Day 4 of the ban

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Day 4 of the Publication Ban

I have now posted the latest exchange between commission counsel Simon Ruel and myself:  Mr. Ruel’s email of 27 October ’06 and my response of today, Saturday 28 October 2006. Links to both are posted on “The Poignant Voice of a Vicitm” accessible via The Victims page and elsewhere.

I have asked some questions of Mr. Ruel which I believe demand answers if we are to begin understand how a document which I acquired from a victim and published with his consent and is NOT confidential wound up marked “Confidential” by Justice Normand Glaude and is therefore under a publication ban. (Neither Mr. Lavoie nor I were aware his Victim Impact Statement was “Confidential”)

Mr. Ruel speaks of the document being part of a large document (C-93 ) which Justice Glaude apparently classified in its totality as “Confidential.”  I am assuming that the “larger document” of which the Victim Impact Statement is a part is actually a collection of files/documents.  I can understand no other way that a 17-page VIS can be part of a larger document.  Mr. Lavoie has his copy.  It is not part of another document.  So, I think possibly the reference to a “larger document” is courtroom lingo.  But, I need to find out.

Regardless, the “Confidential” classification which was apparently placed on the “larger document” by Justice Glaude simultaneously and technically classified Mr. Lavoie’s VIS as confidential – even though it is not confidential!

I was ordered to take the document off theinquiry.ca “immediately”  – the implication being that I had violated a publication ban and in so doing had posted top secret information on the site.  This despite the fact that I had personally acquired the information from Mr. Lavoie who consented to its publication and there is nothing confidential in the document!

I took the posting down. I did so because I was initially unsure if perhaps there were names in the VIS which, though not posted, were deemed problematic and Justice Glaude had determined to keep them out of the public eye, and I also did so because I certainly did not want to get Andre Lavoie embroiled in a legal tussle with the commission.  (Neither Mr. Lavoie nor I were aware his VIS had been classified  “Confidential.”)

I have since learned that there are no names of other victims anywhere in Lavoie’s VIS. In short, there is nothing confidential about Andre Lavoie’s Victim Impact Statement.

But, it is marked “Confidential” and banned from publication!

This is nonsense!!! I understand busy but I do not understand sacrificing transparency and openness at a public inquiry solely to protect those whom the commissioner thinks may desire privacy and/or anonymity.  It is after all supposed to be both an inquiry and public.
 
I posed several questions to Mr. Ruel.  I have a few to blog:

(1) What kind of transparency can we hope for at a “public” inquiry when non-confidential documents are arbitrarily stamped “Confidential” and hidden from the public?

(2) How many non-confidential documents at the Weave Shed are stamped “Confidential”?

(3) Would Mr. Lavoie’s VIS remain “confidential” forever had I not naively and innocently secured and posted excerpts on theinquiry.ca?

(4) IF Mr. Lavoie had his own website would he too be prohibited from publishing his own Victim Impact Statement?

(5) If issuing blanket publication bans (i.e., “Confidential” classification) are the order of the Cornwall Public Inquiry day why are those documents which have been erroneously classified as “Confidential” and marked for use a witness’ testimony not reassessed and declassified in advance to ensure that interested media and public alike can ‘sieze the moment’ and have unrestricted access to those pertinent documents which rightly belong in the public domain?

(6) Under the circumstances why did Mr. Ruel and the commission choose to order me to “immediately” remove the VIS rather than take steps to immediately declassify a document which should never have been classified “Confidential” in the first place? and,

(7) How long will it take the commission to declassify a Victim Impact Statement which can do so much to assist victims struggling through their own private Hell and simultaneously help non-victims to understand the tortured life and prolonged silence of a victim?

This is all truly unbelievable!  We the public component in a “public” inquiry are totally at the mercy and whim of judges and lawyers !!! 

Alas, under the circumstances and for those familar with Cornwall it’s not a particularly comforting thought 🙁

***

Don’t forget to check New to the Site on the Home page.  I frequently post material on theinquiry.ca without mentioning it on the blog, but I always reference a new posting on New to the Site.

I have a good portion of Andre Lavoie’s testimony ready to post.  I think perhaps I will post it in two stages so part one should be up shortly.

And that’s enough for now,
Sylvia
(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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2 Responses to Day 4 of the ban

  1. breachoftrust says:

    Mrs. MacEachern:
    Your reply to Simon Ruel(Cornwall Public Inquiry Commission Counsel), dated 28 October 2006 is very good….you ask very important questions.

    I would also like to say thank-you to Mr. Andre Lavoie, for being so courageous. He is a true example of what RECOVERY in process, can be.

    In two of Mr. Ruel’s replies he writes that Mr. Lavoie’s “victim impact statement” or, “this document is part of a larger document, which was marked as confidential, exhibit C-93, on an interim basis…” and then, “There is nothing in Mr. Lavoie’s Victim Impact Statement that either Mr. Lavoie or the Commission wish to protect.” “However, the Statement is technically part of a larger document made an exhibit and which contains names of victims or alleged victims that will likely require protection. As indicated, in the circumstances, the Commissioner ordered that the whole document, exhibit C-93, be marked as confidential on an interim basis.”

