Canada's long road to the Colten Boushie verdict - Macleans.ca
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Canada’s long road to the Colten Boushie verdict

Scott Gilmore on why Canada can’t afford to rely on the responses of reasonable leaders to end this national emergency


 

Krissa Baptiste, right, holds a picture of her cousin of Colten Boushie, as she leaves during a lunch recess on the day of closing arguments in the trial of Gerald Stanley on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards)

Colten Boushie’s mother stood up and screamed when the verdict was read. Her family wailed in grief and anger and outside the courtroom members of the Red Pheasant First Nation denounced the injustice. Their boy was in a grave, and the man who put him there was walking free.

The outlines of the tragedy are stark. A group of friends out for a drive got a flat tire and went to a nearby farmhouse for help. There was an argument with the landowner, who pulled out a handgun and shot Boushie in the head, killing him instantly. Incredibly, a jury that included no Indigenous members found the defendant, Gerald Stanley, not guilty.

The details of the tragedy are far more ambiguous. Boushie and his friends had been drinking and had earlier used a rifle to try and steal a vehicle from another farm. They entered the Stanley property, one of them tried to start an ATV and their vehicle crashed into one of Stanley’s cars. As Stanley’s own son faced down the intruders, Stanley went to get an old handgun. He fired two warning shots in the air, removed the clip to unload the weapon, then reached into the SUV to take the keys. There was still a bullet in the chamber, the gun went off. Boushie was dead.

Legal experts had warned that to prove Stanley was guilty of murder the Crown had to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to kill Boushie—difficult given the warning shots, the fact he removed the clip and his attempt to take the keys. Even accidental manslaughter required evidence that Stanley’s actions were a “marked departure from what a reasonable person would do in the circumstances”. This was never a rock solid case for the prosecution.

Regardless, for both those paying attention and those who are just hearing about the case now, the verdict is still shocking and unexpected. And it will spark protests across the country as Indigenous Canadians and those who support them demand justice. There will be intense debates in print and on the air. Legal experts will explain Canadian criminal law in detail, the jury system, and the extent to which someone can or cannot use a gun to protect their property. There will likely even be several firearms experts explaining how old ammunition can misfire.

READ MORE: The Gerald Stanley verdict is a blow to reconciliation—and a terrifying one at that

The politicians have already jumped in. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the midst of a trip to California, immediately expressed his support for the Boushie family, as did the Justice Minister. And the two Ministers responsible for Indigenous issues both called for more justice. Given that this case is likely to be appealed, this political rush to criticize the verdict seems imprudent at the very least. And, in light of the ongoing state of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Metis, the sudden indignation might even be called cynical.

I want to give Trudeau and his government the benefit of the doubt on this. Anyone who has seen the pain on the faces of the Boushie family should be moved and upset at this tragedy. The natural reaction of any human with a heart is to reach out and try to provide some comfort, any comfort, for their loss. I have no reason to doubt the individual sincerity of the politicians who are weighing in.

But, this is not the first loss. This small, sad drama that unfolded on a farm outside of Battleford is only one of thousands that take place all the time in this country. Every day, there are young Indigenous men who endure lives of unseen tragedy. They grow up in an abusive home. They drop out of an indifferent school. They join a criminal gang. They become addicted. They are arrested and face trial without adequate defence. They are given sentences far longer than normal. They are tortured in solitary for days, months, years. They emerge even more broken.

And Canadian society, instead of treating this as a national emergency, retreats into racism and stereotypes. My great grandfather homesteaded not far from where Boushie died. I know the people in that area. I have no doubt that they genuinely fear the crime and chaos of the nearby reserves. They are frightened at the rise in violent crimes; they feel alone, believing budget cuts have prevented the RCMP from protecting them and their families. In these circumstances, the jury agreed that Stanley’s decision to fear a group of drunk young men and to defend his son and wife with a gun was “reasonable”.

At the time, when they were created, the reserves seemed like a reasonable idea; so did the residential schools. The sentencing guidelines that have ensured Indigenous Canadians are six times more likely to be imprisoned than the national average once seemed reasonable. Budget decisions taken in Ottawa by this government and the ones before it were all once accepted as reasonable, even if it meant a child on a reserve received less money than one in a city. Health care policies have all been reasonable, even though we are now facing rates of HIV in some Indigenous communities that rival Africa countries.

This trial. This country. This mess. We got to this place after a series of reasonable choices. Eventually, we will decide we need to do better. Eventually, we will have a leader who understands we have to, someone who recognizes that a country with all of Canada’s blessings cannot leave hundreds of thousands of its citizens to rot in poverty and neglect.

So far, Trudeau is not that leader. His responses have all been reasonable. He has shuffled his cabinet. He has made some promises. He has posed with elders and sent his love by Twitter. But, that is not enough. It is what his predecessors did, all reasonable politicians. What the Boushies, and the rest of Canada, need is an unreasonable leader, one who is willing to spend the money and take the hard decisions needed to finally end this national tragedy. Sadly, I have little hope we will find that leader among us any time soon.

Scott Gilmore is a member of the Conservative Party, and married to a Liberal Cabinet member.


 

Canada’s long road to the Colten Boushie verdict

  1. The key takeaway being that all criminals will be treated equally.

    We don’t take into consideration the historical troubles of a criminals race when passing judgement.

    • We do when sentencing though. And as the article points out, on this Canada has failed its aboriginal peoples miserably.

      And, arguably, race plays a role in the conviction as well. It’s not at all difficult to argue that what constitutes “reasonable doubt” differs depending on the racial background of the defendant. In this instance, we have an all-white jury deciding the fate of a white man in an area known for racial tensions and prejudices. Would we have had the same verdict from this jury if the only difference in fact were a reversal of the racial backgrounds of deceased and accused? I would like to think they were impartial, but quite frankly I have serious doubts.

      • Juries don’t decide sentencing.

      • How do you know the jury was racist? That’s just your own ignorant assessment. Didn’t you read what happened that night of the jury selection? Don’t you realize that Battleford’s population is 96% white? What were they suppose to do, import immigrants from Toronto who can’t speak English so that racists like yourself would find that acceptable?

  2. The acts described in the article as “reasonable” never were; they were simply racist, at times when racism was a good sell.

    The rest of the article is simply present-day partisanship. A real disappointment, and not surprising that this essay isn’t featured by Macleans.

    • No, the racist part was where the article didn’t mention Boushie & Co were drunk, driving a stolen vehicle, and had started Stanley’s ATV without his permisssion.

      ‘Out for a drive’ – hardly. They were out stealing and looting.

      Stanley had every right to defend himself, the question was whether or not there was a summary execution or self defence.

      It’s not ‘Canada’s fault’ that young aboriginal men run around drunk, stealing and looting. They’ve failed themselves.

  3. If this was not a fair trial, because the jury and defendant are white and the victim indigenous then it follows the defendant could not have received a fair trial if the jury consisted of only indigenous peoples. It goes both ways. The only things that matter in a trial are facts and in all the outrage we hear over this verdict few are mentioning the facts surrounding what happened. The justice system does need reforming and the first step is to eliminate the ability of lawyers to dismiss jurors without reasonable cause. Jury pools should be drawn from a pool that represents the socio-economic makeup of the area – so not completely at random.

    • God, it *shouldn’t* matter. I’m white & would like to believe if I sat on that trial I could see the facts for what they are. He had NO Business with a gun out there. And if he had time to go back & get that? He had time to either go back, stay inside & wait for cops. Or at the very least, go in, call cops & come out & wait…without a stupid firearm.
      It’s 2018! Don’t we all have someone in our family at this point who isn’t white? This is Canada, for crying out loud.

      • Stanley lives in rural Saskatchewan. You want him to wait for the cops? That could take over an hour for them to get there. You clearly are a city dweller and no nothing of rural life.

        • Actually, I was born in rural Northern Ontario. My point was he went back inside. He should have STAYED THERE. Colten would be alive today. I don’t give a d@mn how long Police take. A lengthy dispatch does not give any citizen of Canada the right to take the law into their own hands. Stanley was judge, jury & executioner here. The crime was drunk & disorderly and the punishment meted was far, far too harsh.

        • Also this Maclean’s story doesn’t mention that Mr. Stanley couldn’t see where his wife was and wondered if she was under the wheels of the intruders’ vehicle. As you say, he couldn’t wait for the cops.

      • “He had NO Business with a gun out there.”

        They had a gun out there–why aren’t you mentioning that?

      • Actually the judge specifically in this trial pointed out that he was well within his rights to have grabbed his firearm and fire the warning shots. Canadians are allowed to somewhat use our firearms to protect ourselves.

        If colten had not bothered to break the law and tresspass and steal he would be alive just as well so remember that as well. If you choose to live a life of crime dont be surprised for an oitcome like this and yes even with how bad it is for first nations they make a choice to break the law.

      • But you weren’t a juror on this trial! You don’t have all the facts! You just read a few articles and claim you can do better than the other jurors? It seems the racist one is you, who goes on a presumption and run with it!

