing to punch her in the head; global sentence of 9 years, including 9 years for aggravated sexual assault); R. c. H.K., 2013 QCCQ 20167, appeal allowed in H.K. c. R., 2015 QCCA 64 only regarding time spent in pre-trial custody (the offender stuck the victim with a knife or a fork on many parts of her body, one assault involved him pressing a hot pan on her arms, legs and buttocks, another assault involved him using hot metal skewers to burn her buttocks and genitals; global sentence of 10 years, including 10 years for sexual assault causing bodily harm); R. v. G.L.J.P., 2004 NSSC 8 (the offender, after slashing the victim’s face with a kitchen knife, raped her while in possession of one or two knives; global sentence of 10 years, including 10 years for sexual assault using a weapon).

[67] Criminal Code, at ss. 267(a), 267(b) and 279(2)(a).

[68] Criminal Code, at s. 268(2).

[69] Criminal Code, at s. 273(2)(b).

[70] R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at para. 78.

[71] R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at para. 78.

[72] R. c. Rayo, 2018 QCCA 824, at paras. 51 to 53; R. c. Guerrero Silva, 2015 QCCA 1334, at para. 55.

[73] Criminal Code, at s. 718.3(4)(b)(i).

[74] Judgment under appeal, at para. 21.

[75] R. v. Summers, 2014 SCC 26.

[76] R. v. Summers, 2014 SCC 26, at para. 2.

[77] R. v. Summers, 2014 SCC 26, at para. 67; R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, at paras. 56 to 58; R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, at paras. 58 to 65 and 68.

[78] R v. Cardinal, 2017 ABCA 396, at para. 16. See also R v. Singh, 2016 MBCA 38, at para. 14; R. v. Bourque, 2013 BCCA 447, at para. 26.

[79] R. v. Knott, 2012 SCC 42, at para. 45.

[80] R. v. Mathieu, 2008 SCC 21, at para. 19.

[81]    Comme le précise mon collègue Ruel, la juge a commis une erreur dans le calcul de la période de détention provisoire. Cette erreur a été portée à l’attention des avocats, qui en ont convenu, à l’audience devant la Cour.

[82]    Ministère de la Justice du Canada, « La lumière sur l’arrêt Gladue : défis, expériences et possibilités dans le système de justice pénale canadien », Ottawa, Ministère de la Justice Canada, septembre 2017, en ligne : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/gladue/index.html (consulté le 14 août 2020), p. 8.

[83]    Ministère de la Justice du Canada, « La lumière sur l’arrêt Gladue : défis, expériences et possibilités dans le système de justice pénale canadien », Ottawa, Ministère de la Justice Canada, septembre 2017, en ligne : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/gladue/index.html (consulté le 14 août 2020), p. 5.

[84]    R. c. Gladue, [1999] 1 R.C.S. 688, paragr. 64.

[85]    R. c. Gladue, [1999] 1 R.C.S. 688, paragr. 67.

[86]    R. c. Gladue, [1999] 1 R.C.S. 688, paragr. 70.

[87]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13.

[88]    Pour un portrait de la situation actuelle, voir Ministère de la Justice du Canada, « La lumière sur l’arrêt Gladue : défis, expériences et possibilités dans le système de justice pénale canadien », Ottawa, Ministère de la Justice Canada, septembre 2017, en ligne : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/gladue/index.html (consulté le 14 août 2020), p. 8-9.

[89]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 66.

[90]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 67.

[91]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 67.

[92]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 67

[93]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 59.

[94]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 72.

[95]    R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 72.

[96]    Jonathan Rudin “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in R. v. Ipeelee.” (2012) 27 Supreme Court Law Review 375, cité dans Ministère de la Justice du Canada, « La lumière sur l’arrêt Gladue : défis, expériences et possibilités dans le système de justice pénale canadien », Ottawa, Ministère de la Justice Canada, septembre 2017, en ligne : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/gladue/index.html (consulté le 14 août 2020), p. 20.

