Where are the Ethical Lawyers?

In the last three months Albertans have witnessed a shocking display of raw power.  The Redford government calls it “delivering the responsible change Albertans voted for.”  The rest of us call it the abuse of majority power to crush the rights of environmentalists, land owners and labour unions.

Black November

In Nov 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada…got that…the Supreme Court of Canada…struck down Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act in its entirety because it prevented a union from videotaping replacement workers crossing a picket line and posting the video on line.  The Court said this infringed the union’s Charter right to communicate its cause to the public.

Within days of receiving the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision the Redford government slammed through legislation that arguably violates the unions’ Charter rights…again.    

Either they’ve learned nothing or they really don’t care.     

On Nov 27 the government introduced Bill 46, the Public Service Salary Restraint Act, which imposed the 2011 Collective Agreement (with some minor salary tweaks) on the Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) if it didn’t settle with the government by Jan 31, 2014.

Most importantly, the Act vapourized the compulsory arbitration rights Peter Lougheed granted to the unions back in the halcyon days when progressive conservatism actually meant something.

Then just to make sure everyone understood who carries the truncheon here, the Redford government limited debate, invoked closure and rammed Bill 46 into law less than a month after it hit the House agenda.

The AUPE sued, arguing that Bill 46 breached the Charter.  It requested an injunction to suspend the law and allow the compulsory arbitration process to continue.*

Justice Thomas granted the injunction, crisply stating that Bill 46 “guts the bargaining process” by removing the only leverage the union has—the right to compulsory arbitration.  Furthermore, Bill 46 violates section 2(d) of the Charter which protects the union’s right to “good faith bargaining”, something that had been sorely lacking on the government’s part.

The government is “disappointed” and will appeal the decision.  This case, like the last one, will go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

For once it’s not Mr Lucaszuk’s fault

Some have tried to pin this on Jobs, Skills, etc and so on Minister Lucaszuk, a man known for his lack of empathy toward unions, higher education and anything else that refuses to roll over when they see him coming, but this time it’s not his fault.

Minister Denis

Vetting proposed legislation is a legal function.  In addition to a caucus full of QCs, the Redford government has a flotilla of legal advisors starting with Justice Minister Jonathan Denis.

One of Justice Minister Denis (clumsily worded) goals is to provide “strategic legal advice and counsel to government to achieve Government of Alberta outcomes to achieve their objectives through provision of effective legal and related strategic services.”

Mr Denis achieves this goal by relying heavily on his Legislative Counsel.

But if Alberta’s Legislative Counsel is governed by the same policies that govern their federal counterparts, we’re in terrible trouble.

The sacrifice of Edgar Schmidt

Edgar Schmidt, a federal Department of Justice lawyer, sued the Minister of Justice and his Deputy Minister for violating their obligation to examine proposed legislation and advise the House if it’s inconsistent with the Charter and Bill of Rights.**

The minute Mr Schmidt filed his claim he lost his job and is now on a reduced pension.

The Justice Minister’s defence is that under departmental policy if the proposed law has at least a 5% chance of surviving a court challenge he has no obligation to alert the House that the law may be illegal.

Or to put it another way, even if a proposed law has a 94% chance of being struck down for violating the two Acts that protect our fundamental rights and freedoms it will be sent to the House and (given the tyranny of the majority) proclaimed into law.

As a result of this policy, the burden of vetting bills to ensure that they’re legal falls to the people.  It is our job to ferret out legislation that breaches our fundamental rights and hire lawyers and file lawsuits to get that legislation overturned in a court of law.  Thanks to Mr Schmidt’s sacrifice we now know that.   

The canary in the mineshaft

We won’t know with certainty whether Bill 46 violates the Charter until the Supreme Court of Canada tells us so.  We may never know whether Justice Minister Denis has adopted the 5% Rule to slide unlawful bills into law by virtue of his government’s majority power.

