A Washington state businessman, accused of helping people enter Canada illegally, made a brief court appearance last week to determine in which court his trial will proceed.
Robert Boule, owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in Blaine, Wash. has “re-elected” to have his trial held in Supreme Court rather than in provincial court.
The decision was made at BC Supreme Court, in New Westminster, on Oct. 24, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada told Peace Arch News Tuesday.
Boule –whose inn is located on the south side of 0 Avenue, on the U.S. side of the border – is facing nine charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and an additional 12 under section 145 (3) of the Criminal Code for breach of bail conditions.
Boule was initially facing a total of 30 charges, however the Crown prosecutor stayed nine charges in June.
The remaining 21 charges are set for trial between Jan. 13 and Feb. 5 next year.
The offences are alleged to have occurred between April 2016 and March 2019.
Boule was released on bail last April with more than a dozen conditions, including that he must deny potential customers if they give any indication of a plan to enter Canada illegally; and, he must erect an illuminated four-by-eight-foot sign 10 feet from the border of his property that states ‘Warning, it is illegal to enter Canada directly from Smugglers Inn Property.’