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Nunavunmi Maligaliuqtiit

NUNAVUT COURT OF JUSTICE


Cour de justice du Nunavut

Citation: R. v. Metuq, 2018 NUCJ 25


Date: 20180918
Docket: 02-18-05; 02-18-15
Registry: Iqaluit

Crown: Her Majesty the Queen


-and-

Accused: Brian Metuq

________________________________________________________________________

Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Gregory Mulligan

Counsel (Crown): Roman Dzioba


Counsel (Accused): Julie Bedford

Location Heard: Iqaluit, Nunavut


Date Heard: September 17 & 18, 2018
Matters: Sentencing pursuant to Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46,
sections 87, 145(5.1), 264.1(1)(b), and 266.

REASONS FOR SENTENCE


(Delivered Orally)

(NOTE: This document may have been edited for publication)


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I. INTRODUCTION

[1] By way of overview, Brian Metuq pleaded guilty to five counts before
the court, with the assistance of Counsel, Ms. Bedford, who made
submissions as to sentence on his behalf.

[2] Those offences: two counts of assault, one count of uttering threats,
one count of pointing a firearm and one count of breach.

[3] The Crown submits that a global sentence of 160 days incarceration,
followed by 12 months’ probation would be an appropriate sentence.

[4] The Defence submits that a conditional sentence of six months’ house
arrest, followed by probation would be a fit sentence for Mr. Metuq.

II. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE OFFENCES

[5] The first offences occurred on February 4, 2018. The offender


admits that an assault occurred on his domestic partner, Laila
Alookie, and that he pushed his daughter. He used some force to
hold his partner down and made threats.

[6] The second offence occurred on May 4, 2018, and she reported
this matter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP]
around May 18, 2018. On this occasion, he attended the
residence of his domestic partner, looking for weed. He pointed a
firearm at her and expressed suicidal thoughts. This matter
ended without further incident and without the tragic ending that
could have resulted.

[7] By attending her residence, he breached the terms of his


recognizance.

[8] Mr. Metuq admits the circumstances of these offences.


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III. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE OFFENDER

[9] Mr. Metuq has a criminal record dating from February 2016. He
received a suspended sentence and one year probation for a
series of assaults on his same domestic partner, together with
mischief and failure to comply with an undertaking. He has had
no further involvement with the criminal justice system until these
offences before the court today.

[10] He is 25 years of age.

[11] The court received a Pre-Sentence Report, which I view as


positive in terms of the prospects for rehabilitation and
successful return to his home community of Qikiqtarjuaq, where
he resided for most of his life.

[12] He went to school until grade 10, but spent most of life on the
land with his grandfather hunting, fishing, and camping. His
mother also resides in the community. The passing of his
grandfather appears to have been a life altering event in his life.
He became addicted to marijuana, and for a time he had suicidal
thoughts.

[13] Mr. Metuq has had a domestic relationship with Ms. Alookie for
about six years. They have a daughter, aged three, and he has a
step-daughter. He rarely has had employment, but has provided
for his family by hunting and fishing.

[14] The author of the Pre-Sentence Report notes about his


relationship with Laila as follows:

Laila would like to begin couples counselling once the accused


in back. She stated that she still has a relationship with the
accused, and since they are in different communities, she
believes that their relationship has gotten better. She said that
she has heard from the accused’s family members that he has
stopped using drugs and is dealing with what caused the
incident. Laila sees the relationship going in the right direction
and would like to continue the relationship. Laila says that she
is not afraid of him.
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[15] Laila Alookie filed a victim impact statement, stating in part, “we
need him. His family needs him. I believe he can change and
learn to manage his anger.”

[16] Because of these offences, Mr. Metuq was removed from his
home community and incarcerated in Iqaluit for five days. He
was then released to the care of his Aunt and Uncle, Lizzie and
Jason Aliqatuqtuq, who filed a letter in support.

[17] Jason also spoke in court about his care for his nephew, Brian,
and the positive changes that he has seen in Brian over the last
several months. Brian has followed house rules, and gone
hunting and fishing with his Uncle who has obviously been a
positive influence these last few months.

A. Aggravating Factors

[18] Mr. Metuq has a criminal record for domestic assault and has
had the benefit of a suspended sentence and probation. He now
faces the court with further charges, once again involving his
domestic partner.

B. Mitigating Factors

[19] Mr. Metuq has pleaded guilty to the charges before the court. His
domestic partner is therefore not required to give evidence
reliving these events, in circumstances where she would like him
back in the life of her family and their children and the
community.

[20] Mr. Metuq has expressed remorse to the author of the Pre-
Sentence Report and in addressing the court yesterday.