But we do know this:  Government lawyers, like all lawyers, are bound by a duty to give honest advice (even if their clients don’t want to hear it).  Government lawyers, like all lawyers must ensure that their clients don’t unlawfully inflict harm on innocent citizens.

In essence government lawyers are canaries in the mineshaft.  If they are aware of policies that result in laws that damage our fundamental rights, they need to speak up.

It’s a matter of conscience.

*Alberta Union of Public Employees v Alberta 2014, ABQB97

**National Nov/Dec 2013 p 18

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35 Responses to Where are the Ethical Lawyers?

  1. DavidGrant says:

    Thanks for the post Susan. As those of you who read my posts know, I am a member of AUPE and I am concerned about these bills. I have wondered as you do, where the ethical lawyers are, and it is pretty disturbing not to hear a lot of protest about it. Thanks to Edgar Schmidt for the position he has taken. Hopefully it won’t have been in vain.

    • David, I was very disturbed by the government’s heavy handed treatment of the AUPE. Everything was moving along in accordance with the existing law (the compulsory arbitration panel had been selected, the hearing was set for Feb 2014) and then the government pulled the rug out from under the AUPE with Bill 46.

      All Albertans should find the government’s behavior frightening—it demonstrates that this government is prepared to twist the law into a pretzel to get what it wants if it can’t get it any other way. And with a majority government there’s nothing we can do to stop it, except take it to court. This is not how a democratic government behaves.

      • David Grant says:

        I agree and if there are any Albertans reading this post who feel this way, need to contact their MLAs, their neighbours, friends, and family let them know about it. People think that corruption happens somewhere else right now, like Quebec for example, and they think that corruption only involves mobsters. Neither is true and this bill is a good example of it. While the government isn’t the mafia, sometimes it is hard to tell.

      • Very true David. Deputy Minister Hancock was quoted in the Edmonton Journal today saying “We believe we bargained in good faith and we’ve always wanted to negotiate a fair arrangement with our employees,” so to pick up a theme started by Bill Talbot: The Blase Backbencher says “That’s why we passed a law imposing the 2011 Collective Agreement and sprang it on the union with no prior consultation.”
        Here’s the link: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmonton/Deputy+premier+defends+Bill+wake+scathing+court+ruling/9537336/story.html

  2. Hello Susan. Your post is so true. Also, those agencies and govt bodies and officials who hire those honest government lawyers need to heed to their advice, and not just listen to the advice they want to hear!

    • Champs, I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve worked for good companies. That being said, every company has its share of businessmen you can trust and those who are more slippery. The bad businessmen will get a detailed legal memo outlining why their proposal is a really bad idea and that if they’re sued they won’t have a leg to stand on. (Good luck explaining that to the board of directors). The good ones work with their lawyers to see if there’s a better way to accomplish their goals. Eventually the idiots realize you won’t change your mind and they go away—a tiresome but necessary process.

  3. David Grant says:

    I concur Champs and Susan. Unfortunately the lack of ethics is probably more pervasive in society beyond lawyers. Hopefully, we will see more people like Mr. Schmidt.

  4. Arts Squared says:

    Thanks, Susan. Especially appreciate learning of Mr. Schmidt’s plight.

    • Arts, Edgar Schmidt is a remarkable man. He could have quit but instead chose to fight the Department of Justice in a very public way (for which we can all be grateful). UofC Law Professor Alice Woolley has written a remarkable blog about the ethical implications of Mr Schmidt’s position. She includes in her analysis a discussion about the “Torture Lawyers of Washington” who provided legal opinions, known as “torture memos”, to President Bush giving him legal cover for waterboarding. I can’t imagine betraying your profession, your integrity or humanity in such a heinous way. Here’s the link: http://ablawg.ca/2013/01/25/the-legality-of-legal-advising/

  5. Carlos Beca says:

    My goodness this is worse than the Ukraine. The big difference is that princess Alison does not need a zoo in her backyard, she already has it around her.
    Just read all the comments written above. Do you believe that you are in Canada? This all sounds like the Columbia quartel.
    I would not be very hopeful on the Supreme Court either. They could be also in the process of being bought, just like they were in the US. Anyone puts their hands in the fire?
    Just look back to the period of 1910 – 1914 and tell me if you do not see similarities?
    I do not know about you but I do not trust lawyers unless I know them. I trust politicians even less. Now how are we supposed to build a democratic process if 90% of people are with me? And people still doubt of what is coming! Amazing to me. We are in a profound crisis and we do not even feel it. It is like the frog being boiled in the water.
    To me any lawyer that has given the kind of advice on waterbording to George Bush, should have been immediately banned from the profession and his/her license taken away for life.We choose not to anything about it at our own peril. We are so morally and ethically weak that we do not even move in face of what we are witnessing. We are all affraid of losing our jobs !!

    • Carlos, just to be clear I don’t know for a fact that Justice Minister Denis has his own version of the 5% Rule but I can’t understand how legislation as egregious as Bill 46 (and 45 for that matter) made it through the legal review process. Watching the PC caucus, packed with lawyers, and QCs I might add, argue in favour of this legislation was sickening. Particularly as they brushed aside cogent arguments from all of the opposition parties. But as we know only too well, when you have a majority government you can do whatever you damn well please.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Susan I understand the majority mentality but I would except lawyers to be concerned with law and justice and not party lines. If they cannot do that then what is the purpose of having courts and a justice system. Might as well ask the party what their law is. If we as a developed country cannot do this, then how are we going to be able to run a democracy? This to me is not any different than what they have in countries where mafias control society. It seems to me that this is just a three piece suit mafia style justice system.

      • Exactly Carlos. Some lawyers argue that a government lawyer is different from other lawyers in that it’s not his job to decide whether a piece of legislation violates the Charter or not. They say this is the job of the judiciary and the Legislature. But this overlooks three very important facts. First, if the Legislature is controlled by a majority government then the government is free to circumvent the democratic process by not letting the opposition see the legislation until the very last minute, limiting debate and invoking closure to ram the bill through. Second, a bad law won’t come before the judiciary unless a citizen realizes that the law is harmful and has the personal and financial resources to launch a lawsuit and take it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary. Three, if a bad law is allowed to go forward unchallenged it can inflict unspeakable harm on the rights and freedoms of the citizens.

        The bizarre thing is that the 5% rule is utterly unacceptable in the real world. Telling a business client that he can go ahead with a transaction without telling him that it had a 94% chance of failure would get you fired for incompetence. The difference here is that the government wins either way. If it passes a law that violates the Charter it might get away with it. If a citizen challenges the law it will take years to work its way through the courts thereby allowing the government to continue to do what it shouldn’t be doing and get the benefit of this unlawful activity in the meantime (the AUPE case is unique in that the facts allowed the AUPE to argue for an injunction suspending Bill 46).

        Lawyers have an ethical obligation to give honest advice, if they’re being asked to do anything less they need to follow Mr Schmidt’s example and protest.

  6. Carlos Beca says:

    Columbia quartel should have been Colombia cartel – thank you

  7. Bill Talbot says:

    The Blase Backbencher says, “I agree with the government’s efforts to rein in public service pay. That’s why I commend Premier Redford for capping her Chief of Staff’s salary at $357,706.”

  8. ema says:

    Great post as usual, Susan! The one thing I could not escape though is the term “ethical lawyer”, which is understood as an oxymoron in many circles. (And yes we know, they all should not be painted with the same brush!)

    While obviously there are ethical lawyers, there is abundant evidence of lawyers, both past and present in federal and provincial politics, who have glaringly compromised their ethics in pursuit of self interest perhaps, or some other egregious reasons, without concern for the common good. This includes the lawyers, some in ministerial positions in Redford’s government, who seem to have abandoned their ethical duties, especially with their advancement of the Bills 45 and 46.

    Personally, I am looking forward to the full disclosure and resolution of Nigel Wright’s involvement in the PMO’s part in the “Duffygate” scandal. (The inference to date is that NW will clear his name, though it seems unusual to allow it to be smeared in the interim. One can only surmise, might there be a gigantic claim to follow for his ruined reputation, either before or after the PM leaves office??)

