THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
Pages of Special Interest;
Other Table of Contents;
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A general request was sent out to as many lawyers as I could Fax, with a request for help in regards to a Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), (Freedom of Information) ruling. This was done as I & those fighting to save the Cawthra Bush did not have the money to mount a court battle to over turn this ruling that would be and is being used stop the community's efforts at using the Freedom of Information Act to get City of Mississauga records. Records that tell a different story then what City staff or politicians were telling us. The danger that this method of framing FOI requesters to stop community groups and their FOI requests, is very real and can spread to other municipalities that have no morality, when it comes to carrying out political agendas.
Mr. Ruby was one of the few lawyers who responded to this request and his words cut right to the heart of the matter. This letter is being posted as it tells a truth few Canadians wish to acknowledge, that free lawyers and legal service is very very rare. I would be a rich man if I had a dollar for every time someone said, (after I noted the wrong rulings that have been made that were suffocating our efforts at getting the best deal for the Cawthra Bush), just go to Clayton Ruby or the local legal clinic for free help. They tell me this as if it should be common knowledge! The fact is, due to the Harris-ment government, there is an over abundance of worthy causes and next to no public funding to fight for justice. Legal clinics do not deal with all legal matters and often deal only with landlord, welfare and work related cases. Legal aid is not for community groups or individuals trying to fight government. Lawyers who do free or Pro Bono work are few and far between. They are often overwhelmed by opportunities to defend those who can not afford a proper legal defence. I would also like a dollar for every time I was told that lawyers can't run their offices for nothing.
One of the time honoured and traditional methods of keeping the poor in their place is to price legal services beyound their reach and then bureaucrats carry on about how we had every opportune to hire the same level of legal service as the government or big business does.
The point here that small groups must do serious fund raising, as good intentions are not good enough. Efforts to find lawyers in the community that could help are important but still money will be needed to cover the large expenses that lawyers face in even filing legal actions. Legal action can be brought against a community group for no other reason then to scare them away because of the cost of defending themselves. These are called SLAPPs.
Ruby & Edwardh
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Telephone (416) 964-9664
Dear Mr. Barber:
I am sorry but I am unable to assist you. Redress for this sort of thing is difficult even if you are rich -- it is impossible without money.
Yours very truly,
Clayton Ruby * Marlys Edwardh * Richard B. Salter
Your Financial Donations are Greatly Appreciated