Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A duck is a duck is a duck!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The descriptive!"

I hear he (Co-Defendant Terry Belhumeur) gave those ducks as presents to David Chartrand or maybe Will Goodon!

Seriously, he is now such a (descriptive deleted) with all those apologies, Chartrand's (expletive deleted) must be sore with kisses.
Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for writing. Yes, now that you mention it Will Goodon's duck sure looks a lot like one of Terry Belhumeur's.
Clare L. Pieuk

A business model for Manitoba Metis?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "All is not well in Metisland west!"

Actually its a bogus group, it has been found out that it is former CEO of MNBC Keith Henry that is pulling the strings of the Coalition of Concerned Metis Citizens of BC. He is disgruntled cause he basically got fired for having (six words deleted) and causing embarassment and possible lawsuits for the Metis Nation of British Columbia. So he "decided to leave," but is trying to (five words deleted) together to fool some poor dupes in BC into allowing his rise again to glory. Pretty sad eh?

Luckily most of the people in British Columbia are too smart to be fooled. Now in Manitoba, the lie has already won the crown.
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Sorry but we thought it better to delete a few words. Unfortunately, we know very little indeed about Metis politics in British Columbia so can't comment on what you've said. However, the business model developed using is an example worth noting. It's an approach badly needed by our Metis citizens here.
We don't understand your last sentence. Could you please write back to explain.
Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Voters meet MMF plaintiff John Fleury!

John Fleury
Board of Director SouthWest Region (Brandon)

This is John's third term. He is married to wife Barbara of 29 years and has 5 children (2 girls & 3 boys) and one granddaughter. John served in the Canadian Armed Forces and was employed as a guard for the RCMP. John has also been actively involved with the Manitoba Metis Federation since 1974. He has spent many years doing volunteer work and sitting on various boards and committees. These volunteer positions keep him very active regionally, provincially and nationally. John has also been actively involved with the Manitoba Metis Federation since 1974. (

Mr. Fleury is:

Member, Manitoba Metis Federation's Executive Policy Committee
Co-Chair, Heritage & Sports Portfolio
Chair, MHRDA
Youth Portfolio
Member, Provincial HRD Committee
Member, Manitoba Community Investments Inc.
Ex Officio, Provincial Management Board

With so many duties and responsibilities Mr. Fleury must be required to do a lot of traveling at taxpayers' expense.

In January 2008, MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (Posner & Trachtenberg -; was given Written Interrogatories for each of the Plaintiffs in the Federation's taxpayer financed alleged defamation lawsuit against the now defunct During November of that year he replied saying, "..... they (ie. the Plaintiffs) object to answering on the grounds that the questions are irrelevant and/or scandalous and/or vexatious."

Here they are Readers you be the judge and jury. The next MMF election must be held no later than September 2010.

Clare L. Pieuk
(General Heading - Form 4A)

The Co-Defendant Clare L. Pieuk requires that the following questions be answered by affidavit in Form 36B prescribed by the Queen's Bench Rules, served within 15 days after service of these questions.

(Where a further list of questions is served under rule 35.04 substitute:)

The Co-Defendant Clare L. Pieuk requires that the following further questions be answered by affidavit in form 35B prescribed by the Queen's Bench Rules served within 15 days after service of these questions.

January 2, 2008

To: Murray N. Trachtenberg
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4

1. As a Plaintiff represented by Counselor Murray Norman Trachtenberg in the defamation lawsuit CI 05-01-41955, how much have you incurred to date in legal fees? What amount have you paid? If none, from where in the MMF's budget is Mr. Trachtenberg being reimbursed?

2. Have you been convicted of a civil offence(s) including Small Claims court? If yes, provide complete particularization - [date(s), location(s), court file number(s), description of judgment(s), penalty(ies) assessed].

3. Have you been convicted of a criminal offence(s)? If yes, provide complete particularization - [date(s), location(s), court file number(s), description of convictions(s), penalty(ies) assessed].

4. Have you received a loan(s) from the Manitoba Metis Federation? Provide complete details -[reason(s) for loan(s), date(s), amount(s), interest rate(s), current status of loan(s)].

5. Do you or have you owed the Manitoba Metis Federation monies for travel expenses or any similar activity(ies) related to your duties as a Provincial Board of Director? If yes, what is their current status? Provide complete details of all outstanding debt(s).

6. As a Provincial MMF Director, have you received any bonus payment(s)? Provide complete details - [reason(s) for bonus, date(s) and amount(s)]. Have all such monies been declared as earnings on your income tax returns?

7. Have you been convicted of an offence(s) under Manitoba's Wildlife Act, or similar legislation in other provinces? Provide complete details - [date(s), file number(s), location(s), penalty(ies) assessed].

8. Were or are you aware Lionel R. R. Chartrand had entered into a contract to provide legal advice to the Manitoba Metis Federation regarding Aboriginal hunting rights possibly beginning in 2005? Was this situation discussed at a Provincial Board of Directors Meeting(s) at which you were in attendance? If yes, when?

9. Explain how articles posted on have impugned your reputation, character or harmed your career advancement resulting in loss of income. What has been the estimated decline in your earnig potential? Give examples of articles from the aforementioned website that have allegedly contributed to this situation.

10. On or about April 2003 newly elected Winnipeg Regional Vice-President Ron Chartrand wrote a letter to President Chartrand, including copies to all Provincial Directors, suggesting a recent audit of the Winnipeg Office had identified certain highly unusual payments. Particularization as to whether these constituted unauthorized bonuses was requested.

Did you receive a copy of said letter? What, if anything, did you do as a Provincial Board of Director? Was remedial action undertaken? If yes, describe.

This takes the cake!

Good Day Folks:

The following Statement of Claim was filed with the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench by Murray Trachtenberg (Posner & Trachtenberg -; in August of 2005.

It should be noted that a Notice of Discontinuance was subsequently filed. From the Court's perspective it's as though the action never happened even though a paper trail remains. All that can be said is both sides reached an out of court agreement the details of which are known only to them. There are reasonable grounds to believe Walter Joseph Chartrand is Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand's brother.

Certain postions of the Statement of Claim raise serious questions. These are in bold:

(1) At paragraph 6 page 4. If there was any doubt in the mind of Walter Chartrand as to his liability in co-signing a loan, why did he not obtain a copy beforehand for Counselor Trachtenberg's review and advice? Even assuming there was none, would it not have been prudent and wise on the part of the Plaintiff to do so regardless?

(2) At paragraph 8 page 5. Same argument as (1). Notice use of the phrase, "purported to reflect" - either the Plaintiff was on the hook or wasn't and if so he should have been aware of his potential financial liability

(3) At paragraph 12 page 5. Why was the Plaintiff's place of employment not identified?

(4) Paragraph 13, page 6. Same comment as (3)

(5) Paragraph 19 page 6. How could Plaintiff Walter Chartrand have deposits make into his chequing account over three consecutive months by, "a person or persons unknown" and not be aware of their identity? While the monthly payment to Chrystler is not detailed in the Statement of Claim, surely the total would have been in the hundreds and hundreds of dollars. This takes the (chocolate) cake!

Clare L. Pieuk

File No. CI 05-01-43903

- and -
EASTWOOD CHRYSLER DODGE LTD. and CHRYSLER FINANCIAL CANADA (a division of Daimler Chrysler Services Canada Inc.), defendants.

Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries Public
710 - 491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 2E4

Phone No. (204) 940-9602
Fax No. (204) 944-8878
File No. 2004-17



A LEGAL PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST YOU by the plaintiff. The claim made against you is set out in the following pages.

IF YOU WISH TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, you or a Manitoba lawyer acting for you must prepare a statement of defence in Form 18A prescribed by the Queen's Bench Rules, serve it on the plaintiff's lawyer or, where the plaintiff does not have a lawyer, serve it on the plaintiff and file it in this Court office WITHIN 20 DAYS after this statement of claim is served on you,if you are served in Manitoba.

If you are served in another province or territory of Canada or in the United States of America, the period for serving and filing your statement of defence is 40 days. If you are served outside Canada and the United States of America, the period is 60 days.

IF YOU PAY THE PLAINTIFF'S CLAIM, and $300.00 for costs, within the time for serving and filing your statement of defence, you may move to have this proceeding dismissed by the court. If you believe the amount claimed for costs is excessive, you may pay the plaintiff's claim and $300.00 for costs and have the costs assessed by the court.


August 26, 2005
Issued by Deputy Registrar (Signature)

Address of the Court Office: 100C - 408 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0P9

Eastwood Chrysler Dodge Ltd.
1700-A Waverley Street
Winnipeg Manitoba
R3T 5V7

Attention: Mr. Wayen Vickar, Operations Manager

Chrysler Financial Canada (a division of Daimler Chrysler Services Canada Inc.),
c/o D'Arcy & Deacon LLP
Barristers and Solicitors
1200 - 330 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 4E1

Attention: Russel G. Wookey


1. The plaintiff claims judment against the defendant Eastwook Chrysler Dodge Ltd. ("Eastwood") for:

(a) general damages in an amount to be determined by this Honourable Court;

(b) special damages in an amount to be proven at the trial of this action;

(c) costs on a solicitor and own client basis

(d) such further and other relief as the nature of the case may require and this Honourable Court deem just.

2. The plaintiff claims judgment against the defendant Chrysler Financial Canada (a division of Daimler Chrysler Services Canada Inc.) ("Chrysler") for:

(a) general damages in an amount to be determined by this Honourable Court;

(b) special damages in an amount to be proven at the trial of this action;

(c) aggravated and punitive damages;

(d) costs on a solicitor and own client basis;

(e) such further and other relief as the nature of the case may require and this Honourable Court deem just.

3. The plaintiff is a maintenance worker and resides in the Town of Fort McMurray, Alberta. At all material times, he resided in Winnipeg.

4. Eastwood is a company incorporated pursuant to the laws of the Province of Manitoba and carries on business in the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

5. Chrysler is a company incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada with a registered office in the City of Windsor, Ontario and at all material times hereto was registered to and did carry on business in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

6. On or about August 29, 2003, the plaintiff attended Eastwood's business premises at the request of his friend Julian Boucher. Boucher resided at Pine Creek First Nation in Manitoba and had had communications with one or more sales employees of Eastwood to make arrangements fo purchase a vehicle. It was the plaintiff's understanding that he was attending at Eastwood for the purpose of co-signing the purchase documents with Boucher as Boucher's credit rating would not quality him as a purchaser without a co-signer.

7. The plaintiff met with Eastwood's employee Martin Lubimid and another salesperson named Brian, whose last name is unknown to the plaintiff but known to Eastwood ("Eastwood's employees"). He was presented with a number of documents to sign which he did.

8. The documents signed by the plaintiff made no mention of Boucher being the purchaser but instead purported to reflect the plaintiff as the sole purchaser of a 2001 used Oldsmobile Silhouette Extended Van ("the vehicle"). Particulars of the purchase were noted as follows:

Cash down payment $6,500.00
Total purchase price $33,571.12
Balance of price financed $27,071.12

9. Eastwood assigned the purchase aggreement with the plaintiff to Chrysler and all payments to be made were to be made to Chyrsler.

10. Neither the plaintiff nor Boucher made a down payment of $6,500.00 or at all and this figure was inserted by Eastwood's employees for reasons not known to the plaintiff. No demand for the plaintiff or Boucher to pay the $6,500 was ever made by Eastwood.

11. It was understood at all times between the plaintiff and Eastwood's employees that the vehicle would be delivered to Boucher at Pine Creek First Nation and would not be used at all by the plaintiff.

12. Shortly after August 29, 2003, Eastwood employees delivered the vehicle to Boucher at Pine Creek First Nation. Boucher was not satisfied with the vehicle and had the vehicle brought to Winnipeg and parked it at the plaintiff's place of employment.

13. Several days after this, Eastwood's employees attended at the plaintiff's place of employment and Brian picked up the keys to the vehicle from the plaintiff and drove it away. At the time the keys were returned to Brian, he advised the plaintiff that the plaintiff had no responsibility with respect to the vehicle.

14. At no time did the plaintiff ever have the vehicle in his possession after Brian picked up the keys and the vehicle as referred to in paragraph 13.

15. At no time did the plaintiff have any knowledge of the whereabouts of the vehicle after Brian picked up the keys and the vehicle as referred to in paragraph 13.

16. The plaintiff states as the facts are, that by accepting the return of the vehicle, Eastwood cancelled the purchase agreement and if the plaintiff had any liability there under, which is not admitted but denied, such liability ceased the day on which Eastwood regained possession of the vehicle.

17. As a result of the return of the vehicle to Eastwood, any liability the plaintiff had to Chrysler, which liability is not admitted but denied, was extinguished.

18. On or about February 23, 2004, Chrysler sent a notice to the plaintiff advising that monthly payments were in arrears and demanding payment of $1,715.55.

19. Upon investigation, the plaintiff was able to ascertain that in October, November and December 2003, a person or persons unknown to the plaintiff had deposited money into the plaintiff's Royal Bank chequing account which money was then automatically withdrawn by chrysler to pay the monthly payments on the vehicle. The December amount of money deposited to the plaintiff's account by the person or persons unknown was insufficient to cover the December payment to Chrysler with the result that other cheques written by the plaintiff were returned NSF and the plaintiff incurred bank service charges as a result.

20. Throughout early 2004, counsel for the plaintiff advised Chrysler of all details concerning this transaction including the fact that a report had been filed with the Winnipeg Police and the matter was under investigation. Despite this, Chrysler continued to take the position that the plaintiff was responsible for monthly payments for the vehicle.

21. The plaintiff further states as the facts are that his counsel advised Eastwood of this matter and the fact that Chrysler continued to demand payment from him.

22. During July 2004, Chrysler located the vehicle in the Province of Manitoba in the possession of a person unknown to the plaintiff and repossessed it.

23. On July 15, 2004, Chrysler gave the plaintiff a written notice of sale or disposition indicating that the vehicle would be sold after August 14, 2004 and that the plaintiff might be liable for a deficiency arising there from.

24. The plaintiff demanded an accounting of the sale proceeds from Chrysler but Chrysler refused and continues to refuse to provide same.

25. The plaintiff states as the facts are Eastwood's employees were at all times acting within their apparent scope of employment and that if one or more of them acted fraudulently with regard to the sale and return of the vehicle Eastwood is vicariously liable for the actions of its employees.

