Cornwall Ontario – When I heard about the case of one of Canada’s most decorated soldiers, Collin Fitzgerald, being utterly screwed over by our court system right here at the Cornwall court house I rushed over.
Because of this newspaper a requested gag order by the crown might have been allowed which means we might not ever have heard of his story to the degree that we have and his legal bills might be even higher or even worse, he may have simply copped to a lesser plea deal.
The thing is that there are thousands of Collin Fitzgerald’s out there who can’t get the help to get through their crisis. Many lawyers love a high profile case and will help out. Politicians too. MPP Randy Hillier is championing Collin, but is staying mum on my own case of abuse at the hands of the AGM, crowns, and police over utterly false charges that I made threatening phone calls.
In the crown disclosure it was said that I made certain phone calls from my cell phone at certain times and dates for specified duration where it was alleged I made threats including one item on the disclosure that stated I said “You’re dead” for a call with a 17 second duration.
Crown Jennifer Burke refused at first to get a production order from Bell which would show my phone records. Only after it was requested that she state her refusal in writing that we received what most people knew. That I had not made a single phone call. Nothing. Nada. The person who laid that complaint, Michael Bedard, was a deadbeat client who I’d been in small claims court in the day he issued the first complaint. He eventually had to pay CFN, and left a bunch of people in the lurch when he shut down his second pool company.
The evidence the police based their charge on was essentially phone spoofing. Sgt. Chad Maxwell accepted a caller id from Mr. Bedard and Mr. Bedard’s word as presented by Cst Casey Macregor of the CCPS. The police refused any clear explanation.
A reasonable person would have immediately dropped the charges after the production order came through, but I was kept under brutal conditions, especially as I was running for mayor. They even had brought in another crown from Ottawa.
So what we have are a police service that failed to do their job properly and lodged a clearly false claim without legitimate proof or motive.
Not one, but two crowns who abusively pressed a charge that was not in the public’s interest and one crown that maintained the charges even when provided with categorically clear proof of my innocence.
And even more darkly, Hilary McCormack of the Ottawa AG’s office who lied to members of the public who contacted her offices on my behalf. Ms McCormack subsequently was given a patronage position.
While someone like Collin Fitzgerald is a higher profile case and most Canadians love to support our soldiers there are thousands of people whose lives are being impacted because of this abuse.
The system is broken, from the recent cuts to legal aid, to no real recourse against abuse by police, crowns, or even justices.
I have sat in front of about a dozen judges in the last few years here in Cornwall. I honestly can’t say that I’ve seen more than two or three that I remotely felt I’d get a fair chance from and they were not local, but brought in from Ottawa.
The system now allows people to use paralegals for a lot of services for those that can’t afford lawyers, but a bad judge or decision can lead to appeal, and paralegals can’t work appeals in Ontario.
The time to get through the legal system is also abusive. With less legal aid dollars that will mean more self represented people which will mean lengthier court cases with more innocent people suffering.
We have failed. A court case can be brutally and prohibitively expensive. Petty criminals know this and work the system. In fact I recently joked that our disgraced former City Councilor Brock Frost should write about about gaming the system instead of working Real Estate as he’s clearly failed at that by his own bankruptcy settlement documents. Ironically Mr. Frost stated in a document presented to CFN that his procedure was a lie and that he had 23 properties. RBC and his other creditors, who had already settled with Frost let it slide because of our court system’s high cost and potential for Frost to wiggle what he may have meant.
How many of those types of fraud cases do banks eat that the public ends up paying for?
It truly is time to take the politics out of our justice system which also includes who is appointed to as Justice of the Peace or Judge.
Because right now the people of Ontario would probably be better served by television justices like Judge Judy rather than the status quo.
In my case the police have refused to charge Mike Bedard who made the false claims against myself. None of the police or crowns involved in my case have been sanctioned. At least one has been promoted.
It’s not money that’s needed to fix our system, but accountability. Accountability of those that earn their living in the system, and those that abuse it.
To date I still have not been able to find a lawyer to take my own case, just like thousands of others in Ontario.
And we need to start allowing media to video or record hearings so that the public can see the work of our justice system in action.
Justice should be blind and available to all. Otherwise it simply isn’t justice.
It’s great that Collin Fitzgerald is seeing some justice and maybe, just maybe, might find some justice in the legal costs, but all victims of the Justice system in Ontario need that same resolution or we really don’t have a justice system. He’s come a long way since the day outside the Cornwall Court House when he hugged me when he was finally released after the abuse he went through at the Ottawa Detention Centre, and now gives back to his community of fellow soldiers.
Everyone that is in front of a justice in Ontario should feel assured that they will be treated fairly and a decision be based on the merits of the case. In other words be treated fairly.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.