Despite some efforts by known disrupters, the Amabel Property Owners Association successfully held a meeting October 8th to discuss the Sauble Land Claim.
The Sun Times and Wiarton Echo articles (http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2016/10/09/gammie-holds-sauble-land-claim-meeting) about the October 8 meeting reported Janice Jackson’ comments as:
Gammie has been in contact with [land claim lawyer] Lisus on a number of occasions, and council had to limit contact from everyone, except for Jackson and Clerk Angie Cathrae. “At $900 an hour we can’t afford to have Coun. Gammie phoning him on a daily basis, which is what he was doing,” said Jackson.
Jackson’s claim that I have phoned Lisus “on a daily basis” is a huge, ridiculous, malicious, and obvious lie.
My first contact with Lisus was on or about December 19, 2014, two months before we hired him.
My phone records show that from March 1, 2016 until now I did not call Lisus or his office, not even once. This puts to a lie Jackson’s statement that I phoned Lisus “on a daily basis”.
My journal indicates that between my first contact with Lisus on December 19, 2014, and February 28, 2016, I called Lisus twice. My phone records will confirm this.
The first call was in May 2015 and my recollection is that I only left a voicemail and did not actually talk to Lisus. It was a very short message related to some crown patents that I had sent him.
The second was a message left about October 9, 2015 letting Lisus know that I had couriered some documents that Janice Jackson had asked a lawyer friend of mine to send to Lisus. The documents were unrelated to the land claim. There was absolutely no discussion of the Sauble land claim.
There is no way anyone (except Jackson and her ilk) could get “Gammie phones Lisus daily” out of those two calls in two years, especially when one of the calls was not even about the land claim.
I cannot imagine why the mayor would risk what little is left of her credibility by telling such a huge and obvious lie, a lie that she had to know I could so easily prove false.
The only plausible explanation is that I am somehow getting too close to the truth about what she is doing with the land claim file.
It begs the questions “why is she trying to discredit and shut out those residents with the best understanding of what the 1854 era treaty, maps, field note and journals really say?”
It begs the question “what is she trying to hide?”
Just as ridiculous as the “big lie” (that Gammie phoned Lisus daily) is Jackson’s threat, captured by the press as:
Saturday’s meeting was recorded and if Gammie has harmed the town’s position in the claim in any way she says action will be taken against him. “I have sent a preliminary report to Jonathan Lisus and I will follow up once I hear the recording and he wants a copy of the recording as well,” said Jackson.
Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, (subject to fair and just laws restricting things like defamation).
Recent jurisprudence indicates that a municipality cannot sue a citizen for defamation.
Specifically, in the case of Montague (Township) v. Page, Judge Pedlar found:
It is the very essence of a democracy to engage many voices in the process, not just those who are positive and supportive. By its very nature, the democratic process is complex, cumbersome, difficult, messy and at times frustrating, but always worthwhile, with a broad based participation absolutely essential. A democracy cannot exist without freedom of expression, within the law, permeating all of its institutions. If governments were entitled to sue citizens who are critical, only those with the means to defend civil actions would be able to criticize government entities.
Judge Pedlar then dismissed, on summary motion (no trial), the defamation lawsuit filed by the township of Montague.
At the October 8th meeting I exercised my right to freedom of expression.
There is no way that I can be charged or successfully sued by the town for anything I said or could have said at the meeting. Jackson’s threat is empty.
I submit that Jackson’s empty threat was made to try to get me to stop sharing the truth with residents, to try to intimidate me into stopping my research on the land claim, and to try to intimidate me into silence.
This is not the first time Janice Jackson has threatened an executive member of the Amabel Property Owners Association with legal action. The first time was just as ridiculous and empty as the current one.
Jackson’s threat will have just the opposite effect of what she intended and must have anticipated. Another Amabel Property Owners Association meeting regarding the land claim is in the works, for July, 2017, tentatively the 22nd. I will continue to participate as much as possible.
Several other very unusual and unexplained actions by Janice Jackson before the “big lie” and the “empty threat” gave me cause to wonder why residents were being kept in the dark again regarding the Sauble beach Land claim, including:
- A 2014 consultant’s report commissioned by the town and received by the town and very favourable to the town was never released to the public.
- A meeting agreed upon April 7, 2015 in which I was to share insights and evidence with land claim lawyer Jonathan Lisus was inexplicably quashed by Janice Jackson, and instruction was given to Lisus not to correspond with me at all, effectively shutting me out.
- January 19, 2016, a council majority gave the mayor and deputy what they interpret as authority to address all legal matters (presumably including the land claim) without the knowledge or approval of the rest of council. (Council had no legitimate authority to delegate that decision making power).
- At a July, 2016 meeting of Janice Jackson’s fan club, Ms. Jackson spoke favourably about the clearly critically-flawed David Dobson theory about the Rankin 1854 draft map notation “N E < Ind. Res.” (https://craiggammieblog.com/2016/10/26/sauble-land-claim-what-is-the-meaning-of-the-7th-street-post-notation-ne-ind-res-craigs-6-5/) and made no reference to the fact that the same David Dobson has filed a lawsuit against the town in connection with the land claim.
- In an August 13, 2016 council meeting I tried to talk about the land claim and the critically-flawed Dobson theory and was rudely shut down by Janice Jackson and members of her fan club.
- A September 26, 2016 letter from J. Jackson and J. Kirkland, written by lawyer Lisus at taxpayers’ expense, falsely stated that after the lawyer was engaged I had “seized the opportunity to discuss [my] evidence with the Town solicitor”, and without grounds accused me of “conduct in the community that has the potential to be divisive and disrespectful to the process and those involved.”
- About October 3, 2016 Janice Jackson sent emails around telling residents that the Land Claim meeting being put on by Amabel Property Owners Association on October 8 was improper. (Amabel Property Owners Association held the October 8 meeting anyway. Given Janice Jackson’s history of disruption, she was asked not to come.)
- Determined to disrupt anyway, or to discredit me at the October 8th meeting, Janice Jackson had lawyer Lisus write a letter (dated October 7th), disputing and contradicting my claim that I had been prevented by Jackson from corresponding with him. Jackson also had resident Karen Kochany read the letter at the October 8th Amabel Property Owners Association meeting. The lawyer’s claims were lies (https://craiggammieblog.com/2016/10/14/lawyer-denies-councillor-gammie-shut-out-of-land-claim-discussions-gammie-responds-6-4/) .
The prospect of ten storey hotels lining the beach and signs saying “hotel patrons only on the beach” has many residents concerned.
With her “big lie” and her ridiculous ultimatum, and all the other shenanigans, is it fair to ask whether we should continue to trust Jackson to manage or co-manage the land claim file?
Sooner or later residents will find out whether Jackson is hiding something, and if so, what. Anyone who has any insights please share by commenting on this post at www.craiggammieblog.com
I recommend commenting under an alias. To avoid becoming a target of bitter retaliation.