26. Chrysler, as assignee of the purchase agreement, is bound by the actions of Eastwood and its employees and has no better claim for payment against the plaintiff than Eastwood's claim.

27. Chrysler reported credit information to credit bureaus in Canada concerning this transaction which information was known to it or should have been known to it to be inaccurate and false including that the vehicle had been involuntarily repossessed from the plaintiff.

28. In the alternative, Chrysler was negligent in the reporting of credit information to the credit bureaus concerning the transaction.

29. Chrysler refused for a considerable period of time to correct the bureau information despite requests by the plainfiff to do so and despite having knowledge of the true facts concerning this matter.

30. As a result of the actions of Eastwood's employees, and as a result of the inaccurate and false information supplied by chrysler, the plaintiff has incurred legal costs, has suffered an impaired credit rating, was unable to borrow funds from his bank, and had to cash in a registered retirement saving plan and has thereby suffered financial damages and costs, details of which will be proven at the trial of this action.

31. The actions of Chrysler in reporting inaccurate and false information to the credit bureaus and refusing to correct same for a lengthy period of time despite being aware of the true facts has been callous, heavy-handed and warrants an award of aggravated and punitive damages.

August 26, 2005

Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries Public
710 - Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4

Counsel for the plaintiff

Update on Plaintiff Rita Cullen!

Good Day Readers:

Below is an excerpt from our September 16, 2009 posting entitled, "Rita Cullen knows defamation!" concering a lawsuit brought against her by a Mr. Ron Erickson.
Recently we re-visited the file (CI 98-01-09563) of which there are two. One was marked "B" which, as we understand it, usually refers to proceedings related to Pre-Trial Conferences and Case Management Meeting not open to the public. Normally, only the trial judge gets to view its contents. After a final decision has been rendered, it is then up to Their Honour to decide whether it will, in effect, be permanently sealed from future viewing or simply added to the Case Management File available at the Queen's Bench Registry.
A word of caution. The "B" designation might have simply been used by Registry staff to denote two files existed.
After closely examining both, nowhere were we able to find any reference to a Notice of Discontinuance or settlement agreement. This would seem to strongly suggest the case is potentially still alive but has been allowed to lie dormant for several years.
Clare L. Pieuk
In September of 1998 Rita Cullen was named as a Defendant in a defamation case. Next time we're at the Law Courts Building we'll request the file be pulled so we can update you on its current disposition.

Ms Cullen ceased being a Manitoba Metis Federation Provincial Director effective June 29, 2006 the date of its last election. We do not know whether she ran and was defeated or chose not to be a candidate. She remains a Plaintiff in the Federation's taxpayer financed defamation lawsuit (Queen's Bench File Registry No. CI 05-01-51955) against the now defunct Presumably her legal fees are still being paid from public funds.

The Plaintiff Ron Erickson was represented in the action cited below (a stripped down verson eliminating the opening legal preamble) by Winnipeg lawyer Richard Beamish (Scurfield Tapper Cuddy) who replaced MMF solicitor Murray Trachtenberg (Posner & Trachtenberg -; late December 1999 as corporate counsel to the "arms-length" Manitoba Metis Federation affiliate the Louis Riel Capital Corporation.


"Pax vobiscum little papal spider, pax vobiscum!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Careless talk costs lives!"

Subhashita Manjari has left a new comment on your post, "Loose lips sink ships!"

A similar phrase, "Careless talk costs lives!" also comes from the same origin.
Subhashita Manjari refers to a collection of Sanskrit epigrams.
Thank you for writing and adding to our Readers' knowledge.
Clare L. Pieuk

Courtroom 117!

Good Day Readers:
Last year Winnipeg lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (Posner & Trachtenberg -; was granted a publication ban in the taxpayer financed Manitoba Metis Federation's alleged defamation lawsuit against the now defunct
Court ordered publication bans are difficult to manage at the best of times but even more so in the age of the internet. While we strongly disagree, the law is the law and must be respected. However, here's where it gets tricky. The ban applies only to Pre-Trial Conferences and Case Management Meetings but not to Motion Hearings which are open to the public, mainstream media and bloggers. Issues raised at MHs can very easily spill over to matters discussed at a P-TC or CMM. Therefore, the "publication ban line" is not only very fine but also easily blurred.
We consultated outside sources on the contents of this posting and believe it does not contrevene the ban - that is not our intention. Unfortunately, we've had to heavily edit our comments because of yet another legal threat from Counselor Trachtenberg regarding a document.
In our opinion, this is yet another attempt to bully, intimidate and harass a self-represented Defendant - of which there have been many.

On August 21, 2009 a Motion Hearing was held to consider a request to amend my original Statement of Defence Filed in April of 2005. Mr. Trachtenberg had used The Queen's Bench Rules and Act to have much of the Defendants' S of Ds expunged before a Court Master that same year. The Statements had been prepared without benefit of legal representation. However, a decision on this Motion has been reserved pending a ruling on a second of mine currently before the courts asking for access to MMF internal documents essential to the preparation of a vigorous defence. These were turned over under Court Order to the "possession, care and control" of Murray Trachtenberg (May of 2006) after he filed a Motion for such.
Subsequent Hearings were held on September 14 and 17, 2009 to discuss my Motion for access to the aforementioned MMF material.

Suffice it to say, we're researching procedures surrounding the sealing of documents by the Court. Based on initial conversations with a cross section of individuals, this appears to be a grey area about which sources we contacted for the most part were somewhat unfamiliar. Upon review of the Queen's Bench Rules (144 pages) and Act (34 pages), bearing in mind we have no formal legal training, we were able to find only one direct reference - QBA PART XIII section 77(1) Sealing confidential documents:

The court may order that a document be sealed and is not a part of the public record of the proceeding.

Presumably case precedent law exists which serves to further define and clarify the procedure involved. Once the Court orders a document(s) sealed, apparently a requirement exists that the media be advised. We have been advised there are 101 throughout Manitoba on the list. Other questions we're looking at include:

(1) How detailed is the information provided to the media? Does it, for example, include the case file number, type of document and the name of who submitted it or does the notice simply state there has been a sealing order issued?

(2) Do arguments exist whereby a Party opposing the media notification requirement could be successful?

(3) Can an accredited member of the media file a Motion to argue for access to the document(s)? If successful are there any restrictions?

(4) Is the sealing order lifted at time of trial or does it remain permanent?

We'll continue to share the results of our research as a public service. The next court appearance will be October 7, 10:00 a.m. which I believe to be a Motion Hearing continuation of those held August 21, September 14 and 17 of this year.

Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, September 27, 2009

When dirty laundry gets washed in public!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "MMF election 2010 - what will change?"

I hope the courts deal with them accordingly and expose it all... gggggggo Clare gooooo...

Dear O...,

As always thank you for writing. From the get go, in our opinion, MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (Posner & Trachtenberg -; using a variety of legal manoeuvres has frantically tried to block exculpatory evidence from being ruled admissible at trial. He is doomed to failure!


Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Plaintiff Claire Riddle!

