Monday, July 28, 2014

Mayor Brian McMullan Opens Pandora's Box

'If at first you don't succeed try, try again', might be Brian McMullan's mantra, or he may prefer 'Who dares wins'. Better still maybe McMullan's choice will be 'Gotta be in it to win it'. I on the other hand offer Mayor Brian McMullan these wise words spoken by Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob Squarepants, “What doesn't kill ya... usually succeeds on the second attempt.

Back in September 2011, Mayor Brian McMullan issued a legal threat that he was going to have Christopher Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch shut Mayorgate down. I published more evidence against McMullan and he grabbed his tail and ran. The threat resulted in an article, Mayor McMullan Attempts Shutdown of Mayorgate, and nothing more.

On July 9th 2014 I was served a Notice of Action that was five pages long. This Notice of Action was served on behalf of Mayor Brian McMullan, once again by Christopher Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch. Only this time McMullan won't be permitted to run, this time Mayor Brian McMullan decided in his arrogance to open the mythical Pandora's Box.

Pandora of Greek mythology was the first woman on Earth, created by Hephaestus at the will of Zeus. All the gods, Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo and Hermes bestowed upon her gifts. On her wedding day she was given a gift of a beautiful jar with instructions never to open it under any circumstances. Well Pandora's curiosity got the better of her and as she opened the jar all evil contained therein escaped. Even though Pandora tried to seal the jar, it was too late.

Brian McMullan has opened Mayorgate's jar and now after almost four years the facts, all of them, will be brought to open court. McMullan will not be given a way out and the consequences will finally be sought in a court of law. McMullan's penchant for intimidation and threat has now fallen on the wrong individual. His cowardly threat of a mythical statutory declaration will now be facing a subpoena forcing McMullan to produce it and explain who he meant in his, “we now have a statutory declaration...”. Who is the “we” in the threat, though there is little doubt as to who that is.

Unlike Pandora who had Aphrodite bestow beauty upon her and Hermes endow speech, McMullan has no such luxuries. Instead it has been the demigods of power who have protected Brian McMullan. When the law was breached there was no one to enforce its equality, when truth was demanded to be brought to the populace, the heralds of news and facts decided to lie or simply remain silent, and when the legislated laws were mangled those elected by the populace only provided protection and a coin in the collection plate.

The Notice of Action singles out four specific articles published in Mayorgate, “Brian McMullan's Fear of Mayorgate,” 20th of June 2014, “Debbie Zimmerman Attacks Mayorgate,” 14th of June 2014, “Four Years Old, Four Years Young,” 31st of May 2014, and “Degradation of Public Office,” 19th of May 2014.

As a lawyer who claims to specialise in defamation Christopher Bittle would presumably have knowledge of the Libel and Slander Act R.S.O. 1990 and Section 5(1). In case his law library is not as impressive as Jordan Goldblatt's (Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP) in Toronto and uncle Google was down on the day I'll quote:

No action for libel in a newspaper or in a broadcast lies unless the plaintiff has, within six weeks after the alleged libel has come to the plaintiff's knowledge, given to the defendant notice in writing, specifying the matter complained of, which shall be served in the same manner as a statement of claim or by delivering it to a grown-up person as the chief office of the defendant.”

Basically what this states is that after six weeks or 42 days it's strike out. Bittle and McMullan's Notice of Action was served on July 9th, even though it is dated July 7th. Do the math on the article titled Degradation of Public Office posted May 19th 2014. Strike out at 51 days, so the Notice of Action is down to only three for now. Bittle may try to argue the point of “...within the six weeks after the alleged libel has come to the plaintiff's knowledge...”, and McMullan's knowledge. First of all take a look at Brian McMullan's pal Debbie Zimmerman's little attempt to shut down the truth and its date. Try to claim these two don't have chats about the odd thing or two. If that's not enough, take a look at Maggie Riopelle's tweets and the “history” bit. Oh and if that's not enough still, look at the threat Bittle as a lawyer sent in October 2010 and backed off on.

Although this one is a strike out and Bittle has problems with math and the legislation I will answer all the issues here that have been released from Pandora's Box. Before I proceed point by point the Notice of Action begins with these words, “We are the lawyers for Brian McMullan...” and the letterhead clearly identifies Lancaster, Brooks and Welch LLP. On page four of the Notice of Action it states, “The above noted allegations are false and are presented as fact without any evidence of support.” This statement implies that I have lied as publisher of Mayorgate and slanders both my reputation and that of Mayorgate. As Christopher Bittle had made a previous attempt to accuse, threaten, harass and intimidate me and my publication, Mayorgate, which he dropped at the instructions of his client, he has full knowledge of the slanderous nature of such a statement. As he states that it is “we are the lawyers” therefore Lancaster, Brooks and Welch LLP are equally aware of the slanderous statement. Bittle presumably can read and again presumably has read the complete articles as published on Mayorgate. He has seen the evidence published yet chose to lie in his statement.

Brian McMullan has decided to hold hands with his pal Zimmerman and call his wife a liar. Rumours of the affair have floated across the Niagara Region like a bad smell for years and now the lies begin to grow. Who can forget Bill Clinton and all his lies till finally he had no choice. The croc shed his tears. Here in the case of McMullan and Zimmerman it would be no different. To rehash all the issues surrounding the nature of an affair and the pair who are entangled in it would be boring. Deceit is part of a daily routine for those who wish to party outside of the legal formalities and agreements of marriage which they themselves entered into freely to start with.

Both McMullan and Zimmerman need to go before a judge and prove that Ruth McMullan lied and that they are really only friends. This has to be done in a court of law and before a judge. The rest is simply the proverbial fish wiggling on a line before it is fried and served up. Instead both of them accuse and deny, they try to threaten and intimidate with the help of those sitting in Regional Government as servants of the public. All of this support may be cute in a B grade movie but here in reality it is the stripping down of democracy and nothing more than pornography to the mind.

Even though my article Degradation of Public Office is past its due date for the McMullan and Bittle pair, I will not ignore it. The first quotation that McMullan lists is simple and clear. McMullan and Bittle single out this sentence, “St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan has been able to breach the Criminal Code, have a local newspaper lie to cover for him, abuse the court system and walk away unscathed.”

Here comes the dissection of the McMullan frog, and no, Zimmerman – 'his friend' – can't kiss it better nor turn him into a prince. As a mayor Brian McMullan has limited powers and authorities, although his ego and arrogance doesn't always seem to think so. He has no authority to 'fix' in any way, shape or form a lawful by-law fine. Yet he did exactly that and it is a breach of law that he committed. Later when the insanity of anonymous cowards and their comments became public in relation to Regional Councillor Andy Petrowski, one of those cowards went so far as to make a false police report. Making a false police report is a Criminal Code breach. A mild mannered reporter from The Standard by the name of Doug Herod interviewed Mayor Brian McMullan regarding this whole situation. McMullan admitted to knowing “some” of these people and that was published. That in itself shows complicity and also breach of the Criminal Code. In both cases, evidence in the form of a recorded voice of City Councillor Jennie Stevens and the quotes directly from reporter Herod were presented.

Marlene Bergsma, longtime reporter of The Standard chose to lie in print regarding the whole mess with the ticket fixing. The proof is simple, it is in print and cannot be denied by Marlene Bergsma. Did Bergsma lie about the facts for any other reason other than to benefit Brian McMullan? Did Bergsma lie in print to benefit herself? Not only did Bergsma lie but following her reporter Peter Downs repeated the lie in print. In the case of Marlene Bergsma she will have an opportunity under oath to explain why she lied. McMullan may not like the truth but that's too bad. McMullan has shown little respect for the law by these actions and regardless of his manic threats now all the facts can be brought out in a court of law.

Speaking of courts of law dear Brian McMullan decided that using the NRP alone was not enough. He had a court order issued against Regional Councillor Petrowski accusing him of insane acts. McMullan claimed to fear the cuddly bear simply because he has a volume gauge out of normal levels. It all resulted with cuddly bear Petrowski arriving in court with a spunky lawyer at hand, and he was not there for free. Out of the four individuals required to present themselves before the judge Andy Petrowski and his lawyer were there, McMullan's lawyer was there, but the tough Brian McMullan was a no show. He only supposedly gave instructions by phone to drop it and run. The court's time wasted with contempt and the accusations now apparent to be false. Yet not a word heard from the judge on the abuse clearly displayed by Brian McMullan, although his lawyer ensures to bring to the court's attention that he is the mayor. All of this is part of a court transcript but maybe the giant of the legal world and star from Lancaster, Brooks and Welch would still claim “...presented as fact without any evidence of support.” Facts are facts and the evidence undeniable.

After raising the article Degradation of Public Office, McMullan and legal eagle Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch bring forth mention of my anniversary article Four Years Old, Four Years Young. This one squeaks in under the time limitations of the rules for Libel and Slander, though little needs to be spoken of. Once again McMullan and his pal Debbie Zimmerman need to prove that Mrs. McMullan is a liar, and that the people of Niagara are stupid, then maybe I'll comment further. Otherwise it is becoming boring.

McMullan moves to the article titled Debbie Zimmerman Attacks Mayorgate. Here it is clear the article is about his female friend, which also should prove an embarrassment for legal eagle Christopher Bittle of the venerable law firm of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch. Again it's the 'he says, she says' routine, McMullan and girlpal Debbie Zimmerman accusing Mrs. McMullan of a lie. Mind you neither has proven their claims, nor have they used the PR sheet of The Standard. Still both demand that only their word counts. But it is the first quotation under this sub-heading that counts:

Rumours of the affair had circulated not only in St. Catharines but throughout the Niagara area for some four years. These divorce papers raise serious questions in relation to government and deceit. In addition to asking questions regarding the affair I reported that Mayor Brian McMullan had come to my place of work on May 11th 2014. Brian McMullan came to deliver a threat, he did so like a bully and coward. In turn I had challenged him openly to carry out his threat. He lay claim to some statutory declaration which in some way appears to bear relations to the Conservation Authority and my day off work. Like a coward Brian McMullan has remained silent. Either this so called statutory declaration is just a lie or Mayor McMullan is still looking for the unattainable, just like the lion from The Wizard of Oz.”

Now that he and legal star Bittle have raised the issue, McMullan under subpoena will provide that mystical statutory declaration. I will not let Brian McMullan nor his lawyer Christopher Bittle off the hook on this one. McMullan will provide his statutory declaration finally.

Now to the first listed article titled Brian McMullan's Fear of Mayorgate. This one is definitely within the time limitations and on a personal note I am so damned glad. The first quotation raised by Bittle is, “How far will the machinations of Mayor Brian McMullan reach past common dignity and continue to be motivated by the fear of truth?”. I stand by every word and under oath McMullan will answer this question and more!

Mayorgate is an extension of who I am and my love of my community and of the values that we as Canadians teach our children. Mayorgate is also a brick wall that stands against corruption and lies with hard evidence and newsworthy content. Local media has proven that lies and censorship are the key in their decisions on what the public have a right to know. Mayorgate has no deals made, no political alliances other than to the people of this land.

