|Subject: Alberta Justice Summit Presentation -- Follow-up
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 11:29:12 -0700
From: Walter Schneider <
To: [undisclosed recipients]
Pardon the length of this message.
It is my worm's-eye view of the consultation process via the All-Party MLA Public
Consultation Committee. An abbreviated version will be sent to the members of the
All-Party Committee. You'll receive a copy of the abbreviated version when it is
The text of my concerns that I submitted at the 1998 09 15 meeting of the All-Party
Comittee chaired by Richard Magnus at the Edmonton Inn is as follows.
|Alberta Justice Summit
Presentation to the Alberta All-Party MLA Public Consultation Committee
September 15. 1998
Walter H. Schneider, Alberta Director, Equal Parents of Canada (EPOC)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the beginning of the discussion paper that was released by Alberta
Justice after the Justice Summit was first announced earlier this year
it was stated that the purpose of the summit was to make a good system
even better. A better way to put that, one that all ordinary
Albertans would be able to agree with and that would have given them
the hope that the intentions of the summit were actually
representative of the interests of all citizens, would have been if
that statement would have asked: "Our justice system is broken. How
can we fix it?"
The composition of the committee to which you'll be reporting and
in turn will make its report to the legislators in March 1999 is an
example of what is at play in the Alberta justice system of today.
The Justice Summit is comprised of representatives from:
The legal industry, that is: from the Courts, from both levels of Canadian government
and from the lawyers appearing before them;
Federal and provincial law enforcement both the RCMP and various other police
forces are represented;
Organizations that largely have the welfare of prisoners in mind;
An organization for victims of crime;
Aboriginal societies; (a minuscule portion of the Alberta population is
disproportionately represented by four individuals);
The academic community;
The Alberta Government; however,
Ordinary Albertans will be represented by one single lonely voice, that of Richard
Magnus, MLA Calgary-North Hill.
Richard Magnus, your chairman, will be taking the findings collected
from the information presented to you to the Alberta Justice Summit in
the interest of all Albertans. I thank you for making that effort,
but it seems doubtful to me that one single voice speaking for
ordinary Alberta citizens will have much of an impact, compared to the
large number of other representatives on the Alberta Justice Summit
Working Committee or at the Summit itself. Consider that although it
appears that Richard Magnus was at one time listed as a member of the
working committee, he is no longer included in the list of members of
that committee. Is that by design or accident, or did I receive the
To have a summit working committee of that composition will result
nothing more than to preserve the status quo. It is like putting
wolves in charge of herding sheep. The only advantage to doing that
is that you'll not have to worry about feeding the wolves, at least
for as long as they have sheep to look after.
The divorce industry in
the U.S. has grown to an industry of terrible proportions. The cost
to society of the individuals just the lawyers that make a direct
living through that industry in the U.S. is in the order of a minimum
of $200 billion/year. That and the accompanying social costs have no
doubt contributed to their $5.3 trillion deficit. It seems that
Canada is involved in a head-long rush to catch up to the U.S. and on
a per capita basis it appears that Canada has succeeded in surpassing
the U.S. already.
Robert H. Bork, the former Solicitor General, acting Attorney
of the U.S., and U.S. Court of Appeals judge, said in his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline
that the judiciary, and especially the U.S. Supreme Court, have become
the prime agents promoting the modern liberal values that have their
origin in the radical extremist student activism of the Sixties. He
further stated that the radical extremist student activists of the
Sixties arrived in their mid-life in the Eighties with all of their
ideological baggage intact and now are firmly entrenched in positions
of power in all sectors of society and especially the bureaucracy.
Much information indicates that to be true in Canada as well but also
in all western industrialized nations.
Ted Byfield, president of United Western Communications, the
publisher of Alberta Report, Western Report and B.C. Report, summed up the situation in
one of his columns in the Alberta Report. He said:
"The elites of today are not the ostensible leaders of government, church,
commerce and industry. They centre themselves instead in three areas of society: the
interest groups, the media and the bureaucracy. The interest groups propose, the
media endorse, and the bureaucracy enact. The politicians and the leaders of
business, cowed by the media, acquiesce."
