Saturday, June 14, 2008

Good on you Associate Chief Justice Oliphant - let's get to the bottom of this!

"I apologize and I accept full responsibility for it," he told a parliamentary committee, saying he should instead have insisted on a check." (Thursday, December 13, 2007)
The apology did not impress Pat Martin of the minority New Democrats. "People use cash in business deals of that size when they're either trying to hide any record of something that they know to be wrong or if they're trying to avoid taxes ... neither look very good for a former prime minister, let me say," he told Mulroney.
Critics Judge The Judge
Oliphant Named To Schreiber-Mulroney Inquiry
The Canadian Press
Winnipeg Sun
June 13, 2008
OTTAWA - A Manitoba judge appointed to the bench by Brian Mulroney's government will head up a public inquiry into Mulroney's murky dealings with international arms lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber.
Jeffrey Oliphant, associate chief justice of Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench, was named to lead the long-awaited investigation yesterday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
But opposition MPs immediately raised doubts about Oliphant's ability to get to the bottom of Mulroney's long, lucrative relationship with Schreiber, given the judge's links to the former prime minister's government and the limited scope of his mandate.
Oliphant, 64, was named to the federally-appointed Court of Queen's Bench in 1985 and was promoted to associate chief justice in 1990. Both career moves took place during Mulroney's tenure as prime minister.
"The optics of this are terrible and calls into question the integrity of the whole inquiry," said New Democrat MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre).
Although Oliphant has "an excellent reputation as a jurist," Martin added: "This guy owes Brian Mulroney his career. If this was a criminal trial or a civil case, he'd have to recuse himself."
Oliphant was not speaking to the media yesterday but Harper's spokesperson, Sandra Buckler, said the judge "has not met, nor has he ever talked to Brian Mulroney."
Buckler pointed out that Oliphant was also appointed by Jean Chretien's Liberal government to a position as deputy judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice in 2002.
Oliphant's appointment came seven months after Harper first promised a formal investigation into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair.
"The government is acting on its commitment to establish a public inquiry into this matter," Harper said in a statement.
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Tansi/Good Day Readers:
We think Winnipeg Centre Member of Parliament Pat Martin in his comments about Associate Chief Justice Jeffrey Oliphant should take note of what Clint Eastwood, in true Dirty Harry fashion, recently told black Movie Director Spike Lee, "He should shut his face." Where's our unofficial resident war movie critic Frank Godon when we need him - just like a cop! He's the one who taught us the Eastwoodism, "There's a Cluster F*ck ahead, Sir!" - Heartbreak Ridge (1986).
Here's why:
(1) Exhibit "A" - The First Letter
From: CLARE PIEUK <pieuk@shaw.ca>
Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 2:54 pm
Subject: Forensic Audit - Manitoba Metis Federation
The Honourable Pat Martin
Member of Parliament, Winnipeg Centre
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-5308
Facsimile: (613) 992-2890

Re: The Manitoba Metis Federation

Dear Mr. Martin:

By way of background, for more than five years a colleague and I have operated a not-for-profit, independant, non funded Metis specific website dedicated to improving the governance, financial accountability and transparency of the MMF. During this time almost 218,000 individuals from throughout Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have visited us.
To date, I have had meetings with Officials from the Office of Manitoba's Provincial Aduitor, a Member of the RCMP's Commercial Crime Section (Winnipeg), as well as, The Honourable Oscar Lathin's Office who, as you know, is our Minister responsible for Aboriginal and Northern Afairs. Each has been shown substantial written documentation which I believe may indicate a significant misappropriation of taxpayer dollars has taken place over serveral years. At no time have any of the parties suggested I not contunue to pursue the matter.
On Friday morning of this week I will be telephoning your Constituency Office requesting a meeting as soon as reasonably possible. Hopefully, unlike a previous electronic correspondnce sent directly to you (unrelated Metis situation) which has not been answered, you will recognize the seriousness of the situation at hand. Should such not transpire, I will contact Ms. Sheila Fraser at which time she will be fully appraised including the fact a Loyal Member of Her Majesty's Offical Opposition failed to react.
I look forward to meeting with you in the foreseeable future.
Respectfully,
Clare L. Pieuk (Web Master, CyberSmokeSignals.com)
(2) Exhibit "B" - The Telephone Conversation
On Saturday, June 4, 2005 at approximately 10:00 a.m. I telephoned Mr. Martin's Constituency Office and spoke directly with him. The conversation lasted approximately a half-hour:
(i) Mr. Martin noted he was very busy working on serveral immigration related files for his constitutents
(ii) After explaining I was quite prepared to meet with him to share our documentation, he took the position unlike many of his colleagues who were always focusing on negative activities associated with Aboriginal organizations he was emphasizing the positives
(iii) He was then reminded of his position as The Queen's Loyal Member of the Official Opposition Party responsible for Aboriginal Affairs
(iv) After the gentleman reiterated he was too busy to meet he was advised a letter would be forthcoming to Auditor General Fraser
(v) It was noted since I was not one of his constituents he was not obliged to speak or meet with me at which point he was advised it was a good thing I was not one of his constituents because he most certainly wouldn't got my vote. Mr. Martin was politely reminded as the Official NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic and a Manitoba Member of Parliament this request supersedes whether an individual is resident of his Winnipeg Centre Riding
Exhibit C - The Second Letter
From: CLARE PIEUK <pieuk@shaw.ca>
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 7:24 pm
Subject: Joint Federa/Provincial Audit - Manitoba Metis Federation
Thusday, June 9, 2005
Sheila Fraser, FCA
Auditor General of Canada
Office of the Auditor General of Canada
240 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A OG6
Telephone: (613) 995-3708
Facsimile: (613) 957-0474
Re: Joint Federal-Provincial Forensic Audit, Manitoba Metis Federation
Dear Ms. Fraser:
By way of background, for more than five years a colleague and I have operated a not-for-profit, independent, non funded Metis specific website dedicated to improving the governance, financial accountability and transparency of the MMF. During this time, over 219,000 individuals from throughout Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have visited us.
To date, I have had meetings with staff from Manitoba's Provincial Auditors Office, a Member of the RCMP's Commercial Crime section (Winnipeg), The Honourable Oscar Lathlin, Minister responsible for Aboriginal and Northern Affairs (Special Assistant), as well as, Mr. Pat Martin, MP (Winnipeg Centre) Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition Critic for Aboriginal Affairs (New Democratic Party). With the exception of Mr. Martin, each has been shown substantial written documentation which we believe may indicate a significant misappropriation of taxpayer dollars has taken place over several years. At no time have any of the parties suggested I not continue to pursue the matter.
I discussed the situation with the NDP Critic as recently as last Saturday (telephone approximately half-hour). Unfortunately, he was not prepared to peruse the documentation and consider contacting you (Hardly a labour intensive activity!) instead citing a heavy workload, limited resources and a desire to focus on the positive achievements of Aboriginal organziations. Sadly, the gentleman fails to comprehend if due diligence and financial accountability are not practiced, much of the good work on which he is focusing could indeed be undone, compromised or overshadowed. It is for this reason, therefore, I have had to take the unusal step of addressing you directly.
The authorities with whom I have been corresponding were advised I will be e-mailing you requesting a joint federal-provincial audit on the basis that the vast preponderance of funding given the MMF represents taxpayer dollars. By late Fall 2005, if I have still not been advised whether further action is underway, I will write our Provincial Auditor Mr. Jon Singleton asking for a definitive answer. It is my understanding the gentleman is obliged to provide such. Failing that, I will file a formal information request pursuant to Manitoba's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in an attempt to force compliance. Hopefully, this will not be necessary.
Should all previous initiatives prove unsuccessful, then and only then will I approach the media, as well as, begin publicly discussing the matter on www.CyberSmokeSignals.com.
In the meantime, I remain ready to meet with an auditor(s) from your Office. Below for your edification are copies of correspondence which have been sent to date. Hopefully, it will provide you and your staff with an appreciation of what has transpired.
Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Web Master, CyberSmokeSignals.com
So where are these documents today you didn't have the time to review alleged Member of Parliament Mr. Pat Martin? Well, on March 2, 2006 Murray Norman Trachtenberg Counsel for the MMF Plaintiffs in the Federation's defamation lawsuit against www.CyberSmokeSignals.com filed a 35 page Motion Brief in which he tried to do two things:
(1) Force us to turn them all over to him
(2) Reveal our sources
I responded with a 31 page counter Motion Brief challenging Mr. Trachtenberg's request. A Hearing was held before Justice McCawley on May 1, 2006. Unfortunately, we lost, however, it's interesting to note Her Honour's comments. On more than one occasion she noted it was me she was concerned about noting she could not allow me to go to an Examination for Discovery with documents which had been questionably obtained. When I expressed concern they could be shredded or otherwise "miraculously disappear" Milady assured me, if necessary, they could be subpoeaned at trial. She then granted a Court Order forcing me to turn them over to Murray Trachtenberg. Therefore, during the Summer of 2006 I relinquished 1,574 pages to Murray Trachtenberg's Legal Assistant Louise Colombe on three separate occasions.
During October, 2006 my then attorney Jeff Niederhoffer and I met with Manitoba's Deputy Auditor General and three of her senior staff to review copies of these same documents which had previously been turned over to them before Counselor Trachtenberg obtained a Court Order. It was decided since the federal government funds most of the MMF's budget, the Auditor General of Canada's Office should take the lead in a joint forensic audit so it was agreed the material would be forwarded to Mr. Christian Asselin a forensic auditor in the AGCO.
I subsequently recieved a letter from Mr. Trachtenberg dated January 23, 2008 with an attached Amended Affidavit of Documents. Item 110 was listed as a letter from the aforementioned Mr. Asselin suggesting 8 packages of material had been returned to Counselor Trachtenberg. When confidential material is provided to the AGCO there is a presumption it will remain in their care and control and not be relinquished to the attorney for the Plaintiffs in a lawsuit. At trial the propriety of Messrs. Asselin and Trachtenberg's actions will be challenged.
Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Distribution List

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Clint Eastwood: 'Spike Lee Should 'Shut His Face'
(June 6, 2008)


Spike Lee Should shut his face" about the lack of African-Americans in "Flags of Our Fathers."

"Has he ever studied the history?" Eastwood asked the U.K.'s Guardian in an interview published on Friday.

While promoting his own war movie, "Miracle at St. Anna," about the all-black 92nd Buffalo Division, which fought the Germans in Italy during World War II, Lee said Eastwood's Iwo Jima movie "Flags of Our Fathers" lacked a single African-American.

There were many African-Americans who survived that war and who were upset at Clint for not having one [in 'Flags' or 'Letters From Iwo Jima']. That was his version: The negro soldier did not exist. I have a different version," Lee said recently at the Cannes film festival in France.

In response, Eastwood told the Guardian: "A guy like him should shut his face."

"He was complaining when I did 'Bird' [the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker]. Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else."

As for "Flags of Our Fathers," he says there was a small detachment of black troops on Iwo Jima as a part of a munitions company, "but they didn't raise the flag. The story is 'Flags of Our Fathers,' the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people'd go, 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate."

Clint Eastwood has put the kibosh on any rumours that he will one day revisit Dirty Harry. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival he put the record straight.

Clint Eastwood was there to promote his film with Angelina Jolie called Changeling. We already know that his new project Gran Torino, will not see him back as Dirty Harry. There were still some rumours of him going back to that role, but he seems pretty clear: No. That rumour's incorrect. I have no intention. There are certain things you have to be realistic about. Dirty Harry would not be on a police department at my age, so we'll move on from that.

"Go ahead make my day! You have to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well do you punk? I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head off do you feel lucky?"

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