Jordan Peterson Quietly Drops Lawsuit Against Wilfrid Laurier University

The long anticipated anti-SLAPP Motion between Jordan Peterson and Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) will never be heard. Shortly before it was scheduled to go ahead, the parties quietly settled the case. Or to be more accurate, Peterson dropped the lawsuit and agreed to pay partial costs.

In their Motion Record, submitted back in 2022, Laurier includes correspondence with Peterson over the scheduling of Cross-Examinations. The school attempted many times to set dates. However, it appears that he repeatedly gave them the run around.

Put simply, if a party wants to put evidence into the file, the other side is entitled to ask them questions. This is commonly referred to as “testing the evidence”. Peterson can put anything he wants into an Affidavit, as long as he’s willing to be questioned about it.

For background on the case, see here and here.

Now, he won’t be on the hook for full indemnity, or 100% of costs. This is typical when defamation suits are dismissed under section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act for Ontario, or the anti-SLAPP laws. Instead, he’ll only have to pay a portion of those.

To be clear, Peterson never won anything. He just negotiated a lower rate in return for abandoning this lawsuit. He dragged out the case for 5 1/2 years just to leverage reduced costs.

From the April 15th, 2024 Civil Endorsement of Justice Akazaki:

The case conference was brought before me as the judge assigned to hear the anti-SLAPP motion on April 18, 2024. Before I began the conference, counsel confirmed that there was no objection to my hearing the motion due to my participation, prior to my appointment, in an on-campus debate organized by University of Toronto students touching on the plaintiff’s ideas. I have, separately, determined there are no grounds for recusal.

The grounds for the motion for adjournment was the need to join the two related actions. Subsection 137.1(5) does not provide for judicial discretion based on other steps that could be taken, because it specifically prohibits further steps. Once an anti-SLAPP motion has been brought, the plaintiff cannot even discontinue the action: Canadian Thermo Windows Inc. v. Seangio, 2021 ONSC 6555, at para. 35. Since the grounds for seeking the adjournment entail prohibited procedural steps, I saw no reason to grant the adjournment.

I discussed with counsel the nature of the second statement of claim as being less of a libel claim than a pleading of aggravation of the cause of action set out in the first statement of claim. Counsel for the University stated that she had no instructions to bring an anti-SLAPP motion in the first claim. Counsel appeared willing to discuss a resolution of the motion, possibly subject to argument regarding costs under subsections (7) and (8).

In the event the motion is resolved or the issues change as a result of that discussion, counsel should contact my judicial assistant to inform me same.

Few people know (or will remember) that Peterson actually sued Laurier twice. The first time was after the Shepherd audio got leaked. The second was when Laurier publicly responded to the first lawsuit. The whole thing smacks of lawfare.

At the first case conference, Peterson tried to join the 2 suit. But since invoking anti-SLAPP in the second lawsuit stays that proceeding, procedurally, this isn’t allowed to happen.

Apparently, the original lawsuit is still open. This is the one which Laurier filed a 3rd Party Claim against Lindsay Shepherd, arguing that she’s responsible for damages Peterson may have suffered.

From April 18th, 2024 AMENDED Civil Endorsement of Justice Akazaki:

On consent, this court hereby orders:

  1. The motion is granted, and this action is dismissed.
  2. The plaintiff shall pay the defendant’s costs of the motion and of the action on a partial indemnity basis, in an amount to be agreed by the parties or to be assessed.
  3. If the costs are to be assessed, the assessment may be commenced by either party in accordance with rule 58.
  4. The costs amount shall be payable within 30 days of the parties’ agreement on value or the date of assessment, as the case may be.

So, that appears to be the end of it. Peterson won’t have to face the consequences of his lawsuit, and Laurier will get (at least some) costs back. The original lawsuit, while still open, seems dead in the water. There’s no way to advance it without facing another anti-SLAPP Motion.

Considering that both defamation lawsuits were filed in 2018, this comes across as a weak way to end it. Peterson has been — for years — dodging attempts to move the anti-SLAPP Motion forward. Now, just before the hearing, he jumps ship.

Oddly, Peterson isn’t as media happy about it now as he was then.

