Sunday, March 26, 2006

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Stoddard Online:

Webster defines the word Justice as "behavior to oneself or to another strictly in accordance with currently accepted ethical law," or to take it one step further, "rectitude of the soul enlivened by grace." Modern day judicature tells us that "Justice must be fair, and as well, display the appearance of being fair." These are all very pretty three dollar words used to wrap the parcel, but once the wrapping is off, the present contained inside unleashes it's fury.

Society does not have to look very far to find illustrated examples of "Justice Gone Wild." These are not isolated examples, but rather serve to display a true picture of what is really happening, when a flawed system is allowed to prevail.

From a collage of many in my files, I will cite several celebrated cases in Canada whereby "a miscarriage of justice" prevailed.

Firstly, lets take a look at Karla Holomoka, of whom I personally consider to be a true waste of human skin. This person was just as guilty as her husband, Paul Bernardo. She freely and cooperatively took part in the confinement, sexual torture, and finally the death of two innocent school girls from southern Ontario. As if that was not enough to satisfy her criminal demented lust, she also took part in the drugging and rape of her own sister, which resulted in her death. They were arrested, they were charged. Karla saw her chance to make an exit. She cut a deal with the province of Ontario. Mutually, the province and Karla agreed she would not be facing a murder rap if she would testify against her husband, and in exchange, she would plead guilty to the much lesser charge of manslaughter, and thus, be sentenced to 12 years. The province took the position that they would have problems establishing her guilt and intent. The chilling aspect of this arrangement was the fact that it was made with nearly two dozen video tapes depicting her direct involvement with her husband in the crimes. The province argued they were not aware of the tapes when the deal was cut. Can we believe that? Either way, a miscarriage of justice occured because otherwise Karla Holomoka would be caged for the rest of her days beside her partner, which is where her unrepentant butt should be, in the absense of capital punishment. Karla is now out and enjoying life under the protection of Canada's Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.

Clifford Robert Olson, the low life, self proclaimed "butcher of British Columbia." Olson cut a deal with the province of British Columbia. In the deal, he would plead guilty to eleven child murders in exchange for $110,000.00 being paid to his wife. The province accepted his offer. This one is particularly chilling as well, because there is documented evidence that three of his victims would be alive today, if various members of the RCMP and other police agencies would have cooperated with each other, but in their zeal, the personal quest to be the hero prevailed, allowing Olson time to carry on. In Olson's case, when he was charged with all these murders, he was walking a free man with 98 criminal convictions under his belt, including rape, attempted murder, numerous assaults, and a whole host of others. Without doubt, the judiciary is guilty here for creating a miscarriage of justice that allowed this to happen. I personally covered Olson's application for early release in 1996. He was as unrepentant then as he was back in 1981 when he was sentenced.

Some years back, I was asked to make a submission to a law and order debate in Burnaby, B.C. One of the panelists that night was Justice Wally Opal, who by the way, is now the Attorney General of British Columbia. On the very day of the debate there were two stories which I extracted from the Vancouver Sun. Though unrelated, and not meant to be connected, they were on the same page. In one excerpt, a man had killed someone, was charged with manslaughter, and received a sentence of 11 months. In the other excerpt, a fisherman from Newfoundland had shot a moose out of season to supplement his family's food supply. He was sentenced to 2 years. My question to Justice Opal that night was to clarify justification for the obvious disparity in sentences, where the more serious crime garnered far less of a sentence than the much lesser offence. His reply was simply that one judge dealt with the high end of the scale for punishment and the other involved the lower end. Very definitely another miscarriage of justice, however, does not leave a good taste.

I have mentioned these cases purely as examples of what an inept system is able to bestow upon us, and at the same time set a very dangerous precedent in society, because in the above examples, the miscarriages of justice clearly aided the guilty.

There is a plethora of other cases, names such as Donald Marshall, David Millgard, Thomas Sophonow, Guy Paul Morin, and the most famous of all, Steven Truscott, who have been scarred for life because a flawed system was allowed to dictate their demise.

In Steven Truscott's case, his is the oldest one of all, and yet he is still being put through the hoops. There is a mountain of evidence pointing to a smeared and tarnished conviction. The province of Ontario has acknowledged that a miscarriage of justice very likely took place. That being the case, the only plausible fix to remedy the situation is for the Attorney General to immediately have the original trial results set aside, overturn the conviction, and order a new trial. A simple stay of proceeedings is not enough. A stay only means that the crown is not proceeeding, it does not restore innocence. After enduring for 47 years, Steven Truscott is deserving of proving his innocence. It is now up to the Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant, to put this in motion without further delay.

Our Charter Of Rights And Freedoms guarantees our rights as citizens in this country. Our charter protects citizens from illegal confinement.Our charter guarantees our citizens the right to equality in the eyes of the law, and it guarantees our citizens the right to justice in an expedient fashion. Our charter also guarantees and protects our citizens from wrongful actions from government, and provides for a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and in Steven Truscott's case, it is apparent that he was found guilty as a result of an elaborate scheme, merely to speed the process, and at the same time, soothe a bruised ego on the part of the lead criminal investigator. World wide, Canada is recognized as posssessing one of the most attractive protection covers for her citizens. Steven Truscott is one of those citizens. Why did the system fail him?

Lew Stoddard

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online:
In history there are some things that are good to forget, there are some things that we should forget but don't, and there are some things that we should never forget.

A graphic example of something that should never be forgotten is when governments, in their haste to look good, purposely, walk over the weak and unsuspecting. In other words, set them up for a fall, then wash their hands of the process. The criminal justice system of Canada is rife with examples of torment and abuse of innocent parties, thrust into a lifetime of turmoil through no fault of their own.

In 1959 Steven Truscott was living in the small town community of Clinton, Ontario. It is ok here to ask, Who is Steven Truscott, because if you are a younger person, you may not be aware.

Steven Truscott was a fourteen year old school boy, living with his family in the marriage quarters of RCAF Station Clinton. Like most other kids from the base, Steven attended the nearby school where most of the boys and girls were acquainted with each other. They played together, they swam together, they fished together, and participated in all the other good things that are routine associated with a kid being a kid. June 12 th of 1959 however, was the last day that Steven Truscott would be a kid growing up in Clinton.

On this evening, Steven Truscott would be taken into custody and charged with first degree murder in the death of 12 year old Lynne Harper, a female school chum from the same community. At the conclusion of his first degree murder trial in September of the same year, Steven Truscott would be found guilty and become the youngest person in Canada to be sentenced to death by hanging. Amid much public outcry, the sentence would stand steadfast, until the prime minister of the day, The Right Honourable John Diefenbaker and the cabinet commuted the sentence to life in prison.

On behalf of Steven Truscott, his lawyers appealed the conviction to the Ontario Court Of Appeal, with the appeal being dismissed. A subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court Of Canada also ended in failure. Steven Truscott's fate was sealed, even though, throughout the whole process he maintained his innocence of the charge. Steven was sent to Kingston Penitentiary, then to a training facility, and upon turning 18 would be transferred to Collins Bay Penitentiary at Kingston, Ontario until his release on parole in 1969.

Upon being released on parole, Steven Truscott lived in relative obscurity under an assumed name, gaining employment, marrying wife Marlene and raising a family. Across Canada however, there was always a strong feeling that an innocent person had been convicted, and, that as a boy of 14, he came very close to being the youngest person ever executed.

Years later, as a result of investigations and research for various publications and broadcast media, a different twist began to unfold with respect to evidence submitted by the crown at the initial trial. It soon became apparent that many of the so called facts as presented at trial, differed greatly from more recent accounts, as they became uncovered.

Eye witness statements had been altered and tampered. There were other individuals who should have been investigated as potential suspects. These were people with criminal convictions for assaults on children. It is known that these people were in the near vicinity. It is also known that at least one potential suspect was investigated and charged with a crime against children only days before Lynne Harper was murdered. He was released by a judge, with no further investigation for this crime. It is also apparent that childrens statements in some cases were influenced, and in doing so, supported the crown's charge. Some statements from children were never entered as evidence, thereby, buttressing the case for the crown, considering such a supression of evidence by the police and prosecutors.

Steven Truscott's own statements that he gave Lynne Harper a ride on his bicycle to the highway, and then saw her getting into a particular type of vehicle were not taken seriously. His description of the vehicle closely paralleled the vehicle owned and driven by a former mentioned person who should have been considered as a prime suspect. This was evidence that was never followed up on.

