To the many American readers who visit Galganov.com, read this editorial and think SPANISH, because if you do nothing now, THIS is coming your way.
I have received a great many emails asking about the Freedom Of EXPRESSION case, I along with co-litigant Jean-Serge Brisson are fighting in Ontario, Canada.
For those of you who are new to Galganov.com, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms is under CONSTANT attack by Franco Activists who want SPECIAL protections, services, and privileges for their language and culture that are NOT available to Canada’s English speaking majority.
If you take the Ethnocentric Franco Nationalist Province of Quebec out of the mix, Canada’s TOTAL French population in the remaining Provinces and Territories represent LESS than 3% of the Entire population.
The specific fight I’m engaged in has to do with a Township (Russell) which is about 50/50 English/French located near Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, where the Township Council, all of whom are French except for the mayor who for political reasons supported the bylaw, decided by the slimmest of margins to FORCE all merchants to post all of their signs in both English and French.
In effect, this law DESTROYS the concept of Freedom of Choice in Expression.
In other words, in Russell Township, it is ILLEGAL to have an English ONLY sign. Or for that matter, a French ONLY sign, but that’s the problem of the French speakers, and that’s where Jean-Serge Brisson comes in.
I’m not going to go over how the case was heard in court, other than to direct you to the ARCHIVED editorial of May 20, 2010 titled “YOU BE THE JUDGE”. It is indeed an interesting read.
Not only does it say it all, but it also establishes no shortage of grounds for a successful Appeal.
My last editorial concerning this challenge was published on August 20, 2010 in response to the Court’s Judgment finding against us. You can read this editorial by going to the Archive Section and clicking on:
August 20, 2010 . . . THE VERDICT’S IN – FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION HAS LOST.
I’ve waited one month from the time of the verdict to write THIS editorial on this subject because of strategy.
Our lawyer, Ken Bickley, who fought the Superior Court Case is a one-man show, who was outgunned, outmanned, and outspent by the legal team representing the Township of Russell.
The Township’s legal team is Heenan Blaikie, one of Canada’s largest law firms, which boasts past Prime Ministers as partners.
The lawyer of Heenan Blaikie representing Russell is Ron Caza, who is BEST known in Ontario for his Franco Activism in court, where he won several significant legal challenges on the behalf of perceived French Rights.
CAZA IS A BULLY:
When this court challenge began almost two years ago, the FIRST exchange we had with Caza INCLUDED a detailed THREAT from him to me on how he will BURY me in costs unless I back-off immediately.
Perhaps this form of intimidation works well in the mob, but there should be no place in civil society, especially in the courts of law for this type of reprehensible conduct. BUT THAT’S HOW CAZA ROLLS.
BACK TO OUR LEGAL REPRESENTATION:
Under the circumstances, Ken Bickley did the best job he could. But, the best is not necessarily good enough when you have to fight a behemoth law firm who has all the tools at their disposal, INCLUDING the people’s tax money and a sympathetic court with a French judge who already previously ruled in favor of French language activism.
To borrow the favorite line of Barack Hussein Obama:
“Let me perfectly clear about this” . . . I will NOT write or say one word about anything discussed between Bickley and myself while he was our attorney. There is a line not to be crossed between client/attorney privilege and confidentiality. And I will NOT cross it.
That said though, there is much that transpired in this case that has nothing to do with client/attorney privilege that I will write about, especially my own views and opinions.
THE NEW BIG-BOY IN THE GAME:
Knowing that Bickley did as well as could be expected under the circumstances, we also knew that we would need far more in representation at the Court of Appeals if we are going to win.
Unbeknownst to anyone, INCLUDING Ken Bickley, we, Jean-Serge and I hired a Partner of Gowling, Lafleur & Henderson to represent us.
“Gowlings” is amongst Canada’s largest and most successful law firms with more than 700 lawyers, all of whom possess great expertise in their specific fields.
Our lawyer is Martin Mason, who teaches Constitutional law at the University of Ottawa. We couldn’t have chosen better.
Tuesday (September 20, 2010), Martin Mason served Ron Caza with Notice of Appeal. And in turn, for some unfathomable reason, Ron Caza responded to Ken Bickley.
AND TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE BIZARRE, Caza wants to hold Bickley liable for costs on Caza’s fee of some $284,000 he charged to Russell.
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
What does Bickley have to do with the exorbitant costs Caza ran up defending his client?
IF THIS ISN’T BULLYING OF THE HIGHEST ORDER – WHAT IS?
Here’s what I think:
I think Caza’s demand for costs from Bickley makes Bickley part of the case, which would make Bickley, by law unable to continue with our action as our lawyer.
Not only do I think this STUNT is stupid, it is as disrespectful to the practice of law as anything I can imagine.
Just imagine what the court system would be like if lawyers were held financially responsible to the other side simply because they represented their clients and LOST?
But, since Bickley is no longer our lawyer, what happens between Bickley and Caza really isn’t my concern, other than I feel for Bickley being caught up in Caza’s bizarre world of intimidation.
What Caza did in serving Bickley makes little to no sense, so why do it? I think I have the answer.
Casa doesn’t seem to like doing any grunt work himself, which is why he leaves it to assistants, articling students and secretaries.
SO HERE’S WHAT I THINK HAPPENED:
I think Caza prepared his demand for costs against Bickley long before he served it.
I think Caza told one of his assistants, perhaps even a secretary that the moment they (Heenan Blaikie) receive our Notice of Appeal, wrongfully ASSUMING that it would be coming from Ken Bickley, he decided to put Bickley’s feet to the fire and throw a monkey wrench into our Appeal that has a much better chance of winning than losing.
But it didn’t work. All it did was further illustrate the weakness of their case in Appeal, and how much of a BULLY Caza could possibly be.
BICKLEY’S NOT OUR LAWYER. So, all Caza did was open another front in this case where he will force the Township of Russell to pay even MORE legal fees on a ridiculous and FRIVOLOUS demand.
And in case you’re wondering where the people of Russell stand on all of this, VERY few of the town-folk, French and English alike support this law making bilingualism on private commercial signs MANDATORY, and wish none of this had ever happened.
Before serving Russell the day they passed the FORCED bilingual sign law, I knew that this was going to be a fight like none other, even though it is hardly my first, but, I could never have guessed how bizarre it would get.
Two Special Notes:
1 – Ontario’s ENTIRE French speaking population is about 4% of the total: Talk about TYRANNY of the Minority.
2 – I am EXTREMELY grateful to all the people (American and Canadian) who have helped support this incredibly expensive defense of Freedom of Expression.
You probably have no idea as to how much of a difference you’ve made.
And if you are still of the mind to help, we still need financial support, all of which goes into the fight AGAINST the outrages of the LEFT.
If you want to help out just click on the Icon at the Top Right of this Page that asks: WHAT IS YOUR FREEDOM WORTH?
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Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov