R v Sawicki

Territorial subdivision
Type of court
Date of opinion

Mr. Sawicki plead guilty under The Wildlife Act, 1998, for trafficking in wildlife and possession of wildlife for the purpose of trafficking, contrary to s.44(a) and s.44(b). He was sentenced to 15 months to be served in the community (a conditional sentence). The Crown appeals this sentence arguing there is no jurisdiction to impose a conditional sentence for breaches of The Wildlife Act, 1998.
Mr. Sawicki arranged for another individual to obtain a license under The Wildlife Act. He then used that license to sell his furs. He has 15 prior convictions under The Wildlife Act. Fines ranging from $110 to $1,150 (Canadian Dollars) were imposed as a result, of which only three were paid.
The conditional sentence imposed on Mr. Sawicki included conditions that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour, appear before the court whenever required to do so, report to a supervisor, remain within the jurisdiction and remain in his residence between 9pm and 7am daily for the first ten months of the sentence, that he only be out of his residence for purposes determined by his supervisor and that he perform 80 hours of community service. At the time of appeal, Mr. Sawicki has served approximately eight and one-half months of this sentence.
The Summary Offences Procedure Act, 1990, S.S. 1990-91, c. S-63.1 does not incorporate the provisions relating to conditional sentences. The Provincial Court thus did not have jurisdiction to render a conditional sentence. It therefore fell to the current Court to determine what would have been an appropriate sentence.
The Crown argued that Mr. Sawicki should now be incarcerated and serve the balance of 15 months in prison. Mr. Sawicki argues that it is rare for individuals to be incarcerated for offences under The Wildlife Act and that the sentence imposed was excessive.
The Court concluded it was appropriate to send a message to Mr. Sawicki that he cannot continue breaking the law with impunity. The sentence of 60 days in a provincial correctional institute in addition to the time already served was imposed. (Provided by: UNODC SHERLOC)

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