Craig Responds to Lois Keays re Land Claim

What follows is a part of a facebook thread regarding the Sauble Land Claim (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1916023288690195/).

Lois Keays:
We seem to agree on a major issue. Exorbitant legal costs with no apparent benefit to the residents. Lisus legal costs were published by Ana Vukovic on this thread as $263,981.00 March 31, 2015 to August 30, 2018. Prior to that our law firm was Donneley and Murphy. I have Donneley Murphy costs 2012 to 2015 at $27,253.49. I do not have the figures prior to that.

In November 2014, Chippewa of Saugeen First Nation (“CSFN”) had a very weak case and we had a very strong defence developed. We had a very strong chance of winning the lawsuit, and a very strong chance of getting our reasonable legal fees paid by CSFN. But it seems Janice Jackson has changed all that.

In 2015 or 2016 Janice Jackson, without legitimate authority, formed a committee of herself and Jay Kirkland and made the committee responsible for all decisions regarding the land claim. Jay told me later that the “committee” never met and that Jackson alone was actually making the land claim decisions. Jackson had without authority put herself in full control, shutting out the legitimate decision maker (council) and completely shutting out the residents.

For obvious reasons I cannot get into detail, but based on what I can see, which is limited, my feeling is that as a result of Jackson’s unlawful takeover, our position has been weakened. So now I expect that there is a greater risk of losing the lawsuit, and a greater risk that we will not recover our legal costs, and a greater risk that we will have to pay some of the legal costs of CSFN. Just an opinion.

The way to fix this is to get Jackson out of the Mayor’s chair.

While Mr. Gammie is very righteous in his undocumented analysis of the “Civil Litigation” while alleging that the Federal Government has no representative bearing in Crown controlled Reserve lands…or those subject to dispute, is ill-informed at best. While referencing my concerns as speculative, hear-say and red-herrings, I will contend that he has produced no documented evidence of his knowledge, but provides his views and opinions as fact. On one hand, I’m told I can access information and in the same breath told accounting of costs was removed (a fact of which I’m well aware).”
July 5, 2014 I presented my analysis to over 700 residents at the Sauble Community Center. My website at: http://craiggammie.com/Home.html has my July 5, 2015 presentation and about 29 other documents related to the case. I have not kept the site up to date. I plan to add the 2016 pleadings by the parties and my updated 2018 analysis and some excellent analysis conducted by David Dobson. My analysis is anything but “undocumented”.

What I said was that the Federal Government is not judging the lawsuit – the courts are.

“I was raised with an acute awareness of dishonoured Treaties.”

So was I. The treaty was not dishonoured.

”As to when I raised my concerns with the Town of South Bruce Peninsula about committing taxpayer funds, that was June 2015 when a response from Mayor Jackson told me I could get back to her in 3.5 years for a complete list of this Council’s accomplishments.

The mayor’s response, in my view, was improper, offensive and outrageous.

”You also suggest that this Land Claim has been in the Courts for 28 years…obviously without the financial involvement of the Municipality.”

The municipality has been financially involved since 1990 (as Amabel Township), albeit at a much lower level.

”And then I have this written quotation from Mayor Jackson: “Regarding the First Nations; We have not committed to full litigation. We have simply committed to discovering where we stand legally.”  So…what is it exactly? The Town of SBP is fully invested in litigation or merely “discovering” a position? Who was called for Examinations for Discovery?”
The mayor is not being truthful. We can change to the settlement route if we want to but unless there is a settlement we are committed to litigation. The third alternative of just not showing up to defend ourselves is not on the table.

I am pretty sure, but not positive, that there has been no discovery yet.

“As to the argumentative dismissal of my concerns about scarce municipal resources being used to encourage massive numbers day-tripping tourists, my reference is to the use of our “free” features, while adding huge burden to SBP infrastructure…roads, waste management, enforcement, policing, etc. etc. I have heard and seen…with my own ears and eyes, the toll it is taking on the ratepayers of SBP.”

I see your point. I agree with you. Tourism is a net cost to the taxpayers.

“Perhaps asking some of the ratepayers, not personally invested in a relatively insignificant commercial assessment at Sauble Beach, if they are happy with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on an idea of proprietorship. …..So what do we have? An insignificant commercial tax base from which to sustain an increasing demand on services, funded almost entirely by residential taxpayers, to ensure access by tourists to a natural resource…with virtually no cost-benefit.”

