“A former provincial Liberal Party president and chairman of several election campaigns, Judge Campbell said that some critics cling to a ‘ridiculous’ belief that politically active lawyers always keep one eye trained on a judgeship. ‘I was involved in politics because I loved it,’ said Judge Campbell, who was appointed in 2001 by former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government. ‘In PEI, politics is in your blood. It’s the provincial sport. Nobody is looking at whether they will get this or that reward.’ “
[Globe & Mail, “Appointment of Judges too Political, Critics Say,” May 16, 2005]
I was really hoping to provide some insights into the upcoming e-gaming Motion Hearing set to begin on Election day, April 23, 2019 – with four (4) days of court booked for the Hearing. In my previous article published on the day the election was called (March, 26, 2019), “PEI Election April 23rd as I predicted: I Would Have Preferred to have been Wrong!, I stated that:
“I will be checking daily for the cross-examination transcripts and factums likely to be filed with the court in early April in advance of the court hearing – making them public documents and giving me (and hopefully all media political reporters) a couple of weeks to report on what those documents contain.”
Well, I have been checking daily, calling the Supreme Court, and I even dropped in to talk to someone in person last Wednesday about it. What I’m being told disturbs me greatly.
“Yes, the Factums and Transcripts for the upcoming case have been filed,” I’m told, “but unfortunately we can’t give you copies.”
Apparently, when hardcopies were first filed, they were immediately rushed upstairs to Judge Campbell’s desk, where they now sit peppered with “sticky notes.”
I’m not kidding you, that’s the reason they keep giving me for why I can’t have copies.
I know for a fact that those records were also filed electronically, and could easily be printed off, stamped, and made available to the public at the push of a button.
And that’s what’s supposed to happen….that’s what our “open court” system and Charter of Rights and Freedoms is supposed to guarantee. It appears Judge Campbell is committed to preventing public access to these crucially-important documents until our provincial election is over and done with.
Before publishing this article, I called the PEI Supreme Court one last time earlier this morning; I was once again informed that nothing has changed – I still couldn’t get access to the Factums and Cross-Examination Transcripts.
Read what one law firm says about the “open court” principle supposedly embedded in Canada’s judicial system:
The “open court” principle assumes that public confidence in the integrity of the court system and understanding of the administration of justice is fostered by openness and full publicity. The objectives include: (1) maintaining an effective evidentiary process….
I’ve said from the day I correctly predicted that the election would be held on Tuesday, April 23rd – an unprecedented event, since the Election Act indicates it’s to be held on a Monday – that the early date was chosen because it was the only date left allowing the MacLauchlan government to get ahead of the e-gaming court hearing.
I believe we’re witnessing a last-ditch effort by the MacLauchlan government to keep the electorate in the dark about the e-gaming scandal that happened under the Ghiz government, and the diligent cover-up of that scandal by Premier MacLauchlan over the past four years. And now it appears a former President of the Liberal Party currently at the helm of the e-gaming court case is preventing public disclosure of what are likely to be damning documents in the dying days of the provincial election campaign.
I’m shocked to think that our fundamental rights might be so callously trampled upon on such an important issue, at such an important time.
I’ll be publishing the fourth and final part of my e-gaming series “A Conspiracy to Commit Fraud,” soon and all I can say to those wanting solid proof that there was indeed a premeditated conspiracy to commit fraud is: read it!
I hope my suspicion that partisan politics is influencing PEI Supreme Court decisions about granting public access to filed court documents is proven wrong: but to outside observers like me, it sure looks like the competitive sport of “PEI politics” is still coursing through Judge Campbell’s Liberal veins with a strong pulse.