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General Principles

Courts should be cautious in extending police power by resort to their common law ancillary powers, particularly in circumstances where the legislature has put in place an elaborate and comprehensive regulatory regime with carefully balanced powers and sanctions: R v Harflett, 2016 ONCA 248 at para 25

An officer's common law powers are limited by the real exigencies of the situation: Harflett at para 29

Specific Examples

In the absence of statutory authority, the common law can provide authority to impound a motor vehicle. This will arise where, in the circumstances, the ability to impound the vehicle and have it towed away is a reasonable exercise of the police common law duty to prevent crime, to protect the life and property of the public, and to control traffic on the public roads: R v Haflett, 2016 ONCA 248 at para 23

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