Our answer from Canada’s Minister of Justice and AG

We’ve recently had a case in Canada where Romanians have slipped across the border after traversing through Mexico and the US to get to Canada.  Our federal authorities have been on the news about the round-up of these people and detaining them, some of them children.  We have pleaded with government officials for years to take action on the trafficking of women and children for forced marriage in the FLDS community of Bountiful.  We have given to the same officials lists of underaged girls who were trafficked by their parents down to be married to older men in the FLDS–some of them 12 and 13 years old.  What kind of double-standard exists in Canada, that one group of people blatantly breaking immigration laws and trafficking are rounded up and detained while another whose alleged criminal behaviour had been going on for over six decades is being ignored?

The following letter is identical in its content re criminal prosecution as Liberal AG Irwin Cotler’s was in 2004–see “about” on this blog.  Sorry, Minister Rob Nicholson, we’ve written to BC’s authorities many times with the same answer–“the investigation is ongoing”


Dear Ms. Mereska:

Thank you for your correspondence of October 9 and 14, 2012, concerning polygamy.

The Government of Canada firmly believes that the practice of polygamy has no place in modern Canadian society.  The prohibition of polygamy under section 293 of the Criminal Code is consistent with Canadian values and complies with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It is our view that this provision of the Criminal Code should be upheld.

I note your comments regarding a case in British Columbia.  Our government is pleased that the Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld the prohibition of polygamy under section 293 of the Criminal Code as fully consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in its decision of November 23, 2011.

It may be helpful for you to know that, while the Parliament of Canada is responsible for enacting criminal law, the administration of justice, including the prosecution of Criminal Code offences, is the responsibility of the provincial governments.  Therefore, if you have not already done so, you may wish to write to the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of British Columbia, who is responsible for the administration of justice in that province.  Minister Bond may be contacted at www.ag.gov.bc.ca/contacts/emailag.htm.

Thank you again for writing.

Yours truly,

The Honourable Rob Nicholson




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