Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What is Stephen Harper's anal fixation with this lad?

Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian "RoadKill" Binnie smiling smugly from his perch on the bench.

Good Day Readers:

This fellow has screwed up Royally multiple times yet the Harper government keeps rewarding him with lucrative contracts since he left the SCC. Why?

Here's a chronology of some of his better know ....-ups:

(1) Back in January 2009 not long after being appointed to the Supreme Court he addressed a formal dinner at York University's prestigious Osgoode Law School to initiate new members into the legal fraternity describing the initial rituals as "a faggoty dressup party." Needless to say Her Majesty Beverley McLachlin could only look on in horror. He had no option but to publicly retract post haste

(2)


A special note to Canada's Auditor General!

Red Alert at Rideau Hall! Red Alert at Rideau Hall!

Dear Mr. Ferguson:

Could you please find enough auditors from their fun and games in and around Ottawa to drop an audit team on Canada's Governor General. It seems he may be burning through taxpayers' money like an army of drunken sailors. Wouldn't a nice card of condolence, telephone call or taped video have been much more cost effective?

Besides, with all due respect how many Canadians had ever heard of this King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
David Johnston's flight to pay respects to Saudi king cost $175K

40-hour Challenger flight included side trip to Vancouver on way home

By Kathleen Harris
Monday, May 25, 2015

Governor General arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in January to offer condolences on behalf of Canada following the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. (Rideal Hall)

To be continued ..... off to try to meet with author Philip Slayton.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Who's auditing the Auditor General of Canada ..... the same people who audit your police, lawyers, doctors, etc. ..... their own!

Good Day Readers:

It's hard to reconcile in this day and age when so many bright, talented young people are forced by the economy into menial, survival jobs or even unemployment. Or what about skilled middle aged workers laid off who will never again see the kind of money they used to make?

Fast forward to Ottawa ("Disneyland Over The Rideau") where the Auditor General of Canada along with his senior managers deem it necessary to spend your taxpayer dollars on team building trips in Ottawa (entertainment centre, yacht club, curling club and adventure park) to help employees find ways to connect with their team, help employees feel connected to their whole office? Or as organizational behaviour analysts would term it "forced gaiety." Sheesh!

How many of these employees are in so-called permanent positions with a nice indexed pension and other benefits? Shouldn't that be enough motivation/incentive for them? How many skilled Canadians workers in survival jobs would give their eye teeth for one of these positions?

Then there's the $19,226 retirement festivities for former Auditor General Sheila Fraser. Whatever happened to that piece of cake and cup of coffee?

It really does show you bureaucrats in Ottawa are out of touch with reality and can be goofy.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
CTV Investigation: Questionable spending by Auditor General's office

CTV News.ca Staff
Monday, May 25, 2015



A CTV investigation has revealed the Auditor General's office spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on questionable employee events that appear to violate federal rules.

Over four years, the federal watchdog doled out more than $23,048 on team-building trips in the Ottawa area.

This includes three visits to Funhaven, an entertainment centre, and other team-building events at Saunders Farm, Britannia Yacht Club, Rideau Curling Centre and Lafleche Adventure Park.

These events appear to violate federal rules that say hospitality is only provided when business meetings, training or events "extend beyond normal working hours."

Michael Ferguson, who was appointed auditor general in 2011, defended his office's actions.

"Half of the day is all about business and the other half is ways for them to connect with their team," Ferguson told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.

"We are very careful to make sure we select locations that offer us good prices," he added.

Over the last four years, the oversight agency has spent more than $107,110 on "annual update" luncheons outside the workplace for their 600 staffers

“It’s another way for employees to feel connected to the whole office and not just the group,”Ferguson said.

Taxpayers also fronted the bill for two retirement festivities for former auditor general Sheila Fraser, totalling $19,226.

And another $12,401 was spent on employee-appreciation lunches.

"Which is essentially a pizza lunch, so everyone gets a few slices of pizza to recognize they are contributing," said Ferguson.

On Parliament Hill, the expenses raised a few eyebrows among MPs.

"If that's what they're doing, that's bad news," said Conservative MP David Tilson.

All of the expenses are on the Auditor General’s website, although they’re not tallied up for easy reference.


You want class warfare Harper govenrnment ..... eh?

Good Day Readers:

The major political parties in the pre-election campaign currently underway are battling over the middle class with each promising to make their lives better because they know that's vote rich territory. Unlike the Americans, the traditional, unfunny, unsexy, boring "attack" ads have already started.

