Ex-wife of Bountiful leader speaks on polygamy, midwifery

The Daily News, Canada/February 14, 2011

She was Winston Blackmore's first wife and 25 more would follow.

Jane Blackmore, a midwife from Cranbrook, will speak in Kamloops on International Women's Day, March 5.

She was wed to Winston Blackmore, leader of the controversial Mormon sect in Bountiful, B.C., for 17 years before leaving in 2002, taking her youngest daughter with her. Since then she has spoken out about the polygamist side of life in Bountiful, currently the subject of a landmark B.C. Supreme Court debate.

Polygamy is illegal in Canada but prosecutions are almost unheard of. Jane Blackmore is the mother of seven children; Winston Blackmore is the father of an estimated 80 children.

The Business and Professional Women's Club of Kamloops invited Blackmore to speak at a 6 p.m. public event in the TRU Grand Hall, capping a day of club activities to mark International Women's Day. The club's trade show and demonstrations begin at 3 p.m.

Strong Leadership, Strong Women, Strong World is Canada's theme for the day this year, said Jeanette Austin, chairwoman of the event.

"Jane's definitely displaying strong leadership and she's definitely a strong woman," said Austin, who heard the midwife speak at a women's leadership conference in Vancouver three years ago.

A limited number of tickets are available from Pure Cuisine, 442 Victoria St. They can be purchased by calling 250-819-6290 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tickets for the speaker only are $10.

Austin, who sees polygamist practices in Bountiful as atrocities committed against women and girls, said there has been talk amongst club members of setting up a foundation to enable other women to leave Bountiful.

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