CNSL I. FERBEY: And Your Honour, for the record, it’s Isaac Ferbey, F-e-r-b-e-y, initials D.I., pronouns he, him for the federal Crown.
THE ACCUSED: Good morning, Your Honour. It’s Trevor Holsworth appearing for myself.
THE COURT: Thank you. Okay.
CNSL I. FERBEY: So Your Honour, this case is for trial today. There’s one Information before Your Honour, Information 26418. Crown’s ready to
proceed. I’ve one witness from Canada Revenue Agency and I intend to rely on his evidence and some documents. I suppose the question is whether there are any pretrial matters to address from the perspective of the accused.
THE CLERK: And Your Honour, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I do see that a not guilty plea was entered in October 2020. But that was on a previous —
CNSL I. FERBEY: That’s a good point, Your Honour. I thank Madam Registrar for raising that. Um, just by way of history, there was an earlier trial where there were convictions that were overturned on appeal. And so it would seem appropriate that — it may seem appropriate that those pleas be taken again out of an abundance of caution. I’m in Your Honour’s hands in that respect.
THE COURT: All right. Just let me see the …. All right, Mr. Holsworth, I have before me a four count Information. And do you need it read again or are you familiar with it?
THE ACCUSED: No, I’m familiar with it —
THE COURT: All right.
THE ACCUSED: — and my plead — I haven’t been able to obtain legal advice on the matter, Your Honour. I’ve tried, um, on numerous occasions to get legal advice but there seems to be kind of a conflict in — a conflict in, I guess, the — maybe the rules of conduct for the lawyers.
THE COURT: Before we get to that —
THE ACCUSED: Yeah.
THE COURT: I’ll let you revisit that, just let’s —
THE ACCUSED: Okay. Yeah, yeah, sorry.
THE COURT: — finish this stretch first.
THE ACCUSED: Yeah, you go — go ahead.
THE COURT: And so you don’t need it read. And how do you plead?
THE ACCUSED: I plead not guilty, Your Honour.
THE COURT: All right. So not guilty plea will be recorded. If it hasn’t — if there’s any uncertainty, he’s made it clear today that the
plea is not guilty. That’s to each count, sir, there’s four counts?
THE ACCUSED: That’s correct.
THE COURT: Okay. All right. Not guilty then. And now — now, you were saying something about wanting to get a lawyer?
THE ACCUSED: Right. Yeah, I mean, I’ve tried – I’ve tried to get legal advice but when I present my case and the evidence, I get responses like, “I will not represent you now or ever.” That was Mrs. Dobell [phonetic], one of the local attorneys here. When I approached the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, um, they refused to communicate with me. Um, I did talk to or I emailed with a constitutional lawyer who wrote a book and he said, um, “I have no experience in the matter. Good luck,” which I took as being a positive, um, encouraging step. But I’ve not been able to get legal advice on anything. The only legal advice I’ve been able to get is from the internet and — and books, and doing
my own research. But the ability to get legal advice from a lawyer seems to be — seems to — I’m not sure how it works. Like, it seems to be
in conflict with their — um, their rules. Um, because I’m alleging, um, poor behaviour or maybe sharp practices is the correct term, amongst lawyers and judges, and it seems like lawyers aren’t permitted to criticize, but they are. It’s very confusing. I know it’s an ethical dilemma
for lawyers to deal with. And so I think that the reality is that they just don’t want to touch it with a 10-foot pole and so they don’t want to represent me because of the — the experiences that I’ve — I’ve received in the justice system. Um, so that —
THE COURT: I’m sorry that your experience —
THE ACCUSED: — is a problem.
THE COURT: Okay. Right. Okay.
THE ACCUSED: Yeah, like, so I’ve got — I’ve got quite a few procedural concerns, um, with that. I think you’re aware of some of them. And you know, I think it comes down to some pretty old precedent. You know, it’s like, coming from the Bible, let he
without sin cast the first stone. Or do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Um, and you know that the — the Crown is not in compliance with the Charter. They’re refusing to comply with the enforcement procedure of the Charter. And so Crown is in breach and they’re trying to enforce the law, but they’re in breach and they can’t justify it in a free and democratic society. And they’re — they — that’s the
THE COURT: So you’re saying the Crown’s in breach of the Charter, they cannot enforce it.
THE ACCUSED: That’s correct. I served the Attorney General —
THE COURT: No, but if you want to make a Charter argument — I thought this was already presented. And I mean, I’m obviously aware there was an
appeal. I mean —
THE ACCUSED: Well, yeah —
THE COURT: — you’ve been — you’ve been in front of me and I obviously am aware that a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted the appeal and provided reasons. But if today you want to frame an argument, you know, you tell me there’s a Charter issue and Crown’s in breach, but it doesn’t — look, you’re unrepresented, you haven’t got advice, you say. You’ve been trying and no one wants to take on your case, you tell me, for various reasons. And I take it this has been going on for —
THE ACCUSED: For, yeah, quite a few years.
THE COURT: Right. Right.
THE ACCUSED: I’ve basically been imprisoned in Canada. Um —
THE COURT: No, no, I meant, Mr. — I am focused, though, Mr. Holsworth on — on this matter. So this matter commenced, uh, Information was sworn January 2020, so we’re now in October 2022. So it’s been two years and you haven’t been able to hire a lawyer, is what you’re telling me.
THE ACCUSED: That’s correct.
THE COURT: No, that’s what I’m getting at. So I mean, it’s clear then that you’ve exhausted all attempts and — to retain and instruct a lawyer and it’s clear that you won’t be able to.
THE ACCUSED: Yeah, that’s correct. So, you know —
THE COURT: Yeah.
THE ACCUSED: — I’ve got a breach of the Charter —
THE COURT: Yeah, I know.
THE ACCUSED: — by lawyers.
THE COURT: Well —
THE ACCUSED: Um, they’re —
THE COURT: Well, no, no —
THE ACCUSED: — refusing to represent me.
THE COURT: — just — oh, I see. You’re saying it’s a breach —
THE ACCUSED: It’s a breach of the Charter. I cannot get legal representation. I can’t have my rights protected by a lawyer because they’re in conflict.
THE COURT: Well, because they’re in conflict or they just don’t want to act for you.
THE ACCUSED: Well, yeah, well, there — it’s a — there’s a conflict in their ethical rules, right? They’re supposed to protect the Charter but
they’re in breach of the Charter. Because, well, because the Attorney General of B.C. is not complying with the enforcement procedure. But, um, it’s — yeah, I, you know —
THE COURT: Sorry, well —
THE ACCUSED: I’ve got — I’m alleging, um, improper conduct by the B.C. Law Society. So basically what I’m saying is that there’s insufficient
procedural safeguards to protect fundamental justice in this courtroom. And I’m asking where your authority to govern me comes from.
THE COURT: All right. These are the same issues you raised at the first trial.
THE ACCUSED: Um, no.
THE COURT: Well, didn’t you argue the same thing in front of —
THE ACCUSED: Not in —
THE COURT: — the first trial judge?
THE ACCUSED: I presented argument on some things. If you want to talk about that —
THE COURT: No. No, I just want to know succinctly what your arguments are. But before I get into that, sir, you’re unrepresented, you tell me. You do seem, though [indiscernible] you’re prepared to and want to and anxious to argue certain matters. I want to put to you a few basic rules relating to a trial, okay?
THE ACCUSED: Sure.
THE COURT: Because you are unrepresented. So the information lists the offences that we’re dealing with today, that the Crown is alleging you have committed. And —
THE ACCUSED: Yeah, you know, that —
THE COURT: Just — just listen to me, sir.
THE ACCUSED: But I think you’re skipping a step.
THE COURT: No, no. First —
THE ACCUSED: I think you’re skipping a chat.
THE COURT: First we’re not having a chat. We’re not sitting around having a chat. This is a trial and I’m giving you instructions, okay?
THE ACCUSED: Okay.
THE COURT: That means you have to sit down, take a deep breath.
THE ACCUSED: Okay. I will listen.
THE COURT: Okay. The Crown must prove all parts of the offence occurred that they allege in the Information, each count, and that you intended to commit them. You don’t have to prove your innocence, the Crown must prove you’re guilty. The Crown must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown is the first to call witnesses and submit evidence to prove its case. The Crown examines a witness and then you may question or cross-examine that witness. After the Crown’s case, that is after they’ve called all its witnesses and put in all its evidence, then you have a right to bring on what’s called a no evidence motion. You can argue that they’re — the Crown hasn’t called any evidence on an element of the offence that you’re potentially there to argue. That is, at the close of the Crown’s case. Or you can argue that the Crown has not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. But in that — in that situation, you must decide whether or not you want to call evidence and argue that the evidence is not enough to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In this particular case, when dealing with the offence that’s before the court, this particular offence is a strict liability offence. Which means you can successfully defend this charge if you can show that you exercised due diligence in attempting to comply with whatever notices the Crown may in evidence put to the court. That is the particular accounts allege certain matters, in particular, failing to comply. And again, to amplify what you may decide to do is you can decide and call evidence, including yourself, if you want, that you exercised due diligence in attempts to comply with the notice. And in that case the burden is on you to establish due diligence on the balance of probabilities, that you took all reasonable steps. Now, at the end of the case, that is the Crown having called their evidence and you having called any evidence you may have decided to call, and again, I amplify there’s no burden on you to prove anything, then I’m going to hear some submissions and you can tell the court why you think there should not be a conviction and the Crown will make their argument. The order of who makes the argument first is governed by whether or not you call evidence so if you call evidence, there’s a different order. But we’ll get to that when we — that point arises. That’s just a general outline so that we’re following some template.
THE ACCUSED: Okay, um —
THE COURT: A general outline of what —
THE ACCUSED: Yeah.
THE COURT: — your rights are and how we’re going to do this. So —
THE ACCUSED: Right. Can I have a question on —
THE COURT: No, just — just a minute now.
THE ACCUSED: — [indiscernible] — okay, sure.
THE COURT: You want — we have to do this in an orderly way, all right? And Crown tells me they have one witness. I’m going to see some documents apparently, the Crown has told me, in a brief overview. That’s basically their case. Now, you — you say you have some concerns that you started raising and I’m going to give you this opportunity now to succinctly frame what you want to argue. And you have told me certain things but I want you to articulate it again and frame it clearly because I have to decide whether or not we’re going to go down that avenue or we’re going to follow the course I just put to you. Okay? But you have to frame your argument with a level of certainty so I can follow what you’re saying and rule on it. So the first thing you raised with me that, you made comments about judges generally and lawyers generally but that’s not — you went on to talk about sharp practice and you’re obviously talking about experiences you’ve had, and you’re phrasing them — obviously they weren’t good experiences you’ve had with prior proceedings of whatever they were and it’s unsettling to you, whatever the experience. But I can’t assist you with that today, sir. I amplify, I’m only dealing with this four count Information and I can’t somehow weigh your prior experiences and decide an outcome with respect to the prosecution based on your prior experiences that you’ve characterized as — as you have. That’s the first order of business. So I can’t really determine or assess any need to go further beyond it was a terrible experience you had, from your point of view. That’s fine. And then you say the Crown is in breach of the Charter and I cannot enforce it because — because that part of your argument I didn’t follow completely. And let’s — let’s get to what you want to argue. You say there’s a Charter breach?
THE ACCUSED: That’s correct. Um —
THE COURT: Yes, but just a minute.
THE ACCUSED: Okay, sorry.
THE COURT: But just articulate what breach? What is the breach?
THE ACCUSED: Um, I served the attorney general with the enforcement procedure of the Charter requesting that this matter be heard by parliament
because it relates to matters that judges simply are unable to, um, administer properly. Um —
THE COURT: You’re saying judges are unable to administer the Charter properly?
THE ACCUSED: Um, because it involved a conflict of interest. Um, no one can be a judge in their own cause and parliament is the only body that can provide the Charter remedy necessary. So this is not really the correct tribunal to hear the matter. And that’s really the problem that we’re having here.
THE COURT: Okay. That’s your Charter argument though?
THE ACCUSED: Well, I did serve it, um, on the attorney general. It’s not my entire Charter argument, but that is the, um, that is the start of it. And I’ve never —
THE COURT: No, no.
