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9 causes to watch in 2024 in New Brunswick

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Several legal cases are to be monitored in 2024 in New Brunswick.

  • Pascal Raiche-Nogue (View profile)Pascal Raiche-Nogue

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Several legal cases will attract attention in New Brunswick in 2024. Some are linked to disturbing and violent cases, others would clarify certain rights of Francophones and Indigenous people.

Let's start the overview with Janson Bryan Baker, a 27-year-old man who is involved in various cases in Greater Moncton.

This amateur rapper is notably accused of having killed two elderly people – Bernard and Rose-Marie Saulnier – in September 2019 in Dieppe. If he goes to trial in this case, the public may have some clarification.

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This profile photo was posted to Janson Baker's Facebook account on December 6, 2020. (File photo)

Among other things on the links between this tragedy and one of the couple's sons, Sylvio Saulnier, an alleged drug trafficker who died in January 2023. And also on what explains why four years passed between the murders and the filing of charges.

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Bernard and Rose-Marie Saulnier were killed in 2019 in Dieppe (Archive photo)

Janson Bryan Baker is also accused of committing several crimes on January 5, 2021. That morning, he allegedly participated in a particularly violent burglary at a motel near Moncton.

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ELSE ON INFO: Good news and some irritants for your wallet in 2024

A few hours later, he allegedly attempted to kill a man near Riverview High School, before fleeing to Nova Scotia. He is due to stand trial in this case in January 2024.

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Justin Barrow is accused of killing Max Boudreau. (File photo)

Another sordid case to follow over the coming months is that of Max's murder Boudreau.

This young person disappeared in the Moncton area in November 2022. Several days later, human remains were discovered in a wooded area. The RCMP confirmed that it was Max Boudreau.

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It's in this wooded area where the body of Max Boudreau was found. (Archive photo)

Justin Barrow, 42, was accused of killing him. He is scheduled to stand trial beginning at the end of April. If the trial goes ahead, the public may know what happened and the connections between Max Boudreau and Justin Barrow.

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Journalist Réjean Hébert was killed in December 2022. (Archive photo)

We are now moving to northern New Brunswick, more precisely to the Acadian Peninsula.

Journalist Réjean Hébert was found dead in December 2022 at his residence in Saint-Simon. His son, Philippe Hébert, is accused of having killed him.

Philippe Hébert was found fit to stand his trial. His preliminary inquiry will take place in a few weeks in the Bathurst courthouse.

The Crown will then present its evidence. A judge will have to determine whether these are sufficient to justify holding a trial.

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Relatives of the child killed in Shippagan attend all of the accused's appearances at the Bathurst courthouse. (Archive photo)

Still in the Acadian Peninsula, a very sad affair should attract attention in the coming months. This is that of the 11-year-old child killed by a scooter hit to the head, in November 2022, in Shippagan.

A teenager has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. A lawyer who represented him claimed in court that his client is severely autistic and was unable to follow procedures.

The case is moving at a snail's pace, which is not easy for the victim's loved ones. They attend all hearings, which take place at the Bathurst courthouse. The next hearing is scheduled for January 25, 2024.

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The Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick Brenda Murphy during the reading of the Speech from the Throne, October 17, 2023. (Archive photo)

The year 2024 also promises to be busy in terms of linguistic causes. The most advanced is linked to the functions of lieutenant governor of New Brunswick.

The case goes back in 2019, when Brenda Murphy was appointed, a person with extensive experience, but who cannot speak in both official languages ​​of the province.

The Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) challenged the constitutionality of this appointment and won the first round in the Court of King's Bench. The chief justice ruled that the lieutenant governor must be bilingual.

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Alexandre Cédric Doucet (on the left, at the time president of the SANB) with the organization's two lawyers, June 15, 2023 as they left the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. We recognize Érik Labelle Eastaugh in the center and Gabriel Poliquin on the right.

The province and federal government appealed this decision. The New Brunswick Court of Appeal has not yet released its decision.

Several questions arise in this file, symbolic questions, but also very concrete. For example, can the lieutenant governor be considered an institution, even if it is a single person?

And if it is indeed an institution, what does that mean for other positions occupied by a single person? We can in particular think of the positions of Attorney General and Chief Justice of New Brunswick.

No matter what the New Brunswick Court of Appeal decides, there are strong chances that this case will subsequently end up before the highest court in the country: the Supreme Court of Canada.

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The three lawyers who represent Égalité santé en français: Bruno Gélinas-Faucher (left), Ronald Caza (center) and Geneviève Therrien (right), as they leave the Moncton courthouse on April 25, 2022.

Two other causes linked to the linguistic rights of French speakers could also progress in 2024. The first is supported by the Equality health in French group.

This pressure group turned to the courts in 2022 to contest the dissolution of the board of directors of the Vitalité Health Network, in the midst of an emergency crisis.

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The president of Égalité santé en français Hubert Dupuis in front of the Moncton courthouse. (Archive photo)

Égalité santé en français argues that the provincial government did not have the power to dissolve this entity because the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees Francophones the right to manage certain institutions.

The province of New Brunswick tried to put obstacles in its way. She hasn't had much success so far.

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Press briefings of the provincial government took place mainly in English, in particular because the Prime Minister is not bilingual. (Archive photo)

The second cause is that of Nelson Cyr. This resident of Rogersville considers that his linguistic rights were violated during press briefings by provincial authorities on COVID-19. These took place mainly in English, among other things because Blaine Higgs is not bilingual.

Nelson Cyr and its lawyers want the government to treat French and English speakers fairly, for example by ensuring that there is a bilingual spokesperson at press briefings organized by the province.

Open in full screen mode< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">Five of the six leaders of the Wolastoqey communities of New Brunswick: Gabriel Atkins (Kingsclear), Patricia Bernard (Madawaska), Allan Polchies Jr. (St. Mary's), Shelley Sabbatis (Oromocto) and Ross Perley (Tobique). (Archive photo)

The courts must also consider cases related to Indigenous rights that could have a major impact.

C' is the case of the civil suit filed in 2020 by six Wolastoqey communities to have their title recognized over approximately half of New Brunswick.

The provincial government opposes this claim. The Prime Minister accused the leaders of this First Nation of wanting to dispossess New Brunswickers of their homes.

The Wolastoqey leaders denounced these comments, they accused Blaine Higgs of trying to scare citizens and create tensions between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people.

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Cody Caplin, a member of the Eel River Bar First Nation, was arrested in September 2018 for lobster fishing in Chaleur Bay. (Archive photo)

On a more local scale, another cause stands out. This is the trial of Cody Caplin, a Mi'kmaw fisherman from the Ugpi'Ganjig (Eel River Bar) First Nation.

He is accused of several offenses under the Fisheries Act, including fishing for lobster outside of the legal season.

According to him, treaties signed in the 18th century between the Mi'Kmaq and the British Crown gave him the right to conduct subsistence fishing. He will call several witnesses to the stand to support him, including Mikmaq from Nova Scotia.

Cody Caplin's trial began at the end of November and is scheduled to resume on January 18 in Campbellton Provincial Court.

  • Pascal Raiche-Nogue (View profile)Pascal Raiche-NogueSuivre
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116