Court denies former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino intervention in Judicial Review of CJC

Julian Fantino’s ‘bombshell’ evidence.

A Federal Court prothonotary has denied a motion by Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, to intervene in the judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision. (UPDATE: Fantino is appealing this decision in Federal Court on Monday, November 20, 2017)

Mr. Fantino, who is also a former Federal Cabinet Minister in the Stephen Harper government and a lifetime member of the Queen’s Privy Council, had sought intervenor status in a Judicial Review scheduled for November 20, 2017 in Toronto at the Federal Court of Canada. The review is brought by Donald Best, a former Toronto Police sergeant, concerning the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision not to investigate his complaint about the conduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Justice Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Peter Wardle

Opposing Fantino’s intervention were Victor J. Paolone of the Attorney General of Canada and Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer, Ontario Law Society bencher Peter Wardle. Mr. Fantino was represented by K. W. McKenzie. Paul Slansky represented Donald Best.

While the October 25, 2017 written decision by prothonotary Mandy Aylen covers many of the issues addressed in Mr. Fantino’s application, it does not mention some of the most stunning parts of Fantino’s sworn affidavit, nor the controversial statements made by each of the lawyers during oral submissions.

Initial reactions from police officers, lawyers and ordinary Canadians range from shock to embarrassed acknowledgement that some of the activities revealed in Fantino’s affidavit are nothing new to insiders in the justice system and law enforcement.

(Fantino’s application, affidavit, written submissions and Prothonotary Aylen’s decision are public documents and are attached at the end of this article.)

Julian Fantino Affidavit Bombshells

Here, complied by your publisher Donald Best, is a list of selected passages from Mr. Fantino’s 33 pages of sworn affidavit. (With attached exhibits, the full affidavit is 461 pages.)

NOTE: The verbatim quotes and summarized excerpts below are selected from various affidavit pages. They obviously cannot be presented in context in this short summary article and may be out of order.

Canadians are urged to carefully read and consider Mr. Fantino’s full affidavit and other source documents and to make up their own minds as to the full import of Mr. Fantino’s sworn testimony.

Evidence in Julian Fantino’s sworn affidavit includes (summarized except verbatim excerpts in quotes):

General

  • No one is representing the public interest of Canadians at this judicial review. The Attorney General of Canada represents the CJC, not the public.
  • “Mr. Best was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to prison in absentia (while he was not in Canada) upon the presentation by lawyers of provably false evidence during a private prosecution in a civil trial costs hearing.”
  • “This prosecution and eventual imprisonment of Mr. Best was being carried out in the name of a purported client that did not exist. The CJC should investigate how this offshore non-person received substantial funds in court costs (over 1 million dollars) which raises questions about possible money laundering and currency control violations.”
  • “The court also convicted Mr. Best based upon affidavit evidence that was the product of illegal actions by a serving officer of the Ontario Provincial Police at the time that I was OPP Commissioner.” The officer, now retired Detective Sergeant James (Jim) Arthur Van Allen, was manager of the OPP’s elite Criminal Profiling Unit under Commissioner Fantino.

Improper Police Involvement in Civil Cases & Secret Investigations

  • “There are four general incidents in the (Donald Best) civil case, CJC record and in the current Judicial Review where police resources and personnel were improperly and even illegally and secretly used and coopted.”
  • “There is disturbing evidence, some strong and apparently irrefutable, and some circumstantial, that in four groups of incidents in the civil case and even during the present Judicial Review, police resources and personnel were (or appear to have been) improperly retained, used and coopted to assist one side of a private civil dispute in the Ontario courts.”
  • Involved police organizations include the OPP, Durham Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and the Toronto Police Association.
  • Durham Regional Police perform undocumented (secret) investigations of civil case litigants “all the time” and “most likely in assistance to the Court.” This was done in the Donald Best civil case and perhaps in respect of the current Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council decision regarding Justice Shaughnessy.
  • “There is also evidence of involvement by other police forces before the finding of contempt by the court and later who have been involved in this civil court matter. Some of it with the apparent intent of using the investigation results to influence, impact or derail this Judicial Review.”
  • “If left to stand, these abuses in total would result in the undermining of public confidence in the police, the judicial process, the CJC and the Rule of Law. My background and experience is such that I can assist the Court in determining the truth about what appears to be significant abuses of police resources to improperly influence the justice system in the civil case and perhaps even in this Judicial Review.”

