Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wonder if Judge Mary Jane Mowat has ever heard of this fellow?

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert A. Dewar

Good Day Readers:

While reaching this article found something interesting. Justice Marianne Rivoalen has been appointed Acting Associate Chief Justice (Family Division) Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench although no date for the appointment was listed. She was appointed to the Bench in February of 2005.

This means taxpayers are now funding two Family Division Associate Chief Justices one operative the other not.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Rape conviction statistics won't improve 'until women stop getting drunk' days retired female judge

Comments come three years after Judge Mary Jane Mowat told a teacher convicted of child porn offences that she wouldn't criticize him for being attracted to children.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat who has criticized women rape victims for getting drunk and being unable to recall what happened to them.

By Alice Philipson and agencies
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rape conviction statistics will not improve “until women stop getting drunk”, a retiring judge has said, as she is criticised by women's rights campaigners for her "potentially very harmful" remarks.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat, 66, who worked at Oxford Crown Court until earlier this month, said it was difficult to secure convictions when women could not be sure what had happened because they had drunk too much.

She said juries were faced with an impossible task when a case came down to one person's word against another.

The retired judge told an Oxford newspaper: "I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk.

"It is inevitable that it is one person's word against another, and the burden of proof is that you have to be sure before you convict.

Reladed
"I'm not saying it is right to rape a drunken woman and I'm not saying for a moment that it's allowable to take advantage of a drunken woman."But juries are in a position where they've got a woman who says: 'I was absolutely off my head, I can't really remember what I was doing, I can't remember what I said, I can't remember if I consented or not but I know I wouldn't have done.'

"When a jury is faced with something like that, how are they supposed to react?"Katie Russell, from Rape Crisis England, described her comments as "potentially very harmful."

She said: "The point that she and other influential people within the criminal justice system should be making clearly and publicly is that if a woman is incapacitated through drink or drugs then she is not capable of giving her consent."And the legal responsibility is on the defendant to evidence how they sought and received that consent, not on the survivor to recall every detail of events.

"It is important to remember that currently only an estimated 15% of all those who are raped choose to report to the police."

The comments come three years after Mrs Mowat was condemned for telling a teacher convicted of child pornography offences that she would not criticise him for being attracted to children.

David Armstrong, 63, a supply teacher, escaped with a suspended sentence after admitting possessing 4,500 indecent images of children.Judge Mowat told him: "I don't criticise you for being a teacher who's attracted to children."Many teachers are but they keep their urges under control both when it comes to children and when it comes to images of children."

Will this man still be smiling when Warren Buffet and the boys at 3G Capital get finished with him?

Tim Hortons Chief Executive Officer Marc Caira

Economist Warren Buffet Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Berkshire Hathaway

Good Day Readers:

Had to smile wryly when Dianne Buckner subbing for Amanda Lang of The Lang & O'Leary Exchange The Lang Exchange sat down with Mr. Caira in an Ontario Tim Hortons. To hear him tell it the Burger King-Tim Hortons deal was a match made in heaven. Well read on, Sir, hope you have a golden parachute under the former regime.


The Big winners? Warren Buffet and his buddies at Brazilian-based 3 G Capital.

Be sure to listen to Matt Miller's interview with investment analyst/specialist Erik Schatzker who discusses the deal and how Warren Buffet really operates. Unfortunately, CyberSmokeBlog could not find the embed code so you'll have to go to the original article. It's well, well worth a watch and listen.to appreciate what's really going on!

Jeezus, can you imagine had Birkshire Hathaway - 3G Capital been running the federal government instead of Stephen Harper there'd be half the employees, no deficit budgets, no national debt and your taxes would be a lot lower!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
3G will make fat disappear at doughnut chain Tim Hortons

By David Welch and Jonathan Levin
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Now that 3G Capital’s Burger King Worldwide Inc. has struck a deal to buy doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc., the Canadian company can expect to get lean. Really lean.

Brazilian private-equity firm 3G insists that executives at its businesses follow the investment group’s parsimonious practices. If its management of Burger King and HJ Heinz Co. is a guide, Tim Hortons will see jobs cut, offices made more Spartan and posh corporate travel disappear.

The hard-nosed strategy has delivered results. Since acquiring Burger King in 2010, 3G’s team has tripled the company’s profit margin to 61 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, thanks to cost-cutting and selling stores to franchisees. 3G’s latest deal will create the world’s third-largest fast-food chain by merging with Canada’s biggest seller of coffee and doughnuts.

Related

Burger King in Talks to Buy Canadian Chain Tim Hortons
Ackman’s Pershing Square Makes $249 Million on Burger King

“These guys will change consumer goods and food service forever and other CEOs know it,” said Ken Harris, managing partner at Chicago-based Cadent Consulting Group. “They are going to go in and streamline everything as fast as possible.”

The firm’s Brazilian founders - led by the trio of Jorge Paulo Lemann, Carlos da Veiga Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles -- have been working together for at least four decades, during which their combined fortunes have soared to $46.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Lemann, Brazil’s richest man, is worth $24.9 billion.

Burger King today said it will acquire Tim Hortons for about C$12.5 billion ($11.4 billion) in cash and stock.

Spending Limits

At Heinz, which 3G and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought last year, employees were restricted to spending $15 a month on office supplies and told they couldn’t use mini-refrigerators to save on electricity, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. 3G limits printing to 200 pages a month per employee and restricts color pages to “customer-facing purposes.”

