The Supreme Court of Canada is upholding the conviction and dismissing an appeal of a Saskatchewan man for breaching a National Parole Board order.
Spencer Dean Bird, designated a long-term offender for his lengthy criminal past was approved by the Board to reside at Regina’s Oskana Centre, a community correctional centre for 180 days following his release and that he abide by strict conditions in the community.
Less than a month after his long‑term supervision commenced, he left Oskana Centre and did not return.
He was later arrested and charged for breaching his residency requirements.
In 2016, in provincial court, Bird’s defense successfully argued that Section 7 of the Charter was violated claiming the Oskana Centre was similar to a correctional centre and not living under community supervision.
Section 7 states “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
In a ruling Friday, the High Court said the Parole Board does have the power to impose residency requirements on long-term offenders. “The Board is empowered to set residency conditions like the one imposed on Mr. Bird where they are reasonable and necessary to achieve the objects of the long-term offender regime.”
“I agree with the trial judge that Mr. Bird’s constitutional challenge to his LTSO residency condition should have been permitted at his trial for breach of that condition. Nevertheless, once permitted, I conclude that Mr. Bird’s claim under s. 7 of the Charter fails. Mr. Bird admits the elements of the offence under s. 753.3.”
(Photo: Supreme Court of Canada building, Ottawa. Courtesy of the Supreme Court of Canada website.)