Sunday, May 28, 2006

The affidavit that almost was!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Unlike my previous attorney Mr. Jeffrey J. Niederhoffer (www.campbellmarr.com/jniederhoffer@campbellmar.com) I am not a lawyer. Therefore, in my dealings with MMF solicitor Mr. Murray Norman Trachtenberg I am not bound/constrained by the usual accepted conventions and protocol which exist between those practicing within the legal community. For example, how can The Law Society of Manitoba discipline me or threaten to suspend my license when I don't have one?

Below is an affidavit I attempted to have entered into the official record at a May 1, 2006 Hearing before Madam Justice McCawley but was denied on the basis it was submitted too late in the proceedings. I tried to explain to My Lady unlike "my learned friend" Mr. Trachtenberg, who has unlimited MMF resources at his disposal and can charge at least $250/hour, I have to work to earn a living while representing myself. Further, since the earlier March 30, 2006 appearance before her I had already submitted a 31 page Motion Brief in preparation for our May 1, 2006 session.

Unfortunately, the Court did not accept my arguments. Judging by her comments at the March 30, 2006 Hearing which were directed squarely at Counselor Trachtenberg, My Lady is concerned with the slow progress being made in this case. I'd respectfully submit the MMF's lawyer is now a captive of the past strategy he has pursued on behalf of his clients. But one small example - challenging Mr. Niederhoffer's request to no longer represent Co-Defendant Vanessa Everton. How much time did that needlessly waste? Why? Normally attorneys could care less who is representing whom.

At the May 1, 2006 Hearing Murray Trachtenberg also attempted to introduce an affidavit to have certain documents sealed. This is a rarely used provision under Canadian law but it can and has happened in the past. Madam Justice McCawley advised Counselor Trachtenberg if she were to grant his request, the Court was required to advice the media. Man, I've never seen Murray move so fast to withdraw an affidavit!

Because we're under six Court Orders obviously I can't go into detail. Suffice it to say for now Mr. Trachtenberg's request involved certain MMF internal documents. Currently I'm researching the law in this area but my preliminary understanding is when material is sealed a period is normally specified by the Judge during which time the media can have access to it although they may not be able to go public with what they've seen. More about that later.

So here's the affidavit that almost was. You'll notice as a courtesy to former Plaintiffs Richard De La Ronde and Bonnie McIntyre their names have been deleted although I certainly don't owe them a bloody thing!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
File No. CI 05-01-41955

THE QUEEN'S BENCH
WINNIPEG CENTRE

BETWEEN:

MANITOBA METIS FEDERATION INC., ANITA CAMPBELL, DAVID CHARTRAND, ELBERT CHARTRAND, RITA CULLEN, DARREL DESLAURIERS, JEAN DESROSIERS, WILLIAM FLETT, JOHN FLEURY, LAURA HYRICH, JULYDA LAGIMODIERE, JOYCE LANGAN, LEAH LAPLANTE, JUDY MAYER, ROSEMARIE McPHERSON, DARRYL MONTGOMERY, MARILEE NAULT, JACK PARK, CLAIRE RIDDLE and DENISE THOMAS

Plaintiffs

- and -
TERRY BELHUMEUR, CLARE L. PIEUK and VANESSA EVERTON

Defendants
____________________________________________________________
AFFIDAVIT OF CLARE L. PIEUK
SWORN APRIL 30, 2006
HEARING DATE: MAY 1, 2006 AT 10:00 AM
BEFORE THE PRESIDING JUDGE
____________________________________________________________

CLARE L. PIEUK
2-371 Des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2N6
Telephone: (204) 237-7063

I, CLARE L. PIEUK, of the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba MAKE OATH AND SAY THAT:

1. I am one of the Defendants herein, and as such have personal knowledge of the matters hereinafter deposed to by me, except where same is indicated to be based upon information and belief, in which case I verily believe same to be true.

2. In or around June 2005, I attended with Kurt Penner, who was then and to my knowledge is presently the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aboriginal & Northern affairs of the Province of Manitoba, and provided him with copies of certain internal documents from the Manitoba Metis Federation and affiliated corporation ("the MMF") which were originally provided me by persons who wish to remain anonymous ("the documents"). Immediately after I provided the documents to Mr. Penner, I was informed by Mr. Penner and do verily believe that he would be preparing what he described as a "briefing document" for reference by Mr. Oscar Lathlin, who was then and to my knowledge is presently the Minister of Aboriginal & Northern Affairs.

3. In or around June 2005, I attended with Corporal Tracy McGonigal with the Commercial Crimes Unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ("the RCMP") and showed her copies of the documents. I was informed by Corporal McGonigal and do verily believe that it was her intention to open a file on behalf of the RCMP in relation to a potential investigation of the MMF.

4. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "A" to this my Affidavit is a copy of an email which is dated April 6, 2006, and which I received from the Director of the Office of the Auditor Gerneral of Canada on said date.

5. On or around April 15, 2006, I telephoned Ms. Terry Klassen who informed me that she was an Investigation and Control Officer with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada ("The Department"), which I verily believe to be true, and in my telephone conversation with her, I provided to her the name and telephone number of a certain person wishing to remain anonymous who is in possession of copies of the documents ("this person"). I was informed by Ms. Klassen, and do verily believe, that it was her intention to obtain the documents from the person, to review the documents, and to determine the feasibility of conducting an investigation of the MMF based on her review.

6. On or around April 18, 2006, I attended with Ms. Klassen and was informed by her, and do verily believe same to be true, that she and others within the Department have over an unspecified period of time harboured suspicions as to the veracity of certain information provided by the MMF to the Department, and further indicated that to date the Department has been unable to pursue an investigation due to the lack of evidence available.

7. I make this Affidavit bona fide and for no improper purpose or motive.

(Signature)
CLARE L. PIEUK

SWORN before me at the City)
of Winnipeg, in the Province of)
Manitoba, this 30th day of)
April, 2006.)

Jeffrey J. Niederhoffer (Signature)
A Notary Public in and for the Province of Manitoba
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exhibit "A"

From: "Asselin, Christian" asselic@oag-bvg.gc.ca
To: "Clare Pieuk" pieuk@shaw.ca
Cc: "McCammon, Cindy" <mccammcj@oag.gc.ca>; "Papineau, Neil" <papinenj@oag-bvg.gc.ca>; "Lysyk, Bonnie" <Blysyk@oag.mb.ca>; "Singleton, Jon" <JSingleton@oag.mb.ca>; "Lennox Andrew" <lennoxaa@oag-bvg.gc.ca>
Sent: April 6, 2006 12:50 PM
Subject: Manitoba Metis Federation

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of a box of documents that includes details of your concerns about the Manitoba Metis Federation. The box was forwarded to us by the Office of the Auditor General of Manitoba.

We will review these documents along with the information you provided by telephone and e-mail, to determine if any of the issues you raise are within the auditing mandate of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. If we require further information, we will contact you.

Please note, however, that this is not a commitment to audit any of the particular issues you have raised. As I am sure you can appreciate, many potential audit issues come to our attention in relation to a wide variety of matters. While we cannot address all of them, each is carefully considered in light of our mandate, the significance of the matter, our audit schedule, and our available resources.

Please note also that, as the independent auditor of the federal government, the Office reports its planned audits and their results directly to Parliament.

Thank you again for taking the time to bring your concerns to our attention.

Yours sincerely,

Christian Asselin, CA, CMA, CFE
Directeur/Director
Bureau du verificateur general du Canada/
Office of the Auditor General of Canada
Numero du standard automatique/Auto-attendant number
613-952-0213 ext. 6218
Tel/Phone (613) 995-3708 Fax (613) 947-9556
Courrriel/e-mail: christian.asselin@oag-bvg.gc.ca

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