My lawyers and I have finally received the official response to our legal challenge against Russell’s FORCED bilingual sign law from Russell’s legal team.
It is an 11-page document that outlines their opposition, and on what grounds we can expect them to contest our challenge. That’s normal. But what’s not normal is what is also included.
Ron Caza, Russell’s lead lawyer, who is a partner of Heenan Blaikie, a legal firm that employs 425 lawyers, including Canada’s former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Quebec’s Separatist former Premier Pierre Marc Johnson, is using tactics that would make a street-thug proud.
Caza makes this very personal as he dedicates a huge portion of his letter in a not so subtle tactic with outright threats and intimidation against me.
CAZA IS LITERALLY THREATENING TO DESTROY ME FINANCIALLY IF I CONTINUE WITH OUR CASE!
He REPEATEDLY writes in his letter that he will hold ME personally responsible for all of the costs he will incur in his very expensive defense of the Township’s FORCED bilingual language sign law.
He goes on to illustrate how expensive it will be to fight this case, and then includes THE BIG STICK:
“Please note that the Township has instructed us to be unrelenting in executing any cost orders made against Mr Galganov.”
HERE’S THE CARROT: If I decide to drop my claims against the Township right now, they will drop all financial claims against me. BUT IF I DON’T, they will come down upon me with the fury of hell and damnation.
Caza also included as chapter and verse, the Court’s decision against Canadians For Language Fairness which challenged Ottawa’s bilingual hiring policies, where CLF lost, and was ordered to pay $50,000 of Ottawa’s legal costs.
This Court Order buried Canadians For Language Fairness since there was no way they could cover the $50,000 demand.
But the residents of Russell should know that the actual cost for Ottawa to oppose the Canadians for Language Fairness was somewhere in the range of $300,000, meaning the city still had to pony-up a quarter of a million dollars.
In the lengthy ruling of the Judge against Canadians for Language Fairness, his reason for ruling against them, and for imposing the heavy $50,000 cost were very clear.
Why the judge ruled the way he did is also very important, because Caza is going to use this jurisprudence against me.
The Judge basically said that Canadians for Language Fairness never established a case where there was any need for intervention, since there had been no complaints from the City of Ottawa’s employees.
He also said that CLF failed to “establish a genuine interest in the matter as opposed to being a mere busybody or an interloper.”
The following is extremely important to understand more about the judgment against CFL:
In the words of the Judge:
“While it is appropriate to exercise discretion on costs to encourage public interest litigation, this should only be done to support the efforts of those litigants who are able to make a meaningful contribution to the conduct of such litigation.”
If my standing up for individual FREEDOMS, as are guaranteed under Section 2b of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is not “appropriate”, what is?
The CLF/Ottawa case is also very different to ours.
There is no Constitutional Clause that says governments of any nature do not have the right to insist upon the use of both official languages in the government workplace, on all signage, bylaws, documents and all form of communication.
My argument is far more fundamental:
Does any government have the right to order me or anyone else to communicate in a private fashion in any language other than the language I or someone else chooses?
In effect, does the Township of Russell have the right to abrogate my Freedom of Expression (Section 2b) by making it illegal for me to communicate solely in the English language?
HOW MEANINGFUL IS THAT?
But here’s the biggest question:
Should I place myself in such a position where I can lose an enormous sum of money fighting for the RIGHTS OF ALL CANADIANS, when most Canadians won’t ante-up a penny to fight for themselves?
I’ve given my answer to our lawyers, as per what I want done in terms of carrying-on, or not carrying-on the fight, since the dynamics have also changed now that Caza wants a full blown trial with expert witnesses and the such.
Even though our lawyers have been paid in full for the type of challenge we expected to fight, we now find ourselves in a position where we will have to spend considerably more.
I have the money. But should I spend it?
Should I put myself in such personal financial jeopardy fighting one of Canada’s largest and most effective law firms that once employed Pierre Elliott Trudeau?
Or should I walk away from this incredible opportunity to defend our FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and save the money to fight a political campaign instead?
Or should I do both?
YOU TELL ME. Then I’ll tell you what instructions I’ve already given to our lawyers.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov