Credits: POLICE PHOTO
The 6-1 decision was delivered from the bench on the same day as the hearing, which is rare. The court will provide its reasons for the ruling by Thursday.
The case goes back to 2006, after an anonymous source informed police about a marijuana grow-up at an 87-acre property in La Macaza, near Mt. Tremblant, QC. The property belonged to Nicole Rochon, but had been entrusted to her son while she lived in northeastern Quebec with her daughter.
Rochon testified she found evidence there was marijuana grown on her property, and asked her son to get rid of it. She said she didn't call police because she wanted to avoid getting her son, or herself, in trouble with the law. She is a longtime marijuana user.
She was found guilty of production of marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking in 2008 because she had failed to report her son to police. The judge agreed with the Crown that Rochon knew about the grow-op, and even that she helped with the harvest. Her conviction was later overturned when the appeal judges ruled that in order to be found guilty by omission there has to be a clear legal obligation to act and that in this case, the duty to act is merely implied.
The Supreme Court agreed and upheld Rochon's acquittal.