Brian McMullan, Debbie Zimmerman and others would like to silence Mayorgate, it will not happen! The article Brian McMullan's Fear of Mayorgate dealt with many issues from the past four plus years. Bittle singles out four quotes all dealing with a threat of Adam Arsenault, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming municipal elections for 2014. The threat by McMullan of Arsenault was an illegal act, as it also was a lie in the actual wording of it. Arsenault himself provided the information in writing via email, and then copies of tweets between Adam Arsenault and Maggie Riopelle were obtained. Maggie Riopelle is Mayor Brian McMullan's Executive Assistant and her words as copied cannot be denied. As far as McMullan's interest in Jeff Burch and the need to protect Jeff Burch from the truth that will be dealt with further in the next article. It is legally safe to say that Burch's own words will provide a definitive clue. Yet it is important to note again that the whole issue of the threat against Arsenault rested on one single action by Adam Arsenault. In a tweet Arsenault had placed a link to a Mayorgate article dealing with Jeff Burch and not anything to do with Brian McMullan. McMullan is not running for the mayor's chain in 2014.

This article, Brian McMullan's Fear of Mayorgate, dealt with many issues, and all of them whether standing alone or together foul the air of politics. The McMullan/Bittle tag team decided to allow me now the legal right to bring into court evidence that was never able to be brought out publicly except for through articles on Mayorgate. As far as bullying goes McMullan will answer under oath and explain his actions relating to Andy Petrowski, Adam Arsenault, the mythical statutory declaration and more. Bittle decided to provide a truly bonus gift with the ticket fixing and the telephone answering machine message left by Councillor Jennie Stevens. It would be a pleasure to question Councillor Jennie Stevens under oath, to bring down Jim Bradley and the venerable cleaning lady Marlene Bergsma. Truth hurts and McMullan has opened the doors finally by bringing everything out in public and in court.

Lancaster, Brooks and Welch's legal eagle finishes with not only helping to open Pandora's Box but to jump head first into the mess left behind by arrogance and fear that now claims its hurt. Mayorgate has grown, I don't need to brag about that, and my love of our community has not faltered even under threat and cowardly insult. McMullan will be part of the history of St. Catharines but it won't be in a fashion he may wish to brag about.

Brian McMullan has one choice now, provide the Statement of Claim and head into court! McMullan and his little legal eagle Christopher Bittle will under subpoena provide the statutory declaration, and I have the evidence to prove that it is perjury.

I have faced threat, I have had my home stolen from me illegally by the City. I will not stop fighting for the values of Canada and Canadians. I want Brian McMullan under oath in a court room, and it won't be in St. Catharines. I will bring Marlene Bergsma, Jennie Stevens, Maggie Riopelle, Adam Arsenault and Jim Bradley under oath to answer questions. I will have Mayor Brian McMullan under oath providing his statutory declaration.

It is time to end the corruption in Niagara and Mayorgate will not run for cover or hide!

At the end of this piece I have provided a list of evidence, proof and documentation that has been published with each article. Maybe Christopher Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch would like to repeat his lie!

List of Evidence

Article TitleDegradation of Public Office

Evidence & Documentation Provided:
1. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Mayor McMullan Attempts Shutdown of Mayorgate”
Christopher Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch LLP, letter, September 1, 2011
Screen capture/print from Lancaster, Brooks, and Welch website
Letter to the Law Society of Upper Canada regarding Christopher Bittle, September 11, 2011
Response from Law Society of Upper Canada, September 26, 2011
Mark Leeson NRP incident report, October 14, 2010
Sidewalk and Snow Ice Removal Ticket, City of St. Catharines, March 1, 2010
St. Catharines By-Law 2008-315, signed by Mayor Brian McMullan
Municipal Act page 282 of 310
Municipal Act page 117 of 310

Link to Mayorgate's article, “Case Study: Andrew Gill vs. Preston Haskell”
Winner's Circle article, scanned page
Brian McMullan election contributions, March 9, 2011
Brian McMullan election contributions, December 31, 2006
From vineyard to medical centre, by Don Fraser, St. Catharines Standard, Friday October 8, 2010

2. Ruth French McMullan Facebook message, screen capture

Article Title – Debbie Zimmerman Attacks Mayorgate

Evidence & Documentation Provided:
1. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Degradation of Public Office

2. Jordan Goldblatt from Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP Notice of Action

3. McMullan divorce papers, Court File 133/14

4. Link to The Lawyers Weekly, Sweeping ban is set aside, February 10, 2012

5. Mayor Brian McMullan's earnings, CHV20 – Canada's Government – who is who in government, screen capture

6. Link to Heavy Evidentiary Burden Imposed on Litigants Seeking Publication Band and Sealing Orders, PDF
7. Link to Mayorgate's article, “How Much can a Koala – Bear”
Email to Mayor Brian McMullan asking for comment, April 9, 2014
Link to Mayorgate's article, “Salem's Witch Hunt Comes to Niagara”
Email from Mayor Brian McMullan to Niagara Regional Chair Gary Burroughs
Petrowski, McMullan at odds over accusations flying at region, Doug Herod, The Standard
Email from Suzie Q to Councillor Andy Petrowski, and others at Niagara Region, December 12, 2011
Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46), Department of Justice
Email from Joe Matthews, NRP, to Councillor Andy Petrowski, January 4, 2012
Nice to know butts will have plenty of room at new arena, Doug Herod, The Standard, January 13, 2012

8. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Witch Hunt Part II”
Failed email from Councillor Andy Petrowski to Suzie Q, January 26, 2012
Failed email from Councillor Andy Petrowski to Tim Lewis, January 26, 2012
McMullan is out of line in his report to council, Doug Herod, The Standard, April 15, 2011
Email from Gordon Phillips regarding City of St. Catharines Building Inspector, January 26, 2012
Letter to Nicole Auty, City Solicitor, City of St. Catharines, February 2, 2012
Link to Mayorgare article, “Blog Update of March 7, 2011”
Link to Mayorgate article, “McMullan attempts shutdown of Mayorgate”
St. Catharines Planning & Development Services Mission Statement, City of St. Catharines, Planning and Development Services
Photos of Alexander Davidoff residence, from back lane
Letter to CAO Ontario Building Official's Association, February 2, 2012
Letter to Shawn Wilson, CUPE, February 2, 2012
Letter to Kathleen Wynne, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, February 1, 2012

Article Title – Brian McMullan's Fear of Mayorgate

Evidence & Documentation Provided:
1. Mayoral Candidate, Adam Arsenault email to Alexander Davidoff/Mayorgate regarding Jeff Burch, June 9, 2014

2. Mayoral Candidate, Adam Arsenault email to Alexander Davidoff/Mayorgate regarding twitter & McMullan threat, June 9, 2014

3. Adam Arsenault, Mayoral Candidate & Maggie Riopelle, Executive Assistant to Mayor Brian McMullan twitter screen capture, June 10, 2014

4. Link to Mayorgate's article, “A Fine Fixed”
Letter from Jim Bradley, Minister Municipal Affairs and Housing, May 3, 2010
Written statement from Mark Leeson, May 3, 2010
Letter from Premier Dalton McGuinty, April 20, 2010
Snow Shovelling invoice, March 8, 2010
Declaration of Elected Office, Municipal World form 1304, Municipal Act

5. Link to Mayorgate's article, “You are a liar Bergsma”
No defining issue in race: Brock prof, Marlene Bergsma, The Standard, October 14, 2010
Letter of threat and harassment, from Pat Lindall to advertisers of The Winner's Circle

6. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Blog Update October 22 2010 at 3:55pm”

7. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Candidate Double Dipping Campaign Funds”
This is our way of participating in the democratic process, Matthew Van Dongen, The Standard, March 25, 2011
Brian McMullan statement of Assets & Liabilities
Brian McMullan contributions, 2010 Municipal Election, March 9, 2011

8. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Minister Jim Bradley Protecting a Political Pal”
Letter from Jim Bradley, Minister Municipal Affairs, May 3, 2010
City of St. Catharines By-Law 2008-315

9. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Mayor McMullan attempts shutdown of MAYORGATE

10. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Salem's Witchunt comes to Niagara”

11. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Mayorgate's Author Under Threat”
City of St. Catharines Order to Remedy Unsafe Building, January 19, 2012
Photographs of house
Roofing quotes, scans
Photographs of house, gate
Building Code Act, c. 23
Photographs of log on roof and walkway
Photographs of City of St. Catharines crew
Photographs of City of St. Catharines crew removing log off roof
Notice of Registration of Tax Arrears Certificate, Corporation of the City of St. Catharines
Municipal Act, page 250, 251, 252
Order requiring compliance with Property Standards By-Law, September 18, 2007
Letter to City Solicitor, Nicole Auty, January 24, 2012
Letter to Harinder Takhar, Minister Government Services, January 24, 2012
Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty, January 24, 2012
Link to Office of Auditor General of Canada Petition

12. Link to Mayorgate's article, “How much can a Koala-Bear”

13. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Degradation of Public Office”

14. Link to Mayorgate's article, “Blog Update March 7 2011”

15. Link to Mayorgate's August 2013 Archive:

Article Title – Deceit & Censorship Breed Corruption

Evidence & Documentation Provided:
Rules of Professional Conduct – Citation & Interpretation, Relationship to Clients, Law Society of Upper Canada
Email to all City Councillors, City of St. Catharines, regarding zoning by-law amendment, March 5, 2013
St. Catharines Code of Conduct for Elected Officials, City of St. Catharines
Conservation Ontario Development Interference & Alteration Regulation, PDF
Jeff Bolichowski, Reporter, The Standard, live tweets regarding council meeting, April 29, 2013
Letter from Bonnie Nistico-Dunk, City Clerk, City of St. Catharines, July 23, 2013
Emails to reporters: Jeff Bolichowski, The Standard & Scott Rosts, Niagara this Week, July 31, 2013
Letter from Law Society of Upper Canada, July 25, 2013

Link to Mayorgate's article, 'Law & Lawyers, are they one and the same?'
Letter from Kevin French, Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations Division, Ministry of Environment
Ministry of Environment Report Pages – Applicable Legislation, report to Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, regarding Sun Collision and property owner
Letter from Lisa Feldman, Director Investigations & Enforcement Branch, Ministry of Environment, June 13, 2012
Letter form Mathew Williamson, Niagara Escarpment Commission, April 3, 2009
Photographs of drainage culvert
Emails to and from Jessica Button, Planning Department, City of St. Catharines, June 20, 2013
Jeff Bolichowski, Reporter, The Standard, tweets, April 29, 2013

Link to Mayorgate article, “A neighbourhood pays as a developer profits”
Note from Ron Winterbottom, City Engineer, City of St. Catharines, March 2008
Letter from Mathew Williamson, Niagara Escarpment Commission, April 20, 2009
Photographs of asphalt, Sun Collision
Photographs of vehicles, Sun Collision
United States EPA – Developing an abandoned vehicle clean-up program
Email from Jane Harten, Issues Manager and Strategic Advisor, Minsitry of Environment, July 16, 2012
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Annual Report 2010-2011, page 214
St. Catharines Open House Notice, Planning and Development Services, January 24, 2013
Mark Leeson handwritten statement, July 22, 2009
Letter to the Corporation of the City of St. Catharines, February 24, 2013

Link to Mayorgate's article, “Liar Liar, Pants on Fire”
Letter from Bill Bardswick, Director, Ministry of Environment, June 21, 2012
Photographs of ravine

