Thursday, March 31, 2011

Law Society of Manitoba - your modified Star Chamber business model is doomed!

The Court of the Star Chamber dates to the mid-1600s. In modern usage legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and sectretative proceedings are sometimes metaphorically or poetically referred to Star Chambers. (Wikipedia)

Good Day Readers:

At Monday's LSM disciplinary hearing for Jack King of Douglas-King-Chapman "fame" we noticed a young man constantly sketching with a row of coloured pencils neatly aligned in a row much like so many ducks. We wondered whether he was court artist preparing renderings given television cameras are not allowed, or at least rarely, in Canadian courtrooms. Or was it perhaps a Fine Arts student in from the cold to watch some free live theatre. Unfortunately, we'll never know.

Supreme Court of Canada hearings can be seen on CPAC (Shaw Cable Channel 123) so why not Law Society discipline hearings? Another option would be to use Channel 9 Shaw's public access channel.

Viewers could then enjoy live theatre, possibly in real time, from the comfort of their living rooms while munching fresh, hot buttered popcorn ..... mmmmm!

If you're interested Law Society we'd be prepared to offer our services pro bono to act as the "show's" moderator much like you see with Judge Joe Brown.

Clare L. Pieuk

Will her time sensitive CSA approved ear chip go off May 3, 2011?

Good Day Readers:

Recently Shelly Glover suggested Liberal candidate Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre) had an expiry date.

Recall early February this year how Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand suffered a conniption upon learning after the fact Indian and Northern Affairs Canada had awarded a contract to the Canadian Standards Association to develop a Canadian accepted and verifable definition of Metis. At the time he said on the MMF's webpage: "Who wants to walk around with a CSA approved stamp? Pretty soon I'll have a little chip in my ear with an expiry date too."

Like David Chartrand could Shelly Glover also find herself with a CSA approved stamp and little chip in her ear set to go off May 3, 2011?

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A veritable Law Society of Manitoba Rogues Gallery?

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

Good day to you Mr. Pieuk,

Unfortunately, I’ve been away from the coffee shop, and very busy within the confines of my employment. As such, I’ve not been able to comment or perform research on this seemingly perpetual endorsement of the perverted by the LSM. However, one should not be surprised by the ruling, it is consistent with the decisions of law societies in the past decade. For example:

On Sexual Harassment

Harry Wiens – February 2010. Pleaded guilty to 4 counts of professional misconduct, including sexual harassment of staff. Decision: Reprimand, psychiatric assessment and counselling, $10,000 in costs.

Jeffrey J. Plantje – June 2007. Pleaded guilty to 2 counts of professional misconduct, including sexual harassment of staff. Decision: 30 day suspension, $1,500 fine and required attendance before Practice Review Committee prior to reinstatement. Remains listed as suspended in Alberta. [Alberta Law Society Decision – Practicing member of Law Society of Manitoba]

David H. Davis – May 2001. Pleaded guilty to 1 count of professional misconduct for sexual harassment of a client. Decision: 45 day suspension and $1,000 in costs.

On the counts of Breach of Integrity and Promoting Personal Interests, the LSM does not have any of its Discipline Case Digests that are on point. Most hearings conducted find their foundation in financial matters between lawyers and clients, and not involving prostitution of one’s wife and sexual harassment. Disbarment in Manitoba carries with it a heavy burden of proof, and not just of unprofessional conduct, but either repeated appearances before the Disciplinary Committee or criminal charges.

Based on my review of the digests over the past decade, very few members of the LSM have been disbarred, and of those none for sexual harassment.

Gary Dolovich – October 2010 – Disbarred for possession and distribution of child pornography.

Donald McKinnon – March 2010 – Disbarred (Appeal pending) 6 counts of misconduct including: misappropriation of funds ($68,000.00), misleading the client, fabrication of statements of account and reporting letters, misleading the LSM and other counsel.

Henry Carroll – December 2008 – Disbarred (Appeal pending) 4 counts of misconduct including: made himself executor of an estate, failed to report assets to the court, conflict of interest, falsifying documents, and making payments to his spouse.

Ingrid Chen – March 2007 – Disbarred (Appeal dismissed) 12 counts of misconduct including: criminal conviction for conspiracy and breach of conditional sentence.

Victor Savino – April 2005 – Disbarred. Criminal convictions for drug offences, declared an “ungovernable member.”

Douglas Griffin – May 2005 – Disbarred. Theft of $4,200 from a non-profit organization while acting as a director and officer of the corporation.

James Bomek – March 2004 – Disbarred. 26 counts of professional misconduct including: falsifying a bill of sale, seeking personal loans from clients without proper legal advice, failing to file documents for clients, etc.

Donald MacIver – August 2003 – Disbarred. 1 count of professional misconduct for 3 convictions under the Income Tax Act and Criminal Code.

Considering the light view that the legal profession takes of sexual harassment, it is not surprising that Mr. King was only reprimanded. Based on my review of the digests over the past decade, in my opinion, Ms. Leonoff’s statement that “A reprimand is a very serious penalty” [Winnipeg Sun – Disgraced Lawyer Reprimanded – March 29, 2011], is hardly accurate. Reprimands are by far the most common decision, and seem to have zero impact in terms of deterrence. One only need look at how many hearings are conducted on an annual basis and how often the same names crop up over and over.

It would appear that sexual harassment is not often reported, as is true with general society, because the victim is put on trial and there is little or no consequence for the perpetrators.

I am disappointed with the LSM as they did have an opportunity to make an example out of Mr. King for the profession and to raise its standards of conduct. Instead, they have reminded the membership that inappropriate sexual conduct is something that can occur, and if you’re caught, the consequences are minimal. A nice message to send to the public, and I doubt anyone will report this type of behaviour in the future.

I wonder, has the LSM ever reported sexual harassment conduct to the authorities when members plead guilty? I note that the Alberta Law Society elected to not advise the Attorney General, but there are no notations in LSM decisions regarding behaviour that can be construed as criminal conduct. Which leads to my final question – do not all lawyers, including those at the LSM, have a duty to report criminal behaviour?

Maybe sexually harassed clients and staff need to report directly to the police or RCMP rather than the governing body. Then, perhaps, justice may be served. Though, based on recent decisions from the judiciary, that is a question unto itself. A little more jaded toward the system, I continue to seek .....

Veritas Justitias Honoris


Dear VJH:

On behalf of Readers thank you very much for your time and effort researching the Law Society of Manitoba's beyond abysmal discipline of members convicted of sexual harassment.

The LSM holds a monopoly. If a person is of the belief they've been sexually harassed by a lawyer the Winnipeg police will not investigate. Using the non-emergency number we talked directly with an officer. The main reason seemed to be because such alleged incidents do not fall under any provisions of the criminal code. Therefore, you'll be referred to, yes, the Law Society.

Next it was Ombudsman Manitoba. Same response. Finally, we tried the Manitoba Human Rights Commission multiple times but when we followed prompt one, as directed to file a complaint, the number at the other end rang repeatedly without answer. However, it's reasonable to assume we would have likely received the same response.

Where the police refuse to take action, a procedure exists whereby a private citizen can complete a form, send it to the Prosecutions Branch of Manitoba Justice to request a charge be laid. You could conceivably find yourself before a Queen's Bench judge trying to convince them the matter should be considered by the courts. Private prosecutions are extremely rare but a handful have occurred in Canada over the years. Good luck trying to take an LSM member to QB on a sexual harassment charge!

Ms Leonoff was no more than a couple sentences into her oral decision when we turned to the gentleman seated beside us to whisper, "This is going to be a tiny slap on the wrist.' He nodded in agreement. Sure enough. Much has been made by The Law Society of Mr. King's reprimand. Question. Are reprimands like pardons in that in "x" years Anthony King can apply to the LSM to have it expunged from his record?

Your next research project VJH. It is our considered opinion The Law Society of Manitoba's treatment of sexual harassment complaints is a joke!

Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Your expiry date is May 3, 2011!

Glover rejects demand for apology over 'ageist' remark

By Meagan Fitzpatrick

CBC Manitoba

March 29, 2011

Conservative MP Shelly Glover makes an announcement on behalf of the government in Winnipeg in February, 2011.

Conservative MP Shelly Glover, accused of making ageist remarks about Liberal MP Anita Neville, issued a statement Tuesday morning that defended her comments and continued to criticize Neville.

Glover found herself accused of insulting older Canadians, an important group of voters in this campaign, on Monday when she said Neville's Winnipeg South Centre riding needs some "fresh blood" and new people who have new ideas.

"And I'm afraid Ms. Neville has passed her expiry date," Glover said in an interview.

Neville, 68, and Glover aren't running against each other. Glover's Manitoba riding is Saint Boniface.

An advocacy group for older Canadians, CARP, immediately demanded an apology from Glover for her "ageist" remarks.

"Even when all the parties are actively wooing older voters, a sitting MP thinks this is appropriate. It wasn't that long ago that women could not vote let alone run for office. So it's doubly disappointing that Ms. Glover chose to attack in this way another woman who's not even in her riding," Susan Eng, vice-president of advocacy for CARP, said in a statement.

"Ms. Glover should retract her comments about Ms. Neville and apologize to the voters of her riding and Ms. Neville's riding for offending and marginalizing a signifcant portion of their voter base," said Eng.

No apology

Glover issued no retraction or apology in her statement Tuesday — she said her comments were not referring to Neville's age.

She said she wanted "to remind seniors in the Winnipeg area that Ms. Neville just voted to oppose the Conservative government's plan to increase GIS payments to the most vulnerable, lowest income seniors in Canada," referring to a measure that was proposed in the March 22 budget.

The Conservative minority government was defeated before a vote on the budget was ever held. The Conservatives, however, say that by voting for a non-confidence motion on March 25, opposition MPs voted against their budget. Liberal MP Anita Neville in the House of Commons, December 9, 2010. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Glover said in her statement that her remarks were clear. "I was referring to Ms. Neville's performance as an MP, and only that. In my opinion, Ms. Neville has ceased to be an effective representative of her constituents," Glover wrote. "I believe someone new, of any age, with new ideas would be a more effective representative for the people of Winnipeg South Centre."

Glover ended the statement by saying the Conservative government under Stephen Harper "has delivered more for seniors than any other government in Canadian history."

Harper is doing a campaign event in Winnipeg Tuesday afternoon.

Neville's riding in the city currently has no Conservative candidate. Raymond Hall was the nominated Conservative candidate but dropped out a few weeks ago and he has not yet been replaced. Neville has held the seat since 2000. In the last election in 2008 she beat her Conservative opponent by 2,300 votes.

For the record!

Good Day Readers:

The following Witness Impact Statement was tendered by Mr. Alex Chapman at yesterday's Law Society of Manitoba disciplinary hearing for member Mr. Jack King. Alex Chapman asked Ms Heather Leonoff, Chair of the three person disciplinary committee for permission to address the panel but was denied on the basis of procedural considerations.

Two points. We have not independently confirmed or verified the accuracy of statements made in the WIS. To the best of our knowledge The Legal Profession Act and Regulations governing operations of the LSM falls silent on the issue of Witness Impact Statements. Any formatting such as bold, underlining or italics are those of its author.

Clare L. Pieuk
Impact Statement of Alexander Chapman regarding Jack Anthony King

I would like to have the opportunity to orally cite the following impact statement to the LSM at the hearing on March 28, 2011. The actions of Mr. King in 2003 and during the recent legal actions in 2010 did grievous harm to me personally, both emotionally and professionally.


I was exceptionally stressed in 2003 by the non-stop harassment of Mr. King to arrange a rendezvous with his wife Ms. Lori Douglas. I felt I had to pretend to go along with them so that Mr. King would finish his work on my divorce case - which I had hired him to handle. I was paying him for his legal services but became fearful that by refusing the sexual invitations, I would somehow jeopardize how my divorce case would be handled.

At the same time as this was happening I was also dealing with the stress of losing my family here through the divorce as well as worrying about my father's health as he had had a stroke and was extremely ill. I had to return to Tobago in December 2002to assist in health care arrangements. Because of the necessity of returning to Tobago, I had to delay the divorce proceedings. I was advised at that time that I could be fined if I was to delay the divorce proceedings another time. Mr. King was aware fo all these issues.

My divorce case was in court starting April 14, 2003. Up to that time, all my dealings with Mr. King were professional and satisfactory. I was happy with his handling of my divorce. April 15, the 2nd day of my divorce hearing, is when Mr. King broached the topic of my personal life and activities. As Mr. King's "solicitation"of me escalated, I started to worry about the implications on my divorce proceedings if I did not appear to be going along with him. I already knew that I could not stop my proceedings to secure another lawyer.... I had already been warned about that. I felt trapped. I resorted to sleeping in my office so I could truthfully say I was at work and unable to take time away from my professional duties. I dreaded seeing Mr. King's phone number on my call display.

One day my boss came into the office and found me sleeping there. When he asked what I was doing there I told him what was happening to me and that I was frightened. My boss told me I needed to find a way to deal with this. But the problem was how to do this...I could not trust any lawyers now. I just wanted my divorce to be completed. I did seek another lawyer to help me make the problem of the sexual solicitation stop, and to complete the signing and filing of documentation for the divorce.

Once my complaint was filed through my new lawyer, Mr. king started calling me daily and leaving messages - for about 2 weeks. I did not return his calls but I did report all the calls to my new lawyer. Within approximately one month, my lawyer advised me of what I was being "offered" by Mr. King and indicated that I did not care; I just wanted it all to stop. I just wanted my lawyer to make the harassment stop. I wanted to be very clear to express that this "deal" with a "confidentiality agreement was drafted without any input from me; documents that have indicated I was cc'd on them, never came to me. I was then presented a document for signature wrongly initialed and drafted by Mr. King's lawyer, who was also the Chairman of the MB Law Society Benchers at that time. That document's sole purpose was to make ti impossible for me to legally revisit what had happened to me before any authority. At the time I just wanted it all to stop and to go away. I was warned that these were powerful people and I realized I could not afford to pursue the complaint about what had happened.

(Page 2 of 3)

But it did not go away for me personally. It haunted me. It is difficult for me to trust anyone in the legal profession and that has carried over into my personal life. In 2010 I went to a psychologist for assistance, but when she heard my story she told me she had been aware of this case as was "the entire legal community and social services" and she sarcastically wished me luck getting any help. I did eventually see a different psychologist and received a report detailing the "unusual chronic stressors experienced over the past several years" (report attached).

Note: No copy of the report referenced in the above paragraph was attached to the copy of the Victim Impact Statement we were given.

Since my complaint to the MB Law Society regarding Mr. Jack King and to the Canadian Judicial Council regarding Ms. Lori Douglas, my name has been slandered in the public newspapers and other media by Mr. King's lawyer, Mr. Bill Gange. In 2010, a previous employer received a voice mail message from Mr. King wherein Mr. King maligned and slandered me. His message identified himself and said he was calling because I was suing him for $10 million and he wanted to "get information" on him (i.e., me). I can only assume that this was not the only telephone inquiry Mr. King made seeking to "get information" about me. I feel violated and victimized.

On top of this, in October 2010, I was exceptionally insulted to receive from my lawyer communication from Mr. King's lawyer's offices with a "Sworn Declaration" that they wrote stating that I was apologizing to Mr. Jack King and Ms. Lori Douglas! Not only was I to appologize to them, but I was to do it publicly, and they could use the signed document however they saw fit. I was also to sign an affidavit confirming that the allegations against Justice Douglas were in fact not true - they wanted me to sign a document saying that I had made all of this up! - I refused to do that.

Mr. Jack King has stated in his written response to my complaint to the LSM that he was "depressed" because of the illness of his family and because the President of South Africa, Robert Mugabe, was taking away "his family's land" and the land of Furthermore his lawyer Mr. Bill Gange, who at the time was the Bencher and Chairman of the Law Society's Discipline Authority, also stated that "Mr. King's actions were out of character" and similarly Mr. Gange comments that "he (Mr. King) was suffering from depression. His behaviour was out of character. There is no suggestion that anything similar has happened or will happen in the future. In short, the seven year record of Mr. King is an indication that the public is not at risk." But Mr. King in fact did not act alone and there appears to be a problem with silencing a victim such as I from approaching "authorities" unless "compelled by law" by the terms of a contract drafted by themselves which is now publicly known to be a purported "confidentiality agreement." I am personally aware of another situation where a particular individual is afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation. Also I am aware of another outstand complaint before the LSM involving Mr. King and others. I believe others will come forward. It is now publicly known that it was Jack King who advertised over the internet eight months before I hired him to handle my divorce. Overall, I believe his actions and the actions of others to be an abuse of power and suthority by those who are in place to protect the interests of citizens and divorcing clients of Thomson Dorfman Sweatman and within the legal community.

(Page 3 of 3)

FINANCIAL IMPACT (Civil rights and Labour/workplace rights)

Up until the time the story went public, I had been employed at Great West Life, a subsidiary of the Power Corporation of Canada, for 3 years. I have 3 years of glowing performance evaluations noting that I was a "great asset" to the company in my professional and specialized employment capacity there.

The CBC interviewed Jack King at 9:00 a.m. about the story and on that same day, at 3:30 p.m., I was called into a meeting at GWL and I was suspended and later terminated. Great West Life even circulated a memo to all employees advising I was no longer with the company before they ever advised me of that decision.

In October 2010 Mr. King and Mr. Gange had my main home computer seized because they presumed they could secure all the information on that computer and keep it off the internet. The information they sought to keep off the internet still circulates there today in spite of the fact they had my computer seized. It is being held by Sherriff's office. This is my main home computer that I use for personal business. I would like to know why it has not been returned to me.

Mr. King's lawyer used personal confidential information to publicly slander me. The information was given to Mr. King under lawyer/client privilege, but Mr. King obviously saw fit to share that information with Mr. Gange who then turned around and used it to slander me in the media. A criminal conviction from over 20 years ago, which had actually been removed from my criminal record and used as supposed proof of my lack of integrity.

I have not been able to secure an equivalent position or employment since. There has been considerable financial impact. The damage to me professionally is hugely significant.

My experiences in 2010 have shown me that I was right to be afraid in 2003. I could not have withstood all the negative impacts of my life at that time.

In closing, I want to say that Mr. Jack King did not protect me; Ms. Lori Douglas did not protect me; Mr. Bill Gange a bencher of LSM did not protect me, the law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman Jack King's firm who owed a duty to me did not protect me, the Law Society of Manitoba did not protect me, the police and the provincial crown did not protect me, and my employer terminated me. I am a minority citizen and a victim.

As a member of the public that you are meant to serve and protect, I ask you - where should I have gone to protect my rights from all this interference during "separation and divorce" proceedings in the province of Manitoba? They have proven to be a collective failure in their duty to protect me and to protect the public and I remain in fear of the Justice System and further retaliation.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Still seeking!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Douglas-King-Chapman!"

Good Morning Mr. Pieuk,

I'm looking forward to reading about the hearing (that portion you are allowed to report) and will be watching to see what transpires. Enjoy your day, I'm sure it will be enlightening!

Still seeking,

Dear VJH:

Nice to hear from you. It's been a while but we figured you had been busy down at the coffee shop lurking in the shadows ears pricked. Nevertheless, we had no doubt you've been following events closely at the Law Society of Manitoba and itching to jump into the discussion. Today for us was more than enlightening it was blinding especially after we had occasion to talk with Mr. Chapman and one of his associates who requested anonymity in private one-on-ones. Suffice it to say for now we expect to receive some "very interesting documentation" shortly.

At today's hearing we made about 5 1/2 pages worth of handwritten notes so as soon as we've organized and typed them we'll begin discussing in more detail our understanding of what transpired today.

Sincerely, Clare L. Pieuk

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Good Day Readers:

As noted this morning, we attended the disciplinary hearing for Winnipeg lawyer Jack King today at the offices of The Manitoba Law Society. Approximately, 25 people attended including the mainstream meadia which was well-represented. The hearing adjourned at noon and in what we found a little surprising returned later with its decision that was then read into the record.

Mr. Alex Chapman circulated a 3-page victim impact statement during the morning session which was subsequently debated by counsel for both sides, as well as, the 3-person disciplinary panel. The hearing was adjourned at noon re-convening at 3:30 to render its decision. During the break we discussed publication of the document with a senior LSM official who politely and respectfully suggested we include a disclaimer to the effect we have not been able to independently confirm its contents - a reasonable request given it's true. So you can look for that very shortly.

After the ruling had been handed down and the media crush was over we had occasion to talk with Mr. Chapman and his lady friend one-on-one outside the Law Society offices for about half an hour. Out of respect for Alex Chapman's privacy some of what was discussed will have to remain confidential at least for now, however, to the extent possible we'll share with you what we can in the furtherance of accountability, transparency and the public's right to know.

We took copious notes during the proceedings so will have much more to say in detail shortly.

Clare L. Pieuk


Winnipeg Free Press - Online

Staff Reporter

March 28, 2011

WINNIPEG -- A disciplinary hearing begins today for a Winnipeg lawyer accused of pressuring a man to have sex with his wife and future family court judge. Jack King is to appear before the Law Society of Manitoba on a charge of professional misconduct. King has been accused by a former client, Alexander Chapman, who says King gave him sexually explicit photos of his wife, Lori Douglas, in 2003. Douglas was named a judge two years later. King has admitted sharing photos with Chapman, but King's lawyer has said his client was depressed at the time and acting without his wife's knowledge. The law society can impose a range of penalties if it finds King guilty, including revoking his licence to practise law. Douglas is being investigated by the Canadian Judicial Council and has stopped hearing cases until the review is complete. __________________________________________________

Good Day Readers:

Normally, Law Society of Manitoba disciplinary hearings are open to the public although few attend. Today's session begins at 9:30. We'll be there to cover the proceedings in our capacity as a citizen journalist. To the extent possible we'll report on what transpires. The liklihood is no decision will be rendered, rather, it will be reserved and later reported in The Society's Discipline Case Digest.

