Cornwall Ontario – We have a system that is utterly broken. It’s a cash machine for law enforcement and judicial system that essentially depend on each other to earn their incomes and improve their budgets.
There is a very low threshold of accountability for abuses or errors by police, and almost none against Crown Attorneys. Most times people that allege clearly false charges walk way with no punishment.
The Globe & Mail and other media have tackled some of this major issue that can impact just about anyone in the province.
Ontario’s criminal justice system is chaotic even on a good day. Jails are filled with people awaiting trial, getting to trial can take years, and the costs – both financial and social – are staggering. And yet crime rates have been falling steadily, to the point that Ontario has the lowest violent crime rate in Canada.
I know. I’ve experienced this multiple times in a city of only about 40,000 people.
My case sadly is not unique completely.
I was falsely arrested for making threatening phone calls. The Cornwall Community Police under Chief Dan Parkinson did not have any actual proof of me making any calls before laying of the charges other than my number appearing on the person who made the false claims,
In fact Crown Jennifer Burke at one point refused my legal representations request to get a production order issued. When it finally arrived it showed that I’d never made a single call as per the Crown’s disclosure.
Of course by then I had to sign a peace bond to be released with punitive conditions or wait in jail to make bail. Violating those conditions I’m told would result in a worse sentence than the original crime.
Thanks to abuse by the Crown my charges were dropped nearly a year later, all that time with myself living under conditions, even though it had been categorically proven that I never made a single call.
The police refused to charge Mr. Bedard.
I was another number in the system. Ms Burke and the Crowns were paid. The police were paid. The justice’s were paid. My business and life were devastated.
Both times I asked to press charges. Both times the police refused. Again, the police were paid for their work. In the meanwhile more lies and cost were at my door.
A reader sent in the following about Ms Trottier:
I sincerely enjoyed your piece on police and fire transparency in this city. I did want to comment on this story but being I want to mention names, I will do so via email. As a XXXXXXXXX for eight years at the Cornwall Community hospital, I would like to share with you another incident where a so called prominent citizen was given treatment where if you or I committed, we would be going through the court system to save our ass. Approximately 2 years ago I witnessed a highly intoxicated female trying to pay for her exit ticket at the pay machine inside so she could leave the parking lot. This female (Traci Trottier) was so intoxicated that she couldn’t even figure out how to put a $5.00 bill in the machine. After several attempts, she left the building and went to her car. She pressed the help button at the exit gate and asked to be let out because she had no money. As I watched her (via CCTV) sit in her vehicle at the gate I tried to hold her up by telling her there were issues with the mechanics of the gate and I would get her out as soon as possible. I proceeded to call 911 to report the intoxicated female and also continued to inform her I was doing everything possible to let her out, only prolonging this for her while I waited for the police to arrive. When the police arrived in a matter of minutes, I went outside to witness the situation. She started crying and screaming at the police and told them if they charged her she would jump off the bridge. I was baffled when the police told her to exit the vehicle and then one of the officers proceeded to move her vehicle in to a parking stall and tell her they would drive her home and she could get her car the next day. It was quite obvious that she was not charged with DUI as I did see her pick up her car the next day and had seen her driving on numerous occasions after that incident. I guess it goes to show you that it’s not who you know but……Please feel free to do as you wish with this information on the condition that my name is not mentioned in the story.
Thanks for your time and keep up the great work of informing the citizens of Cornwall of news which we have a right to know.
Why does Ms Trottier seem to get all these free passes?
Ian Bowering, a local museum curator, struck my camera pushing it into my person, which is in fact assault. The incident is in the video above and he admits it in the video. The police refused to issue the charge with the Sgt on duty actually laughing and telling me to take it to a JP which we did. A crown and JP watched the video and also refused to lay a charge. Mr. Bowering was taken to civil court and paid the costs of the camera, but again, the cost of having to go to court was greater in time and resources for something that clearly should have been a simple assault charge.
There are about half a dozen other cases I could list here including that of a former sitting City Councilor, Robert Brock Frost, but the focus of this story is the abuse and cost to taxpayers of our policing and judicial system.
