Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is Wally Oppal a Jerk or an Idiot?


Okay folks - quiz time . . . . .


1. Is Wally Oppal -

a. A Jerk?
b. An Idiot?
c. Both?

Wally Oppal was the Attorney General for British Columbia (until May, 2009). While Oppal was the A.G., he made no secret of his deep resentment for the polygamists in Bountiful and Creston, B.C. He even echoed the vitriol of Canada's most strident polygamy-haters (Nancy Mereska, Daphne Bramham and Jancis Andrews). He was on a mission to stamp out those filthy polygamy-mongers! Several senior prosecutors (national and provincial) published their opinions that efforts to criminalize the practice of plural marriage in B.C. would fail in light of Canada's decades-old religious freedom Acts.

Oppal was not satisfied with these opinions. He could not sleep at night while polygamists were still breathing. He decided to flout constitutional principles and so he then sought a different prosecutor who would agree to pursue charges against two religious leaders, Winston Blackmore and Jimmy Oler.

Today, Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein issued a scathing ruling denouncing Oppal's conduct and reversing his decision to pursue the prosecution of these two men. I quote a paragraph from her ruling -

"[105] I conclude the Attorney General [Wally Oppal] had no jurisdiction to direct the ADAG to appoint Mr. Robertson as a prosecutor, and the ADAG had no jurisdiction to appoint Mr. Robertson as a special prosecutor, to conduct a charge assessment in relation to the same mandate where Mr. Peck had decided not to approve charges but recommended a reference to the Court of Appeal. The appointment of Mr. Robertson as a special prosecutor was contrary to s. 7 of the Act and his decision was therefore unlawful."

This is a landmark decision because it effectively forecloses ANY future efforts to target religious polygamists in Canada. Forgive my cynicism, but earlier this year (February, 2009) a Toronto Arab man was acquitted of the charge of bigamy for being married to two women.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1275028


The man had a wife in Canada and then went to Ohio and married another woman. The judge admitted that it was clear that the man had two "legal" marriages (one Canadian and one U.S.) but he could not be convicted because it could not be proved that he went to Ohio with - - - - -

Brace yourself - - - -

THE INTENTION OF MARRYING THE SECOND WOMAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, if this guy couldn't be convicted, how the heck did Wally Oppal think he could convict Jimmy and Winston for having extra (non-legal) partners?

Congratulations to Blackmore and Oler. I pray that the Crown or the Province will have the decency to reimburse the men for the tens of thousands of Canadian dollars they had to waste defending themselves from mean-spirited, "unlawful" and frivolous charges.

I know there's a lot of animus against polygamists for alleged "underage" marriages, but, if my memory serves me correctly, all of the major and minor fundamentalist communities have publicly foresworn any future polygamous unions with minors.

I suspect the hate-mongers will be angry because, deep down inside, they wanted blood.

(For the complete text of the decision - go to - - )

http://sz0164.ev.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/2009-09-23%20Judge%20Stromberg-Stein%2C%20re%20BLACKMORE%20v.%20AG%20B.C.%2C%2009-23%5B1%5D.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=51871&part=2

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