Link to Mayorgate's article, “Dr. Valerie Jaeger MD, PhD, LIED!”
Email from Dr. Valerie Jaeger, Medical Officer of Health, Niagara Region, March 14, 2012
Email from Councillor Andy Petrowski, Niagara Region, March 13, 2012
Application for Investigation, for Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, July 20, 2009
Flood of complaints from water-logged residents, Matthew Von Dongen, The Standard, April 29, 2010
Letter from Assistant Deputy Minister, Kevin French, Ministry of Environment, March 3, 2010
Environmental Bill of Rights Application for Investigation Decision Summary, Ministry of Environment
Emails to and from Tim Marotta, P.Eng, City of St. Catharines, April 27-30 to May 4-8, 2012
Letter to Regional Chair Gary Burroughs, May 18, 2012

Link to Mayorgate article, “Ministry of Environment Negligence Questioned”
Letter from Kevin French, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, May 9, 2012
Letter to Jim Bradley, Minister of Environment, June 4, 2012
Letter from Lisa Feldman, Director, Investigation and Enforcement Branch, Ministry of Environment, June 13, 2012
Photos of ravine and key area
Letter from Rich Vickers, District Manager, Niagara Branch, Ministry of Environment, July 27, 2007
Orange water photographs
Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Statement to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, November 2011
Review of Environmental Application, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, 2010-2011 Annual Report
Letter to Kevin French, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, June 21, 2012
Letter from Scott Vaughan, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 19 June 2012

Article Title – Cone of Silence Receives a Crack

Evidence & Documentation Provided:
Link to radio interview

Article Title – Society's Checks and Balances, are they real?

Evidence & Documentation Provided:
City of St. Catharines Code of Conduct for Elected Officials, PDF
Link to Mayorgate article, “Law and lawyers are they one and the same”
Link to Mayorgate article, “Deceit & Censorship Breed Corruption”

Link to Mayorgate article, “Societal Watchdogs”
Contaminated soil: developers dilemma, Matthew Van Dongen, The Standard, June 9, 2006
Letter to Robert G. Elgie, Chairman Ontario Press Council, February 26, 2013
Letter from the Ian Stedman, Office of Integrity Commissioner, September 14, 2011
Ontario Ombudsman, Who We Oversee, About page, Ombudsman Ontario website
Letter from Jim McCarter, Auditor General of Ontario, July 17, 2009
Letter from Jim McCarter, Auditor General of Ontario, May 18, 2007
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Decision Dr. Valerie Ann Jaeger

Code of Conduct Complaint regarding Councillor Jeff Burch, August 23, 2013

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mayorgate responds to Debbie Zimmerman's Ego

Ego, the self in relation to all else surrounding the self. There are spiritual explanations for the ego and psychoanalysis of its existence, fundamentally it is the view that all exists and can be known only in relation to the individual's mind. One may be excused to think that Debbie Zimmerman's actions are exemplary of such a theory. Whilst the ancient Tea Singers of Buddhist tradition may chant of truth and knowledge, and of Buddha the deliverer of truth, Debbie Zimmerman attempts to silence all such nonsense. Spirituality put aside then only realistic analysis leads eventually towards the discovery of truth.

That being said it doesn't take deep and heavy thought to understand what Debbie Zimmerman has attempted to do. Her Notice of Action was dated June 2nd 2014 and was followed up with a Statement of Claim dated June 11th 2014. In the cover page of the Statement of Claim it states as “prescribed by the Rules of Civil Procedure.” As one may remember I had pointed out the Rules of Civil Procedure and the response given by Zimmerman's lawyer. Anyhow this is only a small point but like the first candle lit in the darkness it begins to shed light exposing all else.

A Statement of Claim is the beginning of a legal process, with a court file number requiring by the Rules of Civil Procedure a formal response, which too has to be filed at the courts with a fee of $144. My Statement of Defence was filed with the court on the 30th of June 2014 with a copy served on Zimmerman's lawyers in Toronto on June 26th. I will say Debbie Zimmerman's chosen legal eagles have an impressive full floor at 20 Dundas Street, right opposite the Eaton Centre.

Impressive the address may be and the whole floor thing rightfully so, still that does not stop questions being raised. Such outward appearance implies money, experience and presumably knowledge, at least the library looked well organised and impressive. As it has been said a Statement of Claim heralds the commencement of a legal process, demanding attention and warning that ignorance only comes with a heavy price. So then what is the purpose of a faux Statement of Claim, a dummy if you wish. What does this dummy statement herald in? Is it a threat? Can it be legally considered as harassment? May one take it as intimidation?

A Notice of Action under the Rules of Civil Procedure is simply a formal notification of legal proceedings being planned and an opportunity to resolve the issue if both parties agree to do so. Jordan Goldblatt from Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP representing Debbie Zimmerman on June 2nd 2014 attached to his Notice of Action a dummy copy of a Notice of Libel. It is an abbreviated version of the Notice of Action which is required under the Rules of Civil Procedure. There is no court file number, although it is made to appear as an official court registered document.

The Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990 makes it clear that time limitations are at play in relation to claims against media. It also states that a Notice of Libel is to be served in the same manner as a Statement of Claim, and refers to this notice as a Notice of Action. A dummy faux official, yet not official document is somewhat questionable. Still a more important point in the Libel and Slander Act is section 76, there it states that whatever is claimed in the Notice of Action must be claimed in the same fashion, or exactly, in the Statement of Claim. Law if nothing else strives for consistency and the rules it sets forth demand that consistency.

In her Notice of Action Zimmerman had her lawyer, Jordan Goldblatt issue two threats. First that she will be “contacting the host of your blog and requesting it be removed, in its entirety.” No further mention of this insane threat in the Statement of Claim, and I wonder why. Zimmerman and Goldblatt also threatened with, “making a Criminal Code Complaint under s.289 of the Criminal Code.” This also has been dropped from any further mention in Zimmerman's Statement of Claim. Quoting the Canadian Bar Association, “Defamation can be a crime under the Criminal Code, but only rarely.” I could also see why this threat was left alone as well.