THE ACCUSED: — received a response.
THE COURT: Didn’t you raise this at the trial level before?
THE ACCUSED: It has never been answered.
THE COURT: Yeah, but you’ve raised it before.
THE ACCUSED: I’ve raised it —
THE COURT: No, no, that’s —
THE ACCUSED: [Indiscernible].
THE COURT: No, no, I’m just trying to go step by step.
THE ACCUSED: I agree. Um —
THE COURT: So the — I asked you, was it raised before the first trial judge —
THE ACCUSED: It was.
THE COURT: — on this charge?
THE ACCUSED: I provided notice of a constitutional question.
THE COURT: Yeah.
THE ACCUSED: Um, I served it —
THE COURT: Yeah.
THE ACCUSED: — with two weeks’ notice. I’ve got the evidence of the serving here. Um, and it was never responded to.
THE COURT: Okay.
THE ACCUSED: Crown counsel has agreed that they will — well, has told me and written to me that they will not be responding to that.
THE COURT: Yes, okay.
THE ACCUSED: So there’s a confirmation of a Charter breach and there’s a refusal of — to comply with the Charter. Um, and the Charter has to be heard first.
THE COURT: Okay. No, no, I just — okay, so that is your Charter argument though?
THE ACCUSED: Oh, no. That’s just the initial stage of the Charter argument. But you know, I could go on and on and on about the Charter breaches that I’ve experienced, um, that have a procedural and, well, complete —
THE COURT: Yeah, I don’t want —
THE ACCUSED: — lack of justice but whatever.
THE COURT: Did you put it in writing, what your Charter breach — when you say, “I could go on and on,” is it —
THE ACCUSED: Well, it is —
THE COURT: No, let me back up, sir.
THE ACCUSED: All right.
THE COURT: When you say on and on, is that all contained in your Charter notice that you gave to the Crown before and they said they’re not responding to?
THE ACCUSED: Um, some of it is, some of it isn’t. I’ve —
THE COURT: No, you’re — you have to be definitive or I can’t weigh it.
THE ACCUSED: Well, there — I — I’ll start in on my Charter argument if you — if you’re — are we ready for that now or —
THE COURT: No, I —
THE ACCUSED: Okay.
THE COURT: I don’t know what it is.
THE ACCUSED: Well, I’m trying to prepare it for you.
THE COURT: Well, is there some written notice?
THE ACCUSED: Well, here, I’ll give it to you. It’s been served on Crown.
THE COURT: Is that the same notice that was before the court in the first trial?
THE ACCUSED: It was.
THE COURT: Yeah. So that’s what you want to argue?
THE ACCUSED: Yes, that’s correct.
THE COURT: Well —
THE ACCUSED: Amongst other things but that is the basics of why I’m here, is the Crown refused to respond to the Charter so this is my enforcement procedure. I’m here in the court protesting a failure of the Crown to comply with the Charter. That is the entire reason we are here.
THE COURT: Okay. And — okay. And so Mr. Ferbey, you have the notice, do you?
CNSL I. FERBEY: I have a certified copy of a notice filed July 15, 2021, in Nakusp. Um, I —
THE COURT: Is that — is that the one you’re referring to, Mr. —
CNSL I. FERBEY: I —
THE COURT: Is that the one — is that the notice, Mr. Holsworth?
THE ACCUSED: Well, it’s stamped by the court registry that it was presented to court on that date, yes.
THE COURT: Yes, okay.
CNSL I. FERBEY: So I do have that, Your Honour.
THE COURT: Okay. And — and that was the one before the court last day?
THE ACCUSED: That was the one before the court in the last trial, that’s correct.
THE COURT: Okay. And you realize, sir, that – okay. And when you say you want to add onto it, you want to amplify what’s — what’s in that notice?
THE ACCUSED: Well, I mean obviously there’s more to it than just —
THE COURT: No, no. I mean you want to expand on what’s in that notice?
THE ACCUSED: For sure. There’s —
THE COURT: No, no. That’s — I’m just getting it.
THE ACCUSED: Okay.
THE COURT: You want to add some more flesh to —
THE ACCUSED: Exactly.
THE COURT: — the notice. Is that — is that what you’re telling me?
THE ACCUSED: Yes.
THE COURT: All right. So Mr. Ferbey, Mr. Holsworth — see, I have to hear your argument and then I hear his argument.
THE ACCUSED: I appreciate that, thank you.
THE COURT: Okay. And then Mr. Ferbey, do you have some comment then?
CNSL I. FERBEY: So this is on, I suppose the threshold question of whether the court should embark on this — this application for a Charter remedy. Um, what — as I look at the notice here, Your Honour, there is, um, one issue stated in the notice that is, um, perhaps one that could constitute a legitimate constitutional question if it hadn’t been resolved again and again, not only in the conduct of appeals on this case itself but in earlier jurisprudence. And that’s the legal question of whether the offence provisions we’re dealing with under the Income Tax Act today violates the Charter because they allow for imprisonment and on proof of, I suppose, liability on an absolute basis versus strict. Now, so that’s sort of the first half of this Charter notice. That question, in my submission, was resolved by Madam Justice Lyster who, in her reasons for appeal, after analyzing the issue in the jurisprudence, stated that this is a strict liability matter where a defence of due diligence is available and therefore it doesn’t violate s. 7 of the Charter. And as it happens, Mr. Holsworth took that decision to the Court of Appeal where, in a leave application, Madam Justice Newbury affirmed that ruling. So in my respectful submission, that actual legal question is disposed of and Your Honour has already addressed it today in introductory directions to Mr. Holsworth as to the availability of the strict liability defence. So in my view, that issue has already been disposed of. With respect to the bottom third of the notice, I suppose I have as much — I have difficulty understanding what the alleged Charter breach is.
THE COURT: Just give me one moment.
CNSL I. FERBEY: I brought an extra copy of the notice if Your Honour doesn’t have one handy.
THE COURT: Yes, can I see it please?
CNSL I. FERBEY: Yes.
