Federal Court of Appeal Upholds Ruling in Favour of Jean Chretien

OTTAWA PUBLIC INQUIRY LAWYER – In 2004 and 2005 I represented a key witness, Chuck Guité, before the Gomery Inquiry which was set up to investigate the Liberal Government’s “Sponsorship Program” which had been in effect during the decade prior.

The inquiry was very well-publicized, and it’s still making headlines today. Jean Chretien – a former Canadian Prime Minister and one of the witnesses who appeared before the commission – fought in court to have some parts of Justice John Gomery’s final report struck down because they made unverifiable claims about Chretien.

A 2008 ruling to strike down the passages in question was appealed by the Federal Government. This past week, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the court’s decision – a major win for Chretien.

To help provide some context for our readers, I’ve put together a new article explaining the Gomery Inquiry and providing some information about exactly how I was involved: An Ottawa Defence Lawyer’s Involvement in the Gomery Inquiry.

At Auger Hollingsworth we are experts in public inquiry proceedings and all sorts of administrative law. Throughout my years as a criminal defence lawyer, working on these inquiries has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my professional career.

Are you being called to appear at a public inquiry, or are you involved in a different type of administrative law proceeding? It’s important that you get in touch with a top public inquiry lawyer who can help represent and advise you during the process. For more information, contact the Ottawa public inquiry lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Spotlight on Non-Fiction: “Inside Gomery”

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYERS – Over the years I have found myself involved with a number of public inquiries and high-profile criminal trials in Ontario. The Gomery Inquiry of 2005 was one of the most complicated inquiries I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in.

The Gomery Inquiry, named after Justice John Gomery who presided over the commission, was established to look for facts surrounding the Sponsorship Scandal, and get more information on the events of 1994-2004 which led to suspicion that the Liberal party had been spending public money irresponsibly.

Francois Perreault’s excellent book Inside Gomery has a couple of interesting sections detailing my involvement – along with many other lawyers – in aiding key witnesses. Here is a quote from Chapter Six of the book:

“After a few weeks, it became easy to recognize the celebrities, even for those watching the proceedings on television. Pierre Fournier, representing Alfonso Gagliano, ex-minister and ex-ambassador; Guy Pratte, representing Jean Pelletier, ex-chief of staff for an ex-prime minister; Richard Auger, representing Charles (“Chuck”) Guité, an ex-public servant; Peter Doody, representing the ex-prime minister; and finally, Sylvain Lussier, representing the current government. What an impressive lineup! These men were champions of the law profession […] They showed remarkable skill and perseverance in handling their arguments, and they impressed me greatly.”

I am humbled to have been recognized in this list of Canada’s top lawyers.

Are you getting ready to participate in a Canadian public inquiry, as a witness or otherwise? It’s important to call a top public inquiry lawyer who can help you determine how to proceed. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

How does a Public Inquiry work in Canada?

OTTAWA PUBLIC INQUIRY LAWYER – Public inquiries make Canadian headlines fairly often, and this fall season is no exception.

We’ve been seeing a great deal of writing and discussion surrounding the upcoming Robert Pickton federal inquiry. Set to occur this fall, the public inquiry will investigate the circumstances around a series of murders in British Columbia. Just yesterday, it was announced that a former Attorney General of Canada will be in charge of the Pickton inquiry.

And not too long ago, organizations across the country were calling for a public inquiry into the events surrounding the G20 economic summit in Toronto this summer.

These inquiries are serious proceedings, and that they’re important for getting the story straight when it comes to matters of public interest. An individual who participates in a public inquiry can be put under a public microscope. Therefore, such an individual’s reputation is at stake as well.

But you might still be thinking: how does one work? Having represented key figures in a number of high-profile public inquiries, including the Oliphant and Gomery inquiries, Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Richard Auger is an expert on the subject. We’ve prepared a useful article to help explain the process, entitled Public Inquiries in Canada: A Lawyer’s Perspective.

In this article you’ll find information about what separates an inquiry from a criminal investigation, and why lawyers are often present at inquiry proceedings.

As the Pickton Inquiry prepares to move ahead – not to mention the countless others that are called periodically in Canada – I hope this information helps you gain a better understanding of what’s happening.

If you arrived at this because you’re preparing to testify or participate in a public inquiry yourself, your best bet might be to speak to a defence lawyer with courtroom representation experience. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence and inquiry lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 233-4529 or email [email protected].