3G also cut several hundred jobs at the company’s Pittsburgh headquarters, including 11 senior executives, and grounded corporate jets.

At Burger King, 3G did away with comfortable offices that top executives and their secretaries had enjoyed, which people at Burger King called Mahogany Row. Executives now sit in a bare-bones, open-plan office. 3G also ended an annual $1 million bash at a chateau beside an Italian lake held by the Europe, Middle East, and Africa division.

Stark Approach

Burger King employees were instructed to use Microsoft Corp.’s Skype to make long-distance calls instead of running up a mobile-phone bill. They were also urged to scan documents and e-mail them rather than use FedEx Corp.’s services.

While Burger King’s U.S. sales are sluggish, it has expanded outside North America and profits are soaring. There’s room for similar improvements at Tim Hortons, where the same margin stood at 25 percent last year, compared with 50 percent at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. Under 3G’s ownership, Burger King added 153 new restaurants outside of North America just in the second quarter.

When 3G took over Anheuser-Busch, which it acquired by folding it into the Belgian brewer InBev to form Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in 2008, executives were told they’d no longer get free cases of beer.

3G’s lean philosophy isn’t for everyone. When the firm bought Heinz, it offered buyouts to all managers in case people didn’t like their stark approach. 3G hires its managers young and teaches them zero-based budgeting. Instead of starting with last year’s budget as a baseline for the next year’s spending, managers start from scratch.

3G’s hiring philosophy is PSD, which stands for “poor, smart, deep desire to get rich.” The average executive at Burger King is 39, according to Cadent’s Harris.

When Tim Horton’s managers meet their new overlords at 3G, “They will have no idea what hit them,” Harris said.

A spokesman for 3G and Burger King declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Welch in New York at dwelch12@bloomberg.net; Jonathan Levin in Sao Paulo at jlevin20@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Larry Reibstein, Elizabeth Wollman.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Mr. Creel, why is Canadian Pacific Railroad being such nasty, miserable little peckerheads?"

Keith Creel, President
Good Day Readers:

You have to wonder what this lad will have to say publicly next time Canadian Pacific is involved in a derailment and spill of one of its many trains crisscrossing the country carrying hazardous materials as will surely happen? If he doesn't already perhaps he should try growing a garden to appreciate the joy it brings people.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Vancouver gardens railroaded by mean tactics

CP Rail removes plots, pressuring the city to pay more for its private land

Bill Tieleman
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Arbutus community gardens once a peaceful place. (Photo: MLA David Eby website)

Canadian Pacific Railway is just plain mean, destroying people's harmless gardens in order to pressure Vancouver to buy its railway line land.

Last week, the company began tearing out the plots tended by local gardeners along its disused line, which will eventually include near Burrard and West 6th.

The garden removals began after CP Rail rejected an offer from the City to buy the land for $20 million, calling it unfair. The company then said the plots had to be removed to make way for train traffic, even though it has sent a single locomotive down the track since 2001.

Let me say that I respect private property rights, and I believe the CP Rail corridor must be retained as a potential future transportation line, not for housing development.

What I don't respect is the deliberate devastation of up to 350 permitted community gardens along an 11-kilometre ribbon of land through the city. The company reportedly wants $100 million for the land.

Free from unreasonable search and seizure ..... eh? A reasonable expectation of privacy ..... eh? Think again!

Beware the DHL delivery guy next time he comes bearing a "gift!"

Good Day Readers:

This is a most interesting case for a couple reasons:

(1) The Constitution Act and Charter provisions notwithstanding demonstrate the fragility of your privacy rights

(2) To preserve at least a modicum of these rights why didn't the court in its infinite wisdom not rule that although the search was illegal the evidence was admissible?

What would have happened had the package's recipient for whatever reason(s) refused to accept delivery? Would he have been arrested and charged on the spot (by police hiding in the bushes) had the delivery guy dropped it at his feet and departed?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk



Courier case shows limits to Canadian privacy

Man arrested after package he received was found to contain drugs

Michael Geist
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After a package to be couriered was found to contain drugs, police arranged for a 'controlled delivery' to the recipient who, was arrested after accepting and opining it. (Package photo via Shutterstock)

Canadian privacy law has long been reliant on the principle of "reasonable expectation of privacy." The principle is particularly important with respect to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is grounded in a reasonable expectation of privacy in a free and democratic society.

The reasonable expectation of privacy standard provides a useful starting point for analysis, but the danger is that privacy rights can seemingly be lost with little more than a contractual provision indicating that the user has no privacy. Indeed, if privacy rights can disappear based on a sentence in a contract that few take the time to read (much less assess whether they are comfortable with), those rights stand on very shaky ground.

The limits of the reasonable expectation of privacy standard emerged in a recent British Columbia Court of Appeal case involving the search of a courier package that contained illegal drugs. The court rejected claims of an illegal search, concluding that the defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy despite the fact that he had no commercial relationship with the courier company and had never agreed to, or even viewed, the terms of the contract.

The case, Regina. versus Godbout, involved the shipment of courier package from Calgary to Vancouver. The package looked from the outside like a child's toy, but the customer service worker at the courier company was uncomfortable with the manner of the sender and decided to open the package, revealing both a toy and two bricks of drugs. The police were contacted and after confirming the contents, arranged for a "controlled delivery" to Godbout, who was arrested after accepting and opening the package.

