I started the day in studio with Toronto's Number One morning John Oakley at AM 640. We discussed a wide range of topics, including Quebec's pseudo-secessionists, Ontario's pseudo-republicans, and the increasing irrelevancy of what we once quaintly called "the facts of life" to what appears on your birth certificate. Plus, of course, free speech, the decline of the west, and other such peripheral matters.
To listen, simply click below:
~Tonight I'll be joining Brian Lilley on the Sun News Network.
~I was in court most of yesterday for closing arguments in the Awan vs Levant libel trial, which in essence afforded Khurrum Awan the opportunity to re-litigate my Maclean's book excerpt all over again at Ezra Levant's expense. I like the judge, Wendy Matheson, who's way better than the last jurist I had the pleasure of listening to, mentioning no names (Natalia Combs Greene). But, speaking as a notorious autodidact barrister, I was not impressed by either counsel's closing. My old comrade Christie Blatchford was in court, but I don't believe she's filed her story yet. So here's an account from another courtroom observer:
The judge had very salient questions for both attorneys during their closings and it's hard to tell which way she is inclined. Levant said some very harsh things about Awan, some of which were factually incorrect, such as his claim that he was acting in a conflict-of-interest by being both attorney and witness in the BC Human Rights Commission complaint. Awan was never an attorney in that case, but a great deal of testimony was devoted to whether or not he created that impression by sitting at the Counsel's table, of if indeed he did sit at that table at all.
Richard is being too kind. There are three places to sit in a courtroom: In the public gallery, at the counsels' table, at the parties' table. No one has testified that Khurrum Awan ever sat in the public gallery, for the very good reason that he never did. For his entire time in Vancouver, he sat either at the counsels' or the parties' table. Which makes it entirely reasonable for the soi-disant reasonable man to conclude he's either the plaintiff or on the legal team. Richard says Mr Awan was "never an attorney in that case". But I'm not so sure. Khurrum Awan, as he boasted in media interviews for six months and as he conceded in the witness box, "filed" the complaint in the BC case. Only two persons write and file complaints: the complainant or his lawyer. Mr Awan was not the named plaintiff, so, if he wrote the complaint, again it's reasonably reasonable for the reasonably reasonable man to conclude he's on the legal team.
By the way, this gets to the heart of Ezra's and my contempt for the "human rights" tribunal. The bright clear divisions of English justice are all blurred and everything, as Maclean's QC Julian Porter likes to say, is "loosey-goosey". Taking the loosey-goosiness at face value - Awan is sitting at counsel's table, therefore he must be on the legal team; Awan has written the complaint, therefore he must be on the legal team - is what has landed Ezra in this pointless trial.