The MississaugaWatch Sniff Test

This question is the MISSISSAUGAWATCH Sniff Test for all Ontario municipal Mayors and Councillors:

Do you support asking the Ontario government to extend the investigative authority of the Ontario Ombudsman to include municipalities?

If the answer is not an UNQUALIFIED "Yes!", ask "Why not?" and proceed with extreme caution.


MIRROR: Complete Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Transcripts

Citizen reporter/activist requests (and receives) permission to videotape Mississauga Judicial Inquiry

March 13th, 2010  

Well, Donald Barber won a victory for citizen-journalism on Friday, March 12, 2010 when he stood up before the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry and requested to be allowed to videotape the proceedings.

A small BIG victory for Alternate Media.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion's secretary, Carol Horvat (Mississauga Judicial Inquiry March 12, 2010) PHOTO: DON BARBER

So what follows is a cut-and-paste of the exchange (from the March 12, 2010 transcript provided at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website)

 1
  2
  3
  4                 MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY
  5
  6
  7
  8
  9  Before:        Associate Chief Mr. Justice J. Douglas
 10                 Cunningham
 11
 12
 13
 14
 15
 16
 17
 18
 19  HELD AT:
 20                    Provincial Offence Court
 21                       Mississauga, Ontario
 22                         March 12, 2010
 23
 24                       Pages 1 to 36
 25

2

  1                        APPEARANCES
  2
  3  William McDowell                  )Commission Counsel
  4  Naomi Loewith                     )
  5
  6  Freya Kristjanson                 )For Mayor Hazel McCallion
  7
  8  Brian Gover      (np)            ) For Peter McCallion
  9  Lusia Ritacca    (np)            )
 10
 11  Clifford Lax, Q.C. (np)           )For City of Mississauga
 12  Tracy Wynne                       )
 13  James Renihan                     )
 14
 15  Michael Barrack                  )For OMERS
 16  John Finnigan  (np)               )
 17  James Roks     (np)               )
 18
 19  Alan Mark (np)                    )For Enersource
 20  Kelly Friedman   (np)            )
 21
 22  Don Jack         (np)            ) For 157 Square One
 23  Adam Goodman     (np)            )
 24
 25

3

  1                     TABLE OF CONTENTS
  2                                                       Page No.
  3  Discussion                                                  4
  4
  5  CAROL HORVAT, Sworn
  6   Examination-in-chief by Mr. William McDowell              16
  7   Cross-Examination by Ms. Freya Kristjanson                33
  8
  9  Certificate of transcript                                 36
 10
 11
 12
 13
 14
 15
 16
 17
 18
 19
 20
 21
 22
 23
 24
 25

4

  1                          EXHIBIT
  2  NO.              DESCRIPTION                        PAGE NO.
  3  1              Terms of reference                         15
  4  2              Carol Horvat's documents                   16
  5  3              Affidavit of Sean Acheampong               34
  6
  7
  8
  9
 10
 11
 12
 13
 14
 15
 16
 17
 18
 19
 20
 21
 22
 23
 24
 25

5

  1  --- Upon commencing at 10:06 a.m.
  2
  3                 THE COURT CLERK:   All rise.  Please be
  4  seated.
  5                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Good
  6  morning.  Mr. McDowell, I know, before we begin the
  7  matter that brings us here today, there are some
  8  preliminary issues that we should probably discuss.
  9                 MR. WILLIAM MCDOWELL:   Right.  Yes,
 10  Commissioner, the first one is the presence of various
 11  media in the room.  For the information of counsel and
 12  anyone spectating, we will have a media room set up when
 13  the hearings proper begin; we just don't have that set up
 14  yet.  And once we have that established, we will have a
 15  single source medial feed which goes into the next room
 16  and maybe carried on -- on television.  So in other
 17  words, we'll have one (1) camera, and then the other
 18  media will watch in that room.  We have two (2) cameras
 19  now because we haven't yet made that arrangement.
 20                 Now, it was drawn to our attention that
 21  last day, unbeknownst to us, there was someone taking
 22  video in the courtroom which was then place on a blog on
 23  the internet, and whatever the merits -- or demerits of
 24  doing that are, we hadn't realized that.  And it has not
 25  been the ordinary practice of inquiries to allow anyone