The autopsy conducted on the victim in this case was little more than name only. By accounts, the lead police investigator, with the assistance of the pathologist were able to pinpoint the time of death at almost precisely to the minute to coincide with Steven Truscott's movements. It is also apparent that the established time of death was altered to more closely parallel the time window of Steven's movements. Modern pathology tells us that it would be impossible to ascertain time of death precisely, from the study of stomach contents from the deceased as was the case here.

Steven Truscott was tricked into attending with the police at the time of his arrest. He was a minor, he was taken away purposely without the knowledge of his parents. He was grilled and questioned relentlessly for several hours with no legal advice present. In today's world, that would be strictly prohibited, and would immediately end the case.

Throughout all this, Steven Truscott never faltered. His account of events never changed. He remained calm and collected, and exhibited the matter of fact attitude, associated with having nothing to hide. It would be relatively easy to gain a conviction with no dissenting evidence, and no necessity for examination for discovery as would be the case today. Indeed, if Steven Truscott was singled out to be the guilty party, the time had arrived.

It can be argued, that at best, the investigation of this crime was nothing short of being sloppy, and self satisfying on the part of the police and the justice system of the day, in order to quickly arrest and charge a suspect, and thus , sustain a position of confidence within the community.

This, in simplistic terms, is my view of what happened back in the summer of 1959 in Clinton, Ontario. In tomorrow's posting, I shall be offering my opinion with respect to present day happenings in this saga. Please feel free to post comments today and tomorrow on this important, but startling case.

Lew Stoddard

Friday, March 24, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online
I am sorry to inform all my readers that due to some last minute changes in plans, there will be no formal editorial comment for today, March 24, 2006. This was necessary in order to accommodate a special two part posting which would originally have run over Friday and Saturday. Due to the complexity of the subject matter, it was not possible to correlate all the necessary material prior to the normal Friday posting time.

In this two part series, I will be taking a look at, and offering comment on the Steven Truscott story. Indeed, millions of Canadians, as well as thousands more around the world have been aware of this particular case for nearly fifty years from it's inception back in 1959. There are however, many younger people, who are not aware of Steven Truscott, and his uphill battle with Canada's justice system in an attempt to right a vicious wrong that was thrust upon him through no fault of his own.

Over the years I have personally had a deep rooted interest in this case, and have personally visited the site where it all began near Clinton, in the province of Ontario. I feel it important that Canadians be kept abreast of this situation. As unbelievable as this case appears, these happenings did take place in Canada, to a Canadian born cuitizen. Hopefully, it never happens again.

I personally invite you to take the time to read and reflect on this situation from Saturday and Sunday's posting. You are invited to post comments, and send e-mails, because, as all of you know, the success of this editorial site is the free exchange of opinion.

Thank you for the interest in my editorial site. I look forward to talking to each and every one of you on Saturday. If you have a friend, relative, or neighbor who might be interested in the upcoming topic, I encourage you to provide them with the link to my web page. Thank you one and all.

Lew Stoddard

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online:
A few short hours ago, I was advised of the sinking of one of the ships of the British Columbia Ferry fleet. The "Queen Of The North" had apparently run aground, south of Prince Rupert on the northwest coast of British Columbia. Thankfully, all 99 passengers, plus crew are safe and accounted for.

These people are safe for two chief reasons. Firstly, the expert and professional approach by the crew in the handling of the emergency, and secondly, the close proximity of the ship "Sir Wilfred Laurier" of The Canadian Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Ship was on the scene in less than one hour, and was assisted by local commercial fish boats. Survivors were picked up by the coast guard from lifeboats, and transported to the small Native fishing community of Hartley Bay.

It is extremely sad when it takes a human emergency to get the attention of all levels of government. In this instance, the provincial government has not been acting with expedience in the replacing of certain existing ferries. Technology has changed dramatically in the ship building industry, and many of the ferries in the fleet are more than forty years old. This particular ship was constructed with a single compartment, which means when the hull ruptured, the complete inner cargo area and engine compartments were able to fill up very quickly with water. In a modern constructed ferry with multi independent compartments, only the compartment that was violated would flood, and thus, the ship would not sink.

