Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Legal bullying 101 MMF style!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Here's some background you'll need so Counselor Trachtenberg's letter (below) makes sense:

(1) In late January, 2004 www.CyberSmokeSignals.com posted a petition calling for the Manitoba Metis Federation to reform its archaic election procedures. Even though the organization is taxpayer funded, to this day there is no requirement in the MMF's constitution or bylaws requiring candidates to disclose the amount expensed campaigning or the source of these funds. Nor are there spending guidelines/limits

(2) The petition was written by Winnipeg Metis "lawyer" Lionel R. R. Chartrand who had publicly agreed to serve pro bono as CSS.com's General Legal Counsel. It was posted with his knowledge and approval. At no time did he request it be removed or revised until several months after MMF attorney Murray Trachtenberg issued a defamation warning letter (February 9, 2004). By that time it was no longer displayed on the main page having been stored in an archive

(3) Lionel R. R. Chartrand has not been named a Co-Defendant in the action?

(4) In the March 26, 2003 election, the only challenger for the Presidency was Manitoba's former Lieutenant Governor, and Canada's first Metis to hold such a position, The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont who lost by 20 votes after a recount

(5) A court challenge ensued and in January, 2004 Justice Perry Schulman, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench ruled another election be held for the position of President. Prior to handing down his decision, David Chartrand publicly stated if a new election were ordered, the MMF would require another $100,000 from the federal and provincial governments to revise election bylaws and update voters lists

(6) After each election, the Chief Electoral Officer is required to prepare a written post-mortem report for the Provincial Board of Directors which is never made public. However, the court case file showed every one since David Chartrand became President (1997) were critical of:

(i) Inaccurate voters lists
(ii) Flawed election bylaws

In fact, it got so bad one CEO (retired Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Alvin Hamilton) became frustrated to the point of threatening not to serve as Chief Electoral Officer unless the changes he'd been recommending were implemented

(7) In June, 2004 the Manitoba Court of Appeal ruled against Mr. Dumont who incurred his own legal expenses. Mr. David Chartrand's were paid by the Manitoba Metis Federation using taxpayer dollars

(8) Metis mom, contrary to Counselor Trachtenberg's suggestion did indeed exist. She is Vanessa Everton who signed a letter to President Chartrand (2007) removing her as a Co-Defendant. Although we have a copy, Queen's Bench Rules prevent us from publishing it on the internet otherwise we would

The petition instructions called for those collecting signatures to send their data sheets to one of four post office boxes. Here's the letter Counselor Trachtenberg sent not knowing who owned them. They were senior, exemplary Manitoba Metis citizens whose names are widely recognized and highly respected within their communities. In fact, one was a Elder. Now that's real class sending them a letter like this isn't it?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
POSNER & TRACHTENBERG
Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries Public
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E4
Fax: (204) 944-8878

Gerald S. Posner
Manitoba & Ontario Bars

Murray N. Trachtenberg, B.A., LL.B.
Direct line: (204) 940-9602
e-mail: mtrachtenberg@ptlaw.mb.ca
_____________________________________________
February 24, 2004

Petition Co-ordinator
Post Office Box 72
Duck Bay, Manitoba
R0K 0N0

Petition Co-ordinator
Post Office Box 128
Camperville, Manitoba
R0L 0J0

Petition Co-ordinator
Post Office Box 523
Winnipegosis, Manitoba
R0L 2G0

Petition Co-ordinator
Post Office Box 130
Skownan, Manitoba
ROL 1Y0

Dear Sir/Madam:

Re: Cybersmokesignals.com
Election Petition
My File No. 2003-20

I am the lawyer for the Manitoba Metis Federation.

This post office box was listed in a message dated February 6, 2004 posted on the website for cybersmokesignals.com. The message suggests that individuals who are signing an election funding petition posted on that website should forward those petitions to your post office box.

The petition contains statements which are untrue and defamatory of the Board of Directors of the MMF. These include the following:

"AND WHEREAS the Manitoba Metis Federation has been needlessly spending vast amounts of money for inappropriate travel and accommodation for David Chartrand, as well as, some Board Members.

AND WHEREAS David Chartrand has already spent tens of thousands of dollars on pre-election campaigning in anticipation of the court order.

AND WHEREAS very large sums of money intended for appropriate purposes such as consulting with members on hunting and harvesting issues have already been spent by David Chartrand on campaigning.

