Saturday, April 24, 2010

BC Human Rights Tribunal Rejects Guy Earle Defense: denied, denied, denied


BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) member Murray Geiger-Adams has published his first decisions in the Pardy vs. Earle/Ismail human rights case he recently presided over in Vancouver.

But don't get too excited:



Wait a minute. The hearing is weeks finished, and you still can't decide on jurisdiction? And after reviewing the evidence and watching all the witnesses testify, you still can't decide if there's any merit to the complaint? That just doesn't add up.



And 20 pages later, a trio of denials:



Responding to the decisions against him, Guy Earle had this to say.

More analysis to follow (and more analysis welcome in the comments). Stay tuned.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Human Right: the right to Vacation?



"I'm Jennifer Lynch's travel agent."

Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) chief Jennifer Lynch may have been a woman ahead of her time when she enjoyed a taxpayer-funded $8200 trip to Vienna in 2008. It's now clear she wasn't wasting public funds - Lynch was just an early adopter of the new human right to go on vacation.

Vacationing a human right, EU chief says
Katherine Laidlaw, National Post:

"The European Union has declared traveling a human right, and is launching a scheme to subsidize vacations with taxpayers' dollars for those too poor to afford their own trips"...
Human rights take a trip to la-la land
Tasha Kheiriddin, blogging for the Post:

"This announcement makes a complete mockery of the term “human rights”, which is already so abused as to have completely lost its meaning..."
(ahem, ahem, BCHRT re Guy Earle Trial)

It's true that a vacation has health benefits - stress-relief, family bonding, cultural-consciousness-raising, uptake in citizen morale and productivity upon return - so it's indeed a worthwhile activity for community and government to encourage.

But why create a new human right? A human rights insider explains:
"The human rights industry is growing increasingly more desperate for conditions and causes that justify their existence going forward. But really, it's the government jobs, government office space and taxpayer-paid expense credit cards they truly aim to preserve."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Update: Guy Earle Trial


We're currently awaiting the Tribunal's decisions on jurisdiction (timeframe: weeks) and James Millar's judicial review of same (timeframe: months). Site content is being compressed and commenting has been disabled to facilitate a low-maintenance archive of this human rights hearing.

Latest news and opinion:

Downtown Eastside Enquirer: Human Rights Trial: The Lesbian Who Won't Talk

Tony Wilson, The Globe and Mail: Human rights emerging as cost concern

Rex Murphy, National Post: Please don't call it 'human rights'

Brian Hutchinson, National Post: Funny business at B.C. human rights hearing

Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail: Canadian ruling on ‘offensive' comedy is a gag - but it's no joke

Margaret Wente, the Globe and Mail: A bad night at Zesty's and other tales of the rights tribunal

Morley Walker, Winnipeg Free Press: Yes, it's called a punchline but does that mean it should hurt?

Montreal Gazette: More "human rights" nonsense

Hugh MacIntyre, Western Standard Blogs: The damage is done in the Guy Earle case

Michael Smythe, The Province: Surreal spectacle should never have happened

Friday, April 9, 2010

Guy Earle Trial: Cousineau vs. Ismail Closing Submissions


Vancouver BC, April 9, 2010. British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal hears final arguments of Pardy vs. Ismail at 2pm.

[UPDATED 10PM PST]

To begin, a bit directly from my raw notes:
visitors and media receive COLD welcome today at BCHRT - reception on 11, 12 floor NOT friendly, NOT welcoming. No smiles - no name tags - no introductions - no warmth... HAHA rude woman on 12th floor calling loudly after us down hallway! (high-school vice principal?):

"Come back here!"... "Who are you, media? You need a seat assignment card!"... "What about that guy who already went in, does he have one?!"... she chases him into hearing room but he already has card... Judy Janet Mews on 11 gave out # 1-5 already, hello?...

12th floor door code changed - now 125 - because of my video? or do they change it every week?

media/visitors/public knowledge = adversarial to BCHRT goals? ie burden to tolerate, ie "we prefer to work in private" -- not just me feeling this, also reporter sitting beside me: "It's a contradiction" he says, referring to rude hospitality from organization touting respect and dignity among everyone. Instead: stink eye! to public taxpayer guests visiting their property to witness what goes on.
-----

It's 2:05pm and we're waiting to start. The Hearing room design has improved since last Friday: tables have been moved closer together and the gallery now has one centre access aisle instead of one at either end. I wonder if they read my post "Inside the Hearing Room" and acted on the feedback?

Today the gallery is chock full of visitors, plus some ad-hoc chairs being used in the corner. Pardy's girlfriend Eda is sitting one row behind me, three seats to the right. The attending media surrounds her, ready with their pens and steno pads, some also using a digital recorder (allowed only to verify notes, no broadcasting). Several bloggers chatter the keys of their laptop computers. A few young female law students are taking notes and filling out some sort of questionnaire. I speak briefly to one man who claims no connection to the case, describing himself quietly as "just an outraged member of the public".

Lorna Pardy is present at the complainant's table. She looks good: well-rested, neat casual dress, clean and trendy shoes. She turns her head and makes direct eye contact with me five times today. Each time we look into each others' eyes for 2-3 seconds before she turns her attention back to the hearing.

I wonder if she knows who I am, as the publisher of this blog? If her & Eda have been following my posts, they know I use a MacBook Pro laptop. And today in the hearing room I was indeed the only person using such a computer. Did they make that connection? If so, do they have anything to say about all this? Ladies, feel free to email me.

Okay, shhhh, the submissions are about to begin:

-----

Sam Ismail for respondent Salam Ismail (owner of Zesty's restaurant):
"First of all, there is huge amount of material to go through and sort out with this case. As you can see, you need a law office to put all these materials together with secretaries, typists and lawyers, and putting such a burden on us , giving us all this material to argue it here, and give us two days is like impossible mission. It's been frustrating for me, the last few days. I only type 15 or 20 words per minute. I would ask this hearing be adjourned for a week so I can put this together properly. I feel this has been shoved down my throat, I spent all night on it to get there but I couldn't. I ask, for fairness, that we be given another week."
Devyn Cousineau for Lorna Pardy:
"The tribunal has already been more than reasonable … the respondent was given over a week to prepare for the submission. We're ready to proceed, we cannot come back to argue this. We've had no notice of this issue, we are prepared to proceed today, we would like to proceed." [ed. note: Cousineau is very pregnant, due any day now]
Murray Geiger-Adams, Tribunal:
"I am prepared to listen to the complainant's submissions, and I'm prepared to give the respondent a further week to reply in writing."
Cousineau:
"Lorna Pardy was a patron at Zesty's on May 22 when she was subjected to a brutal attack by Guy Earle. Miss Pardy and her friends were singled out on the basis of their sexual orientation ... The attacks were not part of a comedy routine ... They violated section 8 of the human rights code ... Lorna Pardy felt she had been assaulted, her ears were ringing, her hands were shaking, she was in shock ... Subsequent media coverage naming miss Pardy - including a YouTube video of Guy Earle painting miss Pardy as a drunken heckler, a militant lesbian looking for a fight - has left miss Pardy with generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and PTSD."
-----

I have the remainder of Cousineau's submissions on digital tape and will provide a transcript over the weekend. She covered a lot of ground and detailed technical legal aspects for almost two hours. She addressed witness credibility, legal issues surrounding the Tribunal's jurisdiction, creative expression vs. discrimination, was Mr. Earle a Zesty's employee under Human Rights code, what was his intention...