[97]    Noah Wernikowski, « Negative Retributivism: A Response to R. v. Ipeelee’s Innovative Call », 2020 67 C.L.Q. 372.

[98]    Kent Roach, « The Charter versus the Government’s Crime Agenda » (2012) 58 S.C.L.R. (2d) 211.

[99]    Marie-Ève Sylvestre, « The (Re) Discovery of the Proportionality Principle in Sentencing in Ipeelee: Constitutionalization and the Emergence of Collective Responsibility » (2013) 63 S.C.L.R. 461.

[100]   R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 84 et suivants.

[101]   Il s’agit des articles 718.04 et 718.201 C.cr. Ces dispositions ont été introduites par La Loi modifiant le Code criminel, la Loi sur le système de justice pénale pour adolescents et d’autres lois et apportant des modifications corrélatives à certaines lois, L.C. 2019 ch. 25. Cette loi a été sanctionnée le 21 juin 2019 et les nouvelles dispositions sont entrées en vigueur le 19 septembre 2019, entre les représentations sur la peine (21 mai 2019) et la sentence (25 octobre 2019).

[102]   R. c. Barton, 2019 CSC 33.

[103]   R. v. A.D. 2019 ABCA 396; R. v. William, 2011 BCCA 194.

[104]   Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées, Réclamer notre pouvoir et notre place : le rapport final de l’Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées, Ottawa, 2019, vol. 1b, p. 209, appel à la justice no 5.18.

[105]   R. v. Iqalukjuaq, 2020 NUCJ 15.

[106]   Institut national de la magistrature, « R. c. Iqalukjuaq », (11 septembre 2020) 306 Bulletin de droit criminel 36, p. 37-39, Commentaires de Tim Quigley.

[107]   R. c. Ipeelee, 2012 CSC 13, paragr. 73 et 74.

[108]   Un recensement réalisé en 2011 indique que Ville B compte 1597 habitants.

[109]   R. c. Nasogaluak, 2010 CSC 206, paragr. 43 à 46. Plus récemment, la Cour suprême a réitéré ces enseignements dans R. c. Lacasse, 2015 CSC 64, paragr. 64 et R. c. Friesen, 2020 CSC 9, paragr. 25-29 et 38.

[110]   R. c Friesen, 2020 CSC 9, paragr. 38.

[111]  R. v. Pop, 2013 BCCA 160, paragr. 27-28.

[112]   R. v. Leslie, 2016 BCCA 213, paragr. 34.

[113]   Denis-Damée c. R., 2018 QCCA 1251, paragr. 103-105.

