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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saudi doctors lose appeal of dismissal of University of Ottawa lawsuit -- media article, judgement, and commentary

Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail (left), and Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy

The Ottawa Citizen has reported this short story: HERE.

The actual Court of Appeal for Ontario judgement is HERE.

Well there you have it. The claimants were simply never allowed to be heard in the Ontario courts regarding how they were treated by University of Ottawa administrators. Plain and simple denial of access to justice. Straight up. Is anybody paying attention?

The "Neuroleaks" emails constitute a textbook example of evidence for bad faith, of the type that should be written up in law school curricula, yet the "Neuroleaks" evidence was not known by the claimants until after all the internal University tribunals were done, yet the Ontario courts "found" (that's the legal term) that all the evidence was considered by the internal University tribunals... Both the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario and the Court of Appeal for Ontario "found" (by some process that defies reality) that all the evidence had already been considered by the internal University tribunals. No it had not. Just look at the documents filed with the courts, or the fact that a motion was won by the claimants in judicial review at the Divisional Court to introduce the new "Neuroleaks" evidence after the internal University tribunals were done, or all of this chronologically reported in the media, the same media that do not hiccup at this latest October 18, 2013 Court of Appeal judgement:

[13] Finally, the appellants argued that the trial judge erred in finding that they are relying on the same facts as in the discipline proceedings. They pointed to certain emails that they say were either not before the tribunals or not taken into account by them because there was nothing the tribunals could use them for. This position was disputed by the respondent.

To this observer, this means that the courts can and do make up the facts. In addition, the media and legal researchers clearly don't scrutinize the courts! What's the point of having a so-called open court principle in Canada if no one dares to scrutinize the darn courts? Incredible.

Well, HERE, again, is a copy of some of these "Neuroleaks" emails. Judge for yourselves. Read the six emails at that link. If your hair does not stand on end, then you are pathologically cynical. How the judges could have overlooked such administrative misbehaviour (that is putting it very politely) which ended the careers of a star neurosurgeon (weeks from being certified) and of two interns in cardiology, is, well, not what one expects in a free and democratic society.

The behaviour of the courts in Ontario, in this case, has the effect of condoning the egregious behaviours of administrators at the University of Ottawa, and it produces a striking denial of access to justice in which claimants, whose careers were ruined, are simply never heard on the full evidence and on the merits of their arguments.

The claimants never had their day in court. We must ask the question: Is that because they are Saudi?


L'ancien professeur [Rancourt] condamné à payer 100 000 $ d'indemnités -- La Rotonde (French media)

L'ancien professeur condamné à payer 100 000 $ d'indemnités (LINK)
Marc-André Bonneau, La Rotonde, 21 octobre 2013


Un procès financé par l’argent public
Les frais juridiques de la plaignante sont assumés par l’Université. Allan Rock a alloué un budget sans limite au procès, situation que l’Association des libertés civiles de l’Ontario (ALCO) a dénoncée. L’ALCO a lancé une campagne publique intitulée « Public Money is Not for Silencing Critics », qui a dénoncé qu’il « n’est pas éthique d’un point de vue de la liberté académique, que l’Université s’engage à protéger » le fait que l’administration finance cette poursuite pour diffamation contre M. Rancourt. [...] [article entié ici]

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs article discusses defamation law in our society

Keeping criticism honest and civil (LINK)

By Professor Mark Mercer, CCEPA blog, On October 16, 2013

Extract from the article:
I think that the mechanism by which to keep comment and criticism honest and civil is comment and criticism itself. When someone speaks a falsehood about one, speak the truth back. Expose the other’s shoddy evidence or reasoning. When insulted, note that an insult isn’t evidence or argument against one, or even a criticism.

If it is false that [six words removed on June 9, 2014, pursuant to COURT ORDER], explain to the world that you didn’t. If you are upset by a phrase or a tone, criticise publicly the use of that phrase or tone. If you didn’t lie, expose the lie that you did. This all can be done easily and effectively without employing a single lawyer.

There are at least two worries about the strength of this mechanism. One is that people are credulous and won’t respond to the truth, especially if they like the falsehood or it gets repeated. The other is that not many people have access to a medium through which to tell their side of the story.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

University of Ottawa spirals down world university rankings -- media report

University of Ottawa spirals down world university rankings (LINK)
By Don Butler, OTTAWA CITIZEN October 3, 2013

U of O Watch comment: In two years the U of O has fallen 14 places from 171st to 185th towards the 200 mark cutoff. It is now only 15 places from falling out of the top-university ranking. This ranking system puts emphasis on "international outlook", rather than prioritizing student experience.

The U of O ranks 10th out of 15 in Canada in its category according the the Macleans 2013 ranking (same rank as last year). The Macleans ranking puts emphasis on factors relating to student experience.

This blogger thinks the U of O should mind its business at home and concentrate on taking care of its students rather than peddle an "international outlook", which has been the focus of the Rock administration, while student satisfaction remains unacceptably low and unchanging.

Latest legal turn in the U of O "Neuroleaks" saga: Lower court costs decision reported in the media

Saudi doctors who sued University of Ottawa ordered to pay $90,000 in legal costs (LINK)
By Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen October 7, 2013

OTTAWA — Three Saudi doctors whose lawsuit seeking $156 million in damages from the University of Ottawa was thrown out earlier this year have been ordered to pay the university and 10 other defendants $90,000 plus GST in legal costs. (Continue reading...)

The "Neuroleaks" e-mails from the Chairman of Neurosurgery, Richard Moulton, and others conspiring to dismiss Dr. AlGhaithy for making a previous complaint are stored here: LINK. These emails were in evidence in the case. They are worth the read!

Former prof Denis Rancourt ordered to pay $100,000 legal cost in libel case -- Ottawa Citizen

Former prof Denis Rancourt ordered to pay $100,000 legal cost in libel case (LINK)
By Don Butler, OTTAWA CITIZEN October 8, 2013

OTTAWA — Former University of Ottawa professor Denis Rancourt must pay about $100,000 in legal costs after his motion to halt a $1-million libel suit filed against him by another professor was dismissed earlier this year. (Continue reading...)