...and finally the Shakedown: Pardy wants an unspecified amount of compensation due to injury of dignity. Cousineau cited a sexual assault case as precedent for the Tribunal to consider when deciding how much to award. Really.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guy Earle Trial Closing Arguments: Cousineau (Pardy) vs. Ismail (Zesty's)


The public is welcome to attend at 2pm tomorrow:



Cousineau vs. Ismail: I'll be there to provide word-for-word coverage appearing here by 5pm, April 9. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Canadian Media Rips BC Human Rights Tribunal Over Heckler Hearing



You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order!

Rex Murphy, National Post: Please don't call it 'human rights'

Brian Hutchinson, National Post: Funny business at B.C. human rights hearing

Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail: Canadian ruling on ‘offensive' comedy is a gag - but it's no joke

Margaret Wente, the Globe and Mail: A bad night at Zesty's and other tales of the rights tribunal

Morley Walker, Winnipeg Free Press: Yes, it's called a punchline but does that mean it should hurt?

Montreal Gazette: More "human rights" nonsense

Hugh MacIntyre, Western Standard Blogs: The damage is done in the Guy Earle case

Michael Smythe, The Province: Surreal spectacle should never have happened

Al Pacino, And Justice For All: You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order!

-------

Coming next: more video of Guy Earle's lawyer James Millar, addressing the press in the BCHRT hallway after walking out of the hearing on day one (I filmed the full 15 minutes, only published three minutes so far).

Also, more information coming soon about James Millar, Earl's lawyer, and Pardy's lawyer Devyn Cousineau. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Trial Witness: Guy Earle was customer



Guy Earle's last supper [at Zesty's]: he paid $20 including $10 tip

Yesterday:

It's 3pm on the last day of the Guy Earle trial and I'm sitting in BCHRT Hearing Room #4, waiting for the final witness to appear. Almost all 18 gallery seats are occupied. I recognize Brian Hutchison from the National Post, sitting one row ahead of me, one seat to the left, scribbling on a steno pad. I wonder how much he's getting paid for what I'm willing to do for free. [UPDATE: I'm joking! Apples and oranges, obviously] Many other media are also present, along with Earle/Pardy supporters and a few bloggers sitting to attention with hungry laptops perched on their knees.

I look across the room and type what I see into my MacBook Pro:
Sam and Salam Ismail appear more at ease than first day. No sweaty brows, no grim smiles. Confidence. Case is strong? - earlier testimony shows that Pardy did indeed heckle. Is exaggerating fear. Beer bottle threat very damning.

Lorna Pardy looks tired. Dark circles under her eyes. Trial taking it's toll? She was on the front page of the Province yesterday, looking like the bad guy. Ouch.
----------

Sam Ismail calls Samantha to testify. She is a server who has worked at Zesty's for about 3 years and was working on the night of May 22, 2007:

"I was working at the restaurant that night with Brandy, a new server... I saw Earle break the sunglasses and I picked them up. He looked shaken, I said "What are you doing, what's going on?" and Guy said "They threw water in my face". I said "Whatever you do, just leave them alone."

Ismail: Did you ever feel that the ladies' safety was in danger at any time?

Samantha: No.

Ismail: Over and above the free beers for the comedians, did Mr. Earle spend any of his own money at the restaurant?

Samantha: Yes. He would usually have a meal and pay twenty dollars, including a ten-dollar tip for me.

Ismail: He was spending his own money?

Samantha: Yes.

COUSINEAU CROSS

Cousineau: Was it just you & Brandy working on May 22 2007?

Samantha: Yes.

Cousineau: And you weren't serving or paying much attention to Pardy, is that right?

Samantha: Yes.

Cousineau: You didn't hear Guy Earle talk to the women from the stage?

Samantha: Not really.

Cousineau: You didn't see Guy Earle approach the women"s table twice?

Samantha: No, but I saw him break the sunglasses. I picked them up.

Cousineau: After you picked up the sunglasses, what happened then?

Samantha: I took Guy aside and asked "What are you doing, what's going on?" and he told me they threw water in his face.

Cousineau: And what did you do then?

