Accused polygamists plead not guilty in trial testing the limit of religious freedoms in Canada

Two leaders of a fundamentalist sect that condones plural marriage have pleaded not guilty to polygamy charges in a Cranbrook, B.C., courtroom where an epic battle to test the limits of religious freedom in Canada is playing out.

Well-known Canadian polygamist Winston Blackmore, 61, and his former brother-in-law, James Oler, 53, each face one count of polygamy under Canada’s 127-year-old polygamy laws.

This will not end well.

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  • Etobicoke_Gladiator

    Will this trial pave the way for Muslim polygamy being official recognized in Canada?

    Underage Muslim arranged marriages will also receive gov. approval?

    (Observation: This CBC article didn’t once mention Islam or Muslims. Neither did the embedded link to another CBC article.)

    • Clink9

      Yes and yes. It will also allow marriage to goats.

      • Etobicoke_Gladiator

        You really get my goat this morning. ūüėČ

    • Polygamy is already allowed in Ontario, so long as you married the youngsters in Islamistan you can import them.

      • Etobicoke_Gladiator

        There’s a difference between “allowed” and “tolerated” because the McGuinty Liberals and the Wynne Liberals have decided to turn a blind eye towards this matter.

        Legally, though, technically, I thought polygamy is illegal in Ontario, at least for now. Your point is well taken, of course, BCF, but please clarify the matter.

        • Frances

          No difference in my eyes if all “spouses” are allowed to claim government benefits.

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            Common law “spouses” of monogamous couples are not married and under certain circumstances can claim gov. benefits. You may be misunderstanding my point.

          • Frances

            No, Etobicoke – I do understand your point. My point is that – once multiple “wives” and assorted offspring of one man are allowed to claim benefits, then the government is essentially recognizing polygamy, albeit by the back door.

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            My point is that law is what’s technically on the books, and not what’s practiced. This might change based on future court cases. But, yes, I see where you’re coming from. I must now make dinner for my three wives. *sarc*

      • marty_p

        Public housing is full of families with a wife and a “sister” or “auntie” sharing the apartment.

        • Etobicoke_Gladiator

          Yeah. The vibrancy is just so vibrant, ain’t it? Imagine those family trees and genetic ailments? First cousin marriages factored into the horror and Medicare is going to have a lot to deal with. *sigh*

  • ontario john

    This law is islamophobic and comes under the authority of Motion 103. Muslim men should be able to keep dozens of wives at home, where they can easily beat them with canes. And what about the goats?? But Heather Mallick has the most important story at the Toronto Star today. PRO LIFE DEMONSTRATORS ARE RUNNING RAMPANT ACROSS CANADA!! Yes, according to Ms. Mallick people against abortion are burning and terrorizing their way across Canada. And Thomas Walkom wants us to love and accept peace loving North Korea.

    • felis gracilis

      And the media wonder why they are becoming irrelevant.

  • Spatchcocked

    Like everything is like equal to like everything else man….

  • The Butterfly

    Welcome to polygamous muslim welfare cheques. Oh wait, we already have that because vibrancy.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Vibrancy sends many bills.

  • Maxsteele

    As most of you point out, I would bet the farm this law is going to be struck down as they are making way for the Islamic fundamentalists to have their many wives. If it only effected these two older white, Christian fundamentalists, they would be hanging them from the nearest tree.
    Of course, next is islamic peadophila and beating your wife, female genital mutilation on the list of acceptable progressive behaviour.

  • Frances

    Never discussed when talking about Bountiful is the shameful treatment of the boys. Everyone gets upset about the treatment of the girls – and rightly so – but no one considers the boys, many of whom get kicked out of the colony and left to fend for themselves.

    • David Murrell

      …at the age of 14 no less. But the pc media won’t mention this at all.

    • k2

      It’s a numbers game: Nature in her wisdom deemed that the ratio of male to female births should be about 1:1. Since a few powerful men control all the females, that leaves an excess of males who have no hope of finding a mate and could cause trouble for those empowered males. So they get the boot. Same thing in Islam but Mo came up with the smart idea of jihad so that the excess males can run off and spread Islam (and pick up female slaves thereby) or be killed. Either way, a win for the Islamic society.

  • Malcolm Y

    I don’t know, but the current legal situation seems to be perfect for a despotic government – as you seem to have.

    They ignore the law when it should apply to favored groups or people and use the full force of it when there is the slightest chance it applies to others. So they can use it to reward and punish. This produces a societal force pushing people to please the government by acting, talking and thinking the “right” way. This is probably more powerful in Canada where everyone seems to put a premium on “being nice.”

    We experienced this under Obama. And the powers that be are fighting like hell to maintain it.

    • Alain

      I had pretty much the same thoughts. That the full force of the state is used against a very small group of isolated people while all across Canada we have a multitude of Muslims with their gaggle of wives ignored by the same authorities. You don’t need to approve of Bountiful to see the blatant hypocrisy here.

      • ismiselemeas

        I wonder if it has something to do with setting precedence?

        • Alain

          Really? No, it has everything to do with special laws, special treatment for different groups; in other words the absence of the rule of law just like what we saw in Caledonia and other places.

          • ismiselemeas

            Really? Precedence supports common law. Where there is no precedence it makes it very difficult to prosecute. There is little or no precedence for this in Canada. Bountiful looks like a slam dunk to me. Successful prosecution here will make it easier to proceed with prosecution when it comes to other religious groups, namely muslims. This is my take on it. Prosecution at Bountiful has been years in the making not because of “special laws” but because of a lack of precedence.

          • Alain

            You then saying in so many words that you find no trouble with the absence of the rule of law and support selectively applying the law when it is convent. That is where we shall never agree. One does not need to support polygamy to see the problem, which is far bigger than polygamy.

          • ismiselemeas

            Did you even read what I wrote? I’m not condoning polygamy through the absence of the rule of law. The law is very clear that polygamy is illegal. The problem is in the prosecution of polygamists due to a lack or precedence in prosecution. There are no special laws for one group or another. There may be selective application. Polygamy is a disaster for everybody. It’s notoriously difficult to prosecute though. I think you may be missing my point completely.

          • Alain

            Yes, I read what you wrote. You avoid the subject by stating that there are no special laws for one group or another, while ignoring examples of selective enforcement of the law along with certain groups being treated differently under the law. This equates to having different laws for different groups. Again Caledonia is a prime example along with “healing circles” and many other examples. All the Muslims with their gaggle of wives are being ignored here and only one small group being prosecuted. That is most clearly not the rule of law where everyone is treated the same under the law.

            The killing of tradition marriage began with courts giving shacking up the same value and rights as traditional marriage. The next, and deadly blow, was SSM, so the door is now open to polygamy and whatever people dream up next. In other words it is like trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

  • Maggat

    What is sauce for the muslim goose is also sauce for the Christian gander.

  • Such a dowdy harem.

  • Liberal Progressive

    Polygamy is only a crime when it is done by a religion my Liberal party says isn’t legitimate, unlike Islam.