Marilyn James is seen at a rally in March. She received a 14-day conditional sentence today for criminal contempt of court.

Sinixt woman gets 14 days for criminal contempt

A BC Supreme Court judge found Marilyn James was in criminal contempt when she stood on a Perry Ridge logging road in March.

Marilyn James, a Slocan Valley resident and local Sinixt leader, was sentenced to 14 days house arrest this morning after a BC Supreme Court judge found her in criminal contempt, but she immediately signalled she would not comply with the terms.

“Take me [to jail] now,” James told Justice Mark McEwan moments after he finished reading his judgement. “I will not stay in my home for two weeks.”

James and Dennis Zarelli were arrested on Perry Ridge on March 4 after McEwan continued an injunction application brought by Galena Contracting, a company hired by BC Timber Sales to extend a logging road. Zarelli earlier pled guilty and received the same sentence.

During her trial, in which she represented herself, the Slocan Valley woman argued she did not impede the company, because its crews were already working beyond a locked gate where she was standing when she spoke to owner Ray Hascarl.

However, McEwan said there was “no question” in his view that she defied the injunction by encouraging people to attend the site. He also said that while standing by the side of the road would not have violated the order, James impeded Hascarl’s free passage. He also believed police had reasonable grounds to arrest her.

James said she opposed the work on Perry Ridge because it threatened cultural sites in the area. She and supporters maintained a camp just beyond the gate.

The Crown took no position on sentencing.

When asked if she had anything to say, James replied in part: “I perceive this court to be skewed. I think what this court does is highly unjust to Indian people. I don’t believe I broke any law. I believe you are causing me harm and I say because of what I believe, you should punish me to the full extent of the law … Gandhi got 40 years breaking rocks. I would expect no less.”

“I’m going to disappoint you again,” McEwan said. “I see no reason to impose a different penalty than on [Zarelli].”

James will not go to jail if she abides by the sentence’s conditions, but said she had “no plan whatsoever” to do so. She also said she had “no qualms” fulfilling her “cultural obligations.”

Just Posted

Nelson considers amnesty on parking fines

Drivers with backlogged fines would have until January to apply

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Leafs fall to Braves, Twitter fight breaks out

Nelson gave up two goals in the third en route to a 4-2 loss

Cardiac arrest survivor saved by passerby

People who know CPR can now register with a new phone app to notify them of nearby emergencies

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Kootenay music mentor crushed by stolen sax, sheet music

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers or the Trail RCMP at 250.364.2566

Most Read