Police and media response to Lynelle Cantwell and ‘Ugliest Girls’ online poll shows double standard

Cyberbullying victim Lynelle Cantwell (photo courtesy of Toronto Star)

Lynelle Cantwell (photo courtesy Toronto Star)

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—A school board in Newfoundland and police are now investigating a case of cyberbullying involving an anonymous poll ranking girls at a high school based on their looks.

Lynelle Cantwell, a student at Holy Trinity High School in Torbay, is getting national attention for her response to the creators of the online poll, called “Ugliest Girls in Grade 12.”

Toronto Star: ‘Ugliest Girls’ online poll under police investigation in Newfoundland

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Opposing internet bullying is a popular cause these days. Investigating online bullying is also a popular police activity that nets law enforcement easily-gained positive recognition in the community; but only as long as the perpetrators are low hanging fruit like high school students and not members of a protected class like lawyers from big Bay Street law firms.

The contrast is stark.

On one hand, a story about high school student Lynelle Cantwell and anonymous online poll for the ‘ugliest girls’ receives national news media attention about online bullying.

On the other hand, when sworn forensic evidence filed in Ontario Superior Court shows that personnel from the Toronto office of Miller Thomson LLP, one of Canada’s largest law firms, sent anonymous threatening internet messages to several witnesses in the Best v. Ranking civil lawsuit, the news media coverage is… Zero.

“The anonymous online messages and emails even include threats to murder and rape female witnesses.”

The anonymous threats and harassment originating from the Miller Thomson LLP law firm and elsewhere are part of a campaign of anonymous threats, harassment and criminal acts that has been ongoing for years, even to the present day.

Here are some samples taken from the court record: 

“I see you as an embittered, vengeful, 82 year-old liar, stupid enough to espouse the desires of a venal Canadian backer, the pawn of totally incompetent counsel and of stupid and revenge-driven children.”

“Now, what happens if you die before the matter is resolved (as, at your age, you may)…”

We will kill you while you are asleep. Lock your doors and windows real good.”

From a series of anonymous threatening emails sent to an 82 year old witness by unknown personnel from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto law office, and by other co-conspirators.

The response of Ontario’s news media, legal profession and courts

Despite solid sworn evidence already filed with the courts and sent to the Law Society of Upper Canada, neither the Ontario courts nor the law society will deal with the threats: undoubtably because the main suspects include senior members of the legal community. (See Anonymous online threats against 82 year old widow originated from Miller Thomson Law Office)

Each of the big Toronto newspapers is well aware of the Miller Thomson LLP anonymous online threats and the solid evidence filed before the courts proving the involvement of Miller Thomson personnel. Without exception, seasoned journalists from each of the Toronto newspapers express enthusiasm when first hearing the story and receiving the evidence; but then libel chill wins out and the editors won’t pursue the story.

Investigating and prosecuting wayward high school students is easy. Police, the news media and the legal profession are much more reluctant to hold accountable senior partners from some of Canada’s largest law firms – even where criminal activity is well proven.

The story has become much larger than how senior lawyers proveably fabricated evidence and lied to the courts to put Donald Best in solitary confinement for 63 days. The story is now one of systemic corruption in Ontario’s legal profession, and the immense power enjoyed by the Bay Street legal cabal that undermines our justice system.

Donald Best

DonaldBest.CA reminds our readers that as of the publication date the allegations have yet to be proven in a court of law. Visitors are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here, to do independent research and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

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