August 21, 2018

Winnipeg
25° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Manitoba senator calls for review of laws

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Sen. Murray Sinclair, in Winnipeg Monday to unveil plans for a healing forest in St. John’s Park, says reforms to Canada’s justice system are needed. </p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Sen. Murray Sinclair, in Winnipeg Monday to unveil plans for a healing forest in St. John’s Park, says reforms to Canada’s justice system are needed.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/2/2018 (189 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Sen. Murray Sinclair is calling for changes in laws that govern how justice is served in Canada.

In his first public comments since a jury last week acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley in the 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, the independent senator told a media scrum Monday in Winnipeg that Canada’s justice system needs to be fairer and more inclusive of Indigenous people.

“There are laws that can be changed. And the laws that contributed to this (the Stanley verdict) that need to be reviewed. That’s my intention going back to Ottawa this week,” Sinclair said.

“We’ll take a look at the Criminal Code and the provisions relating to peremptory challenges. I’ll have to take a look at the way juries are called and the use of provincial jury processes.”

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/2/2018 (189 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Sen. Murray Sinclair is calling for changes in laws that govern how justice is served in Canada.

In his first public comments since a jury last week acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley in the 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, the independent senator told a media scrum Monday in Winnipeg that Canada’s justice system needs to be fairer and more inclusive of Indigenous people.

"There are laws that can be changed. And the laws that contributed to this (the Stanley verdict) that need to be reviewed. That’s my intention going back to Ottawa this week," Sinclair said.

"We’ll take a look at the Criminal Code and the provisions relating to peremptory challenges. I’ll have to take a look at the way juries are called and the use of provincial jury processes."

Boushie was shot and killed in August 2016, after he and a group of friends from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation drove onto the Stanley farm outside Biggar, Sask. Stanley testified at his second-degree murder trial the death was an accident.

The subsequent verdict of not guilty from a jury publicly criticized as being made up of Caucasians, ignited outrage and sparked rallies across Canada.

"This is not simply about people protesting and waving signs and then it gets forgotten," Sinclair said Monday. "If we don’t do anything there will be another trial, that will create similar results."

An icon in Canada’s Indigenous world, Sinclair is the former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which probed the dark history of the country’s Indian residential schools. (The final TRC report in 2015 made 99 calls for action which laid the groundwork for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.)

Sinclair was in Winnipeg to give a speech about a new North End reconciliation initiative: the second healing forest in Canada (the first is in Edmonton) will be installed in St. John’s Park this summer, as a living memorial to Indigenous children lost or affected by residential schools.

The diverse crowd of roughly 100 included parishioners from the St. John’s Cathedral, as well as university academics, politicians, Indigenous advocates, elders and residential school survivors. The politicians included the first Indigenous female MLAs for the local ridings, NDP MLAs Nahanni Fontaine (St. John’s) and Bernadette Smith (Point Douglas) as well as former NDP provincial cabinet minister Gord Mackintosh and NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

In a sympathetic address, Sinclair urged people who are building the installation to press forward with reconciliation.

"We are at a challenging time right now, because we wonder whether we are there yet. Unfortunately, we are not," said the first aboriginal judge appointed in Manitoba, suggesting the surge of public support in response to the Stanley verdict demonstrations might usher in a wave of change.

"I think we’re going to see more and more steps taken to affect social change. Not only at the national level, but at the legislative level as well. I predict there will be a lot of impact that decision is going to have, because of the efforts of young Indigenous leaders.

"One of the interesting reactions to the Boushie trial is that it’s being led by young Indigenous people. Young Indigenous people are particularly well-placed through their knowledge of the history of this country, their own education and their commitment to the future to know there are positive steps they can take that will affect change."

Sinclair said the issues raised in the Boushie case are not new; they were among the fundamentals in Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (AJI), too. The AJI, which Sinclair co-commissioned, probed racism in Manitoba’s justice system following the 1988 death of Indigenous leader J.J. Harper, who was shot by police on a Winnipeg street.

Meanwhile, Canada’s minister of justice has said changes to the system need to be made in the wake of the Stanley acquittal, but her Manitoba counterpart isn’t wading into the issue.

Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, while expressing sympathy about Boushie’s death, said she will not be commenting on what Jody Wilson-Raybould said Friday on social media.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boushie family and their friends," Stefanson said Monday after attending a groundbreaking ceremony at Siloam Mission in Winnipeg. "It’s always difficult and tragic with a loss in a family and in a community, so our hearts go out to the family and the friends in the community."

When asked specifically about her thoughts on Wilson-Raybould’s statements, Stefanson added: "I will say though, as the attorney general and minister of justice of Manitoba, it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further on this... Again, our hearts and prayers and thoughts go out to the community at this time.

"I will not make a comment on this."

On Friday, the federal justice minister posted on Twitter: "My thoughts are with the family of Colten Boushie tonight... I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices. As a country we can and must do better — I am committed to working every day to ensure Justice for all Canadians."

— with files from Kevin Rollason

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

 

Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul
Reporter

Alexandra believes every story has a life of its own with a heartbeat and body and legs. She’ll probe for a pulse and check out its shape from every which way, until she feels it and sees it. So be patient with her. She can be exasperating.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 12:31 PM CST: edits list of dignitaries

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.