MEMORY LANE (JANUARY-2020)

 

The following two 'Letters to the Editor' in the Ottawa Citizen in the 1990's where I was a regular contributor dried up in the last two decades with a cross-country media boycott on anything written under the name of 'Roger Callow'.

 

A) 'Greedy lawyers' aren't the problem caption headlined this letter written on April 2, 1998 (gee, just after April Fool's Day!) which was accompanied by a photo of Supreme Court of Canada Judge Frank Iacobucci with a caption reading Judge Frank Iacocobucci is concerned that lawyers are undermining the judicial system. And where is Iacobucci today? Why chief Counsel to none other than SNC Lavelin!

These judges are an incestuous lot. Go figure...Read on.

     If Supreme Court of Canada Frank Iacobucci is so concerned about "hired guns" undermining our justice system, he has no further to look for the source of that problem than into the next mirror ("Judge scolds greedy lawyers" March 30"). To bastardize Shakepeare; "Our problems lie not in our greedy lawyers, my dear Iacobucci, but in ourselves as judges for not curtailing legal billable time exercises or encouraging badly needed reforms in our laws of evidence. (basically disclosure rules RC 2020) This problem has been endemic in our Canadian justice system for decades although it has been exacerbated as of late and it is not entirely the fault of "greedy lawyers" (In the case of Ontario's Doug Ford, he has introduced totalitarianism with his 'Acts of Commission' so beloved of Hitlerite Germany RC)

     A number of years ago, I sat in on civil action preliminaries for a morning in British Columbia. The majority of lawyers were sent back by the presiding justice to cross the t's and dot the i's before the court would entertain their submissions. Some lawyers wrinkled up their noses in disgust. I was stung for an additional  $200 in one such scenario for a simple matter of probate conducted by a legal firm specializing in probate.

    Not being a lawyer or a "hired gun" myself, I am not ignorant of legal procedures and question the sub rosa message being peddled by Judge Iacobucci - namely, that legal guns are being invited to save their clients' money by not pursuing some matters; matters which could prove embarrassing to the bench. It appears Judge Iacobucci's message is designed to curry favour with the public at the expense of the legal profession.

    If the truth be known, the future of our country is in far more jeopardy than the public would like to believe from a crumbling justice system than it is from the separation of any one province. As such, Judge Iacobucci's statements do little to advance the cause of judicial reform in present-day Canada.

Roger Callow, Ottawa (and those roosters have come home in 2020 to haunt us)

 

B) How can Marianne represent a brotherhood? ('Marianne' has been a female symbol of liberty in France dating from the French Revolution) 1999 Ottawa Citizen 'Letter to the Editor' under the caption Two fried eggs

     The Citizen's portrayal of five women on the on the front page (Sept. 26, 1999) with four merely showing a face and the fifth, the clear winner, being shown complete with cleavage, has this reader wondering whether the other four have to depend on their brains as their other qualification amounts to "two fried eggs on a board?"

     I also wonder if this is the Canadian payback for DeGaulle's "Quebec Libre" speech in the spirit that if 90,000 Frenchmen can't be wrong, surely 33,000 French mayors must be right in a booby-hatch contest?

     No doubt the best points will be made by a rabid coterie of feminists who will point out in no uncertain terms that should the French official catalogue wish someone who "represents a new generation of women; eclectic, generous and open", they need look no further than the next street corner of a red light district in the age-old story that sex sells; brains don't. Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood are not obviously a pitch for Sisterhood.

Roger Callow, Ottawa