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
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.”