Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Douglas Inquiry: Rats, cats a camel and one very big cash cow!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, Its been hot and sunny in Winnipeg lately ..... CyberSmokeBlog hasn't been wearing its blogging hat?

Rats and cats ... what do I think?

No, it wouldn't have been a conflict of interest. That's a concept that would have been cleared when Pratte acepted the job. And Pratte would not have resigned from a national case without a huge reason: his professional reputation would depend on it.

Look at his history of squabbles with the Canadian Judicial Council in this matter. I think Pratte was so undermined by the CJC Committee (and "Rocky") that finally it was clear to him that he couldn't properly discharge his duty. That's obvious from his application for judicial review.

But then some further straw must have broken the camel/Cat's back between when he filed for judicial review and then resigned one week later.

That straw will be in his resignation letter The Council doesn't want taxpayers to see because it will feed into the bias argument filed by the Judge's legal team.

And we as taxpayers get to stand by and watch and pay. What a waste of time and money.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for again contacting CyberSmokeBlog.

With all these animal analogies, the Douglas Inquiry is starting to sound a little like George Orwell's Animal Farm 2012. Man those pigs sure were nasty when they got rid of Farmer Jones and took over!

Sorry for the confusion. What we meant to say was Mr. Pratte was conflicted meaning he had one vision as to how aggressive, or lack thereof, an Independent Counsel should be examining witnesses versus that of the Inquiry Committee.
"The Cat" at the Inquiry during happier  times

Next point. Recall Guy Pratte is not the first resignation associated with the Inquiry. That honour belongs to Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler who stepped aside as one of the 5 Committee Members before proceedings got underway citing a heavy workload.Under CJC bylaws, Mr. Pratte was appointed by a Selection Committee none of whom would be on the Review Panell.

In a letter published on The Council's webpage it became apparent "The Cat" had questions/reservations/misgivings/clarification issues - whatever the descriptive - about the role of an Independent Counsel even before the formal hearing phase began in May of this year. But was this a harbinger of what was to come? Did the Selection Committee exercise due diligence? Should it have seen the resignation coming long ago?

Mr. Pratte is no stranger to public inquiries. A lengthy but extremely well-researched and documented article was written by The Canadian Lawyer magazine's Richard Cleroux (Pratte-a-porter, July 2008) tracing his past experience with them. Of particular interest was the lasting impression one had on him years ago under the Pierre Trudeau administration involving his father Yves who, as a result, was forced to resign as Air Canada's Chief Executive Officer. It seemed to have left an indelible mark of the younger Pratte.

Anonymous, you've raised another very interesting point. Would the resignation letter feed into the Defence's contention of an apprehension of bias? From The Lawyer's Weekly article referenced earlier (Sparks fly over Douglas case resignation - Cristin Schmitz, September 21, 2012 Issue), if Rocco "The Great Predictor" Galati doesn't file a challenge in Federal Court for access to "the letter" perhaps Team Block-Reynolds-Whitmore will.

Taxpayers getting to stand by and watch and pay? Well, meet Elsie the Inquiry cash cow who just keeps on giving and giving and giving and .....
"Mooooo ....."

"What a waste of time and money." Perhaps the only saving grace, albeit a very expensive one, is the Inquiry's educational value. Taxpayers are getting a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of how federal judicial appointments are made while watching dirty laundry being washed in public. Better than television! Plus don't forget there may not be any hockey.

Clare L. Pieuk


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