Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46
264.1. Uttering threats264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
(b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
(c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.
(2) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.Idem
(3) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) or (c)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 38; 1994, c. 44, s. 16.
Uttering Threats, Threaten death or bodily harm
Under the Criminal Code, it is an offence to knowingly utter or convey a threat to cause death or bodily harm to any person. It is also an offence to threaten to burn, destroy or damage property or threaten to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that belongs to a person.
The threat can be conveyed in any manner which means personally by voice, email, Facebook message, telephone, etc. Gestures can also potentially be construed as illegal threats (ie. Making a gun pointing gesture at someone depending on the context and circumstances could be considered as a threat for criminal purposes). A threat can be simply defined as a commonly used word with a generally accepted meaning that would considered a declaration of hostile intent or a determination to inflict punishment, loss, pain, injury to another person.
Intended victim need not know of threat
To be an offence, the threat need not be made directly to the intended victim. The intended victim need not even be aware of the threat. Nor is it necessary that the person making the threat intend that it be communicated to the target of the threat. The purpose of the offence is to protect the exercise of freedom of choice by preventing intimidation.
The offence of utter death threat may be prosecuted by summary conviction or by indictment. If prosecuted by indictment, the accused person is entitled to elect trial by jury and upon conviction is liable to up to five years jail. In most cases, however, the offence is prosecuted by summary conviction, requiring a trial before a lower court justice. In this case, the maximum penalty is 18 months imprisonment.
What the Crown must prove
To secure a conviction at trial, the Crown must prove that the person making the threat did so knowingly. That is, the prosecution must show that he was aware of the words used and the meaning they would convey. It also must show that he intended the threat to be taken seriously, that is, to intimidate or strike fear into the recipient. It is not necessary that the person making the threat intend to carry it out or be capable of doing so. The motive for making the threat is equally irrelevant.
In assessing whether the words constitute a threat, they must be considered objectively. The court must ask: In the context and circumstances in which the words were spoken or written, the manner in which they were used, and the person to whom they were directed would they convey a threat to a reasonable person?
A history of violence between the parties may support a finding that the words were intended as a threat. Whether or not the person making the threat has an apparent ability to carry it out when the words are spoken, his use of gestures or acts, whether the recipient of the words takes them seriously, and disparity in size between the speaker and the recipient of the threat may all be relevant to an assessment of the speaker's intent.
In an uttering threats case the prosecution will have to prove that: the accused uttered or conveyed a threat to another person to cause death or bodily harm to any person. To be criminally liable for “uttering a threat” it is not necessary for the intended victim to be aware of the threat. Telling someone that you intend to kill their friend could be the basis for an uttering threat charge.
- That the accused uttered, conveyed or caused a person to receive a threat
- That the accused knew that they were uttering a threat
- That the threat was to:
- cause death or bodily harm; or
- damage property; or
- kill or injure their pet (animal)
If a reasonable doubt is raised with respect to any of these considerations, the court must acquit the accused.
At the trial on an allegation of Uttering Threats the court must assess whether objectively a reasonable person would have concluded that the accused intended the threat to be taken seriously. Unlike Criminal Harassment, the prosecution does not need to prove that the target of the threat was even made aware of it.
A threat made on a condition (e.g. “open your door or I will blow your house down”) is a criminal offence under this section of the Criminal Code of Canada.
It must be remembered that it also does not matter if the threat would be impossible to carry out by the accused. The Crown will however have to prove that the accused knowingly made the threat and that he intended the threat to be taken seriously so as to cause a reaction of alarm or fear in the mind of the recipient. It doesn’t matter if the recipient didn’t know about the threat or was not intimidated by the threat. The Crown also does not have to prove that the accused intended to carry out the threat.
When the prosecution proceeds by indictment, the maximum penalty allowed in law is five years imprisonment if the threat was to cause death or bodily harm.
Types of threats
A threat may be conditional. In 1986, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that it was a threat when a man phoned police and said he would shoot an officer who wanted to question him if the officer did not leave his property.
No offence is committed, however, if a threat is innocently made. The offence is not meant to criminalize idle threats or words blurted out only in anger, desperation, bitterness or frustration. Words said in jest or in a manner that they could not be taken seriously do not constitute a threat.
