2011-01-21 Census Lockheed Martin: sentence is absolute discharge! Re appeal of Guilty verdict. Donations for continuing legal expense.
Re appeal of Guilty VERDICT (more information below)
Donations for continuing legal expense (appeal of verdict) will be gratefully received and can be mailed to:
656 Saskatchewan Cres East
Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 0L1
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I cannot thank you enough for all your generous support! Nor can I put into words what it means to me.
The Judge found me guilty last week. Yesterday she delivered the sentence: an absolute discharge, which means the Court is not punishing me with a fine or jail and I will not have a criminal record.
There is cause for celebration! .. but it’s not over until it’s over, I am sorry to say!
I do not think I have a choice but to appeal the guilty verdict. I may be the only one who has the “can” and “will” to appeal the verdict, if it should be done. In consultation with lawyer Steve Seiferling – who has specialized in privacy law – – there are legal grounds for appeal.
Are there grounds, from my perspective?
THOUGHT #1 REGARDING APPEAL of THE GUILTY VERDICT:
If the guilty decision goes unchallenged, it seems to me I will only have made it WORSE for people in the future. I don’t think we have a Charter Right to Privacy of personal information if the guilty verdict stands.
As explained in earlier emails, my interpretation of the email from Tony Clement’s office and positions put forth by other elected officials: they are proposing that the long form or the “new” National Household Survey is voluntary because there won’t be the threat of jail and a fine .. BUT it will be promoted as “mandatory”. The word “mandatory” in the English language means “you have to do it”. There is a higher authority that demands you do it.
If the Government proceeds with a long form or a survey that is “voluntary” because there are no sanctions for not filling it in, AND simultaneously promotes it to the public as “mandatory” then it is more of the “Innocent Fraud” described by John Kenneth Galbraith (2004).
The Canadian public should not tolerate such .. ummm, it’s not “innocent” . . . but rather “Orwellian” fraud.
It seems to me that a higher Court ruling is needed.
Lawyer Steve Seiferling’s experience and knowledge in the area of Privacy Law leads him to the conclusion that we do have a Charter Right to Privacy of personal information and that the Government cannot meet the test to override in this census/survey StatsCan situation. In his reading of the Judge’s decision he believes he sees the error in logic that led to the guilty verdict.
I do not claim to be any kind of an expert. As you will know from correspondence that goes back to 2003, I started from a place of knowing that allowing the enrichment of Lockheed Martin Corporation, through my tax dollars, makes me complicit with their many crimes against humanity. Not only alleged crimes, but crimes for which they have been convicted.
I won’t repeat the evolution in understanding that came about through the information found, submitted to and circulated in our network. Much of that is posted to the blog www.sandrafinley.ca (see “Lockheed” on the drop-down list under “PAGES”).
In today’s world Lockheed Martin is inextricably intertwined in the questions of:
– privacy of personal information; one of their specialties is “surveillance”
– whether we want the American military-industrial complex duplicated in Canada, through the offset agreements in the Government contracts with Lockheed Martin
– whether we want the de-stabilizing influence of the massive public debt that goes along with Lockheed Martin (we currently have the highest-ever deficit of any Canadian Government; we are simultaneously about to sign up for $16 billion more debt for Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets. The people of Norway refused to go there. We can, too. It’s a hard battle – Lockheed Martin now has more lobbyists in Ottawa than the oil and gas industry. We already have corporatocracy, not democracy. But there are tens of thousands of us. WE will be the ones paying the debt and the interest on it.
The Americans let the Lockheed Martin military-industrial complex take over. They are hated because of their illegal wars and indiscriminate killing ways. They have a mountain of debt; their economy cannot generate the income necessary to ever get themselves out of debt. Tax-payer money through interest payments on debt is funneled to the wealthy investors in Lockheed Martin and their ilk. The rot in the system almost brought the world economy to its knees; it still is a huge de-stabilizing influence in the world.