In my case locally it’s a tight nit political system that’s leading to abuse.
Collin Fitzgerald, one of Canada’s most decorated soldiers went through hell via the Morrisburg OPP. He may never see true justice because of the brutal cost in bringing actions to court. After several years he’s regained control of his life and is doing it much better, but at a huge cost which includes no longer spending much time in the area and the loss of a beloved family pet.
All you have to do to see our system in action is follow the police blotter. What little is shared locally adds up to huge budgets that clog up our system. What isn’t shared is horrific many times.
Can you imagine being innocent of a crime and having to sign brutal conditions to be released or be stuck in jail for up to weeks waiting for a bail hearing? That’s insane. And you really have no leverage or choice. You’re at the total mercy of the crown regarding these conditions.
Instead of there being any true police or crown accountability the Ontario government simply has hired more lawyers to push people through the meatgrinder of injustice. That’s kinda insane. That’s just burning cash instead of fixing the system.
The only remedies available are simply not available unless you have very very deep pockets which most don’t, especially with the high cost of hydro in this province.
In Quebec and BC police cannot file a charge without the crown signing off on it.
In Ontario, 43 per cent of charges laid are ultimately stayed or withdrawn. Of those that do go to trial, the conviction rate is just 55 per cent. Ontario has by far the lowest conviction rate in the country, and the highest number, again by far, of cases that are dropped.
In Quebec, where police must get the approval of a Crown prosecutor before laying charges, a mere 8.6 per cent of charges are stayed or withdrawn, and the conviction rate is 75 per cent. In British Columbia, where the Crown similarly has to approve charges, only 29 per cent of charges are dropped and the conviction rate is 70 per cent.
Having your name smeared in the police blotter when you’re innocent can destroy a life and family. The cost to Ontario residents is huge when police and crown abuse is tolerated with no checks and balances. With zero accountability it’s a license to destroy lives and corruption.
Clearly Ontario needs to move towards the Quebec & BC model, but more importantly it needs to clean up 720 Bay Street. It also needs to create a way for victims of abuse to find remedy without the punitive costs of Superior court which many simply cannot afford and wait times can run into years.
In Ottawa, just the second manslaughter charge against an officer since 1990 was laid after most of the brutal mess was captured on video. Are Ottawa police officers that clean and professional or is there simply an issue with charging and prosecuting officers? Those numbers for our Nation’s Capital are actually lower than Cornwall’s 40,000 population.
The SIU’s former director, who served from 2008 to 2013, said he thinks the zero conviction rate in Ottawa is an anomaly, but conceded that making charges stick is challenging.
Ian Scott, who was the SIU’s director from 2008 to 2013, says he believes Ottawa’s zero conviction rate is an ‘anomaly.’ (CBC)
“Police are in a very unusual circumstance when criminal charges are laid against them,” Ian Scott said, explaining that it’s more complex because officers are tasked by society to use force if necessary.
Police also have “very good lawyers,” and often juries are sympathetic to the challenges officers face, Scott said.
The public needs to be able to feel safe from their own police and justice system.
It seems the only person not protected in our police and judicial system in Ontario are the victims of false complaints and abuse of the justice system. Does that make any sense?
Surely if police, crowns, and justices were held to a higher level of accountability there would be less room for error and abuse in the system?
What do you think dear CFN viewer? You can post your comments below.
Jamie life in Cornwall is mighty strange and backward. The whole system is one big witch hunt. About those phone calls there is a thing called “spoofing” and those who are Cornwall’s cops are not educated in high tech nor anything at the basic levels of anything. People get in by family in all jobs and are ignorant and no education and pulled in – it is all scam.
Jules the CCPS were aware of spoofing. To date there has been no inquiry as much as I’ve asked for one. The same Cst and Sgt that signed off on it are still sucking back their paycheques as is Chief Parkinson. Our force needs a total outside investigation and clean up, especially for what we’re paying for it.
