Metis hunter in Alberta says threats not new in province

A Metis hunter in Alberta says he had an incident this past November a short distance from where two Metis hunters were shot and killed.

Kyle Lafreniere told APTN News he was out hunting when a truck approached him.

“And he pops up behind my truck, ‘Everything OK? Yup, I’m just getting your plate so I know who to shoot’,” said Lafreniere. “I thought I misheard him. He said, ‘My uncle and aunts own land just over there.’ I said ‘I did my homework. I know where everything is. I’m not going on any private land. ‘Yeah. Someone shot our horses over there.’ Yeah, I’m here to shoot deer, hunt deer. He said, ‘Well, I got your licence plate. Now I know who to shoot.’ Then he drove away.”

Lafreniere said he reported the incident to the RCMP and after a few days he was given a file number.

He said he didn’t hear from the police again.

“I never heard back from RCMP about anything. I asked to have victim services contact us, they never contacted me about the case or investigation. Generally, it went nowhere.

“That’s the experience I had.”

(Maurice Cardinal, left, with his nephew Jacob Sansom in an undated photo)

On Mar. 27, Jacob Sansom and his uncle Maurice Cardinal were shot and killed while hunting near Glendon, Alta.

Last week, Anthony Bilodeau, 31, was charged with second-degree murder for both deaths.

The police said the accused has no prior convictions on his record.

Jacob’s brother Michael told APTN News people were posting on Facebook complaints about encounters with death threats not far from where the two lost their lives.

“There were a couple of people who came on and said the same thing happened to them on Facebook,” said Michael Sansom. “And said they filed a police report, and nothing was done. The same thing. People would pull up in front of them, and start a fight. A guy would come up from behind their vehicle, and threaten them with a gun.

Michael said if the RCMP had taken it more seriouely, it might have prevented his brother and uncle’s killings.

“Well, they could have stopped it. They could have been out there looking for these guys who were doing this before that happened to my brother. I don’t know who to be angry at. That’s the problem, I guess.

”I’m not angry right now, just disappointed that nothing was done.”

RCMP said they wouldn’t comment on other complaints due to privacy issues.

Video Journalist / Edmonton

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.