Sincerely, Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"And they're off - in the lead it's ..... followed by ..... bringing up the rear is .....

Conservatives win fundraising race Stephen Harper is applauded after voting on a non-confidence motion in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill March 25, 2011 (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Adrian Humphries/ March 25, 2011

If elections could still be bought, Stephen Harper would not need to worry about the 36 days of campaigning: Conservative fundraising has dramatically outpaced that of rival parties, but that resource imbalance may not prove important when votes are counted in May.

"They do have a lot more resources than the other parties. Don’t kid yourself that there is a level playing field,” said Richard Johnston, a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia.

In the three months ending last December, the most recent data available, the Conservatives raised $5,230,303 from 41,769 donors, according to their financial report to Elections Canada. To the nearest dollar, the Liberals raised $2,186,777 from 20,117 donors during the same period and the New Democratic Party raised $1,660,427 from 15,637 donors. By comparison, the Green Party raised $537,039 from 4,433 donors and the Bloc Québécois $348,099 from 3,282 donors.

As well, Elections Canada gives each of the major parties a quarterly allowance equivalent to about $2 for every vote received in the most recent general election.

The Conservatives are the biggest beneficiaries of the system, having received $10,430,835 in 2010. The Conservatives spent $19,418,579 in the 2008 election; the Liberals spent $14,531,853 and the NDP $16,813,890. The Greens spent $2,795,799 and the Bloc $4,879,603. The figures represent a vast amount, much of it eventually to be reimbursed through tax money, but as important as having money — the “war chest” in political jargon — might seem, experts question the impact.

“It is not an iron-clad law of electioneering that if you spend more you meet with more success. Money clearly matters, but there are debates over the impact of money on elections,” said Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Manitoba.

Lisa Young, professor of political science at the University of Calgary, agrees: “Certainly money helps win elections, but it doesn’t guarantee things.

“One of the most expensive campaigns we have ever seen in Canadian history was the Progressive Conservative Party in 1993. They got two seats.”

She also points to the recent municipal election in Calgary, where Naheed Nenshi won handily after spending the least of the major candidates.

Kim Campbell’s federal debacle and Mr. Nenshi’s mayoral landslide should not be forgotten by federal party strategists; they are stark reminders that beyond a certain amount needed to cover basic campaign costs, it is how the money is spent that matters most.

“In the 1993 election the [Progressive Conservative] Party spent an enormous amount on ads that lost them votes,” said Professor Young.

There has not been a great deal of research on the impact of spending on Canadian elections. It is difficult to measure. Perhaps the best that has been done is a study on the 1988 election that returned Brian Mulroney to power.

“We never found an impact on the course of voter intention — a movement of intention to vote for a party — based on party spending or third-party spending,” said Professor Johnston, who worked on that study.

“To the extent that there is a financial effect, it will be at the margins,” he said, estimating a shift of one to two percentage points. In a close election against the backdrop of a minority government, however, that could prove to be important.

“A couple of percentage points in Vancouver or Toronto could mean all the difference,” Professor Johnston said.

Professional strategists will know this and many expect key swing ridings to be the focus of spending this election. Those who track political financing say there are several things that voters should understand. The first is that the rules changed dramatically in 2007, when businesses and unions were prevented from contributing.

Currently, an individual can donate up to $1,100 to a national party and another $1,100 to local riding associations. Once an election is called, an individual can donate an additional $1,100 to the campaign.

That change hurt the Liberals, a party that was in power for so long that corporations routinely wrote huge cheques, sort of like “protection money,” Professor Johnston said.

They have not adjusted to the need for grassroots fundraising as nimbly as the Conservatives.

Further, the Conservative success doesn’t immediately matter all that much as we move into a campaign. None of the major parties are likely to be turned down by the banks for loans.

“Once the writ is dropped, parties know that for every dollar they spend they will get 50 cents back in election expense reimbursement. If they want to spend $18-million, they know they’re going to get a cheque for $9-million after the election.

Going to the bank with that knowledge makes you a pretty safe bet,” said Professor Young.

All three major national parties will likely be in a position to spend as much as they can, several experts said.

Also, with an election now being called, the importance of a war chest diminishes rather than increases. Election spending is limited equally to $1 per registered voter. Pre-election spending is not. That means the Conservatives lose their biggest advantage the moment the election officially begins. And finally, election financing is not as transparent as it should be, said Duff Conacher, co-ordinator of Democracy Watch, an Ottawa-based organization pushing for government accountability. Under the requirements, reports on riding association donors need only be filed once a year. Likewise, those parties seeking loans, how much the loans are for and who or what institutions make the loans will only be known after the vote.

“In other words, someone can be bankrolling a campaign without anyone knowing it until four months after the election.”

Do you know how much is in your candidates' wallets?

Good Day Readers:

After reading the recent National Post article, Conservatives win findraising race - March 26, 2011, we wondered how much money will candidates is our Riding (St. Boniface, Manitoba) be allowed to spend campaigning? Also, after the May 2, 2011 vote can we find how much each spent? The answer to both questions is yes. The starting point is Elections Canada's website

The formula. Candidates will be allowed to spend $2.07 for each of the first 15,000 registered voters in a Riding or a maximum of $31,050. The next 10,000 are worth $1.04 per person good for another $10,040. St. Boniface's population is 84,473 of which 64,407 are eligible leaving 39,404 individuals that fetch 52 cents a head ($20,491.64). Grand total, assuming our calculations are correct, is $61,941.64 per candidate.

Finally, every Riding has a Returning Officer appointed for a 10-year period. These positions are apolitical awarded on the basis of an open employment competition. You can find the name and co-ordinates of your RO on the Elections Canada website. Approximately, 6-months after the election Returning Officers are required to file a report with EC documenting how much money was spent by the candidates in the Riding for which they were responsible. Contributors will be identifed by name but there will be some aggregation. For example, smaller donations (i.e. $10 - $20 range) will likely be documented as a total of "$X" contributed by "Y" (anonymous) voters. By day 21 of the campaign candidates must have filled the required paperwork with the appropriate RO to ensure eligibility.

Back to St. Boniface. Former Winnipeg Police Officer Shelly Glover will be spending her $61,941.64 trying to get re-elected for a second term. Below are pictures of Ms Glover shortly after she won in October 2008 and her subsequent larger than life "Harper Government" makeover.

The St. Boniface Rideing should be particularly interesting because Liberal Raymond Simard who lost the seat will be trying to regain it.

Since 1925 8-Liberals and 4-Conservatives have sent MPs to Ottawa. In the intervening period the Liberals have held it 73 of the 86 years. Looks like Ms Glover may be in for a bit of a fight. To the best of our knowledge the NDP have yet to announce who it will run while the Green Party has not made known its intentions.

Another Riding we'll be following is that of Pat "Harry Callahan" Martin in Winnipeg Centre who will be fighting the forces of evil for the NDP.
Now that an election is underway soon you can expect the candidates, or their representatives, to appear on your doorstep unannounced pandering for support - not to mention the flood of flyers in your mail. Wonder if they'll try e-mail to reduce costs?

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The wild, wild west without the horses!

Montana Radio Shack gives away free guns to customers with new satellite dish service
By Nina Mandell/Daily News Staff Writer
Saturday, March 26th 2011
Radio Shack is giving new satellite dish customers a choice of free shotgun or handgun when they sign up. If the firearm isn't an attractive offer, they can opt for a $50 Pizza Hut gift certificate. (Getty)

For Radio Shack customers in Montana, a satellite dish network package arms them with more than just a remote.

