Thursday, September 27, 2007

Some people can't walk the talk!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "They deserve each other!"

Terry Belhumeur = Big Chicken Baby!
Dear Anonymous:

Perhaps you should also add Lionel R.R. Chartrand to the list. He's the Winnipeg Metis lawyer who publicly agreed to serve as's General Legal Counsel (September 15, 2003 - pro bono) after we became aware the Manitoba Metis Federation had placed on a "defamation watch."

According to unidentified sources, President David Chartrand attempted to get a Motion passed at the Provincial MMF Board of Directors Meeting prior to the 2003 Annual General Assembly to sue CSS but failed. However, it was agreed a lawyer would monitor CyberSmokeSignals for litigious material. Wonder who that might be?

Lionel Chartrand authored the petition the Manitoba Metis Federation is now claiming to be defamatory, authorized its posting and never requested it be removed.

Terry Belhumeur was and is the registered owner of CyberSmokeSignals who controlled access to the site through a password and user name. Mr. Belhumeur could have changed them at anytime but failed to do so until early February, 2006.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

WHAT! Jack Park?

Services Delivered To Metis People

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

No Doubt, your government has reviewed the ongoing role of the Metis non-profit corporation in Canada!

What is quite obivious is that some of these organizations have become redundant and are no longer required. I prefer the Governments of Canada/Manitoba delivering these services to Metis people. Presently the MMF does not act in the best interest of our citizens. Here's an example.

We don't need the Manitoba Metis Federation/Indian & Metis Friendship Centre delivering the same service - there are others who can do it better. I would recommend your government call a public meeting in Winnipeg so Metis can tell you about their experiences with these organizations. Lets put a stop to this ROT! Or maybe your administration is not interested in the well-being of its citizens!

Fortunat Guiboche
September 23, 2007
Dear Mr. Guiboche:

As you know, the Manitoba Metis Federation has taken over the Indian & Metis Friendship Centre by appointing Provincial MMF Board of Director Member Jack Park an individual in whom CyberSmokeBlog has SEVERE doubts.

We noticed you also sent your e-mail to Prime Minister Harper, as well as, Provencher Member of Parliament and President of the Treasury Board Mr. Vic Toews. We will do the same plus add Mr. Chuck Strahl Minister responsible for Indian And Northern Affairs Canada along with Premier Doer.

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thank God you weren't facing a murder one count!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Meet the cast from CI 05-01-41955!"

..................... is the worst' lawyer I ever had ..... I ain't never gonna put myself at the mercy of having to apply for Legal Aid if the best you can get is someone like them ..... they're' terrible, the person doesn't even know how to talk to the Crown or the Judge .....
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. Here's how you can file a complaint against a lawyer in Manitoba ( The Society's Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Allan Fineblit, Q.C. ( Good Luck!

The Law Society

Like many professionals, lawyers are self-regulated. All lawyers who practise law in Manitoba must be members of the Law Society of Manitoba, the regulating body for lawyers. Some lawyers from other Canadian provinces may also practise in Manitoba on a limited basis. The Law Society acts in the public interest to make sure that Manitoba lawyers practise ethically and competently. We set standards of conduct for lawyers and discipline lawyers who do not meet these standards. This page explains how the Law Society deals with lawyers who do not meet the required standard.

Kinds of Complaints

The nature of your complaint will affect the way it is handled. In some cases the Law Society may not be able to help. For example, we do not provide legal advice or services. Complaints about lawyer negligence (saying that your lawyer has made a mistake) or about the fee your lawyer charged are dealt with differently than complaints about a lawyer’s conduct. See the sections in this pamphlet on Fee Disputes and Negligence.

What To Do If You Have A Complaint About A Lawyer

If you have a concern about something a lawyer has done (or not done), you should contact the Discipline Department of the Law Society.

Before sending us a formal complaint, consider phoning us and letting us know about your concerns. Depending on the issue, we may be able to help you work things out.

Should you wish to proceed with a formal complaint, you must do so in writing. You can write us a letter outlining the details of your complaint, or fill out a Complaints Help Form. Call us at 942-5571 to obtain a copy of the form. Be sure to include:

- Your name, address and telephone number

- The name, law firm name and address of the lawyer you are complaining about

- Copies (not originals) of any other letters or documents which support your claim

Send everything to:

Discipline Paralegal
The Law Society of Manitoba
219 Kennedy Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1S8

How the Law Society Handles Complaints

A staff member will review your complaint to see if the Law Society can help you. If we decide not to investigate your complaint we will send you a letter telling you why we made that decision, and the lawyer will be sent a copy of your complaint. You may ask to have our decision reviewed by the Complaints Commissioner, an independent decision-maker who is not a lawyer. The Complaints Commissioner has two choices:

- Dismiss the complaint (which ends the matter) or
- Direct the Law Society to investigate

To request a review by the Complaints Commissioner write to:

Complaints Commissioner
P.O. Box 2234 Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3R5

Informal Resolutions

We may suggest that your complaint might be resolved informally. A staff member may contact you and your lawyer with the goal of resolving the complaint in a way which both you and your lawyer accept. If the complaint can be resolved informally, the Law Society will write you a letter setting out the results and that will end the matter. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, or if more serious problems are discovered, the complaint will be further investigated.

Investigation of Complaints

We will send a copy of your complaint to the lawyer complained of, who must respond to us in writing within 14 days. In most cases we will send you a copy of the lawyer’s response.
The form of the investigation will depend on the nature of the complaint. You will not be required to testify at the investigation stage, but we may contact you for further information. All investigations are confidential, but we will inform you of the results. All complaints (no matter how they are resolved) form part of a lawyer’s complaints history.

We have the power during an investigation to look beyond the circumstances of the complaint under investigation to the lawyer’s other files and office systems. We may decide that the lawyer lacks adequate skill or knowledge to practise effectively. If so, we will try to help the lawyer by suggesting changes to the lawyer’s practice and providing support for the lawyer to change.

On the other hand, the investigation may suggest that the lawyer acted unethically. In this situation, the seriousness of the complaint will determine our response. We may decide that pointing out the problem and reminding the lawyer of his or her ethical obligations is sufficient. In more serious cases we may lay charges of professional misconduct against the lawyer. If it is in the public interest to do so we may suspend the lawyer’s licence to practice until the charges are dealt with at a hearing before the Discipline Committee.

Discipline Hearings

The Discipline Committee holds hearings to consider charges of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming a lawyer, and incompetence. A lawyer representing the Law Society prosecutes the charge. The lawyer who has been charged may be represented by a lawyer. You may be required as a witness at the discipline hearing, but you will not need your own lawyer. Discipline hearings are open to the public, so you may attend even if you are not a witness.

If the Discipline Committee finds the charges against a lawyer to be proven it can:

- Reprimand
- Fine
- Impose conditions of practice
- Suspend
- Disbar the lawyer

The Discipline Committee does not have the authority to order the lawyer to pay any money to a complainant for losses or damages incurred. We will inform you in writing of the decision, and publish the decision to other lawyers. We publish a notice to the public whenever a lawyer is suspended or disbarred.

Fee Disputes

If you and your lawyer have not talked a lot about how much your case will cost, you may not know what to expect on your lawyer’s final statement of account. You should talk to your lawyer, who can tell you exactly what he or she did on your case and how long it took. If you feel that your lawyer’s fee is too high or incorrect, you can ask for it to be reviewed by either arbitration or assessment.


If you and your lawyer agree, the Law Society will arrange for a review of the statement of account by a neutral arbitrator or panel of three arbitrators. There is no charge for this review. Both you and the lawyer will be at the meeting. The review process is informal, and you do not need a lawyer. The arbitrator will either reduce the fee or uphold it. Contact the Law Society for further information on this process or to arrange an arbitration.


Another option is to have the fee assessed by an officer of the Court of Queen’s Bench. You do not need your lawyer’s agreement to have the fee assessed. To arrange for an assessment call 945-0344. You should act quickly if you want an assessment, as you must apply no later than 6 months after you receive the lawyer’s final statement of account.

Review of Contingency Fee Agreements

If you made a contingency fee agreement with your lawyer (an agreement that the lawyer’s fee would be a percentage of the monies the lawyer recovered for you), you can ask the court to review the fairness of the contingency agreement. You must apply for such a review no later than 6 months from the date the money was paid to or kept by your lawyer. Call the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench at 945-0344 for more information.

Review of Fees on Mortgage Foreclosure or Estate Administration

You cannot use arbitration or assessment to review the fees on a mortgage foreclosure or estate administration. Fees on these matters are controlled by set tariffs and different procedures are available for their review. Call the Law Society for more information on having the fees reviewed in these situations.


The Discipline Department of the Law Society does not usually investigate complaints of lawyer negligence, since negligence (an error or omission) is not usually considered to be a disciplinary matter. The Law Society does, however, require Manitoba lawyers in private practice to be covered by professional liability insurance. Our Professional Liability Claims Fund staff administers this insurance plan for lawyers.

If you can prove that a mistake made by your lawyer caused you to suffer quantifiable damages, you may make a claim against your lawyer. The Claims Fund staff will deal with the claim on your lawyer’s behalf. In most situations you will need to speak to a new lawyer about making your claim. Where your loss is minor (under $2000.00), you may be able to deal directly with a Claims Fund Examiner. Contact the Insurance Department of the Law Society for more information.

Reimbursement Claims Fund

The Law Society maintains a fund to repay people whose trust monies have been misappropriated by their lawyer. All members of the legal profession contribute to this fund. Contact the Law Society for further information on how to make a claim under this fund.

Equity Ombudsperson

The Law Society of Manitoba has established the Office of the Equity Ombudsperson to provide assistance to Manitoba lawyers, support staff, articling students and clients of lawyers in dealing with issues of discrimination and harassment. The Equity Ombudsperson provides confidential and neutral assistance when concerns about any kind of discrimination or harassment arise. The Equity Ombudsperson operates independently of the Law Society of Manitoba and reports only general statistical information. All conversations with the Equity Ombudsperson are strictly confidential. You may reach the Equity Ombudsperson or leave a confidential voice message at any time by calling 942-2002 in Winnipeg or toll free from anywhere else in Manitoba by calling 1-866-771-2002.

Law Phone-In and Lawyer Referral Service

The Law Phone-In Service, operated by the Community Legal Education Association answers general questions about the law. Call them at 943-2305 or toll-free at 1-800-262-8800 (outside Winnipeg). The Law Phone-In Service provides general advice only, not advice for particular situations. If you have a legal problem, it is best to talk to a lawyer.

The Lawyer Referral Program will refer you to a lawyer who can provide a free 30-minute consultation. Call them at 943-3602, visit them on the web, or email

Legal Aid Manitoba

You may qualify for assistance from Legal Aid Manitoba to pay for a lawyer. For more information, talk to your lawyer or call Legal Aid Manitoba directly at 985-8500 (in Winnipeg) or toll-free at 1-800-261-2960 (outside Winnipeg).

Why not?

Mr. Leclair:

I understand that according to the court order you are in charge of proceedings leading up to the election for MNC President.

Would it be appropriate to ask you to display on the MNC website the names of delegates and alternates from each province on September 27, 2007 and immediately after the election in October to announce the name of the new Metis National Council President?

Thank You,
I remain Fortunat Guiboche
Metis Territory
Dear Mr. Guiboche:

If the MNC wishes to run a fair, transparent and open election there is no reason whatsoever why it wouldn't do this plus post the voting results. The federal and provincial governments do it.

