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Wiebo Ludwig: protester or criminal?

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Wiebo Ludwig has long been known as a vehement opponent of oil and gas development who the RCMP suspects has sabotaged local gas wells in Alberta's Peace River region. But the case suddenly escalates in June 1999 when two teens are shot, one of them fatally, while joyriding across Ludwig's farm. In this report from CBC-TV, Ludwig crosses a police barrier to tell reporter Kelly Crowe he learned about the death from his lawyer and that he doesn't know who fired the shots. In a followup, reporter Mike Chisholm notes that Ludwig is both vilified and admired in his community for standing up to the oil companies he says are poisoning his farm and family. 

• In April 2000 Wiebo Ludwig was convicted of five charges of mischief and possessing explosives in connection with vandalism in Alberta's oil patch. He and co-accused Richard Boonstra, convicted on one charge, were sentenced to jail time. Ludwig was in prison for nearly two years. • No charges were ever laid in the murder of Karman Willis, the 16-year-old girl shot while joyriding on Ludwig's farm. The case remains unsolved as of 2010.

• In 2008 more bombings and sabotage efforts began to plague gas pipelines in northern B.C. Ludwig urged whoever was responsible not to resort to force if they were protesting against EnCana, the company that owned the pipeline.

• According to CBCNews.ca, the RCMP in Alberta took Ludwig into custody on Jan. 8, 2010 in connection with the pipeline bombings in northern B.C.

• Ludwig died in April 2012 at the age of 70.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 21, 1999
Guest(s): Wiebo Ludwig, Ben Ludwig, Andrew Nikiforuk
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Kelly Crowe, Mike Chisholm
Duration: 5:21

Last updated: October 29, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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