Patrick Brown's PC Executive Tried to Silence Me By Suing Me.
When Patrick Brown says there is too much political corruption in Kathleen Wynne's Ontario, he is right.
And when he says that Kathleen Wynne's "Cap-and-Trade" Carbon Tax is making life less affordable, he is right.
The bad news is, Patrick Brown and his PC Party Executive are part of the problem.
But, there is good news.
On November 16, 2017, Patrick Brown's politically corrupt PC Executive tried to silence me by suing me, and suing AxeTheCarbonTax.ca. But on December 22, 2017, an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit. Click here to read the news report.
The lawsuit was authorized by PC President Rick Dykstra, and the PC Executive, in the same November 21 meeting where they revoked my PC membership. It came less than a month after Patrick Brown characterized Kathleen Wynne's libel notices that preceded her lawsuit against him as "Baseless attempts to silence the official opposition..." What a hypocrite!
To my knowledge, this is the first time a political party in Canada has ever sued an individual for anything, let alone suing someone as a result of an expression relating to a matter of public interest.
And the PC Executive lost.
The Brown-Dykstra Doctrine failed.
Thanks to the decisive judicial decision (click here), it was an important victory for freedom of expression and political participation in Ontario.
What exactly happened? Let me explain.
In November, I emailed (click here) to tell you about the Ontario PC Party's $199 "pep" rally, that was dressed up to look like a "policy convention." The rally saw the release of Patrick Brown's election platform which included a purported "tax cut", that is actually not a "tax cut" at all! The purported "tax cut" is actually being funded by Brown first raising taxes by replacing Wynne's "Cap-and-Trade" Carbon Tax with his own Justin Trudeau style "direct" Carbon Tax. This could result in over $3 billion more in tax revenue that will be added to Ontario government coffers.
In that same email, I also told you that the PC Executive took the unprecedented steps of having my membership revoked and denying me entry into their sham of a "policy convention" (click here for a full account).
Since then, my attention was diverted from AxeTheCarbonTax.ca (and from the other campaign I have written to you about called Take Back Our PC Party).
I had to spend my time, energy, and tens of thousands of dollars to defend against the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed in retaliation to two mailings I sent out in November to some PC supporters (click here for the AxeTheCarbonTax.ca mailing and click here for the Take Back Our PC Party mailing).
In that mailing, I exposed The Lies Behind Patrick Brown's Carbon Tax and the PC Executive’s failure to abide by the PC Constitution’s requirement to hold a properly constituted policy conference. Instead, they staged a sham performance that served merely as a rubber-stamp on Brown's Carbon Tax agenda, all while fraudulently claiming that the entire charade was somehow a legitimate grassroots exercise.
The Take Back Our PC Party mailing also exposed two other aspects of political corruption that is currently afflicting the Ontario PC Party:
Patrick Brown's Big Lie - the deceptive claim that Brown has the "legal authority" to appoint the party’s local candidates, even though the PC Constitution grants him no such power, and the collusion between Brown and the PC Executive (led by Rick Dykstra) who have been going along with this lie; and
The Brown-Dykstra Doctrine of Deception - Brown and Dykstra's deception in stating that the well-regarded accounting firm PwC have been engaged to “certify” PC nomination meetings, when it was revealed that they are doing no such thing, and using this lie (that all nominations are being "certified") as part of a cover up of the corruption that is taking place at PC nomination meetings.
They didn't even give my emails the courtesy of a reply. They knew that they were guilty.
It was only when I supplied the evidence of their political corruption to thousands of PC supporters in paper copy - via the postal system - that I finally got a response.
And what was that response?
A lawsuit against me and AxeTheCarbonTax.ca!
The party's lawyers claimed, incredibly, that the lawsuit had nothing to do with what I expressed in my mailings. They claimed that their only objection was with the "manner or means" I used to express my political views. Specifically, the party's lawyers claimed that I could not use "PC Party Membership Lists" or "address information” obtained through my volunteerism in the Party “in order to contact Party members or former members." They claimed that it was somehow "unlawful" for me to use the postal system and historic addresses voluntarily provided to me by other PC activists, to expose the political corruption in the Ontario PC Party.
The lawsuit sought an "interim injunction", to stop me from using a specific party list - a list that I had not previously used.
