270 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
The following words are a quote from Theodore Roosevelt (The Man in
the Arena) inscribed, framed and given to Sid by one of his grateful clients
in 2005. The words capture the essence of this rarely daunted man:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who
comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and
shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows
great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy
cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither
know victory nor defeat.
Sid’s thinking was ahead of his time: he championed the doctrine of
“abuse of process” in defence of clients. In Rourke v. The Queen, 1978 1
S.C.R. 1021, Sid had convinced a trial court to stay a proceeding on the basis
that an unconscionable delay in bringing the case to trial constituted an
abuse of process. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada did not agree.
However, the framers of the Charter did, ultimately enshrining in our Constitution
the right to be tried within a reasonable time. As another example,
he challenged under the Canadian Bill of Rights a law that made it a crime
for anyone who, being a common prostitute or nightwalker, failed to give a
good account of herself to the police. The case was R. v. Lavoie (1970), 16
D.L.R. (3d) 647 (B.C. Co. Ct.), aff’d (1971), 23 D.L.R. (3d) 364 (B.C.C.A.), and
the courts found the law applied only to women but that it did not discriminate
based on sex. In Amato v. The Queen, 1982 2 S.C.R. 418, Sid split the
Supreme Court of Canada down the middle in his quest to establish the
defence of entrapment. Just over five years later, his persistence was
rewarded in R. v. Mack, 1988 2 S.C.R. 903 and the defence of entrapment
became entrenched in Canada’s criminal law.
These cases and many others illustrate the wonderful agility of Sid’s creative
mind. That, combined with his unmatched powers of persuasion and
his irreverent humour, made him an advocate to be reckoned with. His life’s
work and his beloved children are his legacy.
We miss him.
The legal community and friends are invited to attend the unveiling ceremony
for Sid on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:30 a.m., Jewish Cemetery, Cedar
Hill Rd. (south off Hillside Ave. at the corner of Acton St. and Cedar Hill Rd.),
Victoria, B.C. Luncheon to follow at the Union Club, 805 Gordon St. RSVP
Roxana: <firstname.lastname@example.org> on or before June 12, 2019.
Roxana McKenzie Simons