THE COURT: All right. So what you’re telling me is that you’ve addressed the first —
CNSL I. FERBEY: Yes —
THE COURT: — part —
CNSL I. FERBEY: — I submit that the first part of the Charter notice, which Mr. Holsworth hasn’t averred to yet today, but really the legal question of whether the penalty provisions of the Income Tax Act that are at question today violate s. 7 of the Charter. My submission, that’s been addressed, not only in a line of jurisprudence preceding these — this prosecution but also in subsequent appeal decisions, specifically in relation to Mr. Holsworth and this argument that he’s raised. Um, the second Charter issue is where he’s alleging this, that the Canadian Judicial Council claims that judges have absolute unfettered discretion to accept or reject all evidence including the official court record of a transcript. I think that’s the — the nature of the second aspect of the challenge, and then he’s taking issue with the fact that the Attorney General did not provide a formal response to his complaint in that regard. I don’t know about this notification to Parliament, I’ve never – I’ve never heard of that as a Charter — an avenue for Charter remedy. On that other question, Your Honour, the Crown submits that Mr. Holsworth’s, the basis for Mr. Holsworth’s complaint, this 2007 letter, which he has not attached or filed with the court, does not in fact say, because I’ve seen it, that judges have absolute unfettered discretion to accept or reject all evidence, including the official court
record. So first of all there’s a problem factually. Now — and my position remains, as Crown has taken the position throughout, that there is — that there’s no prospect of success. There’s no merit to that argument and ultimately it should not proceed, uh because there’s no
possibility that it will result in a finding. There’s no issue there in my respectful submission that the court can properly consider. Um, Justice Lyster addresses the argument to some extent and I’ll hand up, Your Honour, some cases, the first two of which are the appeal
decisions that address the issues that Mr. Holsworth raises again today in a very direct manner. At Tab 2, starting there, of this book, which I did provide to Mr. Holsworth this morning, Tab 2 is Justice Lyster’s decision of the B.C. Supreme Court. Paragraph 38 is where the court says the following: In his statement of argument on appeal and in his oral submissions before me, Mr. Holsworth reiterated his many complaints and grievances with the judiciary, the [Canadian Justice Council], the Minster of Justice, FMEP, the Law Society, lawyers, and the RCMP, all stemming from the 2006 family law decision. [These statements] and grievances do not relate to the offences with which Mr. Holsworth was charged and of which he was convicted, and they are not relevant to this appeal. I will not be considering them in this decision. The court continues to refer to the issues that I submit are those stated in the notice in addition to his complaints similar to the ones that he’s making today. In her analysis, Mr. Holsworth challenged, or sought leave — sought an appeal on the basis that the judge erred in summarily dismissing those constitutional questions regarding his grievances with the judiciary and the government. And that, Justice Lyster’s analysis on that point is — starts at paragraph 47. Where, and she continues at paragraph 49 writing: In my view, it is clear that the trial judge did not fail to act judicially in summarily dismissing Mr. Holsworth’s constitutional application related to his grievances flowing from the family law case. Those grievances are completely unrelated to this criminal proceeding and are irrelevant to any matter in issue before the trial court or this court on appeal. A trial judge has a screening functioning in considering whether such applications have a reasonable prospect of success, as described by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Cody …. The trial judge provided Mr. Holsworth with a full and fair opportunity to explain the nature of his … application. He considered the nature of the application and acted judicially in determining that it had no reasonable prospect of success. There is no basis to interfere with the trial judge’s exercise of discretion in summarily dismissing Mr. Holsworth’s constitutional application. And so I submit that we’re back here today where he’s making the argument again, one that Madam Justice Lyster says has no prospect of success, having heard it. If that weren’t enough, Your Honour, after that, Mr. Justice — Mr. Holsworth brought the argument to the B.C. Court of Appeal, and in Tab 1 is the decision of Madam Justice Newbury in chambers considering Mr. Holsworth’s application for leave to appeal.
THE COURT: What tab is that?
CNSL I. FERBEY: It’s at Tab 1 in my book of authorities.
THE COURT: Just give me a moment.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Um, at paragraph 1, the second half of that paragraph, Madam Justice Newbury notes: The summary conviction appeal judge, Madam Justice Lyster, set Mr. Holsworth’s convictions aside and ordered a new trial. However, Mr. Holsworth is not content with this result. He seeks to challenge much larger matters – including the impartiality and integrity of the judges of the justice system and indeed that system itself. At paragraph 2, she then reviews her understanding of the — the origin of Mr. Holsworth’s grievances with the justice system. Um, she then reviews what happened in the proceedings below and at paragraph 15 she notes of course that the — today’s date had been set for Nakusp, for a retrial in Nakusp. And then beginning at paragraph 16, she discusses his application for leave to appeal. In that paragraph she notes: I do not intend to set out Mr. Holsworth’s grounds of appeal in full; many are difficult to understand. I have shortened them somewhat below: She says: The facts that the summary conviction appeal judge refused to [appeal the] constitutional [questions], that he was seeking a writ of mandamus against the Minister of Justice “to comply with the law and report this matter to Parliament” — I think that’s the same thing he’s saying today. It didn’t happen and it amounts to a breach. — and that “Crown [was] claiming we will destroy evidence” [he] indicated that lawyers and judges were ‘all failing to comply with all of their oaths and code of ethics. [And the[ conduct cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.” He appealed on the basis that: [Justice Lyster] “continues to perpetuate the illusion” that s. 238(1) … is constitutional …. I think again referring to the due diligence defence and claiming that due diligence isn’t — that the fact that due diligence is available does not change the reality that the Income Tax Act doesn’t state it. Skipping the next one because I think that’s