As an impartial observer ("Go Yvon Go!"), how many of you would like to see The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont (assuming he runs) as your next MNC President?

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. Mr. Guiboche was one of the MMF founders during the 1960s. The man knows of what he speaks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

They deserve each other!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Ste. Rita citizens - soon you'll be able to sign the petition under "your favourite sign!"

Terry Behumeur is a big chicken. I know what's happening with this lawsuit and I know he's weaseled his way out. He's absolutely pathetic him and his friend Lionel who he's been paling around with.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ste. Rita citizens - soon you'll be able to sign the petition under your "favourite sign!"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Please support the petition!"

Hi there,

When is the petion going to be ready to sign? Will there finally be a audit done on the MMF if there are enough people who participate? I know the good citizens of Ste. Rita are willling to back this petion just give us the word!
Dear Anonymous:

If you get thousands and thousands of signatures how can governments ignore them? Remember, the petition will be open to ANY taxpaying Canadian.

When will it be ready? From the anonymous hotmail messages CyberSmokeBlog has received to date, the people behind it are very determined, sophisticated and articulate. An educated guess - approximately two weeks before it has been defamation proofed and is ready to go online, as well as, hit the streets. They're very close!

Please support the petition!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Today the Manitoba Metis Federation's Annual General Assembly begins in Winnipeg (September 14-16 inclusive). We have been contacted anonymously by individuals who are organizing a petition which will focus on four areas:

(1) Greater financial accountability/disclosure/transparency by the MMF

(2) Election Reform

(3) Use of taxpayer dollars to sue private citizens

(4) Advertising contracts

The Manitoba Metis Federation receives over 95% of its money from Ottawa, therefore, ALL taxpaying Canadians will be eligible to participate. It will be posted shortly along with instructions. You will be able to vote either online (electronically) or off (hardcopy). Your identity will be STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

If you have any comments or suggestions you'd like us to pass along we'll re-direct them to the hotmail address we've been given. Please indicate whether you'd like them displayed first on CSB (anonymously or otherwise) before they're forwarded to the petitioners.

We call upon Metis specific websites and blogs throughout Canada and concerned taxpayers to please display this announcement, as well as, the petition and accompanying instructions to follow.

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List:
(Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Ottawa)

Madame O'Lee Smokes!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Meet the cast from CI 05-01-41955!"


Madame O'Lee Smokes
Dear Madame O'Lee Smokes:

Love your pseudonym! Thank you for the kind words although I hardly think I'm the Fairy Godmother. If there's a lesson to be learned it's when you truly believe you're right NEVER let an organization with a high priced attorney use the law to bully, intimidate or threaten you.

Shortly, CyberSmokeBlog will be distributing a Press Release concerning the lawsuit.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Meet the cast from CI 05-01-41955!


MMF et al vs. Terry Belhumeur et al
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI 05-01-41955

Defendant Terrence Paul Belhumeur



Counselor Murray Norman ("$Billable Hours$") Trachtenberg






















Please be advised if this frivolous, vexatious, beyond asinine lawsuit goes to trial you will find it increasingly difficult to remain anonymous by hiding behind Counselor Trachtenberg. Please consider the following:

(1) Shortly I will be serving your attorney of record an affidavit. It will contain detailed written interrogatories for each of you. These are questions Counselor Trachtenberg will be obliged to ask and provide me with documented responses. They will be admissible as evidence in court

Further, if any of you have been involved in civil proceedings such as messy divorces or small claims judgments, these files are accessible at Winnipeg's Provincial Law Courts Building for photocopying and re-production by the mainstream media and on the internet. The same is true for criminal matters

Whether my questions to Counselor Trachtenberg and his written responses can be posted on the internet is a grey area in Canadian jurisprudence. Therefore, I will be seeking a legal opinion. If I can I will!

(2) In making these allegations of defamation which impugn my character and which I view very, very seriously - please remember the burden of proof falls on YOU!

(3) In Canada, defamation trials are before a Judge and Jury of 12. Each of you will be subpoeaned and cross-examined under oath at trial. These proceeding will undoubtedly be reported in the mainstream media and on the internet

(4) The words in the allegedly defamatory petition launched on (January, 2004) were written by Winnipeg Metis Legal Aid lawyer Lionel R.R.Chartrand who at the time:

(i) Had publicly agreed (pro bono) to serve as CyberSmokeSignals' General Legal Counsel

(ii) Counselor Murray N. Trachtenberg is more than aware sufficient black print (term used by the judiciary to describe written admissible evidence) exists in e-mail transmissions from Mr. Lionel Chartrand to to clearly demonstrate "beyond a preponderance of doubt" (standard of proof required in civil cases for a finding a guilty verdict):
  • HIS intent to write a petition
  • A copy of HIS petition was posted verbatim on
  • Black print clearly showing Lionel Chartrand's permission to post it
  • No evidence whatsoever HE at any time requested it be removed from
  • HE subsequently entered into a retainer contract with the MMF to provide legal advice on Aboriginal rights

Why have you not named Lionel Chartrand as a Co-Defendant Mr. Trachtenberg? Are there possible conflicts of interest?

Lionel R. R. Chartrand
Winnipeg Aboriginal Council Inc.
Lawyer, Manitoba Legal Aid

He too will be subpoeaned to testify under oath at any defamation trial

(5) While still on the subject of black print, last year Counselor Trachtenberg filed a Motion to compel me to turn over to him all MMF related documents in my possession. Unfortunately, I lost and had to relinquish 1,572 pages. When I expressed my concern to presiding Justice Madam Deborah McCawley they could "mysteriously go missing" or be otherwise shredded, My Lady advised they could be subpoeaned at trial so, therefore, I should carefully catalogue each item surrendered

Suffice it to say at this time, the material is most embarrassing to the Plaintiffs and the Manitoba Metis Federation Federation!


