The Folly Of ‘Gladue’

“Media reports have described Christine Mequish as “among the most dangerous women in the country”, a convicted killer with a record that includes 25 violent crimes since 1984. Last April, following an armed robbery conviction in La Tuque, Que., the 58-year-old was declared a dangerous offender — just the fourth Canadian woman ever designated as such. 

But while noting her “brutal behaviour” and the likelihood that she will again cause “death, serious abuse or serious psychological harm to other people”, the sentencing judge stopped short of ordering the indeterminate sentence requested by the Crown.

The reason for the lighter sentence: Mequish is an aboriginal

a member of Quebec’s 7,000-member Atikamekw ‘First Nation’…

“Instead of potentially sending her away for the rest of her life, Quebec Court Judge David Bouchard sentenced Mequish to two years and three months {which means, with ‘good behaviour’, 18 months} in addition to time served, followed by a 10-year supervision order.

“In 1996, in an attempt to reduce the ‘over-representation’ {One of the most idiotic of catchphrases} of aboriginals in prisons, Parliament changed the Criminal Code to direct judges to pay attention to the “particular circumstances of aboriginal offenders” {which is a racist generalization} when considering sanctions other than imprisonment.

{It’s called ‘Gladue’, after the name of the resulting Supreme Court case. The Court, instead of doing its duty and tossing out the discriminatory legislation, sided with ‘aboriginal exceptionalism’, and extended Segregation into court sentencing:

‘Criminal Code, Section 718.2’: 

“(e) all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.”

This discriminatory clause is what the Supreme Court based its discriminatory ‘Gladue’ ruling on.

However, it conflicts directly with ‘Section 718.2(b)’, three lines above it in the Criminal Code text:

“(b) a sentence should be similar to sentences imposed on similar offenders for similar offences committed in similar circumstances.” Gladue-Logo

Twenty years and hundreds of court cases later, including two landmark Supreme Court rulings, the sentencing reform has failed. It has done nothing to alleviate the problem…while raising concerns among aboriginals and ‘non-aboriginals’ that criminals are getting off lightly.

“Last year, aboriginals were four per cent of the Canadian population but made up 24% of federal inmates. Among women inmates, the {earned} ‘imbalance’ was even worse: 36% were aboriginal. When federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was sworn in last fall, it was as if nothing had changed in two decades. Among her instructions from the Prime Minister: develop

“initiatives to reduce the rate of incarceration amongst ‘indigenous’ Canadians.” 

{It would have been so much more mature – never mind, intelligent – to

“reduce the rate of criminal activity amongst ‘indigenous’ Canadians”  }

“In ‘R. v. Gladue’ { } in 1999 and ‘R. v. Ipeelee’ { } in 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada was called on to ‘interpret’ the 1996 Criminal Code change.

“The court said judges must consider the ‘enduring impact’ of ‘colonialism’, ‘displacement’ and ‘residential schools’ {learning to read and write} when determining an appropriate sentence for an aboriginal offender, even in cases of serious violence {!?! Putting race politics ahead of public safety – a clear dereliction of duty on the Court’s part, which the government should have pointed out}

“When Mequish appeared before a judge last January in La Tuque, it was a familiar scene for her. In an earlier case, a judge had described her as “a regular in our courthouses”. This time, she was being sentenced for the robbery of a variety store, during which she bashed the clerk in the head with a full can of beer that she was stealing. Because the violent theft of two cases of beer came after her 2006 manslaughter conviction and followed a familiar pattern of violence when she had been drinking, the Crown argued it should be her final strike {Twenty years is long enough to turn a life around. She has cost everyone else far too much…}

“Drawing on a “Gladue report” prepared for courts sentencing aboriginal defendants {These biased reports are written to try and get the sentence reduced, and no attempt is made at objectivity; yet, the judge accepts it unquestioningly because of the defendant’s race}

“The shocks felt by the residents are numerous and long lasting”, the judge wrote of the school experience. “The young Atikamekws discover strict discipline that they never knew in their families…” {!?!}


“…Ms. Mequish experienced this policy of ‘assimilation’ and the related trauma,”

he wrote, deciding the case required application of the ‘Gladue’ sentencing principles.

