Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear God, please make Stephen Harper and "Helicopter" Pete MacKay appoint Vic Toews so Rocco Galati can successfully challenge it!

Justice Marshall Rothstein to retire from Supreme Court of Canada in August

Friday, April 24, 2015

Supreme Court Justice Marshall Rothstein shares a laugh with the Supreme Court during a weccoming ceremony in Ottawa on April 10, 2006. Justice Rothstein is retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada effectrive August 31, just months short of his mandatory retirmemtn on his 75th birthday in December. Rothstein was appointed to the court by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in March 2006 after 13 years with the Federal Court adn the Federal c=Court of Appeal. (The Canadian Press/Fred Chartrand)

OTTAWA - Justice Marshall Rothstein is retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada effective Aug. 31, just months short of his mandatory retirement on his 75th birthday in December.

Rothstein was appointed to the court by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in March 2006 after 13 years with the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has formally notified Justice Minister Peter MacKay of the coming vacancy on the bench.

Although Rothstein steps down at the end of August, the Judges Act provides that for six months after retirement, he can continue to participate in judgments of cases heard before his departure.

Rothstein was Harper's first appointment to the highest court, shortly after the Conservative government took office.

Harper has appointed all but two of the nine judges on the court.

McLachlin said Rothstein will be greatly missed.

"Justice Rothstein has served on the court with distinction, and made enormous contributions to the court and to Canada," she said in a statement.

The prime minister thanked Rothstein for his distinguished service over the years.

Rothstein pointed out that on retirement, he will have been a judge for more than 23 years.

"I am grateful for this privilege and mindful of the honour and public trust that attach to the holding of judicial office in Canada," he said in a statement.

Rothstein was born and raised in Winnipeg. He earned a commerce degree and a law degree at the University of Manitoba and began in private practice in 1966.

During his career, he taught law at the University of Manitoba and was a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal from 1986 to 1992.

He was appointed to the Federal Court in 1992 and moved to the Federal Court of Appeal in 1999.
Hillary Bill's election financing campaign

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alex Chapman versus the "temporary"one-legged City of Winnipeg legal counsel!

Good Day Readers:

CyberSmokeBlog was in court Wednesday for the following. It will explain the reference to the City's temporary one-legged legal counsel shortly. Suffice it to say for now it was beyond hilarious - loved it!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
City police sued for harassment

Accuser key part of case against judge

By Mike McIntyre
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alex Chapman seen in 2012 was embroiled against a female judge. (Boris Minkeich/Winnipeg Free Press)

A 13-year-old case of alleged police misconduct has finally made its way to a Winnipeg jury.

Alex Chapman filed a lawsuit in 2002, claiming city police carried out repeated acts of false arrest, harassment and malicious prosecution. The case slowly worked its way through the system with some of the other parties - including his ex-wife and her family members -  reaching settlements.

But cases involving two police officers and the City of Winnipeg remain before the courts. Jurors began hearing evidence this week in a rare civil trial. None of Chapman's allegations has been proven. He is seeking unspecified financial damages.

Chapman, 49, testified Tuesday. He was first arrested in the fall of 2001 after his estranged wife called police, claiming he'd assaulted her and locked her out of their home.

He described waking up to find two officers in his bedroom.

"I was in a deep sleep. I said 'What are you doing in my room?' They said my wife complained I assaulted her," Chapman testified.

The charges were dropped weeks later when the woman said she'd made up the story.

"She had some mental issues," lawyer Ian Histed told jurors in his opening statement. He added the woman was placed in a psychiatric ward for several weeks following the incident.

"She said she was agitated that day and hadn't taken her meds," Chapman said.

Chapman sued the police in early 2002, but that was only the beginning of his issues, court was told. He was arrested a second time in late January of that year after his wife again called police and claimed he'd threatened to kill her and other family members during a confrontation in their home.

Chapman again denied any wrongdoing, and had placed a handful of 911 calls just prior to his arrest, asking police for help from the woman. He said she'd taken his vehicle without permission and he feared she was again going to make a false complaint against him.

Chapman told jurors Tuesday he pleaded with his wife to calm down.

"She started cursing me. She became enraged. She went ballistic on the phone," he said.

Those 911 calls made by Chapman were played for the jury. The operator tells Chapman there's not much police can do to assist him.

Histed said Chapman's second arrest happened just days after he filed his lawsuit -- and came at the hands of police officers who worked with the officers being sued.

"We say he was prosecuted in retaliation," Histed told jurors. "Things were generally unravelling."