It also comes with a gun.

Or, if customers don't qualify (or for some reason don't want the firearm), they can receive a $50 Pizza Hut gift certificate.

When reached by phone, a store employee told the News that people had been flocking in for the deal. So much so, store owner Steve Strand told the Ravalli Republic newspaper, business had tripled.

"I think it really, really fits Bitterroot Valley," he told the newspaper.

The deal is brightly advertised on a sign outside the Radio Shack that reads "Protect Yourself With Dish Network Sign Up Now Get Free Gun."

Before customers can get their free pistol or shotgun, they must go through background checks – which come free with the Dish Network purchase, according to the newspaper.

"We're not just giving away guns to felons," store manager Fabian Levy said.

How you dress your daughters - the debate!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Captain Canuck to the rescue!

Canadian to head Nato mission in Libya
The task force overseeing the Libya operation will be led by Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard (France Huard/Cnadiaan Forces/Handout)

Derek Abma and Sheldon Alberts, Postmedia News · March 25, 2011

OTTAWA —A Canadian general was thrust Friday into the command role of NATO’s mission in Libya, taking responsibility for enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo as the United States continued to hand over control of the week-old campaign against Moammar Gadhafi.

Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard will lead NATO forces in a mission Defence Minister Peter MacKay acknowledged Friday was “yet to be fully defined” by leaders of the international coalition tasked with protecting Libyans from forces loyal to Gadhafi.

At a press briefing on Canada’s operations in Libya Friday, MacKay said the appointment of Bouchard to this key role is a testament to the respect Canada’s military enjoys around the world.

“I think the decision to have (Lt.-Gen) Bouchard take a leadership position here is something that is an international recognition of the role that Canada plays in the world,” he said. “Let me just underscore, I could not be more proud of the work being done on behalf of our country by the men and women in uniform.”

The appointment of Bouchard to lead NATO forces in Libya came a day after an agreement was struck for countries in this military alliance to assume control of enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya as part of the United Nation-backed mission.

Earlier in the week, NATO had been authorized to assume control of the naval blockade to prevent the shipment of arms to Gadhafi.

But some uncertainty remained Friday over the precise role NATO will have in enforcing the so-called “no-drive zone” — mounting air strikes against Gadhafi ground forces still targeting civilians in several Libyan cities.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said coalition leaders had already agreed that NATO will take command over the civilian protection mission but “the military planning aspect” had not yet been finalized.

“We expect (it) will be wrapped up in the next couple of days, but it has been agreed to,” Carney said.

As Bouchard steps into this new role, MacKay said questions remain as to exactly what NATO’s mission will be in Libya.

“(Bouchard) will be a commander of the NATO operations — the yet to be fully defined NATO operations. This is evolving still, but the clear indication now is that NATO will assume full responsibility for both the maritime and aerial components (of the mission in Libya).”

MacKay said the UN-backed coalition and NATO forces were, for the time being, operating “concurrently” in Libya. MacKay said NATO partners are in talks concerning a “no-fly-zone-plus” mission in Libya. Some western leaders have expressed a reluctance to extend NATO’s military operations to include attacks on Libyan ground forces — operations which currently are being carried out by the broader international coalition with the U.S. in the lead.

It’s now hoped that a final agreement for NATO to assume full command of the entire mission could be reached by Tuesday, when the alliance’s foreign ministers next meet in London.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Friday the alliance would decide “in coming days” whether to broaden its role, which could include ground strikes to protect civilians.

Asked about the time frame for this mission, another NATO official said: “Much of the planning assumptions were based on a three-month planning window, but should the (NATO commander) feel it’s necessary to extend it, then he would simply have to say. . . . I am anticipating it may be more or less.”

Bouchard, a native of Chicoutimi, Que., had been deputy commander of NATO’s joint forces command, based in Naples, Italy. A member of the Canadian Forces since 1974, he graduated as a helicopter pilot in 1976.

Bouchard has held key positions within Norad operations and has served at U.S. military bases on a several occasions. He was awarded the United States Legion of Merit in 2004.

The news of Bouchard’s appointment provides U.S. President Barack Obama with some political cover from claims by some American lawmakers that he overstepped his constitutional authority by ordering U.S. forces to strike Libya.

At the White House, Carney said Obama was “comfortable” with U.S. pilots taking orders from a foreign commander — a sensitive issue with some American lawmakers.

“Well, I think this president and the previous president was comfortable having United States forces report to NATO commanders, or non-American and NATO commanders in Afghanistan, and that’s how NATO works,” Carney said.

Obama’s spokesman also balked at suggestions by critics that it has taken the U.S. too long to step back from the lead role in Libya.

“Under what construct could six days, in terms of transfer from the U.S. lead to NATO command-and-control for the no-fly zone, be a prolonged period of time?” Carney said. “And two more days, or several more days, to resolve the underlying issues of an agreement that has already been reached on civilian protection — the civilian protection aspect — again, that is a very remarkably short period of time.”

Canada’s Maj.-Gen. Tom Lawson — who was to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general later on Friday and become deputy commander for Norad in Colorado Springs, Colorado — said initial operations of NATO in Libya involved deployment of a surveillance aircraft aimed at detecting movement in the air and at sea in and around Libya. He said 12 Canadians — out of the 114 military personnel currently in Libya — were involved in that particular aspect of the mission.

Six Canadians were taking part in flights of this aircraft on Friday, Lawson said, including the two key roles of aircraft commander and tactical air director.

Officials also disclosed that Canadian fighter jets were involved in more bombing missions as part of the UN mission to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya. Lawson said “several targets” were destroyed near Misurata in northern Libya, including an “electronic warfare radar site.”

“The destruction of this type of electronic warfare asset removes both a threat to the coalition and it diminishes the capacity of Col. Gadhafi to conduct air operations at Libyan civilians,” Lawson said.

Lawson said a second mission by Canadian forces took place later Friday, on which he had no details.

With files from Reuters

Are Canadian lawyers little potty mouths?

