U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Globe and Mail (not the National Post) teaches Rock a lesson about due process

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/due-process-on-ice-at-the-university-of-ottawa/article19576175/

Due process on ice at the University of Ottawa

PublishedSunday, Jul. 13 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

Allegations that some members of the University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey team committed sexual assault in Thunder Bay earlier this year are deeply disturbing. If they prove to be true, the young men involved are guilty of a serious criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But the university’s recent decision to suspend the entire hockey program for a full season is hasty and unjust to those players whose only fault is one of circumstance: They happen to play on the same team as the three alleged offenders. Twenty-one players are innocent of any crime – even an alleged one – yet they are being treated as though they are guilty by association. It’s a kind of collective punishment.

It’s a surprising verdict, coming from Allan Rock, the University of Ottawa’s president, who once served as justice minister. He justified the sweeping sanctions after an internal review – details kept confidential – showed some team members’ behaviour during the tournament in Thunder Bay “did not meet the university’s expectations of our student athletes” and “was not in keeping with the university’s values.” If that sounds vague, it is no more so than statements from the Thunder Bay Police concerning the alleged Feb. 1 incident. Their investigation is complete but they have not yet decided whether any charges will be laid. Perhaps the university’s investigators uncovered something the police missed, but unless Mr. Rock makes their findings public, it’s impossible to understand why he chose such a harsh course of action. Would it have made more sense to wait for the police to lay charges, and for those charges to be proven (or not) in court? It’s called due process, and one would think that Mr. Rock would get that.

The university’s suspension of the hockey program doesn’t just mean a couple of dozen players don’t get to play their sport. A group of people who had nothing to do with the alleged incident – some of whom weren’t even in Thunder Bay – have had their reputations tarnished, job offers revoked, and have been ostracized by peers. Mr. Rock should have waited; if any players are ultimately found guilty, the university can punish them (after the justice system does). But based on the evidence that’s publicly known, at least 21 other players have done nothing wrong. They deserve something else from Mr. Rock: the presumption of innocence.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

St. Lewis v. Rancourt: Notice of Appeal served and filed


The defendant Denis Rancourt will appeal the judgement resulting from the May-June 2014 trial of the St. Lewis v. Rancourt defamation case.

The Notice of Appeal has been served to the plaintiff and filed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and is posted HERE, and as a PDF file HERE.

The Overview section in the Notice of Appeal reads:

OVERVIEW

1. This appeal raises fundamental questions about:
(a)    the sufficient conditions that give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias, regarding financial and institutional ties, in-court procedural decisions, the charge to the jury, and express findings from the bench;
(b)    the right of a litigant to argue an abuse-of-process remedy in a defamation trial, which was pleaded in pleadings that were not stuck out;
(c)    the right of a defendant to have his pleaded defences and remedies considered by the jury in a defamation trial;
(d)    whether the charge to the jury in a defamation trial can limit the jury members to either accept or reject specified meanings of the words complained of;
(e)    whether an imbedded video that is an integral part of a web article (“blogpost”) complained of and that is essential to the context of the alleged libel in a defamation action must be shown to the jury at trial;
(f)    the limiting of a defendant’s freedom of expression by a permanent injunction that forbids future unknown statements about the plaintiff, following a successful defamation action;
(g)    costs policy principles, the Charter principle of freedom of expression, and the common law of awarding costs, for costs of a defamation trial against an impecunious defendant when there are no costs to the plaintiff.

All/most court-filed documents of both parties in the overall action and its appeals are HERE.


Professor Joanne St. Lewis: Why I Stood Up to Racist Cyber Libel


On June 25, 2014, guest blogger Joanne St. Lewis posted this blogpost on the SLAW legal magazine blog:

Professor Joanne St. Lewis: Why I Stood Up to Racist Cyber Libel (LINK)


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Defend the right to criticize!

http://t.co/xZyHVtV9tk

Here is the answer:




Please view the story at Indiegogo and consider contributing to the Denis Rancourt Legal Defence Fund campaign: LINK

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cynthia McKinney's petition "Give a Fair Court Hearing to Denis Rancourt " surpasses 1000 signatures

Cynthia McKinney's change.org petition "Give a Fair Court Hearing to Denis Rancourt" has surpassed 1000 signatures. It is addressed to chief justices in Ottawa, Ontario, and Canada.

Ottawa Citizen articles about the petition are HERE and HERE.

https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/beverley-mclachlin-scc-csc-ca-james-mcnamara-scj-csj-ca-give-a-fair-court-hearing-to-denis-rancourt
Click image for link to change.org petition

University of Ottawa paying for pointless legal battles -- Sun News

Ezra Levant interviewed Executive Director of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association Joseph Hickey on May 23, 2014, about the St. Lewis v. Rancourt lawsuit.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/3585179969001
Click image for link to Sun News video report

Related Links:
OCLA campaign: Public Money is Not for Silencing Critics
Cynthia McKinney's petition: Give a Fair Court Hearing to Denis Rancourt

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Denis Rancourt has lost the defamation lawsuit -- Summary and update


By Denis Rancourt

TABLE OF CONTENT
  • Jury awarded damages of $350,000.
  • Permanent injunction and take down order
  • Plaintiff seeks judicial finding of contempt of court
  • Strong case for appeal
  • Need financial help and pro bono lawyer for appeal
  • Trial judge's ties to the University of Ottawa
  • Links to media reports

The last day of trial was June 6, 2014.

The six-person jury found that two 2011 blogposts on the U of O Watch blog were defamatory of Joanne St. Lewis.

The jury awarded $100,000. in general damages (the plaintiff wanted $500,000.), $250,000 in aggravated damages (equal to the amount requested by the plaintiff), and zero dollars in punitive damages (the plaintiff wanted $250,000. and to give half to the University of Ottawa), for a total of $350,000.

After the jury left, the trial judge made an order for a permanent injunction against me. The orders from the trial are HERE.

The judge's court order has forced me to remove my two blogposts complained of, and thus the links to these blogposts no longer exist: HERE, and HERE.

In addition the plaintiff, whose legal costs are paid by the University of Ottawa, orally submitted, through her lawyer, that a "show cause" hearing should be set to make a judicial finding of contempt of court against me, regarding documents published during the trial.

The judge ordered that there would be this "show cause" hearing on September 25, 2014.

