A 23-year-old man recently sentenced to one year in prison for threatening to kill his former partner is expected to be become the first person in Quebec to be equipped with a tracking bracelet designed to keep violent partners and people accused of domestic violence away from victims.
The tracking system, involving a bracelet for the offender and a notification device for the person the offender has been ordered to stay away from, alerts the victim if the offender is within a radius of one kilometre of their location.
Yan Bédard was convicted for events involving his former partner which took place in October 2021, but as he'd already served two-thirds of his sentence in detention pending his trial last April, he will be released Friday. A hearing was held last week to determine the conditions of his release.
In December, Quebec announced the rollout of the tracking devices as the latest in the government's series of initiatives to fight domestic violence, in a year where the province had been shaken by the deaths of well over a dozen women.
Fearing for the safety of Bédard's ex-wife upon his release, the director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) suggested that he be required to wear a tracking bracelet, in addition to the other usual restrictions, including communicating his address to the court, appearing in court when requested, not possessing weapons.
Bédard initially refused this injunction, but after being advised to speak with a legal aid lawyer about the matter, later reversed his decision.
Bédard will have to wear the ankle bracelet at all times. According to the government, should the wearer enter what the province describes as a "pre-alert" zone, meaning that they are getting closer to the person in need of protection, authorities will advise them.
If the wearer enters an "alert" zone, and is essentially in breach of conditions, both the authorities and the person in need of protection will be notified, and police officers will head to that person's home to make sure they are safe.
Bédard has indicated that he will contest the measure. In the meantime, he will be the first person convicted of domestic violence in Quebec to be equipped with such a device.