July 18, 2007

Finally Ontario's Attorney General is forced to come clean

Ontario's Attorney General, Michael Bryant, finally revealed the costs to taxpayers of fighting parents of autistic children for the past seven years, but only after an Ontario Superior Court decision forced him to open the books.

Read the full CBC story

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has requested a similar accounting of the legal costs associated with Ontario's ill-advised and ultimately doomed dog legislation.

The Attorney General has refused. Click here to read the response to the PC Party from Michael Bryant's henchman, Stephen Patterson.

This same ministry, headed by the Honourable Michael Bryant, was recently awarded the Code of Silence Award by the Canadian Association of Journalists in recognition of "the most secretive government body in Canada".

Read more about that award here

Michael, please, it's time to own up to your responsibilities as a public servant, step out from your hiding place behind "lawyer-client privilege", and let the taxpayers of Ontario know just how much money has been wasted on creating, enforcing, and defending Bill 132, a law that every expert denounced before its inception, a law that you MUST have been aware was unconstitutional long before you pushed blindly ahead with kangaroo committee hearings and a whipped vote in the Ontario Legislature.

Please, Michael, let us know the costs to each and every Ontario taxpayer for the following things:

1. Press releases and conferences announcing the intent to ban 'pit bulls' in Ontario

2. Expenses and honoraria for affidavits and other information solicited from extramural experts in 2004/2005 such as Alan Beck, any private law firms and others in Canada and the US whom the government may have consulted prior to holding Committee Hearings in winter 2005.

3. Public hearings conducted by the Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly on January 24, January 27, February 2, February 3, 2005 including:

a) Research costs
b) Supplies including photocopying, paper, postage
c) Travel Expenses for Committee members
d) Any payments made to witnesses at the hearings
d) Venues, audiovisual, computer and other equipment costs
e) All other costs associated with the hearings.

4. Costs associated with preparation of the Report by Committee.

5. Training costs for Animal Control officers in Ontario.

6. Dissemination of notices and other information to the public, educating them about the provisions in the law.

7. Legal Fees:

a) Expert testimony including travel expenses and honoraria for Alan Beck, Tom Skeldon, and any other witness expenses associated with pre-trial examinations
b) Legal fees associated with preparation of the defence, including hourly rate, number of hours spent
c) Research costs relative to the defence including time and materials
d) Legal fees for barristers to present arguments in Ontario Superior Court on May 15, 16 and 18, 2006 and to argue three motions
e) Costs specifically associated with the motion filed in summer 2006 and argued in Superior Court on December 21, 2006 including costs for reports, witness testimony, travel expenses, research costs, lawyer fees (internal and external), courts costs, material costs and any other pertinent expenditures.
f) Any other expenses related to defending the constitutional challenge to the amended Dog Owners' Liability Act, 2005
g) Fees paid to the Court

8. Any other costs not listed above relative to the matter described.

-- END --


Mac and the rest of the gang said...

[quote]"Obviously they wouldn't work on just that particular case every day of the week and every hour of the day, so if you add up all the time they spent on the case, [it's $1.8 million]."[/quote]

Obviously not!
They had to be putting in some time on that Bill 132 case.
Perhaps they should have spent more time on it because they might have actually won!

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