The statement of claim must be confined to the statements complained of and specified in the notice. Consequently, where the plaintiff in such notice specified parts of an article published by the defendant and in her statement of claim set out the whole article, the portions not specified in the notice were struck out on an application attacking the plaintiff's pleadings, Obernier v. Robertson (1892), 14 P.R. 553 (Ont). (Canadian Libel Practice, Ch. 3, Notice under the Libel and Slander Act & Limitations Period) from

This whole notion or idea of threat, intimidation and harassment was simply designed to feed an ego. An ego that places itself above the people and community she serves as an elected public servant. As a public servant no question relating to conduct can be left unanswered, whatever else she does outside her part-time public servant role is simply a job. Issues that raise questions relating to her role as a public servant are relevant to the public, and the public has the right to question her actions as long as there are sufficient grounds to do so.

Although I have referred to and quoted the Libel and Slander Act one other piece of judicial law is of even greater importance. I refer to the Supreme Court of Canada and its decision in December 2009, in the action resulting from Grant v. Torstar Corp. This decision clearly provides the grounds on which action such as this intimidation by Zimmerman is to be dealt with, but first I will deal with the 'bullets' of hurt by Zimmerman as set out by her in the Statement of Claim.

An affair outside the bounds of marriage survives on deceit on a daily basis whether Zimmerman likes that fact or not. It is also a fact that court documents which state the reason for a divorce procedure to be commenced are a somewhat reliable source of information. Sadly there are very few women who file for divorce and name 'the other woman' find themselves to be wrong. Unless of course hubby thinks himself a stud and has a stable of women, this is not the case with Mayor Brian McMullan. Still most women especially those who had been married for many years endure a great deal before taking the final step. In any case this final step is a legal process and statements made are done so with the knowledge that during a trial it all has to be proven.

Generalities aside, this specific case involves the mayor of a town, and his wife names a fellow sitting councillor as the adulteress. Not only has the wife named the councillor as the adulteress, rumours of this affair have been floating all around town and the region for years. If this alone is not news that people want to read then one has to hang up the notepad and pen. OK this may be a little old fashioned as an analogy but you get the drift.

Levity put to one side, the seriousness of the situation is alarming. No affair is an honest game, and the players become experienced deceivers. Yet what remains of the fact that both of the players are elected members of government sitting together on the same council? The questions raised are enormous and have chilling effects on such nuisance issues as Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest, possible misuse of public money and more.

Zimmerman fired six bullets on page 7 of her Statement of Claim. It appears that publishing the divorce papers and raising serious questions regarding the affair hurt her feelings and ego. She claims that Mayor Brian McMullan's wife Ruth McMullan is a liar, yet Zimmerman has not proved that in a court of law. In the meantime Brian McMullan is working hard to seal the documents and offer door number one, two or three in a let's make a deal scenario.

Any affair entered into for whatever reason is based on dishonesty and unethical and immoral conduct. After all who can forget those vows of marriage, and the cost of divorce. Those who are partnered in an affair definitely share many conflicts of interest yet they put personal interest first, at whatever cost. Contempt becomes a way of daily routine and honesty is replaced by deceit. Yet according to Debbie Zimmerman's ego none of this applies to her chaste character.

Ruth McMullan, wife of Mayor Brian McMullan has been labelled a liar and it is only the word of Debbie Zimmerman that is to be taken as relevant and true. No comment or question is permissible according to Zimmerman's ego. Yet we are still a democracy even though censorship in Niagara thrives. Zimmerman has to prove in a court of law and not by meaning, suggestion or innuendo that Ruth McMullan lied. That in itself is a hurdle, but a higher one for Debbie Zimmerman and her lawyer is the Supreme Court of Canada and its decision from December 2009.

Quoting the Canadian Bar Association, “In a December 2009 case, the Supreme Court of Canada established this new defence to a libel claim. The court said that journalists should be able to report statements and allegations – even if they are not true – if there is a public interest in distributing the information to a wide audience. This defence, which looks at the whole context of a situation, can apply if:

1. the news was urgent, serious, and of public importance, and

2. the journalist used reliable sources, and tried to get and report the other side of the story.

The court defined “journalist” widely to include bloggers and anyone else “publishing material of public interest in any medium.” (Defamation: Libel and Slander,

Ego now comes face to face with the law. Both Zimmerman and her lawyer knew this yet decided that threat and intimidation was a game that they needed to play. Though even the threat has changed and in court I will prove what I need. The reliability of sources cannot be denied and the fact that the city mayor faces divorce with adultery named as the circumstance, that is of public importance. Add to the adultery claim by the wife of Mayor Brian McMullan that the 'other woman' named is a fellow sitting Regional Councillor Debbie Zimmerman then the whole issue takes on another facet.

I served my Statement of Defense at the impressive offices of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP in Toronto on June 26th 2014, as posted here. I further registered and paid my fee at the Robert S. K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines. Under the Rules of Civil Procedure, and Zimmerman's lawyer cannot ignore them, time limitations only permitted 20 days for a Defense to Counterclaim from Zimmerman. To date no such document has been served, no rebuttal of my defense and no comment.

On July 17th Zimmerman announced that she will not be going for re-election to Regional Council. She gave an interview to a reporter from The Standard and had the opportunity to set her side of the story, after all it was The Standard. At the same time a 'newspaper' had the opportunity to lift the heavy cloud of censorship to provide the people it claims to serve with the news. Neither saw fit to touch the subject or allow censorship in Niagara to be lifted.

