TIE-DYED TYRANNY

 

Nanny of the Month: August, 2014

A few days late, but still worth it:

Invite: 161 Elgin Street, Ottawa Court House, Sept 4: 9.00am, Court Room 7

Earlier in August, I watched an interesting case be argued (though very briefly) in Ontario Court.

I even started writing it up – though, thanks to a fever, I did not yet finish (it is far too complex for me to try to accurately report when I am still a bit feverish – please, forgive me the delay, it is in the name of accuracy).  However, what I have written so far about it is here:

In Part 1 of this series, I explained a little of the background of the ongoing Presto scandal, which has already cost Ontario taxpayers half-a-billion dollars – and how a concerned taxpayer (hereafter referred to as CT) had searched for who was behind this…and discovered the documents had been signed by none other than Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario Minister of Transportation and now the Premier of Ontario.

In Part 2 of this series, I explained a bit of how the Canadian/Ontario justice system function:  in order to safeguard from a government that will either fail to bring charges against certain individuals or will not uphold certain laws, each and every citizen has the power to, as a private person, lay criminal charges.  However, this safety-valve (a citizen-empowering protection against a corrupt government) is immediately eviscerated by permitting the government of the day, called ‘The Crown’ and represented by the office of the Attorney General of Ontario, who both employs all the crown prosecutors and is appointed by/serves at the pleasure of the Premier of Ontario, can take over any private prosecution and stay the charges for ever….and the example of Gary McHale in Caledonia was explained.  (This very legal precedent was cited heavily by The Crown representative in this court hearing.)

In Part 3 of this series, I explained a bit about the concept of ‘summary dismissal’ – using the example of Baglow vs. Free Dominion and John Does as an example.

In Part 4 of this series, I sketched the atmosphere that morning and wondered at the difficulties our wonderful civil servant had in telling everyone – the plaintiff included – where the hearing is to be held.

Well, even before I can write up the last bit, the next chapter is being written.  The plaintiff, a concerned taxpayer (CT), is going sent me the following little invite:

 

 

Invite: 161 Elgin Street, Ottawa Court House, Sept 4: 9.00am, Court Room 7

On August 18, the Judge ruled that Applicant may bring proceeding against the Ontario Government, and the Crown must delegate authority to intervene to the Federal Director for Public Prosecutions. A concerned taxpayer brought the motion and it will be heard on Sept 4 at 9am. The issue is the threats by former MTO Minister Kathlynne Wynne to force TTC and OC Transpo to breach the Federal AIT (Agreement on Internal Trade) and Federal Gas Tax which has cost taxpayers up to $0.5 billion enrichment for private interests at taxpayers expense.

If you’re in the area and can spare the time, I hope to see you there!!!

THE REPUBLIC OF BILL

Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done: except, perhaps, when a taxpayer tries to prosecute Kathleen Wynne – part 4

In Part 1 of this series, I explained a little of the background of the ongoing Presto scandal, which has already cost Ontario taxpayers half-a-billion dollars – and how a concerned taxpayer (hereafter referred to as CT) had searched for who was behind this…and discovered the documents had been signed by none other than Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario Minister of Transportation and now the Premier of Ontario.

In Part 2 of this series, I explained a bit of how the Canadian/Ontario justice system function:  in order to safeguard from a government that will either fail to bring charges against certain individuals or will not uphold certain laws, each and every citizen has the power to, as a private person, lay criminal charges.  However, this safety-valve (a citizen-empowering protection against a corrupt government) is immediately eviscerated by permitting the government of the day, called ‘The Crown’ and represented by the office of the Attorney General of Ontario, who both employs all the crown prosecutors and is appointed by/serves at the pleasure of the Premier of Ontario, can take over any private prosecution and stay the charges for ever….and the example of Gary McHale in Caledonia was explained.  (This very legal precedent was cited heavily by The Crown representative in this court hearing.)

In Part 3 of this series, I explained a bit about the concept of ‘summary dismissal’ – using the example of Baglow vs. Free Dominion and John Does as an example.

