Ballot box bandit's nemesis not being charged for destroying fake ballot box

Staff ~ The News
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Mischief charge against a Pictou County doctor dropped by the Crown

Alexander MacKenzie, a.k.a. the Ballot Box Bandit, stands outside the provincial court in Pictou. He was attending proceedings at the court earlier this month. A local doctor was charged with destroying MacKenzie's fake ballot box that was tied to his motorcycle as part of his entry in the Pictou Lobster Carnival parade in July. File photo

PICTOU – Charges have been dropped against a Pictou County doctor who allegedly grabbed and destroyed a fake ballot box from the back of a motorcycle prior to a parade.

Dr. Gordon Young will not have to answer to a charge of mischief under $5,000 for allegedly taking the cardboard box and destroying it. The box was tied to the back of a motorcycle driven by Alexander MacKenzie, who calls himself the Ballot Box Bandit. MacKenzie has been charged and convicted several times of stealing ballot boxes during elections. His most recent conviction included some jail time. 

MacKenzie had made an appearance in the Westville Canada Day Parade on July 1 on his bike with the fake ballot box tied to the back and a Canadian flag being dragged behind. He also had a sign declaring he was a prisoner of war.

The Pictou Landing man who was once a county councillor has been protesting a $35 million settlement between the nearby Pictou Landing First Nations Reserve and the federal department of Indian and Northern Affairs several years ago. The band had sued the department for failing to protect their interests and rights with the neighbouring body of water, Boat Harbour, was turned into a effluent treatment plant for then Scott Maritimes pulp mill in Abercrombie Point.

In an earlier interview after the charges were laid, Young said he planned to plead not guilty but added he was bothered that his band followed MacKenzie's flag-dragging entry in the Westville parade. Young's band took part in the Pictou Lobster Carnival Parade the following week when the incident occurred.

This morning in provincial court, the Crown announced the charge would be dropped against Young due to no public interest. 

More details to follow.

Organizations: Pictou Landing First Nations Reserve

Geographic location: Pictou County, Boat Harbour, Abercrombie Point Westville

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Recent comments

  • Canadian
    September 27, 2012 - 09:29

    Our veterans went to war to fight for the freedom that allows Mr MacKenzie to express his views without fear of imprisonment or worse, this includes dragging a flag if he so wishes. It's called freedom of expression and it is a fully protected right under the law that all citizens have. If any Canadian doesn't want Mr MacKenzie to have this freedom perhaps they should try living in another country where people don't enjoy such freedoms. People should rejoice in the fact that he CAN drag a flag in protest rather than complaining about it. He is exercising the freedom Canada provides him, something that not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to do. One thing we CANNOT do however is destroy someone else's property, I guess unless you are a doctor.

  • Two Tiered justice
    September 27, 2012 - 09:19

    Destruction of private property and a violation of Mr. MacKenzie's civil rights is ok? He has the right to freedom of expression and this box was his property, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others or regardless of the value of it. To dismiss these charges using the excuse there was a 'lack of interest' is absurd. It seems that there are two justice systems depending on who you are. I bet if Mr MacKenzie had destroyed something of this doctors, he would have been charged. It's a slippery slope when you start to pick and choose who the law applies to and who it does not.

  • Marie Carman
    September 25, 2012 - 10:42

    No I'm not a "yank", I 'm from Pictou County, and maybe all Canadians should take more PRIDE in their country and flag.

  • george
    September 24, 2012 - 15:32

    nice to know now i can go to your office dr young .we know now we can destroy other peoples property.and get away with it and we charge our youths with the same actions.if dragging a flag makes you that angry.i would not want you for my doctor.

  • Around Town Brown
    September 24, 2012 - 15:32

    Finally common sense prevails.

  • Misplaced Maritimer
    September 24, 2012 - 15:16

    Perhaps if Mr. MacKenzie, along with all the other people in Pictou Landing who are not members of the First Nations Reserve, had his voice heard when these decisions were being made, he wouldn't feel the need to express himself in such outlandish ways in order to be heard now. WHY DOESN'T THE NEWS INTERVIEW HIM ABOUT THE REASON BEHIND WHY HE'S DOING WHAT HE DOES? All the people in Pictou Landing have to breathe in that air, which is doing God-knows-what to their health, but only part of the population had a say in what happened, which wasn't right. Maybe that flag symbolizes the way our government has treated the people of Pictou Landing, the ballot boxes the fact that they really have no say. I'd love to see an article focused on the actual reasons behind the actions, and I'm sure a lot of others would, too.

  • Concerned Citizen
    September 24, 2012 - 12:34

    Although I may not completely agree with Mr. MacKenzie's cause or method of protest, we must recognize that he was treated poorly by Dr. Young. We cannot overlook the fact that destruction has been done to Mr. MacKenzie's property. Whether it was a lapse of judgement or an act of passion, Dr. Young did not handle the situation with a cool head. As for charging Mr. MacKenzie for dragging the flag, utter foolishness. To force any dogma onto an individual is not the Canadian freedom that I know and love.

  • Sam
    September 24, 2012 - 11:58

    Good on you Dr. Young! It is great to see justice prevail for once. As for you MacKenzie, do yourself a huge favour and GROW UP!!! Your disrespectful, juvenile actions have both sullied your so-called cause and have gained you nothing.

    • Cindy-lee - Unhappy Trenton Resident
      September 24, 2012 - 13:08

      How can this be dropped due to "No Public Interest", I believe there is lots of Public Interest, furthermore is it my understanding Mr. MacKenzie did not even know about this appearance today. Mr MacKenzies rights were violated and he has the right to be heard from regarding this matter. Did the Crown even approach Mr. MacKenzie about dropping the charges ? I doubt it !! I guess the next time I see someone posting flyers or setting up a display, whether its on there personal property or not, I can go tear it up, if I disagree with it, thank you for giving me that right !!

  • Marie Carman
    September 24, 2012 - 11:01

    Mr. MacKenzie should be charged for dragging the flag. Very sad and unpatriotic!

    • Troy Nickerson
      September 24, 2012 - 12:59

      Flag desecration is not against the law. Thankfully we live in a country where free speech is permitted no matter how unpopular or misguided.

    • EdmundGerber
      September 24, 2012 - 16:32

      Are you a Yank, by any chance? I believe that law pertains to them, and not US.