Friday, June 18, 2010
Robin Mathews vs. Arrogance and Ignorance
As Robin so modestly puts it:
Dear Mary,Those of you who are regulars here will be familiar with the ongoing run around Dr. Mathews has been receiving from the "in crowd" and Keith Fraser and his little club. Here's the first in the latest round of Robin's reasonable requests and the ongoing Cover Your Ass Dance by the courts and their annointed "external" bodies: This mostly self explanatory letter was sent to Jill Leacock, Law Officer - British Columbia Supreme Court
The (minor, minor, minor) saga of the attempt to get accreditation goes on. Here are the three last letters.
From: Robin MathewsI will continue to resist the urge to bold certain parts, especially with Ms. Leacock's reply - mainly because once I started how would I ever know when to stop - the ridiculosity is so thorough - I do believe Ms. Leacock should be nominated for the Stephen Leacock Prize - except it really ISN"T funny. Next comes Ms. Leacocks absurd excuse for a reply, explanation or to my way of thinking "Ass Covering Excercise
Date: June 9, 2010 5:51:21 PM PDT (CA)
Subject: journalist court accreditation
Dear Ms. Leacock:
This e-mail is to ask you to grant me journalist accreditation for the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial. I have been covering the pre-trial hearings for three and a half years for two websites: vivelecanada.ca and the legislature raids site. As well material I have written has been published in magazines and newspapers, etc. I have been a radio producer for CBC. I have written text books, books on culture and politics, articles galore, etc. I am an adjunct professor at Carleton University after forty years of university teaching ... and publishing.
The "committee of journalists" rejected my request for accreditation for reasons that may not be examinable - I don't want to engage in any dispute with them. I have - over the years - criticized CanWest and three of the four work for CanWest. They assure me that has no relation to my rejection by them. They allege I am not a "working journalist" - though what the definition is seems strange.
Spokesperson Neal Hall said I could approach the judge. I wrote to her and she has not replied. The other day one of the committee (attending the Basi,Virk, and Basi trial) said I should go to Criminal Registry and get an application form, fill it in, have it stamped, and Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie would respond to the formal application.
I went to Criminal Registry and was sent to Sherriff's counter and was sent to Administration and was handed a sheet with a website address and told the form would be on it. Yesterday, with the Courts librarian I went to the website address - and no form is included on it. From there I went back to Administration, and after some talk, the head there told me that the form isn't on that website and that I have to contact you - not face to face. But by telephone or email. I telephoned you, and when there was no answer I hung up.
And so now I am writing to you by email. I will be happy to hear from you on this subject. Accreditation permits the accredited person to use a recording device in order to assure accuracy of reporting. Since I report regularly and have been doing so for three and a half years, I believe the court will be interested in assuring the information I convey is accurate.
I will appreciate hearing from you without too much delay since the trial is in progress right now.
Thanks for your consideration.
From: "Leacock, Jill"
Date: June 16, 2010 10:09:41 AM PDT (CA)
To: Robin Mathews email@example.com
Cc: "McBride, Heidi"
Subject: Journalist Accreditation
Dear Mr. Matthews
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your recent correspondence, both by way of letter and email. I understand that the accreditation committee, which is external to the Court, rejected your request for journalist accreditation, a decision with which you disagree for the reasons you set out. As you observe, accredited journalists are permitted to bring recording devices into the court room for the limited purpose of using the audio recording to verify the accuracy of their notes. My colleague Ms McBride has written a letter to you to describe the steps that you may take to pursue the matter from this point. The letter and enclosures was sent to you by mail on Monday. I attach for your information, a copy of the letter (without attachments) that was sent.
Associate Chief Justice MacKenzie is aware of your correspondence. Since you have been writing to the court for some time now, I expect you are aware that judges do not engage in correspondence concerning cases that come before them for hearing. That is part of the role that Ms. McBride and I have as lawyers for the Court. Hence you should not expect to receive a reply to your correspondence directly from Associate Chief Justice MacKenzie. If you wish to engage the court’s formal process by bringing an application, it is open to you to do so as Ms. McBride’s letter states.
Jill Leacock, Law OfficerThen our Dr. Mathews responded thus, and this is where the exercise against arrogance and ignorance stands for the moment.
British Columbia Supreme Court
800 Smithe Street,
Vancouver B.C. V6Z 2E1
Ph: (604) 660-2720
Fax: (604) 660-1723
From: Robin Mathews
Date: June 17, 2010 12:44:27 AM PDT (CA)
Subject: Fwd: Journalist Accreditation
Dear Ms. Leacock:
Thank you for your e-mail sent yesterday. I appreciate receiving acknowledgment of my communication to you. (I'm always interested when lawyers spell names incorrectly, and I wonder what part of their training leads in that direction.)
You know, of course, I am fully aware that judges don't answer the letters of ordinary Canadians. I have no opinion on that matter. But I do know that ordinary Canadians have a perfect right to write to judges. If judges choose not to have letters of gravity answered by court officers (such as yourself), then, of course, the judges will face what criticism they evoke by ignoring communications. Judges are - after all - public servants in the very best and highest sense of that phrase.
Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie has chosen to ignore completely my second reasoned and concerned letter about the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case. She has doubtless made that decision in the full consciousness of its implications.
