Premier Scott Moe said he was open to improving the justice system following last Friday’s verdict in the Gerald Stanley case.
Moe held a press conference Monday to encourage dialogue and further safety efforts in rural parts of the province.
“At the moment, emotions in our province are quite raw,” Moe said in his opening remarks about the state of the province. “We must always remember that this tragedy will forever change the lives of two Saskatchewan families.”
While many prominent politicians have weighed in on the verdict and questioned Canada’s justice system, Moe said he wasn’t going to question the jury’s decision.
“The rule of law is a fundamental principle of our democracy, and as the premier of this province, I will be respectful,” he said.
“The process has taken place and we need to respect the decision of the jury and our courts, as well as be respectful of any future proceedings.”
— Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) February 12, 2018
That respect won’t stop Moe from furthering discussions surrounding the courts.
“We can be respectful of that decision while also having conversations and a very open dialogue moving forward,” he said.
Moe was joined by Justice Minister Don Morgan on Saturday when he met with members of the Boushie family, as well as Indigenous leaders, to listen to their concerns.
The Boushie family was in Ottawa Monday to meet with federal ministers. The family has criticized the use of peremptory challenges, where both Crown and defence are allowed to reject a set number of potential jurors without giving any reason.
“I think we’re open to having those kinds of discussions with the federal government,” Morgan said when questioned about possible reforms to the jury selection process.
Morgan said calls for better Indigenous representation in the justice system were “fair comment.”
“We have taken nothing off the table, so we want to hear from First Nations leaders,” he added.
Scott Moe added that his government isn’t willing to let these problems pass by.
“We are committed to this dialogue going forward, as difficult as it may be at times,” he said. “I know we will find a way, for all of us as residents of this province and neighbours to one another to move forward together.”
“This isn’t an easy thing to talk about for anybody — but we need to.”