The judge said in court that the September 25, 2014, "show cause" hearing could result in a jail sentence against me.

My desire is to appeal the result of the trial. I believe I have a very strong case for appeal. So does Cynthia McKinney who started the petition entitled "Give a Fair Court Hearing To Denis Rancourt": LINK-petition. The petition presently has over 900 signatures and over 200 comments.

I have a strong case because the trial judge cancelled my main ("Jameel") defence while I was trying to present it to the jury (LINK to statement on walking out of trial), and then, in his charge to the jury at the end of the evidence, the judge cancelled all my remaining defences by saying:

"The defendant has not introduced any evidence establishing a defence therefore there is no defence for you to consider."

In fact, the plaintiff had already introduced ample evidence supporting the legal defence of "fair comment", and I had explained this defence to the jury in my opening statement.

I need to raise enough money (approximately $20,000.) to pay for the required court transcripts (one cannot appeal without buying the court transcripts of the trial). And, I need to find a lawyer who will agree to do the appeal on a pro bono basis (i.e., for the public good).

The trial judge has all of his university degrees from the University of Ottawa, and is a regular and annual donor to the University of Ottawa (LINK to recusal motion court documents).

The judge gives money to the university that is using money to finance the plaintiff in the lawsuit; without a spending limit, "without a cap" in the words of president Allan Rock.  

Media links in this case are:
LINK--May 15, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--May 16, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--May 22, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--May 23, 2014--PressTV (TV and print)
LINK--May 23, 2014--SUN-News (TV)
LINK--June 5, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen (with video)
LINK--June 5, 2014--Ottawa-SUN (with video)
LINK--June 6, 2014--Canadian-Lawyer-Magazine
LINK--June 6, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--June 6, 2014--Ottawa-SUN

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Duck and cover, a la Allan Rock


When a lawyer-politician runs a university...

Remember this? (LINK-CBC-video-report)

In March 2014, Allan Rock was directly called out by student groups for covering up a real issue rather than authentically admitting and addressing it. The issue was evidence of a rape culture at the University of Ottawa. (LINK-CBC-video-report)

The students claimed that Rock was window dressing, smoothing over, spin doctoring, diverting away from actual consultation using a hand-picked committee, ..., instead of admitting reality and calling on the community to come together to compare notes and solutions.

His only actual action was to wrongheadedly and summarily dismiss and shun of an entire hockey team. (LINK)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why did Regional Senior Judge Charles T. Hackland resign on May 8, 2014?

Charles Hackland

[CORRECTION made on June 7, 2014::: In court, on June 6, 2014, Justice Michel Charbonneau stated on the record, in his decision to order a permanent injunction against the defendant in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt lawsuit, that Justice Hackland had sated to those in his entourage in May 2013 that he would be resigning in May 2014. Therefore, it was known by other judges since May 2013 that Justice Hackland would be resigning his position and returning to the bench in May 2014. Consequently, the chronology of events described below cannot be taken as evidence supporting a link between Rancourt's request that Justice Charbonneau recuse himself, and Justice Hackland's resignation.]


By Denis G. Rancourt

How often does a Regional Senior Judge resign, without any explanation?

The media did not report this unusual event. A Department of Justice memo has the terse statement "He resigned from that position effective May 8, 2014."

This is the man who handled some of the most high-profile cases of the last several years. Gone.

He was replaced by Justice James E. McNamara on May 12, 2014, as per the same memo.

I'm going to boldly propose that this resignation-and-replacement was not a mere random event, and that it is related to the on-going defamation case St. Lewis v. Rancourt; that the thematic and chronological relations are not simply coincidences.

On May 6, 2014, I brought a Recusal Motion that was heard and decided by Justice Michel Z. Charbonneau on May 7, 2014. HERE are all the court-filed documents for that motion.

The motion asked Justice Charbonneau to recuse himself from the trial of the St. Lewis v. Rancourt case because the case is all about the University of Ottawa, because the plaintiff's legal fees are paid by the University of Ottawa, because all of Justice Charbonneau's university degrees are from the University of Ottawa, because Justice Charbonneau is a regular and annual donor to the university, because Justice Charbonneau was a law firm partner with the case management judge in the case (Justice Robert Smith, who is barred from being the trial judge), and because there is thus a mutual financial interest between the university and the trial judge (which I explicitly argued orally).

I also argued in my motion that Justice McNamara had set a precedent by recusing himself in a litigation in which the University of Ottawa was a party, because he has a degree from the university (see Justice McNamara's endorsement decision here), and that Justice McNamara had asked Justice Hackland to assign a judge that had no ties to the University of Ottawa in that case. The latter was doubly specified via a separate endorsement signed by Master Calum MacLeod (see here).

And, I showed that I had asked Justice Hackland, back in 2012, to assign a case judge that has no ties to the University of Ottawa, that he answered he would not and that if I had "legitimate" bias concerns to bring them in a motion (see Hackland letters here).

Justice Charbonneau decided the recusal motion the same day that it was heard. He decided to not recuse himself, he was silent on my shared-interests argument, and he stated that if a judge were to recuse himself for the mere reason that he had a degree from the University of Ottawa, that the said judge would be avoiding his duties.

The next day, May 8, Justice Hackland resigned, and on May 12, 2014, he was replaced by Justice McNamara (Justice Department memo).

And, it turns out from the memo, that Justice Hackland practiced with the Gowlings law firm prior to his appointment to the bench in 2003. The law firm representing the plaintiff in St. Lewis v. Rancourt is the Gowlings firm.

Would it not have been simple for Justice Hackland to assign a trial judge that has no ties to the University of Ottawa?

Is it reasonable for me to have a "reasonable apprehension of bias" (legal term meaning a good reason to seek a judge's recusal)?

Cynthia McKinney thinks so: LINK.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why I walked out of the trial in which I am being sued

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Rancourt+walks+kangaroo+trial/9848050/story.html
Media photo -- Ottawa Citizen
By Denis Rancourt

On May 16, 2014, at 10:00 AM, in courtroom #36 of the Ottawa Courthouse of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice I walked out from the trial in which I am being sued, and in which I was representing myself without a lawyer. The trial is continuing in my absence, before a Jury of my peers.

This is my translation from the French of what I said to the Court, to Justice Michel Z. Charbonneau, to explain my reasons for leaving the trial process:

Your Honour, the law foresees that I must be free to advance the very serious charge of “reasonable apprehension of bias”.