[114]   R. v. J.J., 2004 NLCA 81 (le contrevenant insère une bouteille de bière dans le vagin de la victime pendant qu’elle dort; le juge de la peine prononce une peine de 2 ans d’emprisonnement dans la collectivité suivant la recommandation d’un cercle de détermination de la peine; la Cour d’appel de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador identifie des erreurs commises par le juge de première instance, mais décide de ne pas intervenir puisque le contrevenant a arrêté de boire, n’a pas récidivé, prenait soin de ses enfants et semblait avoir repris sa vie en main. Le juge de première instance mentionne qu’il aurait considéré une peine appropriée de 4 ans n’eût été le cercle de détermination de la peine; R. v. J.A., 2013 NUCJ 7 (le contrevenant insère son poing dans le vagin de la victime et frappe le vagin à répétition; peine globale de 6 ans, dont 1 an pour agression sexuelle causant des lésions corporelles); R. v. Betsidea, 2007 NWTSC 85 (le contrevenant frappe la victime au visage à plusieurs reprises, la déshabille et coupe sa cuisse; 30 mois + 2 ans de probation); R. v. B.T.T., 2009 YKTC 88 (le contrevenant donne des coups de pieds, des coups de poings et des claques à sa conjointe, l’étrangle, introduit ses doigts dans son vagin, la projette contre le mur et continue à la frapper; 2 ans moins un jour + 3 ans de probation); R. v. D.C., 2005 YKSC 30 (le contrevenant pince et mord les seins de sa conjointe, insère ses doigts dans son vagin, la jette par terre et l’étrangle; 36 mois + 3 ans de probation); R. v. G.C.P., 2015 MBQB 160 (le contrevenant insère un objet du diamètre d’un bâton de baseball au moins dans le vagin et dans l’anus de la victime; 4 ans et demi; le juge refuse d’imposer une peine de jeune contrevenant puisque cela n’aurait pas représenté le degré de culpabilité du contrevenant; R. v. R.L.W., 2011 BCSC 1363, appel rejeté dans R. v. R.L.W., 2013 BCCA 50 (le contrevenant force la victime à avoir une relation sexuelle anale pendant une période prolongée, mord ses seins et la force à faire une fellation en visionnant des images de pornographie juvénile; peine globale de 6 ans et 7 mois, dont 5 ans pour agression sexuelle causant des lésions corporelles; R. v. G.M.F., 2016 MBQB 208 (le contrevenant frappe la victime au visage et à la tête à plusieurs reprises, la pousse, lui donne des coups de pieds entre les jambes et au visage, l’étouffe, pointe un couteau contre ses côtes et l’oblige à une relation sexuelle; peine globale de 9 ans, dont 9 ans pour agression sexuelle armée).

[115]   R. c. M. C., 2004 CanLII 15515 (C.Q.) (le contrevenant se couche sur la victime, enlève ses pantalons et la frappe au visage; peine globale de 48 mois, dont 12 mois pour une agression sexuelle causant des lésions corporelles + 3 ans de probation); Veillette c. R., 2010 QCCA 410 (le contrevenant tient la victime couchée, la menace avec un couteau, pique son vagin avec le couteau; peine globale de 6 ans, dont 24 mois pour agression sexuelle armée); R. v. Dariani, 2011 BCCA 143 (le contrevenant tient la victime captive pendant 12 heures, la viole (vagin et anus) et insère différents objets dans la victime; peine globale de 3 ans, dont 3 ans pour agression sexuelle armée); R. v. Ahmadzai, 2013 BCCA 410 (le contrevenant force la victime à avoir une relation sexuelle avec une fausse arme à proximité de façon à l’intimider; peine globale de 7 ans, dont 4 ans pour agression sexuelle avec usage de fausse arme à feu); R. v. M.A, 2019 BCSC 1544 (le contrevenant force la victime à avoir des relations vaginales et anales de façon régulière, dont deux agressions avec insertion de couteau dans le vagin ou dans l’anus; peine globale de 9 ans, dont 4 ans pour agression sexuelle causant des lésions corporelles et 4 ans pour agression sexuelle armée, de façon consécutive); R c. S.B., 2019 NBCP (le contrevenant force la victime à avoir des relations sexuelles, insère différents objets dans son vagin et l’étouffe; peine globale de 8 ans dont 6 ans pour agression sexuelle armée); R v. Dyck, 2014 SKCA 93 (le contrevenant cause des lésions importantes au vagin et à l’anus de la victime; peine globale de 7 ans, dont 6 ans pour agression sexuelle grave); R. c. E.F., 2016 QCCQ 4547 (le contrevenant étrangle la victime alors qu’il la force à avoir des relations vaginales, anales et des fellations; peine globale de 8 ans, dont 8 ans pour agression sexuelle grave); R. v. Asapace, 2011 SKCA 139 (le contrevenant surprend la victime avec son nouveau conjoint, lui donne des coups de bâton de baseball, de cintre, de poing et de pied et la force à performer une fellation en la frappant sur la tête; peine globale de 9 ans, dont 9 ans pour agressions sexuelle grave); R. c. H.K., 2013 QCCQ 20167, appel accueilli dans H.K. c. R., 2015 QCCA 64 à l’égard du temps passé en détention préventive seulement (sur une longue période, le contrevenant agresse la victime, en la giflant, la frappant avec un câble d’antenne, la piquant avec un couteau, et pressant du métal chauffé sur ses bras, jambes, fesses et parties génitales; peine globale de 10 ans, dont 10 ans pour agression sexuelle causant des lésions corporelles; R. v. G.L.J.P., 2004 NSSC 8 (le contrevenant coupe le visage de la victime avec un couteau et la viole avec un ou deux couteaux en sa possession; peine globale de 10 ans, dont 10 ans pour agression sexuelle armée).

[116] Notons que près de la moitié des décisions citées ont d’ailleurs été rendues avant Ipeelee.

[117]   R. v. Betsidea, 2007 NWTSC 85, p. 21.

[118]   R. v. D.C., 2005 YKSC 30, paragr. 45.

[119]   R. v. J.A., 2013 NUCJ 7.

[120]   R. v. J.A., 2013 NUCJ 7, paragr. 63.

[121]   R. v. G.M.F., 2016 MBQB 208.

[122]   R. v. G.C.P., 2015 MBQB 160.

[123]   Un autre exemple illustratif de cette erreur fréquente est l’arrêt R. c. Hervieux Riverin, 2014 QCCA 2087, paragr. 7, où la Cour retient l’absence d’antécédents professionnels, de soutien communautaire ou familial, la toxicomanie et les problèmes de santé mentale du contrevenant comme justifiant une plus grande implication du système de justice.

[124]   R. v. G.M.F., 2016 MBQB 208, paragr. 27-28 et 34.

[125]   R. v. G.C.P., 2015 MBQB 160, paragr. 44.

[126]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau et Marie-Ève Sylvestre, « Ipeelee et le Devoir de Résistance », (2016) 21 Can. Crim. L. Rev. 73. Comme le souligne les auteures, l’échantillon est relativement modeste, surtout considérant la quantité importante de décisions rendues oralement. Il s’agit néanmoins d’une étude qualitative convaincante sur la jurisprudence postérieure à Ipeelee.

[127]   Les auteures précisent que « le caractère satisfaisant de l'analyse ne découle pas d'une application juste des facteurs systémiques, mais de la présence d'une analyse [leur] permettant de constater que le juge a véritablement soupesé ces facteurs dans l'exercice de détermination de la peine ». Ainsi, elles ont « interprété libéralement cette catégorie et inclus les jugements dans lesquels [elles] pouv[aient] minimalement reconnaître qu'il y avait eu application des facteurs ». Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau et Marie-Ève Sylvestre, « Ipeelee et le Devoir de Résistance », (2016) 21 Can. Crim. L. Rev. 73, p. 90.

[128]   En cas de violence conjugale et familiale, les chiffres sont détaillés de la façon suivante :

•     27% ne mentionnent pas des facteurs historiques et systémiques;

•     21% les considèrent non applicables ou moins applicables;

•     36% contiennent une analyse insatisfaisante;

•     15% contiennent une analyse satisfaisante.

[129]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau et Marie-Ève Sylvestre, « Ipeelee et le Devoir de Résistance », (2016) 21 Can. Crim. L. Rev. 73, p. 92.

[130]   Kent Roach, « Ipeelee in the Courts of Appeal: Some Progress but Much Work Remains », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 386.

[131]   Kent Roach, « Ipeelee in the Courts of Appeal: Some Progress but Much Work Remains », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 386.

[132]   L’auteur complimente cependant la Cour d’appel du Québec pour son application du facteur Gladue et il réfère aux arrêts Denis-Damée c. R., 2018 QCCA 1251 et R. v. Diabo, 2018 QCCA 1631.

[133]   Kent Roach, « Plan B for Implementing Gladue: The Need to Apply background Factors to the Punitive Sentencing Purposes », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 355, p. 2.