CyberSmokeBlog is proposing an new approach to these ads.

The Plan

The federal Liberal and New Democratic Parties enter into an unprecedented merchandizing agreement with The Teamsters Union and the Louisville Slugger Baseball Company.

At town hall meetings or other public gatherings promoting Conservative candidates, Liberal and NDP candidates and their supporters show up wearing Teamsters and Louisville paraphernalia. Did you know there's a Louisville outlet in Canada? So Messrs Mulcair and Trudeau approach them and order specialized, personalized baseball bats and baseballs (yes, Louisville also makes baseballs) made of styrofoam and rubber so one gets hurt at least physically.

What about, "You ....ing idiot Stephen Harper how are your kneecaps ..... Whack! Whack! your friend Thomas Mulcair!" ..... On the baseballs from the Liberals, "....- off Stephen Harper I may be too inexperienced to govern but I can box and sure throw a mean fastball ..... Doink! Doine! Doink! Strike three you're out of there you bum!"


The Ultimate Weapon

If the baseball bats and baseballs don't work what about a nice Teamsters baseball cap style hat with the work "Local" replaced with the name of the Riding?

If all all else fails there' always this which comes in convenient men and ladies sizes.
Who was Jimmy Hoffa Stephen Harper? Don't know do you?

Now compare the exciting, innovative above campaign ad approach to what's described in this next article b-o-r-i-n-g.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

New Conservative ad includes shot of doomed Camaro assembly line

Canadian production of iconic car set to move to Michigan in November

Kady O'Maley
Monday, May 25, 2015
A screen shot from the latest Conservative Party ad from the soon to-be-mothballed Camaro production line at the GM plant in Oshawa.

Nestled amid the opening montage of the Conservative Party's latest salvo in the pre-campaign ad wars is a shot of what appears to be the Chevrolet Camaro assembly line at General Motors' Oshawa plant.

Watch the full video on Youtube

It's an unusual choice of visuals, given the recent news about that particular production line, which is slated to move to Michigan later this year. The announcement came amid news the federal government had sold its remaining shares in the automaker acquired as part of a 2009 government bailout.

Last month, the company confirmed the move would result in the loss of 1,000 jobs at the Oshawa plant.

GM to cut 1,000 jobs at Ontario plant

CAW decries GM's shift of Camaro production from Ontario to Michigan

GM holding back until 2016 on decision over Ontario plant
The Conservative ad, titled Proven Leadership, is one of several ads rolling out Monday, including another Conservative ad that takes aim at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and an NDP television ad depicting leader Tom Mulcair talking about middle class values. The Liberals also have new ads, including an ad touting its "plan for fairness" and an online ad attacking the Conservative government.

As the Conservatives would no doubt be quick to point out, hundreds of thousands of Camaros have rolled through the Oshawa assembly line over the last six years. Even so, it seems a less than optimum moment to remind potential Tory voters in the heartland of Ontario's manufacturing sector that not every decision made by a Proven Leader pans out.

The Conservative Party did not respond immediately to a query from CBC News.

GM exec defends government support

But GM vice-president David Paterson reached out to CBC News to point out that, although the Camaro is headed south of the border, the plant will still be producing five other models.

"We're still doing an awful lot here in Canada, and I'm awfully proud of it," he said, noting the engine for the Camaro will also be produced in Canada.

"The plant wouldn't be there were it not for the leadership of the Conservative government in 2009," Paterson said. "They basically saved General Motors, and I think they deserve a bit of credit for that."

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the union that represents Canada's unionized autoworkers, sees it a bit differently, however.

"It shows how completely out of touch this government is," he told CBC Power & Politics host Evan Solomon.

"[A thousand] direct jobs lost and over 10,000 total. For them to feature the Camaro is truly symbolic of their economic record,‎" Dias said.

The archival auto sector footage appears in conjunction with Bloomberg headline from Jan. 28, 2009: "Canada's Harper pins future on $40-billion stimulus package."

That was, of course, the same day that then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff formally announced his party would support the government's proposed spending plan, thus bringing an official end to the ill-fated coalition that had seen the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois united briefly in a bid to remove the Conservatives from power.

With files from Stu Mills

A note to Philip Slayton

Dear Mr. Slayton:

A whole new world of publishing will open up to you if you change bad to mad! Imagine had Lawyers Gone Bad been Lawyers gone Mad. A precedent would have been set for an exciting new series of books ..... Mayors Gone Mad! or Judges Gone Mad! or what about The Canadian Judicial Council Gone Mad! given what appears to be an increasing number of federally appointed judges appearing before it and it's inability to deal with the problem because of the antiquated, broken business model it's using.

