Idle No More blockader wants CN to reveal their 'dirty hands' in court

By Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
CN Rail refuses to hand over correspondence between them and an Ontario judge that issued several court injunctions for the railway company during the throes of the Idle No More movement.

The company also won’t discuss how they contacted Superior Court Justice David Brown to get the injunctions or his past work history with CN before he became a judge after it came to light Brown had represented CN and acted as a witness for them in the United States before being appointed to the bench in 2006 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

This is important information for First Nations man Ron Plain and his team of lawyers who are defending him against a contempt of court charge in Sarnia according to one of his lawyers Peter Rosenthal.

CN alleges Plain was behind a blockade on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation within Sarnia’s city limits from Dec. 21 to Jan. 3.

Rosenthal had been trying for weeks to have CN provide the information as disclosure but they have refused so Rosenthal filed a motion to have the judge presiding over the contempt trial force CN to do so.

Justice John Desotti is expected to address the motion Friday when the contempt trial begins in Sarnia.

CN won’t hand over the information because it doesn’t feel it’s relevant according to emails between Rosenthal and CN’s lawyers at Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto.

The emails were submitted as part of the motion and obtained by APTN National News.

“The only matters relevant to the contempt motion are whether Mr. Plain had personal service or knowledge of the injunction order, and whether Mr. Plain deliberately, wilfully or knowingly breached the injunction order,” said Christopher Bredt in a May 10 letter to Rosenthal on behalf of CN.

Rosenthal wrote back quoting case law to support his request and said on the chances Plain is found guilty “we expect that evidence of CN’s ‘dirty hands’ would support our position that a very minimal sentence should follow any finding of contempt.”

From his bench in Toronto Brown issued injunctions in Sarnia at the end of December and another Jan. 5 for a separate blockade of a CN line in Tyendinaga near Belleville, Ont.

Police did not act on either injunction to remove protestors. Brown later said police needed to follow the law.

APTN then reported that Brown had worked for CN but never disclosed to the protestors.

Plain said CN has made several offers to settle the matter outside of court but he has refused each one wanting his day in court threatening to “run this up the flag pole.”

Rosenthal wants to know how Brown came about issuing the injunctions in Sarnia, when did CN meet with Brown and for how long and if CN called Brown on his home phone.

Rosenthal not only wants information between Brown and CN involving Sarnia but Tyendinaga from Dec. 10 and Jan. 10.

He first made the request for disclosure April 22 but it became apparent CN wouldn’t budge on May 14.

But that’s not all that Rosenthal is asking for.

He wants all correspondence between police in Sarnia and CN police, as well as all documents that show CN has the right to use the spur line in Sarnia something Plain intends to argue they don’t.

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