So you got a tip, now what do you do?

Francis Caravaggio was a drug trafficker.  Apparently someone he knew didn't like him that much and decided to tip off the police.  The tip led to his arrest.  At trial he challenged the arrest on the basis that the officer did not have sufficient grounds and accordingly his arrest was contrary to section 9 of the Charter.  The trial judge dismissed the motion.  Caravaggio appealed. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal: 2012 ONCA 248.

In dismissing the motion the court offered the following analysis of the officer's grounds:

The officer had information from an unnamed informant that the appellant was selling drugs from his vehicle.  The informant had been used by the officer on prior occasions and had provided reliable information.  The informant was known to be involved in the drug subculture.  He provided details as to the description of the appellant, the colour and specific make of the appellant's car and the appellant's residence.  The police officer corroborated that information by running a CPIC check to determine the appellant's identification and address and by going to a location near the appellant's residence where he observed a man whose appearance corresponded to the information he had been given in the car described by the informant.  The car was parked in an alley near a cafe known for drug-dealing.  The motor of the car was running and a male person was leaning through the window of the car speaking to the appellant [para 4].

The court held that this was a "sufficient basis for the trial judge to find that the officer had reasonable and probable grounds to arrest the appellant" [para 5].