Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

October 22, 2009 15:51 ET

Statement by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson Regarding the British Columbia Attorney General's Reference to the B.C. Supreme Court Concerning Polygamy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2009) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, made the following statement today in response to the Attorney General of British Columbia's decision to file a reference to the Supreme Court of British Columbia under the provincial Constitutional Question Act, with respect to the constitutionality of the Criminal Code prohibition on polygamy.

"The practice of polygamy has no place in modern Canadian society. The Government of Canada firmly believes that the Criminal Code prohibition against polygamy is consistent with Canadian values as well as compliant with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We strongly believe that this prohibition created by Canada's elected representatives should be upheld.

The Government of Canada welcomes British Columbia's decision to refer this case to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. I am pleased to say that the Government of Canada will be an active party in the reference and defend the constitutionality of the Criminal Code prohibition on polygamy."

Under the provincial Constitutional Question Act, the Attorney General of Canada is automatically notified about this type of constitutional reference and can elect to exercise his option to participate in the reference, in accordance with the Act.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Pamela Stephens
    Press Secretary
    613-992-4621
    or
    Department of Justice
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    www.canada.justice.gc.ca