Myth 1: Gladue is about affirmative action

No: Not aimed at affirmative action or reverse discrimination. It is an acknowledgement that to achieve real equality, sometimes different people must be treated differently (R v Vermette, 2001)

Myth 2: Gladue principles ignore the principle of sentencing parity

Wrong. Gladue may result in different sanctions but these are justified because of Aboriginal people’s unique circumstances. Courts are not to undermine the remedial purpose of s.718.2(e) through a “formalistic approach to parity” (R v Ipeelee, para 79)

Myth 3:  There must be a causal connection between Gladue factor and offence.

Not necessary: Causal links between systemic and background factors have been rejected (R v Ipeelee 81-83)
(R v Wells, 2000)

Myth 4: Gladue does not apply to serious offences

Wrong: Gladue applies. (R v Ipeelee para 87)

Source: Gladue: Oft-sited but still woefully misunderstood?
Ralston, B. (2018). (First published by CLEBC as part of the Gladue submissions course, Vancouver, BC, 2018).

© The Gladue Writers Society of British Columbia 2019