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Saskatchewan Senator Apologizes For "White Man" Comment PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:39

A heat-of-the-moment comment made in the Senate is now the subject of an apology from Saskatchewan Liberal Senator Lillian Dyck.

During debate on a private member's bill to reform, repeal and replace the Indian Act, she accused the author of that bill, Saskatchewan Conservative MP Rob Clarke, of "white man behaviour".

"I do apologize, I did not mean to insult anyone," she says.

Dyck and Clarke are both Cree and they both see themselves as champions of defending and promoting the rights of Canada' Aboriginals -- but they don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Case in point, Clarke's private member's bill to get rid of the old Indian Act and replace it with something that is modern and makes the government more accountable to the needs and concerns of Aboriginal people.

Dyck says she got pretty wound up during the Senate debate on December 9 . She says upon reflection, she should not have made the "white man comment".

"I can see that now, and you know the problem with speaking in the chamber, that was kind of an off-the-cuff remark," Dyck says.  "I was standing up speaking and because I was so exasperated I said that without really thinking that through."

After she accused Clarke of "white man behavior" she went on to say, “You can be insulted by that if you like". Dyck wants to put that remark in context.

"When I said, 'You can be insulted by that if you like', I was not referring to Mr. Clarke," Dyck says.  "When you get up and speak in the chamber, you are speaking to the other senators. So 'you' means 'you other senators', the people in the chamber."

The private member's bill to change the Indian Act was passed into law on Tuesday night. Under provisions of the legislation, the government will negotiate with First Nations to come up with a better law and report back to the House of Commons for a progress report on a regular basis.  The process is expected to be very long.

Deal Reached To Extend Deadline For Residential Schools Personal Education Credits Applications PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Smith   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 09:09

The federal government has extended the deadline for the Indian Residential Schools Personal Credits for Education program.

That means that residential schools survivors will now have additional time to apply to the personal credits program.

New deadline dates have yet to be decided, but a court ruling will allow for a two-month extension to submit the personal credits acknowledgement form.

There is also a five-month extension to submit the personal credits redemption forms.

All education programs and services must be concluded by August 31, 2015.

UPDATED- Lawyer Promises Appeal After Hales Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder Of Daleen Bosse PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:09

Douglas Hales' lawyer says his client will appeal his murder conviction in the death of Daleen Bosse.

Hales was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 15 years at Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Bosse of the Onion Lake Cree Nation was last seen in May 2004 at a Saskatoon nightclub.

Police used a controversial Mr. Big undercover sting operation to net a murder confession out of Hales in 2008.

This past summer, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the murder conviction of a Newfoundland man who had also been the target of a Mr. Big operation.

The high court ruling came down after the Hales trial had wrapped up and a judge was deliberating on a verdict.

Hales' lawyer Bob Hrycan says the Supreme Court ruling calls into question much of what was presented as evidence at the trial and this is why an appeal of the conviction is more than warranted.

"That has never happened in my experience, where the playing field changes that dramatically," he says. "It's happened in this case and obviously it has effects in terms of the verdict."

Prosecutor Matt Miazga says the Crown is pleased with both the conviction and sentence and is not surprised by the defence’s wish to appeal.

"People have every right to appeal their verdict, I’m not surprised," he says. "Basically in a situation like this you have nothing to lose, you’re facing the most severe penalty for the most severe offence in the criminal code, that is murder and a life sentence."

Hales was also found guilty of committing an indignity to a body and sentenced to five years in prison to be served concurrently.

The Crown had been seeking a first-degree murder conviction but in making his ruling

Justice Gerald Albright said Hales had only confessed to one undercover officer, Mr. Big, that he had planned to kill Bosse.

To other undercover officers and Saskatoon police, he said the decision was made, more or less, in the heat of the moment.

Justice Albright said the conflicting statements raised reasonable doubts as to how premeditated the murder act was.

The Crown had also been seeking a sentence of life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 20 years.

On a second-degree murder conviction, the minimum time that must be served is 10 years before being eligible for parole.

Hales will be given six years credit for time already served on remand.

Friends and family of Daleen Bosse also read victim impact statements to the court.

They told of the emotional trauma, stress and depression that Bosse’s disappearance and murder has caused.

When given a chance to address the court, Hales told Bosse’s friends and family how sorry he is for the horrible things he has done and that he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:45
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