    I Am APPALLED, INCREDIBLE!!! My Comments which may reiterate what you have already written:

    1) “..an interim basis.” What is Commissioner Glaude’s definition, in this context, of “interim basis?” And more importantly, how COULD Mr. Lavoie’s “VIS” get swept up under the umbrella of a publication ban…I mean, what was prominent about Mr. Lavoie’s “VIS” that included it in the so-called, “Larger Document?”

    MY ANSWER to you Mrs. MacEachern is , YOU ARE correct, Mr. Lavoie’s “VIS” would have remained HIDDEN and A SECRET forever, if you had not “tripped over it.”……so how many more???

    2) Have ALL confidential and non-confidential documents IN CANADA, regarding real, perceived, alleged, accused, charged, convicted, etc., offenders,relating to “Clergy” and prominent citizens, been swept up under the protective umbrella of ONE publication ban?……..(I believe…YES. This would certainly KEEP everything HIDDEN and A SECRET, wouldn’t it?)

    3) In the letter, Simon Ruel writes that, the “LARGER DOCUMENT”, exhibit C-93, contains names of victims or alleged victims that will likely require protection.”

    I ASK: HOW can the Inquiry “assume” who may or may not be “likely to require protection” and when exactly they may likely, require it? I find it very difficult to conclude that The Cornwall Public Inquiry and perhaps other Officials and/or prominent citizen’s, have swept up this mass of documentation, placed it under a “PUBLICATION BAN”…and…all based on “assumptions” or the “possiblitity” that “victims or alleged victims will likely require protection.” “I MEAN WHAT OTHER INFORMATION IS HIDDEN IN SECRECY, BASED ON THE SAME ASSUMPTIONS OR POSSIBILITIES?” Also, why aren’t these people already protected?

    In addition:
    a)..in the 1990’s Cornwall and Area citizen’s, in the thousands screamed for a public inquiry into “Project Truth” related matters;

    b)..Provincial M.P.P. Garry Guzzo and other politicians worked very hard, in the public light and in the legislature, to bring the news about “Project Truth” and related Private Member Bill’s,demanding a public inquiry.(I ask, WHERE is this GARRY GUZZO today?)

    c)..investigations into allegations of sexual abuse and charges were delayed, running the “statutes of limitations” when they could have been “tolled”, thus permitting prosecutions;

    d)..criminal court cases seemed fruitless and a joke, where Judges were recused or they exonerated the accused implying, “guilty, but not guilty enough..”

    e)..Unrevoked and uncorrected news media reports (to this day)represent The Cornwall Public Inquiry as being, “The Project Truth” inquiry….THIS IS INCORRECT!!!

    f)..The Cornwall Public Inquiry once or twice, in hearings only, have represnted that The Cornwall Public Inquiry has NOTHING TO DO WITH, “Project Truth”.

    I CAN GO ON AND ON AND ON, WITH THESE TYPE OF REPRESENTATIONS/MISREPRESENTATIONS and naive efforts to influence public opinion.

    I conclude: ALSO, Taking into consideration, the very positive and negative influences of the internet,YOU, Mrs. MacEachern, NOW, as many others do in different parts of the world, PLAY a very, very, significant and IMPORTANT,INFLUENTIAL role in getting “THE UNMANIPULATED FACTS” to the world. “The SYSTEM, The Cornwall Public Inquiry et al,” do not know how to work with the “NEW MEDIA”, because they are so accustommed to “manipulating and controlling” the “mainstream media”, especially through “frivolous” litigations or “publication bans”.

    So, Mrs. MacEachern….I urge you to “cover your butt”, because you are a danger to “THEM.”

    Be watchful of “wolves in sheeps clothing.”

    I conclude; The Cornwall Public Inquiry is a SHAM!! and as many others have stated, the “final touch” to a massive “coverup.” (I suggest you web-search “The Franklin Coverup”, as a further example of the type of personalities and institutions, “the system et al” attempts to protect.)

    I conclude: Simon Ruel, Commission Counsel, Judge Glaude and The Cornwall Public Inquiry take, WE THE PUBLIC, to be morons. HOWEVER, WE know the facts.

    I conclude: Judge Glaude, his superiors and his subordinates, wonder why the public has screamed “COVERUP!!”. They wonder WHY, in this Public Inquiry, The System is not trusted.

    I say, HELLO…wakey!! wakey!!…YOU at the Weave Shed and your cronies, are so “out of touch!!!”…..and….you haven’t even looked at the Project Truth related issues as yet….why, you ask!!!

    Thank God, “The World Is Watching” and at least three documentaries are in the making or being considered.

    The only way to access the facts!!

  2. Sylvia says:

    A very comprehensive account. You put the whole sordid mess in a nutshell 🙂

    Yes. The Franklin Cover-up. So many similarities. Did you know that a British team did some excellent in-depth research on Franklin while compiling a documentary? It was all set to air in the U.S. but was pulled at the 11th hour. If I recall correctly all copies of the documentary were presumably destroyed. BUT one is out and about – poor quality in places but very revealing. I must track it down and provide the link.

    Sylvia

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