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Polygamy in Canada

Wednesday 2 December 2009, by siawi2

This is a update on the January 2009 WLUML Call for Action in the case of the Canadian Polygamist leader, Winston Blackmore.

On 23 September 2009 the charges against Winston Blackmore and James Oler, two members of a Canadian sect known as the Bountiful, a split branch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), were dropped and the British Columbia (B.C.) Supreme Court ruled that the decision not to proceed with a prosecution was final and binding. Therefore, for the past 17 years, polygamy has effectively been legal in British Columbia because the B.C. government has consistently refused to prosecute polygamists fearing that the law (Sec. 293 of the Criminal Code) may be unconstitutional.

Encouragingly, however, on 23 October 2009 the new Attorney-General Mike de Jong filed a request asking the B.C. Supreme Court to rule on Sec. 293’s constitutionality (or its consistency with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms). Polygamy, according to the United Nations, is inherently harmful to the rights of women and children. For Canada’s polygamy law to be upheld, the B.C. government must prove that. The B.C. government said it decided to seek an opinion rather than appeal a court ruling that quashed polygamy charges against Blackmore and Oler. “Until Canadians and the justice system have clarity about the constitutionality of our polygamy laws, all provinces, including ours, face a lengthy and costly legal process in prosecuting alleged offences,” De Jong said in a statement.

For further details on this particular case, please see the update on the WLUML website: http://www.wluml.org/node/5735

In light of this ruling and the attempts by De Jong to push for clarity on the constitutionality of Canada’s polygamy laws, it is instructive to read the findings published on the website of a ‘Non-Profit Assisting Victims of Domestic Violence & Polygamy, VALERIE JEFFS MACKERT GATEWAY TO FREEDOM’. It includes the findings of studies, and personal experiences that point to similar dynamics existing in situations of domestic violence and within a polygamist cult. Please see the text, photos and link below that have been sourced and disseminated by WUNRN.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws
International Solidarity Network
www.wluml.org

WUNRN
http://www.wunrn.com

http://www.vjmgatewaytofreedom.com:80/