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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Supreme Court Registrar Roger Bilodeau refuses to accept a Motion to a Judge to review the Registrar's own decision

On February 13, 2013 Rancourt served and filed THIS Motion to a Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada to review Supreme Court Registrar Roger Bilodeau's earlier decision to not accept Rancourt's Application for Leave to Appeal a lower court decision to deny Rancourt of a judicial determination of apparent bias of lower court judge Robert Beaudoin.

Today, Rancourt received the Registrar's February 22, 2013 decision (LINK) to not accept to file Rancourt's Motion to a Judge to review the Registrar's own decision.

The original Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada is HERE.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

U of O president Allan Rock and law professor Joanne St. Lewis must not sue student Hazel Gashoka

Threat of lawsuit against YouTube video

By Denis Rancourt

Hazel Gashoka earned an Honours B.A. in psychology from the University of Ottawa in 2012 and is now a graduate student in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University.  As an undergraduate at the U of O, she was an activist for social justice, and in her graduating year was elected to represent students on the University Senate.

In 2008, while Gashoka was an undergraduate, the student union reported systemic racism at the University of Ottawa.  The report drew a lot of public attention and was an embarrassment to the university.  In response, the university asked U of O law professor Joanne St. Lewis to publicly "assess" the student report.  In just a few days' time, St. Lewis issued a public report questioning the validity of the student charges.

Gashoka recently made a six-minute YouTube video (imbedded below) analyzing St. Lewis's role in helping the university deflect the students' charge of racism.  (St. Lewis and Gashoka are black, and this writer is white.)

After the video was posted, St. Lewis, through a big-name lawyer hired for her by the university, sent Gashoka a notice of libel, which is a threat to sue for defamation.

St. Lewis is already suing former U of O physics professor Denis Rancourt for $1 million for expressing a similar view on his “U of O Watch” blog.  That defamation lawsuit, which began in 2011, is funded by the university and pursued by the same lawyer who is threatening Gashoka -- Richard Dearden of the large corporate law firm Gowlings.  University president Allan Rock testified under oath that his funding of the lawsuit against Rancourt is without a spending limit, “without a cap.”

Gashoka made public the threat that she received, and she publicly called upon Rock to “Please confirm that the University of Ottawa will not be funding a defamation lawsuit against me [her].”

In this writer’s opinion, it is morally wrong for the University of Ottawa and St. Lewis to try to silence Gashoka.  Using public funds and student tuition money to fund repressive litigation against her would be ironic, as the university claims to promote discourse and debate on matters of public interest.

Gashoka has the right to interpret the facts any way that she wants in this or any other matter of public importance.  Public controversy and debate on societal issues can be a rough trade and can involve terms that sting, but the law accommodates its requirements.  St. Lewis should not expect to be immune from criticism for the role that she played.

I call on president Allan Rock to state publicly, without further delay, that the university will not fund a lawsuit against Hazel Gashoka for her video, and to clarify the university’s criteria for funding lawsuits against its critics.

See all related posts HERE.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lawyer Richard Dearden asks Supreme Court Registrar Roger Bilodeau to not accept motion to a judge

Regarding THIS recent motion to a judge filed to the Supreme Court of Canada by Rancourt in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt case, St. Lewis' lawyer Richard Dearden sent THIS February 14, 2013 letter to Supreme Court Registrar Roger Bilodeau.

In the letter, Mr. Dearden is asking Mr. Bilodeau to not accept a motion to the Court to have Mr. Bilodeau's own decision set aside.

Mr. Dearden is explaining to Mr. Bilodeau how the rules of the Court work, and how it is that Mr. Bilodeau should not accept a motion to a judge which would set aside Mr. Bilodeau's prior decision to not accept Rancourt's recent application for leave to appeal (without allowing the application to be considered and determined by the Court).

It would seem from Mr. Dearden's letter that Mr. Dearden is under the impression that Mr. Bilodeau is maybe not familiar with the rules of the Court or with the responsibilities of his own function?

Former U of O student and senate member Hazel Gashoka receives a Notice of Libel

Hazel Gashoka
Web site reports that former U of O student and senate member Hazel Gashoka has received a Notice of Libel from U of O law professor Joanne St. Lewis' lawyer Richard Dearden.

Link to Notice of Libel HERE.

Rancourt files Motion to a Judge, Supreme Court of Canada, to set aside Registrar's order

On February 13, 2013, Denis Rancourt filed THIS "Motion to a Judge" to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The motion asks a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada to set aside an order of the Registrar of the Court.

On January 25, 2013, the Supreme Court Registrar, Roger Bilodeau, Q.C., wrote THIS decision to not even assign a court file number to Rancourt's January 7, 2013 application for leave to appeal to the Court.

Rancourt argues that the Registrar's decision/order was contrary to both the Supreme Court Act, and the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Rancourt argues that the Registrar cannot simply "not accept" an application for leave to appeal on the basis of the Registrar's speculation about the Supreme Court's jurisdiction, which is a substantive matter argued in the application itself.

The opposing parties, Joanne St. Lewis (represented by Richard Dearden) and the University of Ottawa (represented by Peter Doody), had written to the Registrar to argue that the Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear Rancourt's application, and to ask the Registrar to "not accept" the application.

The application was about a litigant's Charter and natural justice rights to an impartial judicial process. Specifically, the right to have a complaint of actual or apparent judicial bias heard by the court where the complaint is made. The application seeks to appeal a decision by Justice Peter Annis to refuse leave to appeal decisions of Justice Robert Beaudoin on the grounds of apparent bias.

Links to all court documents in the on-going St. Lewis v. Rancourt legal case are HERE.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Who was U of O president Allan Rock in 2004: Defender of human rights or willing geopolitical peon?

An effigey of Allan Rock was taken in the protest rally in front of the United Nations office in Colombo against the UN ambassador.

THIS MEDIA ARTICLE from 2004 reports the view that Allan Rock played more the role of a partial geopolitical mover than the role of an independent and due diligent assessor of human rights violations, as he portrayed himself in his functions at the UN; that he acted politically rather than with predominant regard for professional ethics consistent with his position.