Some genie, some bottle

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

July 22, 2008 at 8:04 AM EDT

An Ontario Court of Appeal judge reinstated a publication ban on Shawn Brant's preliminary inquiry on Friday, out of a misplaced concern that if the media are allowed to publish evidence the Crown wants to protect, the "genie will be out of the bottle." Fortunately, the judge set the genie free by the end of the day.

The genie in question was Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino, who took part in negotiations to end a blockade of parts of Highway 401 and a railway line near Kingston during last year's national day of action. His officers placed a wiretap on the Mohawk activist's cellphone without a judge's authorization. Mr. Brant is charged with mischief and breach of his bail conditions.

In his conversations with Mr. Brant, the OPP Commissioner told him, "I don't want to get on your bad side but you're going to force me to do everything I can within your community and everywhere else to destroy your reputation." Commissioner Fantino later ordered Mr. Brant to end the blockade "or you will suffer grave consequences."

Whether Commissioner Fantino knew about the wiretap is unclear. In his testimony at Mr. Brant's preliminary, he says he was told about the wiretap on June 28, 2007, before his conversations with Mr. Brant, but then he says he found out later.

One Criminal Code section allows for a wiretap without authorization in an urgent situation where there isn't time to ask a judge. But in this case, the OPP knew about the planned blockade days in advance.

Mr. Fantino also testified at the preliminary hearing that there were sniper teams in place during the standoff.

The Crown lawyers had asked for the sealing of all this evidence.

The existence of the wiretap, the presence of sniper teams and Mr. Fantino's direct participation in negotiations are all of interest to the public. None of this evidence should have been covered by a publication ban, because none of it impairs Mr. Brant's right to a fair trial.

Publication bans are always granted when an accused asks for one in a bail hearing or a preliminary inquiry. Mr. Brant did not want one on either occasion. Where the Crown asks for a ban, and one is granted over the objection of the accused, as happened at Mr. Brant's preliminary, the ban seems to protect the police, rather than serving either the accused or the public interest.

To her credit, Madam Justice Gloria Epstein removed the ban after meeting with lawyers for the CBC and Mr. Brant late on Friday. Apparently, neither of these parties had got enough notice of the Crown's application. By lifting the ban, she served the public interest as well as the accused.


Commentary in the Globe and Mail

 Madam Justice Gloria Epstein decision was obviously correct but remember, she knew that sooner or later the dirty little deeds of the OPP would become public knowledge and Justice Epstein had NO option.
The Ontario Court of Appeal is riddled with judges who make political decisions rather than legal decisions. They discriminate against fathers. The odds of a father having any success in the Ontario Court of appeal is a fraction of the odds of a mother having success on family court issues. Our Ontario judiciary generally will make politically correct decisions regardless of the evidence as part of the unspoken taboo subject of their war on men.
Ontario Family Court Judges have their flagrant shocking abuses rubber stamped and santitized by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The extent and level of such Judicial abuse is beyond the comprehension of the average citizen and most of the male victims.
The real victims of this horrible abuse are children who never get to see a deserving loving father again. Many such fathers become part of Ontario's growing Prison Industury - which in many cases are increasingly Ontario's Concentration Camps for Fathers.
The Ontario Court of Appeal is now rubber stamping draconian shocking orders that amount to lifetime jail sentences for simply responding to a crazy mother's motion. The same orders carry an unwritten obvious conclusion - Get out of Canada or spend a lifetime in jail. The same judicial abusers issue orders PERMANENTLY banning their victims from having ANY access to the courts for ANY reason.
Canada does not have a Rule of Law and you can thank that group of Judges willing to destroy the rule of law for purposes of personal revenge and disapproval of matters that having nothing to do with access custody or support. See the roscoe report at the ottawamenscentre site.


The issue is that Fantino believed he could order an unnecessary wire tap by breaking all the rules because Fantino believed he had the power and right. The fact is, he is the Chief of the OPP, he is to be held at the highest standard and his present standard is right out of the gutter that a similar act by a junior officer would probably be a career ender.
The cause of the problem is an attitude of "lets do indirectly what is prohibited directly". That's the thinking process of a criminal and undeserving of the post of chief of the OPP.