Chapman was arrested a third time, in June 2002, when his wife phoned police to say he'd breached his no-contact order by calling her home and hanging up. All of the charges were dropped. Chapman later got a divorce.

"It is up to the police to prove their actions were lawful," Histed said in his opening statement. "We say they did so without any reasonable grounds, and maliciously."

Chapman made national headlines in 2010 when he filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council against Queen's Bench Justice Lori Douglas and her husband, Winnipeg lawyer Jack King.

Chapman claimed he was harassed by them. He said King - his former lawyer - showed him explicit nude photos of Douglas in an attempt to arrange a sexual tryst. Those photos were widely circulated online.

The complaint triggered a well-publicized and controversial formal judicial hearing that was recently scrapped against Douglas when she announced her retirement, effective next month. King was previously sanctioned by the Law Society for his role and has since died.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 22, 2015 A3

Monday, April 20, 2015


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Will you soon know the Harpers' dirty little secrets?

Decision delayed on whether to unseal evidence in case that could reveal Harper family secrets

Stephen Maher
Friday, April 17, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pictured with his wife Laureen during a trip to New Zealand in 2014. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

Newmarket, Ontario — An Ontario Superior Court judge has reserved decision on whether to unseal vidence in a case believed to contain information about the prime minister’s family.

Media lawyer Brian MacLeod Rogers asked Justice Mary Vallee on Friday to lift the unusually strict sealing order, while Justice Department lawyer Barney Brucker invoked Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act in an effort to block media organizations from getting access to an affidavit filed in December by a lawyer acting for Sergeant. Peter Merrifield. The officer is suing the RCMP for harassment and bullying, alleging systematic abuse and coverups by senior Mounties.

Section 37, which was made law as part of a 2001 anti-terror act, allows a judge to order information be kept secret to protect a “specified public interest.” It has been invoked previously to protect evidence presented in the trial of Canadian terrorist Momin Khawaja.

During the hearing, Vallee asked Brucker how she should proceed if she decides to lift the ban.

Sources say the sealed affidavit in this case is accompanied by four letters sent by private investigator Derrick Snowdy to assistant commissioner Stephen White. The letters contain allegations about RCMP wrongdoing, including repeated information leaks that threaten the safety of confidential informants, and the leak of private information about Stephen Harper’s family by officers from the prime minister’s protection detail.

Rogers argued Friday that Supreme Court rulings make it clear that Vallee has the responsibility to make evidence public “to the greatest degree possible,” because courts have repeatedly ruled that democracy depends on journalists being able to inform the public about legal proceedings.

Rogers, who is acting for Postmedia News, CBC,Maclean’s and the Toronto Star, wants Vallee to ease the conditions of a broad sealing order, which he has not been able to see.

“This is an extraordinary situation,” Rogers told Vallee. “I’m in the dark about what’s been going on.”

It was imposed after the affidavit containing allegations about RCMP wrongdoing were presented in December, when reporters were ordered from the courtroom.

The trial is to resume in May, with the testimony of “Witness X,” whose identity can’t be reported.

Rogers said that while Vallee was right to grant a sealing order to protect the identity of an RCMP confidential informant, there is reason to believe that much of the evidence can be released without revealing the identity.

“The judge must accommodate the open court principle without breaching informer privilege,” he said.

After the hearing, Brucker told reporters Section 37 was not invoked to protect information about the Harper family from becoming public.

“I wouldn’t think so,” he said. “We’re protecting the public interest and the decision is under seal.”

Related

Federal government to invoke terrorism clause to keep Harper family secrets private

Media seek access to sealed documents alleging leaks in RCMP security unit that protects Stephen Harper

Mountie in charge of Harper ’s security says investigation into his tough leadership style is a ‘witch hunt’

Laura Young, lawyer for Sgt. Merrifield, told Vallee that her client also wants the evidence under seal to be made public.

“Sergeant. Merrifield has been a long time coming to this point in the trial, and has invested a lot of time and energy and deserves to have his case heard, to the extent possible, in open court,” said Young.

Merrifield alleges senior officers sidelined his career after he launched an unsuccessful bid to run for the federal Conservatives in Barrie, Ont., in 2005. He has been pursuing his case in the courts ever since.

Vallee is expected to issue a ruling sometime before the case resumes May 19, with the testimony of Witness X.

After the hearing Friday, Rogers, a veteran media lawyer, told reporters that the only example he could think of with a similarly restrictive sealing order was the Eurocopter case, which was connected to the Airbus affair, and former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

“I think it was 2003,” he said. “That’s 12 years ago. This is a very unusual situation.”

National Post
• Email: smaher@postmedia.com | Twitter:


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Requiem for a senate!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Did you hear about the time Laureen ..... or young Ben came home .....?

The Selfie Family
Federal government to invoke terrorism clause to keep Harper gamily secrets private

By Stephen Maher
Friday, April 17, 2015

Sergeant Peter Merrifield alleges senior RCMP officers sidelined his career after he launched an unsuccessful bid to run for the federal Conservatives in 2005.

The federal government will invoke a clause used in terrorism trials on Friday as part of its fight to keep information about the prime minister’s family from being made public.

Federal Justice Department lawyers filed a factum on Wednesday that states they will invoke Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act in an effort to block media organizations from unsealing documents containing allegations that the RCMP leaked secrets about Stephen Harper’s family.

The clause, which was used by the government in an effort to close the hearing of Canadian terrorist Momin Khawaja, was made law as part of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2011. It allows a judge to order that information be kept secret as part of a “specified public interest.”

In the factum filed by federal justice department lawyer Barney Brucker on Wednesday, the Crown says the sealed documents contain “information that, if released, would compromise the public interest.”

The documents were sealed by Justice Mary Vallee at a closed-door hearing at Ontario Superior Court in Newmarket, Ontario in December..

Lawyer Brian MacLeod Rogers will ask Judge Vallee to unseal the documents in Newmarket Friday morning. Rogers is acting for Postmedia News, CBC, Maclean’s and the Toronto Star in this matter.

The documents were filed in December by a lawyer acting for Sgt. Peter Merrifield, who is suing the RCMP for harassment and bullying, alleging systematic abuse and coverups by senior Mounties.

Merrifield alleges senior officers sidelined his career after he launched an unsuccessful bid to run for the federal Conservatives in Barrie, Ontario in 2005. He has been pursuing his case in the courts ever since, repeatedly defeating RCMP attempts to quash it.

When one of Merrifield’s lawyers, John Phillips, entered the affidavit into evidence in December, Judge Vallee expelled journalists from the courtroom and imposed a sealing order.

Sources say the sealed affidavit is accompanied by four letters sent by private investigator Derrick Snowdy to assistant commissioner Stephen White.

In his application, Rogers argues Judge Vallee’s sealing order represents “a breach of the rights of the applicants and their reporters and an infringement of their freedom of expression, including freedom of the press.”

The application is accompanied by affidavits from CBC producer John Nicol and Maclean’s reporter Charlie Gillis, who were prevented by the sealing order from covering the hearing in December when the affidavit was sealed.

The letters from Snowdy are believed to contain allegations about RCMP wrongdoing, alleging repeated information leaks that threaten the safety of confidential informants, and the leak of private information about the Harper family.

Snowdy came to public attention in 2010 when Conservative MP Helena Guergis was involved in the so-called “busty hookers scandal.” She was later cleared after being stripped of her cabinet seat and expelled from the Conservative caucus.

National Post

• Email: smaher@postmedia.com | Twitter:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Got any food up here ..... eh?"

Raccoon climbs 200 metres up Toronto crane

A photo of the raccoon, taken by a Toronto tower crane operator, is being widely shared by Twitter

By Tamara Khandaher/Staff Reporter
Thursday, April 16, 2015

A raccoon was photographed after climbing 200 metres up a crane in downtown Toronto. (Twitter)

A fearless raccoon who climbed more than 200 metres up a crane in Toronto briefly became Twitter-famous on Thursday morning after his photo was tweeted by a tower crane operator.
Rob MacFarlane, known for posting photos of the breathtaking views he’s often exposed to on the job, took a photo of the raccoon clutching onto the ladder, looking a little apprehensive, with his eyes wide open.
Many people expressed concern for the animal’s safety, but MacFarlane reassured everyone that it got back down unhurt, and that it was just as brave on its way down.
“They are the tortoise in the story,” MacFarlane told the Star. “Not so fast, but efficient
The raccoon had made the 213-metre climb overnight and was waiting for MacFarlane when he arrived at work.
When he got close, the raccoon stared at him blankly and hissed a bit. Seemingly annoyed by MacFarlane’s presence, it then confidently made his descent to the ground.
Surprisingly, this was not the first time MacFarlane has encountered a raccoon so high off the ground, he said on Twitter. Face-to-face, this was the second incident, but he has seen “evidence” multiple times before.

“It’s not unusual,” he said. “Raccoons seem to like cranes.”