(1) Wilfrid Laurier University Anti-SLAPP Motion Record
(2) Wilfrid Laurier University Endorsement Form
(3) Wilfrid Laurier University Amended Endorsement
(4) https://www.justiceservices.jus.gov.on.ca/MyAccount/screens/CaseLookup/CSLKUP001.xhtml
(5) https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/stat/rso-1990-c-c43/latest/rso-1990-c-c43.html#sec137.1_smooth
(6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkNv4LFpGf4
(7) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8zLcMGCedA
(8) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfjQeLn0hyI
(9) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXYuqrO8LLo
(10) https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/jordan-peterson-lawsuit-wilfrid-laurier?

Vote Harder! Poilievre Tells Corporate Canada To “Fire Your Lobbyist”

Recently, Pierre Poilievre, leader of the CPC and the Official Opposition of Canada, published an article in the National Post. The catchy title called on Corporate Canada to “fire your lobbyist”.

But apparently, the call is to stop lobbying other politicians. Poilievre himself seems quite content. In fact, the Lobbying Registry of Canada lists him meeting with special interest groups 329 times. Whether a person believes in the practice of political lobbying or not, this comes across as hypocritical.

Then there’s this:

At the most, the Chamber of Commerce, Business Council, and Canadian Federation of Independent Business hold pointless luncheons and meetings and write op-eds or record interviews that almost no one sees. As leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, I refuse to meet the aforementioned groups. They tell me what I already know.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Fortunately for Poilievre, few will bother to fact check anything that he says. But there are always nerdy, autistic trolls that have too much time on their hands.

In the article, he claims that he refuses to meet with the groups: (a) Chamber of Commerce; (b) Business Council, and (c) Canadian Federation of Independent Business. However, records from the Lobbying Registry make it clear that he does meet with them. Not like any of this is difficult to find out.

There’s also apparently a Chamber of Marine Commerce that Poilievre has met with.

He’s also met 10 times with CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. There were 3 meetings with NCCM, the National Council of Canadian Muslims. Both have lobbied for changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act, to ban “hate speech”.

There are countless other examples of Poilievre being lobbied by the sorts of people that he now rails against. He mentions Teck Resources in the National Post article, despite also having been lobbied by them.

Want to stop the latest tax hike? Or get bureaucracy out of the way to build homes, mines, factories, pipelines and more? Then cancel your lunch meeting at the Rideau Club. Fire your lobbyist. And go to the people.

Sounds catchy, just like so many of his soundbites. But apparently it’s still okay for him to meet with lobbyists. Presumably this attitude will change if and when he ever takes power.

Did Poilievre write this himself? Or did his handlers?

In any event, vote harder!

(1) https://nationalpost.com/opinion/pierre-poilievre-corporate-lobbyists-keep-sucking-up-to-high-tax-anti-resource-liberals
(2) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/
(3) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch
(4) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch?searchCommand=navigate&time=1715077407904
(5) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=391128
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=354769
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=444749
(8) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=487562
(9) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=489399
(10) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=498788
(11) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=502584
(12) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=584972
(13) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=519778
(14) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=591832
(15) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch?searchCommand=navigate&time=1715078569598

Private Members Bill C-388: Fast Tracking Energy, Gas And Weapons To Ukraine

Garnett Genuis, Conservative Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB, has introduced Bill C-388. The short title is: Boosting Canadian Energy and Mining Projects and Ukraine’s Munitions Supply Act. As implied, the goal is to ship weapons and energy to Ukraine. It’s been promoted on Twitter.

However, the Bill is so lacking in details and specifics that it’s unsettling where this will end up. It comes across as a way to endlessly throw money away on a foreign conflict. Not once does Genuis mention any safeguards that would be put in place.

Genuis also wants Canada’s “outdated” or unneeded equipment to be sent off as well. Apparently, the Canadian Forces won’t use them, but they’ll help fight off Russian aggression. It’s never explained or implied how this will happen. To summarize:

  • Canada has made promises to send weapons to Ukraine and not fulfilled them
  • Canada has weapons that are “surplus, and no longer useful” here
  • Canada should be sending equipment to Ukraine that it no longer uses
  • Canada should be buying new equipment here, or making more weapons
  • Canada should fast track gas and energy and mining projects to Ukraine
  • Energy and mining growth will help Canadian economy

Dealing with energy and mining first:

Plan to Fast Track Energy and Mining Projects
Preparation of plan
2 (1) Within 60 days after the day on which this Act comes into force, the Minister of Natural Resources must, in collaboration with representatives of the provincial governments responsible for natural resources, prepare a detailed plan to fast track energy and mining projects, including those related to liquefied natural gas and civilian nuclear energy, that includes measures to displace energy exports from hostile countries and support energy cooperation with allies and partners.