Samantha: I said "Whatever you do, just leave them alone."

Cousineau: I'm going to suggest you gave him another beer and said "that was it" for alcohol.

Samantha: Ok, yeah, probably.

Cousineau: Is that fair?

Samantha: Yes.

Cousineau: At any point did you approach miss Pardy and her friends to ask them what happened?

Samantha: No.

ISMAIL REDIRECT

Ismail: Do you ever pay attention to the comedy as it's going on?

Samantha: Not really, I'm busy serving tables, serving customers.

TRIBUNAL REDIRECT

Murray Geiger-Adams: When did you start working at Zesty's?

Samantha: October 2006.

MGA: How did you meet Guy Earle?

Samantha: February or March - I think it was spring - I was there when he came in and asked Salam about having an open-mic comedy night. Salam told him "We'll see".

ISMAIL REDIRECT:

Ismail: During the open mic comedy nights, was Guy Earle always the MC?

Samantha: Guy Earle was the main MC, but others would take turns. There was a core of 6 or 7 comedians who attended each week and sometimes they would introduce each other.

COUSINEAU REDIRECT

Cousineau: Was there an open comedy night before Guy Earle asked for one?

Samantha: No, on Saturdays we had the Laff Riot Girls and … Langara College sometimes...

Witness is excused.

Video Tour of British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal Facilities


Shortly after today's hearing ended, the entire 12th floor of 605 Robson street was vacant, allowing me to bring you this unprecedented view inside the BCHRT taxpayer funded public facility. It's a big place:



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guy Earle Trial Ends Early



Lorna Pardy (right) exits the BCHRT Hearing with partner Eda Ertan. Salam and Sam Ismail are visible in the background. Image copyright 2010 Bulletproofcourier.

The trial has ended a day early. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday April 9 at 2pm.

Stay tuned here for ongoing updates, I still have some great stuff to post: testimony from the last witness, a complete video tour of the BCHRT facilities (including religious art on the walls), photographs of Hearing Room #4, and my reflections about taking part in this truly Canadian experience.

Nic Roy: Earle like Michael Richards, used "dyke" instead of "nigger"



Comedian Nic Roy. Watch him on YouTube

Comedian Nic Roy was the highlight of the day, appearing before the Tribunal with a pair of Canadian flag sunglasses dangling from his shirt. Speaking with plain honesty and unabashed candour, he recalled how Pardy & girlfriend first came to his attention:

Roy: They were making out when I was onstage, and that's pretty much it. I mentioned something about it - don't recall the detail - but they didn't get upset. When Guy took the stage, they were making out again and he got angry and then the insults started going back and forth. It stopped being a comedy show, it got awkward, Guy Earle was just being offensive, he wasn't being funny. He pretty much acted like Michael Richards, so to speak, but instead of nigger, he used the word dyke. Also asshole, piece of shit, little dick, fuck you, fuck yourself, you're a piece of shit.

Ismail: Did you get paid?

Roy: No, a couple drinks I guess.

Ismail: You were a volunteer?

Roy: Yes, I'd been going there every week for awhile to practice and do comedy.

Ismail: Was Salam doing you a favour, doing the local comedians a favor?

Roy: Yes, yes he was.

Ismail: Did you notice any water...

Roy: Yes, twice. After the second time he got angry and broke the sunglasses. They were just as aggressive as he was. I didn't see any scare tactics, any fear.

COUSINEAU CROSS

Cousineau: You heard what Guy called the complainants?

Roy: Dykes, cunts, bitches, whores.

Cousineau: Was this a major incident in your life?

Roy: [sarcastically] Yeah, I keep having nightmares and I wake up in cold sweats… I've been drinking every day since then.

[laughter in Hearing room]

Mr. Roy is excused.

