Censorship of another Councillor’s Report – What is the mayor trying to cover up? (6-7)

An application for minor variance re 600 Mallory Beach Road was made October 30, 2015. The application was heard by the Committee of Adjustment (“COA”) on April 27, 2016.  A neighbour at 598 Mallory Beach Road objected to the variance.

It has been reported that at the April 27 Committee of Adjustment (“COA”) meeting, COA member Councillor Vukovic angrily waved her finger at the objectors,  disparaged them (“shame, shame, shame”), and belittled them for not having a modern septic system (“do you mean that you go in a

pail? “).

The COA granted the variance subject to several conditions that the applicant had to meet.

The objectors appealed the COA decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”).

The appeal to the OMB was discussed by council in closed session June 7, 2016.

The OMB hearing was August 12, 2016.  An OMB decision was handed down December 12, 2016.

It is clear from the OMB decision paragraph 34 that someone in attendance at the June 7, 2016 closed session of council had passed closed session information to the applicant or to someone working with the applicant, in clear violation of the council code of ethics in place at the time.

The Municipal Act provides for council to hire an integrity commissioner to investigate possible breaches of a council code of ethics.

I felt that there had been a serious breach of the code of ethics by a member of council, and that the act had been done in an attempt to prejudice the OMB hearing to the advantage of the variance applicants and to the disadvantage of the appellants.

Because I felt that the breach was very serious, I wrote a report to council recommending that an integrity commissioner be hired to investigate the alleged breach of the code of ethics.  My report as submitted is attached below.

Using authority she does not legitimately possess, the report was censored in its entirety by the mayor, Janice Jackson.

The report did not make it onto the December 20, 2016 council agenda.

The TSBP procedural by law provides that the mayor can refuse to put a report on the council agenda if any of these conditions are present:

1) the report is in violation of law,

2) the report is in violation of policy,

3) the report would harm the Town.

When I asked specifically why my report had been completely censored, the response I got from the mayor gave no indication of a “violation of law” or of “harm the Town”.  But the mayor did claim this: “I sent the report back to you because it went against our policy.”

It is clear that Ms. Jackson was somehow claiming that my report was a “violation of policy” (number 2 criterion).

In fact my report as submitted is neither a “violation of policy” nor “against our policy”.

The policy (Policy A 3.1 Code of Conduct) merely says:

10.3 Any individual may make written complaint to the Clerk with respect to

member adherence to the Code of Conduct.

10.4 The complaint will be forwarded to the Ombudsman’s Office to review the

complaint and take any action deemed necessary by that organization.

Ms. Jackson’s claim that my report violated policy invalid, for several reasons:

1) My concern was about member adherence to the code of ethics in place at the time between June 7 and August 12, 2016.  That concern is properly addresses by hiring an integrity commissioner, not by looking to a code of conduct which was not even passed until two months later.

2) Even if the code of conduct had been in place from June 7 to August 12 (which it wasn’t), the code of conduct does not indicate or imply that the only allowable way to deal with a concern is to file a complaint with the clerk so it can be forwarded to the Ombudsman. The code says “an individual may make written complaint to the Clerk”.  The word “may” clearly means that filing a complaint with the clerk is discretionary, meaning that other forms of addressing alleged code violations are not prohibited in any way by the policy.

3) Even if hiring an Integrity commissioner were a violation of policy (which it is not), that would not make my report a violation of policy, because the report does not hire the commissioner but merely recommends such.

4) Restricting by policy the way a complaint can be handled would be contrary to the municipal act, and would thus be of no force.

It follows that hiring an integrity commissioner to investigate an alleged breach of the code of ethics in place at the time is not in violation of the current policy.  It further follows that my report is not in violation of policy 3.1 .

Thus my report is not a violation of the policy or even contradictory or non-adhering to policy.

It follows that Ms. Jackson had and has absolutely no legitimate grounds to censor my report.

Ms. Jackson has a history of shutting out views that she disagrees with, especially views that are critical of her actions or actions of her allies.

She has abused her authority by: illegally having me arrested for trespassing as I sat in my council seat during a council meeting; having a town lawyer file a ridiculous and unsupportable complaint to the upper Canada law society; having the TSBP land claim lawyer write a letter to Ms. Jackson falsely claiming that I had multiple contacts with that lawyer (https://craiggammieblog.com/2016/10/14/lawyer-denies-councillor-gammie-shut-out-of-land-claim-discussions-gammie-responds-6-4/) ;  claimed to the press the huge lie that I had contacted the land claim lawyer daily (http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2016/10/09/gammie-holds-sauble-land-claim-meeting); censored a report about the OPP not dong their duty with respect to fireworks bylaw enforcement; and much more.

I submit that the censorship of my report about a breach of closed session confidentiality is either naivety in the extreme or else an attempt to cover up the alleged transgression.   I believe it is the latter.

The censored report is attached below.

The censorship is of concern as it is just one more tool that the Mayor is using to shut out those with views that are different than her own.

If you share my concern, I urge you to let council know.

I would be remiss if I did not warn you that others have been silenced using various retaliatory measures, including intimidation (“something bad will happen to you if you continue to oppose me”).

Craig

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gammie-report-2016-09-re-possible-breach-of-closed-re-omb-160476

 

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The mayor’s big lie; can we trust her with the Sauble land claim file? (6-6)

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).
  • 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.)

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.

 

Craig Gammie

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Sauble Land Claim – What is the meaning of the 7th street post notation NE < Ind. Res.? (Craig's 6-5)

On October 8, 2016 the Amabel Property Owners Association organized a meeting of residents to talk about the Sauble Land Claim.  At that meeting I showed a picture of an 1855 draft map, made by surveyor Charles Rankin, of Amabel township, the Saugeen Reserve, and the Chief’s point reserve.  I also showed on the map what appears to be a post, along with the notation “NE < Ind. Res.”.

ne-notation

David Dobson had earlier come up with a theory of the meaning of the notation “NE < Ind. Res.”.

At the October 8 meeting I showed how I believed Mr.  Dobson’s theory was flawed.

My powerpoint presentation, including my critique of Mr.  Dobson’s theory, was posted to:

www.amabelpoa.com

Mr. Dobson reviewed my presentation and took offence, posting on his blog a reply to my critique of his theory:

http://saublelandclaim.blogspot.ca/2016/10/lets-set-record-straight-or-pissing.html

A long discussion followed in the form of comments to the posting, with two anonymous commenters , AM and AG, joining in.

I determined that I needed to use drawings and pictures to carry on the dialogue, so I am posting this on my own blog at:

www.craiggammieblog.com

(with a link posted on David’s blog that directs to mine).