Should recipients be punished?

With strong evidence of illegal drugs, the only legal issue in the case was whether the opening, search, and seizure of the package was consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court concluded that it was on the grounds that Godbout had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The basis for that conclusion stemmed from the courier company's contractual terms, which explicitly provided that "without notice, DHL may, at its sole discretion, open and inspect any shipment and its contents at any time. Customs authorities, or other governmental authorities, may also open and inspect any shipment and its contents at any time."

That may sound clear-cut, but the problem is that Godbout was not a party to the contract. The sender may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy given the contractual terms, but should those terms also extend to the recipient who had not read or consented to them?

The court concluded that they should, ruling "the fact that the appellant may not have known of the terms of shipment does not make his subjective expectation objectively reasonable."

Conclusion: Don't expect much privacy

The court seems to think that people know that courier packages are subject to inspection and therefore they should not expect any privacy in those packages. Yet it is difficult to reconcile an express acknowledgement that Godbout did not know the terms of the contract with the conclusion that he was nevertheless bound by them, particularly since this was a domestic shipment that would not typically involve customs agents or other authorities.

More broadly, the decision suggests that Canadians can lose their constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure on the basis of contractual terms to which they are not even a party. The court could have attempted to preserve privacy rights by concluding that the search was illegal but that the evidence was still admissible. By upholding the legality of the search, however, it provided a troubling reminder about how Canadians should not expect much when it comes to the reasonable expectation of privacy standard.

Joyce Bateman home of "The Whopper!'

Good Day Readers:

When you listen to "The Whopper's" answer to one of her constituent's you have to wonder WTF where the .... has she been lately? How did this "bozoess" ever manage to get elected?

At the beginning of her reply she says, "I'm your Member of Parliament and trust me ..... ." That's analogous to saying, "I'm a lawyer you can trust me." CyberSmokeBlog is going to take the advice of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting to ask its Member of Parliament Shelly "Wikipedia" Glover whether she's trying to fool it too.

But of course "Wikipedia" wouldn't try to fool CSB after all she's a former police officer ..... or would she?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Tory MP's claim that CBC isn't being cut featured in new ad

Michael Bolen
Monday, August 25, 2014

"We are not making cuts to the CBC." That's the quotation from Tory MP Joyce Bateman featured in a new radio ad from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

The Winnipeg South Centre MP made the comments in a voicemail left in April for constituent Jayanne English, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. English had called Bateman to express concerns about cuts to the public broadcaster.
Bateman later clarified her statement and issued an apology. Assisant Caitlin MacGregor told the Free Press that Bateman was trying to explain that the government has not announced any additional cuts to the public broadcaster in addition to the $115 million in cuts over three years announced in 2011. CBC received $1.15 billion in government funding in 2013.
You can listen to the full voicemail below. In it, Bateman does reference that the CBC was given a "draft exercise deficit reduction plan of between five to 10 per cent" but says that those cuts are "now over" and that "from a government perspective we are giving them as much taxpayer money as they ever have received." The CBC has received more money from the government in previous years and is implementing $45 million in cuts in the current year. The broadcaster has cut hundreds of jobs in the wake of the cuts and has scaled back regional programming. The broadcaster also lost the rights to the broadcast NHL hockey, a key ratings driver.


The non-profit group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is running the "Whopper" ads on radio in Saint John, Ottawa, St. Catharines/Niagara, London, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
“We’ve called the campaign Whopper because Bateman’s message is at such variance with the facts,” said spokesperson Ian Morrison in a press release.
Bateman's assistant told HuffPost that the MP wanted to her constituent to know that CBC's announcement of job cuts and reductions in coverage are not the direct result of "newly announced" funding cuts.
"CBC already receives significant taxpayer funds, and they can operate within their existing budget," McGregor said. "According to the CBC, it is declining viewership that is causing their challenges."
While CBC President and CEO Hubert Lacroix did blame softening advertising revenue and "disappointing" ratings when announcing the latest round of cutbacks, 

The ultimate selfie!

SEE IT: Hong Kong teenagers take 'world's scariest selfie' atop skyscraper

Daniel Lau and two friends took the stomach-churning video while standing high on top of the building, with Lau holding a camera on a pole and moving it around to provide a panoramic view.

David Harding
Sunday, August 24, 2014



Don't look down!

A trio of intrepid Hong Kong teenagers decided there was only one place to take a selfie — from the very top of a skyscraper.

The daredevils also took video of their escapade before climbing back down to the ground.

The stomach-churning video shows Daniel Lau and two friends on top of the skyscraper calmly eating a banana before their descent.

The subsequent video has been dubbed the "world's scariest selfie."

Daniel Lau takes selfie atop towering skyscraper in Hong Kong

Lau, standing, hoists a camera attached to a pole above the trio giving a fantastic — but scary — view of the Hong Kong skyline.

More than 160,000 people have viewed the video since it was posted on YouTube on Thursday.

Climbing to the top of skyscrapers has become a trend and taking a selfie in recent months, especially in Russia.

"Palooka Guy" versus "Pretty Face" ..... whack him again "Palooka Guy" whack him again!"

