A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy, Craig Jones

AuthorAnne Cochrane
(2015) 1 CJCCL
Book Review
A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against
Polygamy, Craig Jones
In August 2014, two of Canada’s most notorious polygamists, Winston
Blackmore and James Oler, were charged with practicing polygamy
under the Criminal Code. Blackmore and Oler were two of the leaders of
the Mormon Fundamentalist community in Bountiful, BC.
For many Canadians, the arrest of these two men raises the question:
why now?  e polygamy prohibition under section 293 of the Code
was originally enacted in 1890, and complaints about the Bountiful
sect go back to its founding in the 1940s. But, in the decades since,
through the coming and going of governments and political parties,
Canada’s response to polygamy has been paralyzed by concerns over
the constitutionality of the criminal prohibition in light of the Charter
protection of religious liberty.  is issue was  nally addressed in the 2011
landmark BC Supreme Court decision of Chief Justice Robert J. Bauman
in what is now commonly referred to as the Polygamy Reference. Arising
out of this historic Reference is Craig Jones’ A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the
Case Against Polygamy,1 a work that creates its own genre and is as unique
as the case it recounts.
e Polygamy Reference
Procedurally unprecedented and legally unusual, the Polygamy Reference
proceeded pursuant to British Columbia’s Constitutional Questions Act,
1. Craig Jones, A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy (Toronto:
Irwin Law, 2012).

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT