Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stephen Boissoin Appeal Document - Part 1 Redux

Reporting on the Brief Submitted to the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta

Today is the start of the two days of hearings in Calgary on the Appeal of the absurd Decision in the case of Darren Lund V. Stephen Boissoin at the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. We can only hope that justice is served, and that the Decision is overturned first. Secondly, it is an opportunity for a real court to second or expand upon the Decision of Athanasios Hadjis in the Lemire Decision at the Canada Human Rights Tribunal recently.

So, recognizing that, I have brought forward the summary that I wrote about the (anything but) brief that Gerry Chipeur, Stephen's attorney had filed on his behalf. It was excellent work, that seeks to strike down the Decision and also hammers at the legality of Section 3 of the Alberta HRCM Act, which parallels Section 13 (1) of the Canada Human Rights Act.

Last evening, I received from Stephen a pdf of the 36 page brief submitted on his behalf, and ultimately on ours, to the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta. His case will be heard before the Honourable Mr. Justice E. C. Wilson on September 16 and 17, 2009 in Calgary.

This brief, and its accompanying documents (which I did not receive) all of which make "brief" a misnomer, were prepared by the noted Human Rights advocate Mr. Gerald Chipeur Q.C. of Miller Thomson LLP of Calgary.

Mr. Chipeur is a heavyweight, and is just what the doctor ordered to see justice prevail in this absurd situation. He is a contributing editor for the legal publication Charter and Human Rights Litigation.

Of interest, Darren Lund, the Respondent in this Appeal is represented by Patrick Nugent of Chivers Carpenter of Edmonton.

This morning, I will make only some preliminary comments as I want to really work my way through the document to do Stephen and it justice. I believe that this case is pivotal to the freedom of speech debate in Canada. It is what Ezra Levant is fighting for, what Stephen Boissoin is fighting for (at least in this instance), and what we must all pay attention to. If there are values that we hold as individuals, and if we wish to be able to hold them and express them, even against the opposition of political correctness, then what is happening here in this case matters to us all.

And one other thing. Representation like the quality that Stephen has secured does not come cheap. If you believe in what he is fighting for, I urge you to put your money where your mouth is and donate to this cause here.

On a first review, the brief is a formidable document.

The brief seeks to answer for the court the following questions with the full question and the briefest of summary answer, with details to follow later:
A) Is the constitutionality of Section 3(1) of the HRCM Act properly before the Court in this appeal? - Yes

B) Has the Respondent established a legal or evidentiary basis for the conclusions of the Panel of the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission ("Panel") set forth in the decision under Appeal ("Decision")? - No

C) Are the remedies in the Decision authorized in the HRCM Act and are they consistent with the Constitution? - No

D) Does Section 3(1) of the HRCM Act violate section 2(a) and 2(b) of the Charter? - Yes

E) Does the HRCM Act trump the Charter? - No

F) Is Section of the HRCM Act ultra vires the Province of Alberta under Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867? - Yes

G) Is the Complaint unsustainable as a result of the operation of Section 3(2) of the HRCM Act? - Yes

H) Should the Respondent pay the costs of Stephen Boissoin on a full-indemnity basis? - But of course.
The Appeal in summary seeks to dismiss the complaint on the following bases:
a) the Decision and Section 3(1) of the HRCM Act violate the rights of the Appellant under section 2 of the Charter;

b) the Decision and Section 3(1) of the HRCM Act are ultra vires the Province of Alberta pursuant to Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867;

c) the Decision is ultra vires the Panel, as it is inconsistent with Section 3(2) and Section 32 of the HRCM Act; and

d) the Decision is not supported by the evidence and must be set aside because the Appellant did not publish the Letter and the Letter did not expose anyone to hatred and contempt.
This summary alone points out some of the absurdity of the entire case against Stephen Boissoin. I am leaving the absurdity of the case against Bishop De Angelis for another day. Stephen wrote a letter to the Editor of a newspaper. The newspaper chose to publish it. Stephen did not choose to publish, only to write it, yet the actual publisher was not a party to the case.

As the brief presents there was no evidence presented that made any sense whatsoever to the kangaroo court, yet Darren Lund, who was not an aggrieved party, since he claimed he was not himself a homosexual had standing to make the claim, and was granted an award, as was some other non party to the claim. More to come dear readers.

Thank you Stephen for sharing this.

The document itself is downloadable from Stephen's own site here.

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