Sunday, July 23, 2006
CHARLES LEBLANC FIGHTS BACK AT DAN BUSSIERES AND LOREDANA CATALLI SONIER WITH THE NEW BRUNSWICK HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION!!!!
Click here for past story,,,,,
Response of Charles LeBlanc to the Respondents Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick and its Sergeant-at-Arms, Daniel Bussieres
July 23, 2006
Re: Charles LeBlanc vs the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick and its Sergeant-at-Arms, Daniel Bussieres
I am writing in response to the response of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick and its Sergeant-at-Arms, Daniel Bussieres to my complaint of discrimination on the basis of political activity.
First, I would like make note of the difference between the two and a half page complaint which I submitted and the ten pounds of trees that the respondents high paid lawyer submitted in their defense. Heavy handed is a term that comes to mind…. especially when you consider that some of the material contained in the four binders of information is lifted word for word from my political activist blog site, oldmaison.blogspot.com. (And they say I’m not a reporter.)
Back to the matter at hand, however: upon reviewing the defendants’ response to my complaint, I see no place where the defendant denies discriminating against me on the basis of my political activity.
In fact, it is the opposite. They give plenty of reasons for discriminating against me on the basis of my political activity, yet they like to diminish my political activism by putting me down and stereotyping me as an uneducated, ruffled pest who loiters around
the legislature and bothers them to no end by writing articles in a website blog that contain unwarranted criticism of the goings on at the Legislature, of MLA’s and even the Legislature staff themselves.
As my thousands of readers will show, however, the public is eager to learn about a side of the legislature they don’t often hear about – even if the staff and MLA’s at the Legislature prefer it be swept under the rug.
They can’t have it both ways: “Political activity” is being redefined in this new world of modern technology where anybody with a computer and the inclination to do so can write about politics on a daily basis, reaching out to the poor and disenfranchised all around the world in a way that has never been done before - much to the chagrin of the authorities who like to control the flow of information in the same old tidy way they have been able to do for hundreds of years.
So instead of denying that they treated me differently because of my political activity, they say I was denied the job because the contractor did not give me a security clearance. They say that they have the right to do what ever they want because of “Parliamentary privilege” and they the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission does not have the authority to investigate the complaint under the Human Rights Act.
It is important to note the underlying assumption is that I am I am a security risk which in a post 9/11world brings to mind all manner of perceived threats such as Middle Eastern terrorists and the like. So labelled, I could not possibly obtain said clearance and then the job would have been a moot point. This assumption is based on a stereotype that I am a bad person who has done something sufficiently evil to warrant being labelled a security risk.
Yet, there is no mention of me doing anything worse than making a statement declaring “war” on the commisionaires. This statement was admittedly, made in frustration, but one has to consider the context:
I had just found out that I couldn’t work because the staff of the Legislature told the contractor I was a security risk. I was angry, yes, but as anyone who knows me can attest, I am not a physical threat to anyone
Besides, the “war” I was referring to was a “war of words” as my preferred weapon is not a sword – it is a pen. Ask MLA Abel LeBlanc.
He doesn’t think I am a security risk. Ask the Justice Minister with whom I had a face to face meeting in early June about the Residential Tenancies Act. Ask MLA Kelly Lamrock, with whom I had a meeting three weeks ago at the United Book Store / coffee shop downtown where we talked all about the issue of me being barred from the legislature and he explained his position on why he had voted against me (more on this below).
They’ll all tell you I wouldn’t hurt a flea. Otherwise, the Staff of the Legislature would have got rid of me a long time ago .
Throughout the voluminous response are frequent references to my blog website www.oldmaison.blogspot.com and my writings about the Legislature, which to me, sure seem like a reference to my political activity. So instead of denying that they discriminated against me on the basis of political activity, the defendant(s) imply that I am a “security threat’ and hide behind the blatantly discriminatory practice of Parliamentary privilege which allow functionaries of the Legislature to act as they please when the real problem is that they do not like me because I tell the truth about the Legislature as I see it and because they don’t like the way I talk and look.
As recent events have shown (me being summarily banned from the Legislature in mid June following my arrest in Saint John during the Atlantica protest), the Legislature is a power in its own; decisions about whether a citizen can or cannot cast his or her shadow across its hallowed doors can be made in secret and there is no recourse for the person who has been evicted on the most shaky allegations of being a ‘security risk” .
This is very worrisome in a democracy. These allegations are unproven to this day and I have not had a chance to defend myself against them yet they are used to bar me from getting a job and from even casting my shadow in the Legislature precinct! Surely, in a democracy, where we have Human Rights Legislation that protects people from discrimination, the Legislature is not above the law, but in New Brunswick it is apparently. This is not right.
Further to the “security risk” excuse for denying me a job at the Legislature,
the affidavit of Ms. Catelli Sonier makes frequent mention of my blog and articles I have posted which make reference to security issues around the legislature. All of the articles which I have posted are legitimate commentary and everything that I have posted about new security measures around the Legislature has appeared in one way or the other in other media.
Tourists and anybody else who wants to can take pictures of the outside of the building and do whatever they want with the pictures but apparently I am not allowed to do so because when I do it, somehow it becomes a “threat”.
She says that I have posted an image of the Gallery and the Legislative Chambers on my website (s.31 of her affidavit) but the Legislative Chambers are broadcast live to the world by Webcam so I am not doing something that the Legislature is not doing itself. Yes, I have put the MLA’s vehicles on my website but that was only to compare the relative cost of the vehicles and whether they were gas guzzlers. (Frankly, I never thought of the licences being an issue of security. )
I believe other news agencies have done the same so I am not doing anything new: I am simply doing it in a different way in a blog that is independent of the mainstream media and the Irving owned monopoly.
To insinuate that I am somehow creating a security risk by reporting on activities in and around the legislature is a farce and a lame excuse to get rid of me because they (the Staff and the MLA’s on the “special committee” that deals with issues of security) don’t like my politics and they don’t like what I have to say about the Legislature.
They don’t like the way I report the news in my Blog and they resent the fact that they cannot control my view of the “news” from the Legislature because I am an independent.
I have asked the Press Gallery for accreditation but as this is a new and emerging technology here in Canada, they are reluctant to grant it to me. Meantime, in other jurisdictions, bloggers are treated with respect and given accreditation, but that is another issue for another day.
I have already appeared on CBC’s “The Current” along with other international guests to discuss this issue and it is nothing new. Someday, a blogger will be given press accreditation. Perhaps it will be me.
I’d also like to say that much of the information that was supplied in the defendant’s response is from AFTER the date of my complaint. I expect that the Human Rights Commission will not consider any of that information when assessing the relative merits of my complaint of political activity discrimination since it has nothing to do with the situation which transpired between September 27 and October 6, 2005..
I believe that the notion of “Parliamentary privilege” has been abused in my case and is being used as a smokescreen to silence me as a political activist who is critical of the politicians and the goings on at the Legislature. I believe that this is a slippery slope and that everyone should be concerned when a blogger can be evicted from the Legislature precinct on such unfounded, unsubstantiated grounds. I do hope that the Human Rights Commission will see fit to challenge the notion of Parliamentary privilege when it comes to my case so that others who are exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression are not treated this way simply because of their political views and activities.
A few friends who are concern about my day in court next Tuesday morning invited me for a few beers. I had way too many....pretty calm today.......not too many new blogs....lol