Law Times

Oct 1, 2012

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DOUBLE JEOPARDY Court rules in rare contempt case $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 31 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM October 1, 2012 Ombudsman battles councils over meetings, co-operation with probes Marin, cities at loggerheads L AW TIMES P3 Wife's payment on home before separation not unconscionable P6 BY MARG. BRUINEMAN For Law Times V isitors to the Ontario ombudsman's web s pitched site will immediately see a harsh greet- ing indicating André Marin' his offi ce's investigations. tinction of being 'the least co-operative body' the On- tario Ombudsman has ever investigated, due to coun- cil members' reluctance to comply with Ombudsman investigative processes?" a note on the web site asks. Th e answer, according to the link, which itself takes "Which city council in Ontario has the dubious dis- has had issues with other municipalities as well. How councils conduct their business, particularly s offi ce when they decide to meet behind closed doors, doesn't rank as one of the top-fi ve issues behind the 18,500 complaints made to the ombudsman' year. In fact, the investigative body estimates there are about 100 complaints regarding closed-door meetings during the course of a year. But it has become a signifi - cant area of concern for Marin' s offi ce every Marin is in the throes of fi nalizing his fi rst report on cases of municipal closed-door meetings that he's ex- s offi ce. pected to release by the end of October. It will chronicle the types of cases the offi ce has dealt with during the past year along with the main problems it has encoun- tered since its open-meeting law enforcement team battles with a number of Ontario mu- nicipalities over their co-operation with visitors to a related report and a letter of inquiry, is the municipal council in Sudbury, Ont. But Marin' N_LT_Oct1_12.indd 1 began in 2008. Th e ombudsman is the default investi- gator of closed-door meetings for the 191 Ontario mu- nicipalities that don't have their own investigator. While the ombudsman found Sudbury' justifi ed in its closed-door meetings, he was obviously not happy with the actions of individual council mem- bers. "Th e fact that only four of the 14 individuals we asked to interview were prepared to co-operate with my offi ce is an aff ront to the citizens of Sudbury, in his report. "Th e abysmal co-operation level of this city council has off ended the Ombudsman Act." Marin faced similar diffi culties in London, Ont., " Marin said as well. "In both London and Sudbury, we faced some challenges from councillors who objected to aspects of our process," said Marin in e-mailed responses to questions from Law Times. "Some councillors even refused to speak to our in- s council was 12-09-27 4:33 P WARD v. WARD FOCUS ON Litigation P9 www.ITNREPORTING.com Discoveries Opposite Brampton Superior Court 1-905-915-0550 245 languages www.itn-group.net vestigators because they objected to my use of Twitter. In London, a few councillors objected to the fact that the identity of people who complain to our offi ce is kept confi dential. Th ey spoke of wanting to face their 'accusers' and of feeling like they had been 'charged. Awareness of the work his offi ce does is key, so '" 'Some councillors even refused to speak to our investigators because they objected to my use of Twitter,' says André Marin. bury and Midland, Ont. He points out that no charges or fi ndings of guilt result from his investigations and notes councils are free to reject his recommendations. John Mascarin, a municipal and land-use planning lawyer at Aird & Berlis LLP, acknowledges the need Marin and his team have off ered to make presenta- tions to municipal councils. Th ey've already spoken to London' s council and have trips planned for Sud- Former lawyer continues 30-year battle with RCMP RCMP offi cers didn't do their jobs properly when they charged him with fraud 30 years ago. "Th e law society said I could go P Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault has been support- ing former lawyer Paul Temelini in his battle with the federal government. professional person, you can't go back. Th ey destroyed me. A lawyer charged with fraud is no longer capable of practising law. back, but go back to what?" asks the Sudbury, Ont., real estate de- veloper and former lawyer. " As a lawyer or doctor or a Th e story goes all the way back to 1982 when Temelini was charged experience OSGOODE Untitled-1 1 " BY MARG. BRUINEMAN For Law Times aul Temelini isn't letting bygones be bygones. Aſt er all, he says, he lost a profi t- able law practice because with six counts of fraud. He agreed not to practise law while the charg- es were pending. Two years later, he beat the charges and a real es- tate agent pleaded guilty to one of the them. But by then, he says, the damage had been done. Th e situa- tion decimated the practice he had built up over the previous 15 years. So he sued. All of these years later, the lawsuit involving the RCMP and what was then the Canada Permanent Trust Co. remains ongoing. Temelini sus- pects it could well be among the country' cases still before the courts. When asked about the lack of a resolution, an RCMP media rela- tions offi cer suggests posing the question to the courts instead. s oldest unresolved fuses to give up. He has a new law- yer who' meaning Temelini no longer has to incur the legal costs directly. He' In the meantime, Temelini re- s working on contingency, fi ght in other ways as well. Beside the lawsuit, he has circulated a petition asking the federal gov- ernment to help bring his dispute closer to some sort of a resolution. He' s pushing forward with his modernize the legislation govern- ing the RCMP to ensure that oth- ers like him are able to challenge the actions of a federal police force he claims is acting "in con- travention to modern protocols of harassment and discrimination." Sudbury MP Glenn Th ibeault s also asking the government to See City, page 4 See MP, page 4 Graduates who are confident. Committed. Ready. This is the Osgoode Experience. www.osgoode.yorku.ca/experience www.lawtimesnews.com 12-09-25 10:13 AM NEW PM #40762529

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