There are three or four theories being put forward by Mr. Dobson and AM regarding the “NE < Ind. Res.” notation.

Theory 1

The first theory by Mr. Dobson is that the “NE <” in the notation refers to the NE direction of the east boundary of the chief’s point reserve.   This has been disputed by me and apparently also by AM on the grounds that the direction of the chief’s point east boundary is north westerly, definitely not northeast or north easterly.  Mr. Dobson has conceded that he erred and that theory 1 is incorrect.

Theory 2

The second theory is by AM (who is anonymous), who said:

At that notation marker if you draw a cross on the page at 90 degrees to the page (which is how you calculate bearing directions) you will find that that extension line “construction line” which passes through the marker termed “N.E < Ind. Res.” actually runs in the North Easterly direction from that cross. Merely to describe this line Mr. Rankin termed it as such on this working draft copy because in fact this line runs coincident with the Saugeen Easterly boundary that ends at Main St.

The “notation marker” is the “NE < Ind. Res.” printed on Rankin’s draft map of October 12, 1855.

Contrary to AM, drawing “a cross on the page at 90 degrees to the page“ is not how bearing directions are calculated.  The edge of the page is not a reference for Rankin’s lines and the edge of a page is rarely a reference for any survey map or plan.  Contrary to Mr. Dobson and AM, the edge of the page is not an indicator of true north.  Rankin would never have made such a huge mistake as to say that the “extension line “construction line”” which passes through the marker termed “N.E < Ind. Res.” actually runs in the North Easterly direction”.  The extension line in fact does not run north easterly from any point on the map.  It is not plausible that Rankin would term the direction of the “construction line” as “NE”.   AM erred in assuming that the construction line ran north easterly and erred in assuming that Rankin saw the construction line as running North easterly.  The error is fatal to the AM theory.

AM then says:

This line then is projected N.E. and used to intersect with the extension of the easterly boundary on Chief’s point lands which it extends right though the Sauble River, This is how that bearing of N 13 deg. W is established and as shown for the bearing of the Easterly Boundary Line on Chiefs point.

That “N.E < Ind. Res.” marker was simply a way to relate the 2 separate reserve easterly boundaries together – that’s all.

Contrary to AM the construction line is not projected N.E. and cannot be projected N.E. because it does not run N.E.  But the construction line when projected does intersect the southerly extension of the eastern boundary of the Chief’s point reserve.   And the two lines do form an angle (as any two non-parallel lines will where they intersect).

But surveyors put bearings and distances on maps, not angles.  The “N 13 ° W” on the chief’s point eastern boundary as on Rankin’s final map of 1856  is a bearing, not an angle.  It is a notation to describe the direction or bearing of a line, not the relationship between two lines.   If Rankin wished to describe an angle, which would be unnecessary and highly unlikely, he would describe it as just as “13 degrees” (13°) and he would mark it as 13 ° as in the drawing below.

picture1

 

Rankin did not put the 13 degrees on the map where AM says the angle is.  It just is not there.  If Rankin wanted to indicate an angle on the map formed by the intersections of the chief’s point boundary extended southeastward and the Saugeen boundary extended northward, he would have put the notation “13 degrees” at the intersection.  He did not put anything at the intersection.  He did not put “13 degrees” anywhere to refer to that angle.

The assumption that “<” refers to the angle made by the two eastern boundaries is unsupportable. The assumption is a second fatal flaw in the theory.   The notation “NE < Ind. Res.” does not describe the angle formed by the two boundaries.

The theory was already dead, but that second fatal flaw makes sure.

Theory 3

The third theory is what I will call the Dobson / AM theory which is slightly different from the AM theory.  If anyone prefers to think of it as AM’s theory explained differently that’s fine – my critique applies just the same.

Here is how Mr. Dobson describes theory three:

The post at midpoint lot 31 represents where the True North line first meets land after extending through the water of Lake Huron from the termination of the Saugeen Reserve at Main Street. At this point he [Rankin] indicated, by way of notation, that True North ran in a north to east direction in relation to the page. To understand this you need to place a directional crosshair at the post to show how NSE and W are represented on the page.

The vertical arm of AM’s “crosshairs” is parallel to the edge of the page.

Mr.  Dobson drew these “crosshairs” like this (solid blue lines):

dobson-grid

But the edge of the page does not run north-south true.  Mr. Dobson’s (and AM’s) crosshairs are wrong.  AM’s statement that “True North [runs] in a north to east direction in relation to the page” is not only false, but also nonsensical.  True North may run in a direction slightly off vertical of the edge of the page, but the north line does not and cannot run northeast in relation to anything.  A True north line runs North, period.  So the explanation cannot account for the “NE” in “NE < Ind. Res” notation, because there is nothing northeast about the true north line, crosshairs notwithstanding, edge of page notwithstanding.

Then according to AM the theory goes:

The NE < Ind. Res. notation marks the True North extension line to the mid lot 31 post in relation to the Saugeen Eastern boundary and also the direction True North runs from the mid lot 31 post to the Sauble River in relation to the page.

This is Ok except for “in relation to the page”, because as argued above, the edge of the page is not North true, and the edge of the page is completely irrelevant.

Then the theory goes:

Rankin was using this map to help in calculating the directional bearing of Chief’s Point eastern boundary. To prove this, the map shows that he first calculated the bearing by using north as it is presented on a page; straight up and down, which gave him a rough idea of the direction bearing

Contrary to AM, North is not presented on the page as straight up and down.

Then the theory goes:

If you look closely enough you can actually see it written down on the map and the straight construction line from the top of the page which helped him calculate this angle. The bearing is shown as N 11° W.

I agree that N 11° W is a “bearing” (or direction), not an angle.  But it is not a “rough idea of the direction bearing”.

Magnetic is related to true by “variation”

Magnetic direction is different than true direction (astronomical direction).  Magnetic direction is related to true direction by “variation”.

Rankin used mostly true direction, but on the draft map he uses magnetic direction at least twice.

One is the top boundary of Amabel township, where he writes “east by needle”, which means east magnetic or 90 degrees magnetic.

rankin-east-by-needle-jpeg

But on the final map he defines the direction as S 88 deg W TRUE.  Which is the same as 88 deg True, just named in the opposite direction.

picture1

Rankin measured the variation and logged it in his field notes as 2 degrees west. The same is on each page of the field notes.

For west variation, magnetic = true plus variation

Magnetic bearing = 88 ° plus 2°  =  90°  magnetic.  “East by the needle” and “S 88° W True” are exactly the same line, only specified as opposite directions.  The final map direction is not a correction of the draft map direction.

For the traverse of the eastern boundary of the chief’s point reserve, field notes page 146, October 8, 1855, Rankin clearly indicates the astronomical direction (not the angle) as N 13 degrees West”.

This means N 13 degrees west true, which is the same as 347 degrees true (360 minus 13 = 347).

When variation is westerly the formula is:

magnetic = astronomical plus variation

So the magnetic direction equivalent to 347 degrees true (N 13 deg w true) is 347 +2 = 349 degrees magnetic which is N 11 degrees west magnetic (360 minus 11 = 349)

N 13 degrees w true and N 11 deg w magnetic are exactly the same direction.   That Rankin labelled the direction (not the angle) N 11 degrees west on his draft map of October 12, 1855 and labelled the same line 13 degrees west true in his field notes and on the final map of 1856 means nothing.

Contrary to Mr. Dobbins, the 11 deg on the draft map was not an error.

The word “true” on the final 1856 map does not indicate a correction of an error.  “True” means “astronomical”, not “corrected”.

David said:

To show this is what he [Rankin] did, the bearing from the 1855 map of N 11° W is incorrect and the actual bearing correction of N 13° W True can be seen on the official map of 1856. The working copy does not use the word “True” in the bearing description.

Of course the working copy did not use the word “true”.  Because the bearing was magnetic, not true.

Theory number three fails too.

Theory 4

Theory number 4 is the second Dobson theory:

I put forth the possibility that the notation is identifying the two lines as a statement. NE < = True North extension line and Ind. Res. = Chief’s Point extension line. Therefore the notation would read North Extension Angle Indian Reserve. What makes me think this is that the angle that produces the N 13° W True calculation is so pronounced on the page it just seems like an obvious conclusion. Also, the notation spreads across the span of the 13° angle. This makes it difficult for me to believe that this is a coincidence.

I believe this is the same as the Dobson /AM theory, but that makes no difference.

It fails for reasons above.  It would be very unusual for Rankin to put an angle on a map, and if he did he would put a number in only (not a direction) and he would put the number right in the intersection as in the drawing above.

I agree that NE means Northern extension, but < does not mean “angle”.

The theory fails.

As one writer, a surveyor, put it:

The notation < means that this is the direction or angle of the line that has to be followed south to get to the boundary.

 

 

Craig

 

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Lawyer denies councillor Gammie shut out of land claim discussions;  Gammie responds (6-4)

On October 8th the Amabel Property Owners Association put on a land claim meeting (see Wiarton Echo website October 9th), themed “why are the residents being kept in the dark (again)”.

I stated at the meeting that I had been shut out of the council land claim discussion.    I talked about an April 7, 2015 closed meeting in which lawyer Jonathan Lisus asked me to come to his Toronto office to share insights and evidence, to which I agreed and council agreed.  I said that after that council meeting Janice Jackson inexplicably emailed Mr. Lisus saying she would be the only one corresponding with the lawyer or his firm.  I stated that the planned and agreed meeting never occurred.

In an apparent attempt to discredit me, Janice Jackson got Karen Kochany, at the October 8 meeting, to read a letter ostensibly written by Mr. Lisus to Janice Jackson, that letter including:

“I write to confirm that since my engagement in this case I and other members of my law firm have had multiple communications with councillor Gammie, including a several hour meeting attended by myself, you and councillor Gammie.  Councillor Gammie’s views are incorporated in the town’s defence of the land claim and will continue to be.”

Assuming “since my engagement” means “since I was hired”, then Mr.  Lisus was “engaged” February 27, 2015 by council resolution.  The “several-hour meeting “ that Mr. Lisus refers to was December 22, 2014, a full two months before he was “engaged”.

The statement that “since my engagement in this case [there was] a meeting attended by myself, you [Jackson]and councillor Gammie” is thus clearly false.

I had a few brief communications with secretarial staff at the law firm that were about scheduling a meeting, and that were not about the case, but I did not ever have any conversations with any members of Mr. Lisus’s legal team, at any time before or after Mr. Lisus was engaged.

The statement:  “other members of my law firm have had multiple communications with councillor Gammie” implies that I had conversations regarding the details of the case with some legal person at the law firm other than Mr. Lisus.   This too is false.

I had only two brief conversations with Mr. Lisus after his engagement, one being in the closed session of April 7, 2015, in which my position was not discussed, and the second being a private short chat with Mr. Lisus on May 28, 2015 in which I informed him about a few details of the land patents I had just sent him.  The conversation by no means covered even a tiny part of my insights and evidence.

So Mr. Lisus’ claim of multiple correspondence with him after his engagement is also false.

I have views that Mr. Lisus has not even seen. So unless Mr. Lisus can read minds, the statement that “Councillor Gammie’s views are incorporated in the town’s defence of the land claim and will continue to be” is unsupportable and I believe false.

There are very technical and complex parts of my written public documents that we have never discussed, and that I would not expect Mr. Lisus to understand from only a reading of a website copy of a presentation or report.  I doubt that even my public views are incorporated into the case, (but I cannot know this to be true).

Because we never had our meeting as planned and agreed April 7, I have no assurance that Mr. Lisus has understood or used any of my publicly stated viewpoints.

Contrary to the spin mill, I did not state in the October 8th meeting or anywhere else that there was an agenda harmful to the residents going on in the background.  I did however give several reasons why I wondered if there was something happening, including:

    1. A favourable TSBP-commissioned report from 2014 was never released to public,
    2. David Dobson theory of 7th street post has critical flaw from a misreading of a compass direction / July ratepayer group meeting Janice Jackson spoke favourably about the David Dobson 7th street post , “N E < Ind. Res.”  theory / David Dobson filed a lawsuit (as a crossclaim) against the town in 2013,
    3. August 13, 2016 council meeting I tried to talk about the land claim and was shut down by Janice Jackson as soon as I mentioned the David Dobson theory,
    4. Janice Jackson sent emails around telling people the October 8 meeting was improper,
    5. The meeting of Craig Gammie and Mr. Lisus planned at April 7 2015 council meeting  was inexplicably quashed by Janice Jackson.

With the October 7 Lisus letter and all of the fiction it makes, I am changing my “wonder” (if there is a hidden agenda) to “very suspicious”.

And with the letter and its clear fibs I am wondering whose side some people are really on.

Residents who want to keep our beach should be wary.

Craig Gammie

Sauble Beach

 

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TSBP Council’s Attempt To Legitimize Janice Jackson’s Kangaroo Court (6 – 3)

The Municipal Act section 223.2  (1) provides that council can make a code of conduct:

Code of conduct

            section 223.2  (1)  Without limiting sections 9, 10 and 11, those sections authorize the municipality to establish codes of conduct for members of the council of the municipality and of local boards of the municipality.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 98.

No offence

            (2)  A by-law cannot provide that a member who contravenes a code of conduct is guilty of an offence.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 98.

 

The Municipal act also provides for the application, by an independent integrity commissioner, of the code and for “the application of any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality and local boards governing the ethical behaviour of members of council”

Integrity Commissioner

            223.3  (1)  Without limiting sections 9, 10 and 11, those sections authorize the municipality to appoint an Integrity Commissioner who reports to council and who is responsible for performing in an independent manner the functions assigned by the municipality with respect to,

            (a)       the application of the code of conduct for members of council and the code of conduct for members of local boards or of either of them;

            (b)       the application of any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality and local boards governing the ethical behaviour of members of council and of local boards or of either of them; or

            (c)        both of clauses (a) and (b).  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 98.

Section 223.4 (1) provides for an integrity commissioner to conduct an investigation regarding alleged breaches of the code of conduct:

Inquiry by Commissioner

            223.4  (1)  This section applies if the Commissioner conducts an inquiry under this Part,

            (a)       in respect of a request made by council, a member of council or a member of the public about whether a member of council or of a local board has contravened the code of conduct applicable to the member; or

(There is no provision for an integrity commissioner to investigate allegations of breach of “procedures, rules and policies of the municipality and local boards governing the ethical behaviour of members of council”.)

The Municipal act provides for council to mete out a punishment if a report of the integrity commissioner finds a breach of the code of conduct:

Penalties

            (5)  The municipality may impose either of the following penalties on a member of council or of a local board if the Commissioner reports to the municipality that, in his or her opinion, the member has contravened the code of conduct:

  1. A reprimand.
  2. Suspension of the remuneration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of council or of the local board, as the case may be, for a period of up to 90 days.

TSBP clerk’s report CLK116-2016 of October 4, 2016 proposed a code of conduct for council members.

The proposed code is seriously flawed, and is illegal.

 

The code contains many vague prohibitions that are not legitimate conduct matters and as such are beyond what is allowed by the municipal act.

The code contains many vague prohibitions that are far too vague to be enforceable and are subject to abuse.

The proposed code provides for council to investigate complaints of contravention of the code, a measure clearly not allowed by the municipal act.

The proposed code also provides for council to have a hearing, a measure clearly not allowed by the municipal act.

The proposed code also provides for council to make a decision of whether a member has breached the code, and to write a report of that decision.  This is clearly a penalty in the form of public shaming.  The Municipal act does not allow for council to apply any penalty at all.

 Illegitimate conduct items

Many items do not belong in a code of conduct, including:

2.1.1 Fairly representing the diversity of community views in developing an overall strategy for the future of our Town;

4.4 Official information related to decisions and resolutions made by Council will normally be communicated in the first instance to the community and the media in an official capacity by the Mayor or designate.

7.1 Members of Council will recognize their obligations to follow and respect both the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, as amended from time to time.

Vague code and items

4.3 Members of Council will only convey their personal opinions in a manner which demonstrates respect for the decision making process of Council.

First of all this is too vague to be in a code of conduct.   It invites abuse.   Second it tries to restrain council members from criticizing, directly contrary to the charter guarantee of freedom of speech.  It is, simply put, illegal.

5.7 Members shall conduct themselves with appropriate decorum at all times in the community or when making presentations from the Town as a result of the office they hold.

This is too vague and open to overbroad interpretations and abuse to be included in a code of conduct.

There are more too numerous to mention.

Proposed code grants investigation and adjudication powers powers to council that they cannot legally possess.

The proposed code provides for council to have investigation and adjudication power that is in law limited to only an integrity commissioner and is not in law available to council.

Proposed code s. 10.4

In the absence of an Integrity Commissioner being appointed, Council may discuss the complaint and determine by majority if there has in fact been a breach of the Code of Conduct. (emphasis added)

There is no equivalent provision in law for a council to “determine“ guilt.

The law also requires that any integrity commissioner be unbiased:

Act Section 223.3  (1)   an Integrity Commissioner who reports to council and who is responsible for performing in an independent manner …  (emphasis added)

Council members are politicians, not adjudicators.  Council members cannot be relied upon to adjudicate in a fair, unbiased, competent and independent manner.   That’s why council members are not permitted by law to adjudicate code of conduct matters or anything similar.

The proposed investigation and adjudication powers are contrary to the Municipal act section 223.

 Proposed code Improperly Provides power to adjudicate alleged breaches of statute law

Proposed code section 2.3:

Members of Council shall observe and comply with established provincial and  federal legislation and guidelines as they relate to the operations of a municipality.

This combined with the adjudicative powers above would give council powers not only to hold hearings regarding allegation of breach of statute law, but also, incredibly, to hold hearings regarding allegations of breach of provincial and federal “policy”.

Those are clearly beyond the council’s allowed powers.

Improperly Provides punishment powers not legally available to council

The proposed code provides for council to make their findings (of breach or no breach) public.

Proposed code section 10.7

Any outcome will be communicated to the complainant.

Communicating the outcome to the complainant makes the outcome effectively public, and if the finding is “guilty” this is a punishment in the form of a public shaming, way beyond the legitimate powers of council.

The proposed code provides penalty powers that are contrary to the municipal act and that council cannot legitimately possess.

Municipal Act Provisions to quash or declare Null

Municipal act section 273 (1) provides for the court to quash any by-law or resolution for illegality:

Application to quash by-law

Upon the application of any person, the Superior Court of Justice may quash a by-law of a municipality in whole or in part for illegality.  2001, c. 25, s. 273 (1).

At least parts of the proposed code are in my opinion illegal (as indicated above) and thus subject to quashing.

The municipal act section  14 also provides for bylaws to be declared by the court to be null and void if they conflict with a statute:

Conflict between by-law and statutes, etc.

(1)  A by-law is without effect to the extent of any conflict with,

            (a)       a provincial or federal Act or a regulation made under such an Act; or

            (b)       an instrument of a legislative nature, including an order, licence or approval, made or issued under a provincial or federal Act or regulation.  2001, c. 25, s. 14.

Same

            (2)  Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), there is a conflict between a by-law of a municipality and an Act, regulation or instrument described in that subsection if the by-law frustrates the purpose of the Act, regulation or instrument.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 10.

At least parts of the proposed code are in my opinion in conflict (as described above) with the Municipal act and are thus subject to being declared “without effect”.

—————————————————-

In the September 20, 2016 council meeting, council illegally held court, accusing me and finding me guilty of: breach of the Law society act; breach of the municipal conflict of interest act; and harassment of staff (implying by innuendo breach of the Occupational Health and Safety act).

https://craiggammieblog.com/2016/09/30/janice-jacksons-kangaroo-court-finds-councillor-guilty-on-three-counts-6-1/

It seems to me that council with the proposed code of conduct is trying to make that very illegal process legal.

The attempt must fail.

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Why is Mayor Jackson so intent on scuttling the October 8, 2016 Land Claim Meeting (6-2)

Just over two years ago we came within a hare’s breath of losing most of our beach at Sauble to the Saugeen First Nation (“SFN”). A lot of closed door sessions far removed from public scrutiny had led to a draft deal with SFN. The deal could easily have been passed by council resolution in the summer of 2014.

It did not pass or even get on the council floor as a motion, largely because one member of council broke the code of silence and told a member of the public (me) what was going down.

Then on July 7, 2014 there was a meeting (sponsored by Amabel Property Owners Association and Friends of Sauble Beach) where the residents found out what was going on behind their backs. After a few more meetings hundreds of residents wrote, emailed, and phoned John Close and council, scolding them and demanding that the proposed deal not go through. John and council listened, and aborted the mission.

If not for the leak of information and the pivotal July 7, 2014 meeting, the beach could have easily been given to the SFN nation, and residents would not have known that their beach wqas gone until after the ink had dried.

Inexplicitly, Janice Jackson, then a councillor, tried to scuttle that July 7, 2014 meeting.

First she tried to wrestle the microphone away from the master of ceremonies, John Strachan. She was unsuccessful. Then she tried to convince me and other organizers that one sponsor (Amabel Property Owners Association), which I was representing, was illegal and illegitimate and as such I should not be allowed to speak. She failed. And she tried to get to the podium microphone to try to tell the audience the Amabel Property Owners Association was illegal. She failed there too, and the presentation went ahead, and we even had to put on a second session because there were too many to fit in the room for the first.

We are indeed fortunate that Janice Jackson failed to stop the meeting.

If she had stopped the meeting we may have lost the beach.

Why Ms. Jackson tried to stop the meeting of July 7 2014 is a bit of a puzzle, because she was the one who broke the closed session code of silence and alerted me that John Close was preparing a giveaway deal in closed session. I expected her to help with the meeting, not to try to shut it down.

I found out only later the explanation why she tried to shut us down.

Doug Jordan is president of an organization call Sauble Beach Residential Property Owners association, a group, according to Doug Jordan`s sworn testimony, which was started on the request of Janice Jackson in 2011. Doug Jordan’s sworn te3stimony was that:

“Municipal Council member Janice Jackson, Town of South Bruce Peninsula, approached me about starting a property owners association in the spring of 2011”.

Mr. Jordan did start such an organization shortly afterward.

At a 2013 barbecue party, the SBRPOA had a table set up to sign up members. Janice Jackson took to the stage and said:

“Please join Sauble Beach Residential Property Owners Association . I really need the support in council.”

This was a clear indication that SBRPOA was Ms. Jackson`s political party.

In a May 3, 2014 meeting of the Amabel Property owners association, director Orma Lyttle had this to say:

“Well what happened was Janice Jackson had been calling me because I had been a former president of the association, and she just wanted to talk about a few issues; and Janice would say “we understand or we’re told that you have over twelve thousand dollars and we would like to have that money now”. (from transcript of the audio recording of the meeting)

“We” had to mean SBRPOA.

Ms. Jackson failed to get the money. APOA was alive and well and was not in the business of handing out money to politicians.

Janice Jackson tried to replace the APOA with her political organization SBRPOA. She failed. She tried to get APOA`s money. That failed too. Then she tried to stop APOA from having a meeting on July 7, 2014 regarding the land claim. That failed too.

Amabel Property Owners Association is sponsoring another Land Claim meeting June 8, 2016 at 9:30 am at the Sauble Beach Commuty Centre.

Now Janice Jackson is trying to scuttle that APOA meeting too.

In a September 21,2016 broadly distributed email she argues that residents should not attend the July 8 meeting because I am just spreading false propaganda and fear-mongering, and attempting to create panic, and that I am “furious” because I am not in charge.

Her claims are false and unsupportable.

Specifically she claims:

Mr. Gammie is canvassing the neighbourhood and taping notices to doors in Sauble Beach asserting the Land Claim is spiralling out of control due to mismanagement and that I am crafting some sort of back-room deal with the First Nations.

Here are the notices that Amabel Property Owners members have circulated:

Is the SAUBLE BEACH LAND CLAIM case being properly managed?
Or is it spiralling out of control?
Find out what you can do!!
Saturday October 8, 2016 at 9:30 am
Sauble Beach Community Centre
Meeting Sponsored by Amabel Property Owners Association

SAUBLE BEACH LAND CLAIM
Why are the residents being kept in the dark (again)?
Properly managed? Or spiralling out of control? Find out what you can do!!
Saturday October 8, 2016 at 9:30 am
Sauble Beach Community Centre
Meeting Sponsored by Amabel Property Owners Association

Nowhere does either notice say that the Land Claim is spiralling out of control. Nowhere does either notice say that the land claim is being mismanaged. Nowhere in either notice does it allege that Ms. Jackson is crafting some sort of back-room deal with the First Nations. Deals and first nations are not even mentioned.

Ms. Jackson’s claims are false.

Our only assertion in the notices is that the residents are once again being kept in the dark. Our point is that being shut out puts residents in a situation where we do not know whether things are in control or not, and that makes some residents nervous.

She also claims in her email that the room cleared in an August 13 council meeting as soon as I took the floor. That is false too.

I submit that Janice Jackson is trying to scuttle the October 8 Amabel Property Owners meeting because she does not want the residents to know just how much they are being kept in the dark, and she does not want residents too know how weak the first nations claim is, and how strong our defence could be.

Her claim that:

“Mr. Gammie could be severely damaging our case by speaking out against the town and our position” …

is false and ridiculous. In July 2014 I did speak out against the town’s position on the land claim. Because the town’s position at the time was unacceptable. But not since. Now I do not even know the town position (because like you I am being kept in the dark). And contrary to Ms. Jackson’s claim there is no way we could be hurting the town position with the October 8th meeting.

There are many more false claims in Janice Jackson’s email to you. Too numerous to review and refute.

I urge you not to fall for Janice Jackson’s false assertions.

Our concern is that residents are being kept in the dark, and the potential consequences of that.

At the October 8th meeting we will demonstrate how weak the SFN case is, and how strong our case could be. And then we will ask you whether you wish to trust Janice or ask for more disclosure. It’s that simple.

The Land Claim meeting October 8th I believe will be interesting to most.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Janice Jackson`s Kangaroo Court finds councillor guilty on three counts (6-1)

I’ve seen some pretty flagrant abuses of power in TSBP council chambers over the years, but none so flagrant as what I and others witnessed September 20, 2016.

On that day, without any legitimate authority, and lacking any competence, and driven by malice, council and the clerk held court, Janice Jackson presiding, accusing me, without valid grounds,  of violation of two Ontario statutes, and of two years of harassment of clerk Cathrae, and tried me, and convicted me, and sentenced me.

I protested vehemently, insisting that the accusers put their allegations before a competent adjudicator, but to no avail.

Here’s the history behind the Kangaroo Court of September 20, 2016.

April 27, 2016 the Committee of adjustment (“COA”) granted a minor variance.   Some residents disagreed with the COA decision and appealed the COA decision to the OMB.  I felt that the COA had treated the appellants unfairly.  I helped the appellants prepare for their OMB hearing, and helped them at the hearing, not in my role as a councillor, and not as a representative, but as a friend.

My participation in the OMB hearing was none of council’s business, and none of staff’s business, and none of the Clerk’s business, and none of the mayor’s business.

In spite of that, clerk Angie Cathrae, with the support of Janice Jackson, commissioned a letter from the town lawyer (Steven O’Melia), that letter accusing me of:

1) illegally providing legal services without a licence, and,

 2) some undefined vague allegation of impropriety (which Janice Jackson presented as a of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act).

I was confident that the lawyer’s report was commissioned purely for malicious and private purpose, and that the allegations in the lawyer’s letter were part of a personal vendetta on the part of one or more staff or council members.

I was very concerned that taxpayers’ money was being improperly used for private purpose.

I wrote a report to council claiming that the Clerk commissioning the lawyer’s letter was an improper use of taxpayers’ funds for private purpose, and I suggested that council take action to stop the initiative and prevent any recurrence.

My report and the lawyer’s letter are in the September 20, 2016 meeting agenda at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/FileStorage/CA5F9DD6645E4FFCB6DD7EB34AFB98DC-GAMMIE06-2016.pdf

My report was discussed at the September 20, 2016 council meeting.

I started the discussion by making it very clear that the matter I had put before council was about the improper and in my view illegal use of public funds for private purpose.  I made very clear that the matter I had put before council was not the allegations of my violation of the Law Society Act or the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act or whether I was guilty of contravening either act.  I made very clear that neither the allegations nor whether I was guilty were issues on the agenda.

I gave a short summary of my report, arguing only that the use of public funds for the lawyer’s letter was improper, and I recommended that council act to stop that improper use of taxpayers’ funds.

When I was done Mayor Jackson offered a rebuttal.

Her argument as I understand it was:

1) I could be sued for breaching the law society act or charged for breach of the conflict of interest act,

2)  Our TSBP indemnification bylaw requires that the town (the taxpayers) provide and pay for a lawyer to defend me and also to pay any settlement costs awarded against me;

3)  The taxpayers would thus be out a bunch of money;

4) The clerk and council had no choice but to stop me from doing whatever they alleged I had done;

5) They had no choice but to commission the lawyer’s letter to prevent further costs to the taxpayers.

Ms. Jackson was very clear that her concern about the town having to pay my legal fees applied to both the conflict of interest allegation and the Law Society Act allegations.

Later in the discussion clerk Cathrae repeated much the same rebuttal, except that Ms. Cathrae focused more on the law society allegations and less on the conflict of interest allegations.

Ms.Cathrae claimed: that it was her duty to pay the lawyer to commission the letter; that she had to commission the lawyer’s letter to protect the taxpayers; and that she had commissioned the lawyer’s letter to protect me from myself.

In a most condescending and arrogant tone she said:

Our indemnification bylaw states that if you act in bad faith you are not protected.  So we wanted to let you know that perhaps you’ve made an error, we all make errors, we are not perfect, not one of us.  We wanted you to know that in the opinion of our esteemed solicitor, you have made an error.  We do not wish to see you make this error again.  We do not wish you to place yourself in a liableous?  [libelous?]? position.  We do not wish for the rest of this town to be placed in a liableous ? [libelous?]? position.   We do not want to see a litany of litigation against you or this town, whether you believe this or not.

The Cathrae/ Jackson rebuttals are nonsensical and ridiculous.

Regarding a potential conflict of interest proceeding, section 2 (b) of the indemnification by-law reads:

Application

  1. This by-law does not apply to:

… or

(b) the payment of any damages, fines or costs awarded by a Court or agreed to by settlement of an action or other proceeding for an …… or an action or proceeding brought under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.50, as amended.

Clearly, the indemnification by-law provides only limited coverage for any council member for a conflict of interest matter.  But there is no way a conflict of interest charge could be successful against me.   The meeting where I allegedly breached the rule was June 7, 2016.   There is a six week time period for applications to determine whether I offended to be brought to court.  The latest for an application would be July 19, 2016, which was six weeks earlier than the lawyer’s letter.  Further there was no pecuniary interest.  If it ever got to court (which is extremely unlikely), I would win and my costs would be paid mostly by the applicant, and those costs not paid by the applicant would be paid by the town’s insurance company.  There could not and would not be any costs to the taxpayers.

Furthermore, Ms. Jackson contradicted her own argument by claiming that if I were given taxpayers’ money for a lawyer and I were “found guilty”, I would have to pay it back:

But the concern here is who’s gonna pay for it .   The good news is as soon as you’re found guilty you’re going to have to pay all that money back to the town.  So really the town oughta be smart and get the most expensive darn lawyer we can find and then you’ll have to pay back a whole whack of money.

I took her argument to be applicable in her mind to both Conflict of Interest proceedings and Law society act proceedings, and for that matter any other kind of proceedings.

It’s true that the indemnification by-law provides for the town to choose a lawyer:

Lawyer Selection

  1. The Town shall have the right to select and retain a lawyer to represent a person

So according to Ms. Jackson, if I were indemnified Ms. Jackson and Ms. Cathrae could choose a lawyer and the costs could be in the tens of thousands.

But contrary to Ms. Jackson, there is no provision in the indemnification by-law that says that the council member must pay the money back if found guilty.

Still Ms. Jackson’s belief that the money would have to be paid back directly contradicts her argument that that taxpayer’s would have to pay.

