AuthorCraig Jones
British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal should get fu ll credit
for putting momentum behind the province’s polygamy le after decades
of uncertainty and inac tion. His successors Mik e de Jong, Barry Penner,
and Shirley Bond each took a particular interest in the subsequent Poly-
gamy Reference proceeding, and would have shouldered the blame had
the whole enterprise collapsed in failure, so it is fai r that they should claim
a large measure of credit also for its success. Each had a personal hand in
aspects of the case’s progress. Successive Deputy Attorney s General Allan
Seckel and David Louk idelis, and my immediate superior, Assistant Deputy
Richard Fyfe, threw their support behind this untried and ambitious idea
of a trial of the constitutional issues t hrough a reference proceeding. Each
showed enough faith in me and my team to trust us with virtually every
aspect of the conduct of the litigation.
is book is partly memoir, and any such work, as Ben Frank lin rec-
ognized, is in some measure an exercise of the ego. After all, we write
these things in the conceit that something we have done is worth reading
about at some length. at Franklin oered his disclaimer in the intro-
duction to the autobiography of, to my mind, one of Western history’s
greatest gures and then went on to write the balance with such o hand
humility and genia l charm is remarkable. I am no Franklin. I’m sure that,
whatever eorts I take to conceal it, my recollections of the polygamy cas e
and its conduct will reveal a n element of pride. I can only hope that it does
so without obviously intruding on the story t hat follows.
With that disclaimer behind me, I should say right from the beg inning
that had the litigation, which is at the heart of this book, been left in my
hands alone, it would have been a mess, or at the very least, a ver y dierent
case from the one I describe here. I worked with some exceptionally dedi-
cated and talented lawyers in the Legal Serv ices branch of the Ministr y
of Attorney General, and it will be my privilege to introduce you to many

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