Does this man know no shame?

Ex-cabinet minister Julian Fantino suggests judge, lawyers and cops part of conspiracy to convict man

Ex-cabinet minister Julian Fantino suggests judge, lawyers and cops part of conspiracy to convict man
Fantino describes himself as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council and an expert who, in speaking for regular Canadians, can shed light on what he essentially posits as a possible judicial conspiracy involving secret backroom dealings

Former Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino (front) and the current Chief Mark Saunders at the 10th annual Chief of Police Gala at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, Ont. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
The Canadian Press
Colin Perkel
December 29, 2017
2:43 PM EST

TORONTO — Former Conservative cabinet minister and provincial police commissioner Julian Fantino has accused a Canadian judge, lawyers and several police forces of acting improperly and even illegally in the conviction and jailing of a man for contempt of court.

In an extensive affidavit in which he raises the allegations, Fantino describes himself as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council and an expert who, in speaking for regular Canadians, can shed light on what he essentially posits as a possible judicial conspiracy involving secret backroom dealings.

Fantino filed the affidavit in an unsuccessful effort to intervene in a recent Federal Court review of whether the Canadian Judicial Council properly dismissed a complaint by Donald Best, a former Toronto police officer and businessman, against Ontario Superior Court Justice Bryan Shaughnessy.

Former Police Chief and Member of Parliament, and now Executive Chairman of Aleafia – Julian Fantino (right), along with former RCMP Deputy Commissioner of Federal and International Policing – Raf Souccar, and now President and CEO of Aleafia, at the launch of the clinic in Vaughan, Ont Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
“A more thorough investigation by the (judicial council), now that all the facts are known, may show that the judge was wilfully blind,” Fantino asserts. “It may very well be that the record belies the mischief that was being achieved simply because the judge had total control over the process.”

In 2013, Shaughnessy found Best in civil contempt. The finding was the culmination of a convoluted battle started in 2007, when Best’s corporation unsuccessfully sued 62 defendants and he failed to pay their court-ordered legal costs.

Shaughnessy’s rulings were upheld by Ontario’s top court and left undisturbed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Best turned to the Canadian Judicial Council in January 2016 to complain about the judge. Shaughnessy, he asserted, had engaged in “egregious” misconduct by, among other things, “secretly” changing a critical document.

The council’s executive director rejected the complaint out of hand, prompting Best to ask Federal Court to review that decision. He named the government and judge as respondents.

A more thorough investigation by the (judicial council), now that all the facts are known, may show that the judge was wilfully blind

Fantino, who could not be immediately reached for comment, explains in his 33-page affidavit filed along with 100 exhibits why he wanted to get involved. The “abuses,” he said, could undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.

“I notice that, in this matter, no one represents the people of Canada,” Fantino states. “No one speaks for me and other Canadians who believe in and rely upon fairness, courtesy and honourable treatment within the justice system.”

In his submission, Fantino maintains that Shaughnessy convicted Best “upon the presentation by lawyers of provably false evidence.” He also argues that “disturbing” evidence suggests police resources and personnel were “improperly retained, used and co-opted” to help one side in the private civil dispute.

“The court also convicted Mr. Best based upon affidavit evidence that was the product of illegal actions by a serving officer of the Ontario Provincial Police at the time that I was OPP commissioner,” Fantino states. “Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence…with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges.”

Fantino Wrong? This is News?

In decades of policing and politics, I can’t recall a single time Fantino has been right, so why should this be different.

Marc Emery was right; Julian Fantino was wrong
Stephen Maher: The activist faces a huge fine and will be locked out of the legal weed business. The former cop is set to cash in.

Stephen Maher

In September 2011, Conservative MP and former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino stood in the House of Commons to urge MPs to vote for the Conservatives’ Safe Streets and Communities Act, which, among other things, increased mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences, including six months for possessing six plants.

“It is critically important to law enforcement officers if we want them to do the job that they are mandated to do,” he said. “It is critical to the courts and it is critical to society, especially to vulnerable people.”

At the time Fantino spoke those words, Marc Emery was living in the Medium Federal Correctional Institution in Yazoo County, Louisiana, doing five years for selling marijuana seeds through the mail, part of a decades-long crusade against the laws that made it illegal to grow and smoke marijuana.

