Jun 4/96: Gustafsen Lake-Military involvement


June 4, 1996

SURREY, B.C. - Defense lawyer Manuel A. Azevedo has asked the Crown to provide any information they have concerning the use of the military during the Gustafsen Lake 'Standoff.' According to his memo addressed to the Ministry of the Attorney General, he has requested 'all material in the hands of the Attorney General of British Columbia relating to the use of the army." Specifically the memo lays out six questions:

    1. On whose behest the army became involved.
    2. To what extent the army was involved.
    3. The equipment involved.
    4. The duration the army was present.
    5. The cost of the operation and who was paying for it.
    6. Whether the Attorney General invoked s. 277 of the National
       Defense Act.
Mr. Azevedo intends to file a Notice of Motion pursuant to section 24 of the Charter of Rights seeking, among other things, to exclude the evidence of the Crown in toto by reason of breach of section 7 and 8 of the Charter by failing to invoke the provisions of the Emergencies Act, R.S. 1985, c. 22 and the National Defence Act, R.S., c. N-4, thereby rendering the actions of the Canadian Armed Forces unlawful and contrary to the rule of law.

What this means is that the entire case of the Crown, as weak as it now is would be thrown out because of the unlawful use of the army. The Crown has responded to this request by saying that it has no such information and therefore cannot give it to the Defense. The Defense has made it clear that it intends to subpoena the Attorney General to get the information it seeks.

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