Grant Espaniel's Testimony at Guy Earle Trial



Comedian Grant Espaniel. Watch him on YouTube

After Marlo Franson was excused, Sam Ismail called Grant Espaniel. He was present at Zesty's when the incident happened and the crux of his testimony was this:

"As a comedian, I wanted to go over to the table and apologize for what happened. So I did, but Pardy wasn't frightened of Guy, just angry. She said she wanted to break her beer bottle and stab him in the neck with it."

Ismail: "Stab him in the neck?"

Espaniel: "Yes. She said she wanted to break the beer bottle on the edge of the table and stick it in his neck."

Pardy's lawyer let this doozy go unchallenged, other than asking - and getting agreement from - Espaniel that his memory of that night is a little fuzzy.

Guy Earle Trial Day 3: Noon Update



Comedian Marlo Franson. Watch him on YouTube

Marlo Franson testimony con't:

Ismail: What happened next?

Franson: Guy introduced the next comedian, and as he walked by table 3 - I saw it very clearly, as I was in eye contact with him the whole time - water splashed from [Pardy's] table. He didn't stop at their table. He walked by me, appearing wet and dumbfounded. There was no physical threat from Guy Earl, only the verbal exchange.

Ismail: Do you think that Guy Earle is homophobic?

Franson: I'd known him since late January [2007] and hadn't seen anything that indicates that.

Ismail: What was the behavior of Pardy after?

Franson: They were not distressed, or scared for their lives. I approached the table and asked if they were OK and they seemed OK, maybe just a little shocked about the sunglasses.

COUSINEAU CROSS

Cousineau: Have you spoken to Mr. Ismail about your testimony today?

Franson: Yes

Cousineau: Have you heard anything about the witnesses that already testified?

Franson: No, other than something I read in the province, they quoted her.

Cousineau: Do you remember specifically if Guy Earle used the word "dyke" or "cunt"?

Franson: If you want an idea of the comments, there's a YouTube video, you're going to have to watch it.

Cousineau: But do you remember?

Franson: It's there, on the video. I remember watching it a few times thinking "yeah, that's exactly what he said." But I'm not here to confirm or deny what anyone said.

Geiger-Adams: Mr. Franson, as a witness you must tell the Tribunal what you remember, and if not, tell us so.

Cousineau: What do you remember?

Franson: [slightly raised voice] I remember it was something, but not what exactly, so I'm not going to deny or confirm what words he used. This is not a high priority thing for me. My mind is busy.

Cousineau: Were they yelling at the stage?

Franson: They and Guy Earle were engaged in a back-and-forth game of insults, with lots of profanity being used on both sides.

GEIGER-ADAMS REDIRECT

GA: How did the arrangement come about that you would perform that night?

Franson: Guy Earle had told me about the open-mic Tuesdays at the restaurant. After 4 weeks observing, I went onstage.

GA: And how do you do that, how exactly do you get on stage?

Franson: Arrive early and request to perform.

ISMAIL REDIRECT

Ishmail: Were you compensated in any way for your performance?

Franson: No, there was no compensation either way.

Ismail: So it was an open mic night?"

Franson: Yes. Both amateurs and professionals performed.

COUSINEAU REDIRECT

Cousineau: And Guy Earle was the MC?

Franson: Yes, every Tuesday.

Witness excused.

.....coming next: What Pardy wanted to do with a beer bottle.

Guy Earle Trial Day 3: 11am Update


9am start today.

Geiger-Adams represents the Tribunal, Pardy and Cousineau for the complainant, Sam and Salam Ishmail for the respondent. Quite a difference from the media circus on day one. Only three people in the gallery so far: two members of the media and Pardy's girlfriend Eda Ertan, who moved to sit beside me when I opened up my laptop. Hi Eda, nice knee-high leather boots!

9:07am

Sam Ismail calls witness Nick Dacosta. He does not know Pardy. Was working the lunch shift at Zesty's the day following the incident when Pardy entered and confronted Salam.

