Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Found him!

'''Dick' Tracy to CyberSmoke Blog! 'Dick' Tracy to CybeSmokeBlog I just found VJH! Next time keep a closer eye on this invaluable asset you idiots!"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Calling VJH! Calling VJH! Do you read me? Please come in!"

Good Morning Mr. Pieuk:

I must apologize, I haven’t commented for some time, due to establishing my new fledgling business that will, hopefully, allow me to retire from the drudgery in which I have been engaged for the past 25 years. I have, essentially, been working two jobs for the past while, though my lovely wife has been assisting with the new business, and as such have not engaged in much beyond the necessities of life.

I am honoured that you are requesting my opinion on this seemingly never-ending saga. I honestly thought that Douglas would have wanted to avoid further public humiliation and submit her resignation by now, but it would appear I was wrong. Considering the nature of her conduct, and obvious enjoyment of masochistic abuse, I shouldn’t be surprised, yet I find that I am. Perhaps she finds all this negative attention exciting and titillating? I digress ...

Congratulations on your bid to apply for intervener status! I have every confidence that you will submit a well constructed argument that will hopefully get through all the legal red-tape involved in being granted that status. I’ve read through the 41 page decision regarding the powers of independent counsel and the weight to be applied to the opinions of said counsel by the inquiry. However, until such time as formal allegations have been determined and published by the CJC, postulating on the content of the Notice of Allegations is a mine-field.

We simply do not know, at this point, what the inquiry is going to focus on, especially considering this new anonymous complaint. With the addition of this new, unknown, complaint, and the strenuous objections by counsel, one can only wonder what horrific content it contains, and if indeed this is new material, and not simply some re-submission of the original complaint. Though, considering that the panel considered this to be a new complaint, I think it likely relates to the original (same type of conduct) but involves new parties.

At this stage the purpose of the inquiry is clear. First, they must determine who, if anyone, will be granted intervener status, what evidence will be allowed and what is determined to be irrelevant to the allegations (remembering that her decisions on the bench do not qualify as conduct), and then finally, witnesses to be called before the inquiry. With regard to your query about Chapman (the man disgusts me, but I am thankful he exposed this whole debacle), I believe that conflict of interest would be the challenge to him as intervener. As the complainant, he has status as a witness, I’m unsure what foundation for any further information or evidence he can provide regarding the conduct of Douglas. I am curious to hear what he thinks gives him further influence on the inquiry.

Good luck with your application, I must return to the salt mines as the wife is wanting to spend quality time at the cottage this summer and I must attend to her wishes. As the saga continues, I will pay closer attention as the allegations are defined and the inquiry moves forward. Until then, I remain,
Veritas Justas Honoris

Dear VJH:

My God you're alive we were so afraid you'd quietly fallen off the edge of the earth - it's still flat isn't it? We apologize for Mr. Tracy he can be such a 'Dick' sometimes.

To save time and facilitate/reference any future comment you may make, we're going to use point form:

(1) Regarding your comment about Associate Chief Justice Douglas and what appears to be certain masochistic tendencies, we have talked to two ladies who at various times have appeared before her in child custody cases. Both have said much the same in slightly different ways. To paraphrase, is a judge not charged with the responsibility of upholding and enforcing societal values? Is she a good example of that?

Regarding the humiliation factor. Here's a quote from Team Torys (Sheila Block and Molly Renyolds from Torys LLP in Toronto). It is dated May 9, 2012 and addressed to Inquiry Counsel George Macintosh, Q.C. (Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP -Vancouver) in which Team Torys argues "Pieuk" should not be granted standing:

"We are confident that the Inquiry Committee understands that its proceedings are not identical to the court system. The Judges Act provides that an inquiry or investigation may be held in public or private. The CJC Inquiries and Investigations By-laws permit all or any part of a hearing to be held in private if the Inquiry Committee determines that the public and the due administration of justice so requires. (Page 2)"

What that suggests VJH is the "juiciest" parts may be held in-camera and, therefore, closed to the public.

(2) Some time ago you looked at The Judges Act and were able to come up with a figure of $254,600 annually plus pension and benefits as being approximately what ACJ Douglas is being paid by taxpayers. It is our understanding that Team Torys legal fees will be paid by the Inquiry (read taxpayers) whether she wins loses or draws. Could we ask a teeny-weeny favour VJH pretty please? Will you look to see if you can find the authority for that in TJA - pretty please? If true that's mind boggling!