Ms. Jackson not only contradicted her own argument, but also demonstrated a malicious and vengeful and mean spirited intent.

The intent of the indemnification by-law is to indemnify against accidental harm.  In her statement Ms. Jackson threatens to use the by-law to financially ruin me, a clearly improper and malicious purpose.

Furthermore, it is staff and the mayor that decide whether a member of council is indemnified.  Clearly if I were to apply for indemnification, I would be turned down.

There is no way that there will be a cost to the taxpayers if I am charged under conflict of interest law.

The Jackson /Cathrae rebuttal fails with respect to conflict of interest proceedings.

The Cathrae/Jackson rebuttal also fails for court proceedings regarding allegations of violation of the Law Society Act.

Section 3 of the indemnification bylaw starts:

  1. Subject to s. 2 of this by-law, the Town shall indemnify every employee, appointee and Councillor and his or her heirs and legal representatives in the manner and to the extent provided by s. 4 of this by-law in respect of any action or proceeding by a third party arising out of an act or omission done or made by such person in his or her capacity as or by reason of being or having been an employee, appointee or Councillor, including acting in the performance of any

statutory duty imposed by any general or special Act, if: [emphasis added]

Indemnification is only available for consequences of acts taken by a council member that are part of his or her duties.

There is no way that my participation in the OMB process could be construed as being part of my duties as a councillor. My participation in the OMB hearing was not even while I was doing my councillor duties.  So there is no coverage via the indemnification by-law for any action taken against me related to the OMB process.

Even Ms. Jackson argued implicitly that my participation in the OMB hearing of August 12 was not part of my duties as a member of council.

If I were ever charged for a Law Society Act offence (which is extremely unlikely) there would be no legitimate claim of indemnification and so indemnification by-law coverage would not be available to me, and so I would not be covered by the indemnification by-law, and so there would not be any cost or risk to the taxpayers.

Section 3 (a) of the indemnification by-law further puts the Cathrae/  Jackson rebuttal to rest.

  1. …., the Town shall indemnify every Councillor if:

(a) he or she acted honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the Town;

(b) …….and,

(c) …..

Both Ms. Jackson and Ms. Cathrae have implicitly or explicitly claimed that in participating in the OMB hearing I was not acting honestly or in good faith or with a view to the best interests of the Town.

  1. Jackson and Ms. Cathrae make the decisions of whether a council member gets indemnified. There is just no way they are going to provide me with any taxpayers’ money to defend against any Law Society Act offences.

The Jackson /Cathrae rebuttal with respect to Law Society Act allegations fails under the tiniest bit of scrutiny.

There is no way that there will be a cost to the taxpayers if I am charged under Law Society Act.

Ms. Cathrae at one point claimed that she can use the “legal” budget for whatever she deems appropriate.

This is incorrect.  She cannot use the legal budget for private purpose.  There must be a legitimate and clear need by the town (not a private person) for legal services.  Her claim fails.

My participation in the OMB hearing posed absolutely no financial risk to the taxpayers.

So my claim that taxpayer funds were improperly used stands.

With the Cathrae/ Jackson rebuttals in tatters, and with no valid reason for commissioning the lawyer’s letter being provided or available, the only possible conclusion is that the August 31 lawyer’s letter was commissioned for private purpose, and I submit for malicious private purpose. My claim was and is that by commissioning the lawyer’s letter, Ms. Cathrae and Ms. Jackson improperly used public funds for private purpose.

Using tax dollars for private purpose is a serious breach of the public trust.

Taxpayers should be concerned about the improper use of their money for private and improper purpose.

The discussion September 20 regarding whether the commissioning of the lawyer’s letter was improper was on the agenda.  Having that discussion was legitimate and interesting.

But after the discussion of whether the use of taxpayers’ funds to commission the letter was improper was over, the discussion went right off the rails, and turned really ugly.

Instead of limiting discussion to the issue of whether taxpayer money was improperly used for private purpose, as was her duty as chair, Janice Jackson ignored the agenda and introduced the issue of whether I had breached the Law Society Act and/ or the municipal conflict of interest act.

Then Ana Vukovic and Matt Jackson accused me of contravening the conflict act, and deputy Kirkland accused me of violating the law society act, and a third allegation was added directly by the clerk and the mayor, (and implicitly by others),  namely that I had harassed the clerk continuously for two full years.  Then Janice Jackson proclaimed that I was guilty of harassment (of Cathrae), saying:

 (“It is absolutely harassing and it’s been going on for two years”).

These matters were not on the agenda and so discussion of them was against the rules, and was improper.

I protested that whether I committed offences or not was not on the agenda and not within council’s legitimate authority and that discussing them was against the rules.  I especially protested that the discussion of harassment was way out of order as it was not on the agenda, and was not even alluded to in the agenda package.   The mayor, without legitimate reason, overruled.

You have to hear the discussion to believe it.  It is at:

http://craiggammie.com/audio/20sept2016tsbpcouncilkangaroocourt.mp3

A transcript is at:

http://craiggammie.com/audio/DraftTranscript20Sept2016TSBPCouncilKangarooCourt.pdf

The mayor, exercising authority that she did not legitimately possess, continued to hold Kangaroo Court.

The Kangaroo Court read the charges and proceeded to vigorously prosecute.

I did not recognize the authority of the Kangaroo Court, and so beyond pleading a denial of the charges I did not defend myself against the charges.  Instead I repeatedly challenged my accusers, including J. Jackson and Ms. Cathrae, to cease the Kangaroo court and instead take their allegations before a competent tribunal or adjudicator so that due process could be followed and so that I could get a fair and just hearing of the allegations against me, and so I could clear my name.

This too was overruled by the Kangaroo Court judge.  And the Kangaroo Court trial continued.

Due process was denied me.   The principle of presumption of innocence until found guilty by a legitimate and competent tribunal was completely ignored.

Self-appointed judges J. Jackson and A. Cathrae, without due process, in their Kangaroo Court, found me guilty on all three counts (practicing law without a licence, conflict of interest, and harassment).

The vindictive crusade had nothing to do with legitimate town business.  The Kangaroo Court was clearly conducted for private purpose, which may have been political purpose.

Then rather than stopping there and not spending any more taxpayers’ money maliciously for private purpose, as I had requested in my report and oral argument, the self-appointed judges and their fawning sycophants decided to do the exact opposite.

They decided to spend more taxpayer’s money for what I continued to claim was private purpose.

A resolution was made to get the town lawyers (at taxpayer’s expense) to make a complaint to the Upper Canada Law Society apparently requesting that the Law Society charge me with practicing law without a licence.  The resolution also appears to include getting the town’s lawyers to request that the law society do something about the allegations of conflict of interest, but there is a bit of ambiguity on that part of the resolution.