  4. I’ll confess that I hadn’t paid close attention to the proceedings of the trial, so while I *wanted* to be outraged…I wanted to know some of the details of the trial first. Thanks for including that. Even hearing that Stanley fired warning shots & took the clip from his gun, I’m still feeling outrage. If they were white kids, would he have gone for his gun at all? If there was fear about what was happening on his property, especially if his family was home…and he had time to turn back for a gun & ammunition…then he certainly had time to go back & call Police on a land line (or, y’know…take his phone out of his pocket & dial 911). Why not go inside & wait (with your dumb gun if you think you need to protect from a group of drunk children) for authorities to arrive? So many questions. As Canadians we have to work hard to make sure we are not infected by the plague that is currently impacting about 35-40% of the US. That was enough to do permanent damage there in the form of their President for at least 4 years. #JusticeforColten

    • “If they were white kids, would he have gone for his gun at all? ”

      If they were ‘white kids’ the odds would be significantly lower that they were drunk and out to rob and loot.

      Aboriginals commit vastly disproportionate amount of violent crime. It’s scientific and rational for a farmer to be concerned about aboriginals on his property – who apparently were stealing stuff (i.e. started his ATV)

      • “If they were ‘white kids’ the odds would be significantly lower that they were drunk and out to rob and loot.”

        And WHY is that, Sonny? Why are alcoholism & drug abuse still rampant within the Indigenous Communities? Why is crime still a factor? We have OURSELVES to thank for that. We are only a generation away from having RIPPED these families apart. From having told them they weren’t HUMAN. From pulling Children away from their mothers & fathers and forcing them into Institutions. From beating their Native Language & Customs out of them.

        First we took their land & homes. That wasnt enough for us. We put them into remote corners. That wasnt enough for us. We pulled them from their homes & “educated” them and gave them “religion”. And then when we were done? We sent them home with Nothing. No support. No resources. No infrastructure. In many cases not even potable water. Disconnection between the generations.

        Indigenous Canadians … like ALL Canadians of colour … are arrested, charged and sentenced longer for vastly disproportionate amounts of crime than their white counterparts. It is NOT logical or rational for ANY HUMAN to be so concerned about drunk kids they’d take the law into their OWN Hands. That’s what the authorities are for & it’s already been shown Indigenous Canadians are punished more harshly for their crimes.

        • “We have OURSELVES to thank for that.”

          How was the farmer in this story responsible for that?

          “Indigenous Canadians … like ALL Canadians of colour … are arrested, charged and sentenced longer for vastly disproportionate amounts of crime than their white counterparts.”

          Couldn’t that be because members of certain groups commit crimes at vastly disproportionate rates? And no, your statement isn’t true of all “Canadians of colour”:

          “Asians are not over-represented—they account for 8% of the population in Canada, but only 2% of incarcerated offenders and 4% of those serving time in the community.” http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/research/r144-eng.shtml#LinkTarget_24663

          • “How was the farmer in this story responsible for that?”

            If he never recognized that he has a role to play in reconciliation; if he adopted racist perceptions and beliefs to the detriment of Indigenous people, then he is “responsible for that”.

            Not to mention the fact that his farm is probably on land that, prior to colonization, likely belonged to Indigenous people. So he certainly benefits from the racist policies of the past – like the rest of us.

          • “If he never recognized that he has a role to play in reconciliation; if he adopted racist perceptions and beliefs to the detriment of Indigenous people, then he is “responsible for that”.”

            Why is it on him to help “reconcile” a problem that he didn’t cause?

        • Asians are far less likely to go to prison than whites are. By your logic, wouldn’t that suggest that system is biased against whites in favor of Asians?

        • They are the way they are because the Government gives them too much money and they have nothing to do. Have you ever visited a northern reserve. The front yards are strewn with broken down snow mobiles. Rather than get them fixed, they just buy a new one.
          There is only one real solution. Where reserves are located where there is no opportunity for employment, the government should fully fund the relocation to an area where there is employment (including full funding of the purchase of a home furnishings, a vehicle and the provision of job training). For those who elect to stay on the reserve for “cultural” reasons, give them a huge piece of land and continue to subsidize them for one more year while they relearn how to hunt and fish. And then end the subsidy program. The Fraser Institute studied this and if 80% of those on the reserves accepted the fully funded offer to relocate, the cost would equate to 1 1/2 years of current subsidies.

          • That’s a great idea -it would be the best thing that could happen for them

        • “ndigenous Canadians … like ALL Canadians of colour … are arrested, charged and sentenced longer for vastly disproportionate amounts of crime than their white counterparts”

          Yes, because they are more likely to be criminals.

          And because they are more likely to be criminals, warning shots were fired.

          “We have OURSELVES to thank for that. ” – No – utterly false.

          “It is NOT logical or rational for ANY HUMAN to be so concerned about drunk kids they’d take the law into their OWN Hands. ”

          It’s perfectly logical.

          What is not logical – is that Stanley shot and killed the kid.

          As far as I am concerned, Stanley is guilty of some kind of crime related to the kids death – even if it was ‘an accident’ (which I don’t believe), it’s still ‘his fault’.

