Proceedings for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, are underway this week (Sept. 14-25) in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)

Proceedings for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, are underway this week (Sept. 14-25) in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)

Blaine Inn owner challenging human-smuggling charges

Robert Boule alleging immigration act infringes on Charter rights: Public Prosecution Service

Court proceedings for Blaine bed-and-breakfast owner Robert Boule – who is facing nearly two dozen human smuggling-related charges – are underway this week in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

According to Public Prosecution Service of Canada spokesperson Nathalie Houle, two weeks (Sept. 14-25) are set aside to hear the accused’s challenge of the constitutionality of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) – the law he is accused of breaking.

He is alleging that three sections of the IRPA infringe on Sec. 7 of the charter – the right to life, liberty and security of the person, Houle said.

“The remainder of the criminal trial will proceed on a date to be determined,” Houle added in a Sept. 16 email response to Peace Arch News’ inquiries.

Boule is the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, located on the south side of 0 Avenue at 184 Street, on the U.S. side of the border.

Arrested in April 2019, he is accused of helping people illegally enter Canada at the U.S. border, and is facing nine charges under the IRPA, as well as 12 charges under Sec. 145(3) of the Criminal Code for breach of bail.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Smuggler’s Inn owner charged with helping people illegally enter Canada

The offences are alleged to have occurred between April 2016 and March 2019.

Boule was initially facing a total of 30 charges, however, nine were stayed in June 2019.

In July of last year, an application by Boule to have the Canadian government fund his defense was granted. The “Rowbotham application” is an option for people “facing serious and complex criminal charges,” who have been denied legal aid and can’t afford a lawyer.

READ MORE: Canadian government to fund defence of Smuggler’s Inn owner

Boule’s trial had initially been set for Jan. 13 to Feb. 5 of this year, but was moved at the request of the defence after his lawyer was appointed to the bench.

READ MORE: New dates set for South Surrey’s Smuggler’s Inn trial



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Firefighters battled a wildfire on Mount Woodside near Harrison Mills on Wednesday, April 14. Seabird Island and B.C. Wildfire Service firefighters helped keep the blaze from spreading to brush, keeping it to roughly half a hectare. (Photo/Agassiz Fire Department)
Agassiz, Seabird Island firefighters contain Mt. Woodside wildfire

Half-hectare fire among the first wildfires of the year

Structural firefighter Ken Barwich sits on a mountain overlooking Hope and the Fraser River, in a new safety video that promotes the simple steps to take around your yard and home to protect it from forest fires. (Screenshot)
VIDEO: Hope featured in B.C. fire safety video for homeowners

Simple steps can protect a home from being lost in a forest fire, says B.C. FireSmart

Clay Helkenberg was all smiles after bringing up a gun and box of ammo from the bottom of Chilliwack Lake. (Instagram photo)
Chilliwack diver finds handgun and ammunition on the bottom of Chilliwack Lake

Clay Helkenberg has long had a gun on his want-to-find list, and finally checked it off

Cannabis plants visible under bright lights inside a large facility at Shxwha:y Village on July 6, 2018. The reserve was home to the licensed producer for Indigenous Bloom, which opened up a dispensary on the Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt reserve. On April 12, 2021, Shxwha:y announced Health Canada approval for a licensed production facility at the village. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack’s Shxwha:y First Nation approved for cannabis cultivation and processing facility

It will be the first majority-owned Indigenous on-reserve licensed facility in Western Canada

Rich Goulet receives a volunteer award from then Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Contributed)
Petition for Rich Goulet gymnasium keeps growing

More than 4,200 seek honour for Pitt Meadows basketball coach

Vancouver police say eight people were arrested Wednesday after anti-pipeline protesters blocked off both the entrances and exits to two buildings in the downtown core. (Instagram/Qtcatspictureclub)
8 people arrested after anti-pipeline protestors chain themselves to Vancouver buildings

Cst. Tania Visintin said demonstrators caused ‘a serious safety hazard’ downtown for hours Wednesday

Jamie Coutts recorded a man following her around downtown Vancouver for a half-hour on Wednesday, March 18. (Instagram screenshot/Iammjammbamm)
Man charged in alleged high-profile Vancouver stalking case that went viral online

Man faces five other charges including criminal harassment and assault with a weapon

Police barricade (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey RCMP investigate shooting overnight at Whalley motel

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said a 38-year-old man was taken to hospital suffering from a serious injury

A new Lower Mainland study will examine feline COVID-19 transmission using data gathered from up to 40 cats living with newly infected adults. (Pixabay)
CDC conducting mobile kitty COVID tests outside of Lower Mainland homes

Researchers are probing whether humans can transmit the coronavirus to household pets

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read