Thus, we find ourselves on the morning of the 18th of August, 2014, in the Ottawa Elgin Street courthouse,where the hearing between our concerned taxpayer (CT) and The Crown (which too over his prosecution of Kathleen Wynne, the former Transportation Minister of Ontario and the current Premier of Ontario, whose signature on documents seems to suggest she used undue pressure to force Ottawa and Toronto transportation authorities (meaning ‘government-usurped monopolies’) to use an outdated and overpriced ‘Presto’ system in place of competitively awarded contractors to provide an electronic public transit system payment method).  The CT laid private criminal charges against Kathleen Wynne, as a private individual, for wasting over half-a-billion of taxpayers money in an ongoing action, which CT perceives as criminal.  The Crown took over this private prosecution and shelved it – so it would never see the light of day or be acted upon.  Which CT protested against, and it was these protests that The Crown wanted to be summarily dismissed.  As ‘The Crown’ answers directly to the Attorney General, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Premier, Kathleen Wynne, CT challenged this on the grounds of conflict of interest.

The setting is the palatial Elgin St. Court Building in downtown Ottawa, smack dab next to the Ottawa City Hall (with its cheap underground parking – seriously, you’d be hard-pressed to find cheaper parking anywhere else in downtown Ottawa).

The courthouse itself is very, very beautiful.

The core of the building is open – from the first floor all the way to the top, filled with light.  I entered on the 1st floor (the underground basement floor houses the prisoner cells), from the City Hall side, walked past the Tim Hortons and was just about to head to the 2nd floor, where the main,  Elgin Street entrance, is with its information booth to find out which courtroom this hearing will be held in.

As I passed the Tim Hortons, I saw Beth Trudeau and a group of other people walking towards the stairs.  As I caught up to them, Beth introduced me all around:  there was Jack MacLaren.  Another was Jean-Serge Brisson. Another was the concerned taxpayer, CT, in a crisp dark suit, with a light shirt and a finely striped tie.  They, too, were in search of the proper courtroom.

The information desk people, you see, my dear reader, were completely baffled as to why CT might be showing up for court today – they certainly had no record of him or his hearing!

So, the little band of corruption fighters was directed to ask at the criminal courts booth – since this is a criminal case, these people were bound to know where to go!

I must admit, when he walked up to the booth, I stayed rudely close so that I may hear the conversation.  Bad manners on my part, perhaps, but I did want to bring you as much of the story as I could…  Everybody else stood a polite distance apart.

The pretty young woman with a ready smile who worked the booth was very pleasant, but quite definite – CT might as well go home as there is no hearing scheduled for him for that day…

CT – a very pleasant fellow, tall, broad-shouldered with eyes so deep one could loose oneself in them forever – was insistent:  he was given official notice that his case was to be heard today and he would very much like somebody to tell him which courtroom to go to.  Charming and polite – yet determined, with steel in his spine!  The pretty young woman frowned, creasing a wrinkle in her otherwise unblemished forehead, and left.

An older, more knowledgeable-mannered woman came in a few minutes and took her place.  CT smiled and asked where his hearing was to be held.  Shuffling the papers authoritatively, the senior woman, too, insisted that there was nothing on the schedule for the day that even remotely resembled the case he was talking about.  As she was telling him that he must be mistaken in the day his hearing was to be held, the younger woman joined her and shook her head in eager assent.

At this point, CT took out the paper with his official notice of the hearing, to be held today, in this courthouse.

‘Oh, THAT case!’

Of course they knew about THAT case!  It was to be held in courtroom #34!

The younger woman even volunteered that they had been discussing this very case just earlier that morning…

Which, of course, begs the question:  if they had been discussing this case just earlier this morning, how come they had both claimed never to have heard of it before?

Should this be chalked up to simple bureaucratic incompetence, or is the fact that they are employed by the people whose boss answers to Kathleen Wynne, the subject of this lawsuit?

I guess we will never know…

 

More to follow in Part 5 of this narrative.

 

Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done: except, perhaps, when a taxpayer tries to prosecute Kathleen Wynne – part 3

In Part 1 of this series, I explained a little of the background of the ongoing Presto scandal, which has already cost Ontario taxpayers half-a-billion dollars – and how a concerned taxpayer (hereafter referred to as CT) had searched for who was behind this…and discovered the documents had been signed by none other than Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario Minister of Transportation and now the Premier of Ontario.