Genuis’ legislation would compel Ottawa to come up with a plan to fast track various energy exports to Ukraine. But this is still very broad, and doesn’t give any numbers or targets.

There’s also nothing in the Bill that would require that energy sales take place at fair market rates. Yes, he pitches the “benefits” to the Canadian economy, but how much could a country at war for 2 years afford? The Bill doesn’t specify any of this. Would these be (forgivable) loans? To what degree would the public be forced to subsidize this?

Bearing in mind that Genuis has openly supported and endorsed the Paris Accord, he wants to ramp up production in Canada anyway. This isn’t so that Canadians can have cheap fuel and energy prices, but so that Ukraine can. Interestingly, he doesn’t seem concerned about potential Carbon taxes when it applies to energy shipments abroad. This was from 2017, but a revealing clip, assuming he still holds the same views.

Would the details be worked out behind the scenes by anonymous bureaucrats?

Now, getting to the munitions part:

Genuis is extremely vague on which “munitions” would be sent to Ukraine. He implies that it’s older equipment that the Canadian Forces wouldn’t need. In that case, why would Ukraine need it? Are these guns? Body armour? Explosives? Vehicles? Surveillance equipment?

Genuis doesn’t specify if he expects the “unneeded” weapons to be sold to Ukraine at fair market rates (or close to it). If the Trudeau Government is so wasteful and incompetent, isn’t he concerned they’ll simply be given away, or sold for next to nothing? Is he worried that the munitions will end up in the hands of a hostile power?

And if these are things the Canadian Forces are unlikely to ever use, are they obsolete to the point that they’re useless in war? This isn’t clarified.

Changes To Other Acts As Well

Purposes
10 (1) The Corporation is established for the purposes of
(a) supporting and developing, directly or indirectly, domestic business, at the request of the Minister and the Minister of Finance for a period specified by those Ministers;
.
(b) supporting and developing, directly or indirectly, Canada’s export trade and Canadian capacity to engage in that trade and to respond to international business opportunities; and
.
(c) providing, directly or indirectly, development financing and other forms of development support in a manner that is consistent with Canada’s international development priorities

Section 10(c) of the Export Development Act will be altered to make include this subsequently: “the Corporation shall give preference to the development of munitions manufacturing capacity in Ukraine.”

Genuis’ Bill, if implemented, would give priority to shipping weapons to Ukraine over other foreign “development”.

The Defence Production Act would have Section 16 amended to include this:

16.‍1 For as long as any territory of Ukraine is occupied by armed forces of the Russian Federation, the Minister of National Defence must periodically review Canada’s inventory of defence supplies, and the Minister must offer to donate to Ukraine any defence supplies that, in the opinion of the Minister of National Defence, are surplus or no longer useful to Canada.

The Business Development Bank of Canada Act would be amended to give Ukraine priority to develop munitions. In other words, preference with tax dollars will be given to a foreign country.

The Export and Import Permits Act would be amended to treat weapons exports to Ukraine the same as exports to the United States.

As with most Canadian legislation, there are built-in regulations which give almost unfettered power to bureaucrats. This would alter several Acts, but do nothing to ensure accountability. The whole thing comes across as a means to endlessly take from taxpayers, under the guise of preventing Russian aggression.

For all that Genuis — and Conservatives in general — rail against Trudeau waste and corruption, there’s nothing in Bill C-388 that would prevent more of the same. Are we to be skeptical domestically, but not internationally?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-388
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/garnett-genuis(89226)
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-388/first-reading
(5) https://twitter.com/GarnettGenuis/
(6) https://twitter.com/GarnettGenuis/status/1786470255960744343
(7) https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-20/page-1.html#h-211513
(8) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/d-1/
(9) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/b-9.9/index.html
(10) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-19/

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(1) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(2) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(3) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(4) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(5) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(6) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(7) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(8) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(9) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(10) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(11) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(12) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(13) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(14) Bill C-373: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism 2.0
(15) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(16) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(17) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(18) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights
(19) Bill S-275: Adding “Sustainable And Equitable Prosperity” To Bank Of Canada Act

Never Again: NDP MP Leah Gazan’s Rationale Behind Banning Residential School “Denialism”

A year ago, NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, Leah Gazan, made the news with calls to formally make illegal so-called residential school “denialism”.

October 2022, she got a Motion passed unanimously to formally recognize that genocide had taken place at residential schools in Canada.

