Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Inquiry ..... and the plot thickens!

Good Day Readers:

Just received the following:
A document relating to the Inquiry Committee concerning the Honourable Lori Douglas has been posted on the Council website:


Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
(613) 288-1566 Extension 302

Should you check the link you will find it's a 41-page legal tome.

Your attention is drawn to Page 41 Paragraphs 108 and 109 (Italics/bold ours):

[108] Written Submissions by all parties with standing with respect to Complaint 2 are due by June, 7

[109] Complaint 2 is to be provided to Counsel to the Committee forthwith but will not be seen by him or by the Committee subject to the ruling on this Complaint

"Fast back" for a moment. On May 1 of this year the CJC issued a Press Release indicating there would be an initial hearing open to the public in the ACJ (Associate Chief Justice) Douglas Inquiry beginning at 9:a.m. at the Winnipeg Federal Court of Canada courtroom, 4th floor 363 Broadway Avenue. The brief announcement noted it would deal with procedural matters specifically mentioning applications for standing including applications to intervene.

Several months prior prior to the aforesaid announcement, CyberSmokeBlog had already started the process of seeking standing/intervener status in its capacity as a media outlet. When the May 1, 2012 Press Release was issued, that same day IF granted standing (it's by no means a slam dunk) we offered to raise questions of public interest on behalf of our readers either anonymously or by name as they so chose.

Later that same day we received an e-mail (her second) from the lady who we believe to be Complainant 2. She requested anonymity which we respected. A decision on her custody case which went before ACJ Douglas some time ago apparently, according to her comments, is still pending. Should she read this we provide the following information of which she may wish to avail herself:

Mr. George K. Macintosh. Q.C.
Inquiry Committee Counsel
Ferris, Vaughn, Willis & Murphy LLP (Vancouver Office)

His Assistant:

Fearing reprisal she asked we convey certain comments, however, we countered that she might wish to contact the Inquiry directly on an in-camera (closed to the public) basis. Based on information received to date from the Canadian Judicial Council it appears there will be provision for in-cameras although it is our understanding no determination has yet been made as to the perimeters.

Other Developments

(1) Come Saturday it is our understand we will be allowed to argue our case for standing/intervener status which we intend to do. In the meantime, courtesy of Mr. Macintosh we have received arguments against it being granted by ACJ Douglas' lawyers, Sheila R. Block and Molly Reynolds both with Torys LLP in Toronto. We also received a copy of a letter from Mr. Guy J. Pratte, Borden Ladner Gervais the independent counsel appointed to represent the Inquiry Committee. All Parties are opposed to granting CyberSmokBlog standing once the formal Inquiry begins

(2) We received an unsolicited e-mail recently from Mr. Alex Chapman who is Complainant 1 in which he offered to provide CSB with documentation he has received regarding the Inquiry. He also has made available information regarding a current complaint he has filed against a Law Society of Manitoba Member. Section 79 (1) (a) (b) of The Legal Profession Act of Manitoba forbids release of a lawyer's name until after a Disciplinary Hearing has been held and a decision rendered. The penalty for doing otherwise can be a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a possible jail sentence of not more than six months.

Clare L. Pieuk.


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