The cop in the picture with Ian Bowering is Bob Kilger’s BIL. In hubby’s country of Lebanon you cannot film someone unless you have their permission. My husband’s nephew was filming people in Lebanon to send to us and they got very angry at him for doing this. Ask permission first and when you have it then they can’t come back on you. Bowering looks like the midget in Snow White.
Jules in Canada public spaces are completely legal to shoot in. Again, in the video he didn’t ask me to stop. You just reached out and face palmed the camera which smashed me near the eye.
You may ask is Jules coming back to Cornwall – I say only for a visit for a few hours and back to civilization. LOL LOL. Jamie things are bad enough in Ottawa and all the shootings and drugs, etc. but wild horses can never bring me back to Cornwall ever to live. There is a law for one set and another law for another set. Cornwall is a mighty strange place and I have said it for more years.
Jules Ottawa has issues too. You know you’re dying to move back to Cornwall 🙂
LOL LOL. ROLF! Jamie my dear friend I wouldn’t go as far as dying or anywhere near that. LOL LOL. We had our problems living in Cornwall but since we have been in Ottawa we had none so far – only a few years ago but none these days. Ottawa is a strange animal and hubby hates it.
Cornwall is very quiet except for the drugs. Ottawa is full of drugs and really out of whack these days. We had a very nice auditor in the government who worked with me and he was high on marijuana and had a lovely girlfriend and bet her up under the influence – separated. He was very well educated and impecably dressed and laughed at all my jokes. I was more like Phillis Diller of the unit.
You are such a desperate man…Jules is clearly obsessed with the city of Cornwall and has nothing better to do. She’s your only reader, right? It’s a damn fine city. I hope those funds are coming through for you Jamie. It was 6 last Monday, right? I’m a recovering alcoholic and proud to say so. Your fat ass has hit rock bottom.
Traci Trottier I don’t listen to you at all and I am not obsessed with Jamie’s paper but I find it to be the best since it is not corporate owned and controlled and a very nice paper. I am not the only one who goes on Jamie’s paper and plenty of good people here on this site. Traci you have a huge problem and deal with it.
Jamie I said many times on your paper that Cornwall has to have a complete outside force that is not affiliated with Cornwall at all and cannot be bribed to investigate everything going down there. Everything in Cornwall is a cover up and a witch hunt. I mean it when I said that we could never live in Cornwall ever – that is how bad things are down there.
Ms. Trottier did not get away with impaired driving two summers ago while picking up her kids at her ex-husbands place on Jarvis Street here in Cornwall the unfortunate part to that was the CCPS did not release this to the Police Blotter, not only did she lose her licence but had to sell yet another car, she is seen often peddling her bike around town, most likely drunk.
Jamie when I was a child I wanted out of Cornwall forever and I knew back then what was going on. Today my eyes are open to a great deal more and there is no way in hell that I could ever live down there. I have a hard time just spending an hour or two when we go down – when we leave it is like leaving hell into heaven.
Jamie I have seen how Ian Bowering reached out at your camera. This man has many issues and looks more like the midget in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and has the little cabin in the park. I laugh when I see that cabin and I have seen Ian walk around outside the cabin. Jamie it has been two or three years since we were in Cornwall and plenty of laughter that I have reading.
I think this threatening message to me before our lawsuit says a lot about the culture of Cornwall sadly…. Speaking of hitting bottom, lying about someone, their business, and trying to get someone arrested simply who offered you a job after you’d been terminated from Corus radio for romping with the boss wouldn’t be considered higher road behavior. Glad you’re in recovery and hope you get that making amends step. “Also – if you want to get down to it…you won’t look very good sueing a single mother of two who’s ex-husband has mere months to live with ALS. Former OPP – lots of connections – not sure who would even want to work for you. Also keep in mind that I am extremely good friends with the Savards, the Pommiers, the Kilgers, boat with the Sabourins…shall I continue?? Come after me if you wish but at the end of the day – no one will win.”
