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

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

No fines issued in provincial parks over May longweekend

Activities restricted to day-use only

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Social distancing at the skatepark — kids style

Kids in the village have taken on board this season of social… Continue reading

Spirit Square reopened on June 1

Spirit Square was closed to the community in accordance with the public… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Larva of voracious green crab discovered on North Coast

Public asked to retain the carcasses of these invasive species for DNA testing

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Most Read