According to reporter Don Fraser, Zimmerman referred “to the loss of privacy as a politician.” Well maybe that is why the job is called public office or public service. It could also be why a Code of Conduct demands public scrutiny. Reporter Don Fraser quotes Zimmerman as saying “If you're in politics you'll get potshots from the sidelines...” (Update: Zimmerman not seeking re-election, Don Fraser, QMI Agency,, July 17, 2014). A demand for accountability is not a pot-shot, it is a direct bulls-eye hit. In the end both Zimmerman and pal Brian McMullan will have no choice, it is a road each has chosen with their actions and egotistical desire to threaten and intimidate.

In her actions Zimmerman chose to go after a comment and the author of the comment, Fred Bracken. This ludicrous action only further proves the real reasons for Zimmerman's actions. Yet another comment appeared on Mayorgate (article: Debbie Zimmerman Attacks Mayorgate) and this one really tells Zimmerman and Brian McMullan what the people of Niagara are aware of.

The comment is short but to the point, it begins with “Everyone I know, that lives in the Niagara Region has been aware, and disgusted by the illicit affair between Brian McMullan, and Debbie Zimmerman for several years now...” Debbie Zimmerman had not decided to release her 'dogs of war' on this individual nor has she threatened me about it, or that I allowed it. Why?

Debbie Zimmerman has had ample opportunity to publicly deny the affair, whether by responding to me prior to publication or using the local p.r. sheet, The Standard. Instead she chose to threaten, intimidate and harass me as publisher of Mayorgate and selectively one individual only. My response is a simple one, I want Zimmerman in a courtroom under oath to reveal what drove Zimmerman to this point, now it is a demand by me to stand in an open court and allow the truth to be heard. Mayorgate does not fear Zimmerman nor her ego, nor does Mayorgate fear her pal Mayor Brian McMullan. He now has chosen to open Pandora's Box and that is the next article.

In Canada there is no recall or impeachment, there are no laws or rules that are enforced on these egos filled with self-delusion of importance. For that reason corruption in Niagara has reached levels which are out of control and it is time to bring it to the light of day. It is time for the average people who have built these towns to care enough to raise a voice. Mayorgate will not run for cover in response to threat.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Privacy vs. FOI

We had long ago entered an age, a new age if you wish, of data or information collection. Not only is information collected it is shared for all kinds of reasons. This sharing of information is on all levels of government and business, and the word sharing is used to calm one about the process. After all as children it had been imbedded in our brains that sharing is a good thing, mind you at times that may be true. Though too often the sharing really only covers for the act of selling, and selling does always infer the exchange of monetary consideration.

As society evolved it became apparent that information, particularly personal information must be safeguarded in some fashion. The result of this realisation was the birth of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1090. c.F.31), commonly abbreviated to FIPPA. Its history began with a request by Ontario's Attorney General to convene the Williams Commission in 1977 with a mandate to report on public information policies of the Government of Ontario. The Williams Commission presented its report in August 1980. Eventually Bill 34 was introduced in July 1985, resulting in the Act coming into effect on January 1st 1988.

Information gathering had progressed dramatically since 1988 to where we are today. There are those who will claim that nothing is private anymore, and that may be true. Governments face issues of security and demand the need of a greater net to gather all kinds of information. Businesses on the other hand faces competition at a level unheard of even in 1988 justifying their demands on the need of information.

In Ontario there is the Information and Privacy Commissioner with a base mandate to decipher the difference between the need of information and the wanting of it for various cloudy reasons. Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D developed Privacy by Design in the 90's, a concept she herself describes as “to address the ever-growing and systemic effects of Information and Communications Technologies, and of large-scale networked data systems.”

Dr. Cavoukian further developed the 7 Foundational Principles. Of the seven, number one is headlined as Proactive not Reactive, Preventative not Remedial, and it states - “The Privacy by Design (PbD) approach is characterized by proactive rather than reactive measures. It anticipates and prevents privacy invasive events before they happen. PbD does not wait for privacy risks to materialize, nor does it offer remedies for resolving privacy infractions once they have occurred – it aims to prevent them from occurring. In short, Privacy by Design comes before-the-fact, not after.”

Further in Principle number two, Privacy as the Default Setting, it states, “No action is required on the part of the individual to protect their privacy – it is built into the system, by default.” All of these principles and PhD language sound convincing, if we were some 200 hundred years in the future where IT systems ran everything and Arnold Schwarzenegger was not needed to say “I'll be back.” Sadly today's reality has one spanner in the works, and that is humanity, leaving one hell of a question for Dr. Ann Cavoukian. How do all these 7 Foundational Principles work in the hands of human beings who are not “embedded” in their “design and architecture”?

It is time to present three detailed breaches of FIPPA and the wonderfully articulated Foundational Principles requesting comment from Dr. Ann Cavoukian. As comment is not expected each is being presented separately in an official capacity to the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Ann Cavoukian, PhD. for requests for investigation.

In the Niagara Region of Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Niagara has an Information and Privacy Analyst, Matthew Trennum, who even has a short biography listed on the Privacy by Design site. It states that “Matthew Trennum is the Information and Privacy Analyst with the Access & Privacy Unit at Niagara Region. Working in the dual role, Matthew is responsible for coordinating the formal freedom of information request process, and working to ensure corporate compliance with the privacy policy and the privacy breach management protocol.” Sounds somewhat impressive, it further claims that Trennum had worked to train over 1500 staff in privacy protection, “and has helped put Niagara Region on the map when it comes to privacy in the municipal public sector.”

Now what happens to FIPPA and the PbD Foundational Principles if it can be shown that Matthew Trennum the expert in “privacy breach management protocol” had lied? Matthew Trennum is not an IT system, and no “defaults” can be “embedded” in his “design and architecture.” Yet facts and evidence as provided are both alarming and needing investigation.