          If you point a loaded gun at someone’s head, and it ‘accidentally goes off’ – that’s still manslaughter.

          Short story:

          Drunk aboriginals are causing trouble and creating crazy conditions in which others get caught up in and do stupid things.

          Stanley is not a criminal. He’s just a farmer minding his own business. Building things. Following the law.

          ‘The problem’ are the aboriginal kids.

    • “If they were white kids, would he have gone for his gun at all?”

      Probably not – because ‘white kids’ don’t go around drunk driving, looting, and stealing vehicles with loaded weapons.

      See how that works?

  5. Thank you Mr. Gilmore, for a fair, balanced and empathetic reading of this tragic situation. I have tried to imagine myself a juror in this case – with what had to be prescient knowledge of the implications of an acquittal. The law in Canada demands “reasonable doubt” and that is a high bar… as it should be. The pressure on that jury, to do their duty according to the LAW, must have been incredible – and it beggars belief that every one of them based their decision on personal racist vindictiveness. The fact that certain politicians are already trying to make political hay is a disturbing aspect of the verdict. Shame on you Mr. Trudeau and ilk, for trying to curry favour with First Nations when you have not lived up to your promises on their behalf. The prosecution and courts will decide if this matter will go further, as our legal system dictates. If you persist in personal comments and implied government interference, you will be following in the footsteps of the leader to the south. Instead of grandstanding from outside the country, maybe make an attempt to actually be the leader who: “will decide we need to do better.”

  6. I cannot believe that the PM and several cabinet ministers have interfered in an unfinished criminal case that may yet be appealed. This is an appalling lack of judgement.

  7. I hope Stanley will not kill any more Native youth and that other White farmers won’t do it either. I do wonder if the situation were reversed, would the outcome have been any different? That is, a Native adult man kills a White youth who is attempting to steal from him on his property. Now, we wait for the civil suit and see how that turns out.

    • this is a idiot comment is it so hard to believe exactly the same thing would have happened if the people where white or brown or Asian or green… of course people keep blaming this guy but there never seems to be much talk about why they were there they had a gun they were steeling his property. fact is if I was alone out in the country and a car load of hooligans were tearing up my place I am pretty sure I would have grabbed a gun too. dont care what there color is, it is there actions that resulted in the death of that boy if they didn’t go there to do that they would not have been in a position to be shot… so as horrible as this is and I cant imagine how horrible it is for the families fault is based on those things, not history not conjecture not because you feel guilty for policies that were made 300 years before I was born in different times under much different conditions. This person does not bare the responsibility for all the injustices done to the native people before.
      the. I understand them being upset who wouldn’t be but they blame is squarely on the person that derided to drive int that yard and steel rob what ever they had planed..

  8. I very much appreciated this concise view of how a courtroom drama like this could have taken place in Canada and a bit of historical, geographical background into what may have lead up to the event. While all the day’s news coverage is swinging so clearly in a political direction, this article strikes me as being objective. Over the days to come, many natives will make an uproar and say this all about race. Those living in city condos will express their outrage in an attempt to come across a certain way. I live in a rural area with access to police services a good 40 minutes away. If 4 drunk people of any skin colour came up my driveway and threatened myself, pets, family or property in any way, then it is on me to protect those things. No one should have died that day. But when you break the rules and put yourself in that sort of position bad things can happen. People really ought to be taking more responsibility for themselves and quit blaming everyone else when their actions lead to such a sad outcome as this. Playing the race card does nothing but drive a bigger wedge between us. And Mr. Trudeau, you do not get to lord over a jury’s decision just to uphold your desired reputation.

  9. “Boushie and his friends had been drinking and had earlier used a rifle to try and steal a vehicle from another farm.”

    What exactly does “used a rifle to try and steal a vehicle” mean? Did they threaten someone with the rifle, which is what leaps to my mind, or is something else meant?

    • I’ve seen a lot of comments about how “an unarmed man” was shot. If you have a rifle (and you’ve already used it), how are you “unarmed?”

    • One of the young men apparently used the butt of the rifle to try and break into a truck, either to steal a spare tire or the vehicle itself. He stated afterward that he thought the rifle was unloaded, but it turned out to have been loaded. It was used with enough force to break off the stock and was still in the SUV (broken) at the time of the shooting. It doesn’t appear to have been wielded against a person.

      It isn’t clear from most articles whether the rifle-truck bit occurred on another farm or the Stanley farm. The reporting on this case is terrible, and “partial” everywhere in both senses of the word.

  10. The law is clear and the verdict is not going to be appealed successfully. The Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Stanley intended to shoot Mr Boushie. Without intent (mens rea) there is no case to answer. So the jury’s decision, however perverse politically, is accurate in law and we may all thank our own gods we live in a country where the rule of law trumps the rule of men.
    This case was always going to get hijacked by one side or another in the attempt to end the aparthied of the Indian Act. I listened to Mr Chretien as Minister of Indian Affairs (tic) offer in Saskatoon to end it unilaterally more than 50 years ago. The native people themselves opposed that then and still do, seeing, quite correctly that the crippling harm this blatently racist legislation has done to 3 per cent of our population must be ameliorated as the act is phased out.
    Farmers, reluctantly, are on the sharp end of the consequences of the Indian Act. They feel vulnerable in exactly the same way Kenyan coffee farmers felt vulnerable in the 1950’s and the Rhodesians a decade later. The threat is not as great but the fear and antipathy is identical. If we are going to ask them to continue to play this role as well as feeding us they need help. The very best help we can give them is to ease the problem created by cultural diminution of their supposed antagonists.
    An interim measure is rendering more effective the continued police presence. The RCMP have acted as mediators between farmer and displaced hunter gatherers since the days of Lord Strathcona’s horse and have won international praise for their work in sharp contrast to the justice out of the barrel of a gun south of the border back then. But for police to mediate there must be a rule of law respected by both parties. At present there isn’t.
    Cue the Prime Minister and, actually the wife of the writer of this fine piece of journalism.
    We are all of this environment. We can none of us exist without it for we are it. If you are really minister of the environment you are minister of everything. For the environment is everything both to the Stanley and the Boushie family and all of us. Perhaps Mr Prime Minister you could start from there.

    • All five occupants of the Boushie car were 18 years or older. They were all adults, not kids.
      If they truly had been seeking help with a flat tire as they claimed in court, they had two choices, choices any white person would have taken: either one person exit the car and approach Stanley’s wife who was mowing the lawn near where they stopped, and explain their need. OR since Stanley could see the Boushie car, the occupants would have seen Stanley and could have walked over to speak with him. NOT jump on the ATV and attempt to help themselves to Stanley’s property.
      What followed afterward was all of the Boushie party’s making.

      • Your quote “choices any white person would have taken” is pointlessly divisive and misleading. White people are every bit as stupid as every other kind of people.

    • Without intent to kill, Stanley could still have been found guilty of manslaughter; by his claim he negligently pointed the barrel of a gun at a person’s head, after assuming the chamber was empty but not checking (obviously).

      The prosecution were foolish to attempt a murder conviction with the witness testimony they had. Negligent manslaughter was possible.

      I’m pretty unconvinced by the hangfire explanation (too slow a burn), though the aged ammo could have fired unintentionally in a related way. The casing apparently had a peculiar bulge indicating it wasn’t fired normally. That said, the RCMP’s handling of the evidence (the SUV containing that casing) was so egregiously poor that we’ll never know. It will be difficult for a First Nations reader to rule out collusion to destroy evidence on the RCMP’s part. This and the jury selection have destroyed the credibility of the justice system in the case.

      • I agree with the comment that the shooter might have and perhaps should have been convicted of the lesser included offence of manslaughter. We will never know how the jury arrived at its decision but an appeal is limited to mistakes in law, there is no ability to file an appeal based on the jury’s decision being perverse. Those with the highly laudable aim of reforming the Indian Act’s treatment of some three million Canadians who have seized on this case to demonstrate systemic racism in the judicial system have latched on to a dog which won’t hunt. All this case demonstrates is that the jury system, which allows community views to moderate and sometimes override a strictly legalistic approach, is working well.

  11. Let me see if I have it right:

    Property owner Gerald Stanley afraid for his life and his family, fires 2 handgun warning shots in the air to frighten away intruders in a SUV…then unloaded its clip rendering him helpless from multiple intruders…then walks fearlessly to the SUV’s driver side (with an empty gun, so he says) to confront the multiple intruders, not the least bit concerned that the intruder(s) may be armed and he with no apparent means to defend himself if they are.

    His supposedly empty gun gets pointed at the head area of the driver. His finger comes in contact with the trigger. BAM! The intruder Colten Boushie is killed.

    How can any of the above be self-defense?

    Anyone with common sense would not have walked straight over to be among the intruders, especially if frightened for your own life & family and without a means of defending yourself against an attact from multiple people in the intruder vehicle, … but instead would have phoned 911 immediately to inform police that intruders are on your private property and have already caused damage to one of your cars.

    The moment that Stanley took himself out of harm’s way by going over to the SUV and confronting the intruders by reaching into the vechicle to grab the keys as opposed to going inside his own house and calling 911…was proof solid that his actions were a “marked departure from what a reasonable person would do in the circumstances”….making him guilty, at the minimun of manslaughter, if not second degree murder.