“There exists an explicit cause-and-effect relationship between the accused’s status as an aboriginal and the significant problems she later developed,” the judge concluded…

It was not the first time her aboriginal status had weighed in her favour at sentencing. Eight years earlier, after pleading guilty to stabbing to death a drinking friend with a broken bottle, Mequish was sentenced in Montreal. The Crown sought a 15-year sentence, but Superior Court Justice Wilbrod Claude Décarie said that Mequish’s alcoholism and her aboriginal status were mitigating factors. Her crime, he wrote, was

“the result of the miserable life of a sick person.”

“He sentenced her to 10 years which, after accounting for time served awaiting trial, was reduced to six years. Ten months after her release, she assaulted the store clerk in La Tuque

Scene of Mequish crime, La Tuque (PHOTO: AMÉLIE ST-YVES)
Scene of Mequish crime, La Tuque (PHOTO: AMÉLIE ST-YVES)

“The court is amazed by the similarity between the armed robbery of Feb. 6, 2015 and the homicide committed by the accused in May 2006,” Bouchard wrote.

{And yet, YOU repeat the same mistake…

The article then goes on to list the mitigating circumstances (excuses) for several similar criminal cases, never once noting that if it’s about circumstances and not Race, then why is it only applicable to ‘aboriginals’? And just how ‘aboriginal’ does one have to be to qualify?

Luckily for the safety of all Canadians, particularly other aboriginals, there are some judges who understand that justice must be colour-blind}:

“…For example, in a manslaughter case before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia this year, Justice Peter Rosinski gave “only a modest level of weight” to the aboriginal question and sentenced Andre Denny, a Mi’kmaq man, to eight years, in line with what the Crown had suggested.

“In 2014, Pitseolak Peter’s defence argued before the ‘Nunavut Court of Justice’ that his manslaughter sentence should take into account his aboriginal heritage. Justice John Rooke rejected the argument and imposed a 15-year prison term.

Should there be some benefit given to an aboriginal man for attacking his aboriginal wife and killing her?” Rooke asked. “She is no less aboriginal than he is. She is no less deserving of consideration than he is; indeed, the contrary.

{This single quote exposes both the folly and the danger of ‘Gladue’. For most of these criminal cases, the aboriginal perpetrators – supposedly victims of ‘colonialism’ and residential schools — are getting reduced sentences for crimes committed against other aboriginals – who are also, by definition, victims of ‘colonialism’ and residential schools. Now, there’s ‘justice’ for you!}

“Other judges have been more receptive to the {racist} argument that even violent criminals deserve a break if they are aboriginal. Last April, Quebec Court Judge Guy Lambert described a Quebec aboriginal man as a “collateral victim” of residential school abuse as he sentenced him to 15 months for repeatedly burning a 5-year-old girl with a cigarette. The Crown had sought a four-year-sentence. Alain Bellemare, a drug user whose four grandparents {!} were sent to residential school {where they learned to read and write}, caused 27 third-degree burns, leaving permanent scars on the girl’s face, arms, legs and genitalia.

Alain Bellemare

“In an interview, the woman who discovered the burns on the girl expressed her disgust at Bellemare’s lenient sentence. Métis herself, the woman objected to the notion that aboriginals deserve different treatment from the justice system.

It shouldn’t matter whether you’re Chinese, white or aboriginal. A human being is a human being, the woman, who cannot be identified, said.

“She added that people in Bellemare’s Atikamekw community of Wemotaci are not eager to see the child abuser released.

“Dawn Lavell-Harvard, president of the ‘Native Women’s Association of Canada’ { }, said the ‘Gladue’ process too often ignores the wishes of women victims

Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the ‘Native Women’s Association of Canada’ (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Adrian Wyld)
Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the ‘Native Women’s Association of Canada’ (THE CANADIAN PRESS – Adrian Wyld)

“When you have a lessened sentence, it really does feel like a slap in the face,” she said in an interview. “It really does feel like a re-victimization for the victim.”

“That sentiment is amplified in cases of sexual assault, when a sentencing hearing dwells on the hardships experienced by an aboriginal assailant.

“I have seen how devastating it is for the victim,” even leading to suicide in one case, she said.The victims deserve to have someone advocating for them in court just as much as the perpetrator.