As well, the federal government should learn a very valuable lesson here. A few years ago they carved the Coast Guard into near oblivion. They closed coast guard bases which forced a vast labor shortage. They also closed many of the manned lighthouse posts, and there was no money made available for new technology and equipment.

I do not pretend to offer the reason why this tragedy occured. I will leave that to those a lot more qualified than myself. The one thing that I do know however, governments always tell us after the fact that they have the situation in hand. Try selling that idea to someone sitting out there in the freezing cold in a lifeboat in the wee hours of the morning.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stoddard Online

In my February 23, 2006 editorial on this page I offered my views on the situation regarding the neglect of child care in the province of British Columbia. This followed the inquest of the brutal criminal death of an eighteen month old infant girl, Sherry Charlie, in Port Alberni, at the hands of her uncle entrusted with her care by a government agency.

The government was harshly ctitized by the inquest's findings as a result of this death. The present government under the leadership of premier Gordon Campbell, had previously eliminated the office of Child Commissioner, and as a result, placed the responsibility of child protection under unqualified workers in the community. As a result, there are now in excess of 700 child deaths in the province of British Columbia that have never been investigated. Upon eliminating the office of the Child Commissioner, these files were routinely turned over to the coroner's office for investigation, however, the files mysteriously disappeared or were shelved, with no investigation ever being carried out.

In the last provincial budget, finance minister Carole Taylor stated that she was pouring, in excess of four hundred million dollars into the childrens ministry, when it fact, this figure merely represented what had been taken away, with no new allotment of funds.

Premier Campbell stated that he accepted the responsibility for the shoddy performance of his government, and the danger that children were placed in. He fell short however, of actually agreeing to adhere to the recommendations of the inquest into the death of Sherry Charlie. They were going to do further study.

Last evening I was on the public transit train in Vancouver. There was an announcement on the train from the control centre, requesting that everyone pay attention. The public message was in the form of an "Amber Alert" which is an agressive notification to the public when a child is in jeopardy facing impending danger. In this case the message stated that an infant child had been abducted, and was followed by a detailed description of the person that was being sought, his age, his size, his vehicle and that he may be heading from Vancouver Island to the mainland with this child. As well, when an Amber Alert is issued, all government public address systems carry the alert, as well as electronic highway signs, and all police forces and security personnel are alerted simultaneously.

Fortunately, as a result of this Amber Alert, the police were able to gain information and make an arrest. It was further learned that the child was not necessairly in impending danger, and the person being sought was actually the biological father of the child. It was later announced, that the parents of this child do not have custody of the child, as the child is under the care of the provincial government.

I was immediately curious as to the details of this particular incident. Upon making a couple of phone calls, I learned that this child was indeed in ministry care, and not living with the parents. I also learned something that nauseated me. The parents of this child were on a supervised visit with the child at the government ministry office. This is routine, and I certainly have no issue with parents wanting to visit their children who, for one reason or another, have been placed in government care. I do take issue though, when it is possible to abduct a child from right under the noses of those charged with the child's safety. In this instance, it was possible for the father to simply exit the office with the child. The sickening aspect of this case, is the fact that this incident took place in the city of Port Alberni from the same ministry office that was responsible for little Sherry Charlie's safety in the months before her life was tragically snuffed out.

Heads must roll. The whole affair of child care in British Columbia has eroded beyond repair. Premier Gordon Campbell should be hanging his head in shame. There is no justification for any of this. In my view, every single staff member in that ministry office in Port Alberni connected with child care needs to be immediately fired for dereliction of duty, if in fact, it is proven that they were directly responsible for aspects of this child's safery and protection.

Premier Campbell, it appears that your government has been skirting this issue for a long time. You have allowed your government to carry on in a temerarious fashion for far too long. There is more at stake in British Columbia than the success of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Down deep, you know what you should do, even though because of greed, you won't. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality of what money and power breeds.

Lew Stoddard

Thursday, March 09, 2006


It came as no surprise that I would come under attack as a result of my editorial of yesterday. I accept that. That is what free expression is all about.

As well as comments posted on the main page, I received several dozen e-mails with reference to the editorial. It is impossible for me to personally reply to each and every e-mail. This, I might add, is something that I would not be prepared to do in any case. A public forum ceases to be, when behind the scenes dialogue, is allowed to circumvent the process of democracy.

