A pre-trial conference is set for April 11 in the case of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s public mischief charge but the date for a trial, which is expected to run five days, will not be scheduled until after the PTC is concluded.
The Minister of Attorney General’s Court Services Online indicates the pre-trial conference location will be Prince George Law Courts.
“The pre-trial conference will be virtual,” Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, explained. “The reference to Prince George indicates the location of the assigned judge. All attendees will be present virtually. The trial remains in Surrey.”
The Crown and defence met with a Judicial Case Manager at Surrey provincial court on Friday morning. McCallum has not yet entered a plea.
The pre-trial conference will not be open to the public.
Surrey’s next civic election is on Oct. 15, in which McCallum is expected to run for a second consecutive term in office.
He is charged with one count of public mischief contrary to Section 140(2) of the Criminal Code, stemming from an encounter last September between himself and a group that was gathering petition signatures outside the South Point Save-On-Foods store in South Surrey for a referendum on the policing transition. The mayor claimed a car ran over his foot.
The Crown is proceeding summarily.
Criminal cases are prosecuted either by indictment, summarily or a hybrid of the two. Summary offences are the least serious of the three.
A person charged with an indictable offence is required to appear in court whereas someone accused of a summary offence is not, unless a judge says otherwise. A summary offence in B.C. is considered to be in the realm of petty crime and under the Criminal Code of Canada is the least serious type of offence.
After a 13-year break from the mayor’s chair, which he occupied from 1996 to 2005, McCallum was sworn in by a judge on Nov. 5, 2018 for his fourth term as Surrey’s mayor.