An Open Letter to the Honourable Neil Wittmann, Chief Justice

An Open Letter to the Honourable Neil Wittmann, Chief Justice by Robin Mathews, June 27, 2013, The Straight Goods

Dear Chief Justice Wittmann:

This Open Letter is written to you to help stimulate discussion about the allegations widely made in Canada that the present Tory cabinet in Ottawa is engaging in anti-democratic moves serving to destroy major national institutions that assure Canadian freedoms.  One of those institutions under serious threat is the higher court system of the country.  You appear to me to be complicit in helping to make the system an instrument of criminals and fascists present in governments and corporations. I hope I am wrong in my assessment.

Your recent career, in my estimation, closely parallels and supports the general neoliberal move to destroy the rule of law in Canada and otherwise to diminish the traditional freedoms possessed by Canadians. The problem is complicated by the high judicial position you hold which is normally fenced around with respect, awe, and what is considered prudential silence preserved to protect the objectivity and unfettered independence of the judiciary.

But since you and some other highly placed members of the Canadian judiciary seem more and more to engage in hardly disguised partisan activity on behalf of forces determined to destroy the rule of law in Canada and all other defenses which assure that Canadians may live peaceful and tranquil lives, perhaps the time has come to brush aside cosmetic conventions which disguise high judicial officers acting (or seeming to act) in “the new way”.

The new way involves elected representatives, appointed judiciary, and significant numbers of civil servants engaging in what ordinary Canadians would call criminal actions – but actions which (often purposefully) are not covered by criminal law.

The condition of what may fairly be called criminal behaviour not covered by criminal law offends the sense of natural justice in the population and, eventually, is often a precursor, historically, to armed community disruption and even to revolution.

Indeed, observing Canadians have watched as the present neoliberal government of Canada, fronted by Stephen Harper, violates election procedures, tramples parliamentary trust, tampers with public documents, intimidates and bullies adversaries, strips regulatory procedures from private exploitation of national riches, muzzles (in a clearly neo-fascist way) scientists on the public payroll and – it seems – even pays off a senate buddy to hide galloping corruption.

The Jessica Ernst legal suit against the Encana Corporation and the Alberta Regulator involving hydraulic fracturing is predicated upon trespass, invasion of property, malicious and/or careless ruination of assets and environment, and gross violation of the-well being and the right to tranquil pursuit of lawful, private interests – in Ms. Ernst’s own case at Rosebud, Alberta, and, by extension, among many, many more innocent people in Alberta … and elsewhere.

The legal complaint made by Jessica Ernst SHOULD BE actionable under criminal law and should be being conducted by the Crown against a series of alleged criminal violations. No criminal law covers the violations, I believe, because of the collusion of legislators and willfully acting private corporations.  The failure of criminal law to cover the violations suggests an alliance between irresponsible and probably psychopathic partners in government and private corporations driven by avarice and blind power-seeking.

That means your role, as a responsible jurist, should be to show special sensitivity and to demand rapid, effective, open, progress on the case by holding the Defendants to strict response. Instead, I suspect you were consulted by the federal justice minister Rob Nicholson or his office before the removal of Madam Justice Barbara L. Veldhuis from the Jessica Ernst case.  Your “selfless” willingness to take over the case, I believe, was set up well in advance so that you could serve Encana Corporation, Stephen Harper, and Alison Redford in their determination to smother the rule of law. I hope I am wrong in my suspicion.

The protocols of the Alberta higher courts could easily have permitted Madam Justice Barbara Veldhuis to have completed the matter she was engaged upon – regardless of her (highly suspicious) promotion by the Stephen Harper cabinet.  She could have both moved to the Appeal Court AND completed her decision-making on the request that Ernst be permitted to sue the Alberta Regulator.  You could have enabled her to do so.  But you, it seems, chose to force her from the matter, to take it upon yourself, to engage in delay, and to report you would pursue a less rigorous procedure to test the application.

Unfortunately, reasonable and prudent observers may conclude that you have engaged in and are engaging in a baldly obvious support action on behalf of Encana Corporation, Stephen Harper, and Alison Redford – in order to impair the fair administration of justice in Alberta.

The ruinous condition of water and environment from wanton hydraulic fracturing at Rosebud, Alberta is being replicated all over the world.  Jessica Ernst’s case is of first importance provincially, nationally, and globally. Her latest report written for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Belfast, Ireland, reveals an accomplished expert in the field whose skill and knowledge make the people she is challenging appear, in my opinion, as abusive miscreants willing to desecrate any part of Creation in their lust for wealth and power.

Where you should be insisting – as judge now seized with the case – on prompt, full response and cooperation from the Defendants, and upon the uninterrupted pursuit of the legal process, you are permitting (encouraging?), as I see the matter, delay, malingering, and abusive (if tacit) contempt for the Complainant, Ms. Ernst.