In the seven weeks of legal proceedings that took place, the party's lawyers provided no evidence that I used the "list" that they initially accused me of using. So, instead, the party's legal pleadings were expanded to assert that neither I, nor any other volunteer in the PC Party, could ever use any address information that any of us ever acquire, or help to assemble, to criticize the PC Leader or the PC Executive, without their prior approval. According to them, doing so would be deemed an "unauthorized" communication that could result in a lawsuit - like the one filed against me!
In other words, the true motivation of Patrick Brown and the PC Executive in filing the lawsuit was to use an expensive team of lawyers and the Ontario court system to silence political criticism from me - and by extension, to silence you and every other PC supporter, for now and forever - in order to ensure that their lies and corruption could not be brought to light and communicated. And they tried to use the courts to stop AxeTheCarbonTax.ca and Take Back Our PC Party, and to force me into expensive litigation in order to defend my freedom of political expression.
Thankfully, an Ontario Superior Court judge disagreed with the merits of the PC Executive's lawsuit.
In Ontario, we have "Anti-SLAPP" laws (where SLAPP refers to “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”) that exist to discourage individuals or entities with deep pockets (like the PC Party) from filing “vexatious and frivolous” lawsuits (like this one) to silence less-resourced individuals who are expressing themselves on matters of public interest (like me).
So, my lawyers put forward a motion to have the case dismissed as being contrary to Ontario’s Anti-SLAPP laws.
And the judge agreed.
On December 22, 2017, Justice Paul Perell determined that the basis of the PC Party’s claims against me were “fuzzy” and the legal theory they were relying on was “unclear”. He described the intent of the PC Party’s lawsuit as follows:
The facts reveal that at its heart or essence, the Party's application is designed to discourage the respondents from expressing themselves on matters of public interest. The application uses litigation as a means of limiting expression on matters of public interest. In other words, the application is precisely the kind of application for which the anti-SLAPP provisions were introduced to counter…
And on the question of how I obtained the address information of the individuals that I mailed, Justice Perell had this to say:
[Mr. Karahalios] testified that he built his Nation Builder data file from multiple sources … He deposed that over the years as a party activist, he has exchanged lists with other activists and used publicly available information… [Mr. Karahalios] admits that he has received Party membership lists from others that may have contained information that others had taken from the Party’s Registry and that information from those lists may have added to his own database… He deposed that the exchange of historic lists between organizers and candidates is an essential component of internal party democracy and political organizing, a prime mechanism for dissent in the face of a violation of the Party Constitution by the Executive, and freedom to exchange historic lists is vital to a free and democratic political party system in Canada.
And in making his legal determination on the use of the addresses I mailed, and the use of any Party list, even the "list" the Party's lawyers claimed I used, Justice Perell said:
... the information in this case was not used for its monetary value but for its communicative value in the blood sport of politics. ... The address information was meant to be used much in the way that Mr. Karahalios used it for the purpose of debate within the party. In any event, it is reasonably arguable that Mr. Karahalios did not disclose any confidential information but rather gathered his own information from non-confidential sources, some of which were in the public domain … it is reasonably arguable that he did not misuse the information. Mr. Karahalios did not sell the information for commercial purposes and he did not use it for personal gain. He used the information for purposes for which it was intended; i.e. in order to communicate with Party members about the Party’s policies, politics, and governance.
As unprecedented as this lawsuit against me is, it is consistent with the extreme measures taken by Patrick Brown and his PC Executive in their war on the PC grassroots as a response to the growing strength of AxeTheCarbonTax.ca and the Take Back Our PC Party campaign
It started with Patrick Brown imposing his Justin Trudeau style "direct" carbon tax plan on PC Party members. It then turned into PC members being denied a properly constituted policy process (click here) and the right to select their local candidates in accordance with the PC Constitution (click here). Then the PC Executive decided they had the power to revoke anyone’s membership, at any time, for any reason.
As if this weren't enough evidence of political corruption in the Ontario PC Party, the PC Executive is now using PC Party donor money, not to fight the next election, but to silence PC Party members through the courts.
This represents the ultimate act of collusion between the PC Executive and Patrick Brown.
It is the sabotage of our PC Party by the very individuals that party members entrusted to represent them and uphold the PC Constitution.
But there is more work for us to do. We must continue to fight to Axe the Carbon Tax!
In Ontario, one of the ways to do that is to Take Back Our PC Party. If you haven't already please consider clicking here to sign up and join the campaign to Take Back Our PC Party.
I hope I can count on your continued support.
Happy New Year!
P.S. Click here to contribute to AxeTheCarbonTax.ca and help us fight carbon taxes, in any form, by any disguise!