Mr. Ron Chartrand
MMF Vice-President
Winnipeg Region

Mr. Ron Chartrand was the only Federation Provincial Board of Directors Member who had the wisdom and presence of mind not to sign on as a Plaintiff. He will be subpoeaned at trial and asked the easiest question - Why?

During 2005, Plaintiffs Bonnie McIntyre and Richard DeLaronde signed Notices of Discontinuance with Counselor Trachtenberg thereby withdrawing from the lawsuit. However, YOUR Amended Statement of Claim registered with the courts by Mr. Trachtenberg on May 9, 2006 still lists them as litigants. Therefore, I am entitled to continue to refer to them as Plaintiffs until such time as he again revises the Statement of Claim. Each Member of the MMF's Provincial Board of Directors was allegedly defamed except for these three. How is that possible?

Like Mr. Ron Chartrand, Bonnie McIntyre and Richard DeLaronde will also be subpoeaned at trial and asked - Why did you withdraw?

(7) In the June 29, 2006 MMF election, Plaintiff Montgomery very wisely chose not to run for the Provincial Board of Directors. Plaintiff Flett was defeated. Both continue to have Counselor Trachtenberg's legal fees paid from public funds

(8) When I win (and I will), the courts will be asked to order each of you to pay my legal costs. I will also seek professional advice about launching separate litigation against each of you

(9) Forthwith, I strongly recommend each Plaintiff for their mutual protection discuss this posting with Counselor Trachtenberg. I look forward to meeting you in The Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench. Enjoy your Annual General Assembly currently underway in Winnipeg

Please govern yourselves accordingly Plaintiffs!

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List (Canadian Taxpayers Federation) (Public Interest Law Centre - Winnipeg) (Lionel R.R. Chartrand - Manitoba Legal Aid) (Winnipeg Free Press) (The Lawyers Weekly) (Supreme Court of Canada)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Welcome Osgoode Hall Faculty of Law!

Dean Patrick J. Monahan
BA (Ottawa), MA (Carleton), LL.B (Osgoode), LLM (Harvard) Ontario Bar(
Telephone: (416) 736-5519
Facsimile: (416) 736-5736
Office:Room 222A
Assistant: Cathy Malisani

Dear Dean Monahan:

We would like to welcome the Osgoode Hall Law Faculty to CyberSmokeBlog.

The taxpayer funded Manitoba Metis Federation (annual budget $25 million) has launched a defamation lawsuit:

MMF et al vs. Terry Belhumeur et al Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI05-01-41955

against We believe the litigation involves several case precedents and grey areas in Canadian jurisprudence. It also raises two very troubling issues:

(1) The propriety/appropriateness of an organization using public money for purposes other than for which it was given (suing private citizens)

(2) Restricted access to the legal system by self-represented litigants

As you are undoubtedly aware, both recently retired Judge John Gomery and and Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin have expressed their growing concern the impact of increasing self-representation is having is having on our legal system. This lawsuit graphically issustrates the situation these learned jurists are describing.

We hope the students and faculty of Osgoode Hall will find CyberSmokeBlog both informative and a of value in their research and teaching activities.


Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List: (Canadian Taxpayer Federation) (Public Interest Law Centre) (Lionel R. R. Chartrand - Legal Aid Manitoba) (Winnipeg Free Press) (The Lawyers Weekly)

Not good Presidents Chartier and Chartrand!

MNC President Elections Put Off Indefinitely - Métis Leaders Deplore Legal Action By Former MNC President And MMF President

SASKATOON, September 12, 2007

The leaders of four of the five governing members of the Métis National Council (MNC) condemn the actions of Past MNC President Clem Chartier and MMF President David Chartrand to have the courts intervene in the affairs of the MNC and to de-rail the holding of the elections for MNC President which were scheduled for October 12-13, 2007.

Defending the MNC in the court action are the following four governing members:

Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) President, Bruce Dumont
Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President, Audrey Poitras
Métis Nation of Saskatchewan(MNS) President, Robert Doucette
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President,Tony Belcourt.

Today, the Ontario Superior Court approved the extension of an order requested by Mr. Chartier and Mr. Chartrand as follows:

  • There shall be no MNC Annual General Assembly until further order by the court
  • There shall be no meetings of the Board of Governors or business conducted by the Board of Governors until further order by the court
  • The Chief Administrative Officer, Dale LeClair, shall run the day-to-day operations of the MNC "only as the need arises"
Both Mr. Chartier and Mr. Chartrand have abandoned the MNC's own bylaws, and have instead asked the court system to intervene in the affairs of the MNC by indefinitely postponing the MNC Presidential elections scheduled for this October.

The order was granted to examine witnesses and hold hearings on a further order requested by Mr. Chartier and Mr. Chartrand that would have the court identify who will be the delegates to the MNC Assembly. The elections for MNC President are nearly one year overdue. The Board of Governors maintains the Office of MNC President was vacant.

"I am astonished that the former MNC President and MMF President would take this action to further delay the MNC elections and cause this uncertainty to continue. In accordance with the MNC by-laws I was appointed as interim President in July by the majority of the MNC Board of Governors to ensure we maintain our position of self-governance to address this vacancy," MNBC President Bruce Dumont said.

"It is a fundamental principle that he MNC must never interfere in the affairs of its governing members and here we have the Past President and the MMF President asking a court to do that very thing - by asking the court to determine who would be the MNA's delegates to the MNC Assembly. This has always been the sole right of each Province to decide," Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras said.

"I am appalled that rather than following our by-laws, Mr. Chartier and Mr. Chartrand are in effect asking the courts to intervene and to, de-facto, amend our by-laws," Ms. Poitras added.

"The right of our people to run their own affairs and to choose their own leaders has never been a question in Saskatchewan. To see a Past National President of the MNC going to the courts to have them take over our decision making process just sickens me," said MNS President Robert Doucette. "I wantit to be clear that we are the ones who must defend the Métis National Council against this attack on our rights as a Nation and as a people," Mr. Doucette concluded.

"It is extremely ironic to me that the Métis National Council has fought long and hard for nearly two decades to have our inherent right of self-determination and our right of self-government adopted as a 'minimum standard' of our human rights by the United Nations and on the eve of the historic vote to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, our past President has asked a court to determine our rights and to identify who can cast a ballot in our national election. I am shocked and completely dismayed by this contradictory and irresponsible action," said NO PresidentTony Belcourt.

The four leaders are also surprised and deeply upset at the apparent lack of concern or responsibility over the costs of the actions that are being taken by Mr. Chartier and Mr. Chartrand. It is estimated the court costs could escalate to over $100,000 for the MNC alone. Without their actions, elections for President according to the Métis Nation's own laws would take place in one month by a decision of the Métis people not under the control of the courts.

For further information:

Bruce Dumont, MNBC: (604) 219-0157
Audrey Poitras, MNA: (780) 490-8188
Robert Doucette, MNS: (306) 343-8285
TonyBelcourt, MNO: (613) 791-5056
So Metis National Council here's how you solve your problem. Eventually elect Canada's first Metis Lieutent Governor The Honourable Yvon Dumont - he'll add class to your organization like you wouldn't believe. But first there's one slight issue.

During July of last year, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies supported Mr. Dumont in a frivolous, vexatious, beyond asinine lawsuit brought against the gentleman by The Metis National Council Secretariat/Metis National Council/President Clement Chartier. The Plaintiffs were represented by Counselor Murray Norman Trachtenberg.

Even more ridiculous an appeal has been launched and a factum (a book setting out the basis for the appeal) has been filed with the courts by Counselor Trachtenber. As soon as we have a chance we'll visit the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File Registry, pay the $5 fee and photocopy the most interesting pages for display on CyberSmokeBlog.

Counselor Trachtenbhas can try arguing one of two ways. Factual error(s) occurred at trial or more likely Justice Menzies made a technical mistake(s). Either way he's doomed to failure.

Remember what lead attorney Anders Bruun - - (capably assisted by Jeff Niederhoffer) was quoted as saying shortly after the trial to Winnipeg Free Press Senior Investigative Reporter Dan Lett? "This case is virtually unappealable."

The litigation was featured last summer in an issue of The Lawyers Weekly.

Wonder how much of our hard earned tax dollars the appeal will cost in legal fees?

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List:

Clem Chartier/David Chartrand's "leadership under increasing fire - anyone know the name of the taxpayer funded lawyer(s) representing them?

Clem Chartier

David "Nobel?" Chartrand

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Metis National Council Crises Escalates

Thanks to Angele who sent this.

The leaders of four of five governing members of the Métis National Council (MNC) condemn the actions of past MNC President Clem Chartier and MMF President David Chartrand to have the courts intervene in the affairs of the MNC and to de-rail the holding of elections for Metis National Council President which were scheduled for October 12-13, 2007.

For move information visit .....

MNC President Elections Put Off Indefinitely - Métis Leaders Deplore Legal Action By Former MNC President And MMF President

And a question for the readers.....this one is from an interested Metis News visitor who is doing some research.....what is David Chartrand's middle name and when is his birthday?

CyberSmokeBlog would like to try answering that one. Ironically his middle inititial is "N" as in "Noble." We used to know his birthday as it was all over copies of documents in our possession such as his commercial fishing license.

MMF Counselor Murray "N."Trachtenberg filed a Motion with the Courts forcing us to turn over to him all such information (1,572 pages). Although we fought his request legally, unfortunately, we lost. However, we can tell you he's 16 years my junior which would make him 47. Now all you need is the exact date.

Do we at least get a partial prize?

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. Wonder if the researcher is looking to do some genealogical work on President Chartrand?

Distribution List:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An open letter to Chief Justice McLachlin!

The Right Honourable Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, P.C.
The Supreme Court of Canada
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0J1

Dear Chief Justice McLachlin:

Both Judge Gomery and you are to be commended for speaking out on an issue of such critical importance to Canadians - the accessibility and integrity of our legal system. Without it we have nothing.

As a layperson with no legal training I can address the access issue firsthand. The case in question (Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI01-05-41995) involves an allegation the Canadian taxpayer funded Manitoba Metis Federation (annual budget approximately $25 million) was defamed by private citizens. To date the MMF has spent well over $100,000 in legal fees for litigation which will ultimately be shown to be frivolous and vexatious.

This is not about defamation quite the contrary. After anonymously receiving very disturbing documentation (turned over to Manitoba's Auditor General and subsequently transferred to his Ottawa counterpart), the lawsuit was launched.

It has been a crash course in learning about Affidavits, Motions, Cross Examinations, Examinations For Discovery, Written Interrogatories, Court Orders and most vexing of all The Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Rules. I would particularly like to thank Winnipeg attorney Mr. Jeff Niederhoffer who in the early stages represented me until it was wisely decided not to mortgage my financial future on such an ill-advised and conceived lawsuit. He is a person of unquestioned integrity and ethics - a model for young lawyers beginning their careers.

Throughout this trying experience, my respect and confidence in Manitoba's judiciary has remained unshakable. While not always agreeing with Court of Queen's Masters Monin, Cooper, Lee and Sharp the law is the law.

Perhaps I can share two experiences with your colleagues and you both involving Madam Justice Deborah McCawley. The first was early March last year not long before I became self-represented. Counselor Murray Norman Trachtenberg had filed a Motion in an attempt to force me to turn over any and all documentation in my possession and reveal the source(s). It was necessary to ask for an extention so I could prepare a Motion (granted one month) to argue why I should not b e compelled by the courts to do so.

I began by stating I had the upmost respect for the law as evidenced by an unblemished record which does not include so much as an unpaid parking ticket. Expecting to be cut off at any moment, I proceeded to point out how in this instance I believed the system was being misused to legally bully, harass and intimidate individuals. With all due credit to Justice McCawley, I was allowed to finish my comments. I recall standing before her amazed I was able to say what I did. Toward the end of the Hearing, Madam Justice McCawley addressed Counselor Trachtenberg which left me thinking, "Thank God someone finally understands what this case is really about." To paraphrase My Lady she noted:

(1) The litigation had gone on far too long and she was determined to move the process along

(2) She was somewhat taken aback by the volume of filings by Counsel for the Plaintiffs

(3) It appeared there was more to this lawsuit than defamation

My enduring memory is of Counselor Trachtenberg eyes cast downward blushing slightly.

Approximately a month later, I again went before Justice McCawley to have my Motion heard. Unfortunately, I lost and had to provide 1,572 pages of documentation to Counselor Trachtenberg which I subsequently did.

On three or possibly four occasions, Her Honour repeated she was concerned about me and could not allow me to proceed to Examination For Discovery with documents which had been obtained by questionable means. When I expressed concern some could disappear or perhaps be shredded, she advised to carefully catalogue everything and, if necessary, the items could be subpoeaned at trial.

An unwavering respect for Manitoba's judiciary has encouraged me to enroll in my first law course (Defamation 101?) this Fall. Former attorney Mr. Niederhoffer noted some time ago in certain cases the Federal Government will pay the tuition for senior citizens who qualify to enter law school. Since I'm almost there, I may just do that although with all I have been through and learned they should fast track me directly into third year.

Clare L. Pieuk
Remarks of The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C.
Chief Justice of Canada

(an excerpt)

To the Council of the Canadian Bar Association
at the Canadian Legal Conference
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Calgary, Alberta

Access to Justice

Next, a matter that is close to my heart, as I know it is to yours, as officers of the Canadian Bar Association — access to justice. I have spoken about access to justice many times before, and will continue to do so, because access to justice is the essential foundation for our legal system to function and to maintain the confidence of the public it serves.

First, let me outline some of the most pressing concerns about access to justice. These are issues which many of you will have experienced in your day to day practice.

The cost of legal services limits access to justice for many Canadians. The wealthy, and large corporations who have the means to pay, have access to justice. So do the very poor, who, despite its deficiencies in some areas, have access to legal aid, at least for serious criminal charges where they face the possibility of imprisonment.

Middle income Canadians are hard hit, and often left with the very the difficult choice that if they want access to justice, they must put a second mortgage on their home, or use funds set aside for a child’s education or for retirement. The price of justice should not be so dear.

Self-represented litigants, some driven by cost, and some who simply prefer to represent themselves, place burdens on the courts and other parties to litigation. Judges must ensure that unrepresented litigants are treated fairly, while at the same time, not appearing partial to one of the parties.

Delay plagues both the civil and criminal justice systems. On the criminal side, delays may result in serious charges being stayed, since the Charter guarantees the right to trial within a reasonable time. Delays can result in long periods of pre-trial custody for accused persons. Even where an accused person is out on bail prior to trial, the stress caused long delays and unresolved charges may be considerable.

In both criminal and civil cases, witnesses are less likely to be reliable, as memories fade over time, diminishing the quality of justice. On the civil side, people need prompt resolution of issues so they can move on with their lives or businesses. They cannot wait years for their cases to be heard.

Long trials also place a strain on the courts and the parties in both the criminal and civil justice system. In criminal trials, pre-trial motions and evidentiary questions have become more and more time-consuming. In civil cases, the discovery process, in itself time-consuming, leads to more evidence being placed before the trier of fact, lengthening trials. Expanded use of expert evidence has also contributed to longer trials.

We need to come to grips with these problems, to enable the justice system to provide
accessible, efficient and timely resolution of legal issues for the public it serves.
In the past year, since I last spoke to you on this matter, we have seen an important change.

We have moved beyond the stage of discussing the problem to the stage of doing something about it. Across the country, at both the provincial and national levels, concrete steps are being taken to improve access to justice in the civil and criminal courts.

It is gratifying to see lawyers, law societies, and governments working together to strengthen Canada’s justice system. The judiciary recognizes that it must also play a part in improving access to justice. Everyone must be on the same track. The only way to achieve real and lasting results is for the bench, the bar and government to work together, all in the context of the community which we serve.

To this end, we have met with your President, Parker McCarthy. In June of this year I met with Parker, and several other representatives of the Canadian Bar Association. We had a wideranging and fruitful discussion about our shared concerns about access to justice – the problems I have already described of cost and delays which impair access to justice, and hurt public confidence in the justice system. We agreed that this is a problem which no one group in the administration of justice can solve alone. We must work together as judges, lawyers, attorneys-general and other elected representatives to solve these problems. At the end of the meeting, the Canadian Bar Association, and the judiciary made a commitment to work together with other players in the justice system to improve access to justice for all Canadians.

We recognize that the problem is multi-faceted and complex. We also recognize that each constituency — bar, bench, and government — are and must remain independent. It is neither necessary nor desirable to cede independence. It is both necessary and desirable that we talk to each other and work with each other, so that all the facets of the justice system — bench, bar and administration of justice — can together provide Canadian men, women and children with excellent and affordable justice.

Thank you. Merci

Distribution List: (Canadian Taxpayer Federation) (Public Interest Law Centre) (Winnipeg Free Press) (The Lawyers Weekly)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Canadian-Manitoba Bar Associations added to distribution list!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Re: MMF et al vs. Terry Belhumeur et al
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI05-01-41955

This case (alleged defamation) is attracting considerable attention throughout Manitoba and beyond because of the many potential judicial case precedents and legal grey areas involved.

It also raises the propriety/appropriateness of the federally-provincially funded Manitoba Metis Federation using taxpayer money (annual budget approximately $25 million) to sue private citizens. To date we estimate Counsel for the Plaintiffs' has invoiced well in excess of $100,000!

To view the incredible number of filings by Counselor Murray Norman Trachtenberg, visit the Manitoba Justice webpage (, click File Number Search and enter CI05-01-41955.

We are pleased to add the names of these Associations to our distribution list for postings which relate to CI05-01-41955.

Clare L. Pieuk

The CBA is the essential ally and advocate of all members of the legal profession; it promotes fair justice systems, facilitates effective law reform, promotes equality in the legal profession and is devoted to the elimination of discrimination; the CBA is a leading edge organization committed to enhancing the professional and commercial interests of a diverse membership and to protecting the independence of the judiciary and the Bar.

The Canadian Bar Association is a professional, voluntary organization which was formed in 1896, and incorporated by a Special Act of Parliament on April 15, 1921. Today the Association represents some 35,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers, and law students from across Canada. Approximately two-thirds of all practising lawyers in Canada belong to the CBA.

The mandate of the Canadian Bar Association is to:

  • improve the law
  • improve the administration of justice
  • improve and promote acccess to justice
  • promote equality in the legal profession and in the justice system
  • improve and promote the knowledge, skills, ethical standards and well-being of members of the legal profession
  • represent the legal profession nationally and internationally, and
  • promote the interests of the members of The Canadian Bar Association
Through the work of its Sections, Committees and Task Forces at both the National and Branch levels, the CBA is seen as an important and objective voice on issues of significance to both the legal profession and the public. The Canadian Bar Association has Banches in each of the provinces and territories.

The Canadian Bar Association is also affiliated with international associations, including the Commonwealth Law Association, International Bar Association and the Union International des Avocate(e)s. Membership in these groups provides the Association with input on recent developments in the legal profession on a broad scale.

Bernard Amyot
1250 Rene-Levesque Boulevard West
Suite 2500
Montreal, Quebec H3B 4Y1
Telephone: (514) 846-2321
Fax: (514) 921-1312

Born in Montreal, Bernard Amyot received his LL.B. from McGill University in 1983 and was admitted to the Bar in Quebec the next year. Mr. Amyot is a partner with Heenan Blaikie in Montreal.

He has served as both a member of Council and of the Executive Committee for the CBA - Quebec Branch. On the National level he was Co-President of the Organizing Committee of the 2003 CBA Annual Meeting held in Montreal.

J. Guy Joubert
First Vice-President
30th Floor Commodity Exchange Tower
360 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4G1
Telephone: (204) 957-4680
Facsimile: (204) 957-4245

A partner with Aikins MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP, Guy Joubert has been a member of the CBA for some 22 years. Active in the Manitoba Branch on Committees and Council, hs was elected Branch President in 1996-97. He served nationally on the Membership Committee, Board of Directors, Organizaing Committees of the 1995 and 2004 Annual Meetings and most recently as Chair of the Communications Committee. He was awarded the 2004 Louis St. Laurent Award of Excellence for distinguished service to the CBA.

Wayne Onchulenko
Levene Tadman Guthin Golub LLP
700-330 St Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3Z5
Telephone: (204) 957-6402
Facsimile: (204) 957-1690


Mr. Anthony (Tony) Kavanagh, Senior Crown Counsel at Manitoba Justice – Public Prosecutions, has been elected to the position of Director of Advocacy and Public Relations of the Executive of the Manitoba Bar Association. Mr. Kavanagh has been a member of the MBA since 1992, and active in several sections as Chair or Co-Chair. An active member of the MBA Council since 2003, he has been an elected voting member of the Canadian Bar Association Council since 2004, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Manitoba Bar Association since 2004 and will be the Co-Chair of the MBA Criminal Justice Section in 2007/2008. Mr. Kavanagh will progress to Vice-President in 2008/2009 and ascend to the Presidency of the Manitoba Bar Association in 2009/2010.


Mr. Ken G. Mandzuik who was called to the Bar in 1997 and works at Taylor McCaffrey LLP, has been elected to the position of Director of Membership of the Executive of the Manitoba Bar Association. Mr. Mandzuik has been an active member of the MBA Council since 2003, has Chaired the MBA Legislation & Law Reform Committee since 2006, has been an elected voting member of the Canadian Bar Association Council since 2006 and currently Co-Chairs the MBA SOGIC Section. Mr. Mandzuik will progress to Vice-President in 2009/2010 and ascend to the Presidency of the Manitoba Bar Association in 2010/2011.

The Manitoba Bar Association
1450-363 Broadway
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3N9
Telephone: (204) 927-1210
Facsimile: (204) 927-1212

Distribution List: (Canadian Taxpayers Federation) (Winnipeg Free Press) (The Lawyers Weekly)

Monday, September 10, 2007

How many of you can afford to pay a lawyer at least 250 Canadian taxpayer dollars per hour like the MMF to sue private citizens?

Legal System 'Suicidal': Gomery
Lawyers' Services Too Costly For Many, Judge Warns

By Janice Tibbetts
National Post
August 9, 2007
Page A1

OTTAWA - Canada's justice system is on a dangerous path that can only be reversed if lawyers cut their fees and governments put more money into legal aid, says Justice John Gomery, the judge who led the 2004-2005 inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal.

Speaking on the eve of his retirement, Judge Gomery said the escalating cost of legal services is an "alarming trend" that is putting the justice system out of reach for everyone but the wealthy.
"The problem is a problem of costs," the judge said in a telephone interview from his farm in Havelock,Que. "I think the cost of engaging a lawyer has to be examined."

Judge Gomery stressed that "it is not just the poor; it's the great middle class" who are representing themselves in court because they cannot afford legal fees.

"I don't think the legal profession is giving the proper attention to the problem and its suicidal, the direction that we're going now."

After 25 years on the Quebec Superior Court, Judge Gomery steps down today at the mandatory age of 75.

His parting assessment of the administration of justice is the latest shot at a system that has been widely criticized for being inaccessible and producing a surge in litigants showing up in court without lawyers.

The most recent national figures on lawyers' fees, contained in a two-year-old survey by Canadian Lawyer magazine, peg the average hourly rate for a lawyer with 10 years experience at $170 to $260 depending on the region.

The average price of a contested divorce in 2005 was $8,505 while it cost an average of $20,830 to go to court for two days in a civil trial.

The magazine did not publish a survey in 2006 and 2007 because not enough lawyers responded to make the results meaningful.

Judge Gomery, acknowledging he likes to "say simple things simply," spelled out the access-to-justice problem more plainly than other judges who have weighed in on the matter.

For instance, the Supreme Court of Canada's Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin, has said lawyers have a "crucial role to play" to make the justice system more accessible but she stopped short of calling on them to lower their fees.

"I think it's for the bar to answer that question," she said during a news conference last August, following a speech in which she asserted there was an "epidemic" of unrepresented litigants trying rto navigate their way through the system.

"I would be presumptuous of me to say law firms should do this or that or the other thing, but I raised it as a question for the bar to ask themselves."

The President of the Canadian Bar Association, J. Parker MacCarthy, said lawyers are only a part of a problem that includes governments charging taxes on legal services, along with court delays that are costing extra money, and cumbersome court rules that consume too much time.

"Legal fees should not be looked upon as a stand-alone barrier to access to justice," said Mr. MacCarthy, who added that lawyers, as a goup, donate a generous portion of their time giving free legal help to those in need.

Judge Gomery also addressed the problem of dwindling legal aid, but he did nto elaborate other than to say the state must contribute more to the battered program for people who cannot afford the cost of legal services themselves.

Several provinces have unsuccessfully lobbied Ottawa to increase federal contributions to legal aid, a program that is administered and funded mainly at the provincial level. The Canadian Bar Association has been locked in a legal challenge against the federal government, claiming that legal aid is a constitutional right.

Judge Gomery leaves the bench following a legal career that has spanned almost five decades.

He said the federal sponsorship inquiry, which fromer Prime Minister Paul Martin called in 2004 to get to the bottom of how the Liberals misspent millions on a program designed to raise the federal profile in post-referendum Quebec, was the highlight of his career.

But he acknwoledged he made mistakes - notably saying in newspaper interviews that one witness was a "charming scamp." He also said the actions of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien were "small-town cheap," a reference to the handing out of monogrammed golf balls.

"The kinds of things I said in some ill-advised interviews, some things I regret and had to apologize for, "he said. "But, looking at my career in retrospect, I am not going to dwell on the things I could have done better. I made lots of mistakes, but I'm a human being."

CanWest News Service

Sunday, September 09, 2007

PILC and Lionel R.R. Chartrand added to distribution list for case file CI05-01-41955!

History Of The Centre

The Public Interest Law Centre was established in 1982 to provide representation for groups and individuals on public interest issues.0 Under the Legal Aid Services Society of Manitoba Act, group legal aid is available for consumer, environmental and other issues of common interest to members of a group.

Initially, the Centre was supported by the Province of Manitoba, along with pilot project funding from the federal Department of Justice. Since 1986, core funding has come from The Manitoba Law Foundation, with additional revenue derived from Legal Aid Manitoba (mainly in-kind services), cost and fee awards, client contributions and other granters. This arrangement allows the Centre to operate on a yearly budget of about $500,000, strictly at arm's length from government.

The advocacy role of the Centre has been publicly endorsed by both the Law Society of Manitoba and the Manitoba Bar Association. In 1996, the Bar Association launched the "Pro-Bono Public Interest Law" project, under which firms and individual lawyers have been donating time and services in order to assist the Centre's work.

Updated February 21, 2006

Byron Williams
Public Interest Law Centre
610-294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C0B9
Direct Line: (204) 985-8533
Fax:204 985-8544

Lionel R. R. Chartrand
Legal Aid Manitoba
(203) 2336210 (Office)
(204) 223-4409(Cellular)

Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg Inc.

Former General Legal Counsel

CyberSmokeBlog welcomes The Supreme Court of Canada to its distribution list!


The Right Honourable Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, P.C.

Ms Jill Copeland
Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice
The Supreme Court of Canada
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0J1
Telephone: (613) 996-9296
Facsimile: (613) 952-3092

Ms Barbara Kincaid, General Counsel
Telephone: (613) 996-7721
Facsimile: (613) 947-5033

Dear Ladies:

We would like to bring to your attention:

MMF et al vs. Terry Belhumeur et al
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File no. CI05-01-41955

This litigation is attracting considerable attention in Manitoba and beyond because of the many potential judicial case precedents and legal grey areas involved.

It also raises the propriety/appropriateness of the federally/provincially funded Manitoba Metis Federation (annual budget approximately $25 million) using taxpayer dollars to sue private citizens.

Chief Justice McLachlin has been quoted in both national newspapers as saying she is concerned with access to Canada's legal system by those of average means. As you are undoubtedly aware, she was interviewed as recently as this morning by Michael Enright, Host of CBC's National Radio One's popular Program Sunday Edition where she again reiterated this view.

We will add you to our growing distribution list, which as you can see, already includes many distinguished Canadians and institutions, for postings relating to this case.

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List: (Canadian Taxpayers Federation) (Winnipeg Free Press) (The Lawyers Weekly)