DaCosta: "I was working the lunch shift and the plaintiff came in. I greeted her and she went straight for Salam who was on the phone at the bar. She seemed quite angry and stared at him until he finished. From there, she was saying she was angry about what happened the night before. Salam was willing to work with her, he understood that she was upset, he offered to pay for the sunglasses. He apologized for the behaviour of Guy and was trying to figure out, to solve the situation. She kept pushing, she wasn't satisfied with the glasses being replaced."

Ismail: "What did she want?

DaCosta: "She didn't say, she just kept saying what are you gonna do about it?"

Ismail: "What happened after that?"

DaCosta: "The conversation got pretty heated, Salam went on the offensive. On Commercial Drive there's a lot people trying to rip you off. He didn't know what she was after or what to do about it. She got quite angry and started yelling that Zesty's was a bad place and not to eat there. There were maybe 3 tables of patrons inside who heard. She then went outside and Salam wanted to follow her, to call the police. I held him back. It seemed she was trying to get him to do something. She was outside, yelling, walking down the sidewalk, saying things about the place."

Ismail: "Did she say that Zesty's supports violence against women?"

Geiger-Adams interjects, warns Ismail about 'leading the witness: Please rephrase the question.

Ismail: "Do you remember what she said when she was walking down the sidewalk?

DeCosta: "yes, I vaguely remember. The whole incident took maybe 5, 10 minutes most."

COUSINEAU CROSS

Cousineau: "You agree this happened a long time ago, was it a major incident in your life"?

DeCosta: "No, it was kind of a typical day on Commercial drive."

Cousineau: "Would you agree your recollection is somewhat vague?"

DeCosta: "Not totally vague, but somewhat. "

Cousineau: "How many times did she yell zesty's was a bad place?"

DeCosta: "3 times maybe."

Cousineau: "And what was she yelling outside the restaurant"?

DeCosta: "I don't recall."

Witness is excused.

----------

Ismail calls Marlo Franson to testify. He's a comedian who performed that night and witnessed what happened.

Franson: "I remember when they came in. They came and sat [in front], both of them facing the stage."

Ismail: "Did they appear drunk when they came in?

Franson: "They were loud, they were talking and ordering some drinks."

Ismail: "Were they interfering with the show?"

Franson: "Sometimes it happens during a comedy show, a group of people come in, a bit noisy, but usually they settle down. They were being very affectionate with each other. Sitting close to each other, toughing each other, and making out.

Ismail: "It was not a kiss on the cheek?

Franson: "No. And Guy did not appreciate them kissing in front of him, he said "No one wants to watch two ugly lesbians kiss." The two ladies at the table were not appreciative of that comment, they started directing comments back toward the stage, at Earl. It was hard for me to hear what they said, but I heard several swear words and they went back and forth with the insults."

Ismail: "What happened next?

………find out later, stay tuned!

Guy Earle Trial Day 3


I'm heading downtown really early, hopefully will get a seat today. Stay tuned for updates.

Meantime check out Covenant Zone's take on reports coming in from Hearing day 2.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guy Earle Trial Evidence? How Comedians Handle Hecklers


It's definitely a form of artistic expression. As long as the BC Human Rights Tribunal is accepting YouTube videos as Hearing evidence (seriously!), Sam & Salam Ismail (owner of Zesty's restaurant) should introduce this exhibit of great moments in heckling history (maybe not that last one though).

Comedy great George Carlin:

   

Brendan Burns: (Wow, this runs parallel to the Guy Earle Trial)



Jamie Kennedy:



Kenny Moore:



Inside the Guy Earle BCHRT Hearing Room


[UPDATE: Watch complete video tour of BCHRT facilities]

Cameras aren't allowed in the hearing room, so I drew this basic map to show what it looks like:



It's relatively small, about 10 metres by 10 metres, basically a re-purposed office boardroom. What's very odd is the placement of the observers' gallery, on the opposite side of the room from the door. Visitors arriving and leaving must walk behind the respondents, witness and complainants table while the hearing is underway. It's awkward and distracting, especially for the witness, who has people brushing by behind them while they're testifying. Seriously!