In any event, recent tweets, here and here, shine light on her rationale for doing this. She draws a parallel between Holocaust denial, and this. And her solution is exactly the same: to make it illegal to publicly deny that it happened.

This Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, I commemorate my grandfather, David Gazan, who served in the Dutch Army during WWII, my grandmother, Gina Gazan, a concentration camp survivor, and my father, Albert Gazan, a Holocaust survivor and lifelong peace activist. (1/2)

We must stand together against rising antisemitic rhetoric and hate groups. We must remember the lessons of the Holocaust and the legacy of hate and discrimination that allowed it to happen. Never again means never again for anyone. (2/2)

However, Gazan posts this on her website, which really throws things for a loop.

Urgent Action Needed on the Humanitarian Crisis in Palestine

Israel’s devastating bombardment of Gaza following the horrific Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians has led to a humanitarian crisis that requires immediate action. At the time of writing, more than 22,000 people are confirmed killed in Gaza, more than 58,000 injured, and another 7,000 are missing under the rubble. Nearly half of those killed in Gaza were children, and 79 journalists and media workers have been killed. 1.9 million have been displaced by the destruction of critical infrastructure.

The Israeli blockade on fuel, food, water, and medicine is causing dehydration, starvation, and the unmitigated spread of disease among civilian populations. Women are being forced to give birth without electricity or medication, and surgeries are being performed without anesthesia.

For decades, Palestinians have been subjected to occupation, eviction from their homes, the annexation of their land, and the expansion of illegal settlements.

Even though Gazan supports criminalizing the act of “Residential School denialism”, and presumably “Holocaust denial” as well, she openly calls out what’s been going on for decades by Israel.

It’s also interesting that Gazan repeatedly denounces antisemitism. Such comments about Israel and the Middle East lead to similar accusations about her. She’s often labelled a Hamas sympathizer.

April 30th, Gazan retweeted António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Concerning the Middle East, he stated: “Independent investigators must be allowed immediate access. The families of the dead have a right to know what happened”. That certainly sounds reasonable, but by Gazan’s own standards, such comments would be hate speech if said in Canada.

She calls out genocide, but wants to make it illegal to question?!

Gazan also promotes her own Bill C-223, which would establish a framework for U.B.I., or universal basic income. Seems a bit odd that she wants a country that she alleges committed genocide to provide everyone with free money.

Last year, Gazan publicly called for the Federal Government to “protect and uphold the right to travel for refugees and former refugees”. Bearing in mind that they’re already free to move within Canada, this presumably means the freedom to visit other countries. Or to return to where they’re being persecuted. She also references 2020/2021, when Canadians weren’t free to travel.

Gazan is an enthusiastic supporter of abortion and women’s rights. While supporting social programs for children, it’s also a human right to terminate pregnancies at will.

Gazan is definitely a hard one to figure out.

Will “conservatives” take a principled stand on free speech? Doubtful. In 2022, Kevin Waugh introduced Bill C-250 to JAIL Holocaust deniers. It was also proudly displayed on the CPC website, but later removed. See the archive. But because of Division 21 in Bill C-19, Waugh’s version soon became redundant. As for these specific efforts:

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s spokesman Sebastian Skamski has not yet responded to a request about whether the Tories would support a push to criminalize residential school denialism.

When asked specifically about criminalizing “residential school denialism”, Poilievre hasn’t given a straight answer. There was no indignation at such an attack on free speech. But if he were logically consistent, he’d support such legislation.

We’ll have to see if it ever actually emerges. For now, it’s just talk. However, that can change quite quickly, and can always be buried in an omnibus bill.

(1) https://twitter.com/LeahGazan/status/1585726302044229632
(2) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/should-residential-school-denialism-declared-hate-speech-1.6744100
(3) https://twitter.com/LeahGazan/status/1786107789196288306
(4) https://twitter.com/LeahGazan/status/1786107791511601274
(5) https://www.leahgazan.ca/palestine_feedback
(6) https://twitter.com/antonioguterres/status/1785394742391402660
(7) https://www.leahgazan.ca/support223
(8) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-223
(9) https://www.leahgazan.ca/right_to_travel
(10) https://www.leahgazan.ca/statement-fredericton-abortion-clinic-closure
(11) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-250
(12) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-19/royal-assent
(13) https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/special-interlocutor-waiting-for-mp-bill-criminalizing-residential-school-denialism-1.6661615

Senate Bill S-275: Adding “Sustainable And Equitable Prosperity” To Bank Of Canada Act

Have you heard of Senate Bill S-275? It is called the “Act to amend the Bank of Canada Act (mandate, monetary policy governance and accountability)”. It was introduced back in September 2023, and is currently at Second Reading.