Not every statement of hostile intent, however, represents a threat. A distinction must be drawn between a threat and a promise, and the mere observation that particularly unpleasant events will occur. For example, the phrase "you will die", could either represent a threat or merely an accurate reflection on another's mortality.
Other examples of things that may not be threats:
In one case, an accused had hit his wife, and told her that he had imagined hitting her across her windpipe, thereby killing her, and that she was lucky that he had only punched her on the leg. The judge found that the words were not used in terms of a hostile intention to cause anything to occur, and therefore were not a threat.
Also, words spoken in jest or in the context of a joke are not a threat under Canadian law. This does NOT mean that people don’t get criminally charged for a joke and then have to defend their conduct at trial.
- Drunkeness in certain circumstances may provide a defence.
- A lawful excuse in certain circumstances may also provide a defence.
- Credibility of the complainant as to whether or not a threat was actually made.
A threat made against a trespasser may be justified. However, the property owner must first ask the trespasser to leave and give him a reasonable opportunity to do so. A person in imminent danger or distress in the face of an aggressor may be justified in making threats as an act of self-defence.
Toronto Ex-Mayor Mel Lastman
"Leave my family alone. If you don't leave them alone, I'll kill you." Former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman reportedly uttered these words to a television reporter during a city council meeting in May 1999. It was said Lastman was angry with the reporter over a story published in a satirical magazine that alluded to the mayor's wife. Did the ex-mayor commit a crime? The answer depends primarily on whether his words were no more than an angry outburst or whether he meant them to be taken seriously. Lastman was never charged.
Relevant Case law (Common Law)
See R. v. Deneault, 2002 BCCA 178 (CanLII), at the following Link:http://canlii.ca/t/4xx9>
(a) Legislative history of s. 264.1(1)(a)
 The section of the Criminal Code under which the appellant was charged is s. 264.1(1)(a), which provides:
264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
 The section can be traced back to the English Offences against the Person Act, (1861), 24-25 Vict., c. 100, s. 16, which made it an offence to threaten to kill or murder any person. The section read:
16. Whosoever shall maliciously send, deliver, or utter, or directly or indirectly cause to be received, knowing the Contents thereof, any Letter or Writing threatening to kill or murder any Person, shall be guilty of Felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable, at the Discretion of the Court, to be kept in Penal Servitude for any Term not exceeding Ten Years and not less than Three Years, - or to be imprisoned for any Term not exceeding Two Years, with or without Hard Labour, and with or without Solitary Confinement, and if a Male under the Age of Sixteen Years, with or without Whipping.
 The offence was introduced into Canada in the Offences Against the Person Act, 32-33 Vict., c. 20, s. 15 in wording that mirrored the language of the English statute. The offence later appeared in the Threats and other Offences Act, R.S.C. 1886, c. 173, s. 7, as follows:
7. Every one who maliciously sends, delivers or utters, or directly or indirectly causes to be received, knowing the contents thereof, any letter or writing threatening to kill or murder any person, is guilty of felony, and liable to ten years’ imprisonment.
 A similarly worded section was included in the Criminal Code, S.C. 1892, c. 29, s. 233, later R.S.C. 1927, c. 36, s. 265:
233. Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to ten years' imprisonment who sends, delivers or utters, or directly or indirectly causes to be received, knowing the contents thereof, any letters or writing threatening to kill or murder any person.
 In the 1953 revision of the Criminal Code, S.C. 1953-54, c. 51, s. 316, a number of provisions relating to threats were gathered together. The predecessor to s. 264.1(1)(a) then read:
316. (1) Every one commits an offence who sends, delivers, utters or directly or indirectly causes any person to receive
(a) a letter or writing that he knows contains a threat to cause death or injury to any person;...
 In R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, the wording was changed to:
331. Every one commits an offence who by letter, telegram, telephone, cable, radio or otherwise, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or injury to any person....
 In R. v. Nabis, 1974 CanLII 179 (SCC),  2 S.C.R. 485, the Supreme Court of Canada had to determine whether s. 331 included an oral threat. The majority held that as Parliament had specifically limited the offence to threats conveyed in specific ways, a line had to be drawn at some point with respect to the means by which threats can be uttered. A purely oral threat made directly or face to face was held not to be an offence within the section. In giving the judgment for the majority, Beetz J. pointed out that at common law a mere verbal threat did not constitute a criminal act unless it was accompanied by some action. The logic behind limiting s. 331 to threats conveyed in specific ways appears to have been that the action involved in conveying a threat by one of the mentioned methods transformed idle words into criminal misconduct.
 In Nabis, Beetz J. made the following observations, at 492, regarding s. 331 of the Criminal Code:
... the offence contemplated by s. 331 is remarkable in many respects. For the offender to be guilty of it, it does not matter whether or not he intended to carry out his threat: R. v. Syme (1911), 27 I.L.R. 562; R. v. Johnson (1913), 9 Cr. App. R. 57, or that he acted for any specific purpose. His motives are not relevant: R. v. Solanke,  1 W.L.R. 1. Whether the threat raised the possibility of imminent or remote danger is equally of no consequence. Nor is the effect of the threat on the prospective victim: it is not even necessary that the person threatened be ever aware of the fact that he was threatened.
 After Nabis, further amendments were made to the section creating the offence so as to remove any reference to the method by which the threat was delivered. In 1985, s. 264.1 was enacted by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, S.C. 1985, c. 19, s. 39 and was couched in language that was very similar, although not identical to, the section as it now stands. As a result of the amendment, the section no longer specified the ways in which a threat had to be conveyed; instead it made a threat uttered or conveyed in “any manner” an offence.
 In R. v. McCraw, supra, the objective or purpose behind the offence of uttering a threat was clarified by the Supreme Court of Canada under the heading, “The aim of s. 264.1(1) (a)” (at 81-82 of S.C.R.):
Parliament, in creating this offence recognized that the act of threatening permits a person uttering the threat to use intimidation in order to achieve his or her objects. The threat need not be carried out; the offence is completed when the threat is made. It is designed to facilitate the achievement of the goal sought by the issuer of the threat. A threat is a tool of intimidation which is designed to instill a sense of fear in its recipient. The aim and purpose of the offence is to protect against fear and intimidation. In enacting the section Parliament was moving to protect personal freedom of choice and action, a matter of fundamental importance to members of a democratic society.
 In McCraw, the Supreme Court of Canada had to consider what constituted serious bodily harm in a case in which the accused had written to three women describing sexual acts he wished to perform with them. He concluded the letters by stating that he was going to have sexual intercourse with them “even if I have to rape you”. The Supreme Court of Canada held (at 81) that:
... the meaning of “serious bodily harm” for the purposes of the section is any hurt or injury, whether physical or psychological, that interferes in a substantial way with the physical or psychological integrity, health or well-being of the complainant.
 After McCraw, the section was again amended and the word “serious” was removed with the result that uttering a threat to cause bodily harm will suffice.
(b) Conditional and future threats
 The appellant’s argument that what was said could not constitute a threat appears to rest on the proposition that because the threat was not imminent or was conditional, it could not, in law, constitute an offence.
 As Beetz J. pointed out in R. v. Nabis, supra, whether the threat raises a possibility of imminent or remote danger is of no consequence.
 Conditional threats are also not excluded from the ambit of s. 264.1(1)(a), as R. v. Ross reflex, (1986), 26 C.C.C. (3d) 413 (Ont. C.A.) illustrates. In Ross, the accused had gone to his bank and demanded money from his accounts. He was told that the accounts had been seized by the sheriff acting under a court order. The accused told a bank employee that he was going home to get his gun and would proceed to the sheriff’s office and then return to the bank. The bank employee and others who heard the accused found his words to be a threat to their continued well-being. The following day, Constable Sobolta was sent to the home of the accused to investigate the allegation of threats to a member of the bank staff. The constable went to the door but after being met with obscenities from the accused, he returned to his cruiser. There he received a radio communication from Constable Belbas, who was in the police communications room, advising him to clear the area immediately as the police department had received a telephone call that the constable would be shot if he did not leave. In the phone call to Constable Belbas, the accused had said “tell that bugger to get off my doorstep. He is disturbing the peace and trespassing on my property”. When asked who was trespassing he replied: “One of your cops. If he does not leave he will be shot”. The accused was charged with uttering a threat to Mike Belbas to cause death or injury to John Sobolta. The trial judge held the accused’s statement was a warning, not a threat, and acquitted the accused. In allowing the Crown’s appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal said (at 415), in part:
The trial judge held that the respondent’s statement was a warning not a threat. In effect, he held that a conditional threat is not covered by the provision. In so concluding, we think, with respect, that he erred. In our view “threat” in s. 331(1)(a) includes what may be thought of as a conditional threat. One of the definitions of “threat” in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is:
A denunciation to a person of ill to befall him; esp. a declaration of hostile determination or of loss, pain, punishment, or damage to be inflicted in retribution of or conditionally upon some course; a menace. (Emphasis [of Morden J.A.].)
* * *
A conditional threat, if one wants to describe it that way, is part of the ordinary meaning of threat and we think that it would be in accordance with the purpose of s. 331(1) [now 264.1(1)] to interpret it as including such a threat. In Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (1979), the definition of “threat” reads, in part:
The term, “threat” means an avowed present determination or intent to injure presently or in the future. A statement may constitute a threat even though it is subject to a possible contingency in the maker’s control.
 In my opinion, neither the legislative history of the offence of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm nor the jurisprudence relating to uttering threats provides support for the suggestion that, because of their contingent or future nature, the words uttered by the appellant in this case could not come within the ambit of the offence created by s. 264.1(1)(a).
(c) Meaning of “any person” in s. 264.1(1)(a)
 On the first ground of appeal, the appellant’s main argument is that what the appellant said was not directed to an ascertainable person or group and for that reason the trial judge erred in law in holding that the words uttered by the appellant constituted a threat to “any person” under s. 264.1(1)(a).
 The trial judge held that s. 264.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code does not require the prosecution to call evidence as to the victim’s identity and referred to R. v. Rémy, supra, to support the proposition that the offence may be made out if the threat is directed to an identifiable group.
 In Rémy, the accused, following the killing of two blacks, contacted a newspaper reporter and told him that he would kill the next police officer who killed a black. That threat was repeated the next day. In upholding the conviction, the Quebec Court of Appeal held that a threat to cause death to a member of an ascertained group of citizens contravenes the section: (Proulx J.A. at 179-80 and Delisle J.A. at 185).
 In Rémy, Delisle J.A., made the point that the expression “any person” found in s. 264.1 of the Criminal Code is one of the broadest expressions that can be employed, and referred to R. v. Most (1881), 7 Q.B.D. 244 in which the accused was charged under a statute that prohibited encouraging or attempting to encourage “any person” to murder any other person. The accused was the editor, publisher and vendor of a weekly German language newspaper named Freiheit which encouraged and commended assassination of European sovereigns and heads of state. The question before the English Court of Criminal Appeal was whether the words “any person” meant a particular person or could include a number of persons. The five judges, in separate reasons, all concluded that the words “any person” applied to more than a particular person and affirmed the conviction.
 In applying Rémy to the facts of this case, the trial judge concluded that “[t]he ascertainable group of people in this case would be basically anyone not a member of the Shuswap Nation who happened to find themselves in the Upper Adams Lake area and, more particularly, given the context of the discussions, people involved in the forestry industry.”
 Although the trial judge did not clearly state that the ascertainable group would include other park or Upper Adams Lake area users, that may be inferred from reading his judgment in its entirety. While such users may not be as clearly ascertainable as the police threatened in Rémy, the group is identifiable by the act of entering the area.
 In view of the foregoing, it is my opinion that the appellant’s first ground of appeal cannot succeed.
(d) Application of the law to the facts
 I turn now to the appellant’s argument that the trial judge erred by not properly applying the law to the facts and by not taking into account all of the relevant evidence in arriving at his verdict. At least in part, those arguments come down to an assertion that the verdict is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence.
 Section 686(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code allows an appellate court to set aside a verdict on the grounds that it is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence. The application of s. 686(1)(a)(i) to a decision made by a judge alone is referred to in R. v. Biniaris, 2000 SCC 15 (CanLII),  1 S.C.R. 381 at 406-407:
[I]n trials by judge alone, the court of appeal often can and should identify the defects in the analysis that led the trier of fact to an unreasonable conclusion. The court of appeal will therefore be justified to intervene and set aside a verdict as unreasonable when the reasons of the trial judge reveal that he or she was not alive to an applicable legal principle, or entered a verdict inconsistent with the factual conclusions reached.
 One of the appellant’s arguments is that the trial judge did not take into account all of the relevant evidence in determining whether the Crown’s case had been established beyond reasonable doubt. Such an argument must be considered in light of what was said in R. v. Burns, 1994 CanLII 127 (SCC),  1 S.C.R. 656 at 664-665:
Failure to indicate expressly that all relevant considerations have been taken into account in arriving at a verdict is not a basis for allowing an appeal under s. 686(1)(a). This accords with the general rule that a trial judge does not err merely because he or she does not give reasons for deciding one way or the other on problematic points ... The judge is not required to demonstrate that he or she knows the law and has considered all aspects of the evidence. Nor is the judge required to explain why he or she does not entertain a reasonable doubt as to the accused's guilt. Failure to do any of these things does not, in itself, permit a court of appeal to set aside the verdict.
 The elements of the offence of uttering threats are set out in R. v. Clemente, supra. (Although it has no significance in the present case, I note that the offence date in Clemente pre-dated the amendment to s. 264.1(1)(a) which deleted the word “serious” in the phrase “serious bodily harm”.) As to the elements of the offence created by the section, Cory J. said, at 763 of S.C.R.:
Under the present section, the actus reus of the offence is the uttering of threats of death or serious bodily harm. The mens rea is that the words be spoken or written as a threat to cause death or serious bodily harm; that is, they were meant to intimidate or to be taken seriously.
To determine if a reasonable person would consider that the words were uttered as a threat the court must regard them objectively, and review them in light of the circumstances in which they were uttered, the manner in which they were spoken, and the person to whom they were addressed.
 One of the arguments put forward on the appellant’s behalf is that while the appellant said he would be willing to burn and shoot to achieve his ends, he did not say that he would actually do so or that he planned to do so. In my respectful view, that argument does not assist the appellant. The actus reus of the offence is complete upon the uttering of threats and there is no need for the Crown to prove that the accused intended to carry out the threat. That is clear from the following passage in McCraw, at 82 of S.C.R.:
The true nature of the offence was recognized by this court in R. v. LeBlanc, 1989 CanLII 56 (SCC),  1 S.C.R. 1583. There the Court approved the trial judge’s ruling that whether the threatener intends to carry out the threat is irrelevant to determining if a conviction can be maintained. It is the element of fear instilled in the victim by the issuer of the threat at which the criminal sanction is aimed. Section 264.1 provides that the threat must be knowingly uttered or conveyed by the accused....
 The main thrust of the appellant’s argument is that the trial judge did not take into account all of the matters that were relevant in determining whether the Crown had established the mens rea of the offence and thereby erred in arriving at his verdict.
 To determine whether the requisite mental element is present, the words used and the circumstances disclosed by the evidence must be considered. In this case, the appellant did not testify. In McCraw, Cory J. said, at 82:
Section 264.1 provides that the threat must be knowingly uttered or conveyed by the accused. Thus, the Crown is required to establish that the accused intended to threaten the victim with serious bodily harm. However, the determination as to whether there was such a subjective intent will often have to be based to a large extent upon a consideration of the words used by the accused. In those cases where the accused does not testify or call evidence the determination must be made on the basis of the words used.
 After correctly setting out the elements of the offence, the trial judge referred to the following passage from McCraw, supra, at 83, as describing the test to determine whether the words spoken by the appellant constituted an offence under s. 264.1(1)(a):
Looked at objectively in the context of all the words written or spoken and having regard to the person to whom they were directed, would the questioned words convey a threat of serious bodily harm to a reasonable person?
