New & Notable: Pham considered in the OCA

Sz-Yin Lu was in Canada on a student visa when her boyfriend hit and killed a pedestrian with his car while she was a passenger in it. The police interviewed Ms. Lu twice about the accident and each time Ms. Lu lied by denying any knowledge of the accident. Eventually, Ms. Lu and her boyfriend came clean with the police. She later pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and her boyfriend was convicted of dangerous driving causing death and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

At sentencing in the Ontario Court of Justice, Lu sought a conditional discharge. The Crown recommended a suspended sentence followed by a period of probation as well as community service. The Court imposed a suspended sentence followed by six months probation and 75 hours of community service.

Pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Ms. Lu, convicted of a criminal offence, in spite of her eventual marriage to a Canadian, was inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality, as she had been convicted of a criminal offence punishable by indictment.

Lu appealed to the summary conviction appeal (SCA) court but that appeal was denied following the SCA judge’s consideration of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Pham, 2013 SCC 15. Lu subsequently appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal: 2013 ONCA 324.

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