This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Monday, July 25, 2016
SO YOU WANT TO LAY ELECTION CHARGES AGAINST A MUNICIPAL COUNCILLOR?
According to the Municipal Elections Act 1996 Section 81.(17) "This section does not prevent a person from laying a charge or taking any other legal action, at any time, with respect to an alleged contravention of a provision of this Act relating to election campaign finances." Wow it's just that easy and simple. Not!
The assistance citizens receive from the courts can best be described as minimalist, contradictory, inconsistent and confusing. This includes Intake Court within the Superior Court building in downtown Kitchener as well as advice you may receive from any number of different Justices of the Peace. In fairness part of the problem is the rarity in which a non lawyer citizen takes a municipal election candidate to court. That said the process of only permitting citizens to access Intake Court on Fridays is beyond belief. If you get something wrong even if you've followed directions to the letter, you guessed it; come back and see us in a week. By the way I would show up at 9 am., sign the sheet and be either the first second or third to have done so and routinely spend the next three to five hours sitting there. This I did SIX times with Sandy Shantz's charges and three times with Scott Hahn's. Normally my time with the J.P. would be between ten and twenty minutes.
Approximately six trips from Elmira to court were required in regards to Sandy's charges plus two or three more with the two prosecuters. How many with Scott is anybody's guess. At no point prior to the penultimate court appearance did either prosecuter suggest to me that there was any problem with how any of the charges were laid by the J.P..
I will say this regarding the court system. At no point was I threatened or intimidated by any judges or police during the process. Afterall Canada isn't a third world country is it? The out of town prosecuter Fraser Kelly I would best describe as a pompous ass. He did threaten me however. Firstly he pulled the stunt of misrepresenting a meeting a few days prior to Sandy's last court appearance to get me to attend a meeting with him and it turned out a Waterloo Regional Police detective. In hindsight it seems clear to me that Mr. Kelly had zero interest in prosecuting a Regional Councillor and mayor of Woolwich Township. What he had in mind was charging me with allegedly, surrepticiously taperecording a PUBLIC MECAC meeting, already being taped by the Township, in their Council Chambers.
Does it get any worse? Well that depends upon one's sensibilities. The Summons for Sandy was served via the courts doing the job. I was informed a week and a half ago that I personally had to serve Mr. Hahn his Summons. Are you kidding me? I advised both the J.P. and the Waterloo Regional Police that that was an inflammatory, provocative action to have the same citizen who lays election charges on a councillor, also personally serve the Summons on him. While we would like to think that councillors normally are 100% law abiding, calm and semi-reasonable persons, that has not been my experience with Woolwich councillors in general. Their public behaviour has been on occasion, brash and intemperate, and I am not remotely focusing on Mr. Hahn here. This includes his experienced colleagues on Council.
I will say that when push came to shove the Regional Police while insisting that I serve the Summons, did request that I advise them in advance of the time, date and location and hence an officer did attend with me. I would also say that that particular officer was very polite, courteous and helpful towards me. I will also add that Mr. Hahn was calm, cool and respectful and indeed his Council colleagues could take a lesson from him. That the citizen laying the charge also has to serve the Summons however is dispicable. In fact the entire legal process to date has been dispicable. I now view this legislated right of citizens to lay private charges to be nothing but a sham. Shame on every person in authority responsible for this entire asinine process. I believe it has been intentionally designed from start to finish to block citizens from their legislated right to lay private charges against candidates and politicians who blatantly contravene the Municpal Elections Act.