Ted Byfield, in the Alberta Report, March 9, 1998, page 44
Robert H. Bork identifies
radical feminism as the most devastating
legacy from the Sixties. Ted Byfield and the Alberta Report, and increasingly other
publications as well, frequently publish opinions on the destruction and deterioration of
the morals in our society, largely on account of judiciary activism in our courts.
According to Alberta Senate Candidate Ted Morton (Alberta Report, Sept. 7, 1998, page 2),
the Canadian Courts had overturned 188 laws and regulations since 1982, compared to only
one in the 22 years prior to that. Our constitution is a thing that many lawyers joke
about and that judges interpret so capriciously that at a criminal-trial lawyers'
gathering in Toronto last April it was stated that they can't any longer advise their
clients on charter questions, other than to flip a coin. [ibid.] (If the term "radical feminism" (a.k.a.
Marxist- or socialist-feminism) is somewhat new to you, you need to expand
your knowledge. After all, radical feminism, the currently controlling
faction of feminism, governs just about everything that is happening in your
Carey Roberts column
Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on
political correctness. His best-known work is an exposť on Marxism and the roots of radical feminism.
Carey Roberts' best-known work, his exposť on Marxism and the roots of radical feminism, is not necessarily easy to find,
this link will help with that. (Some of the URLs for the
article series appear to keep changing. For that reason the
identified link leads to an Internet search for the series. The
first or second link in the return list will most likely lead
you to the series.))
Many of these changes directly impact our families. The radical
feminists [more accurately called
redfems] are hostile to the traditional family and that hostility is reflected in
the judiciary activism and the decisions made by the judiciary. 86% of the case load
in the Ontario Superior Court relates to divorce and custody matters. Although I
have no comparable figures for Alberta, I'm sure that if they were made available they
would show a similar situation here.
I would like to present the opinions of three other people in
relation to these issues. They expressed the concerns about the current social
trends as promoted and affected by our justice system much better than I could hope to
achieve. Due to the limited time that is available today, I'll submit two of these
in writing. The first of those
is by Erin Pizzey, founder of the first modern battered
women's shelter in world 1971, Chiswick, London, England, and author of books on
family violence, who is presently visiting in Canada and will be in Alberta late next week
as part of a series of consultation/workshops on family violence arranged by Senator Anne
C. Cools. The other is by Dave Usher, chairman of the
Missouri chapter of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children). The third, by
Canadian Steve Bartlett, is short enough to be brought up here. It relates to your
request for information on alternatives to existing justice processes.
In a message dated Sept. 10 1998 to Roger Gallaway, cochairman of
the Joint Senate/House of Commons Committee on Child Custody and Access, Steve Bartlett
Subject: Shoot the lawyers
[To:] Roger Gallaway MP
My earlier email message was respectful -
this one is less so. I refer to your recent quote -
This whole thing revolves around whether we are going to have more of the
status quo or whether we are going to fundamentally change a system that most
people agree is broken. We have to put some fairness back into the
custody and access system.
It is the lawyers and their 'advocacy'
system that is the backbone of the divorce industry. Their "job" is to
constantly argue trumped up points and charges at the ultimate expense of our
children. If you take a few of these lawyers, and put them before a firing squad, on
prime time TV, the problem will resolve itself very shortly!
Take divorce out of the hands of lawyers!
I rather doubt that legislating lawyers'
roles is practical, and cutting out their roles by cutting off their money supply is
[impractical] as well. So, how about changing their prime role? Instead of opposing
lawyers playing advocacy games, let's appoint one lawyer to represent the children's
interest - both parents will have their 'rights' superseded by those of the
children. Allow the lawyers to work to clean up their image by "advocacy FOR
children" rather than "advocacy against the other parent".
Our Justice system needs to be made
productive, not something that is used to punish many of its citizens, especially
And speaking of citizens, I think that a
"Citizens' Committee on Justice" could be used very efficiently by Parliament to
help ensure that our policies and administration remain fair.
You might properly point out that 'the best
interests of the child' is already the intent of the Law. It is not so much the
legislation that is a problem - it's the misadministration of the Law by the divorce
The bureaucracy is no longer the servant of our society but has become its
master. Is there really nothing that can be done to change that?
I thank you for your time and attention.
Walter H. Schneider
Alberta Director, Equal Parents of Canada
Web Page: Fathers for Life
Two members of the committee were absent at yesterday's hearing, Sue Olson, MLA
Edmonton-Norwood (she is apparently notorious for that) and Dave Coutts, MLA,
The following are the concerns that I'll be expressing to Richard Magnus as a follow-up
to yesterday's presentation.
Richard Magnus reacted very strongly to my concerns expressed in the paragraph
containing the following:
"Consider that although it appears that Richard Magnus was at one time listed as a
member of the working committee, he is no longer included in the list of members of that
committee. Is that by design or accident, or did I receive the wrong
He made it forcefully clear that he feels that the input that his committee will be
providing to the Summit will play an important role in the recommendations that the summit
will make to the Alberta
Government. He also implied that I was somewhat negligent by not reading all of the
publications, pamphlets and brochures that were laid out at the entrance of the ball room
in which the consultation took place to inform myself before I made the
"allegations" in my presentation. He was right about the latter part of
I didn't read all of the pamphlets when I composed my presentation, because I hadn't
seen them, except for the publications "Public Consultation Guide" and
"Information & Discussion Guide" that I received from Alberta Justice after
I had made my request to be allowed to present my concerns to the All-Party MLA
However, I still consider all of my concerns to be valid, more so than before, although
I made one small error that I discovered when I followed Richard Magnus' recommendations
and read the Government's publications a bit more carefully. Richard Magnus had
not been officially designated to be a member of the Working Committee to which I
referred in my presentation, but rather he was designated by John Havelock to be a member
of the Steering Committee (see quotation from John Havelock's press release below).
In my more detailed perusal of the material pointed to by Richard Magnus, I still find
nothing that alleviates the concerns that moved him to forcefully express his need for
correcting my "allegations".
I could not find anything in that material that identifies whom his committee will
actually be reporting to. In view of that, I must assume that he was intended to
report to the steering committee, because the only document that I'm aware of which
mentions his name as a member of another committee is the February Alberta Justice press
release that indicates that he was intended to be a member of the Steering
Committee. Note that the press release (shown below) identifies that The All-Party
MLA Public Consultation Committee under Richard Magnus was established, according to the
Alberta Justice press release, as a subcommittee, but that it isn't identified what the
All-Party MLA Committee is a subcommittee of and to which higher level committee it is
I'm sure that I'll be corrected if I'm wrong about this, but the concerns that I have
now are even greater than those that I expressed in my presentation. The reason for
that is that Richard Magnus told me yesterday that he is not a member of the Alberta
Justice Summit Steering Committee because he felt that he couldn't make the time available
to be on it. He appears to be under the strong impression that his presence on the
Steering Committee isn't required because he appears to feel that his Public Consultation
Committee is of equal rank to the Steering Committee when it makes it's report to the
Alberta Justice Summit. Let's hope and pray with all our might that he's right,
because if he isn't, his committee is in limbo and the public has no way to provide input
to the Alberta Justice Summit.
Richard Magnus told me yesterday that he finds the consultation process to be very
stressful, mainly on account of the recounting by presenters of the unending misery at the
hands of the justice system. He said that it was extremely stressful to hear so many
stories about battery and abuse. He has my sympathy and understanding. As an
activist who is constantly involved in issues of a similar nature, although with a more
specific focus on the family, I too find that it is very stressful to be constantly
exposed to this aspect of our lives, year-in and year-out, day after day with
apparently no hope in sight that the abuse and destruction of our families will ever end.
Richard Magnus identified that the stress is particularly aggravated now by the fact
that the 10th anniversary of his sister's death was just a few days ago. Obviously,
he's still hurting from the death of his sister. I've been told by a number of
people but have been unable yet to get anyone to confirm it, that she was a victim of
In view of his personal pain, will Richard Magnus be able to maintain the objectivity
required to equitably address issues of domestic violence? Is it perhaps possible
that he still feels anger about his sister's death and perhaps subconsciously seeks to
revenge it by allowing his grief to taint his objectivity? Will that prevent him
from looking without bias at the evidence provided by men (there were no woman witnesses
yesterday while I was there) of the bias against men in the judicial bureaucracy? Is
it perhaps possible that he projects his personal experience of the death of his sister
unto all of society and thereby refuses to accept the fact that domestic violence is not a
gender issue but affects men and women alike but, to a far greater extent, also our
Don't think that these concerns of mine are trivial. There have been cases
whereby judges had to excuse themselves from hearing specific cases because of
"reasonable apprehension of bias" on account of far less obvious reasons.