It is very difficult for me to make this intervention. Give me five minutes because I must present the new evidence.

During my motion of May 7, 2014, asking that Your Honour recuse himself, Your Honour’s decision was silent on the central point that I had made that Your Honour’s decisions in this action could affect the reputation of the University of Ottawa and affect the monetary value of its scholarships, to which Your Honour donates money regularly and annually.

Then, on the first day of trial, Monday May 12 of this week, we did a motion in the afternoon, a so-called “Voir Dire”, with detailed facta [see all court-filed documents for this motion HERE]. Mr. Dearden [plaintiff's lawyer] brought the motion with a factum of 32 pages served on May 9 and accompanied by a book of authorities of 347 pages. His motion was to eliminate my defence called “Litigation by proxy contrary to the Charter”.

I answered with a factum of May 9 containing 14 pages and accompanied by a book of authorities of 342 pages. I argued in detail that, in fact, my defense was a defence of abuse of process having three branches, with one branch being the “Jameel” defence based on a 2005 decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal: Dow Jones Inc. v. Jameel, and I pointed to paragraphs 68 to 71 of my “Statement of Defence” as pleading this Jameel defence.

The decision of this Court [of Your Honour] was pronounced on May 14 regarding the said motion or Voir Dire: The paragraphs 61 to 67 of the Statement of Defence were struck. Paragraphs 68 to 71 remained intact, as did my Jameel  defence.

Then, on May 15, yesterday, during my Opening Statement, the Court allowed Mr. Dearden to interrupt me when I was explaining my Jameel defence to the Jury. And Your Honour, off the cuff, struck and forbade my Jameel defence despite my protest, and despite the fact of not having done so when Your Honour should have done so if you had had that intension.

It has been more than three years that I have been fighting for procedural justice in this action — and my “Statement of Claim” is struck, cut into pieces, before my eyes during my Opening Statement, in contradiction with the considered decision of May 14 of Your Honour.

This would give nightmares to Kafka himself.

To my eyes, we are no longer in Canada — and we can no longer claim to have a system of justice in this action before you Your Honour.

I am outraged by this gag order imposed in a manner that is apparently arbitrary, which does not allow me to be heard and to “have my day in court”.

I have pleaded “abuse of process” at every step and now, at trial itself, I don’t even have the right to say that the University of Ottawa is entirely financing the plaintiff or the right to use the Jameel defense that applies to situations where the defendant advances a lack of actual damage to reputation, that’s “actual” damage, and to “reputation”, not some other kind of damage.

I was very disturbed by these incomprehensible events, and I have been deeply perturbed all day yesterday; confused also, as a self-represented litigant. This morning I inform the Court that I can no longer participate in such a process.

Therefore, I’m leaving this unjust process. You will take the decisions in my absence. It’s over for me: I’m leaving.

[Followed by an intervention by Mr. Richard Dearden (plaintiff's lawyer) addressed directly to me, my statement to the Court about appropriateness of the said intervention, and my departure from the courtroom.]

Background links:
Ontario Civil Liberties Association public campaign page
All (many) court documents in the case

On May 21, 2014, Cynthia McKinney launched a petition asking for a new trial with a judge that has no ties with the University of Ottawa: SEE PETITION AND NEWS HERE.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Six more IPC rulings released against the University of Ottawa, in the last two months


Between January 16, 2014, and March 11, 2014, six more rulings of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario have been released against the University of Ottawa.

No other university in Ontario has so many violations of access to information law.

Here is the list for that period alone:

Order PO-3294: University ordered to disclose all the records to the individual.

Order PO-3298: University ordered to require a named doctor to perform a search.

Order PO-3302: Adjudicator does not uphold the University's application for its exclusion on the alleged basis of "employment or labour relations".

Order PO-3312: University ordered to disclose 20 records that it was withholding.

Order PO-3314: University ordered to disclose 50% of the records that it was withholding.

Order PO-3318: University ordered to disclose all the responsive information in the withheld records.

To me, this suggests an institutional disregard for the law of access to information.

In my opinion, instead of using its discretion to promptly provide access to requested information, the university appears to be using constructive attempts to avoid its statutory obligations, and appears willing to fight lengthy and costly appeals to prevent being transparent with its students and the public.

It's not winning the appeals. But it is delaying fair access. Rather than using the law primarily to protect the privacy of individuals, the university is using the law to shield itself against needed institutional transparency.

As a result, individuals are being prevented from accessing their own personal information generated by and/or kept by the university, while others see their information improperly disclosed to political opponents.

Certainly an area where the U of O stands out. A culture of political-party-style management darkness coupled with irresponsible refusals to protect the information of its students and professors. For example, THIS, and THIS.

More to come before that particular culture changes... stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Law student Paula Frawus has correctly gauged the mind and motives of president Allan Rock on rape-culture -- Opinion


In our opinion, this (below) media article shows that law student Paula Frawus has correctly gauged the mind and motives of president Allan Rock and his administration regarding primacy of image over substance:

Sexually explicit song on University of Ottawa law school field trip draws fire -- Ottawa Citizen, march 18, 2014

“It is disappointing that it takes involving the media to get a statement from the administration” Krawus said, adding that the statement is geared toward the media as opposed to the student body.
...
But according to Krawus, the university’s fear of attracting bad publicity trumps a stance against sexist behaviour.

“In failing to apologize in a timely manner, the message (the administration) is sending is: We’re afraid of attracting bad press,” says Krawus, adding that “the message should be: what happened will not be tolerated at school sanctioned events.”

Additionally, our opinion is that rather than asking the institution to impose a "this expression will not be tolerated" stance or rule, the adult law students could have talked it out on the bus ride back from the sugar bush, as a first step. If not sufficient, then the discontent students could search to implement more venues to continue the talking out of the matter, possibly asking for institutional resources in seeking out such venues. The university ombudswoman could be of some assistance here.

If professors or staff were involved, then there is a formal complaint process, which foresees mediation at an early stage.

We fail to see how a knee jerk reaction of calling for immediate institutional reprimand or sanctions, without making a significant effort to communicate in view of improving relations and working out differences, is productive.