Justin Trudeau steps back in the boxing ring

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau sparred with former competitive boxer Mickey MacDonald, before a fundraiser hosted by the Halifax businessman.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Anonymous has entered the fray!




Jeezus Zoe don't screw your brains out (such as they are) and stripes off! Perhaps the money would be better spent on a new set of brains!

Porn star Zoe Zebra says sex with 25 men at Quebec strip club is best way to pay for new breasts

Peter Kuittenbrouwer
Saturday August 23, 2014
Zoe Zebra, a 22-year-year-old Quebec porn star is planning an event dubbed the "Boule-O-thon" in a trailer set up next to Club 77 a Quebec strip club, on September 5, 2014.(Handout)

Zoé Zebra, a 22-year-old porn actress, wants bigger breasts. So on Friday, September 5, in a trailer parked next to Club 77, a strip club in Gatineau, Quebec she plans to have sex with 25 men. Their encounters will be taped for a future porno film. She also hopes the proceeds will help pay for plastic surgery. The local mayor objects, but may be unable to stop the event. The National Post reached Ms. Zebra Friday at her apartment in Longueil, on the south shore of Montreal.

Q. Where are you from and how did you get into this business?

A. I grew up in La Baie, a town in the Saguenay. At age 18, I moved to Quebec City. I got a job as a barmaid at Le Drague Cabaret Club, a gay bar. Vandal Vyxen came in to perform. She became my idol. I decided, from one day to the next, to become a porn star. So I started working with Pegas Productions, making porno films. Quebec [City] was just a bigger village, so last November I moved to Montreal.

Q. Where did the idea come from?

A. It was mine. Everyone in the porno business knows me as the nymphomaniac. I want bigger breasts. This is a chance to get someone else to pay for the operation. I’m quite tall, so I think it will look good to have bigger breasts, at my size.

Q. Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, the Gatineau mayor, calls this a “shameful” display the city is trying to stop. How do you respond?

A. I couldn’t care less what he thinks. He’s the mayor, he has to say that. We are within the law and we are going to do it anyway.

Q. He’s worried the event may encourage “girls to have an obsession with a certain body shape that is not accessible in many cases, and the values driven by this event are contrary to all of that.”

A. I hadn’t heard that. How many women are there out there who want bigger breasts? Everybody is getting them. Some women would have to work six months at Wal-Mart to buy breast enhancements. I can earn the money in one night.

Q. You told reporters this week your mother is proud of you. Is that still true?

A. At first she supported me, but now there is so much in the media about this that she is backing off. My home town, where she lives, is very judgmental. So she doesn’t want it written that she supports me, because then she will get affected and judged.

Q. And your father?

A. My father disappeared before I was born. I have seen him since, but I don’t want any contact with him.

"Rocco The Nutcracker" to the rescue ..... again?

Double "OUCH!"

Good Day Readers:

Last month the House of Commons Justice Committee held hearings to debate the merits, or lack thereof, of Bill C-36 the Harper government's attempt to amend Canada's prostitution laws to make them Charter compliant which the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled last December they were not. The Conservatives have one year to make them such or essentially prostitution will become legal. Bill - C36 will be introduced in the House of Commons when it reconvenes in September.

Assuming it's passed in time, can you imagine if the Conservative's Chief Nutcracker Rocco Galati were to challenge the new law on the basis it is still not Charter compliant and win? Right about now, "Homer" Harper must be having nightmares in quadruple technicolour about "Nutcracker!"

At the hearings all you heard about was the seamy underside to the trade but here's one lady of the night who presents another interesting perspective - those who do it because, well, they enjoy doing it. Never thought of that did you Harper government.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
The Sex worker's perspective: An interview with Jessica Lee

Friday, August 22, 2014



Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada stuck down many of this country’s prostitution laws and gave Parliament one year to come up with a new set of rules. In response, the federal government tabled Bill C-36, which follows the Nordic model, whereby sex work remains legal, but purchasing of sex is outlawed. The bill would also limit where sex workers can operate and prohibits them from advertising.

In its attempt to sell the proposed legislation to the public, Canada’s Conservative government has been trying to portray all sex workers as victims and all their clients as violent offenders. But is this actually the case? In the above video, the National Post‘s Jesse Kline interviews Jessica Lee, a sex worker from southern Ontario, who speaks about her experience in the industry and what Bill C-36 would mean for her business. The Post agreed to conceal her identity, as her clients could soon become criminals.

The video is 5:27 in length. It was produced by Jesse Kline, filmed by John Richardson and edited by Mike Gillespie.

A match made in heaven 'Pretty Face' versus 'Homer!'

"Good day eh boxing fans?" Today's feature bout. In the green corner wearing red trunks (What else?) weighing in at 153 and 3/4 pounds standing 6' 2" Canada's next Prime Minister Justin 'Pretty Face' Trudeau!"

And in the black corner weighing in at 152 pounds standing 6' 0" Mickey 'Palooka' MacDonald. The winner to fight Stephen 'Homer' Harper!" 

Good Day Readers:

Wouldn't it be hilarious if 'Palooka' knocked out 'Pretty Face' - the Conservatives would have a field day with that one! Not to worry it won't happen. 'Palooka' has probably been told not to hurt 'Pretty Face.' Image if 'Pretty Face' were to take on pudgy, out of shape 'Homer.' He'd jab, left-right hook with abandon pummeling the .... out of him. Then it would be on to Thomas Mulcair.

