TURMEL POLITICAL PRESS 1984
840324Sa Ottawa Citizen, Bert Hill Gauvin wins "loitering" appeal case The Ontario Court of Appeal Friday overturned the conviction of former Ottawa mayoral candidate Marc Gauvin of a charge of loitering in connection with a confrontation during a televised debate. Mr. Justice Charles Dubin ruled Gauvin may have been trespassing but there was evidence to support the loitering charge. He had been convicted of loitering after he refused to leave the stage of a televised CBC debate. He and other fringe candidates were excluded from the debate. The original $500 fine was reduced to $200. Dubin said Gauvin was not loitering at the debate because as a candidate and member of the public, he had a purpose in being there. "When he refused to leave the platform when requested, he was a trespasser perhaps but not a loiterer." Dubin also said the CBC program which allowed fringe candidates only a small role was misconceived. CBC officials refused comment. Gauvin was delighted at the ruling and he plans similar protests in future if broadcast media do not treat all candidates the same. "I'm interest in the more profound question of how candidates are treated and that message got through to the judges."
840601Fr Ottawa Citizen Letter, John Turmel In Eric Hamovitch's article titled `Nicaraguan election unlikely to be fair," he points out that the media give the party in control an overwhelming advantage over the other parties. I'd point out that in the United States, the media give an overwhelming control to only two parties and in Canada to only three parties. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
840612Tu Ottawa Citizen, Greg Weston Front-runners lucky in draw for positions for keynote speeches Liberal front-runners John Turner and Jean Chretien have drawn time slots for Friday's keynote speeches. Chretien will speak last and Turner second last. By chance, the rest will be speaking in direct ascending order of their positions in the latest polls.
840615Fr Ottawa Citizen, Chris Hall Gambler-politician ordered to cease slamming Keeping Gambler ordered to stop calling newsman a cheat Pictures of Max and me. Gambler and fringe politician John Turmel was ordered Thursday to stop exhibiting signs calling CJOH-TV news director Max Keeping a "cheat." County Court judge McWilliam granted an injunction to Keeping and Bushnell Communications, owner of the Ottawa station, to prevent Turmel from displaying any libelous or defamatory statement against the popular anchorman. Station lawyer K.L. Boland told the court Turmel began picketing last week on the sidewalk in front of CJOH's Merivale Rd. studios carrying a sign that said, "Max Keeping is a cheat." He said the statement was defamatory because it was untrue and would lower Keeping's reputation in the minds of the public. He said Keeping's reputation was important to him as a journalist and Turmel shouldn't be allowed to tarnish it untruthfully. Keeping and Bushnell filed a damage suit Tuesday against Turmel in county court because of the statement on the sign. The injunction last until the damage suit is heard. Boland added the picketing began shortly after a June 1 Ontario Supreme Court ruling dismissing a claim by Turmel for damages from CJOH for defamation. Turmel said the station prevented him from participating in a Dec. 6, 1983 televised debate among candidates in SDG and left "a lot of right thinking people with the impression that he just didn't bother to show up." Using a number of mathematical formulas to show he was denied equitable air time with the other candidates, Turmel said Keeping "cheated" him by barring him from the debate, which affected the odds and outcome of the election and prejudiced his candidacy. Boland replied Turmel's failure to have criminal charges laid against the station for denying him air time and the failure of other civil actions supported the application for an injunction. "When he failed in the courts, he went out in the street with a sigh meant to damage Mr. Keeping's reputation. That's his intention." McWilliam said Turmel's narrow mathematical definition of cheat would not be understood by passers-by, who might think it meant that Keeping had defrauded him.
Ottawa Citizen, Convention Notebook It's in the book: John Turner is the bookies' choice. They made him the 3-to-5 favorite to win the Liberal leadership race. Jean Chretien is a 7-to-2 underdog. The rest of the field would pay 150-to-1 odds.