(3) Last Saturday we specifically asked Alex Chapman whether he was in any way involved with the second complaint because there seemed to be some discussion/confusino the two were related. Our understanding of what he said was the two are separate and distiinct

(4) On the subject of interveners here's what we know to date:

(i) The Inquiry Panel has agreed to fund a lawyer to prepare Alex Chapman's application for standing. We are aware of at least one solicitor (They're good they're very good!) with whom he has held preliminary discussions but do not yet know the outcome

(ii) At Saturday's pre-Inquiry hearing CBC Television reporter Marisa Dragani indicated the "People's Television Network " would be seeking intervener status

(iii) A lady who has appeared before ACJ Douglas in the past has assured us she fully intends to apply

(iv) Through an intermediary we contacted a lady who has also been before ACJ Douglas in a child custody case but does not intend to seek standing. Our impression, rightly or wrongly, is there still remains a lot of hurt, anger, frustration, fear - whatever the descriptives

(v) And, yes, CyberSmokBlog will be back

The two long shot dark horses will be (ii) and (v) because they cannot argue their lives have been directly impacted ("touched") by ACJ Douglas other than as taxpayers required to pay for the Inquiry's cost. That leaves (i) and (iii) with the best odds. The former because Alex Chapman will have a lawyer to prepare his application but could be eliminated on the basis he will be subpoenaed to testimony once the Inquiry gets underway. If granted standing would that not place him in a potential conflict of interest position. We have sought a legal opinion on the matter.

That leaves (iii) who may just, like in an election, come up the middle to grab "the prize"

(5) For anyone seeking standing at the Inquiry there are 6 Federal Court of Canada criteria/guidelines you must by and large satisfy:

(a) Is the proposed intervener directly affected by the outcome?

(b) Does there exist a justiciable issue and a veritable public interest?

(c) Is there an apparent lack of any other reasonable or efficient means to submit the question of the Court?

(d) Is the position of the proposed intervener adequately defended by one of the parties to the case?

(e) Are the interests of justice better served by the intervention of the proposed intervener?

(f) Can the court hear and decide the cause on its merits without the intervention of the proposed intervener?

Note: These were outlined in a letter dated May 9, 2012 from Independent Counsel Mr. Guy J. Pratte to Mr. George Macintosh Counsel to the Inquiry in which the former argued CyberSmokeBlog's request/application for standing should be denied.

Here's where it gets interesting. At page 3 of Mr. Pratte's aforementioned letter it states: Not all of these factors need be met by the proposed intervener. (emphasis ours)

If you are interested in seeking standing your should prepare your arguments following criteria (a) through (f) above and send them (e-mail is acceptable) to:

Mr. George K. Macintosh, Q.C.
Counsel to the Inquiry
Farris, Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP
25 Floor 700 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V7Y 1B3

(6) Fast back to the Oliphant Commission of April/May 2009 which looked into the "slight difficulty" former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney experienced over those envelopes stuffed with about $225,000 in cash from German businessman/lobbyst Karlheinz Schreiber. No one went to jail save for Mr. Schreiber whose deportation order was delayed so he could testify after which he was shipped out, tried sentenced to a jail term. We seem to recall recent comment in the media the now ex convict has been released.

Well, when it was all over, the taxpayer cost was announced at $8 million. There are those who would say, "For what?" That was awfully expensive prime time television.

Would you do us one more teeny-weeny little favour VJH before heading back to the salt mines - double pretty please? Could you see if there's an authority in The Judges Act or perhaps The Inquiries Act that sets out the financial parameters for public disclosure after an inquiry has been concluded. Specifically, CyberSmokeBlog's readers would like to know how much taxpayers will have to pay for what's going to be a real media circus, but more importantly, what will it cost us for ACJ Douglas' and the other lawyers in legal fees, travel and other related expenditures?

The glaring deficiency in the Douglas Inquiry as currently constituted is the complete lack of any layperson oversight or involvement. In other words, lawyers are the only ones capable of sitting in judgment of other lawyers and judges. Just like Law Societies wouldn't you say?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

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