Something to consider.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Slayton drops by News Cafe to discuss Canada's dismal mayors

Handout Philip Slayton

Canadian cities have had some terrible mayors as of late. Philip Slayton has thought long and hard about why.

Slayton, a Toronto-based author and former law-school dean, will drop by the Winnipeg Free Press News Café on Tuesday, May 26 to chat about Mayors Gone Bad, his new book about a series of under performing or ethically suspect Canadian mayors that includes Toronto's Rob Ford, a gaggle of shackled Quebec mayors and former Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz.

Slayton will be interviewed by Free Press reporter-at-large Bartley Kives, who in turn was interviewed by Slayton for his book. Slayton postulates Canadian cities attract second-rate mayors because being mayor is a second-rate job, given the absence of financial resources available to municipalities.

The talk begins at 1 p.m. at the News Café, 237 McDermot Ave. Feel free to drop in after the lunch hour.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Time for polite Canadians to take to the streets?

Good Day Readers:

Three senators (Duffy, Brazeau, Harb) have already been indicted. "Hurricane" Pam Wallin could well be the fourth. Sometime next month Canada's Auditor General will release his long awaited report of a sweeping study of the expenses of 117 senators most current a few past. It's been widely announced in the media another ten names will be turned over to the RCMP for further investigation.

The other day CBC News came out with an article documenting a couple more senatorial "high flyers" - Senators continue to take pricey flights because they can - Sophia Harris, May 21, 2015). So how did your Senate respond? Literally, within hours after the horses were out of the barn it whipped out in full damage control Media Spokesperson Nancy Durning to announce changes were on the way to prevent this from happening again.

Taxpayer High Flyer Betty Unger

This little number, readers, is The Honourable High Flyer Betty Unger whom most of you have likely never heard of - wonder what she has done in the Senate lately other than to take up space while spending your hard earned dollars.. From the aforementioned CBC News article:

In the latest expense report for first three months of this year Ms Unger flew 5 times between Edmonton and Ottawa costing taxpayers a total of $12,246 the most expensive round-trip ticket being $5,692. According to Air Canada's website the price for flight credits is $6,242, Her total was over $6,000 more than that price.

In recognition of "High Flyer's" outstanding contribution to saving the great unwashed masses (i.e. taxpayers) dollars, she is being awarded this handsome lapel pin:

It will immediately be recognized by all Canadians as someone who is not afraid to mingle with the masses to save taxpayers' money

High Flyer Sandra Lovelace Nicholas

This Liberal senatorial spendthrift wrapped in the Canadian flag is Sandra Lovelace Nicholas.

She spent $11,644 on four return trips from New Brunswick to Ottawa, Her most expensive round trip ticket was $3,049, Air Canada business class passes for travel between Ottawa and New Brunswick's four airports currently costs $8,470 for the same number of round trips. "Spendthrift's" total was $3,000 more than that price.

CyberSmokeBlog is rushing her one of its nice, shiny Greyhound lapel pins so she can show Canadians she knows what a Greyhound bus is and will take them to save taxpayers' money.

There should be a law that says every senator must take a Greyhound bus at least three times a year so they don't lose touch with those paying all their bills.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Senators to be banned from taking pricey flights

Bulk air tickets, cheaper flights to be mandated in new rules to be announced next week

Sophia Harris
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Some Canadian senators continue to fly at high prices but new rules will soon restrict their flight choices. (Norm Betts/Bloomberg)

The Canadian Senate plans to announce next week major changes to its travel policy that will put an end to senators taking pricey flights, CBC News has learned.

Hours after CBC published information about high spending senators taking expensive flights, a Senate media spokeswoman contacted a reporter to say changes will be in place by June.

Currently, even though the upper chamber has been besieged with ongoing expense scandals, there are no rules preventing senators from buying the priciest airline flights possible at taxpayers' expense.

Starting at the end of the Senate session in June, senators will no longer be able to fly business class on short-haul flights between Ottawa and home base.

The change will be in line with rules for members of Parliament, including cabinet ministers, which disallow flying business class on flights of less than two hours.

The new rules will also require all Senators to meet with finance officials once a year to ensure they're booking the most cost-effective forms of travel. That could include enforcing the use of flight passes — tickets purchased in bulk at a discount.

"These are just changes in line with modernizing some of the Senate policies and making them more efficient and cost-effective," Senate spokeswoman Nancy Durning told CBC News.