related except insofar as he also says that, you know: … Judges … can disregard all evidence, including the transcript, and can, at their discretion, plant evidence at trial, in the form, of calling upon the Plaintiff, to perjure herself, to protect her lawyer, committing fraud. However, the integrity of the justice system has not been resolved judicially so the justice system is currently stalled.” And Justice Newbury suspected that was a reference to the twenty — 2006 family trial. He raised Jordan at that point, which in my submission Madam Justice Newbury also resolved. There’s a reference to whether it’s: … the “best interests of the child … for their father to have no rights and for the mother’s word to be accepted in preference to everything that the father says.” Um, whether: … it was reasonable for the Crown to allege that a citizen has committed a crime, it should “equally be open for a Citizen to assert that a Government employee has committed a crime, without fear of retribution.” And that: Judges … are government employees “no matter how much Judges would like to assert
independence, fairness and impartiality.” Suffice it to say, Your Honour, it goes on and on. My understanding is that in the course of the appeal hearing, Madam Justice Newbury invited Mr. Holsworth to provide documents that he says support this claim including the transcript that he’s saying was disregarded in his trial, all of that. I think to some extent he responded but he didn’t provide everything. Ultimately Madam Justice Newbury addresses these arguments in my respectful submission and perhaps in a way that the trial courts didn’t as a matter of judicial economy and all of that. But Madam Justice Newbury, I submit, heard these arguments, ultimately deciding at the end that they have no chance of success. Ultimately declining leave to appeal in the B.C. Court of Appeal. Paragraph 29 she writes: It is unclear to me whether Mr. Holsworth is intentionally ignoring the clear rule that judges must exercise their discretion judicially and is doing so in order to obfuscate and delay the fact of his convictions under the ITA; or whether he actually believes he was unfairly treated in 2006 and is therefore somehow not bound by court orders or by the duty of all Canadians to file income tax returns. In any event, his leap from the fact that his evidence was not accepted in 2006 to the existence of a vast failure of the justice system and of judges and lawyers to comply with their oaths of office and codes of ethics seems to indicate a disturbing worldview rife with conspiracies and corruption. This does not reflect reality. And she finally says at paragraph 30: None of Mr. Holsworth’s purported grounds of appeal described above has any chance of success in an appeal of Lyster J.’s order to this court. The application for leave to appeal is dismissed. I urge Mr. Holsworth to be fully prepared to address the question of due diligence at his upcoming trials on October 6, 2022 and January 26, 2023. And so in my respectful view, these issues that he’s attempting to raise again ultimately have been resolved by the higher courts, if there was any question whether there — they had sufficient merit that they should proceed today by way of full argument and response from the Crown. So I submit, in short, there’s no merit — there is no merit to these arguments and the application for Charter relief that Mr. Holsworth is seeking ought to be dismissed summarily so that we may proceed to the trial itself.
THE COURT: All right. You’ve heard the Crown, Mr. Holsworth. You have an opportunity to reply.
THE ACCUSED: Okay. Well, I just — I’d like to, um, I think it’s important to realize that this is a protest, this is a political protest, right? Um, I’m exercising my freedom of expression and my evidence has been deemed irrelevant. Right? My experience, my life experience has been said, “Your experience is irrelevant. What’s happened to you in the past in the justice system doesn’t reflect what is going to happen today.” But it does. It shows that there are insufficient procedural safeguards to justify the claim that you’re providing a fair and impartial trial and providing fundamental justice. Um, the reality of the argument on the ITA, on the constitutionality of the ITA, in the Provincial Court, when I presented the constitutional question, Crown responded, “No comment.” Provincial Crown have been served. Federal Crown have been served with the document. Neither one of them came up with a response. I presented argument. The act of Parliament does not state anywhere that there’s a due diligence defence available for the — for the s. 238. Crown prosecutor in emails to me also stated that there is — it’s — there’s — this is the procedure, “You only have to — we have to prove that you were served and that you didn’t file,” and that is it. So you had Crown prosecution saying that it’s an absolute liability offence and you had the attorney generals of B.C. and Canada saying that they had no comment on it. The judge ruled against the evidence, against all my arguments with zero argument presented by Crown and ruled against me, because he just knew. That proved to be incorrect because the act of Parliament clearly does not state that there is a due diligence offence available. So the evidence is very clear that the act of Parliament is unconstitutional. The evidence is very clear. Crown came back at Supreme Court and said, “Oh, no, look, there is a case called Sedhu that says that there’s a due diligence defence available.” But Sedhu applies to an entirely different section and I made that point in the Supreme Court. It doesn’t apply to s. 238, it’s talking about something else. And then — so then we appealed to the Court of Appeal and I asked for debate on the issue and I’m denied. I didn’t get a right to appeal, they denied my right to appeal. So to say that there’s been debate on the issue, it’s just been denial of the issue on both issues and the reality is that I’ve made the argument before and at all times that my belief is that constitutionality of the court has not been checked. It is not operating legitimately according to the Charter. So to say that whatever court has any jurisdiction on anybody is still in debate. So to claim that the Court of Appeal has any authority, I’m not going to the Court of Appeal believing that they are going to dispense me justice. I’m only there because it’s the only option that I have and I’m doing a political protest on abuse of power.
