Fasken Martineau DuMoulin staff read about misconduct by Toronto lawyer Gerald Ranking

Today we welcome (again) personnel from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto law office who dropped by my website at 11:20:21 GMT after following a link from my @DonaldBestCA Twitter account.

It is great to have you guys and gals at Faskens following my Twitter account and reading the stories here at DonaldBest.CA. You’ve visited hundreds of times in the last few years.

Faskens lawyer Gerald L Ranking

Today you read evidence of how your senior partner and colleague Gerald L. Ranking didn’t submit a claim for costs to the Supreme Court of Canada – because Gerry and the senior managing partners at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP knew that their purported client, ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ does not, and did not, exist at any time.

Ranking and Faskens did not want to double-down on their fraud upon the Supreme Court of Canada and have the SCC issue another cost order to what the lawyers know is a false, phoney, criminally fraudulent, non-existent ‘client’.

That’s all laid out in the articles that Faskens staff read today, including Why did Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking not submit costs to the Supreme Court of Canada?

But hey… if you bump into your colleague in the hallowed halls of your Bay Street tower, you might want to consider (or not) asking Gerald Ranking this one question about money-laundering:

During the Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. civil case, about a million dollars in costs was paid to Faskens and Ranking in trust for their fraudulent non-existent ‘client’. So where did Faskens and Ranking transfer the money received ‘in trust’ for their phoney client?

The one thing we do know about where the money went is that it was never deposited into any bank account in the name ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ as the court ordered.

Fasken’s and Ranking’s client doesn’t exist, never existed – and they know it. The use of a phony non-existent entity for court and monetary transactions is a recognized badge of fraud and money-laundering.

So where did the million dollars end up?

Will the Law Society of Upper Canada audit the financial transactions of one of the big Bay Street Boys Club law firms? Not a chance, my friends.

Not. A. Chance.

by Donald Best in Ontario, Canada

 

Canada Federal Court refuses to release judge from Judicial Review of misconduct complaint

In an unprecedented decision the Federal Court also ordered the Ontario Superior Court Justice to personally pay the legal costs of a man he sent to prison.

The Federal Court of Canada has refused a motion to release a judge as a party in a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council ‘CJC’ decision concerning his alleged misconduct.

At issue is a CJC decision about the actions of Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy after a civil case hearing where the judge sentenced Donald Best, an unrepresented litigant, to three months in prison for civil contempt of court.

Judge secretly created new warrant of committal in a backroom. Secretly increased prisoner’s sentence off the court record.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy ordered to pay legal costs.

After court had finished on May 3, 2013 and the prisoner had been taken away to serve his three month sentence, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and secretly created a new warrant of committal that increased the prisoner’s jail time by a month. Justice Shaughnessy did this off the court record, out of court, without telling the prisoner and without placing the new warrant of committal into the public court record.

The judge gave the only copy of the warrant to prison authorities and ordered that the prisoner was not to have knowledge of the creation of the court order.

Senior lawyers shocked by Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct shocked many members of Ontario’s legal profession. Several senior lawyers, including a retired Crown prosecutor, examined the evidence against the judge and made comments such as…

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.”

“Reprehensible misconduct by a judge that undermines the very foundations of justice.”

“Shaughnessy’s misconduct is worthy of his removal from the bench.”

When the Canadian Judicial Council summarily dismissed a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy without an investigation, the complainant Donald Best filed an Application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s decision – and named Justice Shaughnessy as a party.

Justice Shaughnessy then filed a motion asking the court to:

  • Release Justice Shaughnessy from being a named party to the Judicial Review.
  • Strike the majority of Donald Best’s affidavit evidence filed in the Judicial Review.
  • Strike parts of Best’s Application for a Judicial Review and modify the Judicial Review procedures.
  • Order that Donald Best, the Applicant for the Judicial Review, pay Justice Shaughnessy’s legal costs in the motion.

Condensed Order – click for large

Costs order against judge unprecedented in Canadian Legal History

The Federal Court of Canada denied every part of Justice Shaughnessy’s motion, and in an unprecedented decision in Canadian legal history, ordered that Justice Shaughnessy should personally pay $2,500 in legal costs to the complainant Donald Best: a man the judge had sent to prison.

Although this writer is open to correction, research to date indicates that this is the first time ever in Canadian, British and USA legal history where a judge has been ordered to personally pay the legal costs of anyone – let alone a person he sent to prison.