She added that the reforms have been in the works for a while and that there might be more to come.

"The auditor general might make recommendations in his report to make more changes to [the Senate travel policy]" she said.

Senators continue to take pricey flights because they can

Tory senators expense business-class flights with spouses

The AG will soon release a report following a massive audit of all aspects of Senate spending, including travel. 

MPs fly cheaper

MPs can only fly business class on long-haul flights between home base and Ottawa if they buy flight passes.

The rule came into effect on April 1, 2013, and it was forecast the policy change would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Although the Senators' travel policy will now be more in line with MPs' rules, they will still get to keep one extra perk for their spouses. Only senators can claim the expense of meals and incidentals such as bottled water, snacks, and dry cleaning for their partners when travelling.

Spokeswoman, Durning, says that perk will remain.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The world's stupidest lawyer!

Good Day Readers:

It's hard to believe a lawyer could be so stupid! Nigerian scams have been around for over 30 years now. If you get anything from that country you should immediately see "Scam" in boxcar sized letters light up on your keyboard.

As you will read the lawyer involved has been suspended from practicing law for one year. Suspended? Hell, for being so stupid they should be disbarred!

The letter that started the scam was likely written by someone sitting in a Lagos internet cafe cranking them out by the millions. Years ago Nigeria established itself as scam capital of the world.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

P. S. But get this, the idiot still believes a pee pot of money is going to arrive on his doorstep!

Uwitting lawyer is suspended for arranging client loans to secure Nigerian inheritance

By Debra Cassens Weiss
Monday, December 9, 2013

An Iowa lawyer who believed his client was due to inherit $18.8 million from a long-lost Nigerian cousin has been suspended for tapping clients for loans in a failed effort to reap the windfall.

The Iowa Supreme Court suspended lawyer Robert Allan Wright Jr. for a year, according to the Legal Profession Blog, the Business Record and KCCI.com. According to the opinion (PDF) issued Friday, Wright believed his lucky client had to pay $177,660 in Nigerian inheritance taxes and additional cash for an “anti-terrorism certificate” before receiving the money.

Wright charged a 10 percent contingency, which would amount to $1.8 million if successful, to help his client obtain the Nigerian inheritance.

Wright had solicited more than $200,000 in loans from five current and former clients, promising them they would receive as much as quadruple their investment when the inheritance was obtained, according to the opinion. One provided $7,000, and three others provided $20,000 to $25,000. It’s unclear how much the fifth client provided, though he was asked for a loan of $160,000.

Wright apparently transferred all of the loan proceeds to the scammers, but his client’s inheritance was not forthcoming. During the course of his work, Wright spoke with people he believed to be lawyers, bankers and even the president of Nigeria. His client traveled to Spain in hopes of securing the inheritance (for an additional fee), said to be stashed in two suitcases in Madrid.

The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board had concluded that Wright “appears to have honestly believed - and continues to believe - that one day a trunk full of … one hundred dollar bills is going to appear upon his office doorstep,” according to the Iowa Supreme Court decision.

The Iowa Supreme Court said Wright should have investigated further. A “cursory Internet search” of the words “anti-terrorism certificate” would have revealed the likely scam, the court said. He also failed to verify the identity of the people he spoke with, and failed to confirm the authenticity of the documents he received, including a will and death certificate.

The court also said Wright’s interest in obtaining the contingency was adverse to the interests of the clients who made the loans.

The court said Wright is not the first lawyer in the state to become entangled in Nigerian schemes. It also cited as mitigating factors the lawyer’s long history of pro bono and dedication to client service.
Wright was represented in the ethics case by Alfredo Parrish, who did not return a call for comment on Friday afternoon.

A CyberSmokeBlog political attack ad!

It's October 20, 2015 and the Harper government has just won a majority. Canada has now officially become The People's Republic of Canadastan. People who voted against the Conservatives are disappearing everywhere ..... have you seen aunt Mary or Uncle Bob or what about neighbour Jack or .....? The government is selling packages of these little green biscuits which come with a tax receipt. You should be afraid, you should be very afraid!

Not bad for a first attempt at an attack ad eh?



Cheer up "Senator" Duffy soon you may have plenty of company in jail!

Are you paying this man and his colleagues far, far too much?

Good Day Readers:

Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck has written an excellent article (below) documenting how salaries of Manitoba's provincial judges have skyrocketed over the years. When a middle-of-the-road, going nowhere fast save to retirement member can make more than the Premier of the province you know something is wrong. It's reminiscent of those First Nations Chiefs making more than Stephen Harper.

