#CBC: “Ministers call for review of justice system after Boushie verdict – Politics”


Federal ministers are calling for an examination of the justice system after a Saskatchewan jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of killing Colten Boushie.

Justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Indigenous services minister Jane Philpott both posted on Twitter they want the country to do better for Indigenous Canadians in the future.

Justin Trudeau echoed those statements, offering his condolences to Boushie’s family. 

“We have come to this point as a country far too many times,” he told reporters Saturday morning. 

“I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better.”

This outreach from federal politicians is virtually unprecedented, according to Glen Luther, a criminal law expert from the University of Saskatchewan. 

“It’s very rare,” he said Saturday. “The federal government is actually taking it seriously.”

Ministers using a specific trial to point to issues in the justice system could provide a much-needed wake-up call, he added. 

“It does fall on the federal government to fix that, they’re in charge of the justice system, they’re the ones that can make the reforms.”

Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, is anxiously waiting to hear what the government is planning to do. 

“Those are positive statements from very high levels,” he said. “They get it, but now we have to see the proof in the pudding … sooner [rather] than later.”

But the shifting tones also caused blowback on social media against Wilson-Raybould, as people interpreted her comments as questioning the proceedings. 

“Are the Liberals suggesting that our courts return verdicts that they approve of?” one response said. 

“Respectfully, the AG and prime minister should not be commenting on cases, especially such a divisive one,” said another.

However, Luther said it’s more likely the tweets were directed at the system in general, and not meant to criticize the judge or jurors. 

‘We have to do better,’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says after verdict in Colten Boushie’s death0:41

Indigenous leaders push for change

Indigenous leaders are pushing for change as well, calling on the federal government to step in when the verdict was handed down Friday evening. 

Boushie, 22, and four others from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation drove onto Stanley’s property on Aug. 9, 2016. After an altercation with Stanley, his son and wife, Boushie was shot in the head.

Prospective Indigenous jurors were rejected by the defence team, according to courtroom observers.

Note: “Previously Published on: 10 February 2018 | 7:26 pm, as ‘Ministers call for review of justice system after Boushie verdict – Politics’ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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