He phoned local media that morning and said he was not going to court and was barricading himself inside his house. A bench warrant was issued for the 66-year-old man after he failed to appear in court on Feb. 13 on charges of uttering threats to RM of Piapot Reeve John Wagner and Councillor Kelly Bertram. However, the Crown entered a stay on the charges and Phillips instead entered into a peace bond. He was charged after signs were placed on his property in Piapot last summer that were deemed threatening in nature. The signs made statements about the two local RM officials, Premier Brad Wall and a member of the Provincial Mediation Board. But Phillips says it’s a civil war. He claims the RM trespassed and caused destruction to his property. He said he was attempting to grow a hay crop on a portion of his land, which the RM cut down without his permission. “I asked them not to do it, and the next year they did it again,” Phillips told the Maple Creek Times on Feb. 13. He then requested the RM pay for his loss and said he would not be paying taxes until he was paid. “I haven’t done anything to anybody,” he said. “I put signs up against them when they told me they were going to take my house. If you want to play war games, then let’s play war games, and that’s what I did under a declaration of civil war.” As part of his peace bond, Phillips must keep the peace and have no contact with the individuals involved in the situation for a year, after which he will have no criminal record. The six wooden signs with black letters painted on them called Wagner and Bertram “traitors” who committed “crimes of humanity against true Canadians.” “Nazi” also appeared on the signs, and the words “death at the stake” and “death by hanging.” (See photo below.) Maple Creek RCMP investigated and charged Phillips. The signs have since been taken down. Phillips made his first court appearance in October and pled not guilty to both counts of uttering threats. According to RM officials, the signs appeared after the RM contacted the property owner regarding tax arrears on his 22 lots. The taxes had not been paid for five years. An agreement was eventually reached between the RM and Phillips for him to make the payments.
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