Justice Shaughnessy did not appeal the order of the court, which is now confirmed.

Nobody acting for the Public Interest

Lawyer Paul Slansky

In a move that many legal professionals find surprising, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is not acting for the people of Ontario and the public interest, but instead is the personal lawyer for Justice Shaughnessy. The Attorney General of Canada apparently represents the Canadian Judicial Council and sided with Justice Shaughnessy in the hearing of his denied motion.

As Toronto defense lawyer Paul Slansky is acting for Donald Best, it appears that the public interest is unrepresented in an important matter concerning serious misconduct by an Ontario Superior Court Justice.

The date for the Judicial Review of the CJC decision has not yet been set, but is expected to take place sometime in 2017.

Written by Donald Best

Court Documents in the Public Record

January 17, 2017 Federal Court of Canada Order and Reasons (PDF 250kb)

April 14, 2016 – Notice of Application (PDF 711kb) by Donald Best for a Judicial Review of CJC decision.

April 27, 2016 Affidavit of Donald Best in two PDF files: Vol 1 (10.4mb) and Vol 2 (11.7mb)

December 2, 2016 Memorandum of Fact and Law (PDF 436kb) – Paul Slansky for Donald Best

Background   Read more

SHOCKER: Police secret investigation collected evidence of misconduct by Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

 

Why are police investigating the Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision? There are only a few possibilities – all troubling and some illegal.

Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the target of the police investigation? Chief of Police refuses comment.

Durham Regional Police launched a secret investigation soon after Toronto lawyer Paul Slansky filed an Application for a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision regarding Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Internet records and correspondence with Chief of Police Paul Martin reveal that from at least May 31 to June 21, 2016, multiple Durham Regional Police investigators spent many days examining and downloading electronic evidence and legal documents filed in support of a judicial misconduct complaint by Donald Best against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Police investigators also collected evidence supporting Donald Best’s Application for Judicial Review of the CJC decision. At least three police investigators worked at the same time using different computers and mobile devices in a major investigation that lasted almost a month.

Several police sources and former law enforcement personnel (including this writer) confirm that this was a major deployment of investigative resources by the Durham Regional Police.

Police Detectives accidentally exposed major investigation

The secret investigation was discovered because the police detectives were apparently unaware that their computers were connected to the Internet through an ‘assigned Internet Protocol number’ that is registered to the Durham Regional Police. (IP number 66.163.5.113)

The police detectives were also apparently unaware that visitor records of the targeted website, DonaldBest.CA, would show their Durham Regional Police origin, the type of computer or other device used, operating system version, screen resolution, physical location & postal code, browser program version, Internet service provider, visitor activities, visitor history and much more.

Hide My Ass VPN Service

Durham Regional Police adopt ‘Hide My Ass’ VPN

After Best’s lawyer Paul Slansky wrote a letter of concern to Chief of Police Paul Martin on June 15, 2016, police detectives started using the ‘Hide My Ass’ VPN virtual private network service to disguise their activities. This is a paid service, so either the Durham Regional Police or an individual police detective purchased a ‘Hide My Ass’ account in an attempt to conceal the ongoing investigation.

The police failed to correctly configure their ‘Hide My Ass’ software. As a result the DonaldBest.CA website administrator was still able to identify Durham Regional Police computers and document the continuing investigation. During the same time frame, many similar visits were traced to an IP number assigned to The Regional Municipality of Durham.

Chief of Police Paul Martin

Durham Regional Chief of Police stonewalls questions

Lawyer Paul Slansky’s letter to Chief Martin included evidence of the police investigation, asked for an explanation and confirmation that the investigation was official and authorized. (Letter and attachments available below.)

Mr. Slansky wrote to Chief Martin:

“My client is concerned about why this is taking place. He has committed no crime. Why is the DRPS investigating him or his website? He feels intimidated by these actions. In light of the past ‘off the record’ investigation* by the DRPS, that he was advised of by Detective Rushbrook, my client is concerned that this may not be an official DRPS investigation.”

Chief of Police Paul Martin stonewalled Best’s lawyer and refused to provide any information at all. The Chief’s Executive Officer simply replied:

“Your client’s public website is easily accessible by any individual who wishes to view it. No further response to your letter will be provided.”

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin

Who ordered the police investigation of a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision – and under what authority?

