Christie Blatchford Life Sentence

Analysis of Christie Blatchford’s Life Sentence #

Blatchford #

Christie Blatchford is a well-known Canadian journalist, columnist, and author. Ms. Blatchford’s candid and uncompromising writings have earned her a well-deserved reputation as a courageous, fair and objective reporter. Ms. Blatchford has become known for speaking truth to power, and is sensitive to the core Canadian principles of individual liberty and the rule of law. Risking injury to career and reputation, and refusing to be intimidated, she has faced cultural forces and bureaucratic tendencies with steadfast conviction that the light of truth must always prevail.

She died too soon on February 12, 2020. Her spirit lives on.

Justice Centre :

‘She was mush at the centre, but mush surrounded by steel. She wrote without filters. She wasn’t afraid. I was nervous being introduced to her, as is always the way when you meet your heroes…'

Rona Ambrose ’s greatest moment, in my opinion, was a private member bill to hold Judges to a higher standard. When she finally got cross party support, Jody Wilson Raybould was the last to give in.

In 2015, Trudeau promised radical reforms, but failed to deliver.

Trudeau may not be his own man, merely a puppet, to both his Liberal Party and his unadulterated obeisance to Canada’s Supreme Court. The Canadian Parliament, answerable to the Canadian people, should be the supreme authority on how we want laws implemented.

Judicial Power #

Seldom does the awesome bulwark power of the state inspire confidence and faith in its citizens, instead the flexing of brute muscle leaves us underwhelmed but fearful, acting as a deterrent to calling out obvious injustices. Taking on a juggernaut institution can leave you crushed and ruined. Basically it undermines the credibility of all government institutions and violates the little trust we have in how we are governed. As Orwell pointed out, “it is generally the left leaning politicians who lack the will or spine to hold the bureaucrats to their oath of office”.

Yet wayward Judges who display questionable empirical investigative skills and utter incompetence in the determination of facts are tacitly condoned.

David Graeber maintains institutions derive their power from the veiled threat of state sanctioned violence against non-compliance or even criticism.

Christie Blatchford, in Life Sentence, demonstrates this insidious evil in the Bernardo – Homolka trial where Stephen Williams, author of two books on the case (Invisible Darkness and Karla) was purposely and relentlessly pursued by the state in an act of “administrative vengeance” for openly exposing the flaws in the legal system. In the end, Stephen said, “It’s very possible the government didn’t care if they won or lost, because they knew that the process alone was going to ruin us financially and psychologically".

And they wonder why people turn to demagogues like Trump.

In 1919, Canadian Journalist and champion of free speech Ezra Levant from Rebel news was dragged into the police station and interrogated for hours, which he secretly recorded and is available to view, by 30 year veteran detectives who specialise in terrorism. His “Crime”? was to launch a book, during the Canadian elections, one of 29 others launched during the election by separate writers, the difference being, his was critical of the government and Justin Trudeau.

And we thought it was only Putin, Trump, Li Ping and other tyrants disappeared their critics.

While plenty of factors are at play in our disillusionment, the major one is that most politicians, judges, staffers and bureaucrats are part of an increasingly, insular elite. The apathy of institutions and how they dehumanize and anonymize their members can only be achieved by a detachment from our basic humanity.

Blatchford decries the gobsmaking condescension of the courts solipsistic vanity; having a monopoly on “finding” the facts of a case.

Canadian deference to authority and excessive respect of judicial mystique must be overcome.

According to a federal prosecutor, “The justice system is the means by which the upper class pays the middle class (the Police) a good living wage to keep the lower classes in check”. Judicial reform will only occur with a concerted effort from many quarters and it is essential that those in the know with the ability to articulate the key issues expose the hidden facts.

Some critics suggest that corporations and institutions have become the new evil “robber barons” with no public interest in mind. Some have found symptoms of psychopathy, e.g., the callous disregard for the feelings of other people, the incapacity to appreciate human relationships, the reckless disregard for the safety of others, the deceitfulness (continual lying to deceive for institutional gain), the incapacity to experience guilt, and the failure to conform to social norms and respect the law.
In the 1950’s President Eisenhower was the first to warn us of the subtle incremental dangers of transformative power grabs like the rise of The Military Industrial Complex. Since then multitudes of other powerful bulwark organisations have risen that threaten our democracy by assuming untrammelled power; including, but not limited to: multi-national mining companies, Monsanto, Drug and Medical Supply Companies, the telecommunication industry, the legal/judicial industry.……..

Life Sentence #

Christine Blatchford’s courageous and fearless advocacy for more accountable oversight of judges has been vindicated.

I endorse the view that “judges cannot adopt a bias that denies the principle of equality before the law and brings their impartiality into question.”

In sum, the committee said, Camp’s most galling failure was his “failure to grasp what is at the core of the judicial role: the imperative to act with impartiality and in a way that respects equality according to law.”

I would add that the court’s primary purpose is to establish the facts of a case on hard evidence, not on self serving assertions of benefiting parties. She rails at the lack of respect shown juries, particularly when judges suppress, or even fabricate, crucial details about the accused. She bemoans the politicization of public prosecutions,

There appears to be an endemic complacent culture within the Family Court of Manitoba’s Queens Bench; they appear to be enchanted with a sense of their own untrammelled power. They are mired in a distant past. They pretend they are a protected species whose dubious judgments cannot be questioned.

