Thursday, December 27, 2007

CHRC Abuse of Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act to cover-up the misdeeds of the CHRC

CHRC Abuse of Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act to cover-up the misdeeds of the CHRC


It’s all out war in the Marc Lemire Internet case. The Canadian Human Rights Commission, like some mobster in a U.S. trial who keep invoking the Fifth Amendment, is trying to keep the veil of secrecy wrapped tight around its spying operations on Canadian Internet dissidents. It’s tool of choice is Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act.

Section 37 reads:

A Minister of the Crown in right of Canada or other official may object to the disclosure of information before a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information by certifying orally or in writing to the court, person or body that the information should not be disclosed on the grounds of a specified public interest. If an objection is made under subsection (1), the court, person or body shall ensure that the information is not disclosed other than in accordance with this Act.”

“Public interest” is a sweeping catch-all and can include the safety of any person. The mischievous effect of invoking these magic words – “Section 37” – is that the information cannot be revealed or the question even asked. The only route of appeal is to a Federal Court and that’s where the Marc Lemire Defence Team is now headed.

Cover-up? You bet!

We know, according to Richard Warman’s testimony in Warman v. Jessica Beaumont that a page was downloaded from Stormfront using the sign-in name ”Jadewarr.” Warman testified that he was not “Jadewarr” but that the document was downloaded in his presence by the Commission. When Marc Lemire’s attorney Barbara Kulaszka asked CHRC investigator Dean Steacy whether he knew who “Jadewarr” was, Commission lawyer Giacomo Vigna squelched as answer by invoking Sec. 37.

Similarly, when Miss Kulaszka asked Mr. Steacy whether he’d ever signed on to a political message board and made postings, Mr. Vigna used Sec. 37 to prevent an answer. We know that “Jadewarr” extensively discussed Sec. 13.1 complaints with people on Stormfront and has even tried to engage victim/Respondent Marc Lemire in conversations – perhaps to entrap him?

The Member (Judge) in this Tribunal lawyer Athanasios Hadjis of Montreal expressed serious reservations at Vigna’s wholesale use of Sec. 37 and all but invited the Defence to challenge Vigna in Federal Court: “Don't say it's privilege. It's not privilege, it's 37. It is a large tool that you have chosen to use, and I hope that one day the Federal Court has a chance to assess it.”

Quotes from Member (Judge) in the Marc Lemire case

Athanasios Hadjis

I am asking for some discretion to be utilized by the single party that has this tool in this room.

Transcripts, Page 4429

MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, I would raise an objection, again, in terms of the relevance, and also under section 37. This is an ongoing investigation, so section 37 would be --

…..

MS KULASZKA: I don't think that question in any way threatens the Commission.

THE CHAIRPERSON: No, it doesn't. I am going to allow that question. If there is a problem with that, ask somebody upstairs.

Transcripts, Page 4714

But I see your point, Ms Kulaszka. You want to know, if you resolve on 52, is 37 still -- is that sword of Damocles still hanging over your head.

Transcripts, Page: 4388

Amazingly, in the Warman v. Glenn Bahr and Western Canada for Us Tribunal, when Paul Fromm asked Sgt. Stephen Camp whether “Estate” was an Edmonton Police Officer, Sec. 37 was not invoked. Camp eventually admitted “Estate” who had posted inflammatory and racist comments on Stormfront was a police officer. [Subsequently, in Glenn Bahr’s preliminary hearing on Sec. 319 – “hate” – charges, Camp came clean and admitted he was “Estate”]

In the Bahr case, acting as his agent, I originally asked, about the identity of “Estate.” There was a bit of an argument. Camp refused to answer. Vigna them talked about "Section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act" but did not invoke it. More discussion ensued over whether the question was relevant. After it was ruled relevant by Tribunal Charperson Julie Lloyd, Camp returned to testify on the following Monday. During Constable Camps testimony, he revealed that “Estate” was an Edmonton police officer, but refused to identify which officer it was.

The only reference to Section 37 came from. RICHARD WARMAN who said this:

MR. WARMAN: -- the last point I would make is that Sergeant Camp over the break has had an opportunity to speak with his colleagues and superiors at the Edmonton Police Service as well as others -- I won't go into -- he has had a chance to confirm that there are no further ongoing issues in relation to -- we won't be continuing with the Section 37 Canada Evidence Act objection. ( Warman v. Bahr and Western Canada for Us transcript, page 683)

Interestingly, Warman doesn't continue the objection!!! Objections under Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act can only be invoked and certified by “A Minister of the Crown in right of Canada or other official” Just what on earth is going on here? Does Richard Warman represent a Minister of the Crown or other official? If so why it this not revealed? During most of the testimony Richard Warman has done, he has testified he is doing this on his own initiative, and has no “special relationship” with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

We are battling a secrecy obsessed Canadian Human Rights Commission bent on throttling dissent on the Internet and equally determined to keep Canadians in the dark about their spy operations. They have all the money and resources. We need your help in this ongoing battle.

Paul Fromm

Director

CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION

With edits and content changes by Marc Lemire