I believe Emery was right about marijuana and Fantino was wrong, and it seems that Fantino now has had a change of heart, because last month he announced that he plans to sell medical marijuana in a business he founded with former RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Souccar.

Emery, who finished his sentence in 2014 and returned to Canada, is not able to enter the legal marijuana business because of his criminal convictions. On Monday, he and his wife, Jodie Emery, will appear in a Toronto courtroom where they will plead guilty to marijuana charges laid after the police busted marijuana stores they were running in Ontario and British Columbia. They will have to pay large fines.

How large? “You’re not allowed to tell the amount, but you can say an enormous, unprecedentedly large amount,” Marc said in an interview last week.

READ MORE: Are Marc and Jodie Emery bad for the weed movement?

It seems absurd that the Emerys, who have spent years fighting the unjust laws against marijuana, in and out of prison, can’t now sell the product, while Fantino, who once compared marijuana to murder, is going to cash in.

But Marc is philosophical about it all. He says he actually enjoyed much of his time in prison, where he read hundreds of books, improved his musical skills and got along easily with the other inmates, often helping them as a “jailhouse lawyer.”

“I have almost no negative memories of my five years in prison,” he says. “My biggest regret is all the money and energy I expended for Jodie to visit me.”

Jodie flew down to see him 81 times. She found the experience difficult, largely because of what she saw families of other prisoners go through. She hated the emotional scene at the end of visiting time at Yazoo, when the wives and children of prisoners would line up and wait to be let out.

“You’re standing there looking at your loved one, all the way across this concrete room and the men are all acting brave and you can’t really talk because you’re across the room. And little kids will run across the room, and go, ‘Daddy Daddy’ and jump in his arms and come running back. And you see these moms, the wives and the mothers of the inmates, and they have their backs turned to the inmates and they’re crying and they don’t want to stand there and have their loved one watch them cry, so they turn their back to their loved one while they wait to get out. And the little kids are like, ‘Mommy don’t cry. Mommy don’t cry.’”

Jodie Emery is a tender-hearted, idealistic person. She wants to change the laws that keep fathers away from their children because of drug laws that are unjust, particularly to non-white people, who are much more likely to be incarcerated.

“If the government told me that I could, like, never smoke pot again, and never be in the pot business, but they would never arrest anyone else again, and nobody would lose their kids, and nobody would lose their job for failing a drug test, and nobody would be demonized or persecuted for pot, I would take that in a second,” she says. “Because it’s not about me, it’s not about Marc. I want to help all these people who don’t have a face and a name. They need help.”

The Emerys will likely eventually find a way to participate in the legal marijuana business—using their high profile to boost the business prospects of a licensed producer after pot is legalized next summer—but the immediate future is uncertain.

Their fines will put them deep in debt. Marc made a lot of money on the mail-order seed business until the Americans locked him up, but the Emerys say he gave it all away to activists.

The DEA backs his story. When they announced his arrest, they noted that he had “channelled” hundreds of thousands of dollars to “marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada.”

It’s not clear what kind of role either of them will be able to play in running their business—Cannabis Culture—after they plead guilty.

Meanwhile, Fantino and a lot of other people who busted marijuana users could soon be profiting from legalization.

Jodie has been making a list of former senior police who are taking part in marijuana businesses. There are 17 names on that list.

“I get feelings of outrage and disgust because of the unfairness of it,” she says.

The worst in her mind is Fantino. “It’s somebody who literally voted against, campaigned against, fought against any sort of law reform, and only when, through government coercion, people would be forced to buy from only a few people, he was willing to be one of those people to cash in.”

(Fantino, by the way, says that he hasn’t changed his mind about recreational marijuana, merely medical marijuana.)

People in the legal business—people who can get security clearances that the Liberals’ legislation demands—say the Emerys present a challenge to licensed producers, because of their strident activism.

In this period—what Marc calls the “purgatory between prohibition and legalization”—the well-connected corporate entrepreneurs in the new weed businesses can’t afford to be associated with the wild-eyed activists who were willing to go to prison for what they thought was right.

But they were right all along, and Fantino was wrong, and that will only ever get clearer as time goes by.

House of Parliament calls for Fantino to do the honourable thing…resign

Mulcair tells Fantino to do the honourable thing ‘for once in his life’ and resign

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Jake Edmiston | December 11, 2014 | Last Updated: Dec 11 5:00 PM ET
More from Jake Edmiston
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, left, and Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino.
Adrian Wyld / The Canadian PressNDP Leader Tom Mulcair, left, and Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino.
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In its strongest terms yet, the opposition demanded the ouster of Veteran Affairs Minster Julian Fantino — with NDP leader Tom Mulcair calling on him to “finally, for once in his life, do the honourable thing and resign.”

Mulcair’s choice of phrase was a particularly loaded one, considering Mr. Fantino’s decades-long career as a police officer and a five-year stint as the Toronto Police chief.

“This person has caused the harm,” Mr. Mulcair shouted. “And he says it’s somebody else’s fault? No, Mr. Speaker, he’s responsible.

“What is he waiting for?”

Mr. Fantino has been dogged by calls for his walking papers in recent weeks — stemming, in part, from an Auditor General’s report on his department. But with the House of Commons winding down ahead of a holiday recess, the NDP seemed determined to land a death blow.

“The minister of veterans affairs is living on another planet,” NDP deputy critic for veterans affairs Sylvain Chicoine said. “It’s more than time for the Prime Minister to give a great gift to veterans and fire this minister.”

With the Prime Minister not in the House Thursday, Mr. Fantino responded directly to calls for his sacking — leaning on his list of “programs and services” available to veterans and noting pro-veteran initiatives the opposition voted against.

“We take no lessons from a party [the NDP] that speaks one thing and does another,” Mr. Fantino said.

Show Him the Door

‘Show him the door’: Opposition grills Julian Fantino over government legal spat with double amputee
Jake Edmiston and Canadian Press | December 4, 2014 | Last Updated: Dec 4 5:44 PM ET
Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino.
Adrian Wyld / Canadian PressMinister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino.
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Opposition MPs spent the lion’s share of Thursday’s question period grilling Veteran’s Affairs Minister Julian Fantino’s amid a federal government attempt to block a class action lawsuit from an Afghanistan war veteran.

“Instead of making excuses for this failed minister, will the prime minister just show him the door?” NDP MP Irene Mathyssen said. “The truth is that they’re going to court to fight injured veterans.”

Seven plaintiffs are trying to sue the government for changes to their Canadian Forces compensation regime — including Major Mark Campbell, who lost both legs above the knees in a Taliban ambush. Major Campbell says he has been stripped of $35,000 in benefits. But the Attorney General of Canada wants the legal legal action tossed out. The government was in B.C.’s highest court Wednesday appealing a lower court’s approval of the lawsuit.

“There’s been a litany of failures,” Liberal MP Joyce Murray said shortly after question period. “He has no credibility left and I feel strongly that [Mr. Fantino] should be removed.”

Canadian veteran who lost legs in Afghanistan ready for fight of his life: class-action suit against government
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper absent Thursday, Mr. Fantino personally shouldered demands that he vacate his job — a growing refrain among the opposition parties. The minister rarely looked up from his notes, refusing to comment on the case as it was “before the courts.”

“It’s very difficult to get through to people who aren’t listening. My response—” he said, before the opposition drowned him out with taunts. “My concern and it should be the concern of the NDP that in this country we have great concern for due process.”

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also did not participate in question period Thursday.

Don’t worry, a soldier is dead, the Prime Minister is being sheltered in a cupboard, but Julian is fine!


On Wednesday, October 22 2014, Canada suffered the second terrorist attack of the week when a single gunman shot and killed a Canadian reserve soldier volunteering to patrol at the Canadian National War Memorial on Parliament Hill by a lone gunman best known for criminal activities and suspected mental health issues.

The gunman then commandeered a car and forced his way into the Parliament Buildings, where he was ultimately shot to death. In the interim, Parliament and much of the capital city, Ottawa, was locked down. The Prime Minister himself was reportedly hidden in a closet.

So what were the first words out of Julian Fantino, Cabinet Member and Veteran Affairs member? While a veteran of the military he was closely associated with lay dead, the leader of his government locked in a closet while other parliamentarians made makeshift spears out of flag poles to protect him, Julian Fantino’s first words in a social media tweet began with “I am fine….”

More’s the pity.