Thursday, December 31, 2009

The "9-11" affidavit!

It's good to see that Terry Bellhumuer has activated cybersmokesignals.com again. It always was a good and reliable source of news, views and information, just as your blog is. You guys certainly pay more attention to Metis issues than the Free Press or CBC who don't seem to care about the problems a few people are causing for the entire Metis community. It's just not worth their while to cover it I guess.

We need more good websites like yours to keep people informed or we'll have unaccountable leadership forever. And I have a hunch though I might be wrong that Chartrand got that order to seal some documents because he couldn't face the public and explain the information contained in them. Why else would he be so desparate to hide them. If everything was on the level the smart thing would be to come clean on the documents. Happy New Year.

Gary Thomas

P.S. Feel free to publish this letter if you want.
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Dear Mr. Thomas:

Thank you for the well written letter and the kind words. We agree Metis specific websites and blogs are sometimes better sources of detailed information, as you've suggested, than the mainstream media such as the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press because their focus is narrower. We're now living in an age where citizen journalists, bloggers or whatever the descriptive, are increasingly being recognized by the judicial system as they should be. One need only look at the recent Supreme Court decision re-writing our defamation laws for evidence.

While still on the subject, if you're not doing so already you might wish to begin monitoring Truth To Power (The Public Eye - www.accesstoinfo.blogspot.com; vicpopuli1@gmail.com) hosted by a practicing Canadian lawyer. Frequently, material not initially available on CyberSmokeBlog can be found there.

In Manitoba, and presumably other jurisdictions, when a document is ordered sealed an automatic mechanism is triggered whereby media outlets must be advised. Here the list is quite extensive encompassing about 140 news gathering organizations - large and small newspapers, television and radio stations, wire services, etc.

We have not seen MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (www.ptlaw.mb.ca; mtrachtenberg@ptlaw.mb.ca) as animated arguing the media should not be contacted regarding our Affidavit of September 11, 2009 - thought he was going to blow a head valve -since the April 2007 Yvon Dumont trial where he very unwisely chose to spar twice with Justice Menzies. In a ruling with which we strongly disagreed but must respect (currently under appeal), all but 2 of the document's 42 paragraphs were expunged and a sealing order thereby avoided. Thus, the requirement to advise the media was circumvented. What's left of it is publicly available at the Queen's Bench File Registry but all you'll see are two little islands (paragraphs) surrounded by a sea of black.

Final point. When a document is ordered sealed it is our understanding the media must file a Motion arguing why it should be given access but even that offers no guarantee. While permission to view it might be granted there could be a publication ban put in place.

Unfortunately, that's as far as we can go but it does beg the question doesn't it - what are President Chartrand and the Board of Directors hiding? Of what are they afraid? So much for accountability, organizational transparency and good governance.

Seasons Greetings!
Clare L. Pieuk

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