FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POLYGAMY SENTENCE CRUEL JOKE PETITION TO B.C. ATTORNEY GENERAL, DAVID EBY
Vancouver, BC. July 2, 2018. Maggie Rayner has started an on-line petition to ask David Eby, Attorney General for B.C., to arrange an appeal of the polygamy sentences handed down in the Cranbrook Courthouse last week. She believes the lenient sentences are a cruel joke and no deterrent for any polygamist.
Rayner, raised in Richmond in a mainstream Mormon family with polygamous ancestors, began lobbying the B.C. government in 2004 to protect the children and women of Bountiful from the harms of polygamy. She was told the reason that the government did not enforce existing child protection laws in Bountiful was the conflict between the section of the Canadian Criminal Code declaring polygamy illegal and and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms granting freedom to practice religion. When this conflict was resolved in the Courts, Rayner was hopeful that the recent conviction of Winston Blackmore and James Oler for polygamy, would offer a better future to the children and women of Bountiful.
While the Criminal Code outlines a sentence of imprisonment for five years, the lenient sentences: six months house arrest and one year’s probation for Blackmore, three months house arrest and one year’s probation for Oler, have left her frustrated.
Blackmore, who has 24 wives (nine were underage and two were 15 when he married and impregnated them) and 149 children, will carry on doing what he’s always done. He’s allowed to leave home to go to work, to appointments, and for any other duties he considers necessary. He’ll continue to collect the staggering large monthly child tax credit from the B.C. government paid for by taxpayers, as well as other government benefits. His children will continue to receive religious education in a school funded by taxpayers, and his babies will continue to be born in a private midwife’s client in Bountiful—hidden from public overview—built and paid for by taxpayers.
While Oler has left Bountiful and is living in Alberta, Blackmore can continue to do what he’s always done, and nothing has changed for the children and women in the community. At issue for Rayner is the inability of the girls and young women of Bountiful to give informed consent to practice polygamy. Most have only a grade six education, if that, heavily weighted with religious doctrine and homemaking skills. All have been indoctrinated since birth to submit to sex with a man old enough to be their grandfather. None of Blackmore’s 24 wives were independent, educated women when he married them.
Rayner’s on-line petition asking David Eby, Attorney General for B.C., to arrange an appeal of the sentences with the B.C. Prosecution Service can be found at change.org https://chn.ge/2IKduKy under Appeal Blackmore/Oler’s Lenient Polygamy Sentence: Protect Canadian Children.