Nonetheless, there is hope that Mr. Rock might eventually, with the help of his hand picked rape-culture advisory committee (which excludes all unions and associations of staff and students), come to understand that his primary role should be to enable communication and learning through inter-personal exchanges, rather than to create a facade, and to delay while the media crisis dissipates. (His public relations advisers, hired at corporate rates, regularly give him this advice, as access to information records have shown.)

Or the advisory committee might unfortunately make the usual canned recommendations of more and required classroom training and courses, with just the right "curriculum" and Power Point presentations?

We are in a nasty place when the students themselves ask for institutional controls on thought and expression, rather than primarily dedicate themselves to making the community through rich and intense (also risky) interpersonal exchanges of all sorts. In community, the question and practice of crass or vulgar language needs to be continually discussed and challenged in each of its inter-personal contexts, not regulated from above.

The institution has removed the physical spaces where such exchanges can spontaneously and routinely occur, and regulates posters, classroom access, physical disposition of furniture, etc. There are no true agoras on campus. The institution has segregated students into different programs of study, and created demanding yet sterile curricula. It appears that the institution has succeeded in atomizing us all when students themselves demand more rules that stifle social confrontation and protect individual isolation and group segregation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Professor's union takes Rancourt arbitration to judicial review


The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) will challenge the Foisy arbitration of the university's unjust dismissal of Denis Rancourt by filing for judicial review before a panel of three judges of the Ontario Divisional Court.

The APUO's announcement was released on March 10, 2014, after careful consideration of the arbitration judgment, and reads:

The APUO is extremely disappointed in the decision rendered in Professor Denis Rancourt’s case. While the decision not only upheld the Employer’s unjust dismissal decision, the arbitrator also made some troubling statements concerning Academic Freedom which can have a profoundly negative impact on academics everywhere. APUO has filed for judicial review and will continue to work diligently on this case so the decision does not adversely affect the right to academic freedom of professors, librarians, and students in the university setting. (LINK)

This is the first time in APUO's history that an individual grievance is taken to judicial review. The Divisional Court is one of the busiest appellate courts in Canada, and it hears appeals from administrative tribunals such as labour arbitrations.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Grassroots community addresses rape culture at U of O -- U of O Watch comment

An ad hoc association of community members, union representatives, staff, and students has moved ahead and formed a campaign to address the rape culture at the University of Ottawa. It has produced eight recommendations for discussion, which are presented on its web site here:

http://www.uofo-lets-talk-about-it.org/
Click image for link to web site

There is also a petition to support this discussion.

One of the organizers, Anaïs Elboujdaïni, graduate student representative on the Board of Governors of the institution,was interviewed today on Radio Canada (CBC) about this initiative.

Ms. Elboujdaïni stated that students have been asking president Allan Rock to move on this issue for a long time. For example, there has been the concrete demand for a telephone help line, and other requests.

Ms. Elboujdaïni stated that the recommendations were meant for immediate discussion in view of implementing measures before the start of the new academic year, and before initiation week, whereas Allan Rock's advisory committee can be going on in parallel and will not produce changes prior to the new academic year.

U of O Watch hopes that a broad and inclusive discussion will occur in which open criticisms of the recommendations can be heard without being excluded by insurmountable accusations of rape apologism. We hope that a discussion about effective or counter-productive aspects of the actual implementations of any recommendations can be vibrant, free, and receptive.

There is a broad criticism of the related and relevant theoretical construct known as "critical race theory" which should be heard and considered.

Rules, regulations, norms of behaviour, detecting atitudes, and so on, in view of behavioural modification, including normative modification of expression, can be highly counter productive. This is evident already in many systems of behaviour and expression suppression, such as implemented by several religions, and the state education system itself.

Therefore, less rules and more debate between individuals of differing view points is the way to go. Rules should be designed solely to limit the harmful effects of institutional oppression of the individual, not to limit individual expression and political participation.

Let us look at the best societal outcomes of the 1960s. This creative, liberating, and unifying period was the result of rejecting rules and rejecting parenting by the institution, in favour of teach ins and sit ins. We need to rediscover our power to discuss and debate without exclusionism and mobbing. The present institutional (education, legal, government, police, employers, etc.) pressures are so great that the individual has become insecure and highly defensive. The same pressures are at the root of male predation and rape culture. It's a pressure cooker. We must find ways to alleviate the pressure, without relying on paternal "protections" from the very institutions that are causing the problems. We must take some democratic control of those very institutions to limit their oppressions of individuals.

Those are some of this author's concerns.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada refuses to address judicial bias -- Complaint to UN Human Rights Committee to follow

In a judgement released today, three judges of the Supreme Court of Canada joined seven judges from two lower courts, in refusing to address an evidence-based complaint of apparent bias of a judge in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

As a result, the bias complaint was never heard on merits in a court of competent jurisdiction and the allegedly tainted rulings stand, even the rulings made by the judge after he recused himself for actual bias moving forward.

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association released THIS response:

Release: Supreme Court of Canada refuses to address judicial bias loophole

(OTTAWA, March 6, 2014) – The Supreme Court of Canada has refused today to close a loophole that allows judges to circumvent their duty to address complaints of bias made against them by litigants.
Three judges of the Court dismissed a leave to appeal regarding an egregious case of apparent bias. A judge of the Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa had a financial and emotional connection with a party in a lawsuit, and a family connection with the law firm representing that party. When the defendant in the lawsuit requested to bring a motion regarding the judge’s appearance of bias, the judge threatened him with contempt of court, then abruptly withdrew from the case. Previous decisions made by the judge still stand and have never been reviewed in light of the bias allegations.
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) intervened both by providing material witness evidence about the judge’s in-court conduct, and by seeking intervener status to address the national importance of the matter before the Supreme Court. Its motion for leave to intervene was denied, as was the applicant’s leave to appeal.
This opens a new era within the Canadian legal system, where judges can circumvent their duty to directly address bias accusations against them, making it possible for a complaint of bias to never be heard on its merits before a court of competent jurisdiction.
OCLA is taking the necessary steps to make a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee for violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees an impartial court to every litigant in signatory countries.
About the Ontario Civil Liberties Association
OCLA is an organization formed to defend civil liberties at a time when fundamental freedoms are subjected to systemic erosion in all spheres of social life. OCLA opposes institutional policies and decisions that remove from the individual his or her personal liberty or exclude the individual from participation in the democratic functions of society.
Background: An Ontario superior court judge had strong personal, family, emotional, and contractual financial ties to a party intervening for the plaintiff in the case, and also to the law firm representing the party in court, and did not disclose any of these ties. This party was also the employer of the plaintiff in the lawsuit, and funded the plaintiff’s litigation. The judge was tasked with determining the propriety of the party’s funding of the plaintiff, which was done with public money. The judge’s ties made it inconceivable that he would rule against the party. When the defendant discovered the judge’s ties and presented the evidence, the judge lost decorum, threatened the defendant with contempt of court, and recused himself, but refused to consider whether there was an appearance of bias, and continued to release decisions. The judge’s in-court reaction and walkout further confirmed his ties with the party in the lawsuit. The defendant raised the matter with six more judges, up to the court of appeal, but all of them refused to duly consider and properly apply the facts. As a result, all the decisions of the judge in the impugned motion to end the action stand to this day, even the decisions he released after recusing himself. [From: the application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of Dr. Denis Rancourt]