"... 9 ...10! Get outta here 'Homer' ya bum you're a washed up old tomato can!"

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to trade blows with business owner in Halifax

Monday, August 25, 2014
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau raises his arms after defeating Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau during charity boxing match for cancer research Saturday, March 31, 2012 in Ottawa. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

HALIFAX - Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will do some bobbing and weaving of the literal kind during a stop in Halifax Monday.

According to an advisory from the Liberal party, the pair will also meet with youth from the non-profit organization Family SOS.

Before coming to Halifax, Trudeau will address the Bridgewater and area Chamber of Commerce, and participate in a roundtable with municipal leaders in Lunenburg to discuss “major issues facing the media.”

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Come dine with Rocco "The Wrecking Ball" .....

Good Day Readers:

A very interesting read into what drives Rocco Galati. He more than anyone including both opposition parties has undermined public confidence in the Harper government.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
The lawyer who challenged the Harper government and won

Sean Fine/Justice Writer
Friday, August 22, 2014
Wherever I’ve gone this year in Canada, lawyers are talking about Rocco Galati. What’s Rocco going to do next? If the Prime Minister tries any funny business with the courts, Rocco will stop him. Rocco won’t sit by …
It’s as if Mr. Galati, the Toronto lawyer who brought grief to the Conservative government, has been designated the Unofficial Opposition. He’s the first person ever to challenge a Prime Minister’s appointment of a Supreme Court judge. And he won. All the resources Stephen Harper and his government could bring to bear, and this upstart spending $42,000 of his own money won the case. And he’s not done.

Canada’s Unofficial Opposition is eating a tuna salad, washed down with red wine (a Negroamaro, an earthy wine from Friuli), at an outdoor patio on College Street in Toronto’s Little Italy, just down the street from the three-storey house he has turned into an office for his small law firm.

The government never thought someone named Galati could defeat it, he says.

“They were so arrogant in assuming that an argument from me couldn’t win or shouldn’t win, because we live in a tribal culture. You’re only an expert if you’re anglo or francophone .… That’s been made clear to me for 26 years. I’d put my win ratio in impossible cases up against anybody’s, yet I’m still ridiculed when I bring a challenge. How does that work?”

But the real question is – why him? Why not someone else in this country of lawyers?

Mr. Galati and I have a lot to talk about. We have so much to talk about that the batteries in my tape recorder run out of juice. Mr. Galati, an amiable provocateur, goes across the street to buy me new ones.

Snazzy in a beige linen suit with a striped shirt and grey-patterned tie (only the open-toed sandals hint at non-conformity), the 55-year-old comes from a world far from Ottawa’s Wellington Street, where the Supreme Court and the Parliament buildings sit in a majestic row. He and his 12 siblings were born in Calabria, in southern Italy. Five of them died in early childhood. His father, a farmer, was court-martialled twice and interned because he didn’t want to fight in Mussolini’s army.

“He always told me the fascists don’t come marching in overnight. It’s a slow march.”

His father came to Toronto in 1965, found work in construction, and brought the family over a year later. Only three of the children received any formal education, Mr. Galati says. But that includes a brother who, though he had only two years of public schooling, went to the University of Toronto as a mature student and became a lawyer.

“Because of my sense of history, I don’t like the idea of injustice. Growing up in Toronto was no picnic in the sixties and seventies. It was a very brutal, racist environment. The police were enforcing wartime regulations. On College Street, up until Trudeau rewrote the loitering laws, more than two Italian males could not congregate. They’d get billy-sticked home by the police.”

Although he is Catholic, he says his family was Jewish, on both sides, at one time. (When I first met him at his office, he showed me his late grandfather’s Argentine identification document from 1918, framed on the wall. It has a Star of David on it.) He says most people don’t realize how many Jews (and Muslims) used to live in Calabria, or about the violence used to kill or convert them in previous centuries. It’s a recurrent theme of his – the loss of historical memory.

A fighter for long shots, he was a long shot himself. He says he was once assessed in school as intellectually handicapped, and it was only through the efforts of an English teacher at his technical high school, who recognized his perceptiveness in Shakespeare studies, that he was able to go to an academic school for Grade 13.

Bob Dylan saved him from life as an electroplater. He quit his job to move to Montreal to learn to read the poet Arthur Rimbaud in French; he came to Rimbaud knowing that he had influenced Bob Dylan.

“He was not very popular in his early years. That was to my liking – this guy stands on what he believes.”

Page 1 of 3

Once again, his future (and Canada’s) was altered by the kindness of a teacher. He enrolled in non-credit courses in poetry at McGill University, and a teacher told him he’d written a publishable poem, and saw to it that McGill accept him as a full-time student. Despite an A- average, journalism schools and teachers’ colleges rejected him – he still wonders if it was because of his name.

At York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, he learned that his love of Bob Dylan stood him in good stead: Constitutional law was like poetry.

“I had a professor at Osgoode, a very bright man, Graham Parker, who I took courses on statutory interpretation from. He said to me, ‘Do you read or write poetry?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I do both.’ He said, ‘I can tell. Reading statutes is as difficult as reading poetry.’”

He started his law career by working for – of all places – the federal Justice Department. “It seemed the best place for me to get to court frequently.” But he owed $122,000 in bank and student loans, and the interest rate was 22 per cent; his salary was $29,000. If not for his financial need, “I might have stayed, because I enjoyed the kind of law they did.”

On Sept. 30 last year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his choice for a Quebec vacancy on the Supreme Court: Justice Marc Nadon of the Federal Court of Appeal. It was an unusual choice in several respects: He was semi-retired; he was a maritime law specialist (hardly a big need on the court); and he was little-known.

The Canadian legal community raised hardly a peep.

But in early October, Mr. Galati stepped in. He filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, saying the choice was illegal under the Supreme Court Act, which governs appointments. Federal Court judges can’t be appointed for any of the three spots reserved for Quebec judges, he said.

There was nothing personal in it, he says.

“In fact, I like Justice Nadon. I was tormented by bringing the challenge. I thought he was a good judge. I got along with him. That’s not the point. If it was my father, I would have brought the challenge.”

Justice Nadon immediately stepped aside, pending a resolution of Mr. Galati’s lawsuit. Then, Quebec’s National Assembly passed a unanimous resolution opposing the appointment. Prime Minister Harper then asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether it was legal.

So why didn’t anyone else challenge the appointment? “Look,” Mr. Galati says, “there are about 300,000 lawyers in Canada. I think 299,995 think they’re all going to the Supreme Court and they don’t want to blow their chances. They’re worried about their reputation.”

Few thought he had a chance to win. “Most people in the legal establishment thought his case was frivolous,” University of Montreal law professor Paul Daly says.

Fighting the odds is nothing new for Mr. Galati. Early in his career he argued 27 separate times in Federal Court that government officials need to provide reasons for their decisions. Finally, in Baker versus Canada, a 1999 deportation case on which he was co-counsel with Roger Rowe, representing a Jamaican immigrant mother, he won his point at the Supreme Court.

“It was epoch-making,” Professor Daly said. “Your liberty and sometimes your life are really in the hands of a government official. Because of Baker, the government has to give reasons for finding against you.”

In the Nadon case, he had a secret advantage: he knew the Supreme Court Act inside and out from another improbable case.

Four years ago, he learned that a judge hearing a constitutional challenge of his was 77 – two years past retirement age – and that the chief justice could appoint a retired “deputy judge” if he needed someone to hear a case. The Federal Court had followed the practice since its creation in 1970, and a predecessor court since 1927. In 80 years, no one had challenged the practice. Mr. Galati did, in Felipa versus Canada, and won.

We are having a good laugh. In an earlier story, I somehow managed to slip his quote about the Harper government enjoying “urinating on the Constitution” past my editors. “I say that all the time,” he tells me. “You’re the first guy who put that in.”

Page 2 of 3

It is hard to say what is more fun to talk to Mr. Galati about – the personal or political. He’s what my mother would call a character. His cellphone voice mail is a Miranda warning: “If you’re anyone else except Miranda, please do not leave a message.” Miranda is his daughter who is away at university in the United States. (Mr. Galati also has twin four-year-old boys from his second marriage; Miranda is from his first.)

Few outside of legal circles realize the lasting importance of the Nadon case. The Supreme Court gave itself the protection of the Constitution; from here on in, any changes to its composition will require provincial consent. On Mr. Galati’s back, the court insulated itself from tampering.

Although he calls that “a big win,” he still describes the ruling as a disappointment. “The way they politically split it is inconsistent and illogical.” (The court said Federal Court judges can be named to the six non-Quebec spots on the Supreme Court.)

It’s news to him that lawyers everywhere are talking about him. “That’s strange,” he says. The case hasn’t changed his life, “except taking away time from my family and from my billable hours.”

He makes his money from doing tax law, not constitutional cases.

And now he has launched a challenge to another of the Harper government’s judicial appointments – that of Federal Court of Appeal Justice Robert Mainville to the Quebec Court of Appeal, and any subsequent appointment to the Supreme Court.

“The other thing I hear – ‘You won the Nadon reference, but that’s because nobody likes Nadon; everyone likes Mainville.’ What kind of kindergarten debate is that, really? That’s just stupid. Liking or not liking has nothing to do with it.”

Rain has begun to fall, more on me than on him. Mr. Galati is in fine form, still going strong after two hours, the tuna long since finished. It is a good thing he picked up those batteries.

“I hear, ‘Mr. Justice Mainville wanted a transfer to Montreal for personal reasons.’ I sympathize. Are they going to bend the Constitution for me? Should we bend the Constitution for any individual? Well, no. If we do, we’re back into l’état, c’est moi. We’re back to the divine right of kings, Louis XIV and the Versailles culture.

“This is why stacking of the courts is a very serious concern. There’s only one difference between a dictatorship and a constitutional monarchy: a fair and independent judiciary standing between the authority of the state and the rights of the citizen.”

I tell him I need to pay him for the batteries so no one can accuse me of anything. I give him $5.

“Yeah, okay,” he says. “I’m going to give you $1.50 back because as a lawyer I won’t be bribed either.” And he does.

Page 3 of 3

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In his own words:

Rocco Galati on the business of law:

“If I go broke, I’m no good to anybody. A lot of good lawyers who do a lot of good work lose sight of the business side and they go under.”

On the source of his sharp tongue:

“It comes from my mother. She had a great, quick wit and was very quick with a metaphor. Everything that came out of her mouth was original and often funny.”