The judiciary live a cloistered existence, in a world of their own apart from the rest of us but when it comes to looking after their own there's none better.

Below is an outline of the Manitoba Judicial Compensation Committee responsible for such outrageous salaries. You should apply as you will see it requires no highly, specialized skills yet pays a cool $210/hour.

CyberSmokeblog was e-mailed Mr. Brodbeck to complement him on his article and expressing the hope he'll do a parallel piece on federal Court of Queen's Bench Justices where the salaries and benefits are even higher. CSB suspects if he's totally ....ed off now wait until he sees the results of a follow up study.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Being a judge: Nice work if you can get it

Tom Brodbeck
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
It’s great work if you can get it.

Manitoba’s provincial court judges are in line for a 3.84% pay raise for the 2014-15 fiscal year — plus interest for back-pay. That’s the decree of the independent Judicial Compensation Committee, which tabled its most recent report in the legislative assembly Tuesday. If adopted, the proposed increase would bring the annual salaries of lower court judges to a staggering $239,000. The chief judge will get $258,120 and the associate chief judge will receive $250,950.

To put that into perspective, the premier of Manitoba was paid $142,544 in 2013-14. And many senior Crown attorneys were paid in the range of $140,000 to $145,000 that year.

The truth is few, if any, senior civil servants — judges or otherwise — in the Manitoba government have seen their salaries skyrocket over the years like provincial court judges have.

In the mid 1990s, judges were paid about $96,000. They topped the $100,000 mark by the late 1990s. And then their salaries took off, including pay hikes of 8% to 9% some years. For example, judges’ pay jumped to $133,000 in 2000 from $122,000 the previous year, a 9% increase in a single year.

Their salaries jumped another 25% over the next five years to $168,000 in 2005. By 2011, judges’ pay hit $218,000.

So what gives? Why have judges seen their paycheques soar the way they have over the past couple of decades?

There is no job-related reason. They haven’t seen their workloads rise dramatically nor has the complexity of the cases they hear suddenly increased.

The only reason their pay has risen as much as it has is because “independent” judicial compensation committees have argued judges’ pay should keep pace with soaring judicial salaries in other provinces. And because — at least according to them — taxpayers can afford it.

Manitoba’s Provincial Court Act states pay increases recommended by JCCs are binding if they’re equal to or below the combined average pay of judges in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. So as judges’ salaries rise in other provinces, they automatically go up here. But even when JCCs recommend salary increases above those benchmarks, the courts have ruled that government has to accept them — supposedly in the name of judicial independence — unless there is some very good reason not to, and there never is.

So really, it’s a case of judges supporting the salaries of other judges. And taxpayers’ get stuck with the bill. Yeah, no conflict there.

In his most recent report, JCC chairman Michael Werier doesn’t appear to care much about taxpayers’ ability to pay these exorbitant salaries. He claims a 3.84% salary hike for judges, after 15 years of massive pay increases, is necessary to ensure judges’ pay keeps pace with those in other jurisdictions. And he argues Manitoba’s economy is healthy enough to absorb the costs.

“The province sits in the mid-range across Canada for a number of important economic indicators,” he writes. “The economic forecasts for 2014 and 2015 are of continued modest growth, but with the potential of certain risks.”

Maybe Werier should have checked with Statistics Canada when it comes to economic growth for 2014. According to StatsCan, Manitoba’s economy grew by only 1.1% in 2014, third worst in Canada and well below the national average.

Werier acknowledges the province is also running a deficit, but doesn’t seem to give it much weight.

In other words, Werier doesn’t really give a damn if the government is in deficit or if Manitoba has among the highest income taxes in the country. Judges are going to get a hefty pay increase, anyway.

I don’t mind judges being paid well for what they do. But their pay scales are way off the rails and taxpayers simply can’t afford these lavish pay hikes. Judges’ salaries should have been indexed to Manitoba’s average weekly wages so that they rise at the same rate as everyone else. That would take the politics out of it and it would prevent commissioners like Werier from making arbitrary rulings that always seem to favour judges at the expense of average working Manitobans.