– whether we want an economy that becomes dependent upon the waging of war, as the American economy has become
– Do we want to get sucked into the vortex? Make a conscious decision, folks. If you decide “no” then fight with every opportunity that comes our way.
– As the people of Iraq know, the American military-industrial machine is dangerous especially if you, as a nation, have resources that transnational corporations covet.
– All in all, it is an environment in which we need the protection of the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. Please refer to 2008-12-06 if you have any doubts about the value of the Charter Right, the use of census data bases (detailed files on citizens) in police states.
– I believe there is no choice but to appeal the guilty verdict.
(Geez! I wish I made concise, succinct arguments. Sorry – my brain is of a different kind. One that always goes to the “Connections”, the context. I guess we need many different kinds of brains to get the best outcome!)
THOUGHT #2 REGARDING APPEAL of THE GUILTY VERDICT:
In the corporatocracy, the legal system along with other institutions (assets that belong to the public), eventually become tools in service of the corporate interest. It is VERY obvious in Monsanto v. Schmeiser (biotech industry). It is less clear in the census Lockheed Martin trial, but traces are visible. Let me explain:
– I talked with my City Councillor about my concerns: the City Manager twice in six months has publicly promoted the idea that “public-private-partnerships” are the way forward for the City of Saskatoon.
– Charlie’s response: it gets more and more difficult because the Federal Government has established criteria that Government funding is dependent upon “partnering” with corporations. . . . Jumping from there:
– Experience with the justice system leads you to see in a clearer way how public-private-partnerships bring about a situation where the full force of the Federal Government lines up against the citizen COUPLED WITH the power (money buys influence) of the corporation.
It was obvious when Monsanto took Percy Schmeiser to court. The Federal and Provincial Governments took intervenor positions in the Supreme Court on the side of Monsanto (through Agwest Biotech and Biotec Canada that are Government-funded entities). The Governments and universities have “public-private-partnerships” with Monsanto whereby Monsanto’s interest becomes the Government’s and the University’s interest.
In the situation of the census and Lockheed Martin, a “guilty” verdict that helps to shut down dissent over Lockheed Martin’s role in the census is a benefit to Lockheed Martin – – unless, as in this case, it can be used to draw attention, to create awareness of who Lockheed Martin is, etc. (when the public is otherwise being kept in the dark).
But the system is strongly against citizen efforts to challenge the role of Lockheed Martin in the census, and to defend the Charter Right to Privacy. The system uses little more than threats, intimidation and coercion. Most people cannot effectively go up against the system. The financial costs and the risks associated with the threat of jail are too much. (More movement toward “community-based” justice in the First Nations tradition, in marriage with some ideas from the existing system is required.) Note that a citizen used to be able to obtain financial assistance for legal costs to defend themselves against the Government in Charter Challenges, in recognition of the imbalance in power. Harper got rid of that funding.
– In the corporatocracy it becomes more and more difficult to inform citizens about what is happening. We saw Lockheed Martin’s name disappear in the NY Times coverage of the census debacle, to be replaced by the phrase “technology contractor”. Huh? .. don’t want the American public to know the truth?
The Globe and Mail had enough courage to say the Lockheed Martin name once (2011-01-13), but then it became the “technology giant”. Running scared of an accurate and honest description of Lockheed Martin? The corporatocracy rules.
– HOWEVER, I am extremely thankful for the Canadian journalists who, in the past week, have aired the important information on Lockheed Martin in the census story. Bless them!
We lend support to them by making the information widely available in the alternate media so that the “editors” run the risk of losing the credibility of their publication if they edit it out. People in our network actively challenge the media when they don’t present the whole picture. It truly makes a difference. Every small act counts – it is never small.
The fact that together we have been successful in getting Lockheed Martin’s name into the debate is a sign that we are willing to engage in the battle to take back what is ours. To me we are teetering on the brink. This success tells me that the corporatocracy hasn’t taken over completely. Yeeeeaay!