    Further:

    It was always my understanding that under the Canadian legal system, if an individual/or for that matter a business establishment, by their hand/or operation, in any way contributed to a death…they would be charged with manslaughter.

    Why isn’t Stanley in Federal prision right now? Why did he get away with this crime?

    Either the crown attorney Bill Burge handling the case was completely incompetent or what the gun-loving Conservatives/Republicans/redneck rightwingers/NRA have been saying for decades must be true then > that people don’t kill people, guns kill people.

    And the Law can’t put a gun in prison.

    • Stanley testified that his finger was off the trigger when the pistol discharged. Agreed that his behaviour escalated the situation, but he didn’t create it.

      Manslaughter in Canada requires an additional element: either the homicide occurs during the commission of a crime, or due to criminal negligence. It was possible to convict Stanley of negligent manslaughter and the jury was instructed to consider it. In my view the murder charge was never achievable and probably clouded the jury’s consideration of the negligence of Stanley’s use of the pistol. He certainly took unnecessary risks.

    • You should bone up with what went on at the trial. Stanley never plead self defense. His defense was that the gun went off accidentally. And there was enough expert witness testament delivered that raised reasonable doubt for the jury that it may have been an accident. End of story!!

    • He’s not arguing ‘self defence’.

      It was not a ‘confrontation’ in his view.

      I don’t believe his story about ‘accidentally went off’ but it’s a weird case for sure.

      The kids had a loaded gun. He could have made the self defence case.

  12. Farmers are given the power to kill any thing that threatens their livelihood…even their neighbor’s pet.
    Did Stanley have livestock or eggs on his farm?
    Possibly he did not even know for sure if he was shootiing at Bouchie or a
    wild animal…

    Trudeau blaming Canadians and citing again that Canadians must do better, and blaming Canadians for the abuse of our indigenous people: He is such a lying hypocrite!
    Trudeau$ justice is to blame…NOT the hard working, heavily taxed, minimum wage earner!
    He is purely evil to blame everyone else, and accept no accountability for his own lack of justice!
    Trudeau sides with lying hijab children, and indigenous complaining, and always blames “Canadians”,
    Why would Canadians vote for such filth?

  13. Here we go again in the court of public opinion and MSM. The public and the media think they can be judge and jury and know better than everyone else… especially the jury.. For those of you who are second guessing the jury’s verdict.. shame on you. In a broader sense you are undermining Canadian democracy and our judiciary. To those of you criticizing the jury were YOU present for EVERY minute of testimony during the trial?? To have strong opinions either way you need to have been otherwise you are merely speculating and letting your own bias determine your opinion. If you were not there for EVERY SECOND of the proceedings ( and that includes the Prime Minister and the Attorney General) your opinion is only that.. an opinion not based on fact.. because you did not hear all the facts. I do not believe that all of those jury members reached their individual conclusions because they were all racist. Do all of you , who were not there, who question the outcome know better than entire jury who were there?? Are you prejudiced (pre-judging) or biased against all white people. Trial by the public, politicians and the media must stop. To assume the jury made a mistake because of the colour of their skin is a dictionary definition of racism…

  14. Trial, Judge and Jury by some in the public and the media… in this case (as with many other examples) Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail and CBC are all guilty of this. Our Liberal politicians , including Trudeau and the Justice Minister are also weighing in on the jury’s verdict. None of these people sat through the entire trial and heard all the evidence and testimony. The Media, many in the public and some politicians are second guessing our judicial system. The Media.. Macleans, The Globe and Mail, CBC and Liberal politicians are helping to further erode our democracy. This is dangerous and they are all way out of line. Our judicial system and our democracy are under attack.

  15. It is my understanding that when the jury pool was assembled and people waited to be called, the indigenous members of the jury pool talked openly about wanting to hang the defendant. If this is true, then the lawyers had a perfect right to exclude them from the jury, since they were not neutral.

  16. There’s no doubt they were there to steal the quad, that’s a fact. Sounds like they were in a stolen vehicle as well. Why did they have a loaded gun ? If they weren’t aboriginal would this be a national story ? If they were white criminals this would be a single line of text on the back page of a six page community newspaper.
    Is it tragic yes it is but I feel sorry for the Gerald Stanley he didn’t ask for this, seems he was minding his own business til some Shit heads come in to his life and started messing with him and his family. Would it have been different if they were any other color Not likely thieves are thieves. No one has the right to come onto your property and steal or harm you or your property. It was just Bad luck it ended this way but if they weren’t there it would have never happened that is a fact. If this was in the United States there would have been four dead, no trial end of story. Problem with people who do not respect other people, bad things happen to them so don’t start crying poor me or us. Get an education, get a job, mind the law, help your neighbor and this shit isn’t likely to happen.

