Winston Blackmore, a polygamous leader associated with Bountiful, near Creston, was found guilty of practicing polygamy in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Trevor Crawley photo)

Polygamous leader to launch charter challenge

Winston Blackmore back in Cranbrook Supreme Court to argue guilty finding in polygamy case.

One of Canada’s most prominent polygamist leaders will be back in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Tuesday to launch constitutional charter arguments after being found guilty of polygamy in July.

Both Winston Blackmore and James Marion Oler were found guilty of one count of polygamy by Justice Sheri Donegan, however, convictions were not formally entered as Blackmore raised a constitutional charter challenge after her ruling.

READ: Bountiful leaders found guilty of polygamy

Blackmore and Oler are connected to the polygamous community of Bountiful, which was founded by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), who believe that plural marriage is necessary to attain the highest level of celestial glory.

Blackmore is seeking a stay of the conviction and will argue that the evidence used against him was evidence collected before a landmark constitutional reference case in 2011 that upheld the criminal definition of polygamy as detailed in Section 293 in the Canadian Criminal Code.

Because the evidence was collected before 2011 — before it was unclear whether polygamy was a crime that breached charter rights contained in the constitution — the conviction should not stand, said Blair Suffredine, following Donegan’s ruling.

Whether Oler will bring forward the same charter arguments is unknown at this time.

Blackmore and Oler were charged with polygamy in August 2014 by Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor appointed by the BC government.

Evidence brought to trial included testimony from former Bountiful members, FLDS church records seized by law enforcement in Texas in 2008, and experts on mainstream Mormon religious practices and church history.

Just Posted

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Voter turnout trending lower

Initial numbers appear to be significantly down from last election cycle in 2014

UPDATED: Bear euthanized after incident near Wycliffe regional park

A bear has been euthanized after an attack on a ATV rider… Continue reading

RCMP thank public for help locating missing man

RCMP are thanking the public and volunteers for help in locating a… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

A Doctrine and a Royal Proclamation: Part II

Rev. Yme Woensdregt Last week, I expanded what I had written previously… Continue reading

‘Who the hell is Ferdy Belland?’

Local bass player joins nationally renowned rock star’s band

The post-truthiness world

Remember back in the innocent days of pre-2016 when Steven Colbert coined… Continue reading

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read