So, you know, I did ask at the Court of Appeal about the constitutionality of failing to respond to a constitutional question. I did not receive a response to the constitutionality of a failure to respond to the constitutional question. Of course there’s no success, I know that there’s no success in this court for my argument. Because I know you’re going to deny everything that I say because that evidence is clear. I presented the transcript to a judge to enforce the rule of law against a lawyer committing fraud with a court order and the judge’s response was to call the plaintiff and ask her what she had heard the judge say and preferred that to my evidence, the transcript. So I’m very clear that the weight of my evidence is zero. That the court will disregard everything. And I’m very clear that the court will disregard all of my arguments. Because I’ve presented my arguments and Crown has presented none and I’ve still been ruled against. They’ve still pulled up precedent and it’s still wrong. But because a judge is here and commands people below him, like we’re in a military kind of thing and you can’t think for yourself. And so Justice Newbury apparently, her opinion, because that’s what it is. It’s clearly an opinion. And in fact there are significant legal and factual errors in her judgment. But I have no right to appeal her dismissal. So her discretion right there is unlimited and arbitrary. So this process is arbitrary because it relies on, we’re going to do the same thing again. We’re going to go to this court. I’ll appeal to the Supreme Court. I’ll Supreme — appeal to the Court of Appeal who has an arbitrary right to just say, against all the evidence and all my argument. So you’re correct. And this is the whole point of why I’m here, is to prove that I have no rights. I’m not trying to, you know, you have the power to give me my rights. And what I asked for in the Supreme Court was for a writ of mandamus to bring this matter to the attention of Parliament, which is the appropriate venue to hear this matter. That was denied. That is unconstitutional because it’s in breach of the Charter. And in breach — Um, so basically the reality is I’m being coerced into accepting whatever verdict you put before me and I have no rights. Um, and you’re asking me or Crown is asking me to prove myself and trying to say, oh well, just ignore all this other stuff and, “You just have to submit to us and we’ll tell you whether you’re guilty or not.” And that is not the correct way that the Charter is to be applied. So you know, like, and I — there’s problems with judicial independence here that I brought up as well. You know, I know that Crown or the judiciary wants to claim that you’re independent, stuff like that, and I know you get paid by the government, through our tax dollars. So an executive directs that. And I’m not sure how much you get paid, um, but wouldn’t it be fair if I were to pay you the same amount? And then there wouldn’t be that conflict of, well, you know, you’re relying on the wages of the government so obviously your money is coming from the government. It kind of does produce this sense of partiality to your employer, you know. As much as you want to say that you’ve got judicial independence, if I was to offer you, say, whatever, I’m not sure how you make but, you know, an equal amount, you’re going to say that’s a crime. That’s a problem. I did want to bring up, in respect to the due diligence defence that Crown keeps on wanting me to make, I believe that the — the case law on the motor vehicle association — or the motor vehicle — the Reference re Motor Vehicle Act brings up, and Sedhu and a number of parts as well brings up the issue of there being due diligence as a defence as well as a lack of a guilty mind. I just want to bring up that issue for debate right now, as to whether or not — because I don’t want this to come back on a mistrial again, right? So let’s get the law straight. Do I have just the due diligence defence or do I have a lack of a guilty mind defence as well? Because I will present evidence that is absolutely clear that my entire participation in this process is one of protest. An exercise of my freedom of expression to abuse of power in the judiciary. So I’ll leave it there as far as the guilty mind thing. I’d like to hear Crown’s submission on that point.
THE COURT: All right. I think the Crown gave their submissions. I don’t know if there’s something — he’s inviting you to —
CNSL I. FERBEY: On that point, what I will do is at the end — I mean, I could refer to the elements of the offence if — at this point but it’s normally something that might be addressed at the end. But —
THE COURT: So, well, why don’t we do it then?
CNSL I. FERBEY: Just with respect, if I may just say one or perhaps two things in response to what Mr. Holsworth has just said. Mr. Holsworth, when he’s impugning the integrity of the court and he’s conveniently overlooked that the courts throughout this process, when he pursued the appeal stages, have protected and upheld his right in the sense that Madam Justice Lyster found that there was a miscarriage of justice in the trial below and she ordered a new trial. So he’s sort of overlooking the fact the system has stood between him and the State and protected him from convictions where there was a miscarriage of justice in the trial below. So he chooses not to sort of pay any attention to that, I suppose. The — and that’s all I’ll say.
THE COURT: Okay. Well, I’ll take — I just note the time and I have to take the morning break.
THE ACCUSED: Okay.
THE CLERK: Order in court. Court stands adjourned until 11:30.
(PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED FOR MORNING RECESS)
THE SHERIFF: Order in court. All rise.
THE COURT: Thanks.
THE CLERK: Provincial Court is reconvened.
THE COURT: Mr. Holsworth has raised a number of issues that have to be addressed and I can’t, in the matter of a few minutes or even 20 minutes or 30 minutes properly review the decisions that have been placed before me, review his notice, consider what he told me, then we have oral submissions, what the Crown said by way of oral submissions. I simply need time to weigh and consider this. So, um, what I’m — what I’m going to do to allow me that time is direct that we reconvene at 1:30. I’ll give a ruling at that time.
THE ACCUSED: Sorry, what’s the ruling going to be on?
THE COURT: Well, the preliminary matters that you’ve raised —
THE ACCUSED: Okay.
THE COURT: — and you want to raise the issues that are in your notice, as amplified in your oral submissions. The Crown made a response and I have to give a ruling as to whether or not we’re going to deal with those issues.
THE ACCUSED: Okay.
THE COURT: Do you understand?
THE ACCUSED: Yes, thank you.
THE COURT: Okay. All right.
THE SHERIFF: Order in court. All rise.
THE CLERK: Court stands adjourned until 1:30.
(PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED FOR NOON RECESS)
THE CLERK: Recalling Rex versus Trevor Russell Holsworth, 26418.
[RULING RE CHARTER APPLICATION]
 THE COURT: Mr. Holsworth is charged with offences under s. 238(1) of the Income Tax Act for failing to comply with notices of requirement to file various corporate tax returns. He entered pleas of not guilty, he is self-represented.
 The matter originally proceeded at trial on July 15, 2021. Mr. Holsworth filed an notice of Constitutional Question Act, which was heard by the original trial judge in July 2021.
 He was found guilty of all counts. He appealed his conviction. The appeal was heard by Madam Justice Lyster on December 3, 2021, and she rendered her decision May 10, 2022. At paragraphs 13 to 17 of her decision, Madam Justice Lyster refers to and reviews the Notification, Constitutional Question Act as follows. Paragraph 13: At the outset of the trial, Mr. Holsworth presented a document entitled “Notification, Constitutional Question Act” which I will refer to as the “Notice of Constitutional Question”. The Notice of Constitutional Question raised several issues. First, it stated that s. 238 of the ITA is unconstitutional because it “provides for a term of imprisonment which is contrary to the Charter of Rights as stated in Reference re Motor Vehicle Act (British Columbia) s. 94(2), 1985 CanLII 81 (SCC),  2 S.C.R. 486″.
Second, it sought an undefined constitutional remedy, the particulars of which were stated as follows:
1. The Canadian Judicial Council claims by their letter to me dated August 28, 2007 that Judges have absolute unfettered discretion to accept or reject all evidence including the official court record, the transcript.
2. I served the Attorney General of Canada/Minister of Justice David Lametti on March 9th 2020 … with a charter notice as per s 24(1) of the Charter of Rights.
3. The Charter Notice is attached in Appendix A.
4. No formal response was ever received.
5. No notification to Parliament was ever made.
6. I hereby apply for the constitutional remedy outlined in my Charter Notice to be applied, for the constitutionality of the Courts be checked by Parliament and other such remedies be provided as that court determines.