6

  1  who wants to to come in with a camera and take either
  2  still photos or video.  In fact, there's been a practice
  3  of -- of recognizing accredited media.
  4                 So this morning we have Mr. Don Barber in
  5  court.  He's been very candid with us that he intends to
  6  film the proceedings, or video the proceedings, and/or
  7  take still photos.  And I've raised the concern with him
  8  that I expect that you would want to follow the ordinary
  9  practice, which is to recognize accredited media.  He has
 10  indicated that he doesn't agree with that approach, and
 11  I've told him that if he wishes to address you briefly,
 12  he could do that.
 13                 Mr. Barber...?
 14                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Mr.
 15  Barber, good morning.
 16                 MR. DON BARBER:   Good morning, Sir.  I've
 17  been a citizen reporter for a number of years; I have a
 18  website, The Democratic Reporter.  I've been reporting on
 19  a number of things.  It's not really a blog site.  And
 20  it's -- I always put it up on YouTube.
 21                 I was using a little tiny camera, this one
 22  right here, to do the video, and I was doing it rather
 23  openingly out there, and the court reporter even noted it
 24  halfway through, and so I was, you know, not hiding
 25  anything of any nature.

7

  1                 As the -- the attorney did mention, that
  2  there is no media site set up at this point in time, and
  3  as far as I know there's no complaint as to regards to
  4  what or how it was posted, altered, or anything like
  5  that, so it's an accurate record.
  6                 I would raise some questions in regards to
  7  accredited media.  In this day and age, what exactly is
  8  that supposed to mean, and what are -- why would you go
  9  with a so-called accredited media?  Like, why -- why are
 10  they going to be given these privileges and other people
 11  who are in the community and serving the community's
 12  interest are not going to be allowed equal opportunity?
 13  I'm not here to create a fuss or cause a disturbance; I
 14  didn't last time.
 15                 And also, as a person who has been
 16  inspired by your words last time, in regards to the
 17  fairness of funding to parties before the courts and
 18  whatnot, I too have -- following a similar path with my
 19  particular circumstances with the City of Mississauga and
 20  the Region of Peel.
 21                 So, I would ask for the opportunity to
 22  discreetly make occasional picture, do some video with
 23  the small camera which doesn't cause any disturbance, and
 24  generally record the -- the proceedings for reporting
 25  purposes and my own efforts at trying to seek funding

8

  1  from the City of Mississauga and the Region of Peel.
  2                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Thank
  3  you.
  4                 Mr. McDowell...?
  5                 MR. WILLIAM MCDOWELL:   Well, Mr. Barber
  6  is right, that the distinction between the traditional
  7  media and ordinary citizens, or bloggers, is becoming
  8  blurred, and the Supreme Court of Canada in the Grant v.
  9  Torstar case recently addressed that, but nothing in that
 10  decision or any other authority -- authority of which I'm
 11  aware addresses the issue of whether the distinction has
 12  been completely obliterated.  It may have been blurred
 13  for liability purposes, but I say that you're still
 14  entitled to -- to say that you will treat accredited
 15  media differently than anyone who happens to come into a
 16  courtroom with a camera.
 17                 And I am respectful of the notion of
 18  citizen journalism, but it cannot be that we face the
 19  prospect of having ten (10) cameras in the courtroom,
 20  because it would be difficult to say yes to Mr. Barber
 21  and no to anyone else who -- who approached you on the
 22  same footing.
 23                 So there -- there may well be an issue
 24  there, but for -- for the present purposes, I think you
 25  should resolve it by not permitting Mr. Barber to take

