SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
Citation: R. v. George-Nurse, 2019 SCC 12,  1 S.C.R. 570
Appeal Heard: February 15, 2019
Judgment Rendered: February 15, 2019
Her Majesty The Queen
- and -
Criminal Lawyers’ Association
Coram: Abella, Moldaver, Karakatsanis, Côté and Rowe JJ.
Reasons for Judgment:
(paras. 1 to 4)
Moldaver J. (Abella, Karakatsanis, Côté, and Rowe JJ. concurring)
R. v. George-Nurse, 2019 SCC 12,  1 S.C.R. 570
Devante George-Nurse Appellant
Her Majesty The Queen Respondent
Criminal Lawyers’ Association Intervener
Indexed as: R. v. George-Nurse
2019 SCC 12
File No.: 38217.
2019: February 15.
Present: Abella, Moldaver, Karakatsanis, Côté and Rowe JJ.
on appeal from the court of appeal for ontario
Criminal law — Appeals — Unreasonable verdict — Circumstantial evidence — Accused not testifying at trial and convicted by jury — Evidence at trial establishing strong case to answer — Court of Appeal entitled to consider accused’s silence in assessing reasonableness of verdicts as indicative of absence of exculpatory explanation or innocent inference — Trial judge’s instructions to jury clear that accused’s silence could not be used against him — Convictions upheld.
Referred to: R. v. Noble,  1 S.C.R. 874.
APPEAL from a judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal (MacPherson, Hourigan and Miller JJ.A.), 2018 ONCA 515, 362 C.C.C. (3d) 76, 47 C.R. (7th) 175,  O.J. No. 3013 (QL), 2018 CarswellOnt 8833 (WL Can.), affirming the convictions of the accused for intentionally discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person and occupying a motor vehicle while knowing there was a firearm in the vehicle. Appeal dismissed.
Brian Snell, for the appellant.
Leslie Paine, for the respondent.
Michael Dineen, for the intervener.
The judgment of the Court was delivered orally by
 Moldaver J. — We agree with the majority of the Court of Appeal that the circumstantial evidence presented against the appellant established a strong case to answer. In the words of the majority, which we accept, this was the “paradigm of a case to meet, far removed from ‘no case to answer’”: para. 34.
 That being so, it was open to the court on appeal to consider the appellant’s silence in assessing and ultimately rejecting his unreasonable verdict argument: see R. v. Noble,  1 S.C.R. 874, at para. 103.
 In so concluding, we note that the trial judge made it clear to the jury, on numerous occasions, that it could not consider the appellant’s failure to testify as a makeweight for the Crown’s case. In this regard, we do not endorse paras. 32 and 36 of the majority’s reasons, to the extent they may be taken as suggesting otherwise.
 In the result, we would dismiss the appeal.
Solicitor for the appellant: Brian Snell, Toronto.
Solicitor for the respondent: Attorney General of Ontario, Toronto.
Solicitor for the intervener: Michael Dineen, Toronto.