It was brought in by Quebec Senator Diane Bellemare, who was appointed by Harper back in 2012. Keep in mind that she was appointed by a “conservative” Prime Minister. Now, what is this all about?

From the preamble of Bill S-275:

Whereas monetary policy has measurable redistributive effects on Canadians’ incomes;
.
Whereas underlying economic trends over the coming decades will be shaped by demographic shifts, the climate crisis, technological change and global political uncertainty and are conducive to generating supply shocks to prices—shocks that are minimally affected in the short term by traditional monetary policy;
.
Whereas a gap currently exists between the Bank of Canada Act and the Bank’s practices respecting monetary policy;

There will now be a section added to the Bank of Canada Act, and it reads as follows:

Bank mandate
4.‍1 The mandate of the Bank is to ensure the financial stability of Canada and of Canadian financial institutions and to promote sustainable and equitable prosperity and the well-being of all Canadians.

What exactly is “sustainable and equitable prosperity”? It’s not defined, so we’ll have to guess with this. “Sustainable” is probably being used in reference to playing along with the climate change scam. And “equitable prosperity” sounds like a fancy word for massive wealth redistribution.

One can certainly debate the value of the Bank of Canada, or the Bank for International Settlements. But why is crypto-Communist language being put into this Act?

There will also be a Permanent Committee added to the Bank of Canada. It will involve 9 people, 6 of them to be appointed in a vaguely described process.

  • the Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • the Deputy Governor
  • a Deputy Governor responsible for economic analysis
  • 6 external members appointed under this section

Some of the duties this Permanent Committee will have include:

(a) participate in discussions about setting the policy rate;
(b) set the policy rate by vote;
(c) adopt the annual cost-benefit analysis framework that supports policy rate decision-making;
(d) supervise the assessment of the effectiveness of monetary policy — that is to say, whether the targets are met, what economic effects monetary policy has on prices, employment, growth, investment and productivity, and what financial and redistributive effects it has on households and businesses;
(e) ensure that the use of non-traditional tools is consistent with the Bank’s mandate and the objectives of monetary policy; and
(f) represent the Bank in negotiating and drafting the agreement with the Government of Canada provided by section 14.‍4 and include monetary policy targets in the agreement.

To summarize: there will be a group of 9 people, 6 of whom selected in a yet to be defined process, determining major financial and economic decisions for the Bank of Canada. It’s to act in a manner consistent with its mandate. Keep in mind that the new mandate is:

to ensure the financial stability of Canada and of Canadian financial institutions and to promote sustainable and equitable prosperity and the well-being of all Canadians.

At the risk of being alarmist, this new mandate is a real concern. Given the proliferation of Carbon taxes, and various iterations of UBI, or universal basic income, where exactly are things going? The language is also vague enough that it’s hard to pin down specific details.

Bellemare spoke about the legislation on September 26th, 2023. However, it didn’t really add any specifics about what was going to happen. Nor did the questions she was asked.

Add this to the list of things to keep an eye on.

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/s-275
(3) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-275/first-reading
(4) https://sencanada.ca/en/senators/bellemare-diane/
(5) https://sencanada.ca/en/content/sen/chamber/441/debates/142db_2023-09-26-e#41
(6) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/b-2/

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(1) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(2) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(3) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(4) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(5) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(6) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(7) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(8) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(9) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(10) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(11) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(12) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(13) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(14) Bill C-373: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism 2.0
(15) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(16) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(17) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(18) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

The Nadon Reference Case: What Really Happened (Gonzo Logic)

It’s time to put a decade long myth to rest: the Nadon Reference Case.

This was a 2013 challenge in Federal Court to the appointment of Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court. The specific issue was not his abilities, but where he had worked. Under Canadian law, Quebec is entitled — rightly or wrongly — to 3 out of the 9 spots on the Supreme Court of Canada. Judges from the Federal Court or Federal Court of Appeal can sit on the SCC, but not take those 3 positions.

Yes, there was an Application filed by “Mr. Bad Beyond Argument” in October 2013. However, that’s not what decided Nadon’s fate. The Attorney General brought a Motion to stay (defer) the case, and an Order In Council (OIC) forward the matter to the Supreme Court. This was decided as a Constitutional Question. The case was deferred on consent, meaning all sides agreed to hand it over.