Jamie you have lived in Los Angeles, Montréal and other places and Cornwall is a farm. For some people to attack you verbally as well as by stupid law suits, etc. is insane. The people who attack you are the lowest of the lowest and not worth anything of value. You are a very good person and I see the goodness of what you really are. We went through a lot in Cornwall and never again.
Jamie if I lived in Cornwall and went on your paper which I would do if I lived there what would Traci Trottier have to say then. If we ever leave Ottawa it would be for another town but never ever Cornwall no way at all. When you are hurt you don’t go back for more hurt – you pick yourself up and dust yourself up and get on with ones life and that is what we did. I have plenty of good laughs.
Traci seems to have quite the victim complex, I feel bad for any man that gets involved with her. My personal experiences with CCPD have all been positive, although I am not white and most people would assume i’m a criminal based on looks. However people I know have stories of lying, intimidation and bias when dealing with a couple specific officers. Way too many favors given in this town also.
You are right Jerry. When we lived in Cornwall we had problems with racism as far as my husband is concerned and he is Middle Eastern but a Christian. One day we were at Canadian Tire and a couple of Native men thought that my husband was Native because of his color. The whites were mighty bad as neighbors, etc. Never again. The cops were no help at all and would only be good if we were rich.
Jamie could you get another cop force from another city to look into this matter of spoofing. Cornwall is well known for what it is and I tried my best to caution you. A lot of people let it go on deaf ears but I know what Cornwall is about and never again. I love the bird sanctuary and places like that but I would never live in Cornwall at all. So much harm is done to good people.
Jules the police were one issue, but it was the abuse by local crowns that should concern everyone as they have no real accountability. They choose which cases to prosecute and which not too. Who gets a free pass and who gets “the treatment”. That needs to be cleaned up and that goes right to the Attorney General’s office in Toronto.
Jamie I remember the woman attorney or was she a judge by the surname Burke who just wanted to nail you. There is no justice at all in Cornwall and it is all part of who you know and belong to. Just like that woman Traci who was with the radio station and is involved with some of the clique in Cornwall. The clique belongs to her type and not for good people. I could never live in such a place.
Jamie I think that it is a good idea for you to contact the Attorney General in Toronto and spill out your entire case and something will be done. You cannot go on being charged for things that you didn’t do. Cornwall is as backward as a hillbillie without teeth – it is not a town to live in especially these days. We left for very good reasons. Cornwall is finished.
Jules the AG office is part of the problem. Hilary McCormack who was at it’s Ottawa office actually lied to people that were writing in to the AG on my behalf. This was while Madeleine Meilleur was still the AG. Again, it comes down to accountability.
Jamie this is a real witch hunt. Mme Meilleur represented Vanier area of Ottawa for some years. My husband calls Ottawa “a big Cornwall” but I am shocked at Toronto of all places. We left Cornwall in time – the worst time of my life and that of my family was living in that town. Life changed when we left Cornwall for Ottawa and boy did it change.
The AG problem is province wide, if not country wide, not just a regional problem. I’ve seen more than a few articles online and in print saying our justice system is broken. Hopefully things will change. But when, where and how are the questions. I guess we’ll see or maybe we won’t. Pfftttt!!!!!
Jamie who is this Hilary MacCormack – what position did this person hold? If this person held a legal position they can lose their licence as a lawyer or whatever to make up lies and stories that are not true. Cornwall is a cesspool of hell that we went through and never ever again. There are no laws in Canada – the entire system is corrupt.
To compound Ontario’s legal dilemma a ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has helped to form a foundation for the inclusion of sharia law. The decision appears to have blurred the line between religion and culture. Progress is a complicated matter. What happened to “when in Rome…”?
We had a wonderful Irish doctor here who serviced Cornwall and Lancaster in the early 2005-2010. He told me he was leaving (and he did) because this was a colony not a community. Too bad we lost a good doctor.
Jamie something happened in the US just lately and hubby was trying to tell me about it this morning. Cops were called to some residence and usually cops have a video recorder on them but tis time turned off and they shot a woman. There is so much corruption nowadays. Honest to God Jamie I swear on two Bibles here and my life that I would love it to be back in the 1950s era again.