“Just as ‘indigenous’ people are ‘over-represented’ behind bars, they are ‘over-represented’ among victims of crime. ‘Justice Canada’ reports that aboriginal people are three times more likely to have been a victim of violent crime than non-aboriginals and most often, the perpetrators are other aboriginals.

“‘Pauktuutit’, the national Inuit women’s organization { }, has expressed concern that offenders receiving shorter sentences under ‘Gladue’ simply return to their communities earlier.

“There is a perception among many victims that offenders are only receiving more lenient sentences, which doesn’t seem just to victims and families,” the organization wrote in a report last February. Without proper substance-abuse and mental-health programs,‘Gladue’ sentences are seen to be meaningless and ineffective in relation to Inuit offenders, the report said.

And here’s the scariest part:

“Slowly though, the notion that aboriginal offenders warrant distinct {racist} treatment is sinking in. Court rulings have seen the ‘Gladue’ sentencing principle broadened, to include bail and parole hearings.

“The ‘Ontario Court of Appeal’ ruled last month that an aboriginal man adopted at the age of 2 and raised in suburban Toronto by non-aboriginals, should have had his aboriginal heritage taken into consideration when being sentenced on firearms and robbery charges {!?!}.

The {faulty} ‘reasoning’ behind ‘Gladue’ is even being extended to other ‘disadvantaged groups’. In Nova Scotia, a judge last month delayed sentencing of a man convicted of second-degree murder to allow for an assessment of whether his African-Nova Scotian heritage played a role in the crime…” {The insanity grows…}

–‘Twenty years after federal government changed sentencing, aboriginals still disproportionately fill our prisons’,
Graeme Hamilton, National Post, June 22, 2016

See also:
What Happened To Legal Equality?{June 1, 2015}: ERBLEqualityBeforeAndUnderLaw600600

“He has been directly and indirectly impacted by the fallout of the residential school era.”

“A Winnipeg man who sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend so violently he had to mop up her blood — and then assaulted her again — has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

“The man has two prior convictions for assaulting the same woman and two convictions for breaching court orders he have no contact with her.

{Judge} Garreck credited the man for time served, reducing his remaining sentence to just under five years. 

“The 28-year-old…previously pleaded guilty to sexual assault causing bodily harm, and housebreak and enter to commit sexual assault. He is not being named, to protect the identity of his victim.

“The Crown had recommended the man be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Judge Wanda Garreck said she could not ignore the disadvantaged background of the aboriginal offender, which included physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and substance abuse from the age of nine.

“He has been directly and indirectly impacted by the ‘fallout’ of the residential school era,” Garreck said. “It is the impact on his family, filtered down to him that contributed to his substance abuse issues, perhaps his cognitive deficits, and his anger management issues … They do not excuse in any way his behaviour or explain it entirely. They are simply factors that are present.”

“Court heard the man was high on booze and pills on Dec. 6, 2013 when he broke into the victim’s Spence Street apartment, ignored the woman’s pleas that he leave, and raped her.

“The man proceeded to assault her so violently, she bled from her vagina and lost consciousness.

“The man dragged the woman by the arm and hair to the shower to wash away the blood, mopped up the floor, and then returned her to bed where he forced intercourse on her a second time.

“The man was sleeping sometime later when the victim escaped to a neighbour’s apartment.

“The man fled the building and was arrested a short time later.

“You have ruined my life,” the victim wrote in a victim impact statement provided to court. “I don’t know how you can say you loved me and do this. I will never be the same.”

–‘Sex-attack victim: ‘You ruined my life’,

Caledonia builder Sam Gualtieri
Caledonia builder Sam Gualtieri

Another notorious example of Race Based sentencing:
‘Native attacker gets reduced sentence for ‘vicious’ Caledonia assault’

For beating a non-native builder to within an inch of his life during the ‘fiery’ {racist, illegal} native occupation in nearby Caledonia, a young aboriginal man was sentenced to less than two years in jail {with ‘good behaviour’ — 18 months}, plus time served – a punishment that leaves the victim’s family demanding an inquiry into how the courts treat ‘First Nations’ offenders.

