Gerald Stanley enters the Court of Queen’s Bench as the jury is in deliberation in his trial on Feb. 9, 2018. (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press)

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

An international advocacy group says it has collected thousands of names in a campaign calling for GoFundMe to remove a page that’s raising funds for Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley’s family.

The online petition launched by the group SumOfUs says the crowdfunding website is profiting from the death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man who died on Stanley’s farm in 2016.

A jury acquitted Stanley of second-degree murder in Boushie’s death earlier this month and a GoFundMe campaign to assist Stanley’s family has raised more than $200,000.

READ MORE: Colten Boushie’s family meets federal ministers after acquittal in murder trial

READ MORE: Mountie believed to have posted to Facebook saying Colten Boushie ‘got what he deserved’

The petition says GoFundMe collects a fee for each donation and a percentage for processing the payment, and it argues the fundraising page violates GoFundMe’s terms that prohibit items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime.

“The courts have failed the Boushie family, and now, GofundMe is profiting off of their pain,” the petition states.

It further calls on GoFundMe to return all of the donations the campaign has raised.

GoFundMe spokeswoman Rachel Hollis says donations to GoFundMe campaigns in Canada are subject to fees by third-party processors that charge for handling the online payments, but that since December the site has relied on voluntary donations, or tips, from donors to help pay for its website.

“So a donor’s entire donation will go to the beneficiary of the campaign and they then have the option to voluntarily tip to help with the cost associated with the platform,” Hollis said in an email.

A similar GoFundMe page for Boushie’s family, established five months ago, has raised almost $180,000.

The jury heard that Boushie and some friends had been drinking before they broke into a truck on one farm, then headed onto Stanley’s property to ask for help for a flat tire. Stanley testified that he thought his ATV was being stolen. After firing warning shots, he said his gun went off accidentally, striking Boushie in the head as he sat in the group’s SUV.

Since the not guilty verdict, protests and rallies have been held across the country demanding changes to the justice system and jury process to include more Indigenous people.

“This is one other way that we can talk about this, that there are companies and platforms that are providing a platform for money to be raised for the family for the man who shot and killed Colten Boushie,” said Emma Pullman, Canadian campaign manager with SumOfUs.

“What we’ve seen is a lot of anti-Indigenous, anti-First Nations comments have been on the rise since (Boushie’s) tragic death and I think that ultimately this is about calling out the racism that we’re seeing in this country and putting it in the spotlight.”

The group’s web page with the petition calling for the removal of the Stanley fundraiser says it has received over 12,000 signatures.

Previous petitions by SumOfUs have included one against Donald Trump’s plans for a golf resort in Scotland, as well as one in 2016 that called for WestJet CEO Greg Saretsky to step down over the company’s handling of sexual assault accusations.

The GoFundMe campaign for the Stanley family says the money raised will help them ”recoup some of their lost time, property and vehicles that were damaged, harvest income, and sanity during this entire difficult situation.”

Hollis noted the campaign does not violate the crowdfunding site’s rules.

“Given the jury verdict, the fundraising campaign does not violate our terms of service,” Hollis said.

Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Saanich man, passenger escape injury in Mt Arrowsmith rollover

A visitor from the South Island escaped injury after rolling his SUV… Continue reading

Port Alberni residents, city council divided on rules for cannabis stores

Public speaks up about pot at committee of the whole meeting

Port Alberni RCMP officers honoured for bravery

Five faced ‘violent, deranged’ male during break-in

Alberni Valley Bulldogs battle against top teams in the BCHL

Bulldogs split weekend games against Spruce Kings, Chiefs

Husky robbery suspect caught

A man suspected of robbing the Husky gas station and convenience store… Continue reading

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

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.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

Most Read