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R v Lagace (2003), 181 CCC (3d) 13 (Ont CA)


L was registering cars for X in ON. Police talked to L and told him X was under investigation. L called X and he reassured him he was not involved in illegal activity


Had the trial judge misapplied the willful blindness doctrine?
What kind of suspicion must the accused have to make out willful blindness?


When an inquiry is made, it must be determined if there was any doubt that remains to claim for willful blindness, if the accused continued the conduct after the inquiry.
**Did they continue to harbour some doubt after the inquiry – if so then an argument could be made that they were willfully blind.

In regards to willful blindness it must be real suspicion in the mind of the accused that causes a need for an inquiry


A person has real suspicion if knowing what they knew they feel there is some to inquiry. An inquiry could be insufficient. Finding on willful blindness requires deliberate ignorance


How much of a suspicion is needed?
**A real suspicion – one has to be driven to see a need of inquiry – one can still be guilty if inquiry made, if the Crown can prove that the accused did not take all reasonable steps to alleviate the suspicion

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