Please explain. Are you saying the $263,981.00 was spent on “proprietorship? Are you saying the $263,981.00 was spent to ensure access by tourists?

“I will do my due-diligence in finding fact based information regarding the First Nations filing of a suit, which is not forthcoming from the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. Instead we are asked to “believe” the assertions as described above.”

It seems you do not believe what Janice Jackson says. I don’t either.

“The first order of business is to determine if SON (Saugeen Ojibway Nation) or SFN (Saugeen First Nation) are the claimants.”

The 2016 Plaintiff’s claim says “CHIPPEWAS OF SAUGEEN FIRST NATION”:

https://craiggammieblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/third-plaintiff-statement-of-claim-amended-april-21-2016.pdf

The town’s latest pleading:

https://craiggammieblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/south-bruce-2017-01-19-fresh-as-amended-defence-etc-of-south-bruce.pdf

That takes care of the first order of business. On to the second. Get Janice Jackson out of the mayor’s chair. October 22, 2018.

Craig

 

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Does Audio Recording and Transcript of the August 11, 2017 Council Meeting Beach Raking Discussion Suggest that Janice Jackson, Jay Kirkland, and Matt Jackson Are Guilty of the Offence of Damaging Piping Plover Habitat?

Section 37 of the endangered species act reads:

“If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, an officer, director, employee or agent of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence is party to and guilty of the offence and is liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted for the offence.”

The audio of the August 11, 2017 council discussion of beach raking is at: http://saublesewer.devuna.com/AudioDocuments.html

(Choose “2017”, then August 11, 2017 Special Council Meeting.  The beach discussion starts at 00:43:00 [hr/min/sec] and ends about 01:03:41)

A transcript of the audio is at:

http://www.craiggammie.com//documents/Transcriptpartaugust112017councilrebeachrake.pdf

In law they are presumed innocent, but still the August 11, 2017 council meeting audio recording and transcript may suggest that Janice Jackson, Jay Kirkland, and Matt Jackson “directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence” of damaging piping plover habitat at the beach August and September 2017, and may thus be accountable per section 37.

They should resign immediately. And if they are held accountable in a court of law, they should not be allowed to force the residents to pay their fines.

Also from the August 11, 2017 audio and transcript, it is clear that Ana Vukovic and I tried to stop the bulldozing of plover habitat.

Like so many others, I bet on the wrong horse in 2014.   I will not make the same mistake in October.

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Janice Jackson starts the mayoral race with a gratuitous and dishonest personal attack against her opponent Ana Vukovic (8-4)

In an interview with OSST reporter Denis Langlois, Mayoral Candidate Ana Vukovic properly stuck to the issues while candidate Janice Jackson chose to dishonestly bad-mouth Ana Vukovic (https://www.wiartonecho.com/news/local-news/jackson-vukovic-in-race-for-south-bruce-peninsula-mayor/wcm/5df68160-147e-4d30-a833-f87bd0e4a97a).

In what follows I provide counterpoint to Ms. Jackson’s ad hominem attacks.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“South Bruce Peninsula’s council sessions have been marred this term by “childish outbursts,” personal attacks and shocking tantrums, says incumbent councillor and mayoral candidate Ana Vukovic. The decorum has never been so bad, she said, in the 11 years she has been at the council table.”

“It’s a toxic environment. What I have experienced in the last year-and-a-half has been just unbearable. This has to be changed,” [Ana] said Friday in an interview.

“Vukovic, who submitted her nomination papers Wednesday to challenge incumbent Mayor Janice Jackson, said one of the key planks of her election platform is a vow to bring back “civility and respect” to local government. It is the job of the mayor to keep order in the council chambers, but that has not been done this term, [Ana] said.”

Ms. Vukovic is correct. There has been a lack of decorum, and a toxic environment, and lack of “civility and respect”.  All in my experience are due to Ms. Jackson’s tactic of bullying and harassing any council member who dares to disagree with her, and also Ms. Jackson’s total disregard for the procedural rules, and use (abuse) of the rules to shut out any member who does not agree with her.  In my view Ms. Jackson created the toxic environment and Ms. Jackson is the cause of the disorder and chaos.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Jackson, ….. said she has faced “unprecedented challenges” as mayor because of former councillor Craig Gammie.”