Manitoba judges’ pay

Provincial court

1999 $122,000

2002 $152,000

2005 $168,000

2008 $192,166

2011 $218,000

2014 $239,000*

TOTAL INCREASE: $117,000 (96%)

* Proposed

— Judicial Compensation Committee Nov 20, 2014 report
Manitoba Justice Judicial Compensation

Committee Board Members

Chairperson
Michael Werier (1)

Members
Vic Schroeder, Winnipeg * (2)
David Shrom (3)

(1) Minister’s and Judge’s Designates
(2) Minister’s designate
(3) Judge’s designate

Mandate:

The Judicial Compensation Committee is established under The Provincial Court Act. The Act provides for the appointment, jurisdiction and compensation of provincial court judges within Manitoba.

Responsibilities:

On or before April 1, 2002 and on or before April 1 in every third year after 2002, a compensation committee, to be known as the Judicial Compensation Committee, must be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The committee is established to investigate, report and make recommendations with respect to the following:

a) the salaries to be paid to

i) the Chief Judge,

ii) an Associate Chief Judge, and

iii) a judge of the court, other than the Chief Judge or an Associate Chief Judge, including Masters of The Court of Queen’s Bench and;

b) the benefits to be paid, including pensions, vacations, sick leave, disability benefits, travel expenses and allowances, to the Chief Judge, an Associate Chief Judge and a judge of the court and Masters of The Court of Queen’s Bench. To the greatest extent possible, the Judicial Compensation Committee must conduct its review in an inquisitorial manner, assessing evidence it determines is relevant and necessary to enable it to make these recommendations.
Membership:

The committee consists of three members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as follows:

a) one person designated by the Minister of Justice;

b) one person designated by the judges of the court; and

c) one person, who shall act as chairperson, designated by the members who are designated under (a) and (b). If the designates cannot agree on a neutral chairperson, the chairperson shall be selected by the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Manitoba.

Length of Terms: Within 180 days after the compensation committee is appointed or such further time period as may be necessary and allowed, it must give its report, including recommendations, to the minister, the Chief Judge, the Associate Chief Judges and the judges of the court.

Desirable Expertise:

There are no formal requirements under the Act, however committee members should have a sound understanding of the law. Members should also possess a thorough understanding of the judicial systems in Manitoba, especially the provincial court system and the roles of the Chief Judge, Associate Chief Judges, puisne judges and Masters of The Court of Queen’s Bench. There is no formal educational requirement; however, potential board members should be legally trained and able to demonstrate an understanding of compensation issues including but not limited to issues of salaries, benefits, pensions and expenses.

An effective board member must be able to read and understand complex, legal and financial written material, analyze written and verbal information in order to ascertain facts, and apply relevant legislation to this written and verbal information in order to make effective recommendations on compensation matters for judges.

Board members must:
  • possess a high degree of verbal and written communication skills including the ability to conduct a review in an inquisitorial manner;
  • have the ability to assess evidence and determine its relevance and necessity;
  • possess active listening skills;
  • be able to read and interpret legislation and how it applies to the compensation of judges;
  • adhere to a high degree of confidentiality;have the ability to make decisions in a fair and unbiased manner
Time commitment: The committee members must be able to devote sufficient time during the 180 day period or such further time period as may be necessary and allowed to convene hearings, evaluate information and complete a written report on the committee findings and recommendations.

Meetings: Meetings typically take place in Winnipeg.

Remuneration: Chair and Members: $210.00 an hour and reimbursement for expenses. (emphasis CyberSmokeBlog)


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yes! ..... anyone but Harper .....


Monday, May 18, 2015

All Canadian law societies are created equal ..... Not!

Good Day Readers:

The article from the Toronto Star (below) was chosen for a reason. CyberSmokeBlog has been carefully following the disciplinary hearing of a well-known, prominent Winnipeg lawyer at the Law Society of Manitoba offices - it's been dragging on now for several months and has yet to be resolved.

The accused was suspended last summer from practicing in what was somewhat unusual - The Society had not yet completed its investigation much less held a disciplinary hearing What jumped out at CSB in the Star article was the Brampton lawyer was also suspended prior to an investigation being completed and a hearing yet his name, as you will read, was mentioned multple times by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Do that here and that could cost the social media a $2,000 fine and/or 6-months in jail. For the mainstream up to $10,000.

Admittedly, Manitoba's Minister of Justice (Gord Mackintosh) issued a press release recently (May 7th) indicating there would be changes to the province's Legal Profession Act governing what the LSM can and cannot do chief among them accused of malfeasance lawyers and law firms will eventually be publicly identifiable prior to conviction. While the LSM-Justice Minister hailed this as a significant development, to CyberSmokeBlog it's like peeing in the ocean in that it does not address a fundamental flaw in the system beset by conflicts of interest, that is to say, the investigator(s), prosecutor(s) and judges and jury all come from the same organization. Where's the horizontal-vertical separation?