    The question remains….where are all the ethical lawyers? (Two that I have known personally have both finished, or closed, their practices in Edmonton.)

    • Ema, you ask a good question…why do lawyers (or other professionals for that matter) compromise their integrity? A lawyer told me once about receiving a phone call from his son, a lawyer at a large American law firm. The son was asked to work on a file he thought had crossed over into “no longer legal” territory. He wondered whether he should do it. In the end he decided to do it because if he didn’t (1) someone else would, (2) he’d be branded “not a team player” and (3) he’d lose out on a big fat bonus. This example shows three reasons why lawyers become unethical—it doesn’t matter because the illegal deed will be done anyway, fear about losing your job and greed.

      It’s enough to break your heart.

  9. Maureen Riddle says:

    Thank you Susan for being a voice of reason in this insane new world of Alberta.

  10. Julie Ali says:

    Where are the ethical lawyers?
    I think you are an ethical lawyer.
    I also think you are brave to put this information out to the public.
    It is pretty clear to me that Mr. Hancock–my MLA has converted from representing his constituents to representing himself and the Tory inner circle.
    It’s pretty sad. He used to be a half decent MLA and was always nice in his letters to me.
    But what is even more sad than the traitorous behavior of Mr. Hancock, and the other MLAs– is the failure of Albertans to comprehend the traitorous behavior of our political hires.
    Why aren’t Albertans yapping to their political hires about these anti-democratic laws?
    Why aren’t they working for opposition parties so that the Tories will be history in future elections?
    Why aren’t folks holding this government to account about the hemorrhage of money in Alberta for dumb projects and for the environmental clean ups we pay for?

    It may just be that citizens understand that the entire system is corrupted and have given up. Sometimes it feels as if all the areas of our society are corrupt. Even the judicial system is no longer intact. If you look at Jessica Ernst’s case with the Alberta government and the AER–we have had Mr. Harper’s administration promote a judge and deftly insert another judge in this case. I can only believe such a well timed promotion served to increase the costs of the court case for Jessica Ernst who has given up her life and her business to bring the news of poor oversight and contamination of well water in Rosebud, Alberta to the people of Alberta. And what have the people of Alberta done for her and the folks in the Peace who are fighting the government and the AER with reference to emissions? I’d say that Albertans are keeping their mouths clamped shut. Meanwhile the facts of the contamination of her well by fracking will be delayed over and over again as the government at all levels tries to bankrupt her. It’s a clear case in my mind of the corruption of the judicial system by the Tory parties and needs to be investigated by citizens, because government will never investigate itself.

    There are ethical lawyers.
    You are an example of one.
    But there are unethical lawyers and the current provincial government is full of them.
    I hate to think that the judicial system is also being stocked full of them as well as the Supreme Court of Canada but I believe the Harper administration is cherry picking judges just as they engineer their elections with Senate hires like Duffy and Wallin.
    The Tories at all levels– know about dishonest political strategy, publicly paid orchestrating of Synergy spin, the promulgation of fear, intimidation and silencing so that folks can’t even dissent without feeling that their jobs are at risk. It’s a real disgusting situation and it is all Tory created.
    But in the end, it will only endure if we allow it endure.
    Ultimately it is up to each of us to stand up to the bullies.
    If we don’t dissent and then fire the corrupt crews, I’d say this corruption will continue and get worse.

    Right now the Tories are drunk with power. Redford’s major expenses on the last self promoting trip for Mandela’s funeral is a clear sign to me that they don’t really give a darn what voters think / believe. They will do what they want until the next provincial election. They will use laws to make sure we are stuck paying the bills for ridiculous appeals of their punitive laws.

