Monday, June 5, 2017

-PC Justice Minister Jonathan Denis appointed Bodnarek to the bench in 2013, with high praise for his efforts “to maintain and enhance a fair and accessible justice system for all Albertans.”------------Jean said: “I practised criminal law for 10 years, and I’ve never heard of a victim of sexual assault being shackled and jailed by the system meant to protect her, when she was willing to testify and had committed no crime.”--------------The CBC’s Janice Johnston reported this case in detail Monday morning, and by afternoon it was all over the legislature. -----------

PC Justice Minister Jonathan Denis appointed Bodnarek to the bench in 2013, with high praise for his efforts “to maintain and enhance a fair and accessible justice system for all Albertans.”--I guess jailing a compliant victim who is willing to testify is part of Justice Bodnarek's efforts to keep everything fair and accessible to all of us hey?
Maybe there needs to be a review of this case by the Law Society of Alberta?
Maybe the GOA needs to review this poor performance by this judge?
Maybe the people of Alberta need to yap on social media to get things going?
Maybe we should simply understand that for First Nations people -and really anyone who is too poor to defend themselves--the justice system in Alberta is flawed, biased and punitive?
Maybe the system is not "fair and accessible for all Albertans" but only the elite?

After the death of little Serenity, after ex-judge Robin Camp wondered why a sexual assault complainant didn’t keep her knees together, doubts about Alberta’s justice…

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Only in Alberta does a PC Justice minister appoint a judge who he praises as ensuring the justice system is fair and accessible to all Albertans and the judge turns out to be less than fair in terms of providing justice to a sexual assault victim.
Only in Alberta do we find out this case of injustice from CBC.
Only in Alberta does the justice department also find out of this case of injustice from CBC.
Only in Alberta do cases of injustice by justices in the justice system result in a publicly funded investigation when a cheaper remedy of job termination is available and is not used by the GOA.
Only in Alberta do cases of injustice oddly happen with First Nations people who are poor, can't afford a lawyer and so are stuck in jail for no darn reason that I can determine other than a judge can do this sort of junk and it is perfectly legal because this is Alberta.
Only in Alberta does a woman suffer the same punishment as her assailant and then worse, ends up dead before the GOA can apologize to her for the abuse of power by the judge appointed by the GOA.
Only in Alberta does such junk happen -the residue of 44 years of PC cronyism and y'all want to keep this going with a merger with the PCs?
Only in Alberta.

Braid: Sex assault victim sought justice, instead she was shackled and jailed

Published on: June 5, 2017 | Last Updated: June 5, 2017 6:27 PM MDT
Kathleen Ganley, Alberta justice minister.
Kathleen Ganley, Alberta justice minister. GREG SOUTHAM / POSTMEDIA NETWORK
After the death of little Serenity, after ex-judge Robin Camp wondered why a sexual assault complainant didn’t keep her knees together, doubts about Alberta’s justice system were certainly growing.
But this latest — the case of Angela Cardinal — is so offensive to natural justice that it can literally make you gasp, or gag.
If this can happen in our courts, what can’t happen?
The victim of a brutal sexual and physical assault was locked in the Edmonton Remand Centre for five nights during a preliminary hearing into charges against her assailant, Lance David Blanchard.
Blanchard had savagely stabbed and beaten her. And yet, she found herself being hauled into court in leg shackles.
This indigenous woman of 28, whose real name can’t be used because of a court order, stood up for herself.
“I’m the victim, and look at me, I’m in shackles,” she told provincial court Judge Raymond Bodnarek.
He ordered her back to a cell. “Aren’t you supposed to commit a crime to go to jail?” she asked.
Not necessarily, it seems. Off she went to the slammer, where she was sometimes confined in a cell close to her attacker. She was also driven with him to court in the same vehicle.
The CBC’s Janice Johnston reported this case in detail Monday morning, and by afternoon it was all over the legislature.
Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley had already apologized to the family of the victim. She launched an inquiry and vowed that the law allowing detention of witnesses will never again be used without approval from the highest level.
It’s obviously intended to prevent flight by complicit or hostile witnesses, not blameless victims.
In response to questions from Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, Premier Rachel Notley also apologized.
“It was a tragedy and actually quite an appalling set of circumstances … no victim should ever be treated that way.”
Jean said: “I practised criminal law for 10 years, and I’ve never heard of a victim of sexual assault being shackled and jailed by the system meant to protect her, when she was willing to testify and had committed no crime.”
Ganley wonders if this would happen to anybody but an indigenous woman.
It’s the question people still ask about Serenity, the four-year-old First Nations child who died after being brutalized over an extended period, yet still wasn’t worth an autopsy report for almost two years.
Bodnarek, the judge who agreed with confining Angela, had previously been Alberta’s deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general, effectively the administrative boss of the whole system.
In 2010, then PC premier Alison Redford sent Bodnarek the Tobaccogate memo, in which she said the law firm that involved her ex-husband was the best choice to handle the province’s anti-tobacco litigation.
PC Justice Minister Jonathan Denis appointed Bodnarek to the bench in 2013, with high praise for his efforts “to maintain and enhance a fair and accessible justice system for all Albertans.”
Blanchard’s charges went to trial in Court of Queen’s bench, where he was convicted in 2016 by Justice Erik Macklin.
By then Angela Cardinal had already been shot dead in an unrelated incident, another indigenous life snuffed after hardship and indignity.
In a postscript to his judgment, Macklin said Cardinal’s treatment by the preliminary hearing court was “appalling” and “she is owed an apology.”
Then he added the only sense we have of this anonymous woman’s character. I find it heartbreaking.
“In her testimony, she confirmed that she had graduated from Grade 12 and was a good student,” Macklin wrote. “It is not difficult to accept this would be true, as she clearly came across as an intelligent woman during her testimony.
“While there were times when she was clearly distraught, much of her testimony was given in a clear, cogent, coherent and articulate manner.
“She spoke of having some artistic talent and displayed a sense of humour when suggesting that drawings she had taken depicting the accused’s apartment and the accused were not of Picasso quality.
“When shown a particular photograph of the scene, she identified a piece of paper on the floor as a poem that she had written.
“She recited the poem in court and indicated that she kept it in her sock so that in the event it fell out, she could ‘make someone smile from a distance without knowing it . . . cute little things like that might make life beautiful.'”
The judge found it unfortunate that “her life circumstances did not allow society to see or experience her intelligence and artistic qualities.”
One circumstance was unfathomably callous treatment from the system that was supposed to give her justice. Alberta courts may be pressured and underfunded, but nothing excuses such a failure of basic humanity.
Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald
Twitter: @DonBraid

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Julie Ali · 
This case is a sad example to me of the failures of the system under the PCs who appear to have done pretty much what they wanted to do. It's clear to me that the PCs should never get back to government as a ruling party.
I encourage all Wildrose Party voters to refuse to support unity. Mr. Jean could become premier without the Tapcal Trust Fund PCs.

As for the NDP folks in government now why are they not firing folks? We've seen the failures of investigations by the GOA with reference to over 800 dead kids in the child welfare system under both the PCs and the NDPCs. Why would we expect more than recommendations that won't be implemented with an investigation into this egregious abuse of power? Where is the penalty for this abuse of power? I guess there is none is there?
LikeReply120 hrs
Marlene Stobbart · 
Good comments - lack of accountability by all gov't departments, To date it appears the NDP gov't does little in this area. Thankfully - Brian Jean, Leader of the Wildrose - is holding them to account.
LikeReply10 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Marlene Stobbart He seems like a nice man. I think he will make a good premier.
LikeReply11 mins
Marlene Stobbart · 
Thankfully, the Calgary Herald does honest journalism. It told of bias by the judge and corruption within the political system. Moreover - it's a grim story for this woman has died. Had there been proper treatment for her back then perhaps - a different outcome.
LikeReply110 hrs
Edd Wagil · 
Marlene...."back then" was 2015. I really don't think much has changed.
UnlikeReply17 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Edd Wagil Nothing has changed but we now see that the NDP folks have failed us. Troubling. But we keep trucking.
LikeReplyJust now
Velvet Martin · 
If current Leaders had sense, the Politicians should be spring-boarding all over the gruesome circumstances.

The actions of previous Government was so corrupt and callous that it allowed its system workers to hide 685 child deaths. High-profiled cases such as Serenity and Samantha both were unmonitored by workers for a year. Although the children died years apart under the hands of Tories.

The same Justice Minister who lauded the likes of a Judge who would confine an innocent Indigenous female victim of sexual abuse also stood accused of domestic violence by his own spouse.

Denis also refused calls to investigate the hidden child fatalities. The Chief Coroner herself referred to the death review system as corrupt.

If we as a Society are truly outraged by the cruelty and incompetence visited upon our most vulnerable, then we ought to be punishing individuals who allow it to happen. Those in authoritative roles who contribute to the harm through negligence of duty should be facing the law just like any other member of the Public.
LikeReply11 hrs
Velvet Martin · 
Furthermore, the mother of the victim is requesting that her daughter be afforded the dignity and honour of identity:

No more silence!

The purpose of the Publication Ban is to

1/ protect a victim

2/ protect victim's family

Therefore, protection of person is no longer required where death has occurred. Particularly where it is the surviving kin's choice to be transparent! The family clearly wishes to honour their daughter's identity.

This brave young woman who - despite threat of incarceration - still stood up for herself. There is no doubt in my mind - nor that of the persons who knew her most intimately, her family - that she would want to be identified.

Only the System itself benefits from betrayal by dehumanization.
UnlikeReply26 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Good thing we turfed the PCs in the last election. It is mind boggling how the Justice Minister could have promoted this bureaucrat when he does this sort of abuse of power. What the heck is going on in Alberta?
LikeReply9 mins
Shelley Kohut-Harder · 
Is there any type of accountability for failed judges? Why is this man not removed from his bench? If a Judge does not know, or protect the rights of the victim how can we trust him to protect the public in his rulings? This is a travesty and my heart aches for this young woman victimized not once, not twice but three times in her short life.
LikeReply615 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Apparently we can't turf the judge. The government of Alberta has to do this. Folks can however complain to the government as per the law society information here:

From: Intake <>
Date: Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 7:59 AM
Subject: RE: LSA Website Request: How are judges in Alberta disciplined?