Allan Rock on rape culture at the University of Ottawa


Allan Rock has been silent and hiding from the media until today. His explanation is that "he had nothing to say until today", until today's press conference.

Michaëlle Jean essentially confirmed that there is a rape culture at the University of Ottawa, while clarifying that it is also a broader societal phenomenon.

Rock did not acknowledge any responsibility for the apparent rape culture at the school, and appeared to be in denial:

"Rock said he’s been involved with the school for over 50 years and recent events 'stand in shocking contrast' to what he’s experienced."(LINK)

Rock's answer is to create a "task force" that will make recommendations. There is no evidence of immediate interim measures, apart from having summarily suspended an entire hockey team.

Rock did not acknowledge the significant union and association joint efforts that have already occurred to address the crisis.

On the positive side, Rock appears to have received the student association message that academic sanctions for non-academic offenses will not be tolerated. Now he needs to tell his staff.

Anne-Marie Roy did not attend the press conference. No effort was made to expressly include the unions and associations as an integral part of any solution at the school. Corporate paternalism seems to be the order of the day.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Male witches burn a lot less frequently

[Original title: Response to "University of Ottawa statement on comments made about Student Federation President"]

University of Ottawa statement on comments made about Student Federation President

OTTAWA, March 1, 2014  —  The University of Ottawa is appalled by the recent online dialogue about Anne-Marie Roy, President of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa.

uOttawa President Allan Rock spoke with SFUO President Roy directly on Friday to offer the University’s support and committed to work with her to develop an appropriate response.

“The comments demonstrate attitudes about women and sexual aggression that have no place on campus, or anywhere else in Canadian society” said Mr. Rock.  “The University will work with our student President to ensure the situation is addressed properly.”

The University of Ottawa is committed to maintaining a campus that promotes respect for the dignity of every individual and a University community that is free from sexual harassment and discrimination.

Allan Rock has stepped-in to "work with her" to "develop an appropriate response", and to "ensure the situation is addressed properly".

“The comments demonstrate attitudes about women and sexual aggression that have no place on campus, or anywhere else in Canadian society” said Mr. Rock.

***

There appears to be no consideration given to the fact that this was a private exchange that was made public against the will of the participants, and that a large public mobbing ensued, which caused irreparable damage to four elected student representatives, who are being burned as witches that practice "rape culture". And Allan Rock wants to be seen as providing the stage. (media links)

If we start using extracted private exchanges (i) as a measure of success in our social engineering endeavors, and (ii) to identify those worthy of punishment and banishment, then we are headed straight into a totalitarian nightmare.

Your staging, Mr. Rock, does not address the root of the problem, and only drives us further down the wrong path. Open dialogue, without the fear of crippling material and status punishments, is what is needed, combined with less institutional oppression of the students all-round (who are bored to death by meaningless demands, and who dare not try to have a say).

Generating fear of expression and of having bad thoughts only makes things worst Mr. Rock. It is a mess you could have helped defuse but instead you joined and encouraged the mob. U of O is developing mobbing as the ultimate social betterment tool, under your enlightened leadership. What a mess.

It's not an election with branding points to be made Mr. Rock. It's a campus for learning. Is that so difficult to understand? You can't fight "rape culture" with campaigns and threats. You have to speak to the hearts of men. D - I - A - L - O - G - U - E.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ontario Civil Liberties Association moves to intervene in Supreme Court application about unresolved judicial bias complaint


The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) has moved to intervene in the application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of appellant Denis Rancourt, regarding an unresolved judicial bias complaint that is advanced as grounds to overturn a Court of Appeal for Ontario decision to dimiss Rancourt's appeal from a lower court motion to end a defamation action against Rancourt on the grounds of maintenance and champerty.

The OCLA has posted all the court documents about its motion to intervene (OCLA's motion, St. Lewis response, U of O response, Rancourt response, and OCLA's reply): HERE-LINK.

At one point in argument, counsel for St. Lewis, Mr. Richard Dearden, rejects OCLA's intervention on the basis that:

"It is submitted that any organization that subscribes to Founding Principles that support hate speech and expression about child pornography, genocide and slavery utterly fails to 'represent the broad interests of citizens' in Canada." [at paragraph 19 of St. Lewis's response]

The Founding principles of OCLA are HERE, and are in evidence before the Supreme Court.

Iconic public intellectual Noam Chomsky, on reading the founding principles, endorsed OCLA as:

“I am very pleased to learn of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association, and wish it the greatest success in its work, which could not be more timely and urgent as elementary civil rights, including freedom of speech, are under attack in much of the world, not excluding the more free and democratic societies.”

It appears that Mr. Dearden is stating, inter alia, that a civil liberties association that supports free expression on all topics, including taboo and sensitive topics, cannot possibly represent the broad interests of Canadians? Mr. Dearden often acts for clients defending freedom of the press.

***

All other posts about the application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada are: HERE, and HERE.

The summary of the application for leave to appeal is:
An Ontario superior court judge had strong personal, family, emotional, and contractual financial ties to a party intervening for the plaintiff in [the] case, and also to the law firm representing the party in court, and did not disclose any of these ties. This party was also the employer of the plaintiff in the lawsuit, and funded the plaintiff’s litigation. The judge was tasked with determining the propriety of the party’s funding of the plaintiff, which was done with public money. The judge’s ties made it inconceivable that he would rule against the party. When the defendant discovered the judge’s ties and presented the evidence, the judge lost decorum, threatened the defendant with contempt of court, and recused himself, but refused to consider whether there was an appearance of bias, and continued to release decisions. The judge’s in-court reaction and walkout further confirmed his ties with the party in the lawsuit. The defendant raised the matter with six more judges, up to the court of appeal [for Ontario], but all of them refused to duly consider and properly apply the facts. As a result, all the decisions of the judge in the lawsuit stand to this day, even the decisions he released after recusing himself.