9

  1  images.
  2                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Thank
  3  you.  Any other counsel wish to speak to this matter?
  4
  5                       (BRIEF PAUSE)
  6
  7                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Mr.
  8  Barber, what is it that -- I didn't frankly notice you at
  9  all the last time we were here.  I gather you were here,
 10  but I -- I -- I didn't notice you.  What -- what is it
 11  that you wish to do today?
 12                 MR. DON BARBER:   Well, yesterday I was
 13  asked to come here because Ursula Kent-Bennett -- the
 14  name would be familiar to you; she is -- was called by
 15  the Commission --
 16                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Yes.
 17                 MR. DON BARBER:   -- to present evidence -
 18  - because she could not be here, or be there, and she --
 19  I don't see her in the audience today either -- she asked
 20  me to come here and make a record of what was going on so
 21  that she could attend to her ailing parents.  And I'm
 22  prepared to do the same thing for her again today.
 23                 I was right over there in the corner, and
 24  I moved over the lectern and put my hat down and then put
 25  the camera on top of it.  And, as you noted, I was not

10

  1  disturbing anybody or making any particular presentation
  2  that would interfere with the court's activities.
  3                 As regards to anybody coming up here and
  4  taking pictures, I'm -- I am in a bit of a different
  5  class.  Yes, things are getting a little bit blurred, but
  6  I do have a history of years of -- as a citizen reporter,
  7  not as a blogger, per se, and I would ask that there be
  8  this discretion granted to people, and I do share it with
  9  Ursula, and she has been, as far as I know, making a
 10  meaningful contribution to this committee.
 11                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   And
 12  that would involve, I take it, taping the proceeding, is
 13  that right?
 14                 MR. DON BARBER:   Taping.  I have a little
 15  video taper.  This thing here can make images like --
 16  have you seen what was on YouTube?
 17                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   No.
 18  No.
 19                 MR. DON BARBER:   Okay.  She actually did
 20  the edited -- editing on that, and there's two (2) items
 21  up there.  And so --
 22                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Well --
 23                 MR. DON BARBER:   I have a camera over
 24  there just to make the occasional still picture.
 25                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Yes.

11

  1  All right.  Well --
  2                 MR. DON BARBER:   Non-flash.
  3                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:    Pardon
  4  me?
  5                 MR. DON BARBER:   Non-flash.
  6                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:    Non-
  7  flash, all right.  Well, thank you, Mr. Barber.  Have a
  8  seat.
  9                 As the Inquiry Commissioner, it is clearly
 10  within my power to set out the terms of media coverage so
 11  that witnesses, counsel, the media, and, of course, the
 12  public are -- fully understand the expectations.
 13                 Before we begin the evidentiary stage of
 14  this Inquiry, I intend to formulate some terms of
 15  reference, with respect to media coverage, which will be
 16  posted on the commission website.
 17                 It has been traditionally the practice
 18  only to permit accredited media representatives to record
 19  the proceedings, subject, of course, to the terms that I
 20  will be setting out, and, usually, no other forms or
 21  means of recording, or re-broadcasting, or photography,
 22  are permitted beyond those set out in the terms that I
 23  expect I will be establishing very soon.
 24                 I'm going to take your submissions under
 25  advisement, Mr. Barber.  It is Barber, is it?

12

  1                 MR. DON BARBER:   Yes.
  2                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Mr.
  3  Barber.  And when I'm formulating the terms of reference
  4  for the evidentiary portion of the Inquiry, I will take
  5  into account the submissions you have made, but I think
  6  for the purposes of today I'm going to permit you to do
  7  as you did the last time.  That doesn't guarantee you
  8  that that will continue, but I will certainly consider
  9  what you have said today when I formulate the terms with
 10  respect to media coverage.
 11                 MR. DON BARBER:   Thank you very much,
 12  Sir.
I too intend on making a submission to Commissioner Cunningham regarding the need to allow citizen-bloggers to videotape the proceedings.

Signed,
The (Bottomline, Traditional Media is failing us!) Mississauga Muse

Comments

Comments are closed.


Bear