Donald Best Receives the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award

(Ottawa, December 4, 2018) – The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) presents its 2018 Civil Liberties Award to whistleblower and anti-corruption activist Donald Best.

Donald Best is a former Sergeant (Detective) with the Toronto Police responsible for investigating Canadian police, lawyers, and politicians involved in organized crime, and a leading Canadian anti-corruption whistleblower and activist.

In his ongoing legal cases and public advocacy, Mr. Best has exposed corruption in the Canadian legal profession including secret orders and investigations by judges, the submission of false evidence in court by lawyers, and the failure of disciplinary bodies such as the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Judicial Council to investigate complaints against judges and lawyers.

Mr. Best’s tireless efforts to create integrity and accountability in the Canadian legal system make him an exemplary leader in the fight for equality before and under the law of all Canadians, including self-represented litigants.

For further information see Donald Best receives 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award

What is this all about?

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

My name is Donald Best.  I am now in my late 60’s – an ordinary Canadian, a father and grandfather.

As a Sergeant (Detective) with the Toronto Police and later in private industry, for over thirty years I hunted organized crime members and their enablers including corrupt police, politicians and members of the legal profession.

Now I’m an independent journalist, documentary filmmaker and an anti-corruption advocate.

I am the recipient of the 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award, and have been called “One of Canada’s most methodical and well documented whistleblowers.”

Oh… I also served 63 days incarcerated in a Canadian prison; spending every day in solitary confinement.

My DonaldBest.CA website tells the true story of how several corrupt lawyers from some of Canada’s largest law firms fabricated false evidence, bribed police and lied to the courts to convict me of Contempt of Court in a civil lawsuit costs hearing that I was unaware of and not present for as I was not in Canada.

In November of 2009, I was traveling in Asia – but this didn’t stop a group of Bay Street lawyers from falsely swearing to the court that they had served me in Canada with a certain court order and that during a subsequent telephone call with them I confirmed receiving that order.

Corrupt Senior Ontario lawyers Gerald Ranking (c), Lorne Silver (rt) and junior Sebastien Kwidzinski lied to the courts.

The corrupt lawyers placed this false evidence before the court and swore it was true both in writing and orally on the transcript record. Based upon their false evidence, while I was out of the country and unrepresented at a hearing I was not notified of, the court convicted me of contempt, sentenced me to three months in prison and issued a warrant for my arrest and incarceration.

This is also the true story of how the Canadian legal profession and courts, when confronted with forensically certified telephone recordings and other irrefutable evidence proving the lawyers fabricated evidence and lied to the court to convict me – closed ranks to save the corrupt lawyers, even when that meant knowingly sending an innocent man to prison.

Some other people, former lawyers who are now judges, did not allow me to appeal my conviction that was obtained while I was not in court. I was not even allowed to cross-examine the lawyers and other witnesses that the courts relied upon to convict and imprison me.

Former OPP Officer Jim Van Allen

I was not allowed to cross-examine the corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer, Jim Van Allen, who worked illegally for the lawyers as an unlicensed private investigator, and whose ‘expert’ evidence was also used to convict and sentence me.

To this day, no court has listened to the forensically certified voice recordings of my telephone call with the lawyers that prove the lawyers lied to the court to convict and imprison me.

Over one hundred Ontario lawyers refused to represent me even as they acknowledged the veracity and power of my evidence. Many told me that while they personally sympathized with my situation facing injustice and corruption, they feared backlash and opprobrium from the profession if they harmed or even challenged the involved senior lawyers and their large Bay Street law firms.

Toronto defense lawyer Paul Slansky

These lawyers were justified in their fears as later shown by attacks upon the one lawyer who, the moment he became aware of my case and that I was already imprisoned in solitary confinement, came forward to defend me. Defense lawyer Paul Slansky paid the price for his courage and integrity. I will forever be in his debt.

The Law Society of Upper Canada refused to assist in finding a lawyer to represent me and chose to not investigate the wrongdoing that I reported in writing. The Law Society chose to not seize and preserve evidence from the corrupt lawyers and their law firms. Some LSUC senior benchers actively covered up for their fellow Bay Street cabal members at the highest levels.

Since no lawyer would represent me at the re-hearing stage, I was forced to represent myself in a court where the sitting judge, Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy, had called the involved lawyers his ‘heroes’ and said on the record that they could be trusted because they were from ‘large law firms’.

Canada’s Corrupt Backroom Judge

Justice Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Peter Wardle

On May 3, 2013 after refusing to even consider my recordings and other new evidence that proved my innocence, and after sending me off to prison and ending court for the day, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy went to a backroom.