    You only have to look in the mirror and see who is to blame for this mess (that is if you voted Tory like I did). We’re to blame for this sort of corruption and we’re the solution to the problems we created. The next few years will be hard to endure but it will be a good series of object lessons so we don’t get fooled into voting for them again. I am trying to think of all these anti-democratic laws as an educational course I am being forced to take in learning to be a good citizen. In one way, the outrageous behavior of the Tories has forced me to speak up and write about the messes.

    I’m not voting for the Tories again. My family will not vote for them again. My parents will not vote for them if I have anything to do with it. Family by family, is how we turn away from the unethical lawyers and non-lawyers in this party. It’s that simple. They can’t stay in power unless Tory voters like myself keep voting for them. Once we stop voting for them, they are gone just like the tumbleweed. Look into the future folks. See us blow away the tumbleweed of the Tories.

    • Thank you so very much Julie. You made a very important point when you said that citizens need to understand that our system of “democracy” is anything but democratic. This means they have to think before they check the little box for the PC candidate in their riding. They need to ask themselves whether what they’re hearing from their government is true.

      The judge in the AUPE case outlined the government’s argument that Bill 46 was in the public interest (and yet it breached the Charter), its goal was fiscal restraint (and yet Redford and Horne pay their staff significantly more than their peers in other jurisdictions), it would align AUPE’s compensation with that of public servants elsewhere (and yet BC is paying much more) and if AUPE went to compulsory arbitration that would create horrific “ramifications” because the decision would influence the government’s negotiations with other public servants (and yet the government rammed Bill 46 through as an object lesson to the other unions–either accept the tiny increase we’re offering or we’ll change the law to force you to accept it). In other words, the government is prepared to say things under oath that do not reflect reality. Why? Because they think no one is paying attention. Well they’ve attacked so many of their constituents by now—the sick, the elderly, children, unions, teachers—that we’re all paying attention and like you, will never ever make the mistake of voting for them again, regardless of how scary they try to make the Wildrose. We have other choices. We can blow this tumbleweed away (I love that image!)

    • Elaine Fleming says:

      Julie, your poignant, poetic lament has struck a chord with me- I feel like printing it and framing it. It should be hung up in every public place across the province- the schools, seniors’ facilities and hospitals, city halls and courthouses. You are not alone. Many Albertans are joining the chorus, many who are fed up with their precious vote being corrupted and their values betrayed. Hang in there, something’s in the breeze.

  11. David Grant says:

    This subject is such a good topic for discussion that it is difficult and complex to get a handle but I am glad that it is starting here. I always laugh when people talk about the lack of ethics in politics, business, and in other areas, but these people won’t say it when the unethical people win. In our society, we always celebrate the people because they are successful and they win. We even rationalize it buy saying that it’s a “dog eat dog world” and “nice guys finish last”. The fact that Rob Ford might actually win another election even though he has admitted to some criminal behavior but people don’t care about his behavior. I would hope that this discussion of ethics in lawyers is applied to all aspects of society(although lawyers have a lot of work to do in their profession).

    • David, great question…why do we (they) reward wrongdoing and incompetence. Lord only knows. Look at Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan. His board gave him a 74% pay increase in 2013–the same year his company paid out $20 billion in fines and penalties for wrongdoing that occurred mostly on his watch. The board’s justification? JPMorgan’s shares went up 37% and even after paying out the $20 billion in fines and penalties, JPMorgan made $18 billion in profits. Furthermore, they’d already cut his bonus in half in 2013 to punish him (it dropped to $10 million). Lastly $20 million/year is the going rate for investment bank CEOs and they’d hate to lose Mr Dimon to a competitor. Admittedly $18.5 million of his comp package is in restricted stock which carries with it some risk but unless JPMorgan goes belly up and isn’t bailed out by the US taxpayer I think that money will show up in Mr Dimon’s bank account. These numbers are beyond our comprehension.

      Peter Welch, a democratic congressman said it best:“This is a continuing reinforcement of the deep disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. This couldn’t happen on Main Street. If the local banker got a bonus after he caused a run on the bank, you’d have to call out the National Guard. This isn’t really about Jamie Dimon. It’s about a whole culture of immunity for the consequences of your actions.” In my view it’s about belonging to the “old boys club”.

  12. David Grant says:

    As usual, you have some great examples of unethical behavior being rewarded. One of the problems that you could add here is the way these people are treated in the media. I think Erin Burnett or Maria Bartiromo(business reporters who work CNBC and CNN)have criticized the harsh treatment that Jamie Dimon received. These people have helped celebrate the kind of unethical behavior that took the economy down the toilet in 2008. It is also true here in Canada when I hear Kevin O’Leary and Amanda Lang defend it too. If capitalism is going to work(and there are those who have doubt about it), then we need to look at the regulations and incentives that allow people like Jamie Dimon exist. I also wonder if our educational institutions have contributed to this problem given the corporate influence in all levels of education. I think the problem requires a very thorough examination to get to at the root causes.

  13. David, notwithstanding these cheerleaders (great list by the way), many business leaders are getting very concerned about the loss of public support. There has been a flurry of articles on the need to move beyond “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) where a business does its bit in the local community (and for which I’m grateful) to a new model of public engagement based on “shared values”. While this is less insulting than telling the public that the reason they’re blocking fossil fuel extraction is that they lack “energy literacy”, I don’t know how the energy industry intends to develop a “shared value” around shifting from fossil fuels to renewables. I’d prefer to see a “shared value” around a thoughtful government that balances the interests of all concerned instead of he who has the biggest lobbyist wins!

  14. Kaitlin M says:

    Hi Susan,
    Great piece! We’re interested in obtaining permission to reprint on rabble — could you please email me about this editor [at] rabble [dot] ca.

    Thanks!

  15. PETER GRABOWSKI says:

    EXPOSE THE FRAUD,PUBLIC INQUIRY DEMANDED INTO TRAFFIC COURT FRAUD

    I wish to express my concerns over the situation in the Provincial Court (Traffic). I do some work as a Paralegal and a Provincial Court Agent, helping people with Traffic Tickets among other things, I also operate what I call the Legal Help Society as part of my service. The recent articles in the Edmonton Sun regarding; “The Tough Road Ahead”by Rick Bell, in the Edmonton Journal regarding the “Photo Radar Cash Cow” by Dave Staples, in the Edmonton Sun “Denial of Justice” (Apr. 1, 2014) by Kevin Martin and CTV News article by Sarah Richter, “Province looking to take traffic infractions out of the Provincial Court”, caused me to contact you .

    I believe the people involved in the Traffic Ticket Agent Industry are partly responsible for some of these articles, I am not among them and I do not really subscribe to their views. They appear to have also gotten the Edmonton Criminal Trial Lawyers Assoc. and their Calgary counterparts to issue statements to the media concerning “The Erosion of Civil Rights”, if the accused in a Traffic Ticket Matter cannot confront their accuser, (the cop who issued the ticket) in a so called“Court of Law”. If they think that by confronting a cop, in a so called Court of Law will get them any justice or preserve their civil rights, they are sadly Mistaken and Delusional.

    I Do Not SAY WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY LIGHTLY, my experience has been, that it “JUST DOESN’T MATTER” if you face your accuser or not. The Provincial Court (Traffic) system is so RIGGED and so FRAUDULENT, and on so Many Different Levels, that its very Difficult if not Impossible, to get your head around all the different frauds involved, just so you can defend yourself properly. Because of this “SYSTEMIC FRAUD” it’s very difficult to win your case at any time, if at all.