Are there grounds for reasonable apprehension of bias with respect to Richard Magnus'
views of Alberta Justice issues?
Consider another thing that Richard Magnus told me. He isn't aware of Roger
Gallaway (mentioned in my presentation in the message from Steve Bartlett that I
quoted). "The name doesn't ring a bell with me," he said. I
mentioned that he was the MP who was appointed as the co-chairman of the Joint Senate/House
of Commons Committee on Child Access and Custody. Richard Magnus said that there
were about 369 MPs and he couldn't possibly know them all. I agree, but
consider also, as evident from the evidence brought up by the majority of the presenters
at the All-Party Consultation Committee, that issues of
access denial and false abuse
allegations comprise a very large part, if not the majority, of the concerns
expressed by the presenters.
Furthermore, consider that divorce, custody and access issues comprise a major part of
the workload of the Alberta judicial bureaucracy, so that it shouldn't surprise us that so
much of the misery reported by presenters to the Public Consultation Committee relates to
In view of that, it concerns me that Richard Magnus hasn't heard of Roger Gallaway, but
it concerns me even far more that he indicated that he doesn't have any knowledge of the
Joint Senate/House of Commons Committee for the Review of Child Custody and Access and any
of its findings.
I suggest that you bring up these concerns in discussions with your MLAs.
However, it is advisable to follow up your discussions in writing, with copies to key
political figures and perhaps even to the media.
--Walter H. Schneider
The following had been sent to my distribution list in February 1998.
Quotes from the Feb.. 1998 Alberta Justice Press Release
The initiative, similar to Alberta's recent Growth Summit that
considered input through consultations and written submissions, will examine
Public confidence in the system
Victims' rights and involvement in the system
Barriers to justice access with a view toward establishing alternatives to the
and any other issues arising from the discussion
The Justice Minister will chair a steering committee and has invited
representatives from the judiciary, Law Society of Alberta, Alberta
branch of the Canadian Bar Association, RCMP, Alberta Association of
Chiefs of Police, First Nation Treaty Areas 6, 7 and 8, Metis Nation
of Alberta Association, Metis Settlement General Council, Justice
Canada, Federal Department of the Solicitor General, victims' services
and special interest groups to participate on the committee.
In addition, Havelock has asked Calgary-North Hill MLA Richard Magnus
to participate as a member of the steering committee and chair an
all-part consultation subcommittee of six additional MLAs who will be
responsible for coordinating public input into the summit process.
The remaining MLAs invited to participate include: Dave Coutts,
Livingstone-Macleod; LeRoy Johnson, Wetaskiwin-Camrose; Mary O'Neill,
St. Albert; Raj Pannu, Edmonton Strathcona; Sue Olsen, Edmonton
Norwood; and Janis Tarchuk, Banff-Cochrane.
For further information contact
Peter Tadman Minister of Justice
Justice Communications And Attorney General
Phone: (780) 427-8530 Phone: (780) 427-2339
Note that justice for families is not one of the concerns mentioned
and that none of the participants invited to the committee so far,
other than perhaps some of the MLAs, could be considered representatives who have the best interest of families and children in
mind. Most of us would consider most of them to
be the enemies of families and children.
Failing participation and input by family rights groups, what will
come out of the summit will be the wishes of legal beagles,
Aboriginals and Metis, law enforcement agencies, and perhaps battered
women's shelter advocates or at best a victims' rights group.
Consider the large number of agents from the legal and law enforcement
sectors. Consider also that they are all funded either directly or
indirectly by the tax payers, and that there is little or no funding
available for any family rights advocates--even if they should be
allowed to participate on the steering committee or in the
consultation process [, which they are not].
