Province must foot bill for wrongful arrest, judge confirms

The provincial government is on the hook for the $55,000 in damages awarded to a woman for a wrongful arrest outside a store in Smithers.

In a followup to her May 22 decision, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Belinda Brown confirmed that because the arresting officer committed the act during the performance of his duties the B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General must foot the bill.

The federal Attorney General of Canada was also named as a defendant but Brown agreed that in accordance with an agreement between the federal and provincial governments, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General is liable for the damages.

As a housekeeping measure, Brown also transferred $5,000 that had been awarded as Charter damages to general damages.

In her first ruling, Brown found that Smithers RCMP Cst. Darrin Meier lacked reasonable grounds to make the arrest and used unnecessary force when, in December 2014, he dealt with Irene Joseph.

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