The attached Charter notice, which was stated to have been delivered to the Deputy Attorney General’s office on March 9, 2020, states in part
Federal Judges through the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) are claiming the right to dispense arbitrary justice contrary to the principles of fundamental justice of which a lack of arbitrariness is the primary factor. The CJC claim that Federal Judges do not have to accept the official transcript of trial as the highest form of evidence possible, that they have the discretion to accept other evidence such as personal testimony in preference. A large number of problems follow from that position and have [affected] my rights personally and continue to do so. I have requested from the CJC that they explain how they can hold that position with regards to my Charter of Rights or submit my complaint in regards to their position to Parliament to get confirmation of its legality but they have denied both requests.
The only Court of competent jurisdiction to judge the judges who judge the judges is Parliament. I have currently lost most of my legal rights except obviously my right to life but I am in fear of losing that. I am hereby applying to Parliament for the protection of my charter of rights. Obviously urgency is of prime importance.
Paragraph 17: I pause to note that Mr. Holsworth’s concerns about the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), and indeed the Canadian justice system as a whole, all appear to stem from family litigation he was involved in, in or about 2006. Mr. Holsworth made a complaint to the CJC about the judge who presided at his family trial, alleging that the judge wrongly accepted the evidence of his former spouse and her lawyer instead of accepting the transcript.
 Madam Justice Lyster continues at paragraphs 38 and 39:
ISSUES ON APPEAL
In his statement of argument on appeal and in his oral submissions before me, Mr. Holsworth reiterated his many complaints and grievances with the judiciary, the CJC, the Minster of Justice, FMEP, the Law Society, lawyers, and the RCMP, all stemming from the 2006 family law decision. Those complaints and grievances do not relate to the offences with which Mr. Holsworth was charged and of which he was convicted, and they are not relevant to this appeal. I will not be considering them in this decision. In his statement of argument, Mr. Holsworth submitted that his Notice of Constitutional Question was ignored at trial and that his constitutional rights and arguments concerning abuse of process were ignored by the trial judge. Mr. Holsworth seeks to have his convictions set aside. He asks this court for a declaration that there was a miscarriage of justice, for a writ of mandamus directing the Minister of Justice to heed his complaint to the CJC, and for Charter damages.
 At paragraph 40, Justice Lyster makes reference to Mr. Holsworth’s submissions: … that the trial judge erred by failing to advise him of the existence of a due diligence defence under s. 238(1).
 She referred to his oral submissions before her: … that the mandatory minimum set out in s. 238(1)(a) of the [Income Tax Act] is unconstitutional, citing R. v. Boudreault …  S.C.J. No. 58.
 At paragraphs 49 and 50, Madam Justice Lyster stated it is clear that the trial judge did not fail to act judicially in summarily dismissing Mr. Holsworth’s constitutional application. She states at paragraphs 49 and 50. In my view, it is clear that the trial judge did not fail to act judicially in summarily dismissing Mr. Holsworth’s constitutional application related to his grievances flowing from the family law case. Those grievances are completely unrelated to this criminal proceeding and are irrelevant to any matter in issue before the trial court or this court on appeal. A trial judge has a screening functioning in considering whether such applications have a reasonable prospect of success, as described by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Cody, 2017 SCC 31 at para. 38. R. v. Holsworth The trial judge provided Mr. Holsworth with a full and fair opportunity to explain the nature of his constitutional application. He considered the nature of the application and acted judicially in determining that it had no reasonable prospect of success. There is no basis to interfere with the trial judge’s exercise of discretion in summarily dismissing Mr. Holsworth’s constitutional application.
 Madam Justice Lyster then addressed whether the trial judge erred in law by dismissing Mr. Holsworth’s argument that s. 238(1) of the Income Tax Act violates the rule in Reference Re Motor Vehicle Act, British Columbia s. 94(2),  2 SCR 486 at paragraph 51. The court ruled in paragraph 56: The combination of the strict liability offence created by s. 238(1) of the ITA with the possibility of imprisonment does not offend s. 7 of the Charter.
 Madam Justice Lyster noted that the trial judge did not fully explain the difference between an absolute liability offence and a strict liability offence. It was not made clear to the accused that this was a strict liability offence and therefore the offence of due diligence is available. Madam Justice Lyster ordered a new trial.
 The accused appealed the ruling of Madam Justice Lyster. On September 29, 2022, the Honourable Madam Justice Newbury dismissed the application for leave to appeal the judgment of Justice Lyster.
 It is clear that, with the exception of due diligence issues, Mr. Holsworth wishes to again raise the same arguments that have been ruled on on the appeal of the trial judgment by the B.C. Supreme Court and the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
 I am bound by their decisions. I conclude that Mr. Holsworth’s application has no reasonable prospect of success with respect to his constitutional question in his notice, including arguments relating to abuse of process or writ of mandamus, his grievance relating to his family law case. As stated by Madam Justice Lyster at paragraph 49 of her decision, those matters are completely unrelated to this criminal proceeding and are irrelevant to any matter in issue before this trial court.
 I dismiss Mr. Holsworth’s constitutional application filed July 15, 2021, which seeks an undefined remedy and which is referred to in paragraph 15 and 16 of the judgment of Madam Justice Lyster and the judgment of Madam Justice Newbury regarding his grievances with the judiciary and the government.
 Further, I dismiss Mr. Holsworth’s argument that s. 238(1) of the Income Tax Act is unconstitutional in providing the possibility of imprisonment for a strict liability offence for the reasons stated by Madam Justice Lyster of the Supreme Court and the Honourable Justice Newbury of the B.C. Court of Appeal.
 I wish to make it clear that this ruling does not interfere with the right of Mr. Holsworth to raise the defence of due diligence to the counts referred to in the Information. The offences are strict liability offence and therefore the defence of due diligence is available to Mr. Holsworth
THE COURT: Okay. We can now proceed.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Thank you, Your Honour. So in terms of Crown’s case, I wish to start by marking documents as exhibits in the trial proper.
