Rural residents weigh in on right to defend property from intruders - InfoNews

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Rural residents weigh in on right to defend property from intruders

March 12, 2018 - 1:00 AM

The acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man has renewed a simmering debate about what rights rural residents have to use force against a perceived intruder. Here is what some rural residents in Alberta and Saskatchewan have to say:

"Nobody wants to have to go to court and spend a lot of time and a lot of money defending themselves. I've got more important things to do. I've got grandchildren." — retired farmer Bob Nielsen, Marwayne, Alta.

"As rural crime watch groups, we don't encourage (property owners taking matters into their own hands). We're telling our members please don't do stuff like that. Bad stuff can come out of that. Take down as much information from who it is, but do not confront these people. Nothing that we own is worth a life." — Trevor Tychkowsky, Smoky Lake, Alta., president of the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association

"We're certainly hearing from residents that are very vocal and they're very upset. Really what's happening is people are descending on them and it doesn't appear that laws are in favour of protecting people who are being violated. It seems more like they're in favour of protecting the perpetrator, so that's the sense of outrage that's out there right now. When you step back from it after the thing has happened, I think there would be nothing but regret if you did unfortunately choose to harm another person to that point. Certainly to stop them or deter them, call the RCMP right away. And if they're not available, get yourself out of trouble." — M.D. of Foothills councillor Suzanne Oel, Priddis, Alta.

"I should be able to defend myself and defend my family, especially if it involves my family. I don't know what's appropriate and not appropriate, but I am going to take measures in my own hands if it involves my family. I'm going to use something that's appropriate even if I go to jail." — rancher Mike Walkers, Biggar, Sask.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
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