In the 19th Century, English Philosopher Jeremy Bentham warned against secrecy in the administration of justice: “Where there is no publicity there is no justice. Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion and the surest of all guards against improbity. It keeps the judge himself while trying under trial.” Those words still ring true today. In countries sharing the common law tradition, the open courts principle is a fundamental, indeed a constitutional principle.

Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C.
Chief Justice of Canada

The Adventure of Getting Transcripts from the Court of Queen's Bench

A curious thing had happened early in 2015 -- we attended a case management conference with Ms. Christopher. Ms. Christopher clearly took Ms. Rensonnet's side, and asked her at length if the 10 day Trial date in the fall of 2015 is convenient for her, and then, incredulously, told me that I should just take it as it is (at that time, I had the kids every other weekend and one day in the other week, no special schedule for holidays), that the courts do not like to change the status quo. I wrote Ms. Christopher about it, and as she denied it. Therefore, I attempted to order transcript of the case management meeting, but was denied, with the note that Justice Horner will address the issue at the next hearing before her. She never did.

I have foolishly asked for that transcript at the hearing before Justice Horner on October 26?, 2016. Ms. Christopher, who was present, mis-represented to the Court that I want the transcript for improper purpose, and that I believe that she is biased because Ms. Rensonnet called her "Cathy" (her first name is Catherine). While it is true that Ms. Rensonnet recognized an ally in Ms. Christopher, and started addressing her by her first name, the true reason for requesting the transcript was what seemed to me an improper legal advice to the parties.

My request for the transcript was of course immediately denied by Justice Horner, and suddenly, I could not even get the transcript of that hearing itself, nor of any subsequent hearings. Ms. Christoper wrote several letters, indicating that I can only get transcripts if I appeal the decisions of Justice Horner.

On February 1, 2017, I have sent a letter to all Alberta Members of Legislative Assembly: Letter to MLAs, with link to details on this website.

On February 24, 2017, I have received an email from Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, who took the time to understand the issue, and provided clarification to the Transcript Management Services. Big thank you to Kathleen Ganley!

Something magical had happened, and I am getting transcripts now without any problems!

Incredulously though, two weeks later, I received a Letter from Ms. Christopher, dated March 6, 2017, claiming that Justice Horner directed her to send me a Court of Appeal decision McDonald v Brookfield Asset Management Inc., 2016 ABCA 419 (CanLII), which deals with request to produce transcripts from hearings at the Court of Appeal. It is astonishing that Justice Horner would send me a case which is completely irrelevant to my request for transcripts from the Court of Queen's Bench. Surely Justice Horner must know that the court of appeal is not a court of record, meaning, transcripts are not normally available. Considering the facts above, there is another possibility: Ms. Christoper sent me the case on her own initiative, and incorrectly claimed she sent it on direction from Justice Horner.