I will address collectively several of the e-mails that I received in this posting. The folks who authored these dispatches were quite vocal in their comments. In these particular instances, I was accused of being a racist, and a pedlar of selfish views. I am indeed honoured to present my views further on the matter.

Firstly, I was born a Canadian, I am a Canadian today, and I shall be a Canadian tomorrow. I am proud of that. Being born a Canadian did not come without cost. In two great wars in Europe, my ancestors and many others spilled their blood on the battlefields to preserve the freedoms and ideals that we as Canadians enjoy. I do not take this lightly. This is serious business. Any deviation from the memories of the sacrifices by these people would be nothing short of thumbing our noses at those who died.

I am not against immigration. We need it. I support it all the way. As I have said previously, I am against an open door policy whereby we admit people to this country to create a haven to further their own personal agenda. I believe this is wrong. It is also wrong I believe, for new citizens to expect us to change our constitution each time someone has a new religious belief or a cultural difference. We have the vehicle in motion in Canada in the form of our constitution, to allow for expression of personal beliefs, whether it be religious or cultural. I take a dim view when I have to alter my beliefs and morals, to accommodate those that think they can just change the constitution to reflect their beliefs at will.

Over the years I have acquired many friends and acquaintances of diverse ethnic backgrounds. It matters not to me if a person is red, yellow, green, black, or white. My personal views and opinions on what I think makes for a strong and unified Canada has absolutely nothing to do with one's ethnic background.

As I stated, I am tired of the moaning and groaning of the special interest groups, who really care nothing about our country, other than using it as a stepping stone for their own hidden agenda.

Pure and simple, in my view, "Canada is not for sale." Only a blundering idiot would consider compromising the greatest country on the planet.

Lew Stoddard

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online:
I expect to take some ground fire for this article, however, free speech dictates that I am entitled to my point of view.

It burns my butt on a daily basis to hear the moans and groans of certain elements of society proclaiming this "politically correct" jibber jabber.

It would be next to impossible to breathe without offending someone, if we adhered to most of this junk. I am not one to purposely offend anyone, nor am I one to impede one's life style, providing, they fall within the parameters of law. So, you may ask, what is the big deal then?

Firstly, if we are so politically incorrect in this country, then how come we usually come out on top each year of the best place to live on the planet? Indeed, something draws the folks here. Not perfect here by any means, but take it from one who has snooped in a few places in this old world, and while perfection may not be our claim, on our worst day, we still come up looking better than most other regimes of the world on their best day.

This country was founded on Christian principles, and the constitution was drafted accordingly. In my view, it is wrong to expect constitutional change each time someone decides they don't like something. We have changed national icons, christianity expressions, educational standards, and language metaphors just to name a few.

It irked me yesterday to learn there is now a movement to force a name change of a certain nursery rhyme for children. The "questionable" nursery rhyme is none other than "Bah Bah Black Sheep." The new name proposed for this nursery rhyme is "Bah Bah Rainbow Sheep." Are you now convinced that some folk may have too much time on their hands?

Folks come to Canada because of our freedoms and ease of movement. As a matter of fact, our ease of movement is so user friendly, that should one not like our freedoms and customs, the plane that delivered them here today, probably makes the return part of the journey tomorrow.

Lew Stoddard

Monday, March 06, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online:
I apologize for the fact that there has been no recent editorials and comments posted to my site in the past few days. Have encountered a few set backs, including server problems, and as well, have been away from the area for a few days.

Thank you to each and everyone who has taken the time to send comments to the site. Additionally, the volume of e-mail received has been impressive. I encourage anyone who has criticism, whether it be positive or negative, to post it as a comment on the main page. This will elicit an open round table discussion, invoking all the elements of free speech and democracy.

As you can appreciate, it is impossible for me to respond personally to each and every e-mail received If you have a suggestion with reference to an article that you would like researched for future postings please feel free to send it by e-mail. You can do this simply by clicking on "My Complete Profile Tab" on the main page and then click on the word "e-mail" at the upper left.

Commencing Tuesday, March 07, the site will be up and running with a whole new series of topics. If you acquire enjoyment from the site, I encourage you to pass the site address along to your friends. Once again, a big "Thank You" to each and every one.

Lew Stoddard