If the layout designer of this room was trying to achieve maximum inconvenience for everyone except the Tribunal chair, they succeeded. Why not put the gallery chairs by the door so visitors can enter and leave the room discreetly, without disturbing the hearing in progress?

Guy Earle Trial Day 2


Yesterday's events seem to have redoubled media interest in the case and I couldn't get a hearing seat today despite arriving early. Meantime, here's a recent roundup from the blogosphere: (more links welcome in comments)

BigCityLib
: Guy Earle Wants to Play Martyr on the Cheap

Freedom Nation: Guy Earle's lawyer walks out of kangaroo court

Blazing Cat Fur: What movie is running in your head lady?

Jay Currie: That's some Catch that Catch 22

bmobmo: that's the way it is with comedy shows. there are no guarantees of laughs. sometimes the show just goes south.

Covenant Zone: Guy Earle "Trial" Part 3 - Lorna Pardy testifies



Monday, March 29, 2010

Should I Attend the Guy Earle Trial Tomorrow?


An editorial by blog writer BulletproofCourier

After witnessing Guy Earle's lawyer James Millar walking out of today's BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing in protest of an illegal proceeding...



...I find myself asking: Should I attend the Guy Earle trial tomorrow? Sure, I might have the next couple days free, but is it worth my time?

Reason not to attend:

Guy Earle's lawyer, James Millar, is right to walk out on the Tribunal: this hearing is an illegal proceeding that violates the basic tenets of Canadian law. Why lend it legitimacy by even being in the room?

Reason to attend:

Canadians need to be aware of how the BC Human Rights Tribunal operates, right or wrong. Especially if it's wrong.

Reason not to attend:

Tribunal chair "Mumbling Murray" is unpleasant, sometimes infuriating to watch. He behaves like a learning-disabled government robot: A low-talker, too busy typing into his laptop computer to make eye contact with anyone speaking to "him", the Tribunal. He just sits there typing (presumably a trial transcript, as he has no assistant, and the BCHRT isn't recording this hearing. WTF?) and not engaging his reasoning faculties. No spark in his eye, no variation in voice level, devoid of levity: Mumbling Murray rules the room like a corpse.

It seems like this case is already decided, and his job is to poker-face the hearing into a winning hand for the BCHRT. Seriously! Everyone in the room could smell it, even the seasoned reporters were heard snickering and muttering "oh my god" at the patent stupidity of some of Geiger-Adams' statements during today's hearing.

Reason to attend:

Gather more evidence for above hypothesis? I don't know, maybe you can tell me.


Lorna Pardy's Testimony at BC Human Rights Hearing - Part One




Shortly after Guy Earle's lawyers leave the hearing in protest (see previous post) Pardy is sworn in to testify. Sam & Salam Ismail from Zesty's restaurant are the only respondents left at the table. They smile grimly and scribble notes, both a little sweaty, aware they are way out of their league.

Pardy is 32 years old and works as a meteorological technician at Vancouver International Airport. She is five-foot eight inches tall and weighs 130 lbs. She is dressed conservatively in a long-sleeved rugby shirt with horizontal blue stripes and has no visible tattoos or face piercings. Her dark hair is cut to shoulder length. When she speaks, her voice is decidedly low.

Pardy says she suffers from PTSD stemming from the incident, and will later call a witness doctor to confirm it.

In a nutshell, Pardy claims she was not drunk and not heckling - "I finished one Corona and was halfway through another" - when the incident occurred. She says it was a beautiful day and her plan was to enjoy time with friends on the patio of Zesty's restaurant. She didn't know there was an open-mike comedy event taking place that night.

But when she and her friends moved to a table inside the restaurant, her girlfriend kissed her on the cheek, and that's what started Guy Earl going:
"Don't mind the inconsiderate dyke table that just walked in."
As they interacted with the waitress about getting more drinks, Earle was annoyed by the distraction up front and went at them again:
"Do you have a strap-on? Are you going to go home and fuck her in the ass?"
...At some point, Earle approached the table:
"Why do you have to be such a fucking cunt?"
Pardy splashed a glass of water in his face and said "stay away from this table."

Several minutes later, Earle was again onstage in his role as MC for the open-mic comedy night. And he went after Pardy again.

At this point both parties' stories converge:



Also at this point, I felt I had enough material for the day, so I left and gave my seat to a fellow blogger. Take it from here, Covenant Zone!

What Earle's Lawyer Said Before Walking Out on Hearing


[UPDATE: Watch video of James Millar's press conference in BCHRT hallway]

About an hour into the hearing, James Millar - lawyer for the absent Guy Earle - asked for a brief stand-down so he could telephone his client. When the hearing resumed, he addressed the Tribunal and said to chair Murray Geiger-Adams:

(transcribed from digital recording)
I'd like to stress... that I find it's difficult because of my obligation as a lawyer and my commitment to the courts, the tribunals. I've practiced for 30 years and never been in a situation quite like this...[unclear]

You're not listening to me. You're not interested in what the Supreme Court of Canada has said, you're not interested in what the BC Supreme Court has said on this issue - [Geiger-Adams begins to interject but stops] - and I'm saying to you, that I'm put in this position, and you have put me in this position. You're proceeding illegally, I have to leave this proceeding because it is an illegal proceeding against the rule of law.

You can't wait to decide your jurisdiction, you can't put somebody through this for three years, go to the Supreme Court, not follow what the Supreme Court judge said, put this guy through it - put these people through it - for three years and not even make a decision concerning your own jurisdiction.

Talk about an abusive process, this is high-handed and I have to - I cannot consent to it, because my staying here would show the respect that I have for the Tribunal. But I would be consenting to what is an illegal process and as a lawyer I don't think that's a very good way to go. So I have to leave the proceedings. I do so regretfully, and I do so with the greatest respect for the Tribunal. And I look forward to the reasons of the telephone conference which will permit me to file...[unclear]

[putting on coat, leaving room]

I do so very regretfully. It's too bad you wouldn't listen.
A minute later, the hallway press briefing happened. Video in previous post.

Coming next: Lorna Pardy's testimony, her side of the story.

Video: Guy Earle's Lawyer Walks Out of Hearing, Addresses Press


James Millar, representing Guy Earle at the hearing, addresses media after walking out of the hearing in protest:



Coming next, a word-for-word transcription of Millar's statements to the hearing chairperson before he vamoosed.

Guy Earle's Lawyer Boycotts Hearing


First news of the morning: It turns out the tribunal hasn't ruled on jurisdiction yet, but intends to hold the hearing now and rule on jurisdiction later.

James Millar to hearing chair Murray Geiger-Adams:

"This procedure is against the rule of law...I can't be part of an illegal proceeding...How can you proceed when jurisdiction is not settled?...I have to leave the proceedings...I do so very regretfully...It's too bad you wouldn't listen."

He then walked out and addressed a media scrum waiting in the hallway. Video soon.

Trial Starts Today


I'm heading downtown and will post updates when I can.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Guy Earle Said


What did Guy Earle say that was so offensive? In his own words:



Saturday, March 6, 2010

What Lorna Pardy Said



Lorna Pardy

Pardy's full complaint is available here, but here's her main thrust:


Screen capture of Lorna Pardy vs. Guy Earle human rights complaint.


Live Blogging the Guy Earle Trial


I'll be building this site over the next few weeks. Lorna Pardy vs. Guy Earle. Pease stay tuned, feel free to send links and ideas.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Contact Information


Your feedback, ideas, input, questions and links are valuable and welcome.