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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Kindergarten class out learning some basic safety and biking skills on Spirit North Day. (Rachelle van Zanten photo/Lakes District News)
Spirit North’s after school program for spring and summer begin

The Spirit North’s after-school program at Morris Williams Elementary school has been… Continue reading

Indigenous count crucial to determining services

Pandemic protection measures in place for Indigenous communities

Kenny Olson in the bakery department where he worked for the past two years. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community bids adieu to Kenny Olson

Retirement beckons after 40 years with Overwaitea/Save-On Foods

Beth Berlin with Lisa Cant after administering vaccines at the one-day walk-in clinic in Burns Lake last week. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake health area sees 50 per cent immunized population

Unknown when further clinics may be held

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read