AND WHEREAS the Federation's Board has been illegally authorizing campaign spending for David Chartrand and unlawfully spending your public monies to pay his election court challenge legal fees.

AND WHEREAS unnecessary Board travel had been authorized for public relations purposes to one candidate only, namely David Chartrand.

AND WHEREAS the Metis have no confidence that any extra funding provided to the Federation will be spent in a legal or appropriate manner but rather believe all principles of fair play will be set aside by the Board of Drirectors approving campaign and public relations expenses for David Chartrand only.

AND WHEREAS the Metis believe that any extra money provided to the MMF will be used in attempts to hinder and suppress the rights of the other candidates for the presidential election rather than providing them with an equal opportunity."

I have already written to Mr. Terry Belhumeur who is the registered domain holder for cybersmokesignals.com and advised him that a lawsuit will be commenced against him, Clare L. Pieuk, and the individual identified as "Metis mom" on the website (if, in fact, such an individual does exist.

I am writing to you to advise you that any distribution of defamatory material (such as the election funding petition) by you to any other individual will result in you being liable to pay damages to the Board of Directors and the MMF.

In the event that you disbribute any copy of the election funding petition thereby publishing the defamatory statements, a lawsuit will be commenced against you as well.

GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY!

Yours truly,
MURRAY N. TRACHTENBERG
MNT/lec

Distribution List
bkaternick@mnbc.ca
tonyb@metisnation.org
mdevlin@metis.org
Media
cadler@cjob.com
boris.hrybinsky@freepress.mb.ca
david.kuxhaus@freepress.mb.ca
dan.lett@freepress.mb.ca
carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca
colleen.simard@freepress.mb.ca
gordon.sinclair@freepress.mb.ca
louise_charette@cbc.ca
terry_macleod@cbc.ca
brendan_o'hallarn@cbc.ca
staff@taiga-communications.com
publisher@grassrootsnews.mb.ca
publisher@thundervoice.ca
theverdict@ctv.ca
stymofichuk@ctv.ca
cblatchford@globeandmail.com
pcheney@globeandmail.com
jibbitson@globeandmail.com
gmason@globeandmail.com
mwente@globeandmail.com
dwalton@globeandmail.com
dmartin@nationalpost.com
pgoodspeed@nationalpost.com
Federal
The Prime Minister (Harper.S@parl.gc.ca)
Minister of Indian And Northern Affairs Canada (Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca)
Minister of Finance (Flaherty.J@parl.gc.ca)
President, Treasury Board of Canada (Toews.V@parl.gc.ca)
Minister of Justice (Nicholson.R@parl.gc.ca)
Rod Bruinooge (Bruinooge.R@parl.gc.ca)
Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca)
Raymond Simard (Simard.R@parl.gc.ca)
Jack Layton (Layton.J@parl.gc.ca)
Pat Martin (MartiPD@parl.gc.ca)
Auditor General of Canada (petitions@oag-bvg.gc.ca)
Canadian Taxpayers Federation - National (jwilliamson@taxpayer.com)
Provincial
Premier, Manitoba (premier@leg.gov.mb.ca)
Minister of Finance (minfin@leg.gov.mb.ca)
Minister of Justice (minjus@leg.gov.mb.ca)
Auditor General of Manitoba (contact@oag.mb.ca)
Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Manitoba (abatra@shawbiz.ca)
Legal Community
PublicInterest Law Centre - Winnipeg (bwilliams@pilc.mb.ca)
Lionel R. R. Chartrand - Legal Aid Manitoba (licha@legalaid.mb.ca)
abruun@campbellmarr.com
jnieder@shaw.ca
thefirm@fleurcom.on.ca
bamyot@heenan.ca
jgj@aikins.com
wonchulenko@ltgg.ca
The Lawyers Weekly (tlw@lexisnexis.ca)
admin@cba-mb.ca
media@scc-csc.gc.ca
law-droit@scc-csc.gc.ca
harvey_secter@umanitoba.ca
lawdean@osgoode.yorku.ca
cchisick@osgoode.yorku.ca
afineblit@lawsociety.mb.ca
mtrachtenberg@ptlaw.mb.ca
lcoulombe@ptlaw.mb.ca
Websites
www.free-press-release.com
www.pressbox.co.uk
www.press-base.com
www.freepressreleasewire.co.uk

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