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

  • Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order ten full days that immediately put Donald Best into contempt for failing to deliver certain documents to opposing lawyers two days before the order was created. Best was jailed for this ‘failure’ to comply with an impossible court order.
  • Certain court documents and orders that were said to have been delivered to Donald Best were, in fact, not delivered and Justice Shaughnessy knew this. Nonetheless Justice Shaughnessy validated service of these documents.
  • Justice Shaughnessy allowed the court process to be used on an extra-jurisdictional basis and “improperly delegated his judicial power to the prosecuting lawyers in order to interfere with and impact legal proceedings in other countries.” The lawyers told Justice Shaughnessy that they were pursuing Donald Best for contempt charges in order to force Best to provide evidence for use in a Florida legal case, and to force settlement upon other litigants in civil cases in Florida and Barbados courts.
  • “The record shows that after Best requested a review of his conviction and sentence, the Judge (Shaughnessy) refused to consider his fresh exculpatory evidence including but not limited to secretly made and forensically certified voice recordings of a telephone call with the lawyers that showed they placed false evidence before the Judge, refused to allow Best to cross-examine the lawyer-witnesses, their clients and ‘private investigator’ James Van Allen, who together provided the false evidence that the court used to convict and sentence Best.”
  • “I cannot recall any other case where a Canadian was convicted and sentenced in absentia (when the accused was not present) upon provably false and/or illegally sourced evidence, and was then refused the basic right to cross-examine the witnesses and accusers that the court relied upon to convict and sentence.”
  • “Court ended and the Judge (Shaughnessy) left the courtroom. The courtroom staff ended their duties and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, in Mr. Best’s absence, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the record, the Judge secretly created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s time to be served in prison by 50%… this new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records.”… “There is no justification for this which appears to be a vindictive and punitive act and it needs to be closely scrutinized.”… “The CJC did not address these actions by the Judge, but rather summarily dismissed the issue by ruling that it was not ‘conduct’.”

OPP Detective Sergeant James Van Allen

“Had I known of his (Jim Van Allen’s) transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.”  Julian Fantino

  • “The prosecuting lawyers hired and submitted an affidavit from Mr. Van Allen. They claimed that he was a private investigator and failed to disclose that he was a serving police officer with access to police resources. This police officer obtained confidential information not available to the public which was then used by the Judge to convict, sentence and imprison Mr. Best for contempt.”
  • “Although the lawyers regularly referred to Van Allen as a ‘private investigator’ in their legal documents and on the court record in verbal submissions and discussions with the Judge, Jim Van Allen was not a licensed private investigator. James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen, was in fact a serving Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant and manager of the OPP’s Criminal Profiling Unit who was working secretly and illegally as an unlicensed private investigator.”
  • “From my examination of the evidence that is already filed in court and was easily available to the courts and the CJC had they examined it, it is reasonable to conclude that OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen’s inappropriate employment as a private investigator, his access to confidential information and the distribution of the same, and the very creation of his affidavit in order to benefit private parties in a civil lawsuit, represents a flagrant violation of various Provincial and Federal laws including the Police Services Act, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, the Criminal Code and the Freedom of Information Act.”
  • “In no small way, Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen violated his oath of office.”
  • “Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s conduct and behavior in relation to this case occurred while I was OPP Commissioner. Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence to determine the details, extent and duration of his activities with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges against Van Allen and, potentially, charges against other involved persons.”
  • “It is inconceivable that all the involved lawyers and Judge were unaware that ‘private investigator’ and expert witness Jim Van Allen was an OPP police officer. Considering many factors, including Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s high public profile, the rules and normal vetting practices by lawyers and judges concerning Expert Witnesses, and the fact that Van Allen’s affidavit and redacted invoices were clearly suspect on their face to any ordinary person let alone lawyers and judges, it is unbelievable that nobody in that courtroom knew the truth about Van Allen or otherwise cared to find out.”
  • “I notice that Van Allen’s two redacted invoices are numbers 11 and 12 for the year 2009, which to me raises serious questions about how many other illegal investigations he had performed and which lawyer clients might have retained him previously. Had I known of his transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.”