--Summary, Memorandum of Argument, Application Book, page-34

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trailer for new documentary film about Denis Rancourt



Filmmaker/Director/Producer: Peter Beisterfeld

Expected release date: Fall 2014

Many years of filming in several cities.

"Rancourt -- The Documentary" Facebook page LINK.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada now has all documents in hand to fix Rancourt's unresolved judicial bias complaint


AN EARLIER POST describes Denis Rancourt's recent filing of an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, to fix a complaint of judicial bias.

The application gave rise to responses from the respondent Joanne St. Lewis and from the responding party University of Ottawa. Rancourt filed his replies to these responses today (February 3, 2014). The file is now nominally complete for a determination by a panel of three supreme court judges.

The St. Lewis response is posted HERE, or PDF.
The University of Ottawa response is posted HERE, or PDF.
Rancourt's replies are posted HERE, or PDF.

Rancourt essentially argues that if the Supreme Court of Canada refuses to grant an appeal, then Canada will have violated its international obligations to provide an impartial court in civil matters, pursuant to two international agreements:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 14(1)
1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. ...

Rancourt also argues that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms itself requires that the appeal on the basis of the judicial bias complaint must be heard, because, he argues, access to an impartial court is a Charter right of every individual by virtue of s. 15(1):

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Rancourt points out that the French text of the Charter (s. 15(1)) is unambiguous on the guarantee of access to an impartial court:

La loi ne fait acception de personne et s’applique également à tous, et tous ont droit à la même protection et au même bénéfice de la loi, indépendamment de toute discrimination, notamment des discriminations fondées sur la race, l’origine nationale ou ethnique, la couleur, la religion, le sexe, l’âge ou les déficiences mentales ou physiques.


Court documents in the overall action and its appeals are HERE.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Arbitrator Claude Foisy rules that the University of Ottawa was justified in dismissing tenured physics professor Denis Rancourt

Denis Rancourt on campus in 2007-2008, file photo: La Rotonde

The University of Ottawa's 2009 dismissal of tenured physics professor Denis Rancourt has been upheld in a binding labour arbitration award released to the parties on January 28, 2014.

The full text of the 32-page decision is posted HERE (direct link to PDF file HERE).

A final paragraph in the arbitration award reads:

[105] Finally I want to note that I am in no way passing judgment on the value of Professor Rancourt’s teaching method, which calls for removing a student's stress by not grading. It may very well be that such a method of teaching results in improved learning for the Physics students. A number of researchers have written books on this teaching approach applied by Professor Rancourt. The University, however, has the right to decide and manage its institution in a manner in which students are objectively evaluated and graded comparatively one against the other. It has the right to determine that the grading method applied by its professors must conform to the general practice of universities which is the benchmark for determining the students' progression in their studies and for the attribution of bursaries and grants.

The first media report about the arbitration award is this one: Arbitrator upholds University of Ottawa’s firing of tenured professor -- Ottawa Citizen

The following report was written about the conflict by academic workplace mobbing expert Kenneth Westhues in 2009: Ottawa's dismissal of Denis Rancourt

Rancourt's 2011 description of the broader conflict is here: This is what targeting a dissident tenured professor looks like in Canada

TV-Ontario 2009 interview with Denis Rancourt about his teaching method and grading:

 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The 2013 IRON FIST award goes to Julie Beauchamp, most ruthless administrator of students, says SAC-SFUO

Julie Beauchamp, Telfer School of Management
Every year the Student Appeal Centre (SAC) of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) selects one U of O administrator to be named for, in the SAC-SFUO's opinion, being "ruthless", having "contempt for student rights", and displaying an "overall lack of fairness".

The opening paragraph of the 2013 award description reads (LINK-SFUO-web-site):

"After careful consideration among many contenders, the Student Appeal Centre of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa awards the Iron Fist for the most unjust University of Ottawa Administrator to Julie Beauchamp, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Telfer School of Management. Ms. Beauchamp’s actions meet the criteria for the Iron Fist award which include ruthlessness, contempt for student rights, and overall lack of fairness in decision making." [Emphasis added.]

The SFUO award description details the SAC-SFUO's stated reasons for its choice of Ms. Beauchamp.

The past winners of the SAC-SFUO Iron Fist are Marie-Josée Berger (2011) and Thiery Giordano (2012).

U of O Watch welcomes all comments, including any full response from Ms. Beauchamp.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rancourt files application to Supreme Court to obtain his right to an impartial court


An Ontario superior court judge had strong personal, family, emotional, and contractual financial ties to a party intervening for the plaintiff in [the] case, and also to the law firm representing the party in court, and did not disclose any of these ties. This party was also the employer of the plaintiff in the lawsuit, and funded the plaintiff’s litigation. The judge was tasked with determining the propriety of the party’s funding of the plaintiff, which was done with public money. The judge’s ties made it inconceivable that he would rule against the party. When the defendant discovered the judge’s ties and presented the evidence, the judge lost decorum, threatened the defendant with contempt of court, and recused himself, but refused to consider whether there was an appearance of bias, and continued to release decisions. The judge’s in-court reaction and walkout further confirmed his ties with the party in the lawsuit. The defendant raised the matter with six more judges, up to the court of appeal [for Ontario], but all of them refused to duly consider and properly apply the facts. As a result, all the decisions of the judge in the lawsuit stand to this day, even the decisions he released after recusing himself.

--Summary, Memorandum of Argument, Application Book, page-34


Denis Rancourt has filed and served an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, for leave to appeal from the dismissal of his appeal at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, appealing from the lower court dismissal of his champerty motion to end the defamation action funded by the University of Ottawa with public money.

The full application book (with arguments and evidence), dated January 6, 2014, is posted HERE, and alternatively HERE.

The whole matter is very disturbing. The judge recused himself for real bias moving forward, while refusing to make a judicial determination of an apparent bias that would have negated all his past decisions, then continued releasing findings from the bench and written decisions after the events said to have caused his real bias. And seven judges have refused to make a proper consideration on merits of the complaint.

