Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bountiful Girls v. Sled Dogs

In today's Vancouver Sun, Daphne Bramham takes issue with the alacrity with which the B.C. government has dealt with the sled dog slaughter, when compared with the snail's pace of investigation into child trafficking between polygamous communities in the Province and the United States.  

She writes:

A hundred sled dogs were killed when a Whistler business went bad. The B.C. government almost immediately set up an inquiry, and have backed its recommendation that stringent animal-cruelty legislation is needed.

Pity that there's never been that kind of fast and decisive action when it comes to vulnerable children in Bountiful.

After nearly two decades of dithering, out of fear that Canada's polygamy law is unconstitutional, B.C. initiated a reference case to determine the law's validity. It is now lumbering through the B.C. Supreme Court, en route, no doubt, to the Supreme Court of Canada in a few years from now.

Evidence in the case has revealed established patterns of trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced marriage -all of which supports allegations that have been made for decades against the fundamentalist Mormon community.

It also reveals a pattern of six decades of government "acquiescence," said Cheryl Milne of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children last week in her closing argument.

The government failed to protect the rights of Bountiful's children and continues to do so, she said, all in violation of international conventions on children's rights.

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