Abbotsford ‘not in a foreign country,’ judge chastises lawyer

Judge addresses complaint about inconvenience of driving from Vancouver

Lawyers who complain about having to drive from Vancouver to Abbotsford for case proceedings should learn to live with it, a provincial court judge said during a recent court ruling.

“Abbotsford is a city located within the province of British Columbia, coincidentally the same province that Vancouver is located in,” Judge Kenneth Skilnick said.

“It is not in a foreign country and one may access Abbotsford by motor vehicle without having to clear customs, ride a ferry or proceed through any sort of checkpoints.”

Skilnick addressed the issue Feb. 9 during a hearing in Abbotsford for a federal inmate who said that, because his institutional parole officer raised his escape-risk and public-safety rating, he had been denied movement to a minimum-security prison or the ability to obtain escorted temporary absences.

The inmate claimed that he had suffered damages – including anxiety, depression, insomnia and weight loss – and should be awarded $25,000.

Skilnick dismissed the claim, but during the proceedings, he addressed a statement made by the parole officer’s Vancouver-based lawyer, who said that it was an inconvenience for him to have to drive to Abbotsford to deal with the “frivolous” application.

“This is a complaint that is being heard by me and my colleagues who are judges in this community with increasing frequency lately, especially from many junior lawyers from Vancouver,” Skilnick said.

The judge said he wanted to address any misconceptions that exist about Abbotsford.

“No one is asked to present their ‘papers’ when entering this city. Persons visiting Abbotsford from Vancouver do not require a passport or any type of inoculation or shots before coming here.”

The judge indicated that the distance from Vancouver provincial court to the Abbotsford courthouse is 67.5 kilometres and “patient drivers” make the trek each day “with most of their sanity intact.”

“For many years now Abbotsford has had electricity and indoor plumbing. Its drinking water is not only safe, but has even won international awards. Abbotsford is a generous community and often ranks first in the nation in charitable donations per capita,” Skilnick said.

He added that anyone who feels at a disadvantage because their out-of-town lawyer must travel to Abbotsford should be reminded that “this city is home to a large number of very able and competent lawyers and law firms.”

Just Posted

Chilliwack vacant homeowners could be hit with speculation tax

Municipality included although Cultus Lake and Chilliwack River Valley excluded

Chilliwack soccer stars help Coastal FC win national title

The team beat Ontario’s Burlington Bayhawks in the U-17 Cup final.

Drugs and cash seized by Chilliwack RCMP

One man was arrested and drugs were seized in the early hours of Oct. 12, police said

Heavy turnout at advance poll in Chilliwack

Some voters waited as long as two hours

Column: BCHL’s Chilliwack and Salmon Arm prove youth can succeed

In his latest column, Jacob Bestebroer talks about competitive youth and failing experience.

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Ignoring climate change poses potential catastrophe for B.C.

Fisheries scientist says ‘extraordinary challenges’ in water management lie ahead

Grow ops left in legal weeds

“I think people are going to get a big surprise that it’s not going to change things much.”

Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

Even though pot is legal, you can’t smoke in the car

B.C. teens fined for possession of pot on legalization day

The pair received $230 fines for smoking pot in public

Trio of Saint Bernard find their ‘forever home’ after story goes viral

Edmonton Humane Society had put out the call to adopt Gasket, Gunther and Goliath

Nurses deliver 24,000 anti-violence postcards to B.C. Health Minister

Nurses delivered thousands of postcards to the front steps of the B.C. legislature, each carrying a message for violence prevention

Openly gay, female priest of B.C. church defying norms

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Most Read