840622 Letter to the Editor unpublished. Dear Sir: As an expert witness accepted by three provincial courts in matters related to gambling, I must point out that the betting line published in the June 15, 1984 'Convention Notebook' on the Liberal leadership race seriously over-rated John Turner or under-rated Jean Chretien. John Turner was stated as a 3:5 favorite, Jean Chretien was stated as a 7:2 underdog and any one of the rest of the field would have paid 150:1. Therefore, a $10 bet on Turner would have paid $6, a $10 bet on Chretien would have paid $35, and a $10 bet on the field would have paid $1500. For a betting line to be a good line, the money taken in from the losers must exceed the money paid out to the winners. A middle occurs when wise bettors can hedge their bets in such a way that they either win or break even so that the money the bookie takes in from the losers is less than the money he pays out to the winners. The published line was a bad line because it allowed a huge middle. To explain how to have middled the bookie's line, imagine that you have $900 with which to make a combination of bets on Turner, Chretien, and the Field. The object is to find a combination of bets such that no matter what the outcome of the election, you will win or break even. A Turner bettor would hedge his bets by betting: 1) $6 hedge-bet on the Field to win $900; 2) $200 hedge-bet on Chretien to win $700; 3) the remaining $694 on Turner to win $416.40. 1) When the Field wins, the Turner bettor ends up with a $900 win and the original $6 hedge-bet for a total of $906, a small increase over the original $900 started with; 2) When Chretien wins, the Turner bettor ends up with $700 and the original $200 hedge-bet for a total of $900, no increase over the original $900 started with; 3) But when Turner wins, the Turner bettor ends up with $416 and the original $694 bet for a total of $1110, a large $210 increase over the original $900 started with. A Chretien bettor would hedge his bets by betting: 1) $6 hedge-bet on the Field to win $900; 2) $564 hedge-bet on Turner to win $338; 3) the remaining $330 on Chretien to win $1155. 1) When the Field wins, the Chretien bettor ends up with a $900 win and the original $6 hedge-bet for a total of $906, a small increase over the original $900 started with; 2) When Turner wins, the Chretien bettor ends up with a $338 win and the original $564 hedge-bet for a total of $902, a small increase over the original $900 started with; 3) But when Chretien wins, the Chretien bettor ends up with a $1155 win and the original $330 bet for a total of $1485, a large $585 increase over the original $900 started with. A Field bettor would hedge his bets by betting: 1) $200 hedge-bet on Chretien to win $700; 2) $564 hedge-bet on Turner to win $338; 3) the remaining $136 on the Field to win $20,400. 1) When Chretien wins, the Field bettor ends up with a $700 win and the original $200 hedge-bet for a total of $900, no increase over the original $900 started with; 2) When Turner wins, the Field bettor ends up with a $338 win and the original $564 hedge-bet for a total of $902, a small increase over the original $900 started with; 3) But when the Field wins, the Field bettor ends up with a $20,400 win and the original $136 bet for a total of $20,536, a whopping $19,636 increase over the original $900 started with. The reason I have gone into such depth on how anyone could have middled the published line is because such a great middle indicates that Mr. Turner was given a greatly exaggerated advantage over Mr. Chretien which could have had an unfair influence on those people who like to join the bigger bandwagon and bet on the favorite. I feel that given the serious nature of the political events that can be unfairly influenced, the political organization in charge of running the contest or the publisher should in future check any betting lines that are to be published for middles that would indicate that the odds quoted are not accurate. With the availability in Ottawa of many statisticians and of Dr. Walter Schneider, the professor of Canada's only Mathematics of Gambling course who teaches at Carleton University, there is no reason that betting lines on future events, especially important ones, should not be mathematically checked out. One consolation is that the bookie who missed such a large middle probably won't be in the bookmaking business long enough to make such an influential error again. CC: Jean Chretien, John Turner, W.S. Schneider, Iona Campagnolo.