Lawyers behaving Badly
A new campaign cracks down on lawyers who are rude and aggressive—with clients or even in their private lives
By Kate Lunau
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Young, ambitious and intelligent, Ryan Manilla was, by almost all accounts, on the road to becoming a first-rate lawyer. He excelled at Osgoode Hall Law School, graduating in the top 10 per cent of his class. He won a summer job in the New York City offices of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, one of Canada’s leading firms. In 2009, he completed his articles with Pinkofskys in Toronto, where he intended to practise criminal law.
But in September, Manilla’s career came to a crashing halt. The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), which regulates Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals, denied his application to join the profession, based on its ages-old “good character” requirement. (Manilla’s appeal was heard last week, and a decision is pending.) It wasn’t a strictly professional issue that convinced the law society panel to bar Manilla—it was the young man’s dealings with his condominium board.
Canadian law societies have required lawyers to be “of good character” virtually as long as the profession has been regulated, but it’s rare for someone to be barred because his character was found lacking. Even the meaning of “good character” can be a little bit hazy: it isn’t defined in the Law Society Act, but it’s been described as having a strong moral fibre, a belief the law must be upheld, and an appreciation of the difference between right and wrong. The law society can wield that requirement to decide who gets to be a lawyer—and sometimes, who doesn’t, as the Manilla case shows.
In 2008, as board president, Manilla became embroiled in a dispute over an increase in condo fees, which he opposed. After sending unsavoury emails to his fellow condo board members suggesting they ran “the risk of being shot by residents,” he was replaced as president, but stayed on the board and continued to fight the proposed fee hike, boasting that he got a thrill out of making other members “squirm.” That December, Manilla forged a letter from a woman claiming to be a private investigator, making up allegations of kickbacks and other wrongdoing among board members—something the law society panel deemed “character assassination.”
In March 2009, Manilla, then 27, was charged with four counts of criminal harassment; further charges followed of intimidating a witness, threatening death, and failing to comply with an undertaking given to a police officer. In June, all charges were dropped after Manilla met certain conditions. He sold his condo, apologized to targeted board members, and made a donation of $250 to the SickKids Foundation in their names. But not enough time had passed, the law society panel ruled, to ensure Manilla was of “good character” and deserved to join the profession. In fact, he’d confessed to falsifying the letter just five days before his hearing.
Manilla certainly offended the members of his condo board and behaved in unscrupulous ways, but whether this should bar him from the legal profession is harder to say. “Can we have a good lawyer, and a bad person?” says Lorne Sossin, dean of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. “Is the law society required to govern virtue in its members? It’s a tough question.”
(Page 2 of 2)
Even so, the law society governs its members’ virtue every day. It isn’t just potential lawyers who are vetted; more than ever, Canada’s law societies are policing conduct among those who’ve already joined the profession, increasingly disciplining their members for not only unethical actions, but also rude or overly aggressive behaviour.
Ontario’s law society has led the charge on lawyer civility, spurred in part by a 2008 report for the province’s attorney general, which found that rudeness among lawyers was bogging down large, complex criminal procedures. The LSUC’s own statistics showed it was a problem: last year, complaints about professionalism accounted for 33 per cent of all those received. In 2009 and 2010, Derry Millar, then the law society’s treasurer, travelled around the province to talk with lawyers and paralegals about civility, identifying several causes of the problem, from “behaviours adopted from American television” to stress related to the economic recession.
In Ontario, three lawyers faced hearings over misconduct for issues related to civility in December alone, reported the Law Times, a newspaper for the province’s lawyers. On Dec. 17, for example, Julia Ranieri of Toronto had her licence to practise law revoked after being found guilty of verbally abusing a law clerk while working on a real estate deal, among other problems. Ranieri’s record already had a few blemishes on it: in 2009, she was found guilty of professional misconduct after punching a client in the face and breaking her nose, resulting in a 10-month suspension. And Toronto lawyer Ernest Guiste faced a hearing in December stemming from a 2007 mediation session where he told an opposing lawyer to take an opening offer and “shove it up your ass.”
Bad behaviour happens in any profession. But among lawyers—for whom aggressiveness or belligerence can be a strategy, even a way of life—it’s a crucial concern. “Sometimes, people litigate against each other over and over again,” says Alice Woolley, associate professor at the University of Calgary’s faculty of law. “Emotions can get the better of them.” It makes civility all the more important to uphold, since overly rude lawyers can undermine the system, says Malcolm Heins, the Ontario law society’s CEO. Civility “underlies lawyers’ responsibility to the administration of justice and the rule of law,” he says.
Punching a client in the face is an obvious enough problem, but in rare circumstances, legal regulators can reprimand lawyers for conduct that occurs in their private lives, too, which is more murky—for example, a dispute with a neighbour, “swearing or punching; there have been cases like that,” Heins says. “We have the ability to discipline them for inappropriate conduct if it brings the legal profession into disrepute.”
In Ontario, lawyers are now required to take 12 hours of continuing development courses per year, including three hours on professionalism, and a process has been established to make it easier for judges to refer potential misconduct to the LSUC. “We’re getting very good feedback from the courts with respect to the revised process,” Heins says. Other law societies have taken note. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada, which represents each provincial regulator, is encouraging law schools to teach civility alongside professionalism and ethics.
The movement has its critics. Woolley, for one, calls law societies’ civility regulations “subjective and, frankly, not very useful.” Sometimes, when advocating for a client, politeness is not a virtue. “Is it not part of my role to forcefully defend my client?” Guiste says. “Sometimes that forceful defence may not be nice to the recipient.” Social norms already prevent most of us from hailing insults upon one another, and the law penalizes physical abuse. Woolley says civility can be a smokescreen of sorts, taking attention away from professional issues that really matter. “There are plenty of things lawyers do that are inappropriate, like using delay as a litigation strategy,” she says. Civility initiatives are “the fashion,” she says, but maybe our regulators’ time could be better spent.
Last week, Manilla attended the appeal with his wife, Ilana Masas, and stayed silent while his lawyer, Phil Downes, did the talking. Downes (who declined to comment while the appeal is being decided) noted that the critical issue is whether Manilla is “of good character today.” Even a trained psychologist—or a crystal ball—might have a hard time definitively answering a question like that. But whether Manilla gets the chance to prove his critics right or wrong is ultimately up to the law society.

Broke some bones did we?

Need a good cheap lawyer do we?

Stephen, Bruce and "Leanna!"

Harper felt betrayed after ex-PMO aide tied to lobbying allegations: sources
Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press
March 24, 2011
OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper felt personally betrayed after one of his former close advisers got into trouble over allegations of illegal lobbying, according to multiple sources at the most senior levels of government.

They say Harper brought Bruce Carson into his office when the Conservatives came to power believing that the disbarred and once-jailed ex-lawyer (emphasis ours) had paid his debt to society and deserved a chance at rebuilding his life.

But Harper's sympathy did not extend as far as considering Carson for the job as his chief of staff.

"He was lobbying for the chief's job, trying to line up support with people he thought might have some influence with the prime minister but there was no way he was going to get that job and they put a stop to his lobbying very quickly," said a high-level Conservative.

The prime minister was well aware of Carson's past. The Law Society of Upper Canada disbarred Carson in 1981, and he served time in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of defrauding clients.

Minutes from a July 16, 1981, meeting of the society's discipline committee explain why Carson was disbarred.

Their report "found that the solicitor was guilty of professional misconduct."

"He had forged the signature of the president of a corporation and misappropriated over $15,000 belonging to the corporation for which he acted," the document says.

"(He) forged the signature of a client from whom he misappropriated over $4,000; and misappropriated $4,900 belonging to another client."

Carson has a long track record as a survivor. He reinvented himself as a constitutional expert and became a Conservative researcher during the 1980s and '90s. When the Progressive Conservatives were reduced to two seats in the 1993 election and party jobs were extremely scarce, he managed to convince several Conservative senators to pool their research budgets together and hire him as their researcher.

He went to work for Harper when he became leader of the Opposition in 2004.

Carson remained with Harper after the Conservatives won the 2006 election. Around political Ottawa, he was known as "the Mechanic" for his ability to fix tricky situations.

The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network aired an investigation into Carson's alleged lobbying on behalf of an Ottawa-based water company that employed his girlfriend.

Harper's feelings of betrayal might explain why the Prime Minister's Office so swiftly called in the RCMP to investigate the allegations against Carson.

The matter was also referred to the office of the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner and the commissioner of lobbying.

The allegations revolve around a company called H2O Global Group's plan to sell water-filtration systems to reserves with water-quality problems.

Carson's 22-year-old girlfriend, Michele McPherson, signed a contract with the company last August 31 that would entitle her to 20 per cent of the project's gross sales, APTN reported.

But in a prepared statement released Thursday, McPherson said that contract was cancelled last month and her new deal is tied to "performance measures."

