Jessica Choo Choo (Part II)
A blind man could see that there was a miscarriage of justice in the Jessica Beaumont case, held by the Star Chamber in 2007. Miscarriage is a softened word that gives rise to images of a procedure gone astray. This was more than a procedure gone astray. This was a railroad job, in every sense of the phrase. We don’t use that term (railroad) much anymore in this country. Canadians generally believe that methodology was part of our darker past. What’s old is new again, it seems.
How did this happen ?
In Jessica Choo Choo <a href=http://www.freedominion.com.pa/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=98064> Part I </a>, the issue of her pictures is raised, and how they were used against her. How did Jessica’s pictures get from Point A to Point B. A circuitous route perhaps ? Maybe the Tribunal hearing wasn’t in fact Point B, but Point D or E. In order to understand the travels of these pictures, we must go back a bit and analyze some of the logistics of the process.
We have learned from various CHRC testimony transcripts that an investigation is complaint driven at all times. That is at all times unless the CHRC gets cornered and admits like they did that their investigators decide to do some pre-case scouting, which we also learned from their testimony. In Jessica Choo Choo’s case, though, the investigation seems to be complaint driven. The investigation was driven by the complaint submitted by R. Warman. This complaint obviously wasn’t faxed in to the CHRC double-sided. Jessica wasn’t on the CHRC pre-approved list of exempted groups or preferred people either, thus double qualifying her for investigation. From what we can read in the transcripts, CHRC investigator, Dean Steacy plodded along with his investigation for a few months, based upon alleged postings by Jessica in the complainant’s submission. We do not learn why this took so long, or if the investigation was delayed to await possible criminal charges levied against Jessica.
The Second Investigation
We do learn that the RCMP received a criminal complaint from Warman as to Jessica’s alleged hate activities. We also learn that the RCMP raided Jessica’s house and seized her computer, amongst other known neo-nazi type paraphernalia, like red laces and cross stitching. We learn this only from Jessica’s testimony and the copy of the RCMP Search Warrant she brought to court. For some reason, the CHRC neglects to include this juicy piece of evidence. Was this irrelevant to the CHRC’s case or was this a document that would raise eyebrows and questions, had Jessica been allowed equal access to legal representation? If questioned on this, we would probably received standard CHRC answer # 2 (a)(i) “I don’t recall”; or #2 (a)(ii): “I don’t remember”. If really pressed, we might have heard standard CHRC answer # 12(b)(i) “ That’s not relevant”
How did the paperwork flow ?
Somehow, by some means, the computer, its hard drive or a copy thereof, was forwarded from the RCMP in Vancouver to the CHRC offices in Ottawa. Who would have initiated this transaction ? Would Dean Steacy have placed a request with the RCMP to have this information forwarded to the CHRC office ? If so, would Steacy need to receive permission from his superiors ? How would Steacy even know that the RCMP have seized Jessica’s computer ? I have a hard time believing the RCMP would just pick up the phone on a slow day and scroll through a telephone directory looking for a contact name where they could dump this seized computer problem onto someone else. Somewhere, there had to be communication between the RCMP and the CHRC. As the RCMP is not in the business of evaluating Section 13 CHRC complaints, they would be hard pressed to submit written reports along with the computer or its data about the context of the contents on Jessica’s hard drive. Someone at the CHRC would have to scroll through the data and make judgment calls.
We do know that the CHRC sends out a report to both complainant and respondent in Section 13 cases. The report seemingly describes the evidence the investigator has collected – in essence, what you are charged with. They do unless your name is Marc Lemire, where as respondent, this information is withheld from you and only provided to the complainant. Jessica’s testimony confirms that she received such an information package. No one has ever questioned whether the respondent and the complainant receive the same information. That would be an interesting exercise. Probably one in futility.
At the CHRC level, we know there is a Hate Squad. They review cases and potential cases. This Hate Squad is at least comprised of the investigator, legal counsel, section head, policy advisor. In Jessica’s case file, the investigator is legally blind, so one would have to assume that his assistant was there as well, or they have a secret brail machine to investigate pictures.
The Round Table Discussions
These case discussions must be conducted in a Round Table environment. I suspect the table is round as the answers we receive as to who did what, said what, when, where how and why, always go in circles. There never is a beginning or end.
What we do understand is that there are discussions as to how the investigator’s report can be made better. According to Mr. Goldberg, Policy Advisor, no one seems to take notes or minutes, just discussions to assist the investigator finalize his reports. Goldberg also tells us through his testimony, that he doesn’t venture into the realm of legal questions. Since legal counsel is present, this must be within that job description domain.
Consider the investigator, or with the help of his assistant, presents his findings to the Hate Squad for discussion purposes before this is released to the respondent and complainant. Would not legal counsel ask some pertinent questions? I should think that some inquiry as to the origins of those pictures would be high on the list of potential candidate questions. The same would go for the method of acquiring those pictures and the legality of same. Further, I would think that legal counsel might even ask as to the nature of the email access. If any of those questions were asked, then the context of the pictures would also rise high on the list. Simple questions of context, such as what do they prove and what do they demonstrate. Maybe even other associated questions such as if these pictures were not posted on the internet, what value do they hold. Perhaps even other closely associated questions such as to the identity of the people in the pictures and how the investigator established that. There might even be questions along the line as to how dress code identifies one as a neo-nazi.
Once these questions were asked by CHRC counsel, and I can’t for a minute believe that legal counsel missed those specific meetings owing to recurring unserene states of mind, or recurring flu symptoms, legal opinions would have been rendered as to the inclusion of these as evidence. These opinions may have been verbal. They may have been written out. They may have been muted. They would have been considered.
The paperwork must flow again
Once a decision is made to proceed with the investigator’s evidence, the evidence must be compiled in some sort of approved or standardized format. Copies must be made. A master copy must be made for the CHRC files. I should think there are multiple copies made. One must go out to the respondent , unless of course, the respondent’s name is Lemire. One goes out to the complainant. One must go to the legal counsel who will represent the CHRC at the Tribunal. One probably goes to the Tribunal. One copy is probably archived at CHRC office. Perhaps even the investigator receives a copy for his files.
That’s a lot of copies. That’s a lot of compiling. That could be a lot of tabs of evidence. Generally speaking, there is usually an opportunity of reviewing the produced documents prior to forwarding, to ensure everything is orderly and proper. There is enough opportunity for counsel to consider the evidence compiled, its origin, its provenance, its suitability and its legality.
The paperwork is reviewed yet again
Once the evidence is received by the respondent, in those cases where the respondent does receive full disclosure, the respondent has the opportunity to review and comment. Such was the case with Jessica Choo Choo. Jessica contacted the CHRC and objected to documents that were to be used as evidence against her. Specifically, Jessica objected to postings which were attributed to her, which she claimed were not hers. This would provide yet another opportunity for the CHRC, the investigator and legal counsel to review objections made by the respondent, prior to any Tribunal hearing. It would also provide another opportunity for the CHRC, the investigator and legal counsel to investigate the merits of her objections, a re-review of the origin, provenance, suitability and legality of documents in question. It would also be an opportunity for the CHRC and its staff to contact the complainant and pass along the objections by the respondent, for the complainant’s comments.
On to the Star Chamber hearing
There must be some degree of preparation prior to appearing in front of a Tribunal Chair. Perhaps not for the like of Eldon Warman, who refused to show up, but one would certainly think so on the <strike>prosecution’s</strike> CHRC’s side. After all, it is the CHRC who is forwarding the complaint process through the Tribunal. There is another opportunity here to review the documented pages prior to the proceedings.
As the CHRC presents its case or presents the complainant’s case, whichever is more reflective of reality, the counsel for CHRC has additional opportunity to ask the complainant about the documentation as evidence, has the opportunity to produce or not produce the specific documents and more so, has the requirement to lay the foundation for the introduction of these documents as evidence. There is an opportunity for the respondent’s lawyer to object at many stages along the way. That is if the respondent can afford to have a lawyer. Otherwise, c’est la vie”.
There is also an opportunity for the Tribunal Chair to interject. In cases where the respondent is ill prepared, naïve and lacks legal representation, there is an inherent need for the Tribunal Chair to make sure the proceedings are held in fairness. There is a moral imperative of natural justice inherent when the respondent does not have legal representation nor has been able to receive legal advice, to ensure a level playing field. Even if this requirement of fairness and representation were not readily evident in Jessica Choo Choo’s case, it was raised numerous times by an interested party. The interested party was not a lawyer. He was not blind; certainly not blind to justice.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.