You hear the damnest things at disciplinary hearings. For example,the lead lawyer for the accused has asked that his client receive consideration on the costs that will eventually be assessed on the basis the client has not worked since being suspended more than 13-months ago. Suffice it to say when CSB read the individual's 18-page Separation Agreement approved by the courts it can fairly be said they are not a pauper.

Law Society Inconsistencies?

Based on the above example one cannot help but wonder what would happen if you placed the enabling legislation of each Canadian law society back-to-back-to back? Any other glaring inconsistencies?

The Mother of All Lawsuits?

Returning to the Winnipeg case, it raises the question can an argument be made by suspending the accused prior to completion of its investigation and disciplinary hearing, the individual not only has been denied the ability to earn significant income but also has had their constitution-charter rights interferrd with in that full due process of law has been denied. Where's constitutional-charter legal expert Rocco Galati when you need him?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Law Society suspension adds to Brampton ex-MPP's troubles

Carman McClelland is facing numerous accusations of misconduct, including allegations of misappropriating client's funds.

By Jacques Gallant/Staff Reporter
Sunday, May 17, 2015

Caman McClelland ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 2007 provincial election, but was a Liberal MPP in Brampton from 1987 to 1995. The local lawyer has been called before the Law Society of Upper Canada to face professional misconduct allegations. (Facebook Photo)

The decision by the Law Society of Upper Canada to suspend lawyer Carman McClelland as it continues its investigation into alleged misconduct is the latest in a series of woes for the former Brampton Liberal MPP.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that there is a significant risk of harm to members of the public or to the public interest in the administration of justice if an order is not made suspending the licence of the respondent,” reads the Law Society’s April 28 motion to its disciplinary panel.
The panel suspended McClelland, 63, on an interim basis on April 30, and reaffirmed the suspension following a hearing on Friday.
He is alleged to have borrowed more than $100,000 over a number of years from clients, as well as misappropriated thousands more. None of the allegations has been proven before the panel.
McClelland told the Star in a recent interview that his lawyer will address the allegations before the disciplinary panel. As for the recent complaints that led to his suspension and that are still under investigation, McClelland said they were “without foundation.”
Among the most serious new complaints received by the Law Society is an accusation from Bank of Montreal regarding a $437,000 cheque the financial institution suspects was “counterfeit,” counsel for the law society, Deborah McPhadden, told a three-person panel, according to the Brampton Guardian.
She said there have also been accusations from McClelland’s sister, who alleges her brother used his position to take financial advantage of their ailing elderly mother for tens of thousands of dollars before she died last September,the Guardianreported.
“The allegations that were the basis upon which the interlocutory suspension was issued are completely without foundation, and I’m confident that in due course my position will be affirmed,” McClelland told the Star.
“The allegations themselves, in my opinion, are defamatory, and I have made preliminary inquiries to commence an action against some of the complainants, and I’ll be seeking expert opinion within the next few days.”
The allegations that originally led to McClelland’s disciplinary hearing are laid out in a notice of motion from November 2014 and mainly deal with real estate transactions.
McClelland said of those allegations: “I have able and competent counsel, and my lawyer will address those matters before the panel.”
The allegations include:

  • McClelland borrowed $50,000 from a client in 2011;

  • He borrowed $25,000 of mortgage proceeds from another client in 2006, for whom he was acting on a refinancing mortgage transaction.

  • He “failed to be on guard against becoming the tool or dupe of unscrupulous clients and/or third parties while acting for the vendor DG” on a sale transaction in 2011;

  • He “misappropriated and/or mishandled” more than $27,000 that he received in trust for the benefit of a client, “when he transferred the money to his general account and/or used it to pay expenses personal and professional.”