Claire Theresa Marie Riddle
Good Day Readers:
For those not familiar with our legal system, a Plaintiff or Defendant can be required to provide testimony under oath (usually in the office of a lawyer) that is electronically recorded by a registered court reporter and a transcript prepared. Examinations for Discovery and Cross-Examinations are examples of where the technique may be used. The going rate for Winnipeg is approximately a $100 attendance fee for half a day ($200 full day) plus about $3.50/page for a written transcript which can then be entered into evidence during a Motion Hearing, Pre-Trial Conference/Case Management Meeting or at Trial.
In the taxpayer financed Manitoba Metis Federation's alleged defamation lawsuit against the now defunct, the site's registered owner Terry Belhumeur was required to undergo an Examination for Discovery during January of 2008 while I was subjected to a C-E (about 2 hours - January 2006) and E f D (approximately 2 1/2 hours September 2007 ). These were conducted by MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg from Posner & Trachtenberg (;
Self-represented litigants can resort to Written Interrogatories whereby they prepare a list of questions for the lawyer representing the other side who is then supposed to interview their client(s) and provide the originator with answers which can subsequently be entered as evidence. During early January 2008 I submitted a total of 38 pages worth of inquiries for the 19 Plaintiffs who still remained in the lawsuit at the time (all Federation Provincial Board of Directors).
Counselor Trachtenberg refused to co-operate claiming in an October 20, 2008 letter, "..... the questions are irrelevant and/or scandalous and/or vexations." Therefore, the Written Interrogatories (and non-existent responses) do not appear on the Queen's Bench File Registry as a public domain document.
Ms Riddle serves as a Director on both the MMF's Winnipeg Regional Office, as well as, its Provincial Board and has for several years. She remains a Plaintiff in the Federation's taxpayer financed defamation lawsuit against Persumably her legal fees are still being paid from public funds. Here are her Written Interrogatories.
Clare L. Pieuk
(General Heading - Form 4A)
The Co-Defendant Clare L. Pieuk requiries that the following questions be answered by affidavit in Form 35B prescribed by the Queen's Bench Rules, served within 15 days after service fo these questions.
(Where a further list of questions is served under rule 35.04 substitute:)
The Co-Defencant Clare L. Pieuk required that the following further questions be answered by affidavit in from 35B prescribed by the Queen's Bench Rules served within 15 days after service of these questions.
January 2, 2008
To: Murray N. Trachtenberg
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4
1. As a Plaintiff represented by Counselor Murray Norman Trachtenberg in the defamation lawsuit CI 05-01-41955, how much have you incurred to date in legal fees? What amount have you paid? If none, from where in the MMF budget is Mr. Trachtenberg being reimbursed?
2. Have you been convicted of a civil offence(s) including Small Claims Court? If yes, please provide complete particularization - [date(s), location(s), court file number(s), description of judgments(s), penalty(ies) assessed].
3. Have you been convicted of a criminal offence(s)? If yes, provide complete particularization - [date(s), location(s), court file number(s), description of conviction(s), penalty(ies) assessed].
4. Have you received a loan(s) from the Manitoba Metis Federation? If yes, provide complete details - [reason for loan(s), date(s), interest rate(s), amounts(s), current status of loan(s)].
5. Do you or have you owed the Manitoba Metis Federation monies for travel expenses or any similar activity(ies) related to your duties as a Provincial Board of Director? If yes, provide complete details of outstanding debt(s). What is their current status?
6. As a Provincial MMF Director, have you received any bonus paymnets(s)? If yes, provide complete details - [reasons(s) for bonus, date(s) and amount(s)]. Have such monies been declared as earnings on your income tax returns?
7. Have you been convicted of an offence(s) under Manitoba's Wildlife Act, or similar legislation in another province(s)? If yes, provide complete details - [file number(s), date(s), locations(s), penalty(ies) assessed].
8. Explain how articles posted on have impugned your reputation, character or harmed your career advancement causing you a loss of income. What has been the estimated decline in you earning potential? Give examples of specific articles from the aforemetnioned website that have allegedly contributed to this situation.
9. As a Provincial Board of Director, were or are you aware Lionel R. Chartrand entered into a contract to provide paid legal advice to the Manitoba Metis Federation regarding Aboriginal hunting rights possibly beginning in 2005? Was this arrangement discussed at a Board of Director Meeting(s) at which you were in attendance? If yes, when?
10. In March, 2003, or thereabouts, did you or did you not receive at least two cheques worth thousands of dollars co-signed by other Board of Directors in the MMF's Winnipeg Regional Office? If yes, explain why these payments were made?
11. As a Director, Winnipeg Regional Office did and do you have signing authority?
12. In March 2003, or thereabouts, did then Winnipeg Regional Office Vice-President Edward Ducharme receive a cheque for $50,000? Who co-signed it? Why was the payment made? Were you one of the co-signers?
13. On or about March 2003 did then Winnipeg Regional Office Director Andrew Carrier receive two cheques worth several thousands of dollars? Were you one of the two co-signers? If not, who were? Why were these payments made?
14. On or about March 2003 did Ed Ducharme's wife receive a cheque for several thousand dollars? Were you one of the co-signers. If not, who were? Why was this payment made?
15. On or about March 2003, did Devona Voss receive a cheque for several thousand dollars? Were you one of the co-signers? If not, do you know who were? Why was this payment made?
16. On or about April, 2003 did newly elected (March 26, 2003) Winnipeg Regional Office Vice-President Ron Chartrand write a letter to David Chartrand and the Provincial Board of Directors questioning these payments and asking if unaurhorized bonuses had been paid to certain individuals? What, if anything did you do at the time regarding this situation? Was remedial action taken? If so what was done?
17. Did Mr. R. Chartrand receive a reply from President Chatrand, any of his Provincial Board of Directors or Murray Norman Trachtenberg? If yes, when was it received and what did it say?

..... and your deodorant?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Self-represented litigants?

Lawyers be warned: Dress well for court
Brooklyn judge throws out lawyer's complaint alleging constitutional right to wear jeans and a baseball cap

Jonathan Stempel
New York — Reuters
Friday, September 25, 2009

A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, has thrown out a complaint by a lawyer alleging a constitutional right to wear jeans and a baseball hat in a courtroom.

Todd Bank, whose office is in Kew Gardens, New York, showed up in a Queens housing court in March, 2008, while wearing a button-down shirt, blue jeans, socks, shoes and a baseball hat that read “Operation Desert Storm.”

Judge Anne Katz told Mr. Bank he was dressed inappropriately, and court clerk Jude Albano told him to take the hat off.

Mr. Bank sued both, saying his right to free speech and his liberty to dress as he wishes, which he said are guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, allowed him to wear the clothing.

Not so, said U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

A courtroom is a “staid environment” where a judge may set reasonable limits on litigants' behaviour to enforce “commonly shared mores of courtroom civility,” he wrote Thursday.

He said the case raised “no serious dispute,” lamenting that the office of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo “has now had to expend resources” defending the matter.

The judge added, however: “When he is not in court, plaintiff is free to express the ideas he wishes to express, and to wear the attire he chooses to wear.”

Mr. Bank did not immediately return requests for comment. He did not allege discrimination on the basis of the hat's content.

And what's wrong with these?

London Fashion Week may not be ready, but women love a curvy model
Size 14 model Hayley Morley caused shock waves when she walked for Mark Fast at London Fashion Week. So what made a curvy woman such a bombshell on the catwalk?

By Tamsin Blanchard
September 24, 2009
Size 14 model Hayley Morley caused shock waves when she walked for Mark Fast at London Fashion Week.
On Saturday, the second day of London Fashion Week, Hayley Morley, got up early and went to work. As a model, she is used to early starts. As a size 14 model, she is not used to walking the catwalk for a young, cutting-edge British designer in a clingy, skimpy, knitted dress. By the end of the day, Morley, 21, had become a major story.

The designer in question was 28-year-old Canadian - Winnipeg (emphasis ours), Mark Fast. The night before the show, a time when designers work closely with their stylists and casting directors to decide on the running order and last-minute fittings, Fast's stylist, Erika Kurihara, had a problem over some aspects of the show – not about the inclusion of the size 14 girls as has been widely reported – and walked out leaving the Telegraph Magazine's fashion director, Daniela Agnelli, to step in at the last minute. Fast worked into the early hours, finishing off the last few pieces, literally knitting them onto the model with his fingers.

"It's a great idea for a young designer to think about a curvy body," says Agnelli, who encouraged Fast to send Morley out in the opening outfit. "It's about being confident and happy with who you are. Hayley is a sexy girl. Mark's vision is of a more womanly woman."

Fast graduated with a Masters from Central Saint Martins in 2008, and his first collection was promptly snapped up by the most wily retailer in the business, Browns. So taken was Joan Burstein, the woman who first bought John Galliano's collection in the Eighties, that she asked Fast to work with Browns exclusively. His intricately knitted dresses, which he forms on the body and makes with a domestic knitting machine using his own blend of Lycra, viscose, angora and wool, retail for £1,300. On the hanger, they can look shrunk and strange. But put them on, and they stretch and mould to your shape. The collection for spring/summer has sold out, and this one is expected to follow suit.

Fast met Morley in June when he was looking for models for a shoot that he was working on as part of a project called All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, a new initiative to help promote the use of models of different shapes, sizes, ages and colour. As one of six young designers chosen to take part in the project, Fast was introduced to Morley (who is 5ft9in, has a 34D bust, and 29in waist) and liked her look and her spirit from the start. He made a dress for her which was then shot by fashion photographer Kayt Jones for I-D magazine.

Morley has been modelling for two years since being scouted by Sarah Watkinson, founder and director of the agency, 12+UK. "Hayley is a naturally curvy girl," says Watkinson. She is totally comfortable with the size she is – a normal, healthy girl with curves in the places you would normally have them."

Since Saturday's show, Watkinson has been busy tracking blogs the world over with women saying, "I would love to have a figure like her."

Fast used two other size 14 girls, both from the same agency – Laura Catterall and Gwyneth Harrison. "I booked them because I felt moved by them when I met them – they have the vibe of old-school super models," Fast said after the show.

Certainly, his super-sexy dresses need a bit of flesh to cling to. "Every woman brings herself into my creations. My work is all about the yarn responding to the body."

For broadcaster Caryn Franklin, who launched All Walks Beyond the Catwalk as part of London Fashion Week, this is only the beginning. Her initiative has been supported by photographers including Rankin and Nick Knight, as well as by Sarah Brown, Marks & Spencer, Vogue editor Alex Shulman, and the British Fashion Council.

"The idea is that every year, we work with young designers," says Franklin, hoping that this season will not just be a one-off. All Walks will also begin to work with colleges, such as London College of Fashion, simply diversifying the range of body shapes and sizes the students aspire to dress.

For many designers, it is a matter of opening their eyes to something new. "William Tempest [a young designer for whom Morley has also modelled] said he realised how suited his clothes are to curvy women," says Franklin. "Up until now, he has only worked with dressmaking dummies and traditional fitting models."

What has become evident to Franklin is that designers do not have access to curvier models, and curvier models do not have access to high-end fashion.

"These girls don't get the chance to be in cutting-edge magazines. All it needs is for us to work a bit harder and not to be lazy. The industry wants this, too. We don't always just want to get it in the neck for being uncaring and without a conscience. I applaud Mark Fast's use of curvy models; I'm delighted by the delight of ordinary women who have been inspired by this."

As for Hayley Morley, hopefully a contract with a high-end fashion brand will follow. "I am surprised by the publicity," says Morley, who is in her final year at university, studying investment and finance in property. "I didn't think it would be such a big deal."

She has been inundated with messages of support. "There are lots of people who have wanted to see a change like this. It's really positive. I've always been a very active person. I go to the gym and am very healthy and happy. I'm not concerned about putting on or losing a few pounds."

All in the family!

Junior Gotti's night to remember: Sister Victoria Gotti describes secret Mafia ceremony in new book
Friday, September 25, 2009,
Mob boss John Gotti (left) leaves court with John (Junior) Gotti (in tie) in 1987 (Pedin/News)
Junior Gotti in 2007 (Schwartz for News)
Victoria Gotti dishes on her family in her new book 'This Family of Mine' (Ward for News)
John A. (Junior) Gotti became a Mafia "made man" on Christmas Eve 1988 in a shadowy blood ceremony that he compared to joining nobility, his sister reveals in a new tell-all.

"I swear, I did think about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table," she quotes him saying after he took his seat with 10 other "men of honor."

Victoria Gotti likens the criminal organization her brother had just joined to Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

"Many of them did take from the rich and often gave to the poor, while lining their own pockets, of course," she writes in the omerta-annihilating "This Family of Mine," out next week from Simon and Schuster.

While insisting she doesn't condone crime, Gotti calls Sicilian mobsters honorable men compared with hypocrites like corrupt politicians, perverted priests or crooked cops.

She also declares there is no difference between paying taxes to fund police and paying protection to the mob.

Junior Gotti, who for years denied his mob membership until he recently said he'd quit "the life" in 1999, is in the midst of his fourth racketeering trial.

In her book, his sister vividly describes how proud he was to join La Costa Nostra in a somber ceremony in a dimly lit Mulberry St. apartment.

"This was one of the most important days in his life. ... [He] was the happiest man alive," Victoria writes.

Junior wore his lucky red tie. He was surrounded by hard men in expensive suits, she writes.

Their father, Gambino family boss John Gotti, was not present to avoid bad luck and the appearance of nepotism.

He was given a picture of a saint stained with a drop of his father's blood. The picture was set afire as he recited an oath pledging to burn like the card if he betrayed the brotherhood.

Breaking ancient codes, Victoria Gotti even names who was there, among them Underboss Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano and Gambino Consigliere Frank (Frankie Loc) Locascio.

After the ceremony, Junior went down the street to the Ravenite Social Club, where his proud father - whom Junior venerated as a god - held court, she writes.

Victoria says that just three years later, in 1991, her brother started wanting out, sickened by the gangland rubout of his best friend, Bobby Borriello.

She called the murder "the beginning of the end" of John's involvement with the mob.

The book describes an unusual childhood with a tough-but-adored father who was often either in jail or in the headlines.

Once, when a gang of bat-wielding toughs set on Junior, her father beat three of them to a pulp and forced others to beg for their lives. The don then made his son fight each of his attackers, one-on-one, to regain his honor, his daughter writes. She portrays her dad as a powerful mob boss who reveled in ill-gotten riches, but never implicates him in murders.

Indeed, she insists he had nothing to do with some of the big killings he famously ordered, including the neighbor who accidentally ran down his 12-year-old son, and the slaying of his predecessor, Paul Castellano.

She says she thinks someone who thought they were doing her father a favor had the neighbor eliminated. She skips over who really killed Castellano.

As to tapes of Gotti threatening to saw people's heads off, she said it was just his style.

In her telling, prosecutors and cops are incompetent, corrupt or out to get the Gottis. Even the famous 1989 tax-evasion case against Leona Helmsley was brought because G-men were barred from Junior's wedding reception at the Helmsley Palace, she claims.

That wedding scene is memorable: "Each New York crime family had a table," she reports.

She also relates a striking moment from her wedding day in 1984, describing how her brother's attractive friend John Alite made a move, planting a long kiss on her.

Alite is the star government witness in her brother's trial. She calls him a despicable, lying coward who made up an affair with her and the charges against her brother.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oy veh!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MMF election 2010 - what will change?

Good Day Readers:
According to the Manitoba Metis Federation's constitution, ratified by the 37th Annual Assembly September 11, 2005, ARTICLE X PRESIDENT Item 2 Page 6 states in part:
"The President shall hold for a term, or terms, each of which shall not exceed four years and three months from the date of election ..... ."
Since the last general vote was held June 29, 2006 this means the Federation must call its next one by no later than September of 2010. Further, according to ARTICLE IV of the ELECTION BY-LAW Timeing of Election Item 1 page: 11
"There shall be no more than sixty days (60) between the date of the notice setting the date of the election and Election Day. In order to calculate compliance with this provision, the first day counted shall be the day after the date of the notice setting the date of the election and the last day counted shall be Election Day."
This would seem to suggest for a late September 2010 election the earliest it could be announced would be approximately beginning of August 2010.
Finally, ARTICLE III of the ELECTION BY-LAW Chief Electoral Officer Item (g) Page 10 states:
"Providing a written report to the Board of Directors of the MMF within 60 days from the date of the election."
There have been a couple issues that have plagued previous votes:
(1) C-31s
An Act was passed by Parliment during the 1980s by which an individual previously claiming to be Metis could file application with the federal government requestion to be re-classified as First Nations. Presumably a geneanology search is part of the process. Once a successful transition had been made it's irreversible. To ensure none of these persons find their way onto voters lists, the MMF requires input from Indian and Northern Affiars Canada
(2) Confirmation a voter is indeed Metis
It is our understanding the Federation has embarked on a program whereby every card carrying member will have to undergo a genealogy search. The question becomes how many will have satisfied that requirement by the time of the next election?

To the best of our knowledge, the Chief Electoral Officer's post election written report is not distributed to the general membership. Rather, for a behind the scenes glimpse we must rely upon court documents.
After the March 26, 2003 controversial election in which presidential candidate Yvon Dumont lost by 20 votes in a recount, he challenged the results in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench during April of that year. In January 2004, Justice Schulman ordered a new election be held for the position of President.
MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (Posner & Trachtenberg - filed an appeal and, unfortunately, the lower court decision was over turned. During that election retired Provincial Court Judge Alvin Hamilton was the Chief Electoral Officer. Here's his affidavit filed in connection with Mr. Dumont's legal challenge. It's indeed instructive. We have emphasized (bold) those sections worth noting.
Clare L. Pieuk
File No. C103-01-32742
W. Yvon Dumont a Presidential Candidate, Applicant
- and -
Manitoba Metis Federation Inc., the Honourable A.C. Hamiltion, Q.C., in his capacity of Chief Electoral Officer, and David Chartrand, a Presidential Candidate, Respondents
Hon. A.C. Hamilton Q.C.
4621 Roblin Boulebard
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 0G2
Fax No. 896-4512
I, Alvin Chown Hamilton, of the City of Winnipeg in the Province of Manitoba, Barrister and Solicitor, make oath and say:
1. I am currently the Chief Electoral Officer of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) having been appointed by the Board of Directors in December 2002 to conduct the 2003 triennial election. I am presently holding a by-election in the Thompson Region where two candidates for the second Board Member position have an equal number of votes.
2. I was also the Chief Electoral Officer for the election of 1994 and 1997 and assisted Laurie Messer who was the Chief Electoral Officer for the 2000 election.
3. I do not oppose the application of the applicant, nor do I support it. My responsibility as Chief Electoral Officer, is to be and to remain neutral in all matters.
4. This affidavit has been prepared to assist the Court and counsel by providing information to indicate how the election was conducted. The guiding documents were the MMF Constitution and Election By-law. In addition to following their requirements, I had to exercise my discretion in many areas, having been directed to "manage and conduct the election."
Due to the variety of interpretations of the by-laws that were expressed during this and prior elections, it was necessary to establish specific rules everyone had to follow. To provide the members an opportunity to officially put forward the many objections and concerns they had, a number of processes were developed to permit lists of voters and nominees to be challenged and the voters and the ballots to be challenged. Other systems were also required to aqccommodate the far-flung membership. Laurie Messer, one of my assistants, was to constant communication with Local Chairpersons, MMF Regional Offices, MMF Head Office and the DROs as the election proceeded.
5. Without attempting to justify or argue whether they were right or wrong, the following decisions were made by me in the course of the election:
(a) It was difficult in every MMF election with which I was involved, to obtain current lists of members so we could compile the List of Electors. I would have preferred to compile our voters list from a list of members that should exist at the MMF Head Office but, in spite of my urging after each election, their list of members is not up to date. We then had to work with the Chairpersons of the Locals who were suppopsed to have current lists. Many Chairpersons told us their lists were not up-to-date and directed us to contact their Regional Office, which they felt had a more current list.
Laurie Messer then contacted all the Regional Offices throughout the Province. Three of the seven seemed to have current memberships lists while others told us to use the Locals' list of members. Even the large Winnipeg Region did not have a current list of members. For example, it did not even contain the name of the current MMF President. We assisted some Chairpersons update their membership lists by checking the lists they used in earlier elections that were in our possession.
The most complete lists we could develop were then sent to the Chairperson of each Local for confirmation. We asked them to post the list in a prominent place in their community. February 7, 2003 was set as the deadline to challenge the lists to question the right of a person to be on the list or to challenge the absence of a name. Few, if any, requests to alter the lists were received from individuals, although some Chairpersons asked that further names be added.
The Poll Books and Lists of Electors were then prepared from the membership lists and were forwarded to each DRO prior to March 1st, three weeks before the election. The Chair of each Local was advised where his or her members could vote.
(b) As communication with the DROs continued, it came to my attention that some Chairpersons had removed a large number of names from their list of members in the mistaken belief a person who seemed to have moved away could not vote with their Local. A notice was sent to the DROs, each candidate, the Regional Office and the Head Office on March 7, 2003 saying the removal of a name was improper unless the member had indicated his or her intention to establish another permanent residence.
Several Chairpersons neglected to update their membership lists at all. After they received their final List of Electors from our office they called wishing to add names. Some names were of Metis who had turned 18 since the last election. The Chair was advised it was too late for us to add names and all they could do was advise those members to go to the poll on election day and see if the DRO would add them.
The Chairperson of one Winnipeg Local telephoned Laurie Messer after the final list had been distributed to say a large block of voters, including two candidates who had been been on the initial list, had been inadvertently removed. It turned out that when the Local forwarded a computer disk containing a list of members after the draft list was distributed, we assumed it was the list of all members of the Local and the earlier draft list was not used. To correct the error, Laurie Messer gave the Winnipeg DROs the names that had been inadvertently removed and authorized them to add those names to the list if they appeared to vote on election day. The Poll Books will show those voters as having been added on election day.
Two Locals where unintentional mistakes were made were Swan River and Dauphin. In one, all the Metis members who did not have an MMF card, including the current Vice President, were removed from the list of members. In the other, the names of members who had moved from the community were removed. The DROs were instructed to add these names to their Poll Book on election day.
(c) Similar problems had been encountered in previous elections and rules had to be developed to permit qualified members to be added to the Voters List and to the Poll Books on election day. Several criteria and rules were developed:
(i) I instructed the DROs to add a name on election day if the DRO, and any Scrutineers who were present, knew the person was Metis and was a member of the Local.
(ii) If a person had an MMF membership card that had been issued more than 6 months ago, and they had voted at an earlier election (which our office could quickly determine) they should be allowed to vote.
(iii) If the membership card was more recent or if it had been issued by a Regional Office, and the person's name could not be found on the List of Electors at a pervious election, they should not be allowed to vote. I took the position that the by-laws required Locals, not Regional offices, to issue all membership cards.
(iv) In preparation for election day we gave the DROs a dedicated telephone number and instructed them to telephone if they were concerned about adding a name to their Poll Book on election day. We would then check the voters lists for the 1997 and 2000 elections to see if the person was on the voters list at that time. If we found the person's name, we would authorize the DRO to add their name and permit the person to vote, subject to the usual challenges they had authority to deal with. If we could not find the name on an earlier list, we instructed the DRO not to let the person vote. If the DRO and scrutineers were satisfied the person was Metis and a member of a Local they did not have to telephone but could add the name themselves.
(v) This system was not foolproof, but it was th best system I could devise, particularly when faced with allegations that some Chairpersons intentionally removed the names of some members and I had no idea how widespread that practice was. In checking a name to see if it was on a former list, we frequently checked the list of other Polling Places to make sure the person was not on two lists. When a DRO added a name after phoning us, they were directed to indicate in the Poll Book that the name had been added with my approval.
(vi) During the 2003 election, approximately 450 electors were added to Poll Books by DROs. We do not have a breakdown at this time of how many were added with my approval and how many were added by Chairpersons without objection from a Scrutineer.
(vii) The rationale for looking to past lists of electors was they provided some proof the person was Metis, a member of the Federation and had voted without challenge at a pervious election.
(d) During the 1994 election, a number of problems developed with respect to the Advance Poll provisions of the MMF election by-law. It was difficult to engage DROs and Poll Clerks to sit in a Voting Station from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. waiting for advance-poll voters to appear. At most locations, no one voted at the advance poll.
The process was also very costly as we had to pay each of the 107 DROs and Poll Clerks for the Advance Poll as well as for the Regular Poll and in some cases for the rental of the hall where voting could take place.
Another problem was that, as a Voting Station was not established in every Local, many voters could not get to the advance poll at all or not without considerable expense. I had decided, after consultation with the MMF Head Office, there would be no Polling Station in a Local where less than 25 members had voted in the previous election.
To save money, make it easier for all members to vote and to accommodate those who could not get to an advance poll or the poll on election day, we established a "Mail-in Advance Poll." Procedures were developed to permit voters to apply to vote by mail. On receipt of an application, my assistant checked the voters list to make certain the person was on it. A form of declaration was then sent to the voter who had to return it with their marked ballot in a blank envelope. The voter was required to personally return both to the election office by a prescribed day. Once a person applied to vote by mail, the DRO was advised to mark the book and not let that member vote in person. These rules formed part of the Notice of Election.
The names of everyone who voted by mail were included in the final List of Electors and appeared in a Poll Book. Many mail-in voters were nevertheless challenged when their names, but not their ballots, where disclosed on March 24th.
6. In addition to the opportunity to challenge the voters list to which I referred, other dates were set during the 2003 election process to enable a variety of challenges to be made. All were taken advantage of:
(1) On February 10th and 11th I heard three challenges to the right of candidates to seek election. The candidates were represented by counsel or by another adviser. One candidate was successfully challenged and was removed from the list of nominees and from the ballot. The other challenges were rejected. Another was withdrawn.
(2) On March 24th the outer mail-in envelopes were opened in my presence and Scrutineers for the various candidates were present and were able to challenge the right of those who voted by mail to have voted at all. Many voters were challenged but I ordered their votes be counted. The ballots of those who were challenged had a number placed on the back of them and a corresponding number was placed opposite their name in the poll book. This was done to enable a court, if it wished, to examine the challenge and determine for whom the person had voted. I have not permitted anyone to look at or compare the identifying numbers.
(3) When voters were challenged at the time of voting on election day, if the DRO permitted them to vote, the challenge was noted in the Poll Book, numbers were applied and the ballots were placed in an envelope marked "Challenged but Voted."
7. Approximately 32,200 names were on the voters lists.
Approximately 7,100 members voted.
Approximately 450 names were added on Election Day.
All but 100 election day voters were on a prior MMF list of electors.
58 mail-in voters on the Winnipeg list were challenged and 36 of them were added to one Locals list of members after the initial list of members was received by my office. In a subsequent examination of the names that were challenged, 25 do not appear on any previous MMF list of voters. Only 6 rural mail-in voters were challenged, all from the North West Region. Three of the challenges were allowed and the ballots were not counted. Three were rejected and their ballots went into a "Challenged by Voted" envelope.
8. I am reluctant to discuss these matters with individual counsel but am prepared to do so at a meeting where all counsel are present. I am of course prepared to clarify any matter or provide any further information the Court requests.
The Affidavit was sworn in Winnipeg on April 29, 2009. The signature of the notary who signed off on it is unintelligible.

The descriptive!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The art of licking shoes!"

He (Terry Belhumeur) is a big (descriptive deleted).
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Sorry to remove your descriptive but we thought it better. However, we do agree with you - it's sad!
Clare L. Pieuk

Christmas is coming - for the person who has everything!

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door ..... Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Boy Toys" - your program debuts tonight!

Good Day Readers:

In researching "cougars" there's a lot more than first meets the eye. Jian Ghomeshi host of CBC Radio's daily On Q Today had a panel discussion yesterday.

It seems some older ladies feel it's an affront to be labelled a cougar. Even learned in the lexicon of the subject a "pre-cougar" is a "puma." Were left wondering, what's the term for older gentlemen who like younger women?

Then we have the New York Daily News' recent 25 page pictoral spread, Hollywood: The Real Cougar town

Speaking of dating a teenager... Hulk Hogan's ex-wife Linda Bollea tops the Daily News' charts as the cougar queen! Linda, 50, and her 20-year-old boyfriend, Charley Hill, started dating when Charley was only 19. But the duo's matching platinum 'dos aren't the freakiest thing about this relationship - the Hogan kids, Brooke and Nick, are only 21 and 19, respectively. Can we have a collective 'ewwwww'? Wonder if Mr. Hulk will be watching the inaugural episode of Cougar Town?


Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, September 20, 2009
Cougar Town
(Series -- ABC, Wednesday, September 23, 9:30 P.M.)

Filmed in Los Angeles by Doozer and Coquette Productions in association with ABC Studios. Executive producers, Bill Lawrence, Courteney Cox, David Arquette; co-executive producer, Kevin Biegel; producers, Thea Mann, Randall Keenan-Winston; director, Lawrence; writers, Lawrence, Biegel;

Jules - Courteney Cox
Ellie - Christa Miller
Laurie - Busy Philipps
Travis - Dan Byrd
Grayson - Josh Hopkins
Andy - Ian Gomez
Bobby - Brian Van Holt

There's an inherent cynicism and naughtiness that makes "Cougar Town" a particularly unpleasant place to visit -- a reaction that likely will be amplified for many by seeing "Friends" alum Courteney Cox in such a leaden vehicle. Thematically similar to CBS' somewhat better "Accidentally on Purpose," the older woman/twentysomething guy thing was clearly in the zeitgeist this year, but whatever the femme appeal of that particular fantasy, its comedic treatment here amounts to less of a defiant roar than a feeble meow.

Cox plays a divorced woman with a wiseass teenage son (Dan Byrd, and really, is there any other kind?) and a slacker ex-husband (Brian Van Holt). She also has bad-influence friends (Christa Miller, Busy Philipps) who all but challenge her by saying, "You couldn't bag a young stud if you tried."

OK, so maybe Cox's character, Jules, hasn't gotten laid in awhile, but the notion that she'd be off-putting to men hardly matches her trainer-toned body and proves more laughable, unfortunately, than anything in "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel's script. So a trip to the local bar quickly yields a tryst with an obliging young dude -- as well as a truly icky moment when her kid walks in on them.

The idea of women reversing the polarity of May-December (or really here, more like June-September) romances is hardly a new one -- hell, we've even had a couple of reality shows devoted to it -- but it does feed into the dual sense of insecurity and self-empowerment that women harbor about getting older. Women, after all, remain network TVs most loyal audience, so why not let them proudly proclaim that bimbos (or in this case, "himbos") are no longer men's exclusive province?

For all that, though, the execution here is consistently about as subtle as a kick to the groin -- and represents the least appealing component of ABC's quartet of new Wednesday-night comedies. On the plus side, there are some talented folks in the cast (including Josh Hopkins as Jules' womanizing neighbor), and in the glass-half-full department, this kitty's aspirations have nowhere to go but up.

Serving as producer and star, Cox's cache might help get the program sampled (though that didn't pan out especially well for her misguided FX comeback "Dirt"), but if the pilot is indicative of the show's direction, it's unlikely many will yearn to linger for long in "Cougar Town's" untidy litter box.

Got a light judge?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The art of licking shoes!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Don't know don't care!"

Terry (Belhumeur) should join Lionel (Chartrand) in Alberta because no one here has any use for him either.

Maybe we will have to wait until he is finished licking David Chartrand's shoes ..... could be a while folks.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Perhaps what you're finally seeing is a little blowback as a powerful law of natural justice runs its course - "What goes around comes around!"

As for licking shoes, given life's many vicissitudes sooner or later we all have to do a little - it's like that other part of the anatomy. However, the art lies in choosing good shoes.

Clare L. Pieuk

"We told him Megan Fox would be here."

'Fun to watch someone else get heckled': Top 10 reasons Obama did Letterman
September 22, 2009
Jeremy Barker

U.S. President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to appear on Late Show with David Letterman last night, part of his bid to reassure people about his handling of the economy and healthcare.

Asked about former President Jimmy Carter's comment that some of the sharp criticisms aimed at Obama seemed to reflect racism, Obama deadpanned, "I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election."

In case you missed it, here are the Top Ten Reasons Why President Obama Agreed To Appear On The Show

10. Heard the lady with the heart-shaped potato was gonna be here.
9. Thought it would be fun to watch someone else get heckled.
8. Something to do with that whole cash for clunkers deal.
7. Every president since Teddy Roosevelt has done it.
6. Someone offers you 600 bucks you take it ladies and gentlemen.
5. We told him Megan Fox would be here.
4. Needed some time to hang out before check in time at his hotel.
3. I have no idea.
2. Said yes, without thinking, like Bush did with Iraq.
1. Wanted to congratulate Dave on the big Emmy win.

More Lionel Chartrand!

Alberta Crown Prosecutor Lionel R. Chartrand
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Indeed we do!"

(Two word expletive deleted)
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. While we certainly agree with your assessment of Mr. Lionel Chartrand we thought it better to delete it.

Clare L. Pieuk

What you didn't hear on David Letterman last night!

Christopher Andersen is the critically acclaimed author of twenty-three books that have been translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. A former contributing editor of Time and senior editor of People, Andersen has also written hundreds of articles for a wide range of publications including Life and the New York Times (

The following is an excerpt from his latest book, Barack And Michelle. 'Barack and Michelle' tells story behind domestic tension that nearly ruined the Obamas' marriage

Monday, September 21st 2009
Barack Obama, at that point a Senate candidate, with Michelle and family in 2004. (Green/AP)

The Obamas with Malia in 2000. (Stewart/AP)

They were more piercing, more frantic and insistent. As usual, it was Michelle who climbed out of bed first and made her way to Sasha's room while Daddy stayed in bed, hoping his 3-month-old daughter would quickly be lulled back to sleep.

The baby would not be consoled. Barack finally threw back the covers and plodded down the hall. "Jeez, Michelle," he asked, "can't you get her to stop?" Michelle, who gently cradled Sasha, shot her husband a withering glance.

It was a look he had grown accustomed to since the birth of their first daughter, Malia, in 1998. Michelle, like so many other working mothers, was the one expected to bear most of the parenting burden that only intensified with the birth of Sasha.

A nagging concern she wasn't afraid to share with him directly - and repeatedly - was that he seemed willing to put politics ahead of the family.

"You only think about yourself," she would say to him again and again in a tone dripping with disdain. "I never thought I'd have to raise a family alone." Barack, convinced that whatever time he devoted to his career would ultimately benefit his wife and daughter, shrugged off the criticism.

"Barack just doesn't seem to care what I think," a frustrated Michelle complained to her mother, Marian Robinson. "He can be so selfish - and I just can't get through to him that we're supposed to be in this together."

At one point, she went so far as to question whether, after eight years of marriage, their days as a couple were numbered.

For his part, Barack was also fed up with reprimands that he felt were "petty and unfair." Barack thought it odd that Michelle complained about being saddled with most of the child-care responsibilities, since for years she had been heartbroken over not being able to conceive. After four years of trying, she had talked to friends about fertility clinics and adoption.

Absorbed in his nascent political career, Barack seemed oblivious to the trouble brewing at home. Michelle, a meticulous person, set a high standard, one that Barack, who left ashtrays filled with butts and didn't pick up after himself, was either unable or simply unwilling to live up to. When Michelle did erupt, it often triggered arguments that would last for days.

"Like a lot of husbands," said one of her friends, "Barack couldn't figure out what her problem was. All her complaints about him being a slob, well, he thought they were petty. You know, it was ‘Why are you bothering me with this crap while I'm busy changing the world?'"