Was the intent of the police investigation to impact, interfere with or subvert the Judicial Review? Was the intent to intimidate a CJC complainant and his lawyer?

Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the actual target of the police investigation?

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

There is no doubt that the Durham Regional Police initiated a secret investigation after Best’s lawyer served and filed an Application for a Federal Court Judicial Review of the decision of the Canadian Judicial Council regarding Donald Best’s complaint about the misconduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Best’s Application for a Judicial Review seems to have been the catalyst for the police investigation as for almost a year previously the DonaldBest.CA website published many articles about Justice Shaughnessy, his involvement in Best’s civil case and the CJC complaint against him. It was only when the Application for a Judicial Review was filed that the Durham Regional Police initiated their investigation.

Troubling Questions

  • What is the true purpose of the Durham Regional Police investigation? What were the investigation goals? How were the results intended to be used, and by whom?
  • Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the target of the police investigation? Was the investigation assigned to the Durham Regional Police because they are the local agency in Oshawa where Justice Shaughnessy usually sits?
  • Who ordered the investigation and under what authority in law?
  • Who knew about the investigation?
  • Who received reports or briefings about the police investigation?
  • What were the results of the police investigation?
  • Which senior police officers authorized this major deployment of investigative resources?
  • Was this an official investigation with an occurrence number, document trail and retention of records? Or, was it an improper backroom use of police resources for a private purpose as happened previously in 2009 & 2010 as already documented in court records of Donald Best’s civil case?*
  • What government and police databases were accessed during the investigation? What information was exchanged with other agencies and law enforcement agencies? Were other law enforcement agencies involved?
  • Were Crown prosecutors consulted?

Parties served with the Application for the Judicial Review:

  • Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy
  • Attorney General of Ontario
  • Attorney General of Canada for the Canadian Judicial Council.

Did any of the served parties overstep their authority in ordering a police investigation?

Did anyone intend that the Durham Region Police investigation would be used to impact, undermine or subvert the Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision – or to intimidate the complainant Donald Best or his lawyer Paul Slansky?

Who ordered the Police Secret Investigation? Some Possibilities…

Attorney General of Canada (AGC)
Canadian Judicial Council, Director Norman Sabourin

The first thought that occurs to this writer is that if the Attorney General of Canada or the Canadian Judicial Council wanted to use the police to conduct a secret investigation, they would naturally turn to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP is our national police service, and is headquartered in Ottawa near the AGC and the CJC.

On the other hand, either the AGC or the CJC could have requested an investigation by the Durham Regional Police – which is the local police service in Oshawa where Justice Shaughnessy usually sits.

If, however, the AGC or the CJC did order the police investigation, this raises extensive ethical and legal questions about the limits of each entity’s authority and mandate.

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG)

As with the federal Attorney General, it seems reasonable that if the MAG wanted to order a police investigation of the Judicial Review, of Justice Shaughnessy or of the complainant to the CJC, Donald Best, that the MAG would have turned first to their own policing organization, the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General declared during a preliminary motion that it acts as Justice Shaughnessy’s personal lawyer, and not for the people of Ontario in this case. This again raises extensive ethical and legal questions if the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General ordered the Durham Regional Police to conduct an investigation where the results could potentially be used in support of Justice Shaughnessy or to potentially impact the Judicial Review, the complainant or his lawyer in any manner.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

If Justice Shaughnessy, upon learning of the Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision regarding a complaint of misconduct against himself, ordered or caused the Durham Regional Police to investigate the Judicial Review, the complaint, the complainant or his lawyer – is this an abuse of position, against any law or established ethics, guidelines or conflict of interest rules for judges?

I would be very interested in hearing from legal scholars as to the boundaries of proper behaviour for a judge, the CJC, the MAG and AGC in this case where it is proven that the Durham Regional Police conducted a major investigation concerning a judicial review.

About the only thing that we know for sure is that the Durham Regional Police secretly conducted a major investigation shortly after lawyer Paul Slansky filed an Application for a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision about a complaint of misconduct against Justice Shaughnessy.

As to who ordered the investigation and its purpose, the police know – but they aren’t talking.

Paul Slansky’s letter and Chief Martin’s reply

June 15, 2016 Slansky letter to Chief Martin (PDF 379kb)

June 30, 2016 Durham Regional Police response letter (PDF 140kb)

Donald Best’s Complaint of Misconduct against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

See this article: Affidavit filed in action against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Previous Unofficial Police Investigations

*In 2009 a Durham Regional Police officer conducted an unauthorized and probably illegal ‘on the side’ investigation of Donald Best, apparently to assist defendants in a civil case where Best’s corporation was the plaintiff.

Read: Canadian Police Expertise, Information and Resources illegally sold to major law firms.

Photo Credits

‘Hide My Ass’ logo courtesy of Privax Ltd. / HideMyAss.com

Durham Regional Police logo & Chief Paul Martin released to the public domain in unrestricted DRPS Annual Report.

Public domain photo of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy has been modified to remove others in the background and is a new work by Donald Best. The photo has been included to put context to the article. It’s use is the same as many Canadian news outlets that continue to publish photos of many Superior Court Justices who were or are under investigation by the CJC and other authorities.

Norman Sabourin, CJC Executive Director photo courtesy of The Lawyers Weekly

National Post bans Donald Best comment on article about Donald Best and lawyer Paul Slansky

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Canada’s National Post newspaper ‘stealth banned’* comments by yours truly, Donald Best, on a newspaper article about my lawyer Paul Slansky, my legal case and me.

When I’m logged in as a registered reader I can read my own comments – but I’m not told that my comments are not visible to other readers, only to me.

The National Post published the same flawed Colin Perkel article as did the Toronto Star, which contains such deliberately limited information that it can only be called fake news. After Perkel’s first such article about my case in June 2016, he refused to interview me despite my offers. My recent post explains it all.

My comment at the National Post was polite and informative – but the editors apparently have marching orders from their masters. The news article names me, is about my case and my lawyer, and the reporter refuses to interview me – but the National Post doesn’t want the public to read my comments about the story.

Here are my words, apparently too dangerous to the National Post’s agenda for the public to read:

This is Donald Best, the former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) who is mentioned in this article. Paul Slansky is my lawyer. He is a man of integrity and courage to take my case when it was apparent from the start that the legal establishment was simply not going to allow my evidence to reach a civil jury of my fellow Canadians.

No judge in any court listened to the audio recordings that I secretly made (and that prove my case) – and that includes the two judges that the National Post article mentions. Nor was I allowed to cross-examine the lawyer-witnesses upon whose testimony I was convicted and imprisoned in solitary confinement for 63 days.

Think about that: I was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses about their testimony that the court relied upon to send me to prison.

Canadians are universally appalled when they visit my website, listen to the audio recordings, view all the evidence that was never allowed to come to trial – and understand what really happened.

Unfortunately, journalist Colin Perkel did not include in his story that a Judicial Review is in progress, and that the Federal Court just released a decision in my favour. Nor did Mr. Perkel include various background that would allow readers to decide for themselves what happened, and to follow the story as it continues to unfold.

After his original article last June, Mr. Perkel did not take advantage of my offers to be interviewed. I remain available should any Mr. Perkel or any journalist be interested.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario
website: DonaldBest.CA

*Stealth Banning is the practice of rendering an individual comment invisible to everyone except the poster. (Wikipedia)

 

 

Colin Perkel – Toronto Star fake news hit piece targets lawyer Paul Slansky

Hired Gun Hit-Piece Journalist Colin Perkel

Colin Perkel’s new Toronto Star hit-piece targeting lawyer Paul Slansky contains such deliberately limited information that it can only be called fake news.

It is a real shame to see a career journalist like Colin Perkel writing agenda-driven propaganda at the behest of his corporate masters – when he must know that he is being used to deliver half-truths in furtherance of a cover-up of criminal behaviour by senior Ontario lawyers.

After his first hit-piece against my lawyer Paul Slansky, published June 21, 2016, Perkel did not reply to my offers to be interviewed.

At the same time, persons using the Toronto Star computer network downloaded from my website; court documents, audio files and exhibits that conclusively prove that Toronto lawyers Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski lied to the courts to convict me in absentia (while I was out of the country and unaware of the proceeding) of contempt of civil court.

Junior lawyer Sebastien Kwidzinski and senior Ontario lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver deliberately lied to the courts.

The DonaldBest.CA articles that the Toronto Star reporters read also documented (supported by sworn affidavits and court transcripts) that no judge and no court has ever listened to the voice recordings that prove that I was convicted and jailed upon the deliberate lies, perjury and deception of corrupt Toronto lawyers Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski.

The judges who never listened to my audio recordings include Justice Susan Healey – whose comments Perkel loves to selectively quote in his articles. Perkel knows that truth, but the truth is not included in his commissioned hit-piece:

Justice Susan Healey made her decision and comments based upon the court record that excluded the voice recordings and other irrefutable evidence of illegal acts by the named lawyers.

Read more

Does Canada’s justice system hold any hope for common citizens?

A reader asks: With so many elements of Canada’s legal infrastructures failing its citizens, do you think there is hope for any real recourse for common citizens?

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Dear ‘S’,

Thank you for your kind and supportive email.

At the moment there is no real access to justice for ordinary Canadians. It can be fairly said that never before in Canadian history have the people and the justice system been so far apart.

It could also be fairly said that the elites who crafted and run the system – both the lawyers and ex-lawyers now known as ‘judges’ – are completely divorced from the people.

The only question is what form the rebellion will take when it comes.

Increasingly I see a section of the population completely dismissing the justice system as irrelevant in any decision making process where they believe they have been wronged. There is also a realization that we have a class-based justice system where rule of law is scarcely remembered by the courts and not at all by the legal profession.

This is producing a dangerous undermining of the very foundations of Canadian society – and if not stopped will produce a society like many around the world, where the justice system is known as nothing but a corrupt and owned weapon of the upper-class elites.

When the Toronto Star can report without contradiction that the Law Society of Upper Canada covered up hundreds of cases where Ontario lawyers committed criminal offenses against their clients, little more need be said.

Yours truly,

Donald Best

Representing Yourself in Court 101 – Lesson #1: Walk away if you can.

Lady Justice Cheats

Lady Justice doesn’t like Self-Represented Litigants

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

So you want justice, and you want it badly enough that you are willing to represent yourself in court – without a lawyer.

What I really want you to understand is this: walking away from court is often the best decision you can make, whether you have a lawyer or not. If you are self-represented though, walking away is almost always the best decision.

There’s a tough reality to representing yourself that you don’t know about, even if you have previous experience in court with your lawyer beside you. As a self-represented litigant, you WILL be abused by opposing lawyers. You WILL be abused by court staff and by judges.

And, like the vast majority of self-represented litigants, you will likely lose your case. You may find yourself having to pay legal costs to the other side – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars or more. Or, like me, you may end up doing several months in prison even though your case is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal charge.

You have no idea about what you are getting into, but…

Maybe you are forced to represent yourself in court. Perhaps you are being sued and the other side won’t settle. Maybe your children or your home are at stake and you can’t walk away, but you have no money to hire a lawyer.

If you must represent yourself, you have a difficult path ahead. You’ll have to work hard to learn the law, and to learn the written and unwritten rules of litigation. Don’t let your case overwhelm  what is really important in your life.

Representing Yourself in Court 101

My new video series covers some of the general information you’ll need to represent yourself in court. We’ll also look at some topics the legal community doesn’t like to talk about, such as the common dirty tricks that abusive lawyers reserve for those who don’t have a lawyer.

Lesson #1 in the series is titled ‘Walk away – if you can’.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A handful of wise Canadian Judges urge lawyers to adopt a new business product: unbundled services

How lawyers can take pressure off the courts and earn new profits from assisting self-represented litigants.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

If you have ever been involved in a lawsuit, whether personal or business, you are probably aware that for most Canadians, the cost of hiring a lawyer can easily exceed the loss or damages under dispute. In family law, it is not unheard of for the legal fees on both sides to equal the joint family assets. That is reality in our courts.

Yet, each year tens of thousands of Canadians hire lawyers in the hope that, after legal fees, they will be able to achieve some level of justice, even if greatly discounted. Harsh reality often awaits many who enter the world of paying lawyers $400 or more per hour – in a system that provides the greatest financial benefit to those lawyers who spend the most time achieving as little as possible.

I can almost hear the screams of indignant outrage from the senior benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Except, I have been at social events and seen lawyers openly joke about exactly that; how the system is set up to benefit the legal profession, not ordinary Canadians. As one of the jokes goes: A good lawyer will take a year to accomplish a motion – an excellent lawyer takes much longer.

As the legal profession pushed the cost of justice out of reach of the majority of ordinary people, many Canadians are reluctantly having to represent themselves in the courts. This tsunami of self-represented litigants is overwhelming the justice system and tests the patience of many judges who find the once professional theatre of the court now more akin to an amateur hour talent show.

So the legal system is searching for solutions to the ‘problem’ of self-represented litigants. We’ve seen some good efforts that need to be continued. Chief Justice Michael MacDonald of Nova Scotia instituted an educational program for self-represented litigants. Across Canada, SRL advocacy groups and a few lawyers run workshops to assist those who are forced to represent themselves.

Unbundled Services: Quick and effective relief for the courts & opposing lawyers

What is missing though, is the willingness of mainstream lawyers and law firms to enter the business of providing legal research, legal document creation and case preparation for self-represented litigants who would happily pay for such assistance, but do not have the funds to hire a ‘full service’ lawyer to represent them in court. (‘Unbundled legal services’)

Many lawyers see the delivery of unbundled services as undermining the profession. Still others fear malpractice claims or professional insurance problems when self-represented litigants turn on the lawyer who assisted them.

Dr. Julie Macfarlane and the National Self-Represented Litigants Project continue to educate lawyers and law students about the SRL crisis – and now focus on untapped business opportunities for lawyers willing to add a new product: Unbundled Services to self-represented persons.

And, in the new NSRLP video (above) we see support for unbundled legal services from some heavy hitters including Chief Justice Robert Bauman of British Columbia, Chief Justice Michael MacDonald of Nova Scotia, and Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco of the Superior Court of Ontario.

Kudos to the Justices for their leadership, and to Dr. Macfarlane and the National Self-Represented Litigants Project for their excellent video.

Canadians respond to my Globe and Mail article about solitary confinement and Adam Capay

globe-mail-donald-best-590x220-private

Last Tuesday I was sitting in an examination room as a new doctor looked at my chart. (Like airline pilots, doctors seem to get younger every day.) When he flipped the pages to read my name again, he stopped, trying to remember something, and then said, “Donald Best… Donald Best. Did you write that column in the Globe and Mail yesterday?”

When I confirmed that I was the author, he called in a nurse, made introductions and the three of us spent the next 15 minutes discussing solitary confinement, my column and how a ‘nice man’ like me came to be housed with some of Canada’s most dangerous prisoners.

It is apparent that my Globe and Mail article ‘Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there“ touched many of my fellow Canadians who were unware of the horrors of solitary confinement in our prisons.

Prior to my own incarceration for 63 days, I too hadn’t thought much about solitary confinement, and when I did I had no idea about the reality – this despite three decades of service in public and private law enforcement.

But my article resonated with ordinary people, for which I am grateful – because solitary confinement is torture, nothing less. It is not what my Canada is about – or should be about.

In the last week, I received over one hundred emails and other messages of encouragement from all across Canada. My website saw an increase of several thousand additional visitors, and many journalists opened communication with me. I made guest appearances on two ‘talk-radio’ shows in Ottawa and Montreal. Several lawyers contacted me to inquire whether I would provide testimony to assist their clients who are incarcerated in solitary confinement.

(Sure I’ll testify to the truth about what I saw and experienced in solitary confinement. The truth does not have an agenda – it is just the truth.)

The catalyst for all this is, of course, Adam Capay, an indigenous 24-year-old man horrifically kept in solitary confinement for almost five years. His story splashed across the news media for a few days, but has disappeared now that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made some promises and moved Capay to a cell with a television.

Such is the fleeting attention of the public as new stories come and go.

17 Years in Solitary Confinement

Yet, as bad as Adam Capay’s case is – somewhere in Canada, if he is still alive, there is a prisoner who has spent over 17 years in ‘administrative segregation’.

Seventeen years.

This is not the Canada that I believe in. WE, you and I, need to make some changes happen.

Donald Best

Donald Best guest on Tommy Schnurmacher Show – CJAD 800 AM Montreal talk radio

cjad_tommy_schnurmacher-590x140

On Wednesday I was a guest on the Tommy Schnurmacher Show in Montreal. Producer Matt Guite contacted me after the Globe and Mail published my article ‘Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there

Yes, I was a little nervous about appearing live on air – it’s not something I have much experience with – but Tommy made me feel as if I was just having a conversation with an old friend. At least he seemed like an old friend from my Montreal days so long ago.

Sure, he’s a pro, but what I love about Schnurmacher is that he doesn’t care about convention. Fearless is the one word that defines him.

An honour to be on Tommy’s show.

You can have a listen to our conversation at CJAD’s website here.

Or, you can listen at my website…

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