No, British Columbians, you haven’t gone back in time. Your attorney-general, Wally Oppal, is indeed appointing a third special prosecutor to examine the Bountiful/polygamy file in hopes he’ll finally get the opinion he wants—which is (a) that Section 293 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits polygamy, would withstand a Charter challenge and (b) that charges should be laid against one, some or all of the polygamists in Bountiful.
Incorrect opinions have so far come from Richard Peck, who agreed with (a) but believed there was “no substantial likelihood of conviction,” and Leonard Doust, who also agreed with (a) but thought it would make more sense for the courts to rule on Section 293 in the abstract before dragging polygamists into court. Now it’s Terrence Robertson‘s turn. What will he decide? We shall see. But it’s a safe bet he won’t decide quickly.
In any event, we are somewhat amused to see the Vancouver Sun‘s Daphne Bramham—scourge of polygamists and British Columbian attorneys-general alike—file a totally straight-up news story about this tragicomic turn of events. That’s hard to do, in our experience, when you’ve got burning-hot steam coming out your ears and nose. We salute her even keel and look forward to what ought to be a hum-dinger of a column denouncing this latest chapter in BC’s epic history of dithering.
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