Self-Represented Canadians and the Canadian Judicial Council

  • “I have no reason to believe that Mr. Best’s complaints to the CJC were handled any differently than those of other Canadians. I have no reason to believe that the CJC’s apparent arbitrary standards, lack of investigation, lack of transparency and absence of support to an unrepresented person in Mr. Best’s case is unusual for the CJC. I believe that the CJC’s handling of Mr. Best’s case is representative of the standard CJC treatment of unrepresented persons – with one important difference which in Mr. Best’s situation merely supported the imprisonment of an apparently innocent man and that is simply unacceptable and wrong.”
  • “Judicial independence is an important principle in the Canadian Justice System. That is all the more reason why Canadians must feel secure that the Canadian Judicial Council properly performs its function in dealing with complaints. The CJC was created by Parliament to serve the people of Canada and to maintain the integrity and high standards that people expect in their Justice System. It follows that full professional investigations and transparency should be the norm. Publicly defined standards for the CJC that are easy to access and easy to understand are of paramount importance to the mandate it received from Parliament, and for which it is accountable.”
  • “This would include ease of access by all Canadians and, where necessary, assistance by CJC staff trained to accommodate the different cultural, linguistic, and educational factors that are the hallmarks of our multi-faceted Canadian society. Not all Canadians have the skill set, educational background, or writing ability to properly compose a complete account of their concerns and complaints about their experiences in Court and how they are treated by Judges. Accordingly, I wish to contribute to this Court proceeding in evaluating and resolving the matters raised in regard to Mr. Best’s Application.”
  • “While the CJC guidelines as to how Canadians can expect to be treated in Court when they are unrepresented litigants, the CJC does not extend those same considerations to Canadians who complain about their treatment in Courts by Judges. The CJC’s response to (Donald Best’s) complaint emphasizes that this type of assistance and proactive treatment is not extended to complainants to the CJC.”
  • “The lack of assistance and guidance for the complainant adds a layer of mystery and lack of transparency to an already oblique arrangement where it appears that one person, Mr. Sabourin, whose credentials are not known, is the filter for all information that is assessed. This appears incongruous with the very specialized and unique knowledge that are required to review the jurisdiction and actions of judges.”
  • “Other tribunals which are in place to serve the public in specialized benefit from the assistance of fully trained assessors who can assist the aggrieved person and be certain that the full import of the complaint is fairly presented. This type of assistance is all the more important when it comes to Courts and Judges which may be the most important factor or bulwark in the preservation of democracy.”
  • “The CJC did not fully take into consideration that its function is to serve the people of Canada. Not all Canadians are able to fully understand let alone report about the nuances of what happens in Court and the CJC has decided it will give them no guidance. Whereas other tribunals engage investigators and information gatherers who are well versed in the areas under consideration that will interview, review, and generally help a complainant make a full and focused complaint the CJC does nothing of the sort. Apparently, Mr. Sabourin and the Judge are of the view that the CJC can reject a complaint arbitrarily.”

At the time of publication there is no word if Mr. Fantino will appeal the prothonotary’s decision.

Court Documents – Redacted Identity Information (signatures, etc)

In .PDF format for downloading. Size indicated.

1/ Affidavit of Julian Fantino sworn September 28, 2017, Notice of Motion, Written Submissions NO EXHIBITS (72 pages – PDF 8.7mb)

2/ Order of Prothonotary Mandy Aylen released October 25, 2017 (22 pages – PDF 241kb)

3/ Julian Fantino: Full affidavit including exhibits.

Fantino Vol1 with exhibits sworn Sept 28, 2017 (344 pages – PDF 43mb) – very large, will fix soon.

Fantino Vol2 with exhibits sworn Sept 28, 2017 (245 pages – PDF 22.3mb) – very large, will fix soon.

To be added after redacting (probably a day or two):

4/ Justice Shaughnessy: Submissions on Fantino Intervention Motion

5/ Attorney General of Canada: Submissions on Fantino Intervention Motion

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Robert Lapper’s moral leadership failure undermined Ontario’s Law Society

After six years as CEO of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada, Robert G. W. Lapper Q.C. steps down at the end of this month – some say appropriately so on Halloween. Even Lapper’s farewell announcement reflects the elitist, out of touch self-centred behaviour that Ontarians have come to expect from the lawyers’ union…

“I am confident that the Law Society will continue to make a difference, and serve the public interest very well.” Outgoing CEO Robert Lapper Q.C.*

Heady words from Robert Lapper – whose term was rocked by the scandal of what is probably the largest cover-up in the law society’s history. The Toronto Star’s Broken Trust series details how the law society quietly handles the cases of lawyers who commit criminal offences against clients – not reporting the crimes to the police and often allowing the involved lawyers to resume practicing law when the dust settles and the victims have been bought off.