That’s ridiculous and unsupportable.  I broke no council rules. I was never found by council to be in breach of any rules.  But it’s true I disagreed with Ms. Jackson, and quite often.  I do believe her when she says she found my dissenting views challenging.  But that does not give her the right to make false and hurtful allegations, or to bully, or harass, or punish me (or anyone else) for disagreeing with her.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“[Ms. Jackson] said it was disheartening to watch Vukovic “distance herself” from the rest of council and support Gammie in his final months on council.”

Ana has a lot of experience and wisdom.  She has disagreed with the mayor and the “rest of council” on many issues.  But in every case she disagreed with and voted against the rest of council not because she wanted to vote with me, but rather because she had considered the matters at hand very carefully and had determined that the “rest of council” was on a track that was not in the best interests of the residents.

Ms. Jackson does not seem to understand that Ms. Vukovic is quite capable of thinking for herself.  Ms. Jackson’s arrogance won’t let her even consider that a mere councillor could be right and she could be wrong.  Ana disagreed with the Mayor.   And true to form, the mayor attacked Ana for it.

From the Langlois OSST article:

““I can see now that Ana has created a ruckus at the council table to position herself for a second mayoral run,” [J. Jackson] said.”

“Ana” did not “create a ruckus at the council table”.  If she had it would have been recorded as a breach.  That did not happen.  Ms. Vukovic called out the May 1 bullying and harassment not to “create a ruckus” but rather because it needed to be called out.

When a council member disagrees with Ms. Jackson it gets spun as “created a ruckus”. That does not make it a ruckus. It just exposes Ms. Jackson as insecure and untruthful.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“I have been utterly disappointed because I expected maturity from our most senior council member.” [J. Jackson] said.”

Considering the attacks on her, Ms. Vukovic has shown remarkable restraint and maturity.  It’s Ms. Jackson’s bullying and harassing actions that are juvenile.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Gammie was twice escorted by police out of council meetings and issued trespassing tickets in 2015.”

I was twice removed from my council seat and charged on allegations of trespassing.  The allegations were absolutely groundless, all based on Ms. Jackson falsely accusing  me of breaching a council rule.  The trespassing charges were dropped, with no admission of guilt, or of breach of any council rule.

That false trespassing allegation was just another in a long series of false allegations against me, including:

1) That I defamed the CAO ($750,000 lawsuit 2012 – dropped when the town ceased paying the CAO’s legal fees),

2) That I contravened the Professional Engineers Act (charges dropped 2013, no admission of wrongdoing),

3) That I shoved the pointed end of a stick into a man’s stomach so hard he doubled over in pain (2014 – no stick ever came near the man – the discussion was recorded on video),

4)That I breached the Law Society Act (2017 – I was completely cleared by the law society),

5) That I contravened the Professional Engineers Act (2016 – did not even get to charges)

6) That I harassed the clerk (no one would put a complaint in – allegations were goundless),

(and more).

There was never any finding of guilt by a competent tribunal.

Anyone can make false allegations.  Usually without consequence to the one making the false allegations.  But often with serious consequences for the accused.  Making false allegations is nasty and cowardly.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Council later invited Gammie back to the table (after the trespassing charges).”

Denis missed the point.  Ms. Jackson proclaimed in May 2015 that unless I apologized and the apology was accepted by council I was out for the term.   I proclaimed that I would not apologize because I did not break the council rule I was accused of breaking.  I was not invited back to the table.  I just came back.  Ms. Jackson decided not to call the police a third time because the town lawyer told her that removing me was improper and the trespassing charges were groundless and that trying to keep me out would be improper and if Ms. Jackson persisted a judge would order me back in.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Council voted in December to declare Gammie’s seat vacant, which Jackson at the time said they had to do because he had missed three consecutive months of meetings without council’s permission.”

Council could have presumed me innocent of the charges against me and given me permission to miss meetings.  Contrary to Jackson, council did not have to remove me.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“In May, Vukovic stated during a council meeting that she had been harassed by fellow council members and was called an “idiot, moron and psycho” at a special closed session.”

Ms. Vukovic was also called “a stupid old woman”, by bullies Ms. Jackson and Matt Jackson.  For disagreeing with the Mayor and the councillor.   Over a motion to add staff to the payroll at a cost of $300,000 per year to the taxpayers.  Which Ms. Ana Vukovic  considered unnecessary. Ana was bullied for considering the taxpayers.  Ana was bullied for properly representing the taxpayers.  Ana was bullied for doing what she was elected to do.

From the Langlois OSST article, Ms. Jackson’s comment about the May 1 bullying:

“However, Jackson said at the time that any words exchanged were outside of council meetings.“

It is true – the words were spoken outside of a formal council meeting.  But the words were spoken in council chambers.  Which is the workplace.   That made the nasty words “workplace harassment”.

And the May 1 words were also a breach of the council code of conduct (“no member will maliciously or falsely injure or impugn the professional or ethical reputation of any member of Council; every member has the duty and responsibility to treat .. one another appropriately and without abuse, bullying or intimidation; no member shall engage in any form of slanderous, malicious or demeaning communication in regard to other members of Council”).  Janice Jackson and Matt Jackson bullied, harassed, abused, slandered, demeaned, and all the rest.

Ms. Jackson’s response that the words were “exchanged outside of a formal council meeting” is typical J. Jackson spin/BS, and is an irrelevant distraction.

What is relevant is that J. Jackson did not deny that the nasty words were spoken.

What is relevant is that Ana filed a complaint against Janice Jackson and Matt Jackson under the Town’s harassment policy.

What is relevant is that J. Jackson did not deny Ms. Vukovic’s written allegations against her.

What is relevant is that an independent investigator is dealing with Ana’s complaint, with a report due, and with the Ministry of Labour watching.

That was the second complaint by Councillor Vukovic against Janice Jackson.  The first was, in Councillor Vukovic’s words: “in an email to me August 14, 2017 and also in the October 10, 2017 special closed meeting Mayor Jackson: 1) made false and hurtful claims that I leaked confidential information to a staff member, 2) falsely impugned my ethical reputation, 3) bullied me, and, 4) made vexatious comments to me that were unwelcome and were workplace harassment … in contravention of the council code of conduct”.

 Ms. Jackson buried that complaint.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“”Ana has voted against doing any beach maintenance whatsoever,” [Ms. Jackson] said.“

This is simply false.  And Ms. Jackson knows it is false.  Ana made a motion August 11, 2017 to do beach maintenance only with written permission from MNRF.  That’s nowhere near “Ana has voted against doing any beach maintenance whatsoever”.  Her motion was defeated by Ms. Jackson, Mr. Kirkland and councillor Jackson.

By ordering in the bulldozer, Ms. Jackson has breached the law, let the town take the blame, and made sure any consequences fall on the taxpayers, not on her.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Jackson said as mayor, she has seized every opportunity to advance the town. South Bruce Peninsula is experiencing an unprecedented opportunity for growth, she said, and the town requires “a progressive, forward-thinking mayor who isn’t afraid to make tough decisions.””

A second charge was filed by MNRF against the town last week, for bulldozing the beach and damaging piping plover habitat in the fall of 2017.  Ms. Jackson’s decision to break the law regarding the beach at Sauble brought legal costs of $175,000 on the residents (so far) and put the residents of TSBP at risk of having to pay fines of up to $3,000,000.  And even more charges could follow.  Was that one of Ms. Jackson’s “tough decisions”?  Was that decision “progressive” and “forward-thinking”? I think not.  It was a reckless and dumb decision.

(The misguided nature of many of Ms. Jackson’s “tough decisions” will be the subject of a future post.)

A vote for Janice Jackson is a vote for more bullying of anyone who dares to disagree, and for chaos, incivility and a toxic environment.

A vote for Ana Vukovic is a vote for honesty, integrity, transparency and civility.  And a lot of experience and common sense.

 

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MNRF Lays Second Charge Against TSBP For Damaging Piping Plover Habitat (Craig’s 8-3)

In April 2016 Sauble Beach habitat of the endangered piping plover was extensively groomed by a company registered to Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland under contract to the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.  Council did not authorize the grooming of habitat, and was not informed that the grooming would be done.  The grooming was clearly in violation of the applicable town policy.  No charges were laid.

In April 2017 Sauble Beach habitat of the endangered piping plover was again extensively groomed, this time by a numbered company under contract to the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, that numbered company being registered to James Ray Kirkland, brother of Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland.  Council did not authorize the grooming of habitat, and was not informed that the grooming would be done.  The grooming was clearly in violation of the applicable town policy.