“Ontario Superior Court Judge Alan Whitten cited Friday the ‘sad legacy’ of residential schools {Reading and writing – MOST children WEREN’T abused!} and the ‘disproportionately-large’ population of incarcerated aboriginal offenders {???} as reasons why he did not give Richard Smoke a harsher sentence for an attack he described as “senseless and vicious” and

“just a notch below culpable homicide”.

{Then you’re an idiot for handing down this sentence…}

“The reduced sentence for such a brutal attack – with a stick of lumber on a defenceless man that rendered builder Sam Gualtieri, 56, brain damaged – outraged the Gualtieri family.

“We’re extremely disappointed. His sentence is so short in comparison to the damage from the attack. My brother’s sentence is for a lifetime,” said Joe Gualtieri, Mr. Gualtieri’s brother.


“Being aboriginal should have some consideration {No, it shouldn’t!!!} but it seems that it was all the consideration. Now this stage is over, we are going to be looking for answers. If the judge can’t send a message to the community, then we’ll have to look for some other way.”

“Crown attorney Alex Paparella had asked for a penitentiary term of six to eight years for the aggravated assault {It should have been attempted murder} and break and enter charges against Smoke, from the ‘Six Nations’ reserve. SixNationsSign

“But Smoke’s lawyer, Sarah Dover, said her client had been profoundly affected by a culture of racism {Yes, aboriginal racism – and he’s a prime example!} and urged Judge Whitten to heavily weigh the “aboriginal perspective” {!} as a mitigating factor leading to a “below par” sentence.

“Smoke was damaged by the “intergenerational impacts” of the residential school system, through which both sides of his family passed, she said. The attack should be viewed

“against the backdrop of discord between the Canadian government and aboriginal people”.

{What a pile of horse manure…}

“Judge Whitten listened patiently to arguments, as what was to have been a one-day plea and sentencing dragged on over three days {At taxpayer expense. The Judge is getting well paid to be patient….}

“He acknowledged the special circumstances of aboriginal sentencing but also the need for a public denunciation…

“He had harsh words for Smoke.

“It is a very serious and grave offence. We are all fortunate that it was not worse,”

he said, saying Smoke had beaten Mr. Gualtieri on the head with a stick of lumber, gripped in both hands, and was winding up, “as if in mid-swing”, when stopped by others.

Medical notes say Mr. Gualtieri was “almost killed.

Mr. Gualtieri will live life as a brain-damaged man, said Judge Whitten.

“Although noting the special needs of aboriginal offenders, as he is required to do after the 1999 Supreme Court ruling in ‘R. v. Gladue’, he said the Gladue declaration was not a “get-out-of-jail-free card”. {No, but you sure came close…}

“Nor, said Judge Whitten, was this attack part of the wider {Phony!} native land claim {See ‘The Myths of Caledonia’:}ERBLTheMythsOfCaledonia600x600

“There was no necessity for this crime… it didn’t advance any ideology or idea.”

“Although the Sept. 13, 2007, beating of Mr. Gualtieri stemmed from the violent occupation it was not a direct part of it, court heard earlier {That’s a bit of semantic nonsense. The violence WAS a direct result of the illegal invasion, and the government’s cowardly response in refusing to enforce what was clearly the law…}.

“Caledonia became the focus of national attention in 2006 when native protesters {illegally} ‘occupied’ {‘took by force’} ‘Douglas Creek Estates’, a large residential subdivision under construction, as part of an ongoing {phony} land dispute.

Julian Fantino
Julian Fantino

“Smoke lived {‘squatted illegally’} full-time at Douglas Creek Estates, an area described in civil proceedings as a “lawless oasis” {This was because of the Ontario Provincial Police refusal to do their legal duty and enforce the law in an evenhanded fashion. Julian Fantino, head of the OPP, brought the force and the law into disrepute with his ‘leadership’. For his disgraceful conduct, he was rewarded with a Cabinet position in the Harper federal government…!?!}

“As violence ebbed and flowed, a spillover {illegal} demonstration a year later ‘engulfed’ {‘forcibly took over’} the nearby ‘Stirling Wood’ residential development, where Mr. Gualtieri was building a house for his daughter.

“Mr. Gualtieri arrived at the house with three men from his work crew to check on it after news spread of renewed trouble. From outside, they heard a clamour in the house and then screaming. They saw shadows moving inside and Mr. Gualtieri rushed to evict the intruders. Two members of his crew wrestled on the porch with native youths who had emerged.

