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Alberta Summit on Justice (1999)

Presentation by Walter H. Schneider -- Follow-up 

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 being sent.

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 that 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 wrong impression?

To have a summit working committee of that composition will result in 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 General 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 life.  See,

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, but 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 wrote:

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 children.

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 industry.

    sincerely,
    Stephen Bartlett

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
Box 62
Bruderheim, Alberta
T0B 0S0

Tel: (780)796-2306
E-mail:
Web Page: Fathers for Life

      Once a Parent, a Parent 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, Livingstone-Macleod

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 impression?"

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 his comments.

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 Consultation Committee.

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 subordinated.

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 domestic violence.

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 children?

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 those issues.

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

__________________________

Appendix

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
matters including:

  • Public confidence in the system

  • Victims' rights and involvement in the system

  • Youth crime

  • Policing

  • Aboriginal justice

  • Barriers to justice access with a view toward establishing alternatives to the traditional system

  • 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 don't.

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 attack.

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.

--Walter

__________________
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 country.

At least, in the circle of my extended Stop Welfare for Politiciansfamily 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 agencies.

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 society."

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

________________

See also:

__________
Updates:
2001 01 25 (format changes)
2003 05 02 (added reference to Family Law — Table of Contents
2004 03 20 (format changes)