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Family of Colten Boushie files lawsuit against RCMP and farmer who killed him

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SASKATOON — The family of an Indigenous man shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm has filed lawsuits against the RCMP and the farmer who was acquitted in the killing.

Colten Boushie was killed after being shot in the head on a farm near the community of Biggar in August 2016.

Gerald Stanley, the landowner, was found not guilty of second-degree murder after testifying that his gun went off accidentally as he was shooting to scare away young people he thought were stealing from him.

The claim against Stanley, filed in Saskatoon court, argues that the farmer caused Boushie’s death through negligence, recklessness, or by an intentional act.

“This lawsuit will prove that the death of Colten Boushie was wrongful and that the Boushie family suffered a profound and devastating loss the night Colten was fatally shot,” lawyer Eleanore Sunchild said in a statement Thursday. 

“This lawsuit will hold the person responsible for Colten’s wrongful death accountable. Nothing can return Colten to his family, yet the Boushie family will continue its relentless pursuit of justice for Colten.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court. Stanley’s lawyer did not immediately return requests for comment.

The suit argues that Stanley or his family members never attempted to contact police when they saw the young people on the property. It also says that Stanley’s wife, Leesa, is a registered nurse and didn’t take any action to provide life saving measures.

Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, is seeking $30,000 for herself, $20,000 for funeral expenses, $60,000 in expenses, $100,000 because she was unable to work after her son’s death, and $200,000 in damages.

Boushie’s family is also suing the attorney general of Canada and individual RCMP officers over the way they were treated on the night Boushie died.

The claim says that officers didn’t present a search warrant when they arrived at the family’s home at Red Pheasant First Nation when they were looking for Cassidy Cross-Whitstone, who was in the vehicle with Boushie at Stanley’s farm.

The family says no consent was sought to enter the home and that one officer grabbed Baptiste by her wrist and told her get herself together as she was on the ground, inconsolable.

“The search officers who attended the home deliberately engaged in discrimination by subjecting three proud members of the Red Pheasant First Nation to ridicule, unlawful searches, and humiliating breath tests,” the claim says.

Chris Murphy, another lawyer working with the Boushies, said in a statement that he expects the lawsuit will make the force “look deep within itself and examine the manner in which the RCMP interacts with the Indigenous citizens of Canada.”

The RCMP said that it would issue a statement later Thursday.

— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version carried an incorrect spelling of Colten Boushie.


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Woman and her dog lost for 72 hours in B.C. woods are found safe

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INVERMERE, B.C. — A 52-year-old woman and her dog are both safe and unharmed after wandering lost for 72 hours in the thick woods in southeastern B.C.

RCMP Sgt. Chris Newel says Louise Baxter hopped off a rescue helicopter Wednesday, hugged her husband and was talking and laughing with her rescuers.

Baxter went out for a hike with friends in the Jumbo Pass area on Sunday, but she disappeared after taking her leashed dog out for what she said would be a short walk.

Newel says Baxter appears to have become disoriented shortly after leaving her friends and then heading down the mountain, moving “west when she probably should have been heading east.”

The dog, a golden poodle named Maverick, was with her the whole time and Newel says the animal is also in good health. 

At the height of the search, there were three helicopters, four search dogs, a drone and 35 search and rescue volunteers looking for the woman in the difficult, mountainous terrain.

Newel, who was the incident commander for the search, said Baxter saw the search helicopters and tried to flag them down, but no one saw her.

“But if anybody’s every been in a helicopter, trying spot a person in forested area is extremely difficult and a lot harder than you would think,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “I can’t imagine the emotion that would have gone through her seeing these helicopters and not be able to signal them in some sort of way.”

Baxter is an avid hiker, Newel said, adding the general rule of thumb for those who get lost in the woods is to stay put. Baxter did stay in one place for a while but proceeded down the mountain because she thought help wasn’t coming, he said.

“But she was working further and further out from the primary search area.”

He said she found water along the way and ate berries, but didn’t have anything else to eat.

“I couldn’t believe when she walked off that helicopter and practically ran to her husband,” Newel added.

 

The Canadian Press


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Greens won’t run candidate in Burnaby South as ‘leader’s courtesy’ to Singh: May

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VICTORIA — The Green party will not run a candidate against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the riding of Burnaby South.

Green Leader Elizabeth May says the decision is an extension of a “leader’s courtesy,” a long-standing Canadian parliamentary tradition that facilitates a newly elected party leader’s entry to the House of Commons in an unopposed byelection.

She says in a statement the Greens believe it is right to step aside to allow the leader of “an important part of the political spectrum” to serve in Parliament.

Singh announced his candidacy for the federal riding after New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart indicated he was stepping aside to run for mayor of Vancouver.

The Liberal and Conservative parties have not announced candidates in the riding, but the Liberals have said they will contest the byelection.

May received the leader’s courtesy in 2008 when then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion chose not to run a candidate against her in Central Nova. She extended the same gesture to Dion.

In 2002, the Liberals and Conservatives stepped aside for Stephen Harper when he ran in a byelection held shortly after he became leader of the Canadian Alliance.

No date has been set for a byelection.

Singh sat in Ontario’s legislature and served as the provincial NDP’s deputy leader before he replaced Tom Mulcair as the federal leader.

The Canadian Press


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