    • I feel terrible for the Boushie family, but using this to cry racism and to try and bend the laws to favour certain groups of people based on race is a problem, not a solution. Before reading more into this trial today, and it certainly hasn’t been fairly covered by the national TV media as I didn’t even know the youthful people in the vehicle had a weapon of their own, had broken into another farm nearby, and were attempting to steal a quad on the Stanley farm. This shouldn’t even have gone to trial from the sound of it, it is a clear cut case of the Stanley family protecting themselves from intruders. I feel bad for the Boushie family, but given the fact he was in a vehicle, they were drinking and driving and breaking and entering more than one property? This is priceless, and the way the national media have had a race-baiting attitude is priceless. This is the problem with our modern society: making those who are protecting themselves, making the victims into enemies and using race baiting to gain political points. Its sick to think about.

  17. Wow. Just wow. So the indigenous young adults were drinking, driving, using a gun to trespass, break and enter, and steal. AND the Stanley family stood up to that by defending themselves? And this is how we define racism in 2018? What kind of world are we in today, a totally fact-free zone where reality has no bearing on anything?!? I’m sorry, but if this is what is going to be used for a national racism cry fest, I’m not buying it. And the op/ed piece written here is nothing more than biased drivel. It is amazing this is allowed to be used as a topic to rouse people who cry racism at every corner to further their personal politics. This is the definition of what is wrong with the world today: half truths and half the facts being used to propel political agenda’s that have nothing to do with race. Race has nothing to do with the Colten Boushie story, tons of white families have faced a jury that didn’t convict because there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt on cases far more intense than this one. Why is race being used like a weapon by people today? That’s the real problem here.

    • I really do agree with you. I wasn’t present at the trial to hear all of the testimony but it seems to me like there is at least reasonable doubt here. The National Post has a piece today that at least tries to explain what might have happened from the farmer’s perspective. We have only heard one side in the media up to this point and it turns out there has been a lot conveniently left out particularly by the CBC. The media’s coverage has been appalling, frightening and biased beyond belief. It’s the new ‘hang em high’ mentality. It you’re white you’re immediately judged as being racist and stupid. (especially if you’re a farmer and not from Toronto) The know it all, pedantic and prejudiced viewpoint of so many opinion writers in The Globe and Mail, Macleans and especially the CBC represents a really dark turn towards the erosion of our democracy… not to mention Trudeau and the Justice Minister getting involved. It is shameful. I have heard that in the upcoming budget there will be money for print media. It that is true than it will not only be the CBC that will be considered state media but now others. And we all know that state media always favours the political party that gives them a never ending supply of money. In Canada we all know which party that is and which party that isn’t. The favourable coverage of the Liberals will only get better and better if that happens. I hope I am wrong about this. CBC will not allow any of the public to comment on this story and WE PAY THEIR BILLS. Shameful. At least Maclean’s allows comments . The Globe and Mail does not but that is at least somewhat justifiable as they are a private media outlet. If they start to get money from the government that will change however. What is happening to our wonderful Canada? What can we do to improve the CBC’s rampant, obvious and far far left coverage of most social situations . I am terrified about this.

  18. “At the time, when they were created, the reserves seemed like a reasonable idea;” .. and there we have it – more colonist rationalization. The initial intent was that reserves would be areas designated for the exclusive use of certain aboriginal groups while they persued their normal liveliehood but soon became instead a place to confine aboriginals particularly under the first Macdonald government. The ‘reasonableness’ was that it provided a cheap and easy way of relieving aboriginals of their territory and their freedom since reserves were configured as administrative units of the federal government – Note, aboriginal leaders who persisted in asserting their leadership were either incarcerated or killed and traditional forms of aboriginal governance were abolished. The RCMP was first configured to constrain and confine aboriginal and metis, clearing the way for European settlement and since haven’t moved overly far from that mission. It’s clear from the history of assignment, reassignment, shrinking, and confiscation of reserve land that reserves were a land clearing mechanism supported by essentially genocidal theories – if one needs confirmation of that, one need merely read the written statements of Francis Bond Head and John A Macdonald.

  19. “At the time, when they were created, the reserves seemed like a reasonable idea; so did the residential schools.” … and there we have it, still more colonist rationalization. The words of an Anglican Bishop explaining the need to develop residential schools illuminates some of the intent – ‘we’ve got to save the Indians from the jaws of these vipers’ where the ‘vipers’ were the Methodists and the legally official church, i.e. the Anglicans, saw the issue as an ersatz religious crusade. Tellingly, the Methodists of the time had an egalitarian bent and educated aboriginals as teachers and clerics.There are numerous examples where aboriginal run schools, especially those with a Methodist, Presbyterian or Baptist connection, were suppressed. Also, tellingly, the Mississaugas of the Credit for a time ran their own school which was arguably among the best in the province and was disparaged for daring to provide / ‘wasting’ a classic education to Indians, the presumed suitable alternative being trade schools where ‘Indians’ good be made into a useful serving class. This was merely a reflection of the standard British colonial class system where indigenous people were made into servant and slave classes. There was nothing ‘reasonable’ about it.

