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Letter: More than one side to the story

A recent editorial on the death of Colten Boushie didn’t give a full enough picture of what transpired, a letter-writer writes.

In your editorial of Feb. 13, “Justice on trial,” you followed the lead of most politicians and news media by discussing only one side of the Colten Boushie killing in Saskatchewan.

Let me say that I think it was a tragedy that the young man was killed and the reaction of his family is understandable. Now let’s look at the circumstances under which the death occurred. It was in rural Saskatchewan, an isolated area, in the dark of night, where it takes longer for the police to respond. The truck in which Boushie and his drunken friends were riding drove into the family farm, supposedly looking for help with a flat tire. They did not do what most people would have done: go to the door, identify themselves and ask for that help. They tried to steal an all-terrain vehicle.

What occurred after that is a differing story between the farm family and the people in the truck. What is not in dispute is that the farmer involved in the shooting was apparently a good man, who was in his home, minding his own business, when his farm was invaded by strangers. Through no fault of his own, he became a victim of a situation not of his own making. He has killed a young man, had his life and that of his family turned upside down for the past two years, been in jail for a period of time, has incurred large legal expenses and god knows what other problems.

We don’t know for sure that the shot that killed Colten Boushie was intentional or accidental (the jury decided, based on the evidence, that it was accidental). Colten didn’t deserve to die, but if he and his friends hadn’t invaded Gerald Stanley’s farm, he’d still be alive. Our naive prime minister, who apparently believes Indigenous people can do no harm, does no good when he acknowledges the pain of the Boushie family but not the Stanley family and implies that the jury did not fulfil its duty properly. He is encouraging them to take on victimhood, blame the government, white people and everything else for what is wrong in their lives, rather than take responsibility for themselves and to work to put it right.

Robert K. Noseworthy
St. John’s

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