 The trial judge found, at p. 17 of the transcript of his reasons for judgment, that:
... the words used, considered objectively and in the context in which they arose, were designed to facilitate the achievement of the goals sought by the issuer, namely to drive people out of what he considered his land. I also find that the words were a tool of intimidation designed to instil a sense of fear in the recipients and did in fact achieve that regardless of whether he intended to carry them out.
See R. v. Hiscox, 2002 BCCA 312 (CanLII), at the following Link: <http://canlii.ca/t/4xvd>
264.1(1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
 In R. v. Clemente 1994 CanLII 49 (SCC), (1994), 91 C.C.C. (3d) 1 (S.C.C.), Mr. Justice Cory, speaking for the Court, set out the constituent elements of the offence of uttering a threat, and the process for determining whether the mens rea requirement had been satisfied. In the following passage at p. 4 of the decision, he stated:
Under the present section, the actus reus of the offence is the uttering of threats of death or serious bodily harm. The mens rea is that the words be spoken or written as a threat to cause death or serious bodily harm; that is, that they were meant to intimidate or to be taken seriously.
To determine if a reasonable person would consider that the words were uttered as a threat the court must regard them objectively; and review them in light of the circumstances in which they were uttered, the manner in which they were spoken, and the person to whom they were addressed.
 The circumstances in Clemente were somewhat similar to those here in that the words of threat were spoken to one individual to cause harm to a different individual. In other words, the person to whom the threat was voiced was not the intended recipient of the harm threatened. The precise issue in Clemente was whether the mens rea of the offence was the intent to cause fear or intimidation, or the intent that the words of threat be taken seriously. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the intent could be expressed in either manner. At p. 3 of the decision, Mr. Justice Cory stated:
Under the section the threat must be of death or serious bodily harm. It is impossible to think that anyone threatening death or serious bodily harm in a manner that was meant to be taken seriously would not intend to intimidate or cause fear. That is to say, a serious threat to kill or cause serious bodily harm must have been uttered with the intent to intimidate or instil fear. Conversely, a threat uttered with the intent to intimidate or cause fear must have been uttered with the intent that it be taken seriously. Both of these formulations of the mens rea constitute an intention to threaten and comply with the aim of the section.
Section 264.1(1)(a) is directed at words which cause fear or intimidation. Its purpose is to protect the exercise of freedom of choice by preventing intimidation. The section makes it a crime to issue threats without any further action being taken beyond the threat itself. Thus, it is the meaning conveyed by the words that is important. Yet it cannot be that words spoken in jest were meant to be caught by the section.
 In Clemente, the Court upheld the conviction of the accused, who had made a threat to one social worker to kill or cause bodily harm to another social worker to whom his file was to be transferred. In upholding the conviction, the Court found it relevant that the words spoken to the first social worker had disturbed and intimidated her, and that they would have had the same effect on the second social worker if they had been repeated to her. The Court also found, however, that it was not necessary that the threats be uttered with the intent that they be conveyed to the potential victim.
 Clemente made reference to an earlier decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. McCraw 1991 CanLII 29 (SCC), (1991), 66 C.C.C. (3d) 517 (S.C.C.). At pp. 524-25 of McCraw, Mr. Justice Cory, again speaking for the Court, set forth the aim of s. 264.1(1)(a) of the Code:
Parliament, in creating this offence recognized that the act of threatening permits a person uttering the threat to use intimidation in order to achieve his or her objects. The threat need not be carried out; the offence is completed when the threat is made. It is designed to facilitate the achievement of the goal sought by the issuer of the threat. A threat is a tool of intimidation which is designed to instill a sense of fear in its recipient. The aim and the purpose of the offence is to protect against fear and intimidation.
 In McCraw, the Court, in turn, referred to its decision in R. v. LeBlanc 1989 CanLII 56 (SCC), (1989), 50 C.C.C. (3d) 192, in which the Court approved the trial judge's ruling that whether the threatener intends to carry out the threat is irrelevant to determining if a conviction can be maintained. Further, it is not a necessary element of the offence that the intended victim of the death or bodily harm be aware of the threat.