B.C. Appeal Court says Canada must rethink extradition of Indigenous man

Glenn Sheck’s Aboriginal heritage not weighted enough in decision, judge rules

The federal Justice Department has been ordered by the British Columbia Appeal Court to reconsider the extradition of an Aboriginal man to the United States because it says the minister failed to factor in Canada’s historical mistreatment of Indigenous families.

Glenn Sheck, a member of the Bonaparte Indian Band in B.C., is accused of money laundering in the United States and last year then-federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is Indigenous, ordered the extradition.

Writing for the two-to-one majority in the decision released Friday, Justice Susan Griffin says the minister failed to consider the highly relevant factors of the separation of the Indigenous man from his four children and the Canadian history of separating Indigenous parents and children.

Griffin says had the minister considered those factors, she may have concluded it would be unjust to extradite a man to face a likely sentence of 27 years in prison when a sentence in Canada would be in the range of two to four years.

“…The resultant destruction of Indigenous communities, which, in some ways, may have contributed to Mr. Sheck’s alleged criminality, were important factors in informing the minister’s view of whether surrender was unjust or oppressive, or would shock the conscience,” the decision says.

“This would have been especially so had the minister engaged in an accurate appraisal of the much longer separation from his children that Mr. Sheck faces if sentenced in the U.S. instead of in Canada.”

No one from the Department of Justice was immediately available to comment on the court decision.

The United States alleges Sheck acted as a money broker, directing proceeds of drug trafficking involving more than $7 million.

It claims Sheck directed the pick up and delivery of large amounts of money in America, Canada and the Dominican Republic.

The court decision says the minister didn’t consider Sheck’s personal family circumstances and his children’s best interests.

“Nowhere did she consider the impact on them, as Indigenous children who bear the legacy of government-sponsored separation of Indigenous parents and children, of having their only Indigenous parent separated from them for potentially decades longer if he was to be prosecuted and sentenced in the U.S. as opposed to in Canada.”

In a dissenting decision, Justice Mary Saunders says to set aside the ruling would improperly interfere with the government’s decision.

Saunders says to conclude that the minister short-changed her consideration of Sheck’s Aboriginal heritage ignores the substance of her ruling.

“As I read her decision, the minister fully recognized the Aboriginal context of the request but determined, considering Canada’s international commitments and the seriousness of the offences charged, that Mr. Sheck’s extradition was warranted in any event.”

Terri Theodore , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Victoria resident catches, cleans pigeon feet to help fight stringfoot

Hair, string tangled around birds’ feet can cut off circulation to toes and whole feet

Cyclists rejoice as the Christmas Lights Parade returns

Family-friendly 10km ride visits big Christmas displays, Dec. 21

Victoria residents advocate for funding for neighbourhoods without community centres

North Park Neighbourhood Association hopes to see $75,000 to bolster nearby staff

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Most Read