April 24th, 2019

Family of victim killed in crash upset man charged released on $300 bail


By Bobinec, Greg on November 28, 2018.

Riel Houle-Provost and his family set up a Peace Teepee on the Lethbridge Courthouse grounds for their brother, Barnaby Provost, who was killed in a highway crash in June. Douglas Bagnall was charged with impaired driving causing death and was released on $300 bail, Tuesday. Herald photo by Greg Bobinec

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

The family of Barnaby Provost was lost for words on Tuesday when they heard at the Lethbridge Courthouse that the man who is accused of killing Provost in a highway crash while driving impaired earlier this year would be free on bail of only $300.

Douglas Bagnall, 62, was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding 80 milligrams causing death. Bagnall was driving east on the wrong side of Highway 3, near Coalhurst, and collided with Provost’s westbound vehicle.

Tuesday night, Riel Houle-Provost, Barnaby’s brother, gathered with his family to set up a Sharing Medicine Peace Teepee on the courthouse grounds to make a statement about the bail decision.

“They let him off on $300 bail and my family and everybody else, we don’t know what to do or how to handle it,” said Houle-Provost. “I feel that this is the thing that I can offer for my brother, is put up a teepee for him, because I don’t know how someone can just be let go from a charge like that. It is just really hard for me to comprehend.”

The peace teepee was erected to bring people together to open a dialogue with the community, court system and provincial leaders about the loophole used in this case.

“This peace teepee is a symbol of us, it is for everybody to come, anyone who wants to tell stories of my brother Barnaby Provost and just think about the good times we had with him and really get some justice,” says Houle-Provost. “It made me really angry to hear the verdict. We really need to fix that loophole in the system. I hope that this sends a message to our court system, not only that but also our provincial leaders that are in these buildings making these kinds of decisions.”

Riel reflected with his family about the man who was more than just a father, uncle, brother and son. Provost was dedicated to everything he loved, had an untold discipline. He worked hard to achieve multiple post-secondary degrees and a master’s in education. He was a principal, teacher, coach and an advocate for sobriety his whole life.

The Provost family has felt neglected by the lack of support from their community and council members in honouring the man who gave everything he had to his community.

“My brother was a council nember, an elected leader of our people and right now, even at the court this morning, we never see one of our leaders, chief, nobody and they aren’t here supporting this and it is just a shame. I hope that they can find it in them to come and support us,” said Houle-Provost. “He isn’t here right now, but I am his brother and I am going to speak up for him. I do feel like I am my brother’s keeper.”

Riel and family members will continue the construction of the teepee this morning, as the gusty wind Tuesday night prevented its completion. The teepee will remain up until Bagnall’s next scheduled court date on Dec. 10.

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