    Without going into too many legal details, I believe, that the “Fundamental Issue” is that the Provincial Court(Traffic) OPERATES ILLEGALLY, I will explain. The Provincial Court of Alberta (Traffic) and the so called crown prosecutors who bring these “fraudulent quasi-criminal”(a very important legal concept) traffic charges forward, and who run the trials, and who seem to “Control and Operate This Court For Their Own Benefit”, fall under the mandate of the Provincial Minister of Justice(J. Denis). However the “Traffic Safety Act”(The Act) under which people are prosecuted (persecuted), falls under the mandate of the Minister of Transportation (W. Drysdale). Pursuant to sec. 22 of the Act, the Minister has the “Alberta Transportation and Safety Board”(the Board) administer the Act on his behalf. Starting at sec. 27 of the Act, the Alberta Transportation and Safety Board is vested with “All The Powers” of the Court of Queen’s Bench for the trials of civil actions, which allows the Board to become a Superior Court in it’s own right, just like the Court of Queen’s Bench, (almost). The Board has the Right to Hold Hearings, Reviews and Appeals as to ANY MATTER coming before it under the TRAFFIC SAFETY ACT, which is “Administrative Law”, and not a law of “General Application”(which would apply to everybody). Any decision of the Board “CAN ONLY BE REVIEWED” by a Court of Superior Jurisdiction ( i.e. the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Court of Appeal of Alberta, The Supreme Court of Canada), and only on “ONE ISSUE” pursuant to sec. 47.1 (1), (2), (3) of the Act, that being of “PATENT UNREASONABLENESS”. My question is; “What Business Does The Provincial Court (Traffic) An “Inferior Court”, Have Sticking It’s Nose Where It Doesn’t Belong?” Under the Act,”ONLY” the Alberta Transportation and Safety Board is the “Court of Original Jurisdiction and First Instance” (or at least it’s supposed to be). Both the Minister of Justice(J. Denis) and the Minister of Transportation(W. Drysdale) know whats going on, and I will be referring to that shortly. The “Inferior Court” being the Provincial Court of Alberta (Traffic) by “USURPING THE JURISDICTION” of the Alberta Transportation Safety Board, is involved in a FRAUD. The “Superior Court” being the Alberta Transportation and Safety Board, CANNOT DELEGATE any of it’s Powers or Jurisdiction to the “Inferior Court” as this would be an UNCONSTITUTIONAL DELEGATION and a FRAUD.

    Discussions between the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Justice are currently underway to “QUIETLY TRANSFER OUT” of the Provincial Court System this “FRAUDULENT and ILLEGAL TRAFFIC COURT”(and not for the reasons that they claim) and to set up a type of Adjudicator answerable only to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board, where the matter “HAS ALWAYS BELONGED”. The people opposed to this plan are naturally the Traffic Ticket Agents,also the Traffic Court Commissioners, the crown prosecutors , and others (including the Police) involved in this “CORRUPT AND FRAUDULENT INDUSTRY” centered in and around the Provincial Court (Traffic) ,who stand to lose their jobs. A tip from a friend revealed that questions concerning these issues would be brought forward by Wild Rose justice critic Mr. Shane Saskiw and Liberal justice critic Ms. Laurie Blakeman, during Question Period in the Legislature on Thurday, April 10, 2014. They both weighed in on the Minister of Justice, as to the Erosion of Civil Rights and the Right to Confront Your Accuser in a Court of Law. The Minister was able to deflect their questions by claiming that Any Talks Were Preliminary and Nothing Had Been Decided, and that any defendant would always be able to confront their accusers. It appeared, although I may be wrong that both the honorable members Blakeman and Saskiw appeared to be in “Lockstep”, in representing the interests of the Traffic Ticket Agents and their associates, and I believe failed to ask the “Real Question” of why the matter was in the Provincial Court (Traffic) in the first place?

    As you probably know, the “REAL ANSWER” to the question ( $41,300,000 in revenue from traffic fines for 2013 in Edmonton alone) is“Money”. Pursuant to sec. 7.1(1)(2) “REVENUE OFFSET” of the Provincial Offenses Procedure Act , Procedures Regulation, Alberta Regulation 233/1989, the Crown (prosecutors) can claim “16.67 %” of all fines collected by the traffic court, with the balance going pursuant to sec. 162(1) of the Traffic Safety Act, to the municipality where the alleged offense occurred, usually into their police budgets. Little wonder that these so called crown prosecutors “FRAUDULENTLY STEER” traffic violations towards the“COURT THAT THEY CONTROLLED”, 16.67% of $41.3 million(plus) is,( let me do the math) at least $ 6,884,710.00 if not more, in Edmonton alone for 2013,and possibly $ 100 MILLION PLUS for the Province as a whole, and these “CROOKS” claim that they represent the Minister of Justice, sure they do, or do they really(only he can answer that)? Money corrupts and has corrupted our Courts of Justice. (contact Shannon Prithipaul (pres. edmt. crim. trial lawyers assoc.)concerning the defunding of Legal Aid)

