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James Marion Oler (born 1964) is the bishop of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) in Canada, and has been convicted of being a practicing polygamist.[1][2] The polygamy case brought against Oler is considered[by whom?] "the first major test of Canada's polygamy law."[3] As of 2014, he is reported to have 13 children.[4]

James Oler
James Marion Oler

(1964-06-04) June 4, 1964 (age 55)
Known forPracticing polygamy

FLDS schism in CanadaEdit

James Oler is the current bishop of the Canadian FLDS, who are centered in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada.[5] In 2002, Winston Blackmore was excommunicated from the FLDS, and the community of Bountiful, where most members live, divided between Blackmore and Warren Jeffs.[2] Following this schism, Jeffs appointed Oler as the new bishop.[6]

Polygamy trial in CanadaEdit

Oler and Winston Blackmore were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in January 2009 and charged with polygamy.[7] The charges were thrown out later, owing to questions about how the Crown selected its prosecutors.[7] On September 23, 2009, "Criminal polygamy charges against Winston Blackmore and Oler are thrown out by B.C. Supreme Court Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein.[8]

Polygamy charges were brought against Blackmore and Oler again in August 2014, without the procedural errors that caused the previous charges to have been thrown out of court.[9]

On July 24, 2017, James Oler was found guilty of polygamy in the B.C. Supreme Court.[10] He, along with Winston Blackmore, face up to five years in prison for violation of Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada.[11]

On May 15, 2018, in Cranbrook, British Columbia, special prosecutor Peter Wilson recommended a jail sentence of one month to 90 days for Oler and a term between 90 days and six months for Blackmore.[12] On June 27, 2018 Justice Sheri Ann Donegan sentenced Blackmore to six months' house arrest. Oler was sentences to three months' house arrest.[13]


  1. ^ "More FLDS underage marriages alleged in Canada". The Salt Lake Tribune. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Religious schism tore Bountiful apart, wife tells Blackmore tax trial". The Vancouver Sun. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Canadian polygamy charges dismissed". Reuters. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  4. ^ "The Bountiful Four: Who are they?". The Vancouver Sun. 9 October 2014.
  5. ^ "FLDS bishops take appeal to Utah Supreme Court". The Deseret News. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  6. ^ "B.C. Supreme Court rules polygamy ban is constitutional, but flawed". The National Post. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  7. ^ a b The Canadian Press (11 August 2011). "B.C. polygamy evidence helps Warren Jeffs conviction". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  8. ^ B.C. Supreme Court rules polygamy ban is constitutional, but flawed. 23 November 2011. National Post.
  9. ^ "Bountiful sect members face polygamy, child-related charges". CBC News. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Winston Blackmore and James Oler found guilty of polygamy by B.C. judge". CBC News. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2018. Two former religious leaders in B.C. have been found guilty of polygamy after marrying more than two dozen women over the course of 25 years.
  11. ^
  12. ^ The Vancouver Sun (16 May 2018). "Prosecutor recommends jail time for Winston Blackmore and James Oler". Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  13. ^ Kathleen Joyce (28 June 2018). "2 men with 29 wives and 160 children between them sentenced to house arrest following polygamy conviction". Fox News. Retrieved 28 June 2018.