On March 21, 2018, following a nine month investigation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry  charged the town with contravention of the Endangered Species Act, alleging that the April 2017 grooming damaged piping plover habitat.

In August and September 2017 plover habitat was again extensively groomed, this time including bulldozing of habitat, this time by town staff.  Council was warned beforehand that the grooming would be unlawful.  Once again, council did not authorize the grooming of habitat.

On July 25, 2018 the MNRF laid a second charge against the town, alleging that the August/ September 2017 grooming damaged habitat in contravention of the Act.

With the two charges, the town is facing up to $3,000,000 in fines if convicted.

And there could be more charges.

Because the taxpayers are already paying the Town’s hefty legal fees ($176,085 to date and increasing rapidly), and because any fines will be paid by taxpayers, it is incumbent upon the town to be open and transparent and honest about this matter.

Yet there has been no word from the town regarding the most recent charge. And the legal fees, which have not been authorized by council, are also being kept from the public.

Habitat is defined at Sauble Beach as 500 meters each way North and South of a nest, from Lakeshore Blvd. in the East to the edge of Lake Huron in the West.  An area that was habitat while a nest is present continues to be habitat for at least one year , and as many as five years, after the birds have left the nest.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits damage or destruction of piping plover habitat. Since November 2012 TSBP policy also clearly prohibits mechanical grooming of habitat.

Council has never authorized, by resolution, grooming of piping plover habitat.  Janice Jackson, Jay Kirkland and Matt Jackson were warned in the special council meeting of August 11, 2017 that what they were considering was illegal and could bring serious consequences.

There is indication that Janice Jackson, using authority she does not legitimately possess, sanctioned the grooming of plover habitat spring 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017.  There is indication she had support from Jay Kirkland and Matt Jackson.

There is indication that Janice Jackson, using authority she does not legitimately possess, sanctioned the grooming of plover habitat spring 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017.  There is indication she had support from Jay Kirkland and Matt Jackson.

Some residents are saying that Janice Jackson directed the impugned grooming and is trying to hide her brash actions and the consequences of her brash actions out of fear that public knowledge of her role in the affair and the charges and the legal costs will harm her re-election prospects.

Some say she is trying to hide her actions out of fear that she will be personally charged, or will be personally held accountable for the town’s contravention.

The town appears in court next on August 29, 2018 for an attempt at resolution (for example a guilty plea).  If the matter cannot be resolved, a trial date will be set.   Many are watching closely.

 

Craig Gammie

Squabble Beach

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Is the 2005 Sauble Area Small Water Systems Debacle Repeating Itself? (8-1)

Around 2005 there was a project to bring a bunch of Town of South Bruce Peninsula small municipal water supply systems into compliance with Ontario law.

The Ontario environmental assessment process was used to select, from a range of alternatives, what to do.

Brad McRoberts, then TSBP manager of public works, commissioned the environmental assessments on the Sauble area systems.

But instead of letting the process lead to a choice of what to do, an alternative was selected and the assessment was rigged to support that selection. The selection was to combine the many small systems into just four systems (Sauble school, Oliphant, Huron Woods, Foreman) and upgrade.

There were at least two ways that the process was prejudiced.

Firstly, the costs were averaged for the four small systems, making the cost per user of the Oliphant, Huron Woods and Foreman (Chesley Lake) systems appear to be much lower than they really were, and making the costs of the Sauble system look higher than it really was.   This averaging was done for both capital and ongoing operating costs.

This was an inappropriate thing to do.   I believe that if the costs of the four systems had been kept separate in the decision process, the Foreman, Huron Woods and Oliphant upgrades would have been considered too expensive and the alternative solution of residents installing private systems and getting off the municipal systems would have been chosen instead. I believe that if costs had been properly portrayed, the systems would never have been upgraded as they were, as the costs were simply not feasible.

Secondly, there was an end run around the environmental assessment process.  The environmental assessment process requires that an adequate number of alternative solutions be carefully considered to cover the full range of possibilities.   That full range should have included residents installing private systems and getting off the municipal systems completely.  But the private systems solution was never considered seriously, if at all.  This too shut out the private systems option.