On August 22nd 2002 a Mr. Preston Haskell had sent an email to a Janet Pilon, former Regional Clerk at Niagara Region, requesting details surrounding an issue of pollution. Ms. Pilon referred this request to Matthew Trennum. The following day Trennum responded to Mr. Haskell suggesting that a freedom of information request be filed by Mr. Haskell. By mid-September the response from Matthew Trennum included this opening statement, “I have conducted a search for information, and have a few responsive records for you in this request. These are emails and water tests from storm water on the site.” This email was followed up with another by Matthew Trennum to Mr. Preston Haskell on September 19th 2012. In it Trennum says “As I informed you yesterday, the records that you have requested are available once we receive your $5.00 application fee. If you wish to mail us a cheque, please provide me with your return address so I can send these records to you by courier.”

These two emails were clear from Matthew Trennum to Mr. Haskell. Trennum had located the records requested and only wanted a $5.00 fee and an application requesting them. In fact by September 19th 2012, Trennum was happy to just have the $5.00 fee. He clearly states, “ I can send these records to you by courier.” No misinterpretations can be made here in what Matthew Trennum said in writing to Preston Haskell.

Fast forward to March 19th 2014 some 18 months later. Here a request application was filled out and the $5.00 fee paid. The FOI request was for the same information as made by Preston Haskell in August 2012. Mr. Haskell requested information on what tests were done on the soil and water, who had done the tests, what were the results and where was the soil dumped. The March 2014 application had the $5.00 paid up front and the request for information related to who did the testing, what were the results of the tests on soil and water, and where was the soil dumped.

Both the August 2012 request and March 2014 request were for the same records and information. September 2012 Trennum said, “the records that you have requested are available...” and, “ I can send these records to you...”. On April 17th 2014 this was the response by Matthew Trennum, “Please be advised that no records have been found.” Matthew Trennum the guy who “has helped put the Niagara Region on the map...” ( has LIED! The only question is who did Trennum lie to?

Matthew Trennum lied, that is proven, but who to and why now is the real question. Both the requests centred on a serious environmental issue and the lies by Trennum have serious repercussions. Why did Matthew Trennum lie? Who instructed Trennum to lie? Why was the lie necessary? What was the real story behind the contamination on that land? More and more questions and no answers. Maybe Trennum would be willing to shed some light on this polluted trail of evidence.

As someone who has worked “to ensure corporate compliance protocol,” Trennum is painted as an expert. Now evidence is revealed that proves Trennum lied regarding an FOI request. Yet that is not all, there is more to question Trennum on.

On June 6th 2014 a letter was sent by Matthew Trennum advising me that a freedom of information request had been received by the Niagara Region. Mind you that means Trennum received the request as the Privacy by Design website states in his short bio: “Matthew is responsible for coordinating the formal freedom of information request process.” This request as described in the letter by Trennum dated June 6th 2014 is specific, as all requests for FOI have to be. Someone had requested a copy of an email I had sent to Regional Chair Gary Burroughs, the date of my email is quoted and the subject matter.

My response on June 9th was clear. First of all I objected the release of anything relating to my email to Gary Burroughs. Secondly, I raised a more alarming issue of a breach of privacy legislation at region. I also requested to have the individual who made the request identified. Matthew Trennum sent this as a reply, “Unfortunately, I am unable to inform you who made the request. Nor do I know whether the requester has any direct knowledge of the existence of an email.”

It has been proven with direct evidence that Matthew Trennum is willing to lie even in writing. Here in this situation he says that “I am unable to inform you who made the request...,” does this mean Trennum is not willing to or simply that he claims he does not know the identity of the individual? For this request to have been made a request form and $5.00 application fee was required. Who can forget the fiasco between Mr. Haskell and Trennum. The request form requires the details of the individual who is making the request. In addition to those details the request form requires information in order to be processed, it states in a box “Detailed description of requested records.”

Here lies the breach of legislation, how was that individual able to know of an email sent directly to the Regional Chair Gary Burroughs? In his reply of June 9th Trennum states, “Nor do I know whether the requester has any direct knowledge of the existence of an email.” Yet the original letter sent by Trennum June 6th clearly states that an FOI request was received “for the following records.” It then describes clearly the request was for my email sent on a specific date, who it was sent to and the subject.

Matthew Trennum has set the stage for more deceit and more intentional misconceptions. Who is Trennum covering up for? My email was sent directly to Regional Chair Gary Burroughs. Whoever made this request, whether it was Mayor Brian McMullan or Regional Councillor Debbie Zimmerman, it has not been established. Whoever it was, that individual had been provided with direct details in breach of legislation. It is impossible to avoid one question now. As it was Regional Chair Gary Burroughs who received the email and not anyone else, when and who did Gary Burroughs exchange this information with, and for what possible gain?

All Freedom of Information (FOI) requests are required to have specific and detailed information, the letter of June 6th by Trennum clearly and specifically states the request was my email to Regional Chair Gary Burroughs. Yet Trennum only days later lies that he doesn't know if “the requester has any direct knowledge of the existence of an email.”

Breaches of law and legislation at Niagara's regional government are far from surprising. Yet look at the bio for Matthew Trennum on how he has “put Niagara Region on the map,” the only question now is what that map really leads to.

Another entity, which is part of the Regional Municipality of Niagara, Niagara Regional Housing is under investigation for breaching the whistleblower legislation. Matthew Trennum, Privacy analyst at the Region lied to cover-up details over a heavily contaminated brownfield development site. Now the same privacy analyst who boasts that he has taught or trained some 1500 staff on privacy protection covers up the breach of legislation with the FOI request. One doesn't need a GPS to decipher the direction Niagara Region is heading towards.

It is time for Dr. Ann Cavoukian as the Information & Privacy Commissioner to look at a situation where embedding and design together with architecture are simple human weaknesses. In this situation all the theory of function and privacy protection become worthless.  Privacy has been sold the same way as pork bellies, and if analogies of maps are still required then simply follow the directions as set out here.

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