This is a continuation in a series about the efforts of one Concerned Taxpayer (CT) to make the corrupt ‘Liberal’ Ontario Government in general and Kathleen Wynne in particular accountable in the court system of our land.
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.
It was really strange: I had been over at this courthouse observing a number of cases, usually related to the Freedom of Speech, and always, the staff at the Elgin St. Courthouse in Ottawa have bent over backwards to help me find the proper courtroom. This was the first time when they were not just ‘unhelpful’, but aggressively so!
(Not the guys at the front desk – they just didn’t have the info. I mean the ladies at the proper counter, who insisted no such case was to be heard that day (18th of August), but who immediately reversed themselves when CT showed them his summons, even volunteering that they had ‘just been discussing this case’…
Now, please permit me to paint the two protagonists: the CT (Concerned Taxpayer) and the Attorney for the Crown (AC).
CT is tall, dark and handsome.
AC is short, balding and cute, in the way, say, a chipmunk is.
CT is serious and eloquent.
AC is blustery, flustery and blushes at the first provocation.
Both sides are ‘ready’ and roaring to go.
But, the judge said that only 5 or so minute had been allocated for this hearing and she was absolutely not prepared for more than that.
AC argued that she need not be ready – just kick it out and be done with it…he assured her CT had no case.
CT argued that justice delayed is justice denied and that he would very much like to have a hearing that day.
It seemed that the judge was in a bit of a pickle. Whoever had scheduled this hearing had clearly not permitted for a proper hearing, had not given the judge a chance to prepare for it and slotted it into an inappropriate category. I have absolutely zero training in legal matters, my formal education being in Physics and Anthropology of Religion, but to my ‘peasant/scientist brain’, it looked like whoever slotted this hearing into this spot was attempting to sabotage CT’s case.
Yes, of course: never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence.
But – this was beyond incompetence.
If it had just been the case of slotting it into an inappropriate format of hearing. OK – perhaps incompetence. But, the sheer aggressive unhelpfullness of the clerks coupled with an inappropriate slotting by peers of these clerks – well, let’s just say it seemed one too many complications for random incompetence.
Eventually, after much pleading from CT, the judge agreed to set aside 30 minutes at the end of her day (before another, previously scheduled hearing) to hear both sides.
So, we filed out into the hallway and waited.
When I say ‘we’, I mean CT, an MPP, and a group of other supporters of CT, some of whom were involved with the Language Fairness movement. CT went to collect his thoughts and condense his arguments into a very shortened form, the rest of us chatted and waited.
Finally, our time was up!!!
We were in!
And, since The Crown initiated the move to dismiss, they were the first to speak. And the AC did speak, at great length, explaining why it was silly for people to think that elected officials ought to be held accountable for their actions…. It seemed to this observer that his main aim was to waste time, so that CT would not have a chance to argue his case.
Indeed, the Crown’s position took up 20 of the 30 allotted minutes, leaving CT at a distinct disadvantage to make his case.
The AC argued that the transcripts of what occurred during the last hearing are essential to determine the judge’s finding….and, even though CT had requested (and paid for) these transcripts, this hearing came up before they had been delivered and without these transcripts, it would be impossible for the judge to find for CT….
In other words, the AC seemed to argue that since the bureaucracy was too slow to provide the transcripts, the case ought to be summarily tossed out.
Am I the only one to see a flaw in this reasoning?
When CT finally had a chance to present his case, he pointed out that the transcript was irrelevant: since the person charged, Kathleen Wynne, is now the Premier of Ontario, and the Attorney General serves only at her pleasure, and the Attorney General is the employer of the AC, there is a clear conflict of interest here and the case ought to be moved from the provincial realm (controlled 100% by Kathleen Wynne – the accused) to the Federal level…
The judge appeared shocked at the level if interference this situation would have permitted – and it looked like she was about to rule for the CT, when…
In the counterargument – permitted by the judge – the AC argued that Kathleen Wynne onlu out-ranked the Attorney General as a public figure…and that CT was suing her as a ‘private citizen’.
At this point, the judge seemed to assess the direction ‘from which the wind was blowing’ and, suddenly and without warning, issued her ruling:
IF CT had sued Kathleen Wynne as a member of Ontario Government, he would, indeed, be correct that the case ought to have been transferred to Federal Court because of a conflict of interest. BUT, since he sued Kathleen Wynne as a person, not as a member of the government, this does not hold since no ‘person’ can have an influence over the office of the Attorney General.
After the ruling had been issued, CT pressed the judge (to the point where some of us in the audience feared him being penalized for his boldness). He got the judge to admit – for the record – that she had not read the case, the arguments either side made, but was basing her decision solely on what she heard in the very limited time had been allotted to this case due to it being slotted into the wrong bit to be heard/presented.
He also got her to clearly state that had he sued the Government of Ontario rather than a private individual who just happened to be member of it, he would have succeeded is demonstrating a conflict of interest for the case to be heard in provincial rather than federal court.