Rancourt is arguing that the Supreme Court of Canada has a Charter obligation to grant leave to appeal:

Thus, in the facts of this case, the applicant’s right to an impartial court has been infringed or denied in the courts below, such that s. 24 of the Charter can be satisfied, in application and principle, solely if the [Supreme] Court grants the instant leave to appeal. Without the Court’s intervention and express directives, the infringement or denial of the applicant’s right to an impartial court will stand without ever having been properly heard on merits, and the right to judicial impartiality will continue to be denied in Canada’s lower courts, by the same means as in the present case, and in other ways.

--Paragraph 41, Memorandum of Argument, Application Book, page-48


The Executive Director of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) has provided an affidavit in support of the application: See Application Book, starting at page-290.

OCLA also heads a campaign against the public funding of the defamation lawsuit, entitled: "Public Money is Not for Silencing Critics: University of Ottawa must end its financing of a private defamation lawsuit".

If an egregious and documented case of apparent bias of a judge cannot be properly heard on merits in any court, then there is something wrong in Canada. It would mean that we do not have the legal system that many imagine and hope that we have. 

Given the egregious and factual nature of this case, it would mean that circumventing complaints of judicial bias is a systemic problem in Canadian courts: If there is even only one Mack Truck in the living room then this necessarily implies that there is an entrance to the living room large enough to accommodate the truck's drive-in.

Court documents in the action and its appeals are HERE.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crass language opportunism at uOttawa?

This recent media article, uOttawa cuts fees for international students studying in French, has two Francophone administrators of "Canada's university" -- Belgian Francophone Christian Detellier (VP-Academic) and Quebecois Francophone Gary Slater (Associate VP-International) -- explaining how the University of Ottawa has a statutory duty to help the Franco Ontarian population...

An Act respecting Université d'Ottawa: "to further bilingualism and biculturalism and to preserve and develop French culture in Ontario"

... and how the institution will accomplish this by lowering tuition fees to boost its numbers of international Francophone students... Which, we note, fits nicely into president Allan Rock's steadfast agenda to globalize the institution's mission, without doing anything for Franco Ontarians.

Meanwhile, there are virtually no professors of Franco Ontarian origin among the academic ranks, which the University has historically done little about. The institution has always chosen to import its French, rather than preserve and develop the French culture of Ontario, as it is mandated by the government to do.

The ideal policy assimilation tool of course is "official bilingualism", as is well understood in Quebec, and which has been another Allan Rock initiative for the University -- over which the former VP-Academic appears to have left the ship.

Then again, the Statute also directs "to further, in accordance with Christian principles, the intellectual, spiritual, moral, physical and social development of, as well as a community spirit among its undergraduates, graduates and teaching staff, and to promote the betterment of society."

Christian principles would have the University reduce tuition fees in accordance with financial need, not language or academic achievements, and certainly not to feed geoeconomic ambitions in Africa or elsewhere.

Such is the status of the assimilate (and globalize) versus protect debate at "Canada's university". It's a good name after all.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: Rancourt files Factum and Motion Record to appeal costs in the champerty motion

Rancourt has filed his Factum and Motion Record to the Court of Appeal for Ontario for a motion for leave to appeal the costs in the champerty motion.

Rancourt's arguments that the $105,700.00 costs should be dismissed or reduced and/or delayed are (from the Factum):

10. The Appellant submits that the test of fairness and reasonableness for leave to appeal costs is amply satisfied, and that the impugned costs decision contains palpable and overriding errors of fact and law, including:

(a) the motions judge exceeded his jurisdiction by awarding costs to the University, which does not have party status, although given leave to file material but not to be awarded costs;

(b) costs for preparation of and attendance at five case conferences were awarded, contrary to binding case law;

(c) partial indemnity costs were awarded to the Plaintiff, in the absence of a need to indemnify, and raising the prospect of double recovery of costs;

(d) the motions judge did not recognize and did not consider ample evidence for the Defendant’s impecuniosity;

(e) in the circumstances of the defamation action, the awarded costs are inconsistent with Charter principles regarding the right to free expression, and definitively restrict the Defendant’s access to justice; and

(f) the quantum of costs ($105,700.00) for the one-day motion is excessive and contrary to the policy of partial indemnity.

Background documents:::

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: Ottawa Citizen characterizes champerty motion as an "attempt to derail the lawsuit"

In its latest of many articles about the St. Lewis v. Rancourt lawsuit, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper has characterized Rancourt's champerty motion as an "attempt to derail the lawsuit", without reporting any of the arguments made by Rancourt in the champerty motion, or in the appeal of the champerty motion to the Court of Appeal for Ontario: LINK-to-Citizen-article.

The courts made no finding whatsoever that Rancourt's champerty motion was "an attempt to derail the lawsuit". Furthermore, the action is in case management by consent, which means that any unworthy motion is blocked from ever being filed.

The Ottawa Citizen has ventured into hyperbole based on a curt judgement by the Court of Appeal for Ontario, without reporting any of the facts or arguments, and without playing its role of critically assessing the court process. When this kind of media superficiality becomes the norm, there is no point having an open court system in Canada.

Background documents:::
  • 2013-05-09 Rancourt serves and files appeal to ONCA, to appeal the decision on the champerty motion: Factum and Appeal Book, HERE.
  • 2013-07-05 St. Lewis FACTUM for ONCA of champerty motion: StL-Factum-ONCA.
  • 2013-07-05 U of O FACTUM for ONCA of champerty motion: UofO-Factum-ONCA.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Court of Appeal for Ontario finds no champerty: St. Lewis v. Rancourt

Osgoode Hall -- Court of Appeal for Ontario
The Court of Appeal for Ontario heard and decided the appeal of the champerty motion in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt case on November 8, 2013.

The Court dismissed the appeal without wanting to hear the responding parties (St. Lewis and University of Ottawa), and ordered costs against the Appellant (Rancourt).

The responding parties asked for "partial indemnity" costs of $29,950.66 (St. Lewis) and $19,890.75 (U of O), almost $50,000.00. They got $20,000.00 and $15,000.00, respectively. The costs decision was made immediately after the endorsement (i.e., written decision/reasons) for dismissing the appeal was read by Justice Alexandra Hoy, Associate Chief Justice of Ontario.