It concerns me that Natives and Metis receive a special position on
the steering committee and that families from the rest of society
I discussed those concerns with Peter Tadman. He explained that the
reason for the presence of Natives and Metis on the steering committee
was that they make up such a large and disproportionate portion of the
people processed through the justice system. I pointed out to him
that when statistics are collected about family violence, they never
make that distinction, but that the large majority of non-native
families is affected constantly by legislation that is based on crimes
perpetrated in the majority by Natives. For that reason I felt that
it is important that the majority of Albertans who are non-native
should be represented on the steering committee by people other than
government, tax-funded organizations, Natives and Metis, and by people
who make their living in the legal industry.
I stated that it was somewhat incongruous that a steering committee
that has as its mandate the coordination of a process which will
improve the public image of the justice system has not one member from
the general public. On account of that, the mandate of the summit
could well be defeated before it gets on the road. The public's
impression could well be that the judicial system is rallying against
public criticism and is fortifying its position against imminent
He agreed that I had brought up some very important points for
consideration. He then passed the ball to Bruce Anderson, who, he
says, is the overall coordinator of the process of the Justice
Summit. Bruce Anderson's phone number is (780) 427-5032. I left a
message for him to please call me.
Maybe Peter Tadman brushed me off, maybe he didn't. I should be able
to tell by Monday.
Does anyone have ideas for strategies that can help? Has anyone
contacted Alberta Justice? Remember that if you don't, you'll get the
justice system that others want and most likely not one that will be
of any help to you in the years to come.
Note: Peter Tadman did brush me off, because when Bruce Anderson
called me it became totally clear that the justice department has no
interest at all to even discuss any of my concerns. It is obvious to
me, and will become obvious to others (I'll do my best that it will do
that) that the Justice Department has no interest other than to
preserve the status quo, in spite of all claims to the contrary.
I'm afraid that we are putting a whole group of foxes in charge of the hen house. I'll do my best to convince my children to emigrate. It
was the worst mistake I made in my life to bring my family to this
At least, in the circle of my extended
family in the old country, my
children would have had the benefit of some spiritual and moral
guidance. I fully realize that the social pressures are the same
immoral ones where I came from, but as one single individual here I am
virtually powerless to protect my children and grandchildren from
moral corruption and economic exploitation promoted by government
To what extent the abolition of moral values has gone with my
children, consider that although I'm proud that none of my children
have become divorced, two of my sons decided not to have
children and made sure that they can't. The reason is that they don't
want to expose themselves to the risk of being exploited like their
father was, although they often rationalize that in different words:
"Children don't fit my life style," but often "Children are too risky,"
and "It would not be fair to bring children into this messed-up
These are not conclusions that are due to my influence, as I have seen
very little of my children in the last 24 years and didn't see them at
all for a period of eight years during that interval. What finally
broke my heart and discouraged me completely was what my third son
told me at Christmas: "Well Dad, whether you like it or not, you have
to accept that Morgan is your grandson." Morgan is his dog. He then
promised that he would come and visit me later this year and to bring
my "grandson" but not his wife. It was during the confusion of
parting after our visit that the remark was made. At least that gave
me a chance to pretend I had not heard the comment.
That is what we are creating in this rotten society, people who think
that a dog must be considered to be as valuable as humans and members
of our families. I have seen that level of affection toward animals
happen in other childless families. I fully understand that it can
happen. I even see the need for it in a family that is not successful
in propagating itself, but to make a conscious choice of preferring a
dog over one's own child on account of social pressure promoted and
promulgated by our governments, that is more than I can accept. How
can it be that we have lost all respect for human life and dignity and
lower ourselves to a level of compassion that prefers the company of
animals over that of our own offspring? How can it be that we allow
men and fathers to be demonized to the extent where they refuse to
breed, and that when a child results from copulation it is considered an
accident and in one third of conceptions not permitted to live? How
come we are not horrified by the policies of planned parenthood that
regards a human life developing in the mother's womb as nothing more
than an inconvenience and no more valuable than a wart.
I hope that our hopes for an after-life are founded in truth. I also
hope that there will be a final judgment, because the reckoning will
be terrible, not only for those who perpetrate evil deeds, but even
more so for those who permit them to be done unopposed or who even
actively promote and support them. But nevertheless, in our lives on
Earth people are actively being rewarded for promoting policies that
are destroying our families and thereby our society. That, by any
other definition, is still rampant insanity at the very least.
--Walter H. Schneider
Index to some of the testimony given at the
Consultation Committee hearings