Monday, July 06, 2009

The Raitt Tape Gate Court Tape...transcripts

The first transcript of court proceedings from the Raitt Gate hearing - thanks to the anon e-mailer who sent it my way.

Jasmine MacDonnell vs The Halifax Herald Limited and Stephen Maher
June 8, 2009:


Michelle Awad, lawyer for Jasmine MacDonnell, questions Steve Maher if he knows who owned the lost binder:

AWAD: “Now, beginning at paragraph 18 [referring to Maher’s affidavit] you speak to Ms. MacDonnell’s resignation from her position as Director of Communications at the Department of Natural Resources

MAHER: “Yes, I do.”

AWAD: “And you reference the leaving of a binder behind at CTV’s Ottawa studios.”

MAHER: “Yes”

AWAD: “You don’t know whose binder that was, correct?”

MAHER: “I’ve been told that it was the Minister’s binder”

AWAD: “You don’t know whether Ms. MacDonnell had her own binder that she in fact left with that day?”

MAHER: “No, I don’t know”

Later on Robert Grant, lawyer for the Halifax Herald, says the very fact that MacDonnell left the recorder is newsworthy given she also left the binder at CTV, demonstrating a pattern of carelessness:

GRANT: “I might add my lord that there is, part of the interest in the recording and the fact that the recording device was left for four months without being picked up is it relates to Ms. MacDonnells performance as the Director of Communications for the Minister, the Minister’s judgement in promoting Ms. MacDonnell to that position. It ties in with, perhaps, a pattern of carelessness, which led to Ms. MacDonnell’s resignation for leaving the secret briefing documents, the binder containing secret documents at the, at CTV.”

Later, Michelle Awad stated there is “no evidence” that the binder belonged to Ms. MacDonnell, implying that the binder belonged to and was left by Ms. Raitt.

AWAD: “My friend also mentioned that, I guess Mr. Maher, in his draft article, has characterized Ms. MacDonnell as careless, the Minister’s judgment may be questionable in that she promoted Ms. MacDonnell. That’s how they want to spin this story my lord. It’s not about medical isotopes. The Chalk River shutdown was in May – the conversation that was recorded inadvertently was in January. This isn’t about last week or the last two weeks medical isotope issue, this is about a private conversation. Not a confidentiality question, a privacy question, and the rights exist, in my submission, in this country. Mr. Grant suggested that the binder that was left at CTV was Ms. MacDonnell’s; there’s no evidence of that before your lordship, that’s never been demonstrated. Similarily that she “lost” her job, my lord the evidence is absolutely that she resigned.”



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