In Part 2 of this series, I explained a bit of how the Canadian/Ontario justice system function:  in order to safeguard from a government that will either fail to bring charges against certain individuals or will not uphold certain laws, each and every citizen has the power to, as a private person, lay criminal charges.  However, this safety-valve (a citizen-empowering protection against a corrupt government) is immediately eviscerated by permitting the government of the day, called ‘The Crown’ and represented by the office of the Attorney General of Ontario, who both employs all the crown prosecutors and is appointed by/serves at the pleasure of the Premier of Ontario, can take over any private prosecution and stay the charges for ever….and the example of Gary McHale in Caledonia was explained.  (This very legal precedent was cited heavily by The Crown representative in this court hearing.)

Which is what brings us to Monday’s court hearing:  The Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group founder (CT – conscientious taxpayer) had brought a private prosecution against Kathleen Wynne, due to her signature on the letter which seems (at least, to my untrained eye, as well as CT’s, I suspect) to be extorting the Jim Watson and the City of Ottawa, in order to force him to both accept the inferior and overpriced ‘Presto’ bid for introducing electronic payment on our public transit system as well as making it almost impossible to collect late/non-performance penalties from that particular contractor.  The Crown took over his case – and chose not to proceed with it – meaning the charges would never see the light of day.

So, CT challenged The Crown’s takeover of his case.

And lost….for various, not necessarily ‘farious’ (as opposed to ‘nefarious’) reasons.

CT had appealed that takeover – and The Crown brought about a motion to ‘summarily dismiss’ his appeal:  and this was the subject of Monday’s hearing.

 

In order to win and get his case back, The Crown argued, it was now necessary for CT to prove that there was some abuse of process in The Crown taking over his prosecution of Kathleen Wynne.

CT disagreed, saying he just had to prove that since the accused is the Attorney General’s employer, and by extension the employer of The Crown’s prosecutors, they are in a conflict of interest position in taking over his private criminal prosecution:  and therefore must recuse themselves from the case and turn it over to the Federal Director Public Prosecutions.

CT even cited an Alberta precedent for this – even the appearance of a potential conflict of interest requires The Crown to kick the case to a different level of goernment, like, say, the Feds (who do not, ultimately, answer to Kathleen Wynne, their current employer).

If you read my blog regularly, you may recall that ‘summary dismissal’ is a topic I have covered when reporting on the John Baglow vs Free Dominion and John Does.  In that case (a very, very important case about internet governance, the outcome of which will affect each and every internet-using Canadian and American – and one which is still ongoing), Dr. Baglow sued several posters on an internet political forum, Free Dominion, for having defamed him, as well as suing the administrators of the site for having facilitated the publication of those words (sort of like suing a printer for having printed a newspaper with an article that defamed someone).

In this ‘Baglow’ case, the defendants asked for the case to be summarily dismissed on the grounds that the words published were ‘common insults’ and thus not defamatory.

The hearing lasted a couple of days and the judge agreed that indeed, the words were not capable of being defamatory.  (At east – that is what I heard in the courtroom nd what I understood the final ruling to say – but I am not trained in legal matters, just a member of the ‘unwashed masses’, with a bit of peasant wisdom tossed in.)

Dr. Baglow appealed the summary dismissal – and the court of appeal agreed.  Not because they thought the case had merit – to the contrary, they agreed that they didn’t.  (Or, so I understand.)  But, they said, internet discourse lacks governance so there ought to be a legal precedent set!

So, a full trial is going on now.  First part took place in the spring, the second part will do so this fall.  With expert witness – as the judge chosen has no knowledge of the internet beyond using email (at least, that is what she declared).

Similarly, the MTAG founder (our dear protagonist, CT) had challenged The Crown’s takeover of his case.

He lost, appealed, and The Crown sought to have his appeal ‘summarily dismissed’.

Which is where we found ourselves on that fateful morning of August the 18th, 2014!!!

More to follow in Part 4 of this narrative.

Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done: except, perhaps, when a taxpayer tries to prosecute Kathleen Wynne – part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I explained a little of the background of the ongoing Presto scandal, which has already cost Ontario taxpayers half-a-billion dollars – and how a concerned taxpayer (hereafter referred to as CT) had searched for who was behind this…and discovered the documents had been signed by none other than Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario Minister of Transportation and now the Premier of Ontario.

So far so good.

Before I proceed with the narrative of this particular case and need to give you, my dear reader, a bit of background about our Ontario legal system.  I would hesitate before I would call it a ‘justice’ system, because I have rarely seen the legal processes in Ontario result in actual ‘justice':  it is so convoluted and painful that the process itself is a deep injury…If it arrives at a ‘just’ ruling….which happens less often than most of us would like to believe.

In Ontario, most of the criminal prosecutions are laid and conducted by ‘The Crown’.  And ‘The Crown (in this sense) falls under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of Ontario.  All the prosecution lawyers and so on are employed by the Attorney General of Ontario.

And the Attorney General of Ontario is an elected member of the Provincial Legislature, an MPP, who is a member of the Cabinet and is appointed into the role of Attorney General by the Premier of Ontario.

However, it is also possible for a private citizen of Ontario to bring about a criminal prosecution against a person or an organization:  in this case, the prosecutor would not be a lawyer working for the Attorney General (who serves at the pleasure of the Premier), but that private citizen.  This is important, as it will permit citizens to bring to justice even villains that the government of the day chooses not to prosecute and to uphold the laws of the land where the government of the day fails to.

And that is as it should be.

Except that…

The Crown (headed by the Attorney General who serves at the pleasure of the Premier) has the right to, at any point, take over a private criminal prosecution whenever it wants to.

And it usually wants to.

And the private person who originally brought the criminal charges does not get a say in this matter.

In the near past, this has, indeed, happened.

One case of which I am aware of (and which was, by the way, cited as precedent by the Crown lawyer in the Monday court hearing) is that of Gary McHale.

Gary McHale is one of our modern-day heroes.

He has dedicated his life to fighting against racism.

For those who are not aware of it, it is difficult to believe that in Ontario in 2013, it was possible for a person to be prevented from walking down a city (township) street – simply because the residents living on that street did not want a person of  Gary McHale’s race on ‘their street’.

Yet, this is true.

And not only did the police not help Gary McHale, they arrested him.

On what grounds?

They explained that their job was not to ‘uphold the law’ but to ‘maintain public peace’.  Since the racists threatened violence if Gary McHale continued to walk on a public street, the police reasoned that Gary McHale’s action of walking down a public street constituted a threat to public peace and promptly arrested him and his fellow freedom lovers.

That is how things had been in Caledonia, Ontario, for many years.

And not just in Caledonia – when Ezra Levant went to interview some people who were protesting against him, personally, in front of Sun TV offices, the police officers told him in no uncertain terms that his very presence could spark violence from the protesters and since it is easier to remove him than to uphold the law, he must move or they will arrest him…  This ‘heckler’s veto’ is the new rule the police have taken to protecting, instead of protecting those who are non-violent and upholding the laws of our land.

In the past, the situation in Caledonia was even worse – the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) (who were contracted for policing the area) would not intervene when racists would violently assault and batter people whose presence they were unwilling to tolerate due to these people’s race, resulting in serious injuries and property damage/loss.

At one point, Gary McHale had started a private criminal prosecution of the then head of the OPP, Julian Fantino, for ordering this race-based policing.

No sooner had Gary McHale laid the charges than The Crown stepped in and took over his case – and shelved it.

As in, decided not to proceed with it – a so called ‘stay of the charges’.

A nice little loophole, isn’t it?

We have a safety-valve built in to our laws so that citizens would have a legal recourse when the government failed to live up to their responsibility to uphold the laws of the land.

And right away, we eviscerate it – giving the government the power to prevent this recourse from ever actually happening.

Neat little package!

By now, you probably know which way this narrative evolves:  as soon as he brought criminal charges against Kathleen Wynne, The Crown took over the prosecution.

And promptly ‘stayed the charges’!!!

As in, nothing to see here, nothing to hear here – just crickets!

 Aside:  did you know they don’t have crickets in Newfoundland?  I may move there – I can’t stand them buggers!

 

More to follow in Part 3  and Part 4 of this narrative.

 

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