April 21, 2010
By Jeff Parkinson
After 2 ½ years of wrongful prosecution for political gains, the Crown finally stayed the counselling mischief not committed charge against activist Gary McHale today in a Hamilton Court. There are plenty of theories as to why now, but my personal best guess is that it has a lot to do with Gary closing in on criminal charges against senior McGuinty government officials.
With court ordered disclosure in hand, McHale was creeping slowly closer to being able to connect the dots between the inspector who arrested him for a crime that nobody has ever heard of, and the Deputy Minister for the McGuinty government.
By stalling disclosure for over 2 years, the crown managed to buy time for the onerous bail restrictions that Gary was facing for the alleged offence of making a suggestion to someone which was not taken, but with those restrictions lifted and McHale able to travel to Caledonia, the risk of turning over disclosure that was growing increasingly incriminating for the Government was perhaps just too high.
We can be sure it has nothing to do with what is in the best interests of the public or of justice itself as if that was the case, this trumped up charge would never have seen the light of day. The political reasons for the charge have been exceptionally well documented over the past 2 + years so I won’t rehash all of that here and now, but the price that has been paid by not only Gary, but by justice itself is staggering.
Countless hundreds of hours of prep and court time, legal research that would make most lawyer’s head spin, a small fortune spent on gas, mileage, food, and revenue lost from days that could have been spent earning a living, not to mention the incredible amount of court time and resources that has been taken away from actual crimes all add up to a staggering cost. The floods of lawyers, judges, court clerks, bailiff’s, and OPP officers that have been used to make this charge appear legitimate must have cost you the tax payer well over $1,000,000.
How does it feel to know that every cent most of us will ever pay in taxes will never cover the cost of this botched and bogus prosecution?
The statistics will likely become available in the near future, but the true cost may not be known for years to come. I suppose we the people are supposed to be thankful that our government has finally stopped frittering nearly endless resources into this case, but the question we should all be asking is why the hell did it take 29 months to figure out that this charge was not in the best interest of anyone to prosecute?
It would be nice to say that this appears to represent a change in the political climate, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. Politicians have been manipulating the system to cover their asses for centuries and they will continue to do so until we wake up and hold them accountable.
Disclosure had already provided enough evidence to have 2 senior OPP officers charged with Obstructions of Justice, and the trail was beginning to incriminate the McGuinty Liberals as being involved. The evidence of that can be found here.
They say there is a silver lining to any cloud, and in this case it was the unexpected, highly valuable legal training and experience that Gary McHale and CANACE has gained over the past 2 years. Once introduced to the court system, we made it our mission to become astoundingly familiar with the legal system and the result has been an impressive resume of successful private prosecutions, orders of mandamus, and success at virtually every legal move we have tried to make.
While some would love to argue that some of the charges we have laid have been stayed by the Crown, there is a subdivision full of happy families right now because CANACE moved in when it was illegally occupied and laid charges to keep out the criminals.
The defence mounted by McHale who fired his legal aid lawyer at his first hearing and has represented himself at dozens of hearings since is nothing short of astounding. His questioning of OPP officers has made public the proof of race based policing in Caledonia, and his grilling of Julian Fantino was a sight that had to be seen to be appreciated.
While we’re all very happy to see Gary free of this ridiculous charge, it’s hard not to contemplate what was going to happen next. Personally I have no doubt that the evidence was about to prove political interference at the highest levels.
Update; The Globe & Mail story by Christie Blatchford on this really is must read material