In my view the private systems option was eliminated because it did not fit with the agenda of then mayor Carl Noble to eventually install a TSBP- wide (or larger) water system.  The private systems option was incompatible with what was then dubbed the “big pipe dream”.

With the two deceptions Mr. McRoberts and Mr. Noble managed to get approval for their solution, (amalgamate several Sauble area systems into four upgraded municipal systems).  The result was a set of four systems, but at a price.

Here’s from the sun times June 22, 2010:

“People who own properties on the Foreman, Amabel-Sauble, Oliphant and Huron Woods water systems in South Bruce Peninsula will soon receive notices informing them they each owe the town somewhere between $9,441.223 and $12,270.86.”

If my memory is correct, the final capital bill was more like $8000 per residence, but that is still very high.

And the ongoing costs were and are also very high.

And the Oliphant system has never worked properly, even though lots of general taxpayers’ money has been poured into it.

The town is putting on a consultation Friday, July 6, 2018 at the Amabel-Sauble Community School, 3:00 pm to begin to address the issue of high costs of the Sauble area municipal water systems.

Current TSBP Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts, the very person that around 2005  shuffled the obvious low cost solution (private systems) right off the alternatives list, and who bears much of the responsibility for the current high capital costs and high operating costs systems, is now coordinating an effort to get the costs down.

The private systems solution was put before council in the current term.  But Mayor Janice Jackson kept putting up obstacles, mainly by saying that going to private systems would require prohibitively costly environmental assessment processes, (that cost per assessment being estimated by previous manager of public works as in the $200,000 plus range).

The Mayor is wrong.  She has characterized the process of switching to private systems as “fragmentation” (which would require an expensive environmental assessment).  But in fact the process of switching to private systems is not “fragmentation” at all, and would not require expensive environmental systems.

I hope I am wrong, but my concern is that the solution of going to private water supplies and shutting down some or all of the Sauble area systems will once again not be seriously considered, and through deception and false “facts” will be eliminated, or already has been eliminated as an alternative,  just like it was eliminated around 2005.

I believe that CAO McRoberts and Mayor Jackson and her council supporters have an agenda, that being either to use taxpayers’ money to get developers to build adjacent to the areas supplied by the Sauble school system and supply them with the Sauble school system, or to force all Sauble residents to abandon their private supplies and get on the Sauble school system, or both.   The latter of course will increase water costs for those currently on private systems to several hundred or even thousands of dollars per year.

And because the Ministry of the environment will be reluctant to move Sauble residents from their private systems to municipal water systems unless a municipal sewage system is also installed, Sauble residents could be looking at not only being forced to get onto a costly municipal water supply system, but also being forced to get onto a municipal sewers system, at a capital cost of $40,000 to $100,000 per residence, and additional high monthly costs.

All residents of TSBP, and especially Sauble residents, should be very concerned about where things could be heading.

I encourage all to attend the meeting Friday July 7 and watch very carefully for any attempt to deceive.

Please pass this on to other TSBP residents, especially Sauble Beach residents.

 

Craig

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Craig responds to allegations regarding legal costs

Dear xxxx:

I challenged you to provide evidence to back up your claim that I cost the taxpayers money. You provided none. So it’s not surprising that your information is wrong.

There were indeed costs “related to” my legal proceedings. But the costs were not “because of” my proceedings. And yes there is a difference.

Council banning me from town hall in 2013 is an excellent example.

When I was banned I immediately took the town to court, asking the court to strike down the banning resolution for illegality.

Council should never have banned me. And once served with my application to quash, the town could have and should have just rescinded the banning resolution. Not banning me in the first place or dropping the ban immediately, either way the costs to the town would have been zero.

But instead, incredibly, the council members dug in their heels and chose to fight me. And $150,000 of taxpayers’ money later the council realized that the ban was illegal and rescinded the resolution, an admission that it was illegal. Then a Superior Court judge found that the resolution was illegal, and said it would have been quashed had it not been rescinded.

Council had launched an illegal and unjustified attack on me, and when I stood up to the bullies they used taxpayers’ money to try to knock me down. Not their own money – taxpayer’s money.

Council is responsible and accountable for the costs to the taxpayer, not me.

There is a similar story for every one of the proceedings I was involved in. In every case council had a choice, and they chose badly, at great cost to the taxpayers. In every case council is both responsible and accountable for the costs.

My advice to you, xxxx , is this; The next time you hear unsupported injurious allegations about me (or about anybody else), do some fact-checking before you decide whether or not to pile on.

 

Craig Gammie

 

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Clerk’s Violation of Protection of Privacy Law Swept Under the Carpet

The Municipal Act has provisions designed to ensure that council conducts business in a manner that is open and transparent. Included is the requirement that council discussions must be open to the public unless they fall within exceptions listed in the Act.
On the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (“TSBP”) March 20, 2018 council agenda is a closed session item entitled MC15-41. The agenda claims that the matter qualifies to be in closed session because it meets two Municipal Act criteria, namely “litigation” and “solicitor-client privilege”.

I am familiar with the matter on the agenda and I am confident that the matter meets neither the “litigation” nor the “solicitor-client” criteria, and as such is not legally allowed in closed session. I am also confident that the matter is being discussed in closed to hide from the residents the July 16, 2015 illegal action of the town clerk Angie Cathrae that brought us to this point.

The situation should not be hidden from the residents. Accordingly I describe the situation.

On June 9, 2015 a resident, Dan Kerr, asked Clerk Cathrae for information regarding court matters that I was involved in. Ms. Cathrae knows or reasonably ought to know that the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”) prohibits her from giving out my personal information without my permission. Yet that is exactly what she did. She gave out my personal information. I submit that the release of my personal information was not inadvertent, but was rather wilful and malicious.
The requesting resident, Dan Kerr, then used the information to slander me in emails sent broadly, including to the press. Even some press members slandered me, albeit apparently inadvertently.

I could have asked that Clerk Cathrae be charged under the provincial offences act. But Ms. Cathrae was at the time in control of the TSBP legal budget, and would have paid her legal costs and any fines out of that budget, forcing the taxpayers to pay and holding herself harmless. Instead of prosecuting, I went to the office of the Ontario Freedom Of Information And Protection Of Privacy Commissioner (“IPC”), complaining on July 16, 2015 that by disclosing my personal information Clerk Cathrae had violated MFIPPA section 48, and the TSBP had violated section 32. (Ms. Cathre racked up significant legal bills anyway, paid for by taxpayers.)

The IPC investigated and found that the town had indeed contravened section 32 of MFIPPA by releasing my personal information.

The full IPC report is at:

https://decisions.ipc.on.ca/ipc-cipvp/privacy/en/item/306604/index.do

The report summary reads as follows:

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario (IPC) received a privacy complaint from an individual involving the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (the town). The complainant was concerned that the town had improperly disclosed his personal information to another individual, without notice, in contravention of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act . This Report finds that the town’s disclosure of the complainant’s personal information was not in accordance with section 32 of the Act..

The report wording “the town’s disclosure .. was not in accordance with section 32 of the Act” is softspeak for “the town’s disclosure .. was in contravention of the Act”. The IPC report clearly found that release of my personal information was in contravention of MFIPPA.

But the IPC refused to investigate my allegation that Ms. Cathrae had contravened section 48.

Nevertheless, the finding that the town contravened section 32, combined with the fact that Clerk Cathrae acted for the town, is a finding, by implication, that Ms. Cathrea personally contravened MFIPPA section 48.

I submitted to the IPC that Ms. Cathrae’s violation of section 48 was wilful and malicious, and I stand by that submission.

Ms. Cathrae has been gunning for me ever since I exposed her manipulation of the minutes of the committee of the whole meeting of May 17, 2011 so as to make it look like I had violated the Professional Engineers Act, a manipulation by Ms. Cathrae that got me charged with seven counts of breach of that Act, and had me facing fines of over $150,000, and jail time too. (The charges were dropped after I exposed Ms. Cathrae’s wilful misrepresentations.)

The intensity of Ms. Cathrae’s animosity towards me is apparent in the audio recording of the September 20, 2016 council meeting, which is at:

http://saublesewer.devuna.com/Documents/20160920%20Council.wma

The agenda item starts at 1:47:00 on the audio recording. Ms. Cathrae’s tirade starts at 2:02:48.

In the September 20, 2016 council meeting I was accused of: 1) practicing law without a licence (contravening the Law Society Act), 2) breach of conflict of interest law, and 3) harassment of the clerk. I challenged my accusers to put their allegations before a competent adjudicator. They declined. But they put the allegation of practicing law without a licence before the Law Society of Upper Canada, which is not an adjudicator, but which nonetheless found that I did not breach the Law Society Act. Details of that fiasco are at:

https://craiggammieblog.com/2017/09/18/yet-another-allegation-against-councillor-gammie-practicing-law-without-a-licence-exposed-as-a-vexatious-malicious-baseless-lie/

The IPC cover-up

My complaint to the IPC was lodged July 16, 2015.

About October 2016 IPC investigator Natalie Rioux indicated to me that she had completed her investigation and that she had found that Clerk Cathrae had breached MFIPPA. Ms. Rioux indicated that she planned on releasing her report before the end of 2016.

The expected release date was missed. I called Ms. Rioux several times after December 31, 2016 asking when the report would be issued, always getting a reply of “soon”.

When Ms. Rioux and I chatted on September 15, 2017 Ms. Rioux told me that the IPC had received a call from Mayor Janice Jackson in December 2016 regarding the investigation.

A draft report was issued by Ms. Rioux to the parties on September 29, 2017, (9 months after the end-of-2016 expectation). There was not even a hint in the draft report that my allegation that Clerk Cathrae had violated section 48 had been heard, acknowledged, investigated, considered, decided, or anything else. My complaint that the clerk had contravened section 48 was completely sanitized out.

In an October 11, 2017 letter to Ms. Rioux I vigorously protested the sanitization.
The final report, issued February 22, 2018, more than 31 months after my complaint was lodged, spoke to my protest (that my allegation that Clerk Cathrae had breached section 48 was conspicuously missing).

In Ms. Rioux’s report paragraph 45 my protest was acknowledged. Then in paragraph 46 Ms. Rioux said:

[MFIPPA section 48(1)(a)] requires the consent of the Attorney General to commence a prosecution.

That is false. Section 48(3) of MFIPPA makes clear that only sections 48(1) (d), (e) or (f) require consent of the Attorney General, and makes clear that prosecution under section 48(1)(a) does not require consent of the Attorney General. (Did they really think I wouldn’t check?)

Also Ms. Rioux’s statement is irrelevant because I did not request commencement of a prosecution, and I made very clear to Ms. Rioux at the outset that I had chosen not to proceed along the prosecution route.

Ms. Rioux also said:

This investigation is not an appropriate forum to consider whether a person has committed an offence under the Act and the IPC has no jurisdiction to conduct a trial of a provincial offence. That jurisdiction is with the Ontario Court of Justice, and I therefore decline to make a finding on this issue.

The flaw in this rationalization is that the IPC could have applied the same “reasoning” to the issue of whether section 32 was breached, but clearly did not. Also I did not request a “trial of a provincial offence” or any trial.

The IPC rationale for not investing my allegation that Ms. Cathrae breached section 48(1)(a) is patently absurd.

The evidence before me includes:

1) the report that mayor Janice Jackson called the IPC in December 16 about the matter,
2) the sanitization of section 48 from the September 29, 2017 draft report,
3) the extreme delay in producing the final report, and
4) the absurd and groundless rationalization in the final February 22, 2018 IPC report for not investigating or finding on my allegation that Ms. Cathrae had breached MFIPPA section 48,

Given that compelling (albeit circumstantial) evidence the only conclusion that I can reach is that there must have been political interference brought to bear in order to protect Ms. Cathrae.

I believe that the IPC act of sanitizing out and then circumventing my allegation that Ms. Cathrae contravened section 48 was a cover-up.

Is a council cover-up under way?

I further submit that the plan to hold the TSBP council discussion of the IPC report on March 20, 2018 in closed session, out of sight of the residents, shielded from scrutiny, and immune to criticism, is nothing less than a council execution of another cover-up.

I expect that in closed session a majority of council will declare by resolution:

1) that Ms. Cathrae was accused of breach of MFIPPA,
2) that the IPC investigated the allegation,
3) that the IPC did not find that Ms. Cathrae breached MFIPPA, and,
4) that therefore Ms. Cathrae is vindicated.

But if it stays in closed session we will never know, will we?

Bullying of those who in good faith criticize a staff member or a council member is becoming all too common. It is my hope that residents will expose the bullying, and stand up to the bullies.

 

Craig Gammie, Councillor-in-Exile

 

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