My concerns stem from dogged but fruitless protests over the contesting of a Will where it became overwhelmingly obvious that an ulterior agenda determined the verdict. All factual evidence gave way to outlandish, far-fetched and outrageous oral assertions by benefiting witnesses.

Back in 2012, initial inquiries from high level NDP government sources, revealed that complaints about the Manitoba Family Court dominated the in- baskets of most MLAs. I now understand why.

I put it down to a lack of good governance as well as a failure of political will to connect with reality. All Minister’s of Justice, including the NDP’s Gord McIntosh demonstrated some glorious inaction.

In the Hoffman Heinrichs case, the court demonstrated little knowledge, let alone understanding of the most elementary dynamics of large cross -generational families. Its grasp of the basic symptoms and treatment of Schizophrenia was nothing short of pathetic. Its determination of the facts of the case left a lot to be desired. Its lack of substance for its findings and conclusions would be the envy of none other than Donald Trump.

Yet no one cares.

Let’s just move on until the next SNAFU.

Law reform can only happen when a concerted and consolidated effort by all Canadians insist on higher quality standards of legal decision making.

But one of the cornerstone axioms of Canada’s justice system is “not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” And this is where Sideshow becomes potentially problematic.

The lawyers involved in this case – including the Manitoba lawyers who have stepped aside for Oppal to argue these motions – have declined to comment.

The Free Press previously interviewed Joyal about the issue, asking several questions about Mainella’s involvement in the case. He declined to discuss any specifics, citing the ongoing matter before the courts.

But he said any of the accused who wished to make a legal challenge were entitled to do so – an invitation they’ve clearly taken him up on.

“That challenge and adjudication takes place before a trial judge who is not the same judge who granted the authorization. Such a challenge and adjudication respecting the validity of the authorization, would take place in open court where the governing legal principles will be applied. If there is any foundation to an allegation of bias, real or apprehended, the accused person will argue for the appropriate remedy,” said Joyal.

Who do you believe? #

Already back in 1978, Eugene Ewanchuck, of the Ontario Supreme Court pointed out that the Canadian Justice system was in a transition from an oral tradition to a modern one of trusting more probative or real evidence like - documents, expert witnesses, - DNA, cell phone records, surveillance video footage, social media…

Are we taking our legal processes for granted, placing our robust, vibrant democracy under threat for a return to arbitrary decision making?

Charter of Rights #

It is long overdue that the entire Canadian Parliament conduct an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Canadian Judicial Council. In its 45 year history, not one Judge has ever been found wanting. Amazing! No - Astounding! But then if you only get judged by your peers it become simple. It is utterly naive to assume Judges do not stray from the narrow path they are commissioned to follow.
It is time for you to join with all the representatives of the people to do an audit of how complaints are dealt with (or not). I have the distinct impression that collegiality triumphs over rigorous responsible oversight.

It is extremely encouraging that the spotlight is finally focussed on the non-performance of the Canadian Judicial Council, the public watchdog that appears to have turned itself into an institutional guard dog adding a further layer of protection to our Judges. It is in the interest of all judges that their rulings are authoritative, credible and respected. Once we lose trust in one judge, we soon lose trust in the entire institution.

After a long period of inaction, the CJC appears to be engaged in a flurry of activity. However it seems to be floundering around chasing red herrings like Judge Frank Newbould whose only guilt is exercising his inviolable birth right of expressing an opinion on a personal issue he is fully entitled to express. Just because he is a judge does not forfeit this indisputable right.

Lori Douglass was investigated to pander to the prurience of the gutter press for a personal matter totally irrelevant to her work. Pierre Trudeau informed us in 1969 that the government has no business in people’s bedrooms.

Yet wayward Judges who display questionable empirical investigative skills and utter incompetence in the determination of facts are tacitly condoned.

According to Dan Lett, the CJC’s first area of concern is the performance of that judge in court. Every decision, every word they say, every facial expression and physical gesture is open to scrutiny and review by the council. But the CJC is also the guardian of the ethical and moral viability of judges. Canadians need to be assured their judges are beyond reproach with full integrity. My concerns are driven by a failed contestation of a Will in 2012 where The Honourable Madam Justice Shawn D. Greenberg’s premises were based on a fundamental misunderstanding of extended cross generational families, a tenuous grasp of the reality of mental impairment, and creates an error-ridden depiction of a vulnerable and highly visible Schizophrenic Aunt. How the court manages to cure her is a modern day miracle.

The most vexatious and offensive of unfounded findings is the re-writing of our rigorously researched and carefully chronicled family narrative. Despite overwhelming evidence of dutiful, affectionate and enduring care by most of her siblings, the court manages to create the impression we had nothing to do with her. The indisputable material facts are that the closest bonds were with all her oldest sisters and her older brother by six years, our Uncle Ben.

In stark contrast this case seems sloppily researched and produces a mere constructed caricature of our Aunt, bearing no resemblance to reality.

The case has been referred to the CJC several times to no avail. It needs to be re-opened. (File: 14-0393)