Cost Order

October 7th, 2019

Last week we reported on the Supreme Court Ruling in Keatley v. Teranet.  We were all smiles throughout, you know, we won big with that Ruling.

But we also offered a warning; “we know what the civil service is like.”  What did we expect?

Well; “We expect that [they] will behave as they have for eight years, using taxpayer dollars to overwhelm and eliminate their victims, in contempt for law and decency”.

Apparently these lines weren’t well appreciated in the civil service.

Three days after our article, Justice Carole Brown of the Ontario Superior Court decided to reopen one of CSA’s litigations against us, dating from April of this year, in order to assess costs to me personally.  No, not to PS Knight Co Ltd.  To me.

Thanks to Justice Brown, I now owe $44,320.57 to CSA.

The litigation in question, one of CSA’s duplicate lawsuits in Ontario Court, was concluded in April of this year.  It was closed.  Done. 

You see folks, we had asked the Court to quash one of CSA’s litigations against us on the grounds that it was a cut-and-paste litigation, a duplicate of their other litigations, and that the Federal Court of Appeal had already Ruled that CSA was guilty of this practice, citing “paragraph for paragraph” duplication.  You’re not supposed to be able to sue the same person repeatedly in the same jurisdiction at the same time for the same complaint.  And there’s more; The Province of Ontario recently passed anti-SLAPP legislation, specifically targeting the kind of abuses practiced by CSA and instructing Courts to quash all such abusive litigations.

But Justice Brown knows best.  She Ruled that while the anti-SLAPP law does indeed order the quashing of these lawsuits, the legislation couldn’t possibly mean what it says.  No.  Justice Brown knew that enabling abusive lawsuits is what the legislature intended by legislating against them.

Anyway, she Ruled in CSA’s favour, that the fourth of the CSA litigations against us could continue.  And that was that, until Oct 2, when she reopened the file to issue this cost order;

“I am satisfied that none of the reasons underlying the costs provisions under Section 137.1(7), (8) exist in this case and that a denial of costs to the successful respondent could be perceived as encouraging defendants to bring meritless section 137.1 [sic] motions.”

Ah.  That’s her basis for costing the hell out of me.  My request that the Court uphold and enforce anti-SLAPP legislation against CSA, an already acknowledged abuser of Court processes, was, in her view, a “meritless motion.”  Hence the cost award.

There are some problems with Justice Brown’s cost order.  Minor ones, to be sure, but ones worth noting.

For example, its illegal.  Ontario’s anti-SLAPP legislation is specifically cost neutral.  It’s designed to ensure that some small party being bullied by a much larger party can afford the risk of moving to dismiss the case.  On a motion under this legislation, there cannot be costs awarded to the parties.  Indeed, that was a big reason for our filing the motion in the first place. 

There are a lot of legal options we could pursue, if only we had the cash to do so.  We pursued this one because cost awards aren’t possible, so our financial risk was contained to the motion itself.

But Justice Brown advises that these costing preclusions mean the opposite of what the law says they mean.

Another example, from the cost order; “There were no proven facts to support the allegations made by the defendants.” 

Wow.  Where to start?  If we take the influence peddling allegation, which incidentally Justice Brown was mightily miffed at and took pains to highlight in her Ruling, the factual basis is exhaustive, voluminous, and includes published admissions by CSA, advertisements of influence sales by CSA, and direct experience of CSA’s offering to sell PS Knight Co influence over electrical laws.  But facts aren’t facts if they don’t align with civil service priorities.  In this case Justice Brown said “there were no proven facts” so, you know, there aren’t any.

Then there’s this one;  “There is no history of the CSA Group using litigation or the threat of litigation to silence critics.” 

Ok.  Well… ok…  I mean, eight years’ of litigations isn’t a record?  The CSA’s various threat letters, sent across the land to our customers and vendors, aren’t threats? 

I don’t know folks, this whole sordid thing has reached a level of absurdity that’s tough to commentate.

What really floors me is that the cost order, and indeed the Ruling itself, was issued by Justice Brown in a style of self righteous indignation, as dripping with resentment that a mere ordinary person should presume to speak truth to power.

It doesn’t seem to make any difference whether one obeys the law or breaks it; what matters is money and power.  Laws themselves mean nothing.  Court Rules mean nothing.  I’m also facing a criminal trial in the spring, again for obeying a Court filing.  My opponent meanwhile, can break laws with casual confidence, knowing that their civil service colleagues on the bench will exempt them from consequence. 

Why obey the law?  Financially, I can’t afford to get caught obeying the law anymore.  If we keep punishing civil conduct while rewarding criminality, we’re going to get a very different kind of society. 

If a judge can get away with reopening a Ruling for the purpose of financial retribution against an enemy of their friends elsewhere in the civil service, and do so in defiance of laws specifically prohibiting cost awards, on a basis so pathetic and absurd as to qualify as sitcom material, and to be so cheek as to do so a mere three days after losing their core argument in a higher Court, and seemingly in response to it, and all this in full confidence that there’ll be no accountability at law for corruption on this scale is, in my view, a singularly damning indictment of the Canadian judicial system.

We’ll probably fight it.  I say probably because I’m not sure the wisdom of asking a Court like this to review a crooked cost award by one of their own.  Might provoke more “justice,” you know? 

Over the next few days we’ll consider the matter and, barring any other developments, we’ll report it next week.

“He had been expected to believe that the farce he had purchased was a process of law, that the edicts enslaving him had moral validity, that he was guilty of corrupting the integrity of the guardians of justice, and that the blame was his, not theirs.  It was like blaming the victim of a holdup for corrupting the integrity of the thug.” -Atlas Shrugged