The original Application was eventually dismissed in 2014. However, it seems that costs were just as important — if not more so — than the principle of how SCC Justices are selected. This leads to the absurd idea that there is a “Constitutional right” to costs, even for lawyers who don’t actually win their cases. Gonzo logic!

The case was never “won on the merits”.

It was more a case of “thank you for bringing it to our attention”.

Ever wonder why no ruling is ever help up as a trophy? That’s because there isn’t one.

(A) Consent Order staying the 2013 Application
(B) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2014/2014scc21/2014scc21.html
(C) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2014/2014fc1088/2014fc1088.html
(D) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fca/doc/2016/2016fca39/2016fca39.html
(E) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc-l/doc/2016/2016canlii47514/2016canlii47514.html

The above are a: consent to stay; SCC Reference, involving many Intervenors; and then three (3) subsequent dismissals. The earth shattering victory we are told about isn’t there.

Timeline Of Major Events

Now, the above is a lot to take in, so hopefully, this will clarify the details how events unfolded.

October 7th, 2013: A Notice of Application is filed in Federal Court, challenging the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada.

October 22nd, 2013: Order-In-Council (OIC) 2013-1105 is signed, referring the issue of the appointment of Justice Nadon to the Supreme Court for a Reference.

October 28th, 2013: The Attorney General’s Office brings a Motion to stay (defer) the case, since it has already been sent off for reference anyway.

November 12th, 2013: Justice Zinn signs a Consent Order staying the Application, pending the outcome of the SCC Reference.

March 21st, 2014: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Justice Nadon isn’t eligible to use any of Quebec’s 3 seats on the Court. However, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t sit on the bench in any of the other 6 spots.

September 26th, 2014: “Mr. Bad Beyond Argument” files a Motion for costs, and for Leave (permission) to dismiss the case. He didn’t win, and wants it dismissed, but claims he’s entitled to costs anyway.

October 31st, 2014: The Attorney General’s Office files a Cross-Motion (a Motion of their own), asking that the original Application be dismissed, since the issue of Justice Nadon’s appointment if now moot. They also ridicule the demand for costs, since the Applicants didn’t actually win.

November 7th, 2014: Reply submissions (rebuttal arguments) are filed in the Motion for costs.

November 20th, 2014: Justice Zinn hands down a ruling dismissing the original Application, and awarding a lump sum of $5,000 in costs to the Applicants. This is in spite of them not actually winning their case. The Motion was “in writing”, and as the name implies, done without an oral hearing.

January 11th, 2016: The Federal Court of Appeal hears the Appeal on costs. This is not about Justice Nadon’s appointment, but whether there’s a “Constitutional right” to costs.

February 8th, 2016: Federal Court of Appeal hands down scathing rebuke, along with $1,000 Order for bringing baseless Appeal in the first place.

July 28th, 2016: Supreme Court of Canada denies Leave (permission) to file Appeal over the demand for costs. This was the second attempt at appealing.

Now, to expand more on these….

Application Was Stayed (Deferred) On Consent

Almost immediately after the Application was filed, the Attorney General’s office brought a Motion to stay the proceedings (or defer) the case.

The Motion references Order In Council 2013-1105, an “Order referring to the Supreme of Canada for hearing and consideration the questions related to the Appointment of Supreme Court Justices From Quebec”.

Justice Russel Zinn signed a Consent Order, which stayed the Application while the subject was brought before the Supreme Court of Canada in the form of a Reference Question. By consenting, it was known to all — or should have been known — that it was surrendering control to the SCC.

This wasn’t a “win on the merits” by any means. However, it was an indication that the Federal Government took the issue seriously enough to forward it onward.

Many “Intervenors” For SCC Reference Question

Although the Supreme Court Reference is very lengthy, this is the main point. Should Justice Nadon be allowed to take a “Quebec spot” on the SCC if he’s sitting on the bench for the Federal Court of Appeal?

[109] This reference stems from the appointment of the Honourable Justice Marc Nadon to fill one of the three seats on this Court allocated to the Province of Quebec. Justice Nadon is a former member of the Quebec bar of almost 20 years standing. At the time of his appointment to this Court, he was a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal.

  • René LeBlanc and Christine Mohr, for the Attorney General of Canada
  • Patrick J. Monahan and Josh Hunter, for the intervener the Attorney General of Ontario
  • André Fauteux and Jean‑François Beaupré, for the intervener the Attorney General of Quebec
  • Sébastien Grammond, Jeffrey Haylock and Nicolas M. Rouleau, for the interveners Robert Décary, Alice Desjardins and Gilles Létourneau
  • Rocco Galati, on his own behalf
  • Sébastien Grammond, for the intervener the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges
  • Paul Slansky, for the intervener the Constitutional Rights Centre Inc

But what frequently gets overlooked is that there were many Intervenors — 3rd party participants — at the Supreme Court review over the Nadon appointment. It wasn’t just one person against the Government.

[8] After carefully considering the Attorney General’s motion for a stay (for a period of 7.6 hours, in Mr. Galati’s case), the Joint Applicants eventually consented to a stay of the Joint Application in exchange for the Attorney General’s undertaking not to oppose their application for intervener status in the Reference.

Some comments from the Federal Court of Appeal are pretty funny. If their 2016 ruling is to be taken at face value, it seems that the Attorney General didn’t even want him at the SCC Reference. It comes across as him only agreeing to the Consent Order if there was no objection to him being an Intervenor. That’s got to hurt.

What if the AG had opposed Intervenor status? Would he have held up the Motion to stay the case?

Now, if this Reference result really was a “win on the merits”, then it looks as though every Intervenor could make that same claim. All of them submitted papers, and all were allowed to speak.

The most charitable interpretation of this would be a “shared win”.

Now, the real fun begins.

Federal Court Dismisses Motion For Costs, Dismisses Application

After the Supreme Court decision, the original Application became moot. After all, Justice Nadon was gone from the bench, so there wasn’t a real issue to resolve.

However, a Motion was filed demanding costs. The “claim” was that lawyers who bring constitutional challenges are entitled to costs. Apparently, this wasn’t just about principle. There was money to be made on this.

There were obviously problems with this. The most prominent is that fact that there was no “win or success”, which is typically required to receive costs. From the Attorney General of Canada:

The Federal Government filed a Cross-Motion, asking that the original Application be dismissed, and that the Court refuse costs.

The reason for dismissing the Application is obvious: mootness. Justice Nadon is gone, so there’s nothing left to deal with. It’s unclear why “Mr. Bad Beyond Argument” would seek leave (permission) to dismiss, instead of just discontinuing on his own. A cynic may think that it would be harder to claim “success” if he simply dropped the case.

Federal Court Takes Note Of Overbilling In Costs Motion

In their Cross Motion, the Attorney General argued that even if costs should be awarded (for an unsuccessful case), the amounts sought were unreasonable. They point out that for Ontario lawyers, even the most experienced ones litigation the most complex matters were only entitled to $350/hour. This Motion demanded $800/hour, more than double that.

In the 2014 reasons (dismissing the Application and the Motion for costs) the Court notes at paragraphs 5-7 that the amounts sought are “excessive and unwarranted”. They want nearly $70,000 for litigation was stayed at the very beginning stages. It’s even more absurd given the self-representation that was going on.

Almost as an aside, Justice Zinn remarks that if not for the original challenge, the SCC Reference would likely not have happened. From a certain perspective, it could be viewed as public service.

He ultimately awarded a lump sum of $5,000. This is still a fair amount of money, but less than 10% of what the Applicants had originally demanded.

Federal Court Of Appeal Dismisses Appeal For Costs

[12] Mr. Galati argued for an award of costs in his favour calculated on the basis of 56.4 hours of service at an hourly rate of $800, plus disbursements in the amount of $638, for a total award (including tax) of $51,706. The CRC claimed costs of $16,769 based on 14.55 hours of service by its counsel, Mr. Slansky, at an hourly rate of $800. In argument, Mr. Galati acknowledged that his regular hourly rate is not $800 as his clientele do not have the means to pay such an exalted rate. He advised that $800 per hour is the rate for substantial indemnity pursuant to Part 1 of Tariff A of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990 Reg. 194, for lawyers of his year of call and experience.

[13] The Attorney General opposed Mr. Galati’s and the CRC’s motions and filed a cross motion seeking the dismissal of the Joint Application. On the question of costs, the Attorney General argued that since, as of the date of the argument, no judgement had been rendered in the Joint Application, there was no successful party and therefore no basis for an order for costs. In any event, the Attorney General argued that there was no constitutional right to costs. If an order of costs were to be made, having regard to the factors mentioned in Rule 400(3) of the Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98-106, it should be a single award assessed on Column III of Tariff B.