– We are powerful! If you haven’t read Marianne Williamson’s “Our Greatest Fear”, you really must! It is a short signature piece for our network that I haven’t circulated for a long time now. (It’s in the category “Empowerment” – but just click on “Our Greatest Fear”.)
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Thanks to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix who ( 2011-01-20 ) put Lockheed Martin FIRST and then the Charter Right to Privacy second, as the defence argument (that failed).
The Globe and Mail moved from “technology giant” to “defence giant” in one week.
2011-01-20 G&M Census refusenik avoids fine and prison
“ For eight years, Ms. Finley has repeatedly criticized the form as unnecessarily intrusive, and objects to Canada’s past decisions to contract out census work to defence giant Lockheed Martin.
“ . . . Ms. Finley acknowledged she didn’t fill out the form. Rather, she argued that the required long-form document violated her right under Section Eight of the Charter, which restricts “unreasonable search or seizure” of information. Judge Whelan dismissed the notion, saying Ms. Finley and her attorney “did not meet the burden of establishing a breach” of the section.”
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NOTICE OF APPEAL OF THE DECISION
Steve (the lawyer) and I will still sit down and review the situation. Unless you or someone else points out a flaw in my thinking from the lay person’s view, it is most likely that we will proceed to file notice of appeal next week. In the absence of unforeseen circumstances!
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FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE APPEAL
MANY thanks to Janette Doering and others who have contacted me with offers of financial assistance. They are needed, especially now going into appeal. The bill for legal services so far (2.75 years) is around $10,000.00 in spite of representing myself in the early goings. My family, bless them! made a large donation to the cause.
I specifically mention Janette; I just posted her 2010-08-03 letter to the Calgary Herald about the 2006 census (“Politely declined”). Hers is another important voice in the chorus. Margaret Fehr, Susan Crowther, Barney’s “Comment” on the home page at www.sandrafinley.ca And of course those who ended up in court Todd Stelmach, Darek Czernewcan, Brian Stewart (on a topic unrelated to Lockheed Martin but still important – and in whose case the Prosecutor decided not to proceed with the charges). Dave Rutherford, the conservative radio talk-show host from Alberta who has openly repeated that he did not fill in the 2006 census. … the list is long. And they all help make the point that the StatsCan witness at my trial, Anil Arora, lied under oath.
I can only understand it this way: Government officials are trained in “communications”. The training is to repeat a mantra, no matter what the question asked. I asked from every possible angle (words to effect) “How many Canadians did not fill in their 2006 census form?”. Anil Arora’s response was “64 were referred for prosecution”. I responded “I did not ask how many were referred for prosecution. I asked how many did not fill in their census form, or in other ways not comply? (It is equally an offence to provide false information or to deface the form.)”
Anil Arora would not budge from the mantra “64 people” did not comply with the 2006 census. Even when I introduced for the court record the newspaper article 2008-01-15 , “No charges sought for 35,000 natives who ignore census” in which Anil Arora was quoted, Anil Arora stuck to the lie. The truth does not matter, even under oath. (The line of questioning was in relation to selective application of the law. The laws are to be applied equally. Why didn’t Dave Rutherford, for example, get prosecuted?)
INSERT: INPUT FROM LAWYER: Sun 1/23/2011
I took a look at the transcript, and he said that 64 people were charged. He refused to provide an answer on compliance, claiming that compliance was a moving target (he claimed they were still trying to get answers at the time of the hearing). We never did get compliance numbers from him, and he was really evasive, but he never actually said that only 64 people failed to comply – he said that 64 were charged.
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Janette’s letter-to-the-Calgary Herald is at (2010-08-03 ). She writes:
Ok, so where do I send a donation to help pay your legal fees? The way I see it, I could be you.
Congratulations on the sentence. Doesn’t clear you, but feel you’re speaking for all of us contentious dissenters.
Thank-you Janette! My address is:
656 Saskatchewan Cres East
Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 0L1
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COPY OF THE COURT RULING
I just checked. It still is not posted. It should appear any time now at:
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OVER AND OUT FOR NOW!