[134]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau et Marie-Ève Sylvestre, « Ipeelee et le Devoir de Résistance », (2016) 21 Can. Crim. L. Rev.  73, p. 103; Noah Wernikowski, « Negative Retributivism : A Response to R. v. Ipeelee’s Innovative Call », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 37; Ministère de la Justice du Canada, « La lumière sur l’arrêt Gladue : défis, expériences et possibilités dans le système de justice pénale canadien », Ottawa, Ministère de la Justice Canada, septembre 2017, en ligne : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/gladue/index.html (consulté le 14 août 2020), p. 29-34.

[135]   Kent Roach, « Plan B for Implementing Gladue: The Need to Apply background Factors to the Punitive Sentencing Purposes », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 355, p. 5.

[136]   Les autrices citent le travail de Nate Jackson et écrivent :

En effet, plusieurs outils sont utilisés afin de calculer le risque. Ceux-ci évaluent le niveau d'éducation, l'emploi, la maladie mentale, l'historique criminelle, l'abus de substance en cours, les psychoses actives, l'instabilité, la réponse au traitement, le stress, le niveau de colère, l'hostilité. Tous ces outils d'évaluation du risque fonctionnent en comparant le sujet à une base statistique. Or, cette base statistique est déterminée selon une prémisse de neutralité ethnique et raciale, ce qui la rend questionnable lorsqu'il est question de minorités. La difficile réalité des autochtones fait en sorte qu'il serait difficile d'imaginer que ces derniers obtiennent un « bon » résultat à ces tests. Les autochtones sont donc automatiquement désavantagés.

[137]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau et Marie-Ève Sylvestre, « Ipeelee et le Devoir de Résistance », (2016) 21 Can. Crim. L. Rev.  73, p. 114.

[138]   Kent Roach, « Plan B for Implementing Gladue: The Need to Apply background Factors to the Punitive Sentencing Purposes », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 355, p. 10 [Traduction].

[139]   Il s’agit d’une pratique particulière à certaines juridictions, notamment l’Alberta.

*     Unofficial English translation of the reasons of Thibault, J.A.

[140]   As my colleague Ruel J.A. notes, the judge made a calculation error regarding the preventive custody period. At the hearing before this Court, the error was brought to the attention of counsel for the parties, who conceded that an error had been made.

[141]   Department of Justice, Canada, “Spotlight on Gladue: Challenges, Experiences, and Possibilities in Canada’s Criminal Justice System”, Ottawa, Department of Justice, Canada, September 2017, online: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/gladue/index.html (consulted August 14, 2020), p. 7.

[142]   Department of Justice, Canada, “Spotlight on Gladue: Challenges, Experiences, and Possibilities in Canada’s Criminal Justice System”, Ottawa, Department of Justice, Canada, September 2017, online: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/gladue/index.html (consulted August 14, 2020), p. 5.

[143]   R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, para. 64.

[144]   R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, para. 67.

[145]   R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, para. 70.

[146]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13.

[147]   For a description of the current situation, see Department of Justice, Canada, “Spotlight on Gladue: Challenges, Experiences, and Possibilities in Canada’s Criminal Justice System”, Ottawa, Department of Justice, Canada, September 2017, online: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/gladue/index.html (consulted August 14, 2020), pp. 7-8.

[148]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 66.

[149]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 67.

[150]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 67.

[151]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 67

[152]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 59.

[153]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 72.

[154]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, para. 72.

[155]   Jonathan Rudin “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in R. v. Ipeelee.” (2012) 27 Supreme Court Law Review 375, cited in Department of Justice, Canada, “Spotlight on Gladue: Challenges, Experiences, and Possibilities in Canada’s Criminal Justice System”, Ottawa, Department of Justice, Canada, September 2017, online: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/gladue/index.html (consulted August 14, 2020), p. 17.