McPherson also acknowledged her past work in the "sex trade." APTN had reported that she worked as an Ottawa escort who went by the name Leanna VIP.

"As a young adolescent I faced some difficult challenges, I was recruited into the sex trade. As a vulnerable minor at the time it became extremely difficult to try and escape this," McPherson said.

"I have worked very hard to leave this trade and to do something different. I am not in this trade at all and have not been for some time."

Postings on adult websites suggest McPherson's moonlighting as an escort continued during the period she was signing the H20 contract toward the end of August.

On August 16, just two weeks before she signed the deal, "Leanna" posted a message on the Canadian Escort Recommendation Board.

"Hi Gentlemen, I will be excepting (sic) bookings this Tuesday and Wednesday for both in and out calls .... This being the last two days, I have decided to do something different in my personal life and will only be offering only out calls from now on ... And only part time ..."

But although she was moving toward a career change, it appears she didn't make a clean break.

"It's not often that I get to overnight in Ottawa, but as luck would have it, I had the opportunity a few weeks back to see Leanna," someone called latvian142 wrote on the Erotic Review website last September.

"A few email exchanges and we were able to set the date, this whole process with Leanna was effortless and enjoyable. We continued corresponding up to the date, discussing items such as dinner arrangements, wine preferences and so on."

But on Thursday, McPherson suggested someone else was behind the posting.

"I am shocked that someone has re-activated this information," she said, "and I question why someone would do something so cruel."

"I cannot even begin to express how emotionally hurt I am with this as there are no words to explain how I feel," she added. "This has affected my life, my family and people I care about deeply."

One of those people was the 65-year-old Carson, who APTN said met with Indian Affairs officials and senior political staff to push the water-filtration venture.

H20 Global Group has released a statement saying Carson never did any lobbying for the company.

"Mr. Bruce Carson has never lobbied for the company and has simply provided advice to assist us in understanding the process."

Carson has said little since the first APTN story aired. But details of his meetings have slowly emerged.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Kent said Carson broached the topic of water issues in First Nations communities when he met the minister last month.

But the spokesman added Carson wasn't lobbying the minister on any company's behalf.

Carson also met senior political staff in the office of Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan on January 11 of this year to discuss the company and a First Nations water filtration project, officials in Duncan's office said.

Duncan's office said the January meeting involved Kym Purchase, the minister's director of policy, and Ted Yeomans, his director of parliamentary affairs.

Yeomans is a former assistant to MP Pierre Poilievre, Harper's parliamentary secretary.

"Mr. Carson briefed the staff on the proposed water project," Michelle Yao, Duncan's director of communications, said in an email. "Staff provided publicly available information to Bruce Carson and recommended he work directly with First Nations."

Yao described the meeting as standard practice. "Minister's staff regularly attend meetings with individuals and stakeholders," she said.

Carson also met Indian Affairs officials four times between September and December 2010.

The department says it has not awarded any contracts to H20 Global Group or its parent company, H20 Water Professionals.

The Canadian Press obtained documents that show businessman Patrick Hill incorporated H20 Water Professionals on July 14. Hill's name appears alongside Nicolas Kuszup's in the paperwork.

On October 22, the company formed another entity called H2O Global Group to deal with Indian Affairs on the First Nations water project.

McPherson joined the company last year. She said Kuszup — who H20 Global Group says is no longer with the company — signed her original deal.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More woes for "The Harper Government!"

Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board -a coalition of farmers and other Canadians in support of democracy and a farmer-controlled CWB
Farmers' Rights Successfully Defended by Friends of CWB
Winnipeg, MB, March 24, 2011 - The Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board (FCWB) today announced that it had successfully defended the rights of farmers to challenge the Harper government in court regarding changes to voting rules in Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) Director elections.

On March 16, 2011, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the Harper government and stipulated that farmers do indeed have "standing" to defend their voting rights in the Canadian courts.

"Harper and his cronies had argued all along that farmers should not be allowed to defend their voting rights in court,” said Anders Bruun, Counsel for the Appellants. "Not very long ago this same Harper said that the Canadian court system would stop him from going too far if he had a majority, but now we see that he has other tricks up his sleeve and will try to stop regular Canadians from using the courts when it suits his purpose."

The issue stems from Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture & Agri-food, over-riding the CWB voting rules by a simple, and secret, letter of instruction to the Wheat Board. In three consecutive CWB elections, the Harper government stripped thousands of producers of their automatic voting rights as Wheat Board permit holders.

The Federal Court of Appeal also agreed with the FCWB that stripping producers of their automatic voting rights resulted in fewer votes being cast when it said, "...There is no doubt that the directive changed the dynamic of the election," and went on to say "Skillfully and with great clarity, counsel for the appellants exposed the effects of the Minister's directive on some of the producers' rights regarding the election of board members."

"Unfortunately, the Federal Court did not go all the way and rule that the Minister's order exceeded his authority," said Larry Bohdanovich, a grains and oilseeds producer at Grandview, Manitoba. “But that just shows us two things: One, that Harper will twist and abuse any law or regulation to ‘walk all over’ those with different views. And two, that when a truly responsible government assumes office in Ottawa, both the CWB Act and the Regulations need to be tightened to further protect farmers' rights to fair elections.

The FCWB will not be seeking leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. "We have won the right for farmers to use Canadian courts to defend their voting rights, and the Federal Court of Appeal has agreed that the ministerial directives effectively stopped thousands of farmers from voting. Apart from changing the CWB Act and Regulations that is all we can do on this issue," concluded Anders Bruun. “But,” he added, “FCWB stand ready to take whatever action may be necessary to protect the integrity of a farmer-controlled CWB whenever and however the need may arise.”

Anders Bruun, Telephone: (204) 416-3562 or
Larry Bohdanovich, Telephone: (204) 546-3154/638-1893

And you point is .....?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The Alex-Chapman - Ian Histed connection!"
I don't get your point? Are you saying you don't think the police were wrong? And that Ian Histed was somehow remiss in defending his client?
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. We don't get your point? When and where did the police enter the equation? What we did, in fact, state is our belief two hallowed institutions, with all due respect, royally screwed up - The Law Society of Manitoba and the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Are publication bans now irrelevant?

Good Day Readers:
As noted in the Vancouver Sun article, lawyers for the ex-wife of former Colonel Russell Williams will be in court today arguing for a publication ban regarding details of her divorce. But how relevant and effective are they in the internet, Facebook and Twitter age? Further, does the judiciary sometimes play fast and loose with them?
In the case of the Manitoba Metis Federation Incorporated et al. versus Terry Belhumeur et al. (File No. CI 05-01-41955) of which we are quite familiar, the taxpayer funded Manitoba Metis Federation (estimated annual budget $23-$25 million) hired Winnipeg lawyer Murray Trachtenberg to prosecute the site CyberSmokeSignals for alleged defamation in an action that dragged on for years costing the public an estimated cool $250,000 in legal fees. For what? How did this advance the cause of the province's Metis citizens?;

It's fair to say Counselor Trachtenberg tried everything within The Queen's Bench Act, Rules and Regulations to shield his Plaintiffs from public scrutiny (MMF President David Chartrand and his Board of Directors as it existed in March of 2005 when the original Statement of Claim was filed). The S/C was subsequently amended and re-amended multiple times over the years.