[28] The difficulty confronting the Joint Applicants is that they were not successful in their application. The Federal Court found that the Joint Application “was derailed and supplanted by the Reference”: see Reasons at paragraph 12. It was therefore dismissed for mootness. Mr. Galati and the CRC take the position that because the Reference produced the result which they sought in the Joint Application, they were successful and entitled therefore to their solicitor client costs. It doesn’t work that way. The fact that their application apparently set in motion a series of events which led to the conclusion which they hoped to achieve in their application does not make them successful litigants. It may make them successful politically or in the popular press, but that is a different matter. They can only claim costs in relation to the judicial treatment of the Joint Application which, as noted, was dismissed. To hold otherwise would be to create something in the nature of a finder’s fee for constitutional litigation.

[35] To be “in bed” with someone is to collude with that person. I do not understand how one could hope to protect the right to a fair and independent judiciary by accusing courts of colluding with the government if they don’t give the applicant its solicitor client costs. The entire Court system, it seems, must be alleged to be actually or potentially acting in bad faith in order to instill public confidence in the fairness and independence of the judiciary. This is reminiscent of the gonzo logic of the Vietnam War era in which entire villages had to be destroyed in order to save them from the enemy. The fact that this argument is made in support of an unjustified monetary claim leads to the question “Whose interest is being served here?” Certainly not the administration of justice’s. This argument deserves to be condemned without reservation.

[47] Like my colleague, I agree that there are no grounds for setting aside the costs order of the Federal Court and I would dismiss the appeal with costs in the amount of $1,000. Had the respondents asked for more, I would have granted more.

The Federal Court of Appeal was pretty scathing in their review. Yes, the $5,000 award was appealed on the grounds that it wasn’t nearly enough, and the Applicants had a “right” to costs.

The FCA reiterated that there was no “win on the merits”. The parties had agreed to stay the Application in favour of letting the SCC Reference go ahead. True, it produced the outcome that was sought, but that’s not the same as actually winning.

The FCA took serious issue the implication that the Courts were “in bed with” the Government for not giving him his costs. Keep in mind, he was self represented. In the public sphere, this would have led to a defamation lawsuit.

The FCA rejected the notion that the Nadon appointment “went to the architecture of the Constitution”. Yes, it was an important question, but outside of a small amount of people, it had no impact.

The FCA also pointed out how absurd it was to use the Ontario guidelines for costs submissions when in Federal Court. Was this simply oversight? Incompetence? Or a way to justify inflated billing?

Supreme Court Denies Application For Leave (For Costs)

The applications for leave to appeal from the judgement of the Federal Court of Appeal, Number A-541-14, 2016 FCA 39, dated February 8, 2016, are dismissed with costs.

Not content with losing at the Federal Court of Appeal, “Mr. Bad Beyond Argument” sought Leave (permission) to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. This wasn’t about Justice Nadon, but another attempt at having someone recognize “his Constitutional right to costs”. This is nonsense, and it appears that he spent more time and effort trying to get costs than in the original Application.

Serious question: Is it considered fraud to misrepresent the results of Court cases, if done for the purposes of self-promotion, and generating business? The Nadon case has been held up as a “major win on the merits”, even though that’s not the truth. This was from 2013 to 2016.

Again, a better description would be, “thank you for bringing it to our attention”.

Fast forward to 2024, and groups like Action4Canada and Vaccine Choice Canada lie about their cases in order to keep the donation money rolling in. They pretend that losses and endless delays are somehow “wins”. At what point does puffery and self-promotion cross into outright deception?

COURT DECISIONS:
(1) Supreme Court Reference ss. 5 and 6 2014 SCC 21 (CanLII), [2014] 1 SCR 433
(2) Federal Court On Motion For Costs 2014 FC 1088 (CanLII)
(3) Federal Court Of Appeal On Costs 2016 FCA 39 (CanLII)
(4) Supreme Court Of Canada On Costs 2016 CanLII 47514 (SCC)

COURT DOCUMENTS:
(1) Nadon Reference Case Notice Of Application
(2) Nadon Reference Case AG Motion To Stay
(3) Nadon Reference Case Order Staying Application
(4) Nadon Reference Case RG Motion For Costs
(5) Nadon Reference Case AG Cross Motion Record
(6) Nadon Reference Case AG Reply Submissions On Costs

ORDER IN COUNCIL SEARCH:
(1) https://orders-in-council.canada.ca/