[156]   Noah Wernikowski, “Negative Retributivism: A Response to R. v. Ipeelee’s Innovative Call”, 2020 67 C.L.Q. 372.

[157]   Kent Roach, “The Charter versus the Government’s Crime Agenda” (2012) 58 S.C.L.R. (2d) 211.

[158]   Marie-Ève Sylvestre, “The (Re) Discovery of the Proportionality Principle in Sentencing in Ipeelee: Constitutionalization and the Emergence of Collective Responsibility” (2013) 63 S.C.L.R. 461.

[159]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, paras. 84 and following.

[160]   These are ss. 718.04 and 718.201 Cr.C. These provisions were introduced by An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, S.C. 2019 c. 25. This Act was assented to on June 21, 2019 and the new provisions came into force on September 19, 2019, between the arguments on the sentence (May 21, 2019) and the sentence (October 25, 2019).

[161]   R. v. Barton, 2019 SCC 33.

[162]   R. v. A.D. 2019 ABCA 396; R. v. William, 2011 BCCA 194.

[163]   National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Ottawa, 2019, vol. 1b, p. 185, call for justice no. 5.18.

[164]   R. v. Iqalukjuaq, 2020 NUCJ 15.

[165]   National Judicial Institute, "R. v. Iqalukjuaq", (September 11, 2020) 306 NJI Criminal Law E-Letter 32, pp. 33-34, Comment by Tim Quigley.

[166]   R. v. Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13, paras. 73 and 74.

[167]   A 2011 census indicates that Town B has a population of 1,597.

[168]   R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 206, paras. 43 to 46. More recently, the Supreme Court reiterated this guidance in R. v. Lacasse, 2015 SCC 64, para. 64 and R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9, paras. 25-29 and 38.

[169]   R. v Friesen, 2020 SCC 9, para. 38.

[170]  R. v. Pop, 2013 BCCA 160, paras. 27-28.

[171]   R. v. Leslie, 2016 BCCA 213, para. 34.

[172]   Denis-Damée c. R., 2018 QCCA 1251, paras. 103-105.

[173] R. v. J.J., 2004 NLCA 81 (the offender forced a beer bottle inside the victim’s vagina while she was sleeping; the sentencing judge imposed a 2 year conditional sentence order following the recommendation of a sentencing circle; the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador found that the trial judge had committed many errors in doing do, but considered that it was best to leave the sentence as it was, because the offender had stopped drinking, had not reoffended, was taking care of his children and appeared to have turned around his life. The sentencing judge mentioned that he would have, but for the sentencing circle, considered the appropriate sentence to be 4 years); R. v. J.A., 2013 NUCJ 7 (the offender forced his whole fist into, and then repeatedly punched the victim’s vagina; global sentence of 6 years, including 1 year for sexual assault causing bodily harm); R. v. Betsidea, 2007 NWTSC 85 (the offender punched the victim in the face repeatedly, pulled off her pants and underwear, and cut her inner thigh with a knife; 30 months + 2 year probation); R. v. B.T.T., 2009 YKTC 88 (the offender, after punching and slapping the victim, jabbed his fingers in her vagina, which resulted in bleeding; 2 years less a day + 3 year probation); R. v. D.C., 2005 YKSC 30 (after biting the victim on her breasts and arm, the offender stuck his fingers up the victim’s vagina, which began to bleed a great deal, he then choked her; 36 months + 3 year probation); R. v. G.C.P., 2015 MBQB 160 (the offender inserted a blunt object, at least the diameter of a baseball bat, into the victim’s vagina and rectum; 4 and a half years; the judge refused to impose a youth sentence, because it would not be of sufficient length to hold the offender accountable); R. v. R.L.W., 2011 BCSC 1363, appeal dismissed in R. v. R.L.W., 2013 BCCA 50 (the offender forcibly had anal intercourse with the victim over an extended period of time, bit her breasts and forced her to perform fellatio while watching images of child pornography; global sentence of 6 years and 7 months, including 5 years for sexual assault causing bodily harm); R. v. G.M.F., 2016 MBQB 208 (the offender hit the victim repeatedly in the face and head, pushed her, kicked her in between the legs and in the face, choked her, placed a knife point against her ribcage and forced sexual intercourse upon her; global sentence of 9 years, including 9 years for sexual assault with a weapon).

