That’s what is at stake in the constitutional reference case that will begin Monday in B.C. Supreme Court and is scheduled to last at least until the end of January.
Tag: James Oler
Winston Blackmore, the leader of a polygamous community in southeastern British Columbia who has admitted to having multiple wives, is suing the provincial government for violating his rights when he was charged last year.
The charges were thrown out last fall after the men’s lawyers successfully argued in court that the decision of a previous special prosecutor not to lay charges was final.
Winston Blackmore and James Oler, leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Bountiful, B.C., were charged last month with practising polygamy.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is urging that the constitutionality of the anti-polygamy law be tested by a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada —a recommendation made in earlier legal opinions prepared for the B.C. attorney general.
The practice of polygamy sets neighbour against neighbour, parent against child, politician against politician and even some husbands against wives in this southeastern B.C. town.
It’s not that townsfolk here are polygamists. But Creston’s proximity to the fundamentalist Mormon community of Bountiful, where some men unabashedly have more than one wife, makes it a more frequent topic than most would like.
After decades of controversy and allegations, RCMP swept into the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., on Wednesday and arrested two sect leaders, including one who had bragged of multiple wives and dozens of children and all but dared police to stop him.
Some anti-polygamists were jubilant at the charges laid yesterday but others were bitterly disappointed that B.C. officials chose not to proceed with sexual exploitation charges against Bountiful leaders.
Oppal said Blackmore is alleged to be married to 20 women, while Oler is accused of committing polygamy by being married to two women.
“This has been a very complex issue,” he told The Canadian Press. “It’s been with us for well over 20 years. The problem has always been the defence of religion has always been raised.”