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Jobb Pleads Guilty; Delay in Sentencing Could Have Further Ramifications PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Friday, 29 May 2015 12:20

A Prince Albert man pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death this morning, but a delay in his sentencing may have larger ramifications for Aboriginal offenders.

Jeremiah Jobb pleaded guilty to two counts of impaired driving causing death in a July 2013 collision.  The vehicle Jobb was driving struck another vehicle killing both of the young women inside.

17 year-old Brandy Lepine and 21 year-old Taylor Litwin died of their injuries.  Lepine was 6 months pregnant at the time, but doctors were able to deliver her baby.  Aurora Ledoux survived, but will require a lifetime of care.

Now crown and defense lawyers say they were expecting a lengthy penitentiary sentence to be handed out today.

However, the judge brought up a recent appeals case where a Regina man received a new hearing because the courts did not consider factors unique to Aboriginal offenders.

The judge ordered a Gladue Report to be done for Jobb before a sentence can be handed out.

In a ruling called Gladue the Supreme Court said that in sentencing aboriginal offenders, courts must consider what have become known as Glaudue factors. These include colonialism, displacement, residential schools, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and higher levels of incarceration for aboriginal people.

Jobb’s defense lawyer Ron Piche says this could have huge ramifications.  He says today’s decision essentially says every Aboriginal offender should be the subject of a Gladue Report.

“In my view this decision comes with huge significance,” said Piche.  “This means resources will be inundated and hearings will be delayed like you saw today…and we just don’t think in this case Gladue factors had any bearing.”

Piche says based on their reports Jobb had a normal upbringing and was in a supportive home and there were no other factors supporting a Gladue Report.

The family of one of the deceased was heartbroken that they were not able to receive closure today.  Josephine Ledoux, Brandi Lepine’s mother and Aurora Ledoux’s grandmother, says at least he pleaded guilty.

“I’m very grateful that he did that, but I was really hoping for some closure and I just wish it will all end,”  said Ledoux in a tearful response to reporters outside of the courthouse.

The Gladue Report is scheduled to be completed by September 8 with a sentencing hearing for Jobb set to take place on September 25.

 
Rise Up Against Violence Walk Finishes In Regina; Organizer Calls for Change PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Friday, 29 May 2015 12:18

The organizer of an anti-violence march says the greatest threat to the safety of aboriginal women is aboriginal men.       Conrad Burns says, “ I think we have lost our way”

He  led a group of more than a dozen people to the legislature this morning carrying signs that read,  “ Rise up against Violence”    The 400 kilometer trek began in Prince Albert a week ago and ended in Regina this morning.

According to status of women Canada   Aboriginal women are three times more likely to be abused and in almost all of the cases the abuser is an aboriginal man.          Similar statistics are contained in the RCMP’s report into missing and murdered aboriginal women.   It  found that more than 90% of murdered aboriginal women were killed by a spouse,  family member or acquaintance.

Burns says it is time for a major shift in attitude.

“It’s time to change that statistic and realize that abuse is not the right way to deal with things because abuse is one way of imposing your power on someone else,  your hurt on someone else and if you love yourself you won’t hurt someone else,   you will just show love.”   He says.

One of the marchers is Debbie Chaboyer.       She grew up in an abusive home,  then later ended up in an abusive relationship.       She finally got the courage to walk away.        She  does not want the cycle of violence and abuse to continue.

“I want to make a change for my grandkids,  I want to make it stop,  and I want to be able to speak about it.” She says.  “   She says the abuse is wrong,  the violence is wrong,   its 2015 and we are getting strong and we are not going to stand up against abuse.”

In reponse to the RCMP’s report into missing and murdered aboriginal women,   the force has set up 10 domestic violence units near reserves where women are at high risk.        6 of them are in Saskatchewan,   but the RCMP will not identity them  because it does not want to stigmatize the reserves.

 
Chief Speaks Out Against Act Requiring Grade 12 Education PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mervin Brass   
Friday, 29 May 2015 12:16

The Chief of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation says he’s not done, not by a long shot.

Louis Taypotat’s leadership suffered a major setback when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of his band’s election act.

The act says members need at least a Grade 12 education to run for Chief of the band.

“I think they should consider this in a different way also,” said Taypotat.  “When we look at the treaties and are forefathers from a long time ago there was lifetime chiefs with nor education and those men who signed the treaties never went to school, but they still did a good job for us.”

Taypotat says there will be an election recall meeting next week in Saskatoon.

 
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