Rancourt spoke in French, which was translated for the two responding lawyers, Richard Dearden (representing St. Lewis) and Peter Doody (representing the University of Ottawa).

During Rancourt's presentation to the Court, which lasted approximately 35 minutes, he made the following arguments, and other points.


A.    The University and St. Lewis have a champertous agreement, which is against the law in Ontario

[A champertous agreement is one where the maintaining party pays the legal costs of the plaintiff in order to share in the proceeds of the action.]

Key and undisputed facts are:
  1. The University is paying all the legal costs of the Plaintiff (St. Lewis).
  2. The Plaintiff has the written intention to give half of the punitive damages obtained from the action to the University.
 The Ontario statute An Act Respecting Champerty prescribes:
"All champertous agreements are forbidden, and invalid."

Therefore, lower court Justice Smith made an error contradicting the law, in being silent on Rancourt's request that the champertous maintenance be ordered terminated.

COURT: The Court found that there was not a champertous agreement since (the uncontradicted sworn evidence of the Plaintiff and of university president Allan Rock is that) the Plaintiff unilaterally decided to give punitive damages proceeds to the University.


B.    A lower court judicial bias complaint was never heard on its merits and is a ground for appeal

Rancourt sought to have a motion for reasonable apprehension of bias of lower court Justice Beaudoin judicially determined on its merits. The lower court circumvented this motion from ever being heard. A lower court leave to appeal to the Divisional Court was denied by leave judge Justice Annis.

Since the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that a bias complaint is heard either at the lower court when it is made, or on appeal, and since the champerty motion is tainted with bias, the reasonable apprehension of bias of Justice Beaudoin is a ground for appeal.

The enumerated evidence for reasonable apprehension of bias of Justice Beaudoin included (see affidavit of evidence HERE-LINK):
  1. A terms of reference contract between the judge and the University of Ottawa, for a scholarship fund in the name of the judge's son.
  2. A boardroom named after the judge's son at the BLG lawfirm, which represents the University.
  3. A media article, recognized by the judge on the court record, in which the judge expresses the personal and emotional importance that he attributes to the scholarship fund, and to the boardroom at BLG.
  4. The fact that the judge recused himself rather than accept his responsibility to determine the reasonable apprehension of bias question, by alleging bad behaviour of the Defendant (Rancourt), in the way the request to bring the bias complaint was made, without taking action to correct the alleged bad behaviour.
  5. The fact that the judge threatened the Defendant (Rancourt) with contempt of court (a criminal charge), if Rancourt continued to advance his request, his argument.
  6. The fact that at no time prior to the hearing at which the judge recused himself did the judge mention his ties to the University of Ottawa or the BLG lawfirm.
  7. Other affidavit evidence (LINK).
Therefore, Rancourt argued to the Court of Appeal: If it is permitted for a judge hearing a request for determination of a reasonable apprehension of bias to recuse himself without making the determination, and for the given reason of the behaviour of the requester in making the request, then we have crossed a line into a new and dangerous territory where the integrity of the court is threatened.


COURT: The Court of Appeal found that since the lower court leave judge, Justice Annis, had denied leave by finding in his reasons that this was not a case where reasonable apprehension of bias could possibly arise, the Court did not need to consider the ground of reasonable apprehension of bias.


C.    The Plaintiff decided to sue after she was granted the University's funding of her lawsuit

Rancourt presented several streams of evidence, which the lower court had denied as not admissible on incorrect technical grounds (and/or apparently ignored), showing, he argued, that the Plaintiff (St. Lewis) decided to sue only after the University funding was granted without limit and without conditions.

This is vital because, in establishing the abuse of maintenance, prior intent to sue is determinative, Rancourt argued, based on case law.

For example, Rancourt read a February 14, 2011 email from St. Lewis to university president Allan Rock, about the February 11, 2011 blogpost that is at the center of the defamation lawsuit (see Factum HERE-LINK):

Hi there Allan,
I make it a practice to delete the communications from Mr. Rancourt and have done that in this case. It has spared me a great deal of aggravation in the past.
Do let me know if you want me to do anything. I will happy to fit into whatever strategy you decide but until then I intend to make no comment.
Do take care,
Joanne

COURT: The Court of Appeal found that the lower court judge had plenty/sufficient evidence to conclude that there was no maintenance and champerty. The Court did not state whether or not the denied evidence would have made a difference.

For more links to background documents (e.g., all Facta) go HERE-LINK.
For all the court-filed documents in the whole case go HERE-LINK.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Court of Appeal for Ontario November 8, 2013 hearing: St. Lewis v. Rancourt

Courtroom at the Court of Appeal for Ontario

The appeal hearing of Defendant/Appellant Denis Rancourt's "champerty motion" will be heard:

  • Starting at 10:30 am, scheduled for 50 minutes.
  • Friday, November 8, 2013
  • Court of Appeal for Ontario (Osgoode Hall), 130 Queen Street West, Toronto
  • Courtroom #1 (or as indicates under "St.Lewis v. Rancourt" on the bulletin board in the main entrance)

The three-judge panel will be composed of:
Justice Robert A. Blair
Justice Alexandra Hoy, Associate Chief Justice of Ontario
Justice Robert J. Sharpe

The "champerty motion" was a motion to end the $1 million private defamation lawsuit, on the grounds of abuse of process because the University of Ottawa is funding the Plaintiff/Respondent's private defamation lawsuit, while the Plaintiff plans to give half of any punitive damages awarded in the defamation lawsuit to a scholarship fund of the University of Ottawa.

The "champerty motion" was dismissed by the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario (lower court) in this judgement: 2013 ONSC 1564

The latter lower court judgement is now being appealed.

Court documents for the appeal are here:
  • 2013-05-09::: Rancourt serves and files appeal to ONCA, to appeal the decision on the champerty motion: Factum and Appeal Book, HERE.
  • 2013-07-05::: St. Lewis FACTUM for ONCA of champerty motion: StL-Factum-ONCA.
  • 2013-07-05::: U of O FACTUM for ONCA of champerty motion: UofO-Factum-ONCA.

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) objects to the funding by the University of Ottawa of the Plaintiff's private defamation lawsuit using public money: LINK-OCLA-page: "Public Money is Not for Silencing Critics".

Main AF.ca page about the St. Lewis v. Rancourt case: HERE.