    Upon Reading The Entire “Traffic Safety Act”, the Provincial Court of Alberta is “NOT MENTIONED ONCE”, the only Courts ever mentioned are the Alberta Transportation Safety Board and the Court of Queen’s Bench. These so called crown prosecutors will argue that the sec. 2 of the Provincial Offenses Procedure Act allows them to bring the issue before the Provincial Court(traffic). They will claim that sec. 2 of the Act states that; “… this Act applies to every case in which a person commits or is suspected of committing an offense…”, Thats All Fine And Good , however they FRAUDULENTLY AND DELIBERATELY FAIL TO INFORM any defendant who they prosecute (persecute), that the First Part Of That Sentence that they refer to under the Act, starts out by stating; “SUBJECT TO ANY EXPRESS PROVISION IN ANOTHER ACT, “….blah,blah, blah (you know the rest). Most people reading this sentence,( if they knew where to look and what to look for) would not know and fail to understand what it really meant, and would think it to be meaningless Legal Gibberish. If one breaks down the sentence, it’s quite simple;

    Ques: What does “Subject To” mean? Ans: Anyone who has bought or sold real estate knows, any present or former real estate agents know, any first year law student knows, any lawyer engaged in real estate conveyancing knows, most if not all lawyers know. Most English speaking, moderately intelligent people in the world know what it means, its an “ESCAPE CLAUSE”.It would appear however, that certain so called crown prosecutors have never heard of this Legal Phrase and don’t know it’s true meaning, and they claim to have gone to law school( were they asleep during classes).

    Ques: What does ” Any Express Provision” mean? Ans: Anything Expressly Provided. Ques: What is Expressly Provided ? Ans: “Permission” must be Expressly Provided. Ques: by who or what must this Permission be Expressly provided by? Ans. Hold on it’s
    coming.

    Ques: What does “In Another Act” mean”? Ans: In Another Act Ques: What other Act? Ans: The Traffic Safety Act, this Permission is to be expressly provided by the Alberta Transportation Safety Board, THAT’S WHO.

    I maintain that the Best Place To Hide Anything is in “PLAIN SIGHT”, especially if you wish to Confuse, Lie To, Cheat, and otherwise Rip Off People, who don’t know any law and certainly don’t know how to defend themselves against these so called “crown prosecutors” (parasidic-persecutors), who are deliberately out to take advantage of them. The phrase that I have been referring to, “SUBJECT TO ANY EXPRESS PROVISION IN ANOTHER ACT” is located in the FIRST PART, of the FIRST SENTENCE, of the FIRST REAL PARAGRAPH( being sec. 2), in the Provincial Offenses Procedure Act. This is just part of the MASSIVE FRAUD(and there’s more) being practiced in the Provincial Court (Traffic). I would ask at this time that that you support my Call For and Demand, that the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Transportation and the Premier of Alberta appoint a PUBLIC INQUIRY into the Fraudulent Operations of the Provincial Court of Alberta (Traffic) and into the Fraud Practiced by the so called crown prosecutors, the Traffic Court Commissioners and the police who operate this Criminal Enterprise. Further that all Present and Future Prosecutions in the Provincial Court (Traffic) be Suspended pending the Outcome of this Public Inquiry. If your interested in knowing more about these issues, give me a call at Res. 780- 457-2201, Cell. 780 – 708-0169.

    DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT I’VE JUST SAID, CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF.

    Regards , Peter Grabowski

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