The Attorney General proceeded summarily and the trial
commenced on January 20, 2014. Evidence was heard from May
21 to May 29, 2014, at which time the key Crown witness, who
was being cross-examined, exhibited signs of extreme emotional
strain, was taken to hospital and was granted a medical leave.
The Crown took four days to reconsider its position and then
decided to exercise its power under s. 579 of the Criminal Code1
to direct an officer of the court to stay the proceedings that had
been brought against the respondents.
 Before directing the stay on June 3, 2014, the Crown
advised the respondents’ defence counsel of its intention. Defence
counsel replied that the respondents would seek costs against
the Crown pursuant to s. 24(1) of the Charter for alleged violations of their rights.
 After the proceedings were stayed, the respondents advised
the summary conviction court judge of their application
for costs. Then, on June 5, 2014, the respondents filed a notice
of application for an order of costs against the Crown and
the Canada Revenue Agency. The application sought costs as a
remedy for “various acts of prosecutorial and investigation negligence, abuses of the criminal process and violation of the Applicant’s rights as protected by s. 8 of the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms”.
 The Crown submitted that, as soon as the stay was
entered, the court lost jurisdiction to grant the costs sought.
 The summary conviction court judge held that “the
informal understanding between the Crown and the defence was
sufficient to preserve this court’s right to deal with the issue
 The Crown applied for certiorari, thereby seeking to have
the summary conviction court judge’s decision that he had the
right to consider the respondents’ request for costs, reviewed on
the basis he had exceeded his jurisdiction.
1 Section 579(2) of the Criminal Code provides that the proceedings stayed
may be recommenced within the limited time frame of “one year
after the entry of the stay of proceedings, or before the expiration of
the time within which the proceedings could have been commenced,
whichever is the earlier”, without laying a new information. Since this
was a summary conviction matter, the time within which the proceedings
could have been commenced is six months. Unless the Crown gives notice
that it is going to recommence proceedings within that time frame,
“the proceedings shall be deemed never to have been commenced”. Although the Crown could have reinstituted proceedings within six months,
that time has now elapsed.