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Vancouver Police Forced to Pay for Unreasonable Strip Search


Vancouver (City) v. Ward, 2010 SCC 27
July 26, 2010-  On August 1, 2002, Prime Minister Chrétien participated in a ceremony to mark the opening of a gate at the entrance to Vancouver’s Chinatown. During the ceremony, the Vancouver Police Department  received information that an unknown individual intended to throw a pie at the Prime Minister.   Mr. Ward is a Vancouver lawyer who attended the ceremony and was  mistakenly identified as the would-be pie-thrower. When the VPD officers noticed him, Mr. Ward was running and appeared to be avoiding interception. The officers chased Mr. Ward down and handcuffed him.
 Mr. Ward was released from police lockup 4.5 hours after he was arrested. Mr. Ward proceeded to sue the City, the Province, and individual police and corrections officers for his arrest, detention, strip search, and car seizure. He was awarded $5,000.00 for breach of his Charter rights for the strip search and the Supreme Court of Canada as upheld that award.
Section 24(1) of our Charter empowers courts  to grant “appropriate and just” remedies for Charter breaches as long as the remedy will : (1) meaningfully vindicate the rights and freedoms of the claimants; (2) employ means that are legitimate within the framework of our constitutional democracy; (3) be a judicial remedy which vindicates the right while invoking the function and powers of a court; and (4) be fair to the party against whom the order is made. Posted byMr. Renn A. Holness
Issue:  Is $5,000.00 an appropriate award to someone unreasonable detained for 4.5 hours?

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