Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's she doing these days and how much is it costing taxpayers? God only knows and he/she/it's not talking!

Hi Clare,

More than one source has said that the inquiry is adjourned until December. Is that correct? I can see them taking August off, but four months? To me that raises some serious questions, perhaps starting with what is Douglas herself doing with her time. As a judge still on salary she cannot take on any other work. So, if I were her, I'd be enjoying a long vacation, somewhere far removed from Winnipeg. and on her salary she can afford a five star resort.


Dear CB:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeblog. Short answer, on both counts we don't know the judiciary tells taxpayers as little as possible just pay the millions it will cost by the time the Douglas Inquiry is completed.

Regarding the first part of your question, yes, the Inquiry is adjourned until December. Earlier there was some discussion of re-convening for 4-days in September and 3-days in November. The first to hear the remaining 10-witnesses (by our count) and the second for final summations by Lead Independent Counsel Guy "The Cat" Pratte, Sheila Block Lori Douglas' Lead Counsel and Rocco "The Predictor" Galati who's acting on behalf of Alex Chapman.

Frankly, we don't think the Inquiry will get through the 10-remaining witnesses in 4-days try 6.

However, last Friday as the Inquiry wound up this phase of its hearings, "The Cat" told the Committee he couldn't make the September and November dates his earliest availability being in December although no specific dates were announced.

What is Lori Douglas doing and what's it costing taxpayers?

To try to answer this part of your question we turn to CBC Manitoba (Judge in harassment complaint has role reduced - Thursday, February 10. 2011):

"Lori Douglas stepped away from her duties as Associate Chief Justice (Family Division) in September 2010 but remained with the court in an administrative capacity.

However, in an email on Thursday, Glenn Joyal, Chief Justice of Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench said Douglas' role had been reduced.

Pending the final outcome of the proceedings before the Canadian Judicial Council it has been agreed that Associated Chief Justice Douglas will not be assigned any administrative duties in relation to the Family Division, the email stated.

[She] will continue to work on various projects of importance and relevance to the court.

No further information was provided by Joyal."

What the hell does that sound like to you CB?

By the way, Alex Chapman filed his complaint with the Law Society of Manitoba on July 14, 2010 and was advised to contact the Canadian Judicial Counsel which he subsequently did. Time to dig deeper.

1.0 Allegations of Misconduct

On May 29th of this year, Team Independent Counsel filed its 4-count Notice of Allegations. The forth, Alleged Failure to Fully Disclose Facts to Independent Counsel at Page 3, Paragraphs 9 and 10 we have:

9. Upon being advised of the Chapman Complaint and the initiation of an investigation by the CJC, ACJ Douglas modified a personal diary that described an encounter with Mr. Chapman which she knew or ought to have known was relevant to the Investigation. ACJ Douglas subsequently intentionally made incorrect representations to Independent Counsel about that modification.

10. Any of the allegations set out above, if accepted by the Committee is: 1) capable of supporting a finding that ACJ Douglas is "incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of the office of judge" within the meaning of subsection 65(2) of The Judges Act, and 2) capable of supporting a recommendation for removal.

The foregoing in and of itself really tells us nothing about the condition of Lori Douglas. For that we must fast forward to June 13, 2012 when her Lead Counsel Sheila Block filed a Response to the Notice of Allegations.

2.0 Response to Allegations of Misconduct

Page 8 Paragraphs 30 and 31 state the following in relation to Allegation 4, Alleged Failure to Fully Disclose Facts to Independent Counsel:

30. In the late summer or fall of 2010, Douglas ACJ visibly changed a word in a gardening diary she keeps for her own reference. The adjective that was changed had originally referred to the previous afternoon, not to Chapman. Douglas ACJ admits changing the word out of anger at Chapman's false allegation that had been recently made against her in the media. She had no intention of misleading anyone. She did not anticipate that the diary would be evidence in an inquiry process. At that time, she was instructing counsel to prepare a response letter and did not believe that this matter would proceed to an inquiry on the basis of Chapman's false allegations against her. Douglas ACJ's review of the diary in the fall of 2010 was prompted solely by her attempt to provide her counsel with dates of events for the purpose of the response letter, including the dates of the meetings set-up by King and Chapman referred to above in paragraphs 8 and 9.

31. About a year and half later she was questioned about it in a telephone call in February 2012 and she did not respond accurately to Independent Counsel's colleague. At the time of the telephone call she was at home alone and in no condition to have been trying to respond to questions. She corrected her answer at the earliest practical opportunity and has co-operated fully with Independent Counsel with respect to his concerns on this subject, including providing medical evidence and full access to other private information concerning her condition in February.

The operative phrases, CB, are:

"..... At the time of the telephone call she was at home alone and in no condition to have been trying to respond to questions."


"..... including providing medical evidence and full access to other private information concerning her condition in February."

You be the judge and jury as to what they mean.

Sorry, CB, we can't give you a Class - 5 Answer (Cool - Clear - Clean - Concise - Consistent) but obtaining information on what Lori Douglas is doing and how much she's costing taxpayers these days is like trying to get a  straight answer to simple questions posed last week to Jack King at the Inquiry.

Clare L. Pieuk


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