On his previous work representing suspected terrorists:

I saw it as the civil rights issue of the day.”

On his chances of winning his challenge, filed in Federal Court, to the appointment of Federal Court of Appeal Justice Robert Mainville to the Quebec Court of Appeal:

“The Federal Court, because they’re human beings, is going to be resistant to the idea because he’s one of their own. You know that beautiful line in O Brother, Where Art Thou? where the evil sheriff is the personification of the devil, and says ‘The law is a human institution?’ Therein lies the historic, ageless tension between the rule of law and human capriciousness and tribal impulses.”

On whether the Supreme Court will grant leave to appeal, if the Mainville case goes that far:

“What’s in it for the Supreme Court at this point? Nothing, they’ve constitutionalized their status. Will they care about one judge? Maybe not. There are a lot of variables that have nothing to do with the law, but with human frailties and dysfunction and a non-adherence to the idea of law.”

Follow Sean Tine on Twitter: @seanfineglobe

Friday, August 22, 2014

God bless gun happy America!


"Spot" versus the Canadian Judicial Council!


Good Day Readers:

"Spot" the dog is a proxy for the great unwashed Canadian masses the legal establishment likes to euphemistically refer to as "laypeople." The Canadian Judicial Council for years has turned a deaf ear to public criticism it suffers from a severe conflict of interest judges judging judges with no citizen oversight. Because the Douglas Inquiry has turned into such a colossal ....-up for taxpayers, Fortress CJC was finally moved to canvass the public for ideas. To this day the Inquiry is of lawyers, by lawyers and for lawyers.

The article below discusses the Canadian Bar Association's recommendations which Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati seems to suggest if implemented will have the force of the great unwashed masses peeing in the ocean.
Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Push on to involve the public in federal judge oversight role

Canadian Bar Association says lay panel members enhance perceived credibility

Cristin Schmitz
Ottawa
August 22, 2014

"We felt that having community members participating in the process as long over due." ..... Gavin MacKenzie

"It's a dishonest, disgusting whitewash. It's judges protecting judges protecting judges." ..... Rocco Galati

With federal judicial discipline reforms anticipated this fall, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is urging the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) to involve the public in overseeing Canada's 1,120 federally appointed judges.

The 39 member Council of Chief Justices - which operates behind closed doors except when considering formal inquiries - investigates misconduct complaints and metes out discipline to the judges of the nation's superior trial courts of appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Unlike the Provincial Judicial Councils, that regulate provincially appointed judges across the country, the Council chaired by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin does not include the public in its membership nor are lay people involved in overseeing judicial conduct.

In a submission last month to the CJC, the CBA says the federal judicial discipline process would be more credible if the public took part.

"We felt that having community members participate in the process was long overdue" explains Gavin MacKenzie of Toronto's Davis who chaired the group that wrote the CBA's submission.

The 37,500 member organization urges the CJC to open its doors to lay participation - both when the Council is reviewing misconduct complaints at an early stage and when it strikes formal inquiry committees. Inquiry committee lawyers and a majority of Chief Justices.

The Council is now engaged in three separate public inquiries which are investigating whether (before they become judges): a senior Manitoba judge improperly failed to disclose in her application for the bench that there are sexual photos of her on the internet; a Quebec Superior Court judge engaged in illegal municipal campaign financing; another Quebec Superior Court judge tried to buy cocaine.

MacKenzie who is an expert on professional conduct, says lay people can bring a valuable non-insider perspective to discipline matters. "It's been 40 years since we first had lay benchers at the Law Society of Upper Canada (in Ontario), for example, who are voting members of Convocation, and who sit on discipline panels, and who are involved in the complaints process, among other functions at the law society," he says. "They're not just window dressing."

Moreover, "every self-governing profession ... is vulnerable to the suggestion that they protect members of their profession at the expense of the public, rather than in the public interest," he points out. The involvement of community members - who are neither lawyers nor judges - would tend to be a factor that would enhance confidence among the public in the judicial disciplinary process."

The CBA's 16 recommendatons address a raft of substantive and procedural issues explored by a CJC background paper published last March as part of the Council's public consultation on possible reforms.

At the CJC's semi-annual meeting in Toronto next month, the Council is expected to consider proposals for change that its professional conduct committee is presently devising.

One issue the Council is grappling with is the lengthy delays (and spiraling legal costs) caused by the growing number of interlocutory judicial reviews launched by the judges at the centre of formal inquiries.

The CBA doesn't endorse a suggestion in the CJC's background paper that interim judicial review of inquiry committee decisions might be replaced by a an internal CJC review mechanism. The CBA acknowledges an internal review procedure might be less complicated, expensive and time-consuming than judicial review, but says it might not produce better results for the complainant or judge and, in any event, the interim procedure itself could itself be judicially reviewed.

The CBA also recommends that the CJC be empowered to impose non-consensual remedial and disciplinary sanctions on judges, short of removal from office. Firing a judge is the only remedy currently authorized by the Judges Act but is almost never imposed. By contrast, provincial and territorial judicial councils are able to issue warnings and reprimands, suspend judges with or without pay for any period, and order such measures as apologizing to a complainant, mandatory education, or undergoing treatment as a condition to preside.

MacKenzie says the CBA also believes the Council should begin work on replacing the CJC's 1998 advisory Ethical Principles for Judges - which are a general framework of values and considerations - with a set of rules and considerations - with a rules-based code of conduct that specifies judicial do's and don'ts.

"The history of rules of conduct in professions has been that we've evolved ... from very general statements of principles, largely ethical principles, that are difficult to apply in practice to a much more prescriptive and specific code that tells practitioners precisely how they should be addressing professional conduct issues," MacKenzie says. "Potentially, in a certain kind of case, it would make it much easier for an inquiry committee to to its job."

However, MacKenzie acknowledges that when devising a code of conduct was considered by the CJC in the past, many judges objected. "A number of judges, I understand, feel that having mandatory rules of conduct for judges would compromise judicial independence."

Toronto litigator Rocco Galati, counsel for the complainant who triggered the ongoing Inquiry into Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench (Family Division) Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas says tinkering with the current "corrupt" federal judicial discipline process is useless. "It's a dishonest, disgusting whitewash,"he charges. "It's judges protecting judges protecting judges."

Galati contends judicial conduct should instead be regulated by an independent non-judicial body. "The judges wold have the last say, anyway, on judicial review from that body," he points out.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's amazing what can be learned from a YouTube!

Hunt is on for for ISIS terrorist: Video yields clues to identity of American journalist's left-handed excutioner

Gordon Rayner
Alister Beach
Martin Evans
Philip Sherwell

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
James Foley in Aleppo, Syria in September 2012. In a horrifying act of revenge for United States airstrikes in Northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham extremist group have beheaded Foley - and are threatening to kill another hostage U S. officials say. (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org/Manu Brabo)

James Foley's ISIS executioner has British accent

The British killer who beheaded journalist James Foley was being hunted last night as U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the Islamic terrorists behind the murder as a “cancer” that had massacred innocents.

“From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread,” he said.

There has to be a clear rejection of this nihilistic ideology

“There has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideology.”

American and British intelligence agents believe clues contained in the video of Mr. Foley’s murder will reveal both the killer’s identity and location.

Despite being deliberately filmed in a barren, featureless landscape, with the man wearing a hood, the four-minute film has a wealth of information, including his voice, height and the fact he is left-handed, a trait shared by only 10% of people.



The sophisticated video, uploaded to YouTube by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), was shot using high-quality equipment, which will also play into investigators’ hands because of the clarity of the image and the killer’s voice.

Elizabeth McClelland, a forensic voice and speech analyst who is regularly called as an expert witness in British courts, said the knifeman appeared to have a South London accent and spoke English as his first language, with the possible influence of Farsi, which could suggest a family link to Afghanistan.

“The MI5 experts may use a computer program to narrow down their search, comparing the voice in the video to voices they already have on file. But a computer can’t pick out an exact match, that still relies on the trained human ear, because there is no such thing as a unique ’voice print,’ ” she said.

“The analysts will listen to the tone or timbre of the voice, the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, the duration of each syllable as well as the accent and use of grammar.”

In this June 17, 2011 photo, journalist James Foley receives applause from students at the Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framington, Massachusetts. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News/Ken McGagh)

Security sources warned it was possible the voice was dubbed onto the video, which could mean the man heard speaking is not the man seen in the video.

Using 40-year-old victim’s known height as a guide, the experts will be able to work out his killer’s height. His slim body shape and the colour of his skin — which suggests he is black or of Asian origin — will further help to narrow their search.

Even his beige desert boots may enhance their knowledge of where he has been.

Weapons experts will be asked to identify the distinctive commando knife and the gun he holds in a leather holster over his left shoulder to work out where they were bought. Other analysts will use the topography of the landscape in the video to try to identify the location.

Intelligence agents on both sides of the Atlantic are also following up reports the killer is “John” from London, ringleader of a group of British jihadis who specialize in hostage taking.

Based in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, “John” is described as well-educated, intelligent and highly committed. Because he works closely with two other British-born militants, fellow jihadists have nicknamed them “The Beatles.”

Diane and John Foley talk to reporters after talking with U S President Barack Obama Wednesday, August 20, 2014 outside their home in Rochester, New Hampshire. Their son, James Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering the Syrian conflict. Islamic militants posted a video showing his murder on Tuesday and said they killed him because the U S had launched airstrikes in Northern Iraq. (AP photo/Jim Cole)

In his speech, Mr. Obama did not go into specifics on military strategy or mention the group’s threat to behead a second American journalist if U.S. air strikes targeting ISIS in Iraq continued.

But he sounded at times as if the U.S. was already at war.

“The United States will continue to do what we must do to protect our people,” he said. “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

The U.S. president said he had spoken to Mr. Foley’s family and told them “we are all heartbroken at their loss and join them in honouring Jim and all that he did.”

James Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire, a freelance contributor for Global Post, in Benghazi, Libya, in a horrifying act of revenge for U S air strikes in Northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley - and are threatening to kill another hostage, U S offiicals say. (GlobalPost)

He contrasted Mr. Foley’s life as a journalist who “courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings” with killers and their “bankrupt” ideology.

“They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practise a different religion …

“They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbours and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision.”

The Pentagon said U.S. aircraft had conducted another 14 strikes near the Mosul Dam against ISIS targets. It is also weighing a request from the State Department to send up to 300 more troops to Iraq.