Murder of an aboriginal youth: the interventions of the Trudeau government considered unwise and dangerous

News 12 February, 2018
  • File Photo, AFP
    The prime minister Justin Trudeau

    Maxime Huard

    Monday, 12 February, 2018 18:31

    Monday, 12 February, 2018 18:34

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    OTTAWA | By implying that justice had not been rendered in the case of Colten Boushie, public interventions of Justin Trudeau and three of her ministers do harm to the judicial system, lament experts.

    • READ ALSO: Saskatchewan: a verdict has raised the indignation

    “This is not the role of ministers to put more oil on the fire and attack the decision of a court,” criticized the doctor in constitutional law Frédéric Bérard, denouncing the recovery policy controversies in the courts.

    The Saskatchewan-born Gerald Stanley was acquitted Friday night of the murder of Colten Boushie, a young aboriginal girl of 22 years. The jury’s decision has raised an outcry on social media and in the aboriginal communities.

    Following the verdict, the minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the two ministers responsible for aboriginal affairs, Carolyn Bennett, and Jane Philpott, have shared their disappointment.

    “As a country, we can and must do better,” wrote the minister Wilson-Raybould on Twitter, comments which were echoed by his two colleagues, as well as the prime minister Justin Trudeau in a press conference Saturday in Los Angeles.

    “Canadians, aboriginal and non-aboriginal people know that we need to do better”,-he said.

    Compassion misplaced?

    Mr. Trudeau has taken care, Saturday and Monday, to say that he wouldnít comment on the specific case of Colten Boushie, but the system in general. Its three ministers have also defended their actions, speaking of compassion for the family of the victim.

    However, by repudiating the decision of the jury, the outpouring of compassion of politicians could affect the family if the case goes in appeal, according to the professor at the faculty of law of the University of Sherbrooke, Maxime Saint-Hilaire.

    “The ministers have expressed publicly by treating the accused as a guilty person. It could lead to a court of appeal to order a stay of proceedings”, he analyzed.

    Former president, the bloquiste Rhéal Fortin estimated that the government would have had to defend the system of justice. “To suggest that the decision of the jury is not good, it’s awkward and dangerous,” he lamented.

    The spokesperson for the conservative in matters of public Safety, Pierre Paul-Hus, is simply to say that his party respected the decision of the courts.

    Some of his colleagues, including the critic for aboriginal affairs Cathy McLeod, however, had criticized the Trudeau cabinet during the end of the week on social networks, condemning the “political interference”.

    Of the contrary opinion, the elected néodémocrate Charlie Angus judge that politicians have a duty to respond to an “injustice systemic,” which leaves continually fall to the indigenous communities.

    The family in Ottawa

    Both the New democratic Party that the family of Colten Boushie is calling for a revision of the process of selection of jurors which was conducted ten white people to pay a white man.

    The federal government is open to improving this process in the future, without specifying his intentions.

    The family of the victim met with the ministers Bennett and Philpott on Monday in Ottawa. They meet on Tuesday, the prime minister, and the ministers of Justice and of public Safety.

    “We are here to build relationships. These meetings are only the beginning to repair the injustice,” said the cousin of the victim, Jade Tootoosis.

    Photo Agence QMI, MAXIME HUARD

    The family of Colten Boushie addressed the media on Monday. On the photo: his uncle, Alvin Baptiste; his mother, Debbie Baptiste and her cousin, Jade Tootoosis.

    Their lawyer, Chris Murphy, hope that the Crown will be appealing the decision. He does not believe that the upcoming procedures will be marred by the remarks of the members of the government.

    “No one tries to interfere. It is the ministry of Justice, Saskatchewan, to decide whether it appealed or not,” he said.