Samra may challenge peace bond application

City manager has not been charged with a crime and her lawyer indicates no deal with Crown
Tracy Samra
Tracy Samra
A lawyer for city manager Tracy Samra is leaving the door open to her challenging a peace bond application that is being brought against her next week.

Suspects often agree to enter into peace bonds during negotiations with prosecutors so that they can avoid charges and a possible criminal record.

However, Ms. Samra’s lawyer Robert Mulligan, QC indicated today that his client has not reached a deal with the Crown.

He said he will ask for an adjournment of the hearing so that he can assess all the relevant police reports and statements and review them with Ms. Samra. (Update on March 23: The hearing has been rescheduled to Tuesday, April 10 at 9:00am.)

Mr. Mulligan said he will then consult special prosecutor Michael Klein before deciding how to proceed.

Mr. Klein is a Vancouver lawyer in private practice who was appointed in February to handle the government’s case because it involves government officials and politicians.

If Ms. Samra is ordered to enter into the peace bond, she will likely be unable to return to work at the city. She is currently on leave with full pay pending the outcome of an internal workplace investigation.

The court application lists nine people who have reasonable grounds to fear that Ms. Samra will cause personal injury to them.

They are: mayor Bill McKay, councillors Dianne Brennan and Sheryl Armstrong, city staff members Sheila Gurrie, Jan Kemp and Donna Stennes, former staff Brad McRae and Kim Fowler, and this reporter.

The court application for a peace bond against Tracy Samra

Samra currently subject to RCMP undertaking

A trained lawyer herself, Ms. Samra, 49, was arrested on the night of Jan. 31 on allegations of uttering threats earlier in the day during an incident at City Hall.

She was released by RCMP on an undertaking that prohibits her from communicating directly or indirectly with the named individuals.  She is also barred from going within 100 meters of City Hall and cannot possess any weapons, lighters, incendiary devices, or knives except for preparing food and eating a meal.

Ms. Samra has not been formally charged with uttering threats or any another crime. The hearing on Tuesday is to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to order her to enter into a recognizance, likely with similar conditions to her current RCMP release undertaking.

The hearing’s evidence will be weighed on the lower standards of proof that apply in civil proceedings rather than beyond reasonable doubt that applies in criminal cases. That means it’s typically easier for the prosecution to win a peace bond hearing than secure a criminal conviction.

A person bound by a peace bond is not convicted of an offence and will not have a criminal record.



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  • And the lady in question is still on the City payroll…
    At $20,000 per month.
    We should all be so lucky.
    Thanks for keeping us informed, Dominic.

  • Both the city manager Samra and the CFO Mema should be fired, the dumb council are way in over thier heads and don’t have the knowledge to handle the situation.

  • Council does not have to wait to fire Samra and Mema. There’s more than enough now to fire both with cause. But given Samra’s litigious background they are moving cautiously so as not to incur possible further legal expenses. It’s already costing a fortune to consult lawyers while they pay the pair to sit at home.
    And if it turns out that the firing delay is due to the Bestwick faction siding with her in any way, it would be would be outrage upon outrage. Protected by in camera rules, thinking no one will know they are siding with and supporting her, we have to consider that possibility given the dismal track record of the ‘fab five’ abusing the trust the public has placed in them.
    Either way Samra is toast. If she rejects the peace bond, she will find herself facing a trial or hearing she may or may not win, but would still lose either way; with the lurid testimony of her days as the imperious overlord running amok in city hall – expenses and firings just to start – being made public.
    Already the coverage has damaged her beyond repair but she and others would be right to fear being grilled in court – though it would be a gold mine for existing and pending litigation connected with her decisions as CAO.
    We can’t forget either the possibility of other charges once the full scope of expense abuses by Samra and Mema is known. A peace bond may become a minor legal matter for her.
    She may get a job somewhere someday, but this will follow her everywhere always, and the doors are shut firmly to anything resembling executive privilege. Mema, ditto.
    But all over the city Nanaimo residents, embarrassed and shocked at the negative impact on the city, are looking at the ongoing damaging legacy of Samra, Mema and the fab five, clutching their temples and crying out, “make it stop!”

    • Yes, the CBC should update their story. Although peace bond hearings are held under the Criminal Code, they do not involve charges.

  • Typical CBC. Unreliable. Riddled with errors and poor reporting now. It’s only a shadow of what it once was as it focuses on hiring kids who can promote the CBC ‘brand’ via the interwebs to the exclusion of good journalism. Bias is the least of its problems now. As the old saying goes, the corruption of the best is the worst.

  • An application for a peace bond is the most minimal sanction available in the Criminal Code. Indeed, as her counsel points out, it is a “preventative” measure to ensure that the peace is kept in the future. It in no way acknowledges the clear case of threats or the trauma to the victims. This is the decision of the Special Prosecutor, and must be respected. In the eyes of the law, no criminal conduct took place.

    As a society, how are we to deal with the terrible historical treatment of the First Nations? Are we somehow paying penance by hiring them precipitously to fill public positions? Do we allow them to act out and hurt others as they please without consequences? In British Columbia, the answer is clear. Ms. Samra has had the benefit of a legal education, and could serve as an inspiration for her own people. What a loss. What a disgrace.