Monday, November 16, 2009

Bryant case delayed until December

A criminal court case involving former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant has been put over until Dec 7.

The former politician, who has yet to appear in court, was represented by his lawyer, Marie Henein, on Monday.

"We are anxious to have this matter move forward," she told the Toronto judge.

Henein said her client's case hasn't moved ahead because she is still waiting for disclosure documents from the Crown.

Mark Sandler, who represented the Crown in court, told the judge that both sides agree that the case should proceed as quickly as possible.

Both sides are expected to attend a closed door, case management session with Justice Paul Bentley on Nov. 30, which both sides described as a routine step.

Henein said she hopes to have the disclosure documents by then.

Bryant faces charges of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death in a collision involving a cyclist on Aug. 31. Police say bike courier Darcy Allan Sheppard, 33, died after grabbing on to a car in Toronto following an altercation with the driver.

Since Bryant once appointed judges and oversaw Crown prosecutors, Vancouver lawyer Richard Peck has been brought in to prosecute the case. An out-of-province judge is expected to preside over the trial once it begins.

Bryant was elected as the Liberal MPP for St. Paul's riding in 1999 and won re-election in 2003 — becoming the province's youngest-ever attorney general at the time — and again in 2007. He also served as aboriginal affairs minister and minister of economic development.

Bryant remained an Ontario cabinet minister until May of this year when he stepped down to take the job as president and CEO of Invest Toronto, an arm's-length agency set up by the City of Toronto to promote investment. Until then he had been frequently mentioned as a possible successor to Premier Dalton McGuinty as leader of the province's Liberals.

Bryant is a Harvard-trained lawyer who clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada and later taught law at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall and King's College, London.


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