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

 

 


 

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

     Section 37 reads:

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

 

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

 

Cover-up? You bet!

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Quotes from Member (Judge) in the Marc Lemire case

Athanasios Hadjis

 

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

Transcripts, Page 4429

 

 

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

…..

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

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

Transcripts, Page 4714

 

 

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

 Transcripts, Page: 4388

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

                                                Paul Fromm

                                                Director

                                                CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION

With edits and content changes by Marc Lemire

 

 


 

Claims of Section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act

 

May 9 and 10, 2007.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (T1073-5405 Warman V. Lemire)

 

 

 

Date& Page

Question Asked

Specified Public Interest claimed

Ruling from Member Hadjis

1

May 9/07

 

 

Page:

4426

MS KULASZKA: What kind of

Investigations would you do, for instance, to verify the identity of a respondent?

 

MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, it's a privilege in terms of the investigation techniques that are used. We cannot jeopardize these techniques in terms of the future and –

 

THE CHAIRPERSON: All right, but are you invoking a specific privilege?

 

THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are invoking 37?

 

MR. DUFRESNE: For this point, yes.

THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't say it's

privilege. It's not privilege, it's 37.

It is a large tool that you have chosen to use, and I hope that one day the Federal Court has a chance to assess it.

 

Section 37.

 

…PAGE 4429:

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

Go ahead.

 

 

 

2

May 10 2007

 

Page 4716

MS KULASZKA: Do any investigators

post on “Stormfront.org"?

 

MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, I would object based on section 37. It's investigation techniques.

MS KULASZKA: I am not asking for specific e-mails, or what their names are, nothing that

would threaten the Commission.

 

THE CHAIRPERSON: He has invoked

section 37, Ms Kulaszka -- investigative techniques; public security.

 

3

May 10/07

 

Page:

4729

(reads the Warman transcript from Beaumont case.

 

No question asked; Vigna objects immediately.  Witness is excused and Vigna continues to invoke Section 37.

MR. VIGNA: The questions being asked regarding Jadewarr are the ones that I am objecting to, in relation to who is Jadewarr and what purpose -- Anything related to Jadewarr I am invoking section 37 on, as investigation techniques.

 

THE CHAIRPERSON: I will let the witness come back in. The topic is not off limits.

The topic is on limits. I will let you ask any question you want, Ms Kulaszka. You have heard what Mr. Vigna

has said, and we will see how he will choose to invoke section 37 of the Canada Evidence Act along the way.

 

 

4

May 10 2007

 

Page

4752

MS KULASZKA: Is there any kind of
oral agreement? [Between CHRC and Police]
MR. STEACY: Yes.
MS KULASZKA: What is that?

MR. VIGNA: Jeopardizing the investigations and the operations of the Commission, as well as potential criminal investigations.

THE CHAIRPERSON: That is the answer.
They have invoked section 37. You will have it on the
transcript, Ms Kulaszka.

5

May 10 2007

 

Page

4759

MS KULASZKA: Have you been refused information? [From Police]
MR. STEACY: Yes.
MS KULASZKA: What kind of
information?

MR. VIGNA: Objection, Mr. Chair. Section 37. What kind of information is being obtained
or refused, I think it would be part of the
investigative privilege.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Say that again?
MR. VIGNA: Section 37. Public interest. The information that would be disclosed or not disclosed, I think, would be all part of the same
privilege, the public interest privilege, that this type of information does not need to be put in the public domain.

THE CHAIRPERSON: It is noted for the record.

6

May 10 2007

 

Page 4828

MS KULASZKA: Getting back to
Jadewarr, do Commission employees sign up accounts on
Stormfront under pseudonyms such as "Jadewarr"?

MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, I invoke the same thing as I did this morning on this specific question, section 37, and I base myself on the public interest and the jeopardizing of investigation techniques.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You have to give me a specified public interest under the Act.
MR. VIGNA: Jeopardizing
investigation techniques.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Jeopardizing...?
MR. VIGNA: Investigation techniques
and Commission operations.

THE CHAIRPERSON: So you have invoked
section 37, Mr. Vigna, saying that the disclosure of
that information -- that the information cannot be
disclosed on the ground of the specified public interest of jeopardizing investigation techniques by the Commission.
Is that what you are saying?
MR. VIGNA: Exactly, and Commission
operations.

7

May 10 2007

 

Page 4830

MS KULASZKA: My second question was:

 

Do you know who Jadewarr is?

MR. VIGNA: The same objection as the previous one. I object o --

THE CHAIRPERSON: I won't make you repeat it. You are making the same objection.

All right. The first question was, "Does the Commission engage in pseudonyms," on which section 37 has been invoked.
"Do you know who Jadewarr is?"
Section 37 has been invoked.
Go ahead.

8

May 10 2007

 

Page 4833

MS KULASZKA: To your knowledge, is
Jadewarr a Commission employee?

MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, it is the same exact question, rephrased slightly differently, and I
have the same objection.
THE CHAIRPERSON: It is similar, yes.
MR. VIGNA: Similar rationale, public interest, investigation techniques, Commission operations.

THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
We are going down the same path. Ms
Kulaszka, if you want to make a complete record on this point, go ahead, but we will be getting the same
objection each time from Mr. Vigna.

9

May 10 2007

 

Page 4834

MS KULASZKA: As part of your duties,                          

have you ever signed up with a message board and made postings?

MR. VIGNA: Mr. Chair, I object
 again, based on section 37, on the grounds of public


interest and jeopardizing investigations, as well as


Commission operations.

MR. FROMM: Sir, the question was to
 past activities, nothing that is ongoing. It was: Did
 you, in the past, ever do this.

 

THE CHAIRPERSON: Your point is well

taken, sir, but I don't know if I can do anything.

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.

 -- Alfred Whitney Griswold


Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.

-- Potter Stewart