There in that backroom, off the court record and without a hearing, trial or transcript, Justice Shaughnessy secretly increased my prison sentence without notifying me. He secretly created a new warrant of committal that he gave only to the prison authorities. He did not file the new secret warrant with the courts or make mention of it anywhere in the records.

Later, I was denied the right to appeal my conviction and his actions to a higher court because I could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs earlier awarded to the other side on the basis of their provably fabricated and false evidence.

I served 63 days in prison; with every minute spent in solitary confinement as I am a former police officer. Prison authorities said that solitary was the only place where they could keep a former police officer alive.

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed Best’s complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons.

In 2016, the Canadian Judicial Council – charged with the duty of maintaining the integrity and accountability of Canada’s federal judges – dismissed my complaint against Justice Shaughnessy without an investigation, without talking to me or other witnesses and without securing or examining the available evidence. The Director of the CJC, Mr. Norman Sabourin, stated that what Justice Shaughnessy secretly did in that backroom on May 3, 2013 was not ‘conduct’.

Judicial Review 2017

My lawyer then filed an application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s decision regarding my complaint against Justice Shaughnessy. That judicial review was scheduled for a two-day hearing on November 20 and 21, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario.

Former OPP boss Julian Fantino

On October 25, 2017, a prothonotary (minor sub-judge) rejected a motion by Queen’s Privy Council member and former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police Julian Fantino – to act as a public intervenor in the judicial review.

Mr. Fantino’s supporting affidavit is described by one retired senior Crown Attorney as “In relation to the Canadian Justice System… the most important and disturbing document I have seen in this century.”

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017 I received news that Mr. Fantino was appealing the prothonotary’s decision.

Case Over: Corrupt Courts would not allow an appeal.

They protected fellow members of ‘The Club’.

In the end, the Ontario courts would not allow any appeals. In eight years of proceedings, no judge dared to allow my secret recordings into evidence, and no judge listened to the irrefutable evidence that three corrupt Ontario lawyers fabricated evidence against me and lied to the courts to convict and imprison me.

All this happened and is still happening in Canada.

I’ve named the corrupt lawyers and police officer here at this website for over eight years but none dares to challenge the veracity of my evidence and public statements about them.

Ordinary people understand exactly what it means when I publicly name lawyers as “corrupt” and “liars”, display their photos – and the lawyers do not sue me.

All these involved people are corrupt cowards and liars. They are traitors to the very foundations of our justice system and to our country, as are some other members of the Canadian legal profession and the mainstream news media who have played their own part in protecting the guilty and in concealing this story from Canadians.

When faced with a choice of ignoring irrefutable evidence of lawyers’ corrupt activities – or of receiving that evidence and then holding accountable senior partners from some of Bay Street’s largest legal firms – the Law Society of Upper Canada, the legal profession and the courts betrayed their duty to Canadians.

The worst though, is that my personal story is just one small part of a much larger disaster involving thousands upon thousands of Canadians who have been denied access to justice and justice itself because of systemic failings in our justice system.

Those systemic failings in our justice system include a Canada-wide tolerance by judges and lawyers for corruption in the legal profession.

There is an unwillingness in the Canadian legal profession to even talk about corrupt acts by lawyers and judges. When a lawyer actually presents evidence of corruption in specific terms, naming names… look out! The rest of the pack will turn and attack as my own lawyer and so many other Canadians have discovered.

Tolerance of corruption in our justice system is systemic and deep-rooted. It is fed by the low integrity of some individuals in positions of influence and authority, who are empowered by the total lack of courage and the unwillingness of our legal profession to hold fellow Club Members accountable in any meaningful manner.

Not a week goes by that I do not hear from two or three other Canadians (totaling over a thousand in the past eight years) who write to tell me their own stories of lawyers and judges committing serious acts of misconduct with impunity; confident that they will never be held accountable.

Many of the writers are desperate because they cannot afford a lawyer and must represent themselves in court – knowing as they do that the courts are set up to overwhelmingly favour and benefit the legal profession, not to provide justice to ordinary Canadians as purported.

For a variety of well-founded reasons, ordinary Canadians are fast losing their faith in our justice system. Many believe that justice is now simply unattainable through the courts. This is a dangerous situation, the extent and seriousness of which has yet to be acknowledged by those entrusted with operating our justice system.

Unless individual police officers, lawyers and judges start to act with courage, integrity and a sense of duty towards ordinary Canadians and the Rule of Law – this situation will continue to deteriorate.

Much of the unrest, protests and violent flareups that we see in our cities has origin in the fact that people have lost faith in the professions and institutions charged with upholding the rule of law. When the police, lawyers and courts are not to be trusted – anything goes.

Donald Best

Updated: August 9, 2023