After careful consideration of sentencing principles and Gladue factors, the mandatory minimum sentence of four years for discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person, is declared unconstitutional and inoperative with respect to the accused.
The accused discharged a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person as he was walking in the streets of Mistissini, an Aboriginal community. The accused acknowledges the facts but challenges the constitutional validity of the mandatory minimum sentence of four years.
The accused had a difficult childhood, and was also at the time of the offences having personal difficulties with his ex-girlfriend. After a night of heavy drinking, the accused got a hold of a firearm and discharged several shots. The most serious charge is of having intentionally discharged a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person.
This Court took into consideration the proportionate sentence in comparison to the minimum mandatory punishment, along with other principles of sentencing, including Gladue factors of the accused. It declares that the minimum mandatory punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years provided under section 244.2(3)(b) of the Criminal Code is unconstitutional and inoperative with respect to the accused.
The accused is to serve a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 571 days of imprisonment with a probation order for two years beginning upon release of the accused from custody, under further ancillary conditions including writing a letter of apology to the victims.