840616Sa Ottawa Citizen, Dan Karon Price of by-election victory? $7 a vote CORNWALL -- Noble Villeneuve spent $86,692 for his 12,097 votes, about $7 per vote. Liberal Johnny Whitekker spend $36,231 for his 8,122 votes, about $4.46 per vote. NDP Rudi Derstroff spent $19,277 for his 627 votes, about $30.66 per vote. John Turmel spent $115 for 97 votes, about $1.19 per vote. [jct: Listed under "Nature of expense: "Fees for motions requesting participation in electoral debate .... $85. Supplier: Federal Court of Canada."
840702Mo Ottawa Citizen, Phil Makin Self defenders tread in unfriendly world More taking own cases to court `Quote of the day' "I call this guerrilla lawfare. Who says some peon can't pick up a rifle? You can't call him a soldier but he can still shoot." Political aspirant John Turmel believes anyone can be his own lawyer. p9 Tucker represents one extreme of that hardy, independent and sometimes eccentric breed who have the brash self-confidence to walk into the closed, alien atmosphere of the law court and take on the natives. John Turmel, an Ottawa political fixture who has run in 16 elections, has also found time to appear in court about 100 times. "I'm sure I hold all records" he said. "I've also had seven motions in the Supreme Court of Canada. I call this guerrilla lawfare. Who says some peon can't pick up a rifle? You can't call him a soldier but he can still shoot." Mr. Turmel is helping a friend, Marc Gauvin, prepare his Supreme Court of Canada appeal of his own acquittal. The acquittal was based on the wrong grounds, Mr. Gauvin claims. "That may never have been done before either -- appealing your own acquittal," Mr. Turmel says. "This is a serious effort," Mr. Gauvin says. "Some of us who go to court are not flakes." Mr. Turmel says judges, by and large, have been quite receptive to his courtroom presentations because they are serious efforts backed by research. "I've put in four years of study. I see young lawyers making the same mistakes I made." Mr. Turmel agrees that few can overcome the complexities of a legal case. "They achieve the purpose of making it so complicated not even lawyers know where to go. It is built and designed to be needlessly complicated. There are no checks on quality." But even the citizen who dauntlessly pushes ahead and acquires some expertise may run into one insurmountable roadblock, Mr. Turmel says. In the final analysis, all can go for naught because judges can close their eyes to anything.
840721Sa Ottawa Citizen, Jane Coutts Ottawa gambler asks court to have TV debates a "fair game" with all the players It's a long shot but professional gambler John Turmel wants the court to open next week's leadership debates to more than the big three parties. Turmel as asked the FCC for a motion that would force the CRTC to adhere to the letter of its regulations and ensure that next week's leadership debates are open to leaders of all parties. Turmel says the TV debates are not being run in accordance with CRTC regulations which say free-time political broadcasts must be made available "on an equitable basis to all parties and rival candidates." But Global, CBC and CTV have only invited leaders of the three major parties to speak. "I'm an expert on gambling and anytime you have three or four candidates left out, you don't have a fair game." He said he wants the court to force the CRTC to supervise the debate, rather than rule on complaints after the fact. A similar motion will be made Tuesday to the Ontario Supreme Court by Turmel's friend Marc Gauvin who will also ask for an injunction to stop the debates. Turmel says he's bringing the motion on behalf of Canadian voters because, as a voter, to hear the views of every party. Turmel has been named in a lawsuit by CJOH anchorman Max Keeping for a protest he mounted after being excluded from an all-candidates debate in the SDG by-election. He picketed CJOH with signs Keeping's lawyer called defamatory after the Supreme Court of Ontario dismissed his charges against Keeping.
840723Mo Toronto Sun, UPC Court bid to stop leaders' debate OTTAWA -- An Ottawa man wants a federal court to block the televised debates among leaders of the three main parties because he says other registered federal parties have been left out. John Turmel, a 33-year-old engineer, self-described "gambler" and perennial fringe candidate in election campaigns, said he filed an application with the FCC to have the CRTC force the producers of the debates to make time available to all parties. If this is not done, the programs should be prevented from going on the air, Turmel said. A spokesman for the CRTC said its lawyers had received a package of legal documents related to the application and would be in court tomorrow. His application quotes a section which says free time political broadcasts must be available "on an equitable basis to all parties."