Get this, when the original Pre-Trial Justice was replaced (June 2010), Mr. Trachtenberg desperately attempted to have me barred from an upcoming Pre-Trial Conference on the basis I was now represented (for much of the time I'd been a "self-rep"). Taken in total, his actions can only be viewed as a deliberate, beyond pathetic attempt to suppress information which we believe the taxpaying public had every right to access after all it was paying for the lawsuit. Needless to say his letter to the incoming P-T J failed miserably.

The Publication Ban was requested by Mr. Trachtenberg at the first of almost 30 Pre-Trial Conferences (September 8, 2008). Its terms and conditions were written by the presideing Pre-Trial Justice who advised at the time although not a requirement it was preferable She be the one to hear an appeal should one be filed. On that basis we decided not to challenge the ban. It's interesting to note the ban per se is silent on the matter of life expectancy - does it remain in place forever?

Finally, suffice it to say for now the ban has given rise to an action at The Law Society of Manitoba.

American legal scholars have coined a term for these kinds of litigation - SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) of which this one was a textbook classic. Found the following cartoon recently which says it all.

We hope the judge denies Elizabeth Harriman's request for a publication ban especially if it could impact on future lawsuits launched by a victim or relatives of the victims. We can't help but wonder what his daily life at Kingston penitentiary looks like. Now that there will be no appeals will he choose to give any jailhouse interviews? Will he be allowed as often seen on American television?

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk


Sex killer Russell Williams's wife ordered to disclose divorce deal
By Andrew Seymour, Postmedia

March 22, 2011

Convicted murderer and rapist Russell Williams has been accused of fraudulently transferring his assets, including title to the couple’s Ottawa home, to his wife. (Photograph by: Fred Thornhill, Reuters)

OTTAWA — An Ottawa judge has ordered convicted sex killer Russell Williams's wife to disclose a domestic contract in which the disgraced former colonel transferred assets to her.

For now, the document can be seen only by lawyers representing the Ottawa Citizen and other media.

The order was made in advance of a Thursday hearing where lawyers representing Mary Elizabeth Harriman and several media organizations are set to argue over whether her divorce proceedings should be subject to a complete sealing order or a sweeping publication ban that would prevent the reporting of any details of the divorce.

During a hearing seeking access to the domestic contract Tuesday, Citizen lawyer Richard Dearden argued the domestic contract may contain details of Williams' transferring portions of his military pension to Harriman and is of "significant" public interest.

Harriman announced her intention to seek a divorce from Williams in December, two months after he was sentenced to life in prison for killing 27-year-old Jessica Lloyd and 37-year-old Marie-France Comeau.

Williams also pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and 82 break-and-enters, including many in the city's east end, where he frequently photographed himself wearing children's or women's underwear that he had stolen.

Williams has been accused of fraudulently transferring his assets, including title to the couple's Ottawa home, to his wife. The allegations are part of a civil lawsuit filed in Belleville, Ont., against Williams and Harriman by one of his victims.

"There's a public interest out there in knowing what former colonel Williams did with his assets six weeks after being charged," said Dearden. "What's so secret? What are they afraid the public might learn?"

A sealing order or publication ban would not be in the public interest but in the private interests of Harriman and Williams, Dearden argued, adding the measure "offends" the constitutionally protected rights of the freedom of the press and the open-court principle. Divorce proceedings are usually public.

"They want a complete, private divorce," said Dearden.

In her decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Jennifer McKinnon found that the production of the domestic contract is necessary for a proper consideration of the issues raised in Harriman's sealing application.

McKinnon's decision means media lawyers will have confidential access to the document to prepare arguments for the Thursday hearing. Neither the media nor the public will be allowed to view the domestic contract until the document is filed as part of the divorce proceedings and the judge declines to seal the divorce file or to put a publication ban in place.

Harriman's lawyers want the document to remain sealed, along with her medical and financial records.

Harriman's lawyer, Jonathan Richardson, argued the content of the domestic contract is "irrelevant" to the media's arguments that the divorce proceedings should remain public.

The contract is a "private interest between private parties," Richardson argued.

He also argued that the judge shouldn't confuse media interest with the public interest.

Anyone know?

Frankly has left a new comment on your post, "Shpoonkle your lawyer?"

Great job. So is there a background to that name?
Dear Frankly:

Thank you for writing and the compliment. We wondered too but couldn't find a definition or backgrand. It appears to be whimsical.

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What happens when you take work home - busted!

High-profile Las Vegas drug prosecutor who took on Bruno Mars and Paris Hilton is arrested - for buying crack cocaine
By Daily Mail Reporter
March 21, 2011
Accused: High-profile drugs prosecutor David Schubert has been arrested for allegedly buying crack cocaine
The prosecutor who leads some of Las Vegas's most high-profile drugs cases has been arrested - for allegedly buying crack cocaine.

David Charles Schubert, 47, prosecuted Paris Hilton after her arrest on cocaine charges last year, and most recently took on singer Bruno Mars for possession of the same drug.

Now he faces a criminal investigation after police allegedly caught him buying crack cocaine through a street dealer - who claimed Schubert buys $40 of cocaine three or four times a week.

A patrol officer stopped the deputy district attorney's BMW in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon when he spotted what he thought was a drugs transaction.

According to an arrest report seen by TMZ, the officer watched Schubert pick up a black man from an apartment block, then drive to another address where he dropped him off.

Schubert drove round for several minutes and then picked up the man again, police claim. The officer pulled the car over, but the suspected dealer jumped out and fled.

Police gave chase and took him into custody. According to the arrest report, the man, named as Raymond Streeter, told officers he knew Schubert as 'Joe'.

'Joe' had called him three or four times a week for the last six to seven months, Streeter claimed, given him $40 and driven him to an address to buy cocaine, the report alleges.

Schubert was taken into custody and booked on cocaine possession charges. His two Las Vegas homes were searched and police took a blood sample, the Review-Journal reports.
High-profile: Schubert, left, brought a drugs case case against singer Bruno Mars last year, centre. Mars pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine

Mr Roger told 8 News Now: 'I just can't wrap my head around the idea that a prosecutor who knows the dangers of drugs would try crack cocaine.'

He has suspended Schubert - who earned $119,000 in 2009 - from his post, and has already started the process to fire him.

Schubert's badge has been seized and his computer secured.

According to the Review-Journal, investigators are also looking into whether he may have compromised any previous cases.

The prosecutor has worked for Clark County district attorney's office since 2002. He leads a state drugs task force and has been assigned some of its most high-profile cases.
Celebrity cases: Deputy district attorney David Schubert is seen here, right, with Paris Hilton, who he prosecuted on cocaine charges last year

Mr Roger told the newspaper: 'It's disheartening to know the individual who I assigned to prosecute high-level drug cases is allegedly using rock cocaine.

'His future is bleak with the district attorney's office.'

In February Schubert prosecuted the case against singer Bruno Mars - real name Peter Hernandez - who admitted to possessing cocaine in a plea deal. He was sentenced to a year of informal probation.

And last year he prosecuted Paris Hilton, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges after police found 0.8grams of cocaine in her handbag.

Lawyer David Chesnoff, who represented both celebrities, told the Review-Journal he wouldn't speak badly of Schubert.

He said: 'I'm a big believer in the Constitution. I believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty. And I always root for the underdog.

'I will say this: David's always been a real professional and always treated me with respect, so I wish him the best.'
Schubert also prosecuted the case of Steven Zegrean, who was convicted for shooting four people at the New York-New York casino in 2007.

His case has been assigned to the attorney general. If found guilty, he could face up to four years in a Nevada jail.