Report on the Last Court Appearance of the 2 Jailed Canadian Activists, Betty & Jen
The hearing was presided over by: The Honourable Patrick D. Dohm Associate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
a.. Appointed Supreme Court Justice May 15, 1980
b.. Appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court February 7,1995
The Attorney General's office was represented by Simon Richards, for the crown.
Counsel for Betty and Jen was A. Cameron Ward.
The judge started by saying that the presence of Betty and Jen was not
required inthe courtroom.Then he requested Richards (crown) to summarize the case.
Then Mr. Ward spoke. He said his clients had been injail 51 days and over, that their trial was not for another six weeks and that continued
incarceration was completely unacceptable. He was requesting their release on a promise to appear.
Dohm said that he might be able to bring the trial date up to the 11th of August. Dohm asked if B & J were willing to sign the undertaking that Mr.
Justice Pitfield had worded in the July 8 appearance.
Mr. Ward replied that he had not had a chance to ask his clients about that.
Dohm said that if they don't sign the undertaking they'll be staying in jail and that the proceeding was dismissed until 2:00 PM that same day so
that counsel might consult with clients.
The court reconvened at 2:00 PM. Mr. Ward stated that Betty Krawczyk and Jen Bradley refused to sign the undertaking and that he had been instructed
to enter a guilty plea for Jen Bradley and indicated her desire to proceed with sentencing.
Mr. Justice Dohm said he would proceed with Betty's case first. He stated that the courts make a great effort to avoid having protesting cases
come under the criminal law. Then he looked at Cameron Ward and said, "but of course I must be preaching to the converted."
Cameron seemed to be speechless at that point. A few minutes later Mr. Ward found a respectful way to inform the judge that he felt that protesting
cases should be handled under the criminal code and handling them by way of injunction and the resulting contempt of court proceedings was
discriminatory and punitive of free expression and that he intended to challenge those procedures under the charter.
Then Mr. Jusitce Dohm asked if everyone was happy with the trial date as the 11th of August. Richards (fro crown) stated that he had been handling
the case for so long and felt he should stay on it and that the was away on holiday until the 29th of August. He also stated that Mr Jusitce
Pitfield had instructed him he would have to produce all of his testimonies as affidavits and this would take some time.
There was a great deal of back and forth at the end of which, it was agreed that Betty's trial would begin on the 8th of September, 2003.
The sheriffs were asked to bring Jen into the courtroom.
Cameron Ward said that his client, Jen Bradley had never intended to challenge the jurisdiction of the court but that she felt her struggle
was political and was with the government's forest policies and large corporations and that as a member of the public she was protesting the
use of her publicly owned forests (paraphrased).
Mr. Ward stated that Jen had already served 51 days and that time servedwould be more than the acceptable sentence for a first offence. He also
stated that no probation was necessary and drew attention to several precedents including the Clayoquot trials where the greatest sentence
for a first offence was 39 days.
Richards spoke next saying the prosecution agreeable to time served but
felt that there would be a 2 year probationary period with a long list of retractions including not being within 200 meters of active logging.
Cameron then told that court that Jen had a statement that she wished to make to her own sentencing.
Mr. Justice Dohm said for Jen to go ahead with her statement.
The first thing Jen said to the court was that she reiterated what her counsel has already said, that she had never intended to disrespect the
SPEECH TO SENTENCING SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Jen Bradley 29 JULY 03
I would like to apologize to the court for my unfamiliarity with court proceedings. I thank you, sir, and the other Justices I have stood
before, for the patience shown and guidance given since my arrest for alleged civil contempt on May 8, 2003, when, I blockaded the clear-cutting of trees in the old growth forest of the Walbran.
My counsel, Mr. Ward, has informed me of this opportunity to speak to my own sentencing. Permit me to acknowledge my thankfulness for the greatness of our nation, Canada, especially in the area of rule of law. By the honourable Bill Graham, Canada's foreign minister, I am told that the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the envy of many peoples in the process of nation building.
As we speak, my most influential mentor, Nobel Laureate, Daw Aung Suu Kyi languishes illegally imprisoned by a brutal dictatorship somewhere
inside Burma. I know that it is the hope for rule of law for Burma's people, that keeps her going. I understand, clearly, how important this civility
is, especially for women, this rule of law that creates such a precious peace among us all, here in our diverse Canada.
Since my arrest I have come to a broader understanding, I now believe, that the Supreme Court of British Columbia is NOT the ideal forum for the
legal challenge I feel morally compelled to make against the illegal destruction of our irreplaceable rainforests and our invaluable, life-giving
watersheds. For this reason, to assist the convenience of the court in bringing the present matter to rapid closure, I have entered, through my counsel,
Mr.Ward, a guilty plea to the charge of criminal contempt of court. In regards to my sentence I place myself upon the mercy, the sense of equity and
justice of this court.
I ask the courts forbearance to explain why a woman of 48 years, a mother of three and grandmother of the same, who has lived 48 years without the
slightest brush with the law, save to benefit from its protection, why am I now standing before you for sentencing?
Sir, I have been in prison a total of 51 days since my arrest on May 8, 2003. My singular purpose has been to arouse the conscience of the
community over the injustice of arrest by injunction of environmentalists and human rights activists such as my colleague, Betty, and myself.
And, sir, I believe that we are, in our actions, expressing the highest respect for the law of our beloved Canada. When Mr. Justice Pitfield reworded the
Hayes injunction to direct arrest of violators under the criminal code I perceived this as a much welcome remedy to a very unfair status quo.
In November 2002 the United Nations declared drinking water a human right. By 2025, 22 short years from now, the U.N. estimates 2/3 of the world's
population will be living in water stressed conditions. In geography class I was taught that Canada has 3/4 of the world's fresh water. I submit
to this court today, that all the powers of denial cannot change the truth, if we cut down all the ancient rainforests, permanently debilitate the
watersheds and allow the transfer of stewardship of the land to corporate interests then we deserve what comes next.
Only one question remains: will it be NEMINE CONTRADICENTE (with no one dissenting?).
I thank the court for its patient indulgence.
After her statement Dohm gave his sentence, time served and one year of probation, reducing the conditions of the probation as keeping the
peace, being of good behaviour and not participating in illegal logging protests.
After Jen signed the probation agreement, she received her copy and was released from custody. Betty was returned to Burnaby Correctional
Centre for Women where she awaits further court appearances and her trial set for September 8, 2003.
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