Chris Budgell: Newspapers want tax dollars but won’t cover important Canadian Judicial Council story.

Why won’t the establishment news media cover the important story that the Canadian Judicial Council is operating ultra vires to the Judges Act?

To: Bob Cox

Chair, News Media Canada
Publisher, Winnipeg Free Press

Dear Mr. Cox,

If there has ever been a time when society existed without facing serious challenges it isn’t now.

I sympathize with the position you are advancing in your National Post op-ed ‘It’s time to save news‘, but I’ve lived through enough major transitions to see the traditional media’s difficulties in context.

I don’t want to attempt a comprehensive answer or rebuttal to your arguments, but I must note that it seems to me that what you are proposing would simply tighten the bonds between some powerful entities that I think an informed public perceives as already not sufficiently independent from each other.

The Internet is forcing us to redefine many notions, many of them radically. I think the definition of “journalism” is one of them. Such processes are disruptive – to individual lives and institutions.

I’m in favour of finding ways to reduce the disruption to individual lives, but I’m not in favour of preserving institutions that may no longer be viable simply because of claims that they are “pillars of democracy”.

Most media, certainly most newspapers, are first and foremost for-profit business enterprises.

The Internet has facilitated a radical disruption of the economic model. I regret to say I can’t offer any suggestions for preserving that model or creating one that relies on increasing public subsidization. 

I’m going to take this opportunity to offer you a challenge. Many Canadian journalists have heard from me over the years (now roughly a decade and a half) that I’ve been challenging the justice system – a set of institutions that are generally held to be collectively an essential “pillar of society”. What I discovered is that the public is being deceived by the claims that those institutions serve the public interest and “the rule of law”. And I think I can explain how that came about, though I won’t attempt to do so in this email.

There was a piece of news last Monday that would not have caught the attention of most Canadians but that I spotted almost the moment it was released. It was the announcement that Canada’s Chief Justice has decided to retire this coming December, i.e., roughly eight or nine months before she was expected to retire. I haven’t seen any comment at all about why she made this decision now. But I think I know why.

Five days before that – on June 7th – I unexpectedly received an email from the Canadian Judicial Council’s Executive Director and Senior General Counsel, Norman Sabourin.

It said, “Your message to Ms Ostrove was provided to me. I will be taking no action, nor responding to your gratuitous and abusive assertions”. That was followed by a copy of what I’d sent to Ms Ostrove, and that included the text of a letter I’d sent on May 5th to the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Heather J. Forster Smith.

I have absolutely no doubt about the validity of my assertion that the Canadian Judicial Council exceeded the mandate it receives from the Judges Act when it split what had previously been a single set of by-laws into two instruments and added to the one it no longer called “by-laws” a provision that gave the Executive Director a new role as an autonomous and unchallengeable gatekeeper.

(Prior to 2003 there was a single set of by-laws.  From 2003 onwards the CJC has relied on what it calls its Complaints Procedures and a reduced set of by-laws.  You’ll see that the by-laws, but not the Complaint Procedures, are listed at the bottom of this page.
The CJC used this opportunity to create what I’ve characterized as a “gatekeeper” device.  My claim is that it is an unauthorized sub-delegation of a judicial (or quasi-judicial) function.  The Latin term is delegatus non potest delegare.  It is therefore also ultra vires the Judges Act.)*

I figured this out several years ago and I’ve communicated it to journalists, politicians and others. Not one person has said I’m wrong.

Why isn’t there in the whole of Canada a single journalist who can deal with that? Surely it isn’t because there are no competent investigative journalists left. The answer I think is obvious.


Chris Budgell
Vancouver, BC

* From another letter by Chris Budgell, added here for detail.

The National Post credits self represented litigant Chris Budgell with breaking some important news stories:

National Post credits watchdog Chris Budgell with breaking new story about Canadian Judicial Council’s own conflict of interest over Justice Newbould


  • The giving to the Executive Director of the CJC complete control as the gatekeeper to complaints is in direct contravention of our constitutional rights to a fair judicial process and the fact that one lone journalist has had the guts to challenge the CJC and its practice and was sent a letter from the Executive Director Sabourin denouncing his challenge helps to prove such ignorance on the part of those who are paid by our tax dollars and the ruling by CJC Executive Director Sabourin with respect to Donald Best and his complaint proves a massive coverup by the CJC of a crooked judge and lawyers and that it gets a failing grade and needs to be cleaned up.

    Isnt that what happens in school when our children are getting failing grades. They need to work harder and improve. So why are we not seeing it within the government entities who know better?

    The federal court now has the arena to clean up and we hope Canadians witness that happen. If it does not occur then the federal court is covering up as well. The truth here in Mr. Best case cannot be shredded. It cannot be twisted. It cannot be swept under the carpet again. The federal court if it does not clean house will lose its credibility with the tax payers of Canada. The Ontario Justice System has already lost credibility in the eyes of the citizens and will not be able to regain the trust until justice is served.

  • The newspapers want tax dollar and they want readers but they operate in a wishy washy manner by helping to cover up corruption in certain areas and thus newspapers lose credibility with readers. In order to be a true newspaper you need to be unbiased and that means not taking sides and we have enough fake newspapers engaging in the taking of sides.

    Donald Best raises great questions as to why the Toronto Star erased his comments, the National Post wouldnt write a story about his case and another article attacked his lawyer Paul Slansky. A case like Donald Best appeals to so many readers and thats why Mr. Best has a great following here on his blog on twitter and facebook.

    Mr. Best’s story reeks of corruption on so many levels and a huge coverup and these newspapers that refuse to allow readers to decide for themselves the legitimacy of Mr. Bests allegations are engaging in the continual cover up of that corruption. That for one tests their credibility as a news paper that is supposed to expose stories that affect all our lives especially here in Ontario.

    The newpapers mentioned here on Mr. Best site show that these are not credible newspapers that are there to improve the lives of Canadians by their own actions of covering up Mr. Best magnificent expose of blatant corruption within the judicial system of Ontario and cover up by the Canadian Judicial Council at the federal level. We should be appalled by the behavior of all involved. We hope that on Nov. 20 and 21st that justice will be enforced by the Canadian Courts to teach a lesson to the Ontario Courts that Canadians have had enough of corruption and coverup.

    Mr. Best your clear and concise articles appeal to the every day citizen who are not being paid to cover up. Your writing well surpasses the newspapers that banned you and your story. Adrian Humphries who follows and writes about the maffia in Canada would do well to set up an appointment with you to cover your story. Your story exposes a judicial maffia and also perhaps a link to maffia inside government and those law firms that represent mobsters in their legitimate businesses. We should put it in italics and make fun of the legitimate businesses of maffia because nothing can be legit when it comes to organize crime. You cant make dirty money clean any way you try so the legitimate businesses are only a front for dirty money and many of these legit businesses were started with dirty money. Also money laundering is an organized crime activity so any law firms engaged in money laundering are engaging in organized crime activities thus are criminal organizations.