Good morning Ms. Ali;

Provincial Court Judges in Alberta answer to the office of the Solicitor General; complaints can be filed against them by calling 780-427-2745.

Trevor Jones
Intake Specialist
Early Intervention Programs

500, 919 – 11th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2R1P3
Phone: 403.930.7218 | Toll Free: 1.800.661.9003
LikeReply7 mins
Jim Swarthout · 
I am tired of inquiries with nothing to show but recommendations to do better next time. Why is there never any personal responsibility as part of it. In this case, maybe the judge needs to be fined for violating her charter rights (if that is what he did), or allow her to sue the judge personally. It seems to me the judiciary, government officials and medical professionals always seem to have no issue tearing apart lives with no personal repercussions. It reminds me of the senior who was put into a tub and scalded so badly he died from his injuries. No one was held responsible, just a "hey we will remember to turn the water down next time". If the NDP wanted to create a legacy that lasts beyond the next two years, this could be it. Provide more accountability on the part of anyone who works for the province or a municipality.
LikeReply218 hrs
Jim Swarthout · 
Put legislation in place that allows the ability to go after people like this in a court, not a medical board or the law society where it is stacked against the average person.
LikeReply218 hrs
Julie Ali · 
The NDP are just like the PCs were turfed. They are the NDPCs. They are better at portraying themselves as caring for the little guy and the little gal but in my opinion their lack of action in the continuing care system indicates their lack of interest in our most frail, defenceless seniors in the system. Why else do we have the banning case that is ongoing in Grande Prairie where the Tucker family had to remove their mum from a facility to the hospital? It's outrageous that the Trespass to Premises legislation is used as a retribution tool to penalize families for advocating for family members. The PCs created this legislation without a public transparent independent appeal process and for good reason. The continuing care industry and the health care system uses this legislation to separate vulnerable patients / residents from their advocates.

The NDPCs knew all about this junk before we elected them and the Health Minister did not go the route of amending the legislation. Why not?
LikeReply3 mins
Melody Nice · 
I'm disgusted! There is far to much racism in the judicial system from the police right up to the judges! Pathetic!
LikeReply220 hrs
Michael Link
this isn't about racism, it's about the law that allows victims to be held in jail...
LikeReply11 hrs
Mark Oldman
Michael Link It can be about multiple things. In fact, almost everything complex enough to be worth discussing, is about multiple things.

When laws like this exist, and racism is pervasive in our society (and it is), then laws like this will have heavily racialized impacts.
LikeReply9 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Michael Link Actually it is about preferential use of the law. The judge would not have used this law if a sexual assault victim was from Riverbend. Know why? A sexual assault victim from Riverbend would have had a lawyer stat to her side and #MediaAttention; I'm guessing this law was used selectively in this case because the victim was poor, lacking the ability to get a productive lawyer and aboriginal.
LikeReply1 min
Doris Lebel · 
In Alberta there are some courts that either sit on First Nations or service primarily First Nations I suggest that the minister of Justice attend some of those courtrooms and see first hand what First Nations persons experience in our justice system. Daily there are First Nations people that maybe accused, victim, applicant or respondent in family law matters that are not receiving access to justice. (Of course "access to justice" for all Albertans needs to be defined, clarified and made a priority.) The lack of knowledge and insensitivity to the cultural history and the intergenerational trauma of First Nations persons within the justice system is stunning to see. The experience of this particular victim sickens me but it does not surprise me. It is our shame and it needs to be addressed.....words are hollow and often false. This cries for action.
LikeReply320 hrs
Jason Lee Borne · 
I have been fighting for truth and accountability for 5 years and it breaks my heart to give up on the stench of a rotten system.
In a perfect world this judge from hell would go to prison and have his career destroyed.
I loved the justice sytem because it holds society together..........but any perversion is a death by 1,000 cuts.
UnlikeReply322 hrs
Julie Ali · 
In a world where abuses of power are tolerated we don't get justice, we get investigations which end in no consequences.
You can see this clearly in the Serenity case where #PanelPolitics is the GOA strategy to deal with public concern. Nothing changes.
Troubling but citizens have to keep trucking. We'll hire the next political party -the Wildrose Party and see how it goes.
LikeReply220 hrs
George Rae
With references to Raymond Bodnareck, Jonathan Denis, Alison Redford and Tobaccogate, does anyone not see a definite PC thread here? And these entitled self-serving incompetents want a ride back into power on the shoulders of Wildrose? I don't think so. Not on my July 22nd vote.
LikeReply523 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Good for you. The fact is this PC group had their chance and we're done with this group of powerful people who were certainly around way too long in Alberta. Just thinking of the Tapcal Trust Fund makes me wonder why the Wildrose Party voters would consider aligning themselves with the PCs.
LikeReply320 hrs

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