Earlier this month Gerald Stanley was found not guilty for 2nd degree murder in the death of 22 year old Colten Boushie.
In August 2016, Boushie and 4 others from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation were driving on Mr. Stanley’s property when Stanley and his son confronted them. After the altercation Gerald Stanley shot Colten Boushie in the head, which Stanley defends was an accident.
The verdict brought forth anger from indigenous communities all over Canada and sprouted rallies across the country. Dozens of people joined a rally in London where speakers called out racism against Indigenous people as the reason Gerald Stanley was found not guilty, and called for change from Canada’s government. A crowd full of homemade “Justice for Colten” signs marched from Victoria Park to the London courthouse.
But the verdict didn’t only bring reaction from the Indigenous community, members from the 3 main political parties tweeted offering condolences to Mr. Boushie’s family, including one from the prime minister.
Just spoke with @Puglaas. I can't imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 10, 2018
While the NDP called on the Prime Minister to do something to bring justice for Colten, members of the official opposition accused Trudeau of political interference, saying he interfered with Canada’s legal system by commenting on the case. Rob Feist is a lawyer from North Battleford Saskatchewan, he doesn’t see how this could have any effect on a future appeal.
“I think it’s entirely appropriate for political leaders to express their condolences to grieving mothers, I can’t see how that would play into any sort of an appeals process or any future legal process.” – Rob Feist
A few days after the verdict came out, Prime Minister Trudeau promised new legislative framework for how Canada relates to Indigenous peoples, the framework is designed to give Indigenous communities more control over themselves and to improve their rights as a people.