(There was nothing in the motion about the third allegation, harassment).

The direction to the town lawyers clearly will result in more use of public funds for private malicious purpose.

The charge of harassment was put first by the clerk.  She literally yelled at me in the council meeting, as if yelling somehow made her claims valid.  Again my response was a challenge to the clerk to put her harassment allegations to a proper authority.  Her reply was that she would not do that because the cost to the residents would be too high.

Her reply is as bogus as the Jackson/ Cathrae indemnification cost argument above.

A complaint to the ministry of labour, who are responsible for enforcing the Occupational Health and safety act, costs nothing.   It is true that if an investigation of the harassment complaint were ordered by the ministry, or commissioned by the town, it would cost money.  But I think very little as the allegations are without merit.

If Ms. Cathrae is unwilling to put her allegations before a competent authority, she should not be making the allegations.

Our harassment policy requires that if a complaint cannot be resolved informally, then the complaint must be formally brought to the complainant’s supervisor, and that supervisor must take some action.

Ms. Cathrae has declined to bring the complaint forward according to that policy.  I submit that her reason for not acting is not about cost to the taxpayers, but rather a concern that her allegations will be found to be meritless.

I note that the following has just been added to the Occupational Health and safety Act (“OHSA”):

Workplace harassment

  1. (4) A reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment.

I am told and do believe that this was added to OHSA to complaints that “criticism” is “workplace harassment”.

I submitted several times during the September 20 Kangaroo Court that the reason Ms. Cathrae refused to go to the authorities is because her allegations of two years of harassment are meritless, and would be dealt with as meritless.

This is not the first time groundless allegations have been made against me.

In January 2012 I was sued for $700,000 (along with three others) for defamation by then Chief Administrator Rhonda Cook.  This was a personal vendetta by Cook and then-mayor John Close and possibly others.  It was an improper use of taxpayer funds.  Legal costs borne by taxpayers were significant. The claims against me were groundless.  The matter never got to court.   Ms. Cook withdrew the minute council decided to stop paying her legal bills.

In 2012 as a result of complaints by former staff and at least one former council member I was charged with practicing engineering without a licence.  May 24, 2011 council minutes were put forward by Professional Engineers Ontario (“PEO”) as the key evidence of my guilt.  I played my audio recording of the May 24 meeting and presented a transcript of the supposedly incriminating dialogue for a Justice of the Peace and the PEO lawyer and convinced both of them that the May 24, 2011 minutes were a gross distortion of what I had actually said in the meeting, and the charges were dropped.  There was no valid reason for staff or council members to complain to PEO.  The complaints were clearly vexatious. There were no legal fees but there was plenty of staff time used.  This was an improper use of taxpayer resources for private purpose.

In 2013 I was accused of assault of residents and staff and banned from town hall for it.  I challenged the ban in court.  The court found no evidence of wrongdoing by me even using a low balance of probabilities evidence hurdle.  The ban was found by the court to be illegal on four counts.   Because it was illegal it follows that it was improper use of taxpayers’ funds to make the ban and to defend it.  I still submit that the ban was made for private purpose, although the judge determined that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding of bad faith on the part of council.

In 2016 once again complaints were made either by TSBP staff and/or a council member or members or both that I had again practiced engineering without a licence.  The allegations were meritless.  There were no valid grounds for the complaint.  The complaint was clearly vexatious, a personal vendetta, an improper use of taxpayer funds.  PEO backed off once they got the facts; no charges were laid, no formal investigation was made, and the matter was quietly dropped by PEO.

And many more too numerous to discuss here.

(Others have been accused of wrongdoing, without grounds.  I will share details if requested.)

All of these attacks against me I submit were at least partly private matters. But all of the unwarranted attacks against me were financed by the taxpayers.

The illegal banning of me from town hall (for private purpose), alone cost the taxpayers well over $100,000.  It was all completely avoidable.

Because I did not want to appear to recognize the legitimacy of the Kangaroo Court, I refused to put up a defence.  But I have much evidence that people who are not lawyers commonly represent parties in OMB hearings.

Every OMB appeal notice has a spot where representatives are named.  Representatives who are not lawyers must sign the form and declare that they are a representative.  The forms I checked had as many non-lawyers representatives as lawyers.

The OMB procedural manual says non-lawyers can represent at OMB hearings.

A September 1, 2016  letter from appellants in case OMB PL1600887 to Angie Cathrae notified Ms. Cathrae that Cuesta Planning consultants are were their representatives for the OMB appeal.

The letter is at:

http://craiggammie.com/My Documents/noticetocathrae1september2016OMBrepresentativecuesta.pdf

Ms. Cathrae knows that Cuesta Planning Consultants are not lawyers. Ms. Cathrae knows they are planners.

So if Ms. Cathrae is so absolutely confident that it is illegal for non-lawyers like me to represent parties in an OMB hearing, why hasn’t she commissioned the town lawyers to write a letter to Cuesta Planning Consultants accusing them of breaching the Law Society Act and threatening legal action against them?

Because Cuesta Planning Consultants are not in her crosshairs.  But I am. That is the only plausible explanation.

Ms. Cathrae’s attack on me is driven not by reason, and not by the law, and not by the facts, but by malice.

Residents need not worry about me.  But residents should be concerned about the use of their hard-earned money to wage private vendettas against anyone who did nothing more than criticise.

I have two minds about being charged on any of the three current allegations against me (practicing law without a license, conflict of interest, harassment).  On the one hand the process of getting these allegations officially declared groundless will be extremely hard on me, financially and emotionally.  On the other hand, maybe it will slow down or even finally put an end to some staff and some council dipping into the people’s treasury to wage their private vindictive wars.

I wanted the residents to know that the allegations against me in the past have been shown to be groundless.  I am confident that the current allegations would also be found groundless if the accusers had the guts to take their accusations before a legitimate authority.

It would be great if residents would recognize that the problem is certain staff and certain council members bullying any resident, (not just me), who dares to criticise the staff or council member’s actions, or even just dares to disagree.   What would be nice is if some of the stronger residents would get involved in support of those residents who are bullied by council or staff but do not have the resources to stand up to the bullying.

I would appreciate if anyone so bullied would post a comment on my blog at http://www.craiggammieblog.com, giving your experience.  (Use a moniker to remain anonymous if you wish.)

Another issue is Ms. Cathrae inserting herself into council debates as if she is an elected member.  But that`s for another commentary.

 

Craig

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