“By the time the rest of the crew got inside, Smoke was standing with a 2×4 over Mr. Gualtieri, as the builder lay bloody and battered on the floor. One of the men described the disturbing whacking sound of wood hitting flesh.

“Mr. Gualtieri suffered broken bones, cuts and a brain injury.

His memory is shaky, balance unsteady, speech slow and reading ability impaired. His ears constantly ring and noise bothers him intensely; he has been unable to work in construction since.

“Judge Whitten chastised Smoke for displaying “pride” in the attack by afterward calling out at an onlooker {He’s a vicious thug, who YOU let off the hook…}:

“Do you want to end up like your buddy inside?”

“He gave Smoke a two-year and 11-month sentence, reduced by the equivalent of 11 ½ months of pre-trial custody. That makes his final sentence less than two years, meaning he will serve his time in a provincial jail rather than a federal prison, followed by three years of probation during which he is banned from entering the occupied Douglas Creek property.

“Afterward, Mr. Gualtieri said the judge was too lenient.

“I am totally disappointed. I was expecting him to get four years – and that would have been giving the guy a break. I feel like I have been injured again.”

{You are clearly a victim of racial discrimination — from the aboriginals, the police AND the Judge…}

–‘Native attacker gets reduced sentence for ‘vicious’ Caledonia assault’,
Adrian Humphreys, National Post, December 23, 2011


“Smoke is the last of three young natives charged in the incident to be prosecuted.

“In 2008, charges against one were dropped after a preliminary hearing when the Crown conceded there was no prospect of conviction after doubt over his identity emerged because he has a twin. A ‘young offender’ pleaded guilty to assaulting one of the men with Mr. Gualtieri…”


“Linking jail to recidivism is a weak argument, considering that the native population is already being treated more leniently than non-aboriginals who commit violent offences. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom about aboriginal incarceration, aboriginal peoples are MORE likely to receive probation for aggravated assaults; and to be convicted of manslaughter, rather than first or second degree murder.

They also generally receive shorter periods of detention than non-aboriginals with the same criminal history, and are less likely to receive life sentences for committing a homicide…

“Such leniency is even greater in the case of aboriginal offenders who are female; 29% received probation or suspended sentences, in comparison with only 10% of non-aboriginal offenders. {Carol LaPrairie, “Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Criminal Justice”, ed. Silverman and Nielsen, p.137-139}

“…Leniency toward aboriginal offenders is also the result of judges applying the “cultural defence” claim. This is particularly evident in cases involving sexual offences, where alcohol and native “attitudes toward sex” are taken into consideration during sentencing…”

–‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry’, Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard,
McGill-Queen’s University Press (Montreal), 2008


‘Gladue and Aboriginal Sentencing’
If you have been charged with a crime and are an aboriginal person, there are special ‘cultural considerations’ that the court must take into account in assessing your case. This applies to all aboriginal peoples of Canada, including status and non-status Indian, Inuit, and Métis, and whether living on or off reserve.

“What this means is that, as an aboriginal offender, a ‘restorative justice’ process may be more appropriate for you. Such processes focus on healing those affected by the criminal act, including the offender, and so are more in line with traditional ‘aboriginal justice’. Also, a restorative justice approach will often allow for a solution with no jail time, which helps reduce the drastic ‘over-representation’ of aboriginals in Canadian jails {!?!?!}.

“Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada in ‘R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688’ have stated that Judges should account for these considerations when making sentencing decisions.

” ‘Gladue’ asks judges to apply a method of analysis that recognizes the ‘adverse background cultural impact factors’ that many aboriginals face. In a ‘Gladue’ analysis these factors, if present in their personal history, work to mitigate or reduce the culpability of offenders. Judges are then asked to consider all reasonable alternatives to jail in light of this.”
“The ‘Youth Criminal Justice Act’ contains a subsection similar to subsection 718.2(e) {Section 38(d)}, though it should be noted that the Act contains a number of provisions which militate against the incarceration of youth:
See also:
What Happened To Legal Equality? {June 1, 2015}:

Judge Gives No Jail Time‘ (Two-Tiered Justice) {February 16, 2015}:

More ‘Gladue’ Injustice{November 14, 2013}:
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