840724Tu Regina Leader Post Bid made to halt televised debate OTTAWA -- Political gadfly John Turmel goes too the Federal Court today in a last-minute bid to block this week's televised debates between the leaders of the country's three major parties. The Ottawa gambling engineer and fringe candidate, engineer, and fringe candidate in several elections is taking on the networks and the CRTC because the leaders of other parties weren't invited to participate. Turmel has filed an application in the Federal Court in Ottawa asking to have the debates cancelled unless all registered political parties can participate. He wants the CRTC to supervise the debate with all the party leaders. Another application has been filed in the SCO asking for an injunction against televising the debates. At last count, Canada had 19 political parties. Some, like Social Credit, are well known to the voters. Others are little known outside their own circles. The list of fringe parties includes: Revolutionary Labor Alliance, National Canadian Party, Commonwealth Party, Confederation of Regions, Unity party and a party for businessmen based in Montreal. The thought of packing 19 leaders into a television studio for a debate is enough to give most TV producers nightmares. "We couldn't put it on television," CTV vice-president Don Cameron said Monday. "It would be physically impossible." CTV, CBC and Global plan to carry the English debate. Cameron said it's planned not as a partisan political broadcast but as a "journalistic exercise" with a panel of reporters posing questions to the three leaders. "The format was chosen because only they elected MPs in the last election. (and they're going to help keep it that way.) Plans for the debate are going ahead despite Turmel's suits. Turmel said it's unfair to give only the three major parties air time and maintained that Canadian broadcasting regulations require coverage during a campaign to be "equitable." But a lawyer for the CRTC said the commission judges the question of fairness over the length of the campaign, not just for one event like a debate. (ignores that the round robin cannot be fulfilled) And the CRTC does not equate fairness with equal time, he added. Turmel is best known in Ottawa as the guy in the white hard hat who parades every Thursday with a small band of followers in front of the Bank of Canada building or the Parliament Buildings to protest the way the bank rate is set. He often carries a sign calling Gerald Bouey, governor of the bank, a "crook."
Toronto Star, CP Two men ask courts to block TV debates Two men are scheduled to go to court today in a bid to block this week's television debate among the 3 national political party leaders. Green party member Marc Gauvin 26, said television networks are violating CRTC rules by excluding other party leaders in the debate. He's asking the SCO for an injunction to stop the debate until after the Aug. 7 deadline for nominations of candidates. John Turmel, a perennial fringe candidate who describes himself as a professional gambler, filed a motion late last week asking the FCC to forbid airing of the TV debates unless the leaders of all registered parties can participate. LIKELY TO RUN Gauvin said that he'll likely be running as a Green party candidate in an Ottawa riding, and that the party backing him will be fielding more than 50 candidates in the election. On that basis, the Green party has status as a federal political party and one of its founders, Trevor Hancock of Toronto, should automatically be included in any television debate among national party leaders, Gauvin said. As a mayoralty candidate in Ottawa in 1982, Gauvin was arrested and held in custody three hours and held in custody 3 hours when he walked into a television station and tried to take part in a TV debate among the leading candidates. He was charged with loitering but was acquitted, he said. Turmel, who regularly pickets the Bank of Canada Governor Gerald Bouey on Parliament Hill has contested municipal, provincial and federal elections and always lost.
Vancouver Sun Campaign Digest The Green party and the Rhinoceros party are miffed at being left out of the two televised debates. Paul Watson, Green candidate for Vancouver Centre, said Monday the parties are sending official complaints to the CRTC and to the three television stations carrying the debates. "It is a leadership and we feel we should be represented" he said.
840725We London Free Press, Warren Caragata C P Turmel loses case against two debates OTTAWA -- The Federal Court of Canada dismissed an application Tuesday from political gadfly John Turmel that would have forced cancellation of the televised leaders' debates, the first of which began only hours after the ruling was handed down. Turmel, a perennial fringe candidate, had gone to the court asking it to force the networks to include the leaders of the other 16 registered political parties or cancel the debates as unfair. A similar move by Marc Gauvin, an associate of Turmel's who asked the Ontario Supreme court in Toronto for an injunction against the debates, was rejected by Justice Joseph Potts. Federal Court Justice Francis Muldoon had reserved judgment after a two-hour hearing Tuesday morning, saying he needed some time to figure out Turmel's argument. In his five-page decision issued later, Muldoon said giving equal time to all candidates could be as inequitable as not giving the time "because such an arrangement could be most unfair to those whom the vast majority of voters have favored at the polls. Pretending that a "plethora of parties expressing a cacophony of contending policies are all of equal weight is more than a parliamentary democracy can, with reasonable stability, withstand, he said. Muldoon, however, gently slapped the wrists of federal regulators for not giving broadcasters clear enough directions on how they should provide equitable coverage. Turmel, who calls himself a member of the Green party although he has previously run federally and provincially as an independent and under the banner of what he calls the Christian Credit party, argued his own case in court. The Ottawa engineer and self-proclaimed professional gambler, his white hard hat sitting on the polished wooden desk beside his lectern, told the court that by the principles of Boolean algebra, Venn diagrams and other such mathematical esoterica, the debates involving Turner, Broadbent and Mulroney were unfair and undemocratic. During his dissertation, Turmel also brought in the political situation in Nicaragua, his university marks, and electrical circuits into play. At one point, a genial Muldoon interrupted to say: "You're getting rather far afield." Turmel said the networks were doing a disservice to Canadian voters by allowing Broadbent, Turner and Mulroney to present their solutions which would not work while he had solutions that would work but had no opportunity to set them forth. "I'm not so sure you know what to do either" Muldoon said. Turmel said the CRTC was not doing its job of making sure the debates were fair to all Canadian political parties. His actual request to the court was for an order requiring the CRTC to supervise the debate so it would be equitable to all parties or order the networks to take it off the air. CRTC lawyer Bill Howard told the court the broadcast regulatory commission does not have the power to tell the networks how they should run their programs. While the CRTC has issued guidelines to make sure broadcasters are fair to all parties during an election campaign, Howard said "equitable" coverage does not necessarily mean equal time. The networks provide time for all political parties during a campaign. The debates, however, are not considered free time advertising because they are run by the networks, which consider them part of their news coverage. In Toronto, Potts commended Gauvin for standing up for what he thought was right but said he must realize the concept of democracy is never a perfect concept. "We must take a realistic view of it," Potts said. "This is not a mathematical concept."
Toronto Star Court rejects bid to halt debate or have 16 other leaders join The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a perennial fringe candidate's bid to have the televised leaders' debates expanded or cancelled. John Turmel asked the court to force the television networks to include the leaders of the nation's 16 other registered political parties or cancel the debates as unfair. (Where they got the notion that there were 19 parties amazes me but it is a convenient mistruth that makes it look impossible for it to be done and makes me look stupid for asking. When in a corner, lie.) The ruling was handed down yesterday only hours before the French language debate started in Montreal. They will debate in English tonight. In Toronto, Ontario Supreme Court Justice Joseph Potts rejected a similar move by Marc Gauvin -- an associate of turmel -- who asked for an injunction against the debates. In a 5 page decision delivered in Ottawa, FCC Justice Francis Muldoon said giving equal time to all candidates could be less fair than giving the air time. "Such an arrangement could be most unfair to those whom the vast majority of voters have favored at the pools," the judge wrote. Pretending "that a plethora of parties expressing a cacophony of contending policies is all of equal weight is more than a parliamentary democracy can, with reasonable stability, withstand, Muldoon wrote. CHRISTIAN CREDIT Muldoon criticized federal regulators, however, for not giving broadcasters clear directions on how they should provide equitable election coverage. Turmel said he is a member of the Green party, although he has previously run federally and provincial as an independent and under the banner of the Christian Credit party. Neither Turmel nor Gauvin are spokesmen for the Green party, said Trevor Hancock, a founder of the environmentalist party in Canada. "They're not financed by the Green Party of Canada, nor will we endorse their candidacies" if they run in the Sept. 4 election, Hancock said. (So Hancock, the supposedly figurehead leader has decided to use the full power of the leader to disallow our memberships in the federal contest. I'm sure he did it on his own with no input from other Greens in Canada.) An engineer and self-described professional gambler, Turmel argued his own case in court. During his dissertation, Turmel referred to Nicaraguan politics, his university marks and electrical circuits. "You're getting rather far afield," Muldoon remarked. Citizen didn't print the story.
London Free Press CRTC finds no imbalance in political TV debates The election campaign television debates are not unfair to non- participating political parties, the CRTC has ruled. The CRTC answered a letter to the commission from the Rhinoceros party, which questioned section 3 of the Broadcasting Act requiring broadcasters to allot fair and equitable time to each registered party when offering free time telecasts. Only the Liberal, PC and NDP are participating in the nationally televised debates. The Rhinos say there are 18 parties in Canada and it appeared to be unbalanced with only 3 in the format. The CRTC said the rules of balance do not have to be applied to a particular program or debate as long as the balance is provided over the course of the election campaign. The commission also said that in its view, there is no legal obligation on the part of broadcasters to include the other parties in the current debate format. At the same time, the CRTC announced that a formula for paid political announcements in the evening prime time has been worked out among the federal parties. The Liberals get to buy 173 minutes, the PCs get 129, the NDP get 69, the Rhinoceros get 8 minutes, the Libertarian get 5.5, the Communist Party 5.5. The Canada Elections Act requires that broadcasters make a total of 6.5 hours commercial prime time available to all political parties in aggregate during the campaign. The parties then sit down with the CRTC and work out the amount of commercial time they wish to purchase within the guidelines.
840801We Ottawa Revue Greens running in Ottawa Centre John Dodson has announced he'll be running for the Green Party of Canada in Ottawa Centre. The 34-year-old food store employee has worked for the Greens since the party organized in Ottawa last year. At press time, Dodson had not added his own ideas to the basic Green party platform.
Ottawa Citizen, Abby Deveney Turmel faction disputes Green party nomination The Ottawa chapter of Canada's Green party entered federal politics Tuesday, mired in controversy. While some Green party members have announced that John Dodson would represent Ottawa Centre, others, dissatisfied with the way Dodson was chosen, elected Gordon McLeod to represent a break-away chapter of the party. McLeod defeated perennial bank-basher John Turmel at a nomination meeting attended by about 40 Green members who are unhappy with the earlier nomination of Dodson. Turmel, a local gambler, placed his first bet on the political table in May, 1979. Since then, he's run -- and lost by huge margins -- in all municipal, federal and provincial contests. "The decision to select Dodson was made arbitrarily," says party member Marc Gauvin who ran unsuccessfully in the 1982 mayoral race. "We just heard about them choosing him. They never held or called a meeting." National leader Trevor Hancock acknowledges a nomination meeting wasn't called and Dodson was chosen by party faithful. (Core) But he says the splinter group attempted to take over the chapter with a last minute membership drive forced the party to pick a candidate this way. "There was clearly an attempt by an individual to take over our chapter with his own supporters," Hancock says. "There is no evidence that this person has a `Green' set of values and philosophies." (No evidence is the cop-out line of someone with his eyes closed who doesn't want to see any evidence. Did he know of my demonstrations so I can call him or Trotter a liar?) About 15 members who helped found the Ottawa chapter chose Dodson.
840803Fr Ottawa Citizen Troubled Greens to conduct new nomination The Green party had two candidates nominated for the Ottawa Centre riding before a general meeting of its Ottawa Chapter Thursday. Now it has none. The Greens invalidated the nominations of both John Dodson and Gordon McLeod and called a new nomination meeting for Sunday night too sort out the chaos that has plagued the party's entry into federal politics. (I can understand invalidating Dodson's unelected nomination but I don't understand invalidating McLeod's) Dodson was named last week by a small group of founding members to stand in Ottawa Centre. Other members protested a candidate being chosen without consulting the rest of the Ottawa chapter, so they held a nomination meeting Tuesday and elected McLeod (to which Dodson and Vezina had been invited). Dodson says he won't run again. John Turmel, who lost to McLeod, could not be reached to see if he will again seed the nomination. McLeod said he will be a candidate.
840807Tu Ottawa Citizen, Christina Spencer Police called as Greens nominate 4 candidates Ottawa fledgling Green party built on a platform of peace had a mini- war on its hands Sunday. The party nominated 4 candidates for area ridings at a raucous meeting marred by shouts from a small band of supporters of professional gambler John Turmel. (She distorted it by failing to mention that I had only 1 supporter less then the others and made it look like we were a small group of trouble-makers.) Police were called twice to evict Turmel and supporter Marc Gauvin as the two hurled insults at other members. (Another lie. All I ever said was that the proceedings were undemocratic.) Candidates were eventually nominated over the shouts of Turmel's brother Ray, who remained at the meeting after Turmel and Gauvin had been expelled. Turmel has been charged with trespassing. About 50 people attended the meeting which was called last week after opposing factions of the party selected their own candidates to represent some ridings. But chaos erupted almost immediately with the pro-Turmel faction claiming the meeting was not valid. "It's unfortunate this has to happen, particularly to such a young party," said Green spokesman Greg Vezina, nominated to represent the Greens in Nepean Carleton. The party executive had earlier named John Dodson as its candidate without holding an election. Turmel, saying the nomination had not been democratic, called a meeting of the membership last week and elected a series of candidates for Ottawa area ridings. The executive refused to endorse those nominations and Sunday night's meeting was called to resolve the issue. Vezina said the executive was opposed to what it saw as Turmel's attempt to take over the party and use it to promote his economic theories. "If someone tried to take over any party, it would try to expel him. I think people are intelligent enough to realize that. We named a candidate in the first place to try to avoid this." (she doesn't mention that those she calls the executive are simply a bunch of people with no real elected power) (He isn't intelligent enough to realize that he's saying that he's against the democratic principle of trying to get out the vote.) Turmel, who has been a member since February, denied he was trying to take over. "I'm fighting for what I think is right for this party. If signing up members and getting support means taking over the party, then you could say any candidate for any party is trying to take it over." He said as a result of the Sunday meeting, he plans to run as an independent candidate against the party's leader Trevor Hancock of Toronto. The Green slate chosen Sunday is made up of John Dodson in Ottawa-Carleton, Greg Vezina in Nepean-Carleton, Gord McLeod in Ottawa Centre, and Kevin Benson in Ottawa West. Turmel said at least one of his supporters will run as an independent candidate in each of those ridings to oppose the Greens. This slate will include his mother Therese, a former school teacher and translator, he said.
Le Droit, Carole Landry Official Greens against independent Greens To end a recent controversy, the official candidates are ... But the end to the controversy has not satisfied all the members. Some are going to run as independents to stress their dissatisfaction with the procedures followed. John Turmel will run against Green Party leader Hancock in Toronto, Marc Gauvin in Ottawa Centre, Serge Girard in Ottawa Vanier, Ray Turmel in Nepean Carleton and Mrs. Therese Turmel in Ottawa West. It all started when Trevor Hancock named John Dodson in Ottawa Centre after a meeting of the original members. A fraction of the members objected and decided to hold a "more democratic" meeting. At this one, Gordon McLeod was selected even though John Dodson had the approval of the national leader. On Wednesday, a third meeting took place where the members in attendance decided to invalidate all nominations and start anew. The next meeting did not take place without animosity and John Turmel and Marc Gauvin were expelled. Mr. Turmel explained that the decisions taken were not supported by the constitution. Greg Vezina added that the party had suffered because of the controversy "We are a party who tend towards consensus and we didn't think that some Greens would have had the intention of controlling the party."
840808We Ottawa Revue A few hitches, just one arrest The Green Party now has four candidates running in the Ottawa area. But the nomination meeting Sunday night went off with hitches and one arrest. John Turmel, a professional gambler and bank-basher who has run for office at all levels, was thrown out of the meeting and charged with trespassing . He will appear in court Wednesday. Turmel's brother Ray and supporter Marc Gauvin "attempted to disrupt the meeting" by bringing in a video camera, which party officials ordered them to remove, and by yelling "point of order" (QoP) repeatedly while party officials were trying to proceed with the nominations, according to one candidate. (who are these party officials?) Turmel called the meeting "stacked" but was not available for comment. Greg Vezina will run for the Greens in Nepean-Carleton. John Dodson has been moved over to run in Ottawa-Carleton. Last week, he was declared the candidate in Ottawa Centre but party officials conceded to charges Dodson was nominated unfairly. Gordon McLeod will take his place in Ottawa Centre and Kevin Benson will run for the Greens in Ottawa West.
840810Fr Ottawa Citizen Editorial, Russell Mills Nightmares in technicolor The Green Party, entering its first federal campaign in Canada, has had enough trouble establishing its credibility without being linked to John Turmel, who believes interest rates are the root of all evil. Turmel, whose devotion to Green party issues such as the environment and world peace has never figured prominently in his many dismally unsuccessful political campaigns, has been causing much mischief for the Greens of late. After the party executive appointed a candidate in Ottawa Centre without the formality of a nominating meeting, Turmel took it upon himself to call a meeting last week which chose Green party candidates in local ridings. Not surprising, the party executive was less than enchanted by this turn of events. It invalidated the Turmel selections and called a new meeting last week to pick the party's official candidates for area ridings. Turmel and a small band of followers managed to disrupt that meeting so badly that police were eventually called and trespass charges laid against him. This is not the sort of publicity that a fledgling party dreams of receiving during an election campaign. It's enough to give the Greens the blues -- or make them see red.
Globe & Mail, CP Court asked for injunction to stop leaders' TV debate OTTAWA -- Once bitten but never shy, political gadfly John Turmel is again asking the courts to rule that tomorrow's nationally televised election debate among the leaders of the three major parties is unfair. Mr. Turmel asked the Federal Court yesterday to hold a special hearing on his application for an injunction against the broadcast or an order opening it up to everybody else. A similar application was turned down last month when Mr. Turmel challenged the first leaders' debate. Associate Chief Justice James Jerome is expected to decide today whether the court will hear the case. Mr. Turmel who is running in Beaches tried unsuccessfully to take over the environmentalist Green party in Ottawa where he lives. He espouses economic notions similar to those by Social Credit in the thirties. Tomorrow's debate is held under the auspices of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and will deal with women's issues.
840815We Kingston Whig Standard, CP Judge denies fringe candidate spot at women's issues debate The Federal Court has turned thumbs down yesterday on an attempt by perennial fringe candidate John Turmel to open up tonight's televised debate on women's issues to all political parties. John Turmel, a perennial fringe candidate in various elections, wanted his case heard today, but Associate Chief Justice James Jerome denied Turmel's request to have his case heard today noting that Federal Court Justice Francis Muldoon had turned down a similar attempt by attempt just before the previous debate in July. Turmel's brother Ray and a friend Marc Gauvin, are pursuing similar actions today in both the Ontario Supreme Court in Toronto and Quebec Superior Court in Hull.
Ottawa Citizen Therese Turmel, the 55 year-old mother of perpetual fringe candidates John and Ray Turmel, said she is running in the election because she and her sons have the solution to the country's troubles. A national barter system would solve the funding problems which are at the root of all the country's economic and social problems.
840820Mo Ottawa Citizen, Charles Gordon All candidates meetings display uniqueness of individual ridings Despite television, advertising agencies, backroom computers, we have not all become homogeneous mush. Every riding is different. Drop in at an all-candidates meeting some time. In Ottawa West, independent candidate Therese Turmel, of the amazing Turmel family, flashed a picture of her grandchild. She also had, on a computer diskette, "an equation done by an engineