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Thursday, January 08, 2009 

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Speaks Out On Aboriginal Case To Mollify Subtle Racist Backlash

"I wouldn't want the public to think that a sentencing circle was ordered and that this person has somehow escaped what would be an appropriate sentence. The Crown's position is and continues to be that a penitentiary sentence is the only appropriate disposition,"
Don Morgan
Saskatchewan Justice Minister

and Attorney General

I find it extremely inappropriate for the Attorney General to speak out publicly on a matter that is still before the courts in Saskatchewan.

The case against Christopher Pauchay, an aboriginal man who nearly froze to death, and whose small children did die of exposure, has been referred to a traditional sentencing circle. Mr. Pauchay had ventured out of his home one night, with his two small daughters, in -50 degree wind chills. He became separated from the children and all were overcome by the weather conditions.

Mr. Pauchay has pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of his children, and told the court that he was has an alcohol addiction and was extremely intoxicated when he ventured outside with them.

In view of the guilty plea, the court now needs only to bring down a sentence in the case.

Due to the fact that there was no premeditated 'intent' to cause the death of the children, and in view of the substance abuse health problems that Pauchay acknowledges and wishes to address, the judge in the matter has referred sentencing to an aboriginal 'sentencing circle' of Elders and peers from his Reserve community.

Now for the reality of Saskatchewan life.

Subtle racism exists in the Province of Saskatchewan ... period! It is generally what could be called, 'passive aggressive'. This is the way that an individual will tell you that they are not racist, have nothing against first nations people, and then will spout out the most outrageous racist crap you can imagine.

Many individuals, including Saskatchewan's Minister of Justice, want Mr. Pauchay to be sentenced to at least 2 years incarceration, in order that he does time in a Federal Penitentiary. This opinion reflects the attitude of many who do not want 'rehabilitation' in this case, they want 'punishment'!

I am going to guess that the Justice Minister's office is being inundated with calls from those who don't agree with the Judge ordering use of a traditional aboriginal sentencing circle - hence his inappropriate public comments on the case.

Stay tuned ......

For said "subtle racism" see "Dust My Broom" and "The Surly Beaver" of the Blogging Tories. Among others.

Thanks Pearce!
(Pearce has a great site ... with great links!)

I'm not agreeing with the Minister's interference (he shouldn't have said a thing). However, when someone's addiction leads to the death of anyone, let alone two small children, there should be both rehabilitation and punishment for that deed. It doesn't matter if it's a father leading his half naked children into -50C weather or Joe sixpack getting behind the wheel of his car after a few too many.

We are all responsible for our own actions at some point. For me that comes when our addictions cause harm to others.

I do not agree with you ... in the same way that when someone kills another while drunk driving, there must be adequate sentencing.

My whole point with this post is to point out the current Saskatchewan Justice Minister's interference in the judicial system for political reasons.

This is the very same Justice Minister whose Caucus was in possession of STOLEN Regina City Police reports ... and they did not report that to the police .... they used them politically.

You would think that at some point, the Saskatchewan Law Society, who regulates lawyers in the province, would take a look at how Don Morgan operates!!

just to clarify, your not agreeing with my equating the death of these two girls to someone who drives drunk and kills/injures?

No question, Morgan should not be interfering in on-going court cases.

Typo on my part Sean ... that should have read, 'I do not DISagree with you'!

"I find it extremely inappropriate for the Attorney General to speak out publicly on a matter that is still before the courts in Saskatchewan."
I agree, wow, that must be a first.
Didn't the NDP lose a justice minister for this exact type of thing? Mitchell, wasn't it?
I also think it was wrong for the NDP justice minister, I think Quenelle, to go to Spiritwood and comment on the case of the 2 police officers that were shot. The JM must not comment on individual cases.
Morgan was wrong to do what he did, and he should have known better.

There is racism in Saskatchewan. We had the largest KKK membership outside of Mississippi in the 1920's. They formed because hated my family and others like them; French speaking Catholics from Quebec.
As far as racism in this case, I don't see it. The fact that so many people feel so deeply for the fate of those little girls shows that the people of Saskatchewan are taking the loss to heart and are not dismissing these children in anyway. A racist wouldn't care about aboriginal children.
It is because people have taken this loss so personally that they want a stiff sentence for the man responsible, not out of racism. Crying racism is a just an excuse for inexcusable behavior in this case.
In the end you must put your faith in the justice system to do what it is supposed to. What ever sentence the judge hands down should be respected.

Subtle racism exists in the Province of Saskatchewan ... period! It is generally what could be called, 'passive aggressive'. This is the way that an individual will tell you that they are not racist, have nothing against first nations people, and then will spout out the most outrageous racist crap you can imagine.

As someone raised in Saskatchewan, I am in total agreement. That is quite an accurate description.

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