Proceedings for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, are underway this week (Sept. 14-25) in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)

Blaine Inn owner challenging human-smuggling charges

Robert Boule alleging immigration act infringes on Charter rights: Public Prosecution Service

Court proceedings for Blaine bed-and-breakfast owner Robert Boule – who is facing nearly two dozen human smuggling-related charges – are underway this week in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

According to Public Prosecution Service of Canada spokesperson Nathalie Houle, two weeks (Sept. 14-25) are set aside to hear the accused’s challenge of the constitutionality of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) – the law he is accused of breaking.

He is alleging that three sections of the IRPA infringe on Sec. 7 of the charter – the right to life, liberty and security of the person, Houle said.

“The remainder of the criminal trial will proceed on a date to be determined,” Houle added in a Sept. 16 email response to Peace Arch News’ inquiries.

Boule is the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, located on the south side of 0 Avenue at 184 Street, on the U.S. side of the border.

Arrested in April 2019, he is accused of helping people illegally enter Canada at the U.S. border, and is facing nine charges under the IRPA, as well as 12 charges under Sec. 145(3) of the Criminal Code for breach of bail.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Smuggler’s Inn owner charged with helping people illegally enter Canada

The offences are alleged to have occurred between April 2016 and March 2019.

Boule was initially facing a total of 30 charges, however, nine were stayed in June 2019.

In July of last year, an application by Boule to have the Canadian government fund his defense was granted. The “Rowbotham application” is an option for people “facing serious and complex criminal charges,” who have been denied legal aid and can’t afford a lawyer.

READ MORE: Canadian government to fund defence of Smuggler’s Inn owner

Boule’s trial had initially been set for Jan. 13 to Feb. 5 of this year, but was moved at the request of the defence after his lawyer was appointed to the bench.

READ MORE: New dates set for South Surrey’s Smuggler’s Inn trial



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Way too many Surrey COVID-19 cases

We all need to take this threat seriously

Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

Surrey election battle heating up over Doug McCallum’s controversial cop transition

Semiahmoo Bottle Depot part of hybrid-electic compaction truck pilot program

Return-It launches program at 16 B.C. bottle depots with aim to reduce emissions

Horgan lambastes Liberal health record in Surrey

BCNDP leader attacks Andrew Wilkinson’s role in selling a potential hospital site here at a discount

OPINION: It’s Time for Surrey to be Heard

Which party will listen to Surrey voters?

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

Change will be implemented on Oct. 1, with a transition period being held until Oct. 11

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Boulders near Harrison vandalized with derogatory word

Vandalism likely occured between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening

Most Read