How the ongoing cover-ups of lawyers’ criminal activity against their clients serves the ‘public interest’, Mr. Lapper has never explained.

The cover-ups of serious lawyer misconduct didn’t start with Robert Lapper, but they did continue and even accelerated under his leadership.

“It is never a good idea to allow powerful organizations and people in positions of trust and power to self-regulate. Time and time again the Law Society of Upper Canada has shown that it is incapable of self-regulation in the public interest.

 

 

Most Ontarians believe that the lawyers’ union (for that is all it is) no longer has the moral authority to self-regulate.”

Lapper’s self-congratulatory resignation (repeated fully at the end of this article) and the fawning reply by LSUC Treasurer Paul Schabas come at a time when it can be fairly said that never before in Canadian history have the people and the justice system been so far apart. Never before has justice been so inaccessible to the vast majority of ordinary Canadians.

“Never before in Canadian history have the people and the justice system been so far apart. Never before has justice been so inaccessible to the vast majority of ordinary Canadians.”

It can also be fairly said that the elites who currently run the legal system do so primarily for the benefit of the legal profession. Nothing illustrates this better than Family Court where the vast majority of persons before the court cannot afford a lawyer and so are forced to appear by themselves. In Toronto this approaches 80% of litigants.

Former Ontario Court Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo recently recommended that lower-cost paralegals be allowed to act in Family Court as that would at least bring some order to the chaos and exponentially increase real access to justice compared with the current situation.

Not a chance” said Ontario’s lawyers and judges who want to maintain their monopoly at the expense of ordinary people who need justice – but can’t afford even $200 an hour for some kid out of law school let alone double that for a senior family lawyer.

“Nobody is talking to anybody in the public about (the Bonkalo recommendations), and the law society’s attitude is just this ‘trust-us’ stuff. Well, the public doesn’t trust them, because the public can’t afford them.” Dr. Julie Macfarlane of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project.

Robert Lapper: Organizational success, moral failure

For six years Robert Lapper failed to provide the moral leadership that Ontario’s law society so desperately needs. He also had the chance to provide leadership in my case, but ran the other way.

In November 2012 I notified Robert Lapper in writing of certain criminal activities by named Ontario lawyers and Bay Street law firms. You can read my letters and the law society’s response here (pdf).

I told Mr. Lapper that dozens of lawyers had refused to represent me because I had voice recordings and other evidence that showed senior lawyers had fabricated evidence and lied to the judge to convict me of contempt of court. I asked for Mr. Lapper’s help in finding a lawyer willing to take my case and explained that dozens of lawyers had refused me because they feared backlash and opprobrium from the profession if they took my side against Bay Street lawyers.

In reply Mr. Lapper and the lawyers’ union sent me an email advising to ‘go fish’ for a lawyer on LSUC’s website. No investigation was launched into the criminal acts by LSUC members. No evidence was seized or protected. When the law society later became aware of additional misconduct by the lawyers, including apparent money laundering by one of the Bay Street cabal, they still covered up. (Full story here: Cowardice and lack of Integrity at Ontario’s Law Society)

For six years Robert Lapper failed to provide the moral leadership, courage and integrity that the Law Society of Upper Canada always claims but doesn’t practice.

As the people of Ontario say ‘good riddance’ to Mr. Lapper, we hope that the next CEO of the lawyers’ union has the courage and integrity to serve the public interest and the public trust first.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

* Lapper’s full resignation statement:

“After almost six years as CEO of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) I have decided that it is time to leave, to focus on new opportunities and life priorities. The opportunity to have been involved in so many of the ambitious and innovative policy and regulatory initiatives of this Law Society over the past five years has been deeply gratifying and unfailingly interesting. I leave feeling pleased and passionate about the accomplishments of this organization over that time, knowing that the Law Society has both a strong organizational foundation and an openness to new ideas that will serve it well as it approaches future challenges in legal services regulation and access to justice.

It has been an honour and a privilege to have been part of this amazing organization. I have worked with four Treasurers, Benchers, an amazing senior management and staff team, and a large group of stakeholders and interested supporters. I acknowledge with much gratitude their support, and I leave with a large network of good friends and colleagues among them. I am confident that the Law Society will continue to make a difference, and serve the public interest very well.”

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada