The trial judge, of course, has a duty to the accused to see that he or she
has a fair hearing and that duty will generally cast upon the judge an
obligation to point out to the accused that he or she would be at a distinct disadvantage in proceeding without the assistance of competent
counsel and that the accused is entitled to have such counsel. Where the
accused expressly desires counsel, it is clear that unless the accused has
deliberately failed to retain counsel, or has dis-charged counsel, with the
intent of delaying the process of the court, the trial judge should afford
the accused an opportunity to retain counsel either at his expense or
through the services of Legal Aid. If Legal Aid will not fund counsel it
may be necessary at least in long complicated trials to stay the proceedings until counsel is funded.
In R. v. Hardy (1990), 62 C.C.C. (3d) 28 (Alta. Q.B.), McDonald J. provided
a checklist of issues which a trial judge should address before proceeding with
a trial where the accused was un-represented by counsel. These included
informing the accused of the right to be represented by counsel, explaining
the assistance that counsel might provide, and ensuring that the accused did
not wish to be represented by counsel.
 For present purposes, three points emerge from R. v.
Romanowicz that should be kept in mind. First, a person has
a constitutionally protected right to have a lawyer and also a constitutionally protected right to proceed without a lawyer. Second,
where a person exercises his or her right to be a self-represented
litigant, the trial judge has a duty to see that he or she has a fair
hearing; the right to a fair trial is guaranteed by s. 11(d) of
the Charter. Third, like R. v. Swain there is nothing in R. v.
Romanowicz that would preclude a court from appointing
an amicus curiae when a person has discharged his or her lawyer
and he or she seeks to exercise his or her right to be a self-represented party.
 In the case at bar, amicus curiae relied on Justice Trotter’s
decision in Hillier v. Milojevic in support of her argument that
Mr. Hiltz, who remained available through the hearing of August
10, 2018 ought to have been appointed amicus curiae,
notwithstanding that he had been discharged by R.C. In the immediate
case, in reaching my opinion, I too rely on the Hillier v. Milojevic
 In Hillier v. Milojevic, in 2001, Mr. Hiller suffered a serious
brain injury in a car accident in British Columbia. In 2005, after
a B.C. physician declared Mr. Bon Hiller incapable of managing
his financial and legal affairs due to his brain injury, the B.C.
Public Guardian and Trustee was appointed guardian of this
property. In 2008, Mr. Bon Hiller moved to Ontario, and in 2009,
the B.C. Public Guardian and Trustee requested that his capacity
to manage his financial affairs be assessed pursuant to Ontario’s