This case involved the Captain of a U.S. flagged fishing vessel who was charged under s. 4(2) of the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act with illegally fishing on a portion of the continental shelf beyond the limits of Canadian fisheries waters. On a pre-trial application, the fisherman argued that the Crown could not rely upon vague and uncertain statutory provisions to establish the jurisdiction of the court.
The main issue dealt with by the court in responding to this application was whether the prerogative remedy of prohibition ought to be granted at the pre-trial stage of the litigation when a right of appeal would ultimately exist. After reviewing two lines of authorities, the court denied the application. In doing so, it adopted the following quote from R. v. Duvivier (1991), 64 C.C.C. (3d) 20 (Ont. C.a.):
“The effective and efficient operation of our criminal justice system is not served by interlocutory challenges to rulings made during the process or by applications for rulings concerning issues which it is anticipated will arise at some point in the process.”(para. 26)