Albertan man running across Canada for charity arrested on Quebec highway

The Canadian Press
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Runner began journey in Newfoundland

QUEBEC — An Albertan man attempting to run across Canada for charity was arrested near Quebec City for taking his journey along the shoulder of the busy Trans-Canada Highway.

Curtis Hargrove faces a charge of obstructing justice because he refused a police officer’s demand Monday that he get off the highway.

The 23-year-old says he was taken to a police station in Quebec City and released a few hours later after being given a September court date.

Hargrove admits he was stubborn in refusing to leave the side of the roadway.

A Quebec provincial police spokeswoman says the officer warned the Cold Lake native to get off the Trans-Canada before making the arrest.

Sgt. Ann Mathieu says police even offered to draw out a route for him on a secondary road that runs parallel to the highway.

Hargrove says he didn’t have any problems on the Trans-Canada during the first two months of a run that began in Newfoundland.

He says he felt he was taking the necessary safety precautions by wearing a reflective vest.

Hargrove says the friend driving the RV that is accompanying him was fined $52 for parking on the shoulder of the highway.

He is trying to raise $1 million for a children’s hospital in Edmonton and has so far collected $14,000 during a run he expects to complete in the fall.

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway.Curtis Hargrove

Geographic location: Quebec City, Canada, Newfoundland Cold Lake Edmonton

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Recent comments

  • imie
    July 04, 2012 - 07:12

    Only in Quebec.....

  • Maggy Carter
    July 03, 2012 - 22:14

    The obstruction of justice charge against Hargrove will no doubt be dismissed before it ever reaches the courtroom. If not, then the prosecution is certain to lose its case - if not at trial, then on appeal. This provision of the criminal code has no application in the circumstance described in this story. It is not a situation in which the suspect attempts to pervert the administration of justice. Moreover it is quite possible that any government restriction of a person such as Hargrove from walking on a public thoroughfare in Canada would be deemed unconstitutional. There are at least three sections of the Charter that could be brought into play. The first is the right to be treated equally. It could be argued that persons without the physical or mental capacity to drive, or who are constrained by financial, religious and other factors from utilizing commercial transport, have an inherent right to walk to where they are going and more especially to use publicly owned and funded roadways to get there. Indeed the laws of most provinces would not only allow Hargrove to walk on highways but afford him specific protections in doing so. The second provision of the Charter is the right of mobility. Although this deals primarily with the right to live and work in any province, it could easily be interpreted in the broader context of protecting the physical movement of persons. Finally there is the right to free expression. Walking across Canada for a cause can be interpreted first and foremost as a personal expression. To be effective, such expressions require an audience. As Justice Lamier said in 1991, "the freedom of expression cannot be exercised in a vacuum". These rights do not necessarily extend to a support vehicle as used by Hargrove and others. Nor would I argue that walking along a controlled access, high speed highway is the most prudent thing to do. Each year 15,000 pedestrians are killed by cars in Canada. But there is a legal principle here that is worth preserving. I question how long Hargrove would have remained in jail had he refused to sign an undertaking to refrain from walking on the highway. This case is only a small subset of a much wider public policy issue facing developed countries like Canada where we are seeing a growing expectation that are our personal freedoms are not somehow tied in a very restrictive manner to the internal combustion engine. In short, we can't exhort people to conserve energy and enhance health by walking or cycling instead of driving but then subject them to unreasonable levels of difficulty and danger when they oblige.

  • Gerry
    July 03, 2012 - 21:05

    After living in Quebec for 4 years on the lower north shore, I don't have the highest respect for the QPP, but Hargrove was warned (strike 1) &, even offered an alternate route (strike 2) & still stubborn in refusing to leave the TCH (strike 3)....he was warned, offered & still refused. ..and then he was arrested. What else would one then expect the law enfocement officer to do? He left them no other choice IMHO

  • todd
    July 03, 2012 - 19:31

    LOL, $14,000.00 half way across Canada, he should stop now seeing he might be lucky to raise 28,000.00, might barely cover gas for the van. What a joke.

    • Deer Lake
      July 05, 2012 - 14:27

      Really, I think he's doing an excellent job at running across Canada to raise money. Your being pretty selfish here buddy. Its very rude to even make a comment like this.

  • Edward Smith
    July 03, 2012 - 18:34

    In many large cities in Canada there are signs indicating that pedestrians are not allowed on expressways. The signs I have seen are unilingual symbols that anyone could understand. It is unfortunate for Mr. Hargrove but I am sure the Quebec police were concerned for his safety. Best of luck to him on his brave adventure for such a good cause.

  • KD
    July 03, 2012 - 17:20

    Anytime you travel to a foreign country you have to be on your best behavior if not you will be put in jail with no rights whatsoever just the same as iraq, iran.syria etc.

  • That's Quebec For You
    July 03, 2012 - 14:31

    Maybe his reflective vest wasn't French language first. LOL These Quebeckers are their own worst enemy.

  • B
    July 03, 2012 - 13:36

    That is Quebec for you. Nothing but a problem.