[174] R. c. M. C., 2004 CanLII 15515 (Que. Ct.) (the offender forcibly had sexual intercourse with the victim and punched her in the face; global sentence of 48 months, including 12 months for sexual assault causing bodily harm + 3 year probation); Veillette c. R., 2010 QCCA 410 (as the victim was lying down, the offender walked into the room with a knife, held her down, threatened her, stuck her vagina with the point of the knife; global sentence of 6 years, including 24 months for sexual assault with a weapon); R. v. Dariani, 2011 BCCA 143 (the offender anally and vaginally raped the victim, he inserted different objects in her; global sentence of 3 years, including 3 years for sexual assault with a weapon); R. v. Ahmadzai, 2013 BCCA 410 (the offender forcibly had sexual intercourse with the victim, keeping an imitation of a pistol close to him to intimidate her; global sentence of 7 years, including 4 years for sexual assault using an imitation firearm); R. v. M.A, 2019 BCSC 1544 (the offender forced the complainant to have vaginal and anal intercourse on a regular basis, two of the assaults involved the offender inserting a knife into the victim’s vagina or anus; global sentence of 9 years, including 4 years for sexual assault causing bodily harm and 4 years for sexual assault with a weapon, consecutively); R c. S.B., 2019 NBCP 8 (the offender forcibly had anal intercourse with the victim and inserted different objects into her vagina; global sentence of 8 years including 6 years for sexual assault with an weapon and causing bodily harm); R v. Dyck, 2014 SKCA 93 (the offender caused serious anal and vaginal injuries to the victim; global sentence of 7 years, including 6 years for aggravated sexual assault); R. c. E.F., 2016 QCCQ 4547 (the offender strangled the victim while sexually assaulting her; global sentence of 8 years, including 8 years for aggravated sexual assault); R. v. Asapace, 2011 SKCA 139 (as the victim was sleeping with her new boyfriend, the offender walked into the room, hit her with a baseball bat on her head, her back and her ankles, and forced her to perform fellatio while continuing to punch her in the head; global sentence of 9 years, including 9 years for aggravated sexual assault); R. c. H.K., 2013 QCCQ 20167, appeal allowed in H.K. c. R., 2015 QCCA 64 only regarding time spent in preventive custody (the offender stuck the victim with a knife or a fork on many parts of her body, one assault involved him pressing a hot pan on her arms, legs and buttocks, another assault involved him using hot metal skewers to burn her buttocks and genitals; global sentence of 10 years, including 10 years for sexual assault causing bodily harm); R. v. G.L.J.P., 2004 NSSC 8 (the offender, after slashing the victim’s face with a kitchen knife, raped her while in possession of one or two knives; global sentence of 10 years, including 10 years for sexual assault using a weapon).

[175] It should be noted that nearly half of the decisions cited were, in fact, rendered before Ipeelee.

[176]   R. v. Betsidea, 2007 NWTSC 85, p. 21.

[177]   R. v. D.C., 2005 YKSC 30, para. 45.

[178]   R. v. J.A., 2013 NUCJ 7.

[179]   R. v. J.A., 2013 NUCJ 7, para. 63.

[180]   R. v. G.M.F., 2016 MBQB 208.

[181]   R. v. G.C.P., 2015 MBQB 160.

[182]   Another illustration of this frequent error is found in R. c. Hervieux Riverin, 2014 QCCA 2087, para. 7, where the Court considers that the offender’s lack of professional experience, the absence of community or family support, his drug addiction and his mental health problems justify a greater involvement of the justice system.

[183]   R. v. G.M.F., 2016 MBQB 208, paras. 27-28 and 34.

[184]   R. v. G.C.P., 2015 MBQB 160, para. 44.

[185]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau and Marie-Ève Sylvestre, “Ipeelee and the Duty to Resist”, (2018) 51 UBC L. Rev. 548. As the authors point out, the sampling is relatively modest, particularly considering the large number of decisions rendered orally. Nonetheless, it is a compelling qualitative study of the post-Ipeelee jurisprudence.

[186]   The authors specify that “the satisfactory nature of the analysis does not depend on an appropriate application of the systemic factors, but on the existence of an analysis enabling [them] to determine that the judge actually weighed these factors in the sentencing determination”. Thus, they “interpreted this category liberally and included those judgments in which [they] could minimally recognize that there had been an application of the factors”. Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau and Marie-Ève Sylvestre, “Ipeelee and the Duty to Resist”, (2018) 51 UBC L. Rev. 548, p. 570.

[187]   In instances of conjugal and family violence, the statistics are as follows:

•     27% do not refer to background and systemic factors;

•     21% consider them inapplicable or less applicable;

•     36% contain an unsatisfactory analysis;

•     15% contain a satisfactory analysis.

[188]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau and Marie-Ève Sylvestre, “Ipeelee and the Duty to Resist”, (2018) 21 UBC L. Rev. 548, p. 572.

[189]   Kent Roach, “Ipeelee in the Courts of Appeal: Some Progress but Much Work Remains”, (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 386.

[190]   Kent Roach, “Ipeelee in the Courts of Appeal: Some Progress but Much Work Remains”, (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 386.

[191]   The author, however, compliments the Court of Appeal of Quebec for its application of the Gladue factor and refers to Denis-Damée c. R., 2018 QCCA 1251 and R. v. Diabo, 2018 QCCA 1631.

[192]   Kent Roach, “Plan B for Implementing Gladue: The Need to Apply background Factors to the Punitive Sentencing Purposes”, (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 355, p. 2.

[193]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau and Marie-Ève Sylvestre, “Ipeelee and the Duty to Resist”, (2018) 21 UBC L. Rev. 548, p. 586; Noah Wernikowski, “Negative Retributivism: A Response to R. v. Ipeelee’s Innovative Call”, (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 37; Department of Justice, Canada, “Spotlight on Gladue: Challenges, Experiences, and Possibilities in Canada’s Criminal Justice System”, Ottawa, Department of Justice, Canada, September 2017, online: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/gladue/index.html (consulted August 14, 2020), pp. 26-29.

[194]   Kent Roach, « Plan B for Implementing Gladue: The Need to Apply background Factors to the Punitive Sentencing Purposes », (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 355, p. 5.

[195]   The authors cite the work of Nate Jackson and write:

Indeed, several tools are used to determine risk. These assess the degree of education, employment, mental illness, criminal history, current substance abuse, active psychoses, instability, reaction to treatment, stress, level of anger, and hostility. All of these risk assessment tools operate by comparing the subject to a statistical baseline. However, this statistical baseline is determined according to a premise of ethnic and racial neutrality, which makes it debatable when minorities are involved. The difficult reality faced by Indigenous persons is such that it may be unlikely that they would achieve “good” results on these tests. They are, therefore, automatically at a disadvantage.

[196]   Marie-Andrée Denis-Boileau and Marie-Ève Sylvestre, “Ipeelee and the Duty to Resist”, (2018) 21 UBC L. Rev. 548, p. 599.

[197]   Kent Roach, “Plan B for Implementing Gladue: The Need to Apply background Factors to the Punitive Sentencing Purposes”, (2020) 67 C.L.Q. 355, p. 10.

[198]   This is a particular practice in certain jurisdictions, such as Alberta.

AVIS :
Le lecteur doit s'assurer que les décisions consultées sont finales et sans appel; la consultation du plumitif s'avère une précaution utile.

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