In that connection the RCMP without cause chose independently (unless ordered to do so … by whom?) to visit, to “interview” Ms. Ernst, and by their physical presence to intimidate her.  I request that, as judge on the case, you order a complete report from the RCMP about their decision to participate in the court action as partisans of Encana Corporation and the governments of Canada and Alberta.

You have been in apparently equally dubious situations before.  When Kelly Marie Richard sought to present a case about Dental Malpractice (2003-2009) you were from 2005 the Associate Chief Justice of Court of Queen’s Bench in the Calgary region. Ms. Richard alleges you permitted (in 2006) her case to be assigned to Case Management without her knowledge.

Ms. Richard and her sons possess scientific evidence of malpractice that should have gone to trial without Case Management.  Their incontrovertible evidence was never permitted by the Alberta higher court system to be presented and judged.  She reports to me that “We, Ryan and I, contacted Neil Wittmann in writing repeatedly, and in court applications, reporting the serious injustice being done to us by/in his court, as well as formally requesting and applying for the evidence from him that we were unjustly denied ….” (email, June 26, 2013).

The large interests involved were many.  ING was the insurer for Dental Malpractice.  CGI was the large corporation providing legal representation on behalf of ING.  The Alberta Dental Association was the professional organization in the region.  The RCMP was the police force acting, I believe, in dangerous collusion with corporate forces.

Ms. Richard alleges gross mistreatment by judges, by Defence lawyers (with apparent court assent), and harassment by the RCMP. In my study of her history I find nothing whatever to contradict her claims. See her full account at the following location: http://www.therichardtriggcase/thekellymarierichardcase.htm

You presided, I believe, as Associate Chief Justice in Calgary, over the financial ruin, the extreme medical hardship, the deep psychological anguish of Ms. Richard and her two young sons – and the refusal of the court to examine her incontrovertible evidence of malpractice. And, most important, it is my strong belief that you presided over violations of justice and procedure that constitute such an outrage they still cry out for a full Royal Commission Inquiry into the Kelly Marie Richard case … and your role in it. I can only hope my strong belief can be shown, somehow, to be in error.

My own experience of your “expertise” leaves you looking, I regret to say, like an empty, manipulative buffoon.  To begin, when you represented the Canadian Judicial Council to answer a complaint I made about the conduct of then Associate Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court, Anne MacKenzie (2010) you were, with her – I believe – a member of the Canadian Judicial Council (the CJC).  If that is true, you were, of course, acting in conflict of interest.

In full knowledge that she was permitting an illegitimately appointed Special Prosecutor to act in her court, Anne MacKenzie was, I allege, conducting herself improperly.  Acting, I allege, to protect your fellow member of the CJC and the people she was shielding by permitting an illegitimate “Crown” to act in her court, you refused to acknowledge that her conduct could be described as conduct.  You did not say what it could be called if it was not conduct.

In addition, you had your agent report that you had no opinion about the legitimacy of the illegitimate Special Prosecutor. Presented with an indisputable fact, you chose to say you had no opinion because, I believe, you knew that to support an illegitimate “Crown” in the B.C. Supreme Court could not be defended under any circumstance.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect of your reply concerning the complaint lodged about the conduct of Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie in the Basi, Virk, and Basi (BC Rail Scandal) case was your apparent complete confidence in providing a response that I believe would insult the intelligence of a six-year old.  No reasonable and prudent Canadian, I believe, would consider your response as a meaningful reply.

In the B.C. case it is hard to come to any other conclusion, I believe, than that you were supporting the improper conduct of a judge who was (in my opinion) protecting highly-placed wrong doers in the Gordon Campbell Liberal cabinet, in B.C. Rail, in the B.C. Civil Service, and very probably in top positions in the CNR and the RCMP. One can only hope another conclusion is possible.

In the present Jessica Ernst case against Encana Corporation, etc., I believe that “the optics”, the perception of observers, point to a belief that you are acting in a way that serves interests other than the rule of law and the fair administration of justice.

I believe an interested public will be waiting, as I will be waiting, for your reply to this Open Letter.  Your candidness and fair-mindedness, I am sure, will help to broaden and further the important debate in Canada about the relation of our higher courts to growing fascist attitudes and actors in the country.


Robin Mathews

Court of Queen’s Bench, Alberta. [Calgary Courts Centre, 601-5 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 5P7].

[As well as being posted on the net, this letter was mailed by Xpresspost to Neil Wittmann so he can be assured of receiving it and so he can make open public reply about the problem of the decaying behavior of (and the decaying public trust in) Canada’s higher courts.]

[Refer also to: 

Fracking: Feds Throw Wrench in High Profile Lawsuit, Judge suddenly promoted; plaintiff Ernst sees strategy to ‘delay and exhaust.’ ]

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