[21] Mr. Metuq is a youthful offender. Mr. Metuq has strong family
support from his Aunt and Uncle and has made much progress
while residing with them in Iqaluit. Because he was removed
from his home community, he has not been able to provide for
his family in the traditional fashion by hunting and fishing. He has
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been away from the community for about four months. Mr. Metuq
has seen counselling for mental health issues and seems to
have broken his addiction to marijuana.

IV. SENTENCING PRINCIPLES

[22] I need not recite all the sentencing principles set out in the
Criminal Code at s. 718, but two of them come to mind here as
important in my view based on Mr. Metuq’s age.

[23] First of all, one of the principles of sentencing is to assist in


rehabilitation of offenders. Another principle is to promote the
sense of responsibility in offenders. Gladue principles also rise to
importance in sentencing an offender like Mr. Metuq. Although I
do not have a Gladue report, I have considerable information
about Mr. Metuq’s family and their traditions in the community
through the Pre-Sentence Report and submissions of Counsel.

V. CONDITIONAL SENTENCE

[24] Based on the offences before the court, I am satisfied that a


conditional sentence under s. 742 can be considered here.

[25] The Criminal Code at s. 718.2(e) provides “all available


sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the
circumstances and are consistent with the harm done to the
victims or to the community should be considered for all
offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of
aboriginal offenders” [emphasis added].

VI. DISPOSITION

[26] I am satisfied that a conditional sentence of house arrest with his Aunt
and Uncle, in Iqaluit, meets the objectives of sentencing here. Mr.
Metuq has already had a short, sharp period in jail, five days. Either
because of that experience or more likely the guidance of his Aunt
and Uncle, he has made real progress since his release.
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[27] This sentence is still punitive. He will not be able to return to his home
community or to restore the relationship with his spouse and children
until this sentence is complete.

VII. TERMS OF THE CONDITIONAL SENTENCE

[28] The terms of the six month conditional sentence are as follows:

1. You will remain in the residence or on the property of Jason and


Lizzie Aliqatuqtuq at all times.

2. Exceptions are to attend any counselling sessions or mental


health evaluation, providing he is transported by his Aunt and Uncle.

3. To be allowed out of the house for two hours twice a week for
personal errands and shopping, provided he is accompanied by his
Aunt or Uncle, at times set by his Aunt and Uncle.

4. There will be a further exception to allow Mr. Metuq to attend work


or any educational or training opportunities while in Iqaluit. Jason or
Lizzie shall provide transportation and monitor attendance by
keeping a diary to be later provided to his probation officer.

5. With the consent of Laila Alookie, he can have telephone access


to her and the children during this conditional sentence.

[29] At the completion of his conditional sentence, he shall be subject to a


probation order for 12 months and report to his probation officer within
three days of the completion of his conditional sentence, subject to
the usual terms.

VIII. ANCILLARY ORDERS

[30] I turn to the ancillary orders sought by the Crown.

1. Weapons Prohibition

[31] The Crown seeks a weapons prohibition order, and I think I am right
on this because the Crown proceeded summarily, the court has
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discretion as to whether or not to impose such an order under s. 110


of the Criminal Code.

[32] The circumstances here are unique to Mr. Metuq. He has grown up in
a tradition of living off the land. He has supported his family in this
matter by hunting and fishing, and has had previously the guidance
and support of his grandfather.

[33] I am sure that this is a very common way of life in his home
community. Such an order would affect his ability to support his
family.

[34] I decline to make such an order. But I do make an order that during
his period of probation he not have immediate possession of any
firearms or ammunition. These items must be stored in a safe place in
the premises of a third party who consents to provide safe storage.
Such consent shall be in writing and provided to his probation officer
to ensure compliance. Mr. Metuq is to be allowed a firearm when on
the land hunting.

2. Contact

[35] Contact with Laila during the period of probation is prohibited unless
she consents in writing. She may withdraw this consent at any time by
notifying the RCMP and the parole officer.

[36] There should be a cooling off period of 24 hours.

3. Victim Fine Surcharge

[37] In these circumstances there will be a victim fine surcharge of $500.


There will be a year to pay the victim fine surcharge.

IX. CONCLUSION

[38] Good luck, Mr. Metuq.

[39] You are fortunate to have your Aunt and Uncle to assist you, and you
have made progress since your release from jail. I hope that you will
take advantage of any counselling opportunities here, in Iqaluit, given
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your conditional sentence. I hope you will take further steps as to the
responsible use and handling of firearms not only during your
probation period, but for life. Your children deserve this.

Dated at the City of Iqaluit this 18th day of September, 2018

___________________
Justice G. Mulligan
Nunavut Court of Justice