A Toronto teacher is not guilty of negligence in the drowning of a teenage student’s Algonquin Park

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A Toronto teacher has pleaded not guilty in the case of a 15-year-old student drowning during a Toronto-school canoe tour.

Nicholas Mills was charged with criminal negligence and Jeremiah Perry drowned in the water.

Mills, a teacher at CW Jefferies Collegiate Institute, oversaw the July 2017 Algonquin Provincial Park Tour, during which Perry died.

In a sentencing hearing this morning, Ontario Superior Court Justice Maureen Forrestel said that while Mills’ actions were below the level of reasonable care, he did not reach the level of criminal negligence.

Prosecutors allege during the trial that Mills ignored safety rules when planning and managing a multi-day excursion and allowed Perry to go into the water without a life jacket, arguing that he could not swim.

Meanwhile, he said the Crown had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Perry could not swim, adding that it was necessary to establish negligence. He argued that Mills should not be held to a higher standard than the “average parent” who runs a similar tour.

More is coming.

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