MacKenzie mounting defence for alleged removal of sign

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PICTOU – A Pictou Landing man charged with removing a Department of Transportation road sign and breaching a court order will go to trial April 22.

Alexander James MacKenzie, 64, who appeared at an earlier court session wearing a vest proclaiming himself the Ballot Box Bandit, entered not guilty pleas and told the court he will be representing himself at trial. He added he may need two weeks because he plans to call many people from his community.

Judge Del Atwood said the court would set aside one afternoon but will find more time if it proves necessary.

MacKenzie complained that at his last appearance Atwood had directed him to meet with the Crown attorney’s office to learn more about the charges against him.

“They lawyered up and refused to meet with me unless I had a lawyer. That costs money and I don’t have much coming in,” he said, adding he is feeling abused and has felt so for decades.

The charge of breaching a court order, which MacKenzie says he was not told would be laid, stems from his being sentenced in March 2012 to three years of probation as part of his sentence for stealing a ballot box, an action which he described as a protest against a federal government settlement with Pictou Landing First Nations – excluding non-natives – over pollution at Boat Harbour. A condition of that sentence was that he keep the peace. 

Organizations: Pictou Landing First Nations

Geographic location: Boat Harbour

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