  • He failed to maintain the required books and records of his practice between 2011 and 2012.
  • McClelland said the publication of the latest complaints against him have “effectively nullified any reasonable prospect” he has of remaining employed in law.
    “I understand the need for transparency and the law society’s position … but the fallout I guess from that transparency and a free press is that you can’t unring the bell, once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s out of the bottle,” he said.
    “I’m out of business. I’m done … It’s effectively terminated my career.”
    McClelland once enjoyed a much more privileged lifestyle when he was first elected as a Liberal MPP for Brampton North in 1987. He had a downtown condo, drove a Pontiac Bonneville and a tax-free expense allowance, according to a 1995 Toronto Stararticle published after he lost his seat in the Progressive Conservative sweep of the province under Mike Harris.
    “His entire way of life has taken a nosedive,” wrote the Star’s Lisa Wright. “Today, he has less than $200 in his savings account. He has split up with his wife and 9-year-old son, sold his car and put the beloved condominium he drywalled and wired himself up for sale.”
    As McClelland himself put it at the time: “Nobody’s going to throw a pity party for any former MPP.”
    His old firm told him they couldn’t keep a job open for him any longer, while other firms told him they had no senior positions available, according to the Stararticle. He was working solo when he came under the Law Society’s radar.
    McClelland attempted to make a political comeback in 2007, this time running as a Progressive Conservative, which was then under the leadership of John Tory (open John Tory's policard).
    The lawyer-turned politician told the Brampton Guardian that year that he had always considered himself a Red Tory, and was running because of “poor Liberal leadership and mismanagement costing Brampton.”
    He ended up losing to the Liberals’ Linda Jeffrey, now Brampton’s mayor.
    Trouble continued for McClelland after that. Bankruptcy filings from 2012 indicate he had more than $360,000 in liabilities and only $6,000 in assets.
    The Law Society of Upper Canada sought interlocutory suspensions of 11 lawyers and three paralegals last year, according to spokeswoman Susan Tonkin.

    With files from Lisa Wright and the Brampton Guardian

    Friday, May 15, 2015

    Not all women are created equal as sexy, little foxes some can be stupid, unsexy little foxes!

    New NDP MLA in album cover controversy

    James Wood
    Friday, May 15, 2015

    A new NDP MLA who has already attracted criticism over photos on her Facebook page apologized Friday for being at the centre of a controversial image that one feminist academic called a “gut-wrencher.”

    Deborah Drever, who was elected in Calgary-Bow in the May 5 provincial election, appears on the cover of the 2012 cassette “Fear of Attack” by Calgary heavy metal band Gatekrashor.

    In the photo, Drever, now a 26-year-old Mount Royal student, is sprawled against a fence while a person appears poised to assault her with a bottle. Four men stand behind the fence, with one appearing to restrain her arm.

    In a statement provided by the NDP, Drever expressed remorse for the picture, which has been circulating on social media.
    “The photo I appeared in was in poor taste, and I apologize for its offensive content. It is not a photo I would appear in today,” said Drever, who was not made available for an interview.

    “My priority is to represent the people of Calgary-Bow — a job I am proud to be elected for and excited to be doing.”

    But Angela Pitt, the newly-elected Wildrose MLA for Airdrie, said she was “shocked” by the image and that Drever had no excuse for taking part in the photograph, even if it occurred before her election.

    “It promotes sexual violence and that’s something we should all be fighting against,” she said.

    Mount Royal University policy studies professor Lori Williams said the photo is problematic for both Drever and Premier-designate Rachel Notley’s NDP, which has been hailed for having close to gender parity in its caucus.

    The image is “pretty difficult to reconcile with a party that stands for the equality and rights of women,” said Williams.

    It also raises questions about whether the NDP vetted its candidates properly in the election, she said.

    Neither Notley nor another NDP spokesperson responded to a request for comment. Pitt said she will be watching to see how new premier handles the issue but would not say what course of action she should take.

    Drever has already come under fire for photos posted on her now deleted Facebook page. In one picture, she posed in front of a T-shirt promoting marijuana while in another someone is giving the finger to the Canadian flag.

    Calgary Bow NDP MLA Deborah Drever is pictured in this Facebook photo Drever who says she doesn't use marijuana says that this photo was taken while having some fun with friends in a store. (Facebook)

    Rebecca Sullivan, director of women’s studies at the University of Calgary, had defended the earlier photos but expressed dismay over the cassette cover, which she said is “using rape to sell records.”

    “When we’re in the midst of an important public conversation about women’s engagement in politics, their right to work without discrimination or harassment, and their right to be in public without fear of assault, this image featuring a newly-elected MLA is a gut-wrencher. It reminds us of how far we all need to go,” Sullivan said.

    “It’s just ugly old rape culture,” she added.

    Drever did have defenders online though, with some commenters suggesting the controversy was overblown and that candidates should be allowed youthful indiscretions.

    Responding to the controversy over her Facebook images last week, Drever told the Herald last week she does not smoke marijuana and it was not her in the picture with the flag.

    But she said she intended to “lay low” for a while.

    “It looks like there are a lot of angry people out there, and they’re attacking all the younger candidates.”

    With files from Evan Radford, Calgary Herald

    jwood@calgaryherald.com