Thank you again for writing to me. I await the material sent by Ms. McBride and I am grateful to her for sending it. I shall consider, upon receiving the material, whether to "engage the court's formal process by bringing an application". My letter to you recorded a muddle in the Supreme Court in which it took me three days going from post to post to post to get to the point of being advised to write to you. While the time of court officers is held, it seems, at the highest value there, the time of ordinary Canadians seems to be considered worthless.
I want court accreditation. I may "engage the formal process by bringing an application" to attempt to get accreditation AND to report to an already concerned public the behaviour of the Supreme Court of British Columbia towards those who (in the words I choose to use) are not in its charmed circle.
That I should be weighed for accreditation by a "voluntary" committee of the British Columbia Supreme Court made up of three CanWest employees out of four on the committee is simply unacceptable. That you should characterize that committee as "external to the Court" is baffling! In what way can a committee be "external to the Court" that has acted with the full authority of the Court and with the knowledge of the Associate Chief Justice who accepts its decision? The committee's decision is final (and acceptable to the Court), unless - in your own words - I wish to make an application which, in effect, is to appeal the decision of the committee.
Your statement that the committee is "external" to the court is, I believe, "chop logic" of the first order - a statement that is intended to be incomprehensible to sane people of normal intelligence but which suggests the court is not responsible for actions over which it exerts control.
I believe I was considered by a committee that reasonable men and women reject out of hand.Dear readers, please forgive me for not being able to resist a bit of bolding at the end there, as there is only so much B.S. one can tolerate in silence - Reading this foolishness must be like listening to Martyn Brown "testify" in court!
Thank you again for your communication.
...........posted by kootcoot
We are all getting disgusted and dizzy by the Court's behavior toward him.
A scary thought just came to mind. In the event that he makes such an application and is granted accreditation, the proceedings on it will undoubtedly be dealt with outside the hearing of the jury. OMG, will we be allowed to hear about it?
The whole BC Railgate affair is a farce and probably when I am long dead and buried, a independent inquiry will find it thus, just as the Braidwood and Major inquires have shown.
In Canada, corruption and Orwellian Law are the order of the day.
There are cogent objections to the creation of such a “constitutional” immunity. As recently pointed out in Grant v. Torstar Corp., 2009 SCC 61,  3 S.C.R. 640, the protection attaching to freedom of expression is not limited to the “traditional media”, but is enjoyed by “everyone” (in the words of s. 2(b) of the Charter) who chooses to exercise his or her freedom of expression on matters of public interest whether by blogging, tweeting, standing on a street corner and shouting the “news” at passing pedestrians or publishing in a national newspaper."
In doing so Robin, you'll make it so much easier for others in the same field ....... like me, who visit the public galleries of OUR court rooms.
You may know or suspect this, but I wanted you to be aware that this behaviour is common (in all senses of that word) in the BC judicial and legal establishment.
I too have received duplicitous and derogatory treatment from BC Supreme Court justices, lawyers (private and those working for the government) and court house staff. They do this knowingly, and with a smirk. It is a game to them. And, I have been made aware of the similar plight of other citizens, law-abiding and decent, caring people, one and all.
I believe these self-regulating pillars of society are acting in this way because they are aware that they are untouchable. They literally can get away with murder, or child abuse or elder abuse, or fraud or... I won't list the examples her of government insiders and authorities abusing their privileges and the law, but I certainly can do that if anyone is interested.
Like doctors or lawyers, the judiciary is answerable to no one but themselves. They protect one another because their business or career is dependent on other judges or lawyers.
I write this not to discourage people, but to shock them into action. Write your MLA and your MP. Demand in the next election that we will no longer accept "self-regulating" professions, that lawyers, judges, doctors and police no longer have the privilege of "self-regulation."
Self-regulation is an oxymoron. Just look at the financial industry when the government controls were weakened. Did that cabal of smart people reign themselves in? No. They precipitated the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.
Australia and New Zealand are two countries that recently did away with "self-regulating" professional designation for lawyers/judges. They are now accountable in real and practical terms to the people, not to their peers and pals. It's time Canadians did the same.
WOE UNTO YOU, LAWYERS!
"A lusty, gusty attack on “The Law” as a curious, antiquated institution which, through outworn procedures, technical jargon and queer mummery, enables a group of medicine-men to dominate our social and political lives and our business, to their own gain."
Written in 1939
Professor of Law, Yale University
“Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away
the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves,
and them that were entering in ye hindered.” - Luke. XI, 52
I'll probably do a post about it at the House, when (and if) things slow down in clown land!
A further injunction re the illegally appointed Special Prosecutor seems in order, also.
I know I know it would delay the trial further. But it would bring a brighter spotlight on it than CanWest will ever be able to divert.
And as I said on Tieleman's blog, I think it's time for a "Repossess BC
Rail NOW" FB page or some such campaign be launched....(actually, another injunction would do the trick, since there is clear evidence the sale was rigged, including complaints from the other bidders).
And what was that bit in Tieleman's article about Charles River Associates buying two seats at a Campbell speaking engagement in NYC? Was he fundraising in NYC? And that would be the same Charles River Associates who refuse to comment on the report because the two consultants who wrote it don't work there anymore. Would that be the same two consultants who bought those dinner seats? And who, by name, were they? Anyone we know??
And like CIBC World Markets, was the contract for that report untendered?
Ethics courses, when taken, seem only guidelines to how to avoid charges.....
One day, yes, you will be long dead and forgotten, as you should be.