  20. McLeans, which once was a Canadian magazine whose reporters were committed to the integrity of journalism has once again painted a story riddled with compromised truth. The article, similar to another of McLeans sensationalist untrue stories about the tragic death of Chanie Wenjack is becoming similar to the National Enquire, merely a sensationalist rag that sells, truth, facts be damned, Integrity in reporting, what’s that?? Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston said during his acceptance address. “The difference between a reporter and a journalist is, the reporter reports respecting the nuance of his master, the journalist writes the facts, and leaves to the reader to their own conclusion.

  21. Maybe instead of waiting around for the right leader, perhaps we need to become people of action ourselves. We seem like nothing more than complacent keyboard warriors. I don’t want to be just that. If we as individuals really care about what happened beyond having this debate, how do we take positive action, that will effect change?

    • You can start by electing a government that provides protection to its citizens (police are often an hour or more away in many rural areas). It would also help if people had confidence that laws would be enforced equally. In this case, individuals have admitted to impaired driving, carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle, attempting to steal two vehicles (an automobile and an ATV) and perjury, but the only one who has faced charges is the farmer. Further, the lives of his children and grandchildren were threatened at a press conference and yet no action has been taken.

  22. Gilmore, my morning paper came with a dose of irony. A big dose. Juxtaposing an article on the supposed injustice of Stanley’s acquittal was an article about the MMIW that focused on the story of a woman who lost her daughter to a (Indigenous) repeat offender whose string of violent crimes was never enough to keep him behind bars. Where is the concomitant outrage?
    That woman’s story is not an isolated one. The vast majority of violent deaths among Indian women comes at the hands of Indian men. Ditto for children. Many of those violent men are Gladue’d back in to their communities where they simply do it all over again. How is an acquittal, at the end of a proper trial, an injustice worth devoting fully half the energies of the entire Canadian media community too, when that same media gives a collective shrug, in concert with the native community, when an Indian with a criminal record as long as James Michener novel slaughters his wife or girlfriend or his grandmother?
    We’re being drug into the Black Lives Matter unreality, where the only black lives that really matter are the ones that are ended by a white man. Why is there so much manufactured outrage over the perfectly predictable death of Colten Boushie, when the native community couldn’t be motivated nearly as much over the horrible death of Phoenix Sinclair? There’s a goddamn list for you. How many children of natives have died horrific deaths at the hands of parents whom the system insisted on giving custody too? Too goddamned many to count, yet we’re told that it’s an injustice that an armed and drunk young man died while trying to steal a vehicle? Sorry, but the only upside to this is you’ve managed to go a couple days without babbling mindlessly about “Trump/Russia!”

  23. “A group of friends out for a drive got a flat tire and went to a nearby farmhouse for help.”

    No. A group of criminals were drunk, stole a vehicle- damaged it- and were caught trying to steal another. There were five of them and they had a rifle.

    Stanley can be second guessed and his actions were probably incompetent at best but he had every right to try to stop the thieves. He had every right to arm himself. He had every right under the CC to arrest the people he found committing an offence. He had every right to ascertain where his family members were. In fact he had the right to do everything a cop could do short of arresting people on warrant.

    I would expect the jury didn’t hold lack of professional tactical ability against Stanley and did understand that the incident was precipitated by the criminal acts of the deceased and his pals.

    We don’t actually know if any jury members were indigenous or not. We’ve only been told they didn’t look like it. If there was prejudice it was more likely against robbers and for people defending their lives and property.

  24. Before we all second guess the jury on this, let us all remember that they actually witnessed the entirety of the trial. Hardly any media people did, and none of the public who are quick to lay accusations of bigotry. We have all learned just fragments of the testimony, and little adds up from either side from what I have read. Who reaches into a vehicle to shut if off, when the ignition is most always on the far side of the steering column, and if the driver stepped on the accelerator, you might break your arm? Who would drive a vehicle with a flat tire any further than to the side of the road, as driving any distance would destroy it? But, the jury has seen and heard all the testimony and made their call. Only they know how they came to their decision. Nobody else can say they decided wrongly.

  25. ” A group of friends out for a drive got a flat tire and went to a nearby farmhouse for help. ”

    What a disgusting, repulsive lie.

    A gang of drunk aboriginals were on a tour stealing vehicles with loaded weapons – otherwise known as ‘armed robbery’.

    “Just out for some help?”

    Repulsive.

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