THE ACCUSED: Excuse me, just one second. I — I have my Charter freedom of expression that I can continue to express in this court. That is my right, to make a political statement in this courtroom. There is a long, long list of political statements about this issue that have been in the public, um, that the court needs to hear in order for this case to move forward.
THE COURT: I’ve made my —
THE ACCUSED: I have a right to express myself.
THE COURT: I — you have and —
THE ACCUSED: Okay, and —
THE COURT: — I — I made a ruling based on your application and your wish to express various rights, including what you just articulated to me. I made a ruling and that — that ends the matter and you have your —
THE ACCUSED: So, but your ruling says, “I deny all of your Charter rights.”
THE COURT: I made —
THE ACCUSED: That — that is — that is the result of your ruling is — and I appreciate your position but, you know, human rights abuses throughout the world have been caused by the problem of following orders. You are a human being and I am a human being. I am here trying to improve the system of justice. I have tried to communicate my concerns and I have done that to the best of my ability. I am here trying to improve the system of justice which is all of our duty. I am here to do that. You need to provide me that voice.
THE COURT: For the next — to repeat myself, sir, I’ve made my ruling and —
THE ACCUSED: Okay then, you’ve made your ruling. I’m asking you where is — where do you get your authority from?
THE COURT: I’ve made my ruling, Mr. Holsworth.
THE ACCUSED: Okay, then I’m going to walk out of this courtroom, right?
THE COURT: Well —
THE ACCUSED: Because you cannot enforce the law when you are doing that. I’m sorry, but that is the only situation I’ve got left with me, is well, if you are going to ignore my Charter rights, then I have to leave.
THE COURT: I —
THE ACCUSED: Because I — I’m not going — I do not consent to being ruled outside of the constraints of the Charter and that — you know, for women, it’s called rape. For me, that’s what’s happening right now, okay? I do appreciate everyone’s efforts here but obviously we need to do more. I am open to more communication on the issue, um, but you cannot ignore me, um —
THE COURT: Mr. Holsworth —
THE ACCUSED: — in this position.
THE COURT: Mr. Holsworth, you know —
THE ACCUSED: You don’t really have anything to stand on, Your Honour, I’m sorry.
THE COURT: Well, I’m sorry that’s what you believe, sir. You are here before me on a trial matter and I’m —
THE ACCUSED: And you’re saying you’re not bound by the Charter. It’s an unfortunate ruin and I’m not going to stand for it.
THE COURT: And I — at the opening of this trial — Mr. Holsworth — he’s walked out of the courtroom.
THE SHERIFF: That’s correct, Your Honour.
THE COURT: Well, just a minute now. No, I’m not going to create a — a scene here. The man is upset and perhaps I’ll give him a moment to calm down and perhaps he will change his mind. If he doesn’t change his mind, the Crown, I take it is making an application to proceed ex parte.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Sure.
THE COURT: In lieu of me receiving from you, that is you making an application for a warrant, there are provisions to proceed ex parte. The record is clear that Mr. Holsworth was in and out of this courtroom all morning. If you’re satisfied that you can prove your case and you want to proceed ex parte in lieu of a warrant, if you need a moment to think about that.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Um, I think I would, Your Honour. Just, I’ve never come across that before. Just I need to read the section and be familiar with what the test is and —
THE COURT: Do you want me to stand down and maybe I can give Mr. Holsworth a chance to calm down and maybe he’ll come back.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Sure.
THE COURT: I’ve actually had this experience in this courthouse not that long ago and the person did come back but —
CNSL I. FERBEY: Right.
THE COURT: — Mr. Sheriff, don’t — maybe, I don’t want him provoked any more. He obviously is upset with my ruling but — so I’ll just stand down and let you think about — your witness is here, you told me and —
CNSL I. FERBEY: Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, if I might just have 10 minutes or so. Five to 10 —
THE COURT: No, no, sure. And —
CNSL I. FERBEY: Thank you.
THE SHERIFF: Order in court.
THE COURT: Okay. All right, I just want to make it clear on the record that that was Mr. Holsworth present in this courtroom, and walked in and out of here and walked out, just as I was trying to speak to him. He just walked out of the courtroom. As he said he was leaving and he did.
THE CLERK: Thank you, Your Honour. A note has been made as well.
THE CLERK: Provincial court is reconvened.
CNSL I. FERBEY: And so Your Honour, for the record it’s Isaac Ferbey appearing for Crown. While we were stood down, I received information from one of the deputy sheriffs to the effect that he observed Mr. Holsworth departing the vicinity of the courthouse. And it would seem that he – that on that basis he did not decide to return to the courtroom. Um, and I’ve reviewed section 475 of the Code, which I believe is the section that governs procedure when the accused absconds during trial.
THE COURT: I’m not sure if he’s absconded. I would characterize it as he’s decided not to participate. There’s another —
CNSL I. FERBEY: There’s an annotation on — in the 2023 Code, Martin’s Code on page 901 and I don’t know if that’s the one Your Honour has.
THE COURT: Oh, I — it’s a little bit dated but what do you have in yours?
CNSL I. FERBEY: So under s. 475, under the annotations.
THE COURT: Yes?
CNSL I. FERBEY: There’s a discussion of the meaning of absconds.
THE COURT: Okay.
CNSL I. FERBEY: And this is with reference to a case called Garofoli,  41 CCC (3d) 97, affirmed on this point in the Supreme Court of Canada. And there’s also R. v. Taylor,  252 CCC (3d) 197 BCCA. The annotation says [as read in]: The word absconds in this section means more than mere failure to appear. It imports a requirement that the accused has voluntarily absented himself from the trial for the purposes of — for the purpose of impeding or frustrating the trial or with the intention of avoiding its consequences. The necessary intent can however be inferred upon – Sorry: … from proof of the accused deliberately absented himself. Upon proof that the accused absconded, the trial may proceed, although defence counsel has been permitted to withdraw.
THE COURT: Okay.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Again, without actually reading the facts of those cases, that may well be the situation we’re dealing with here, in my submission. Section 803 may also assist Your Honour. I just found it in my index.
THE COURT: Right. That’s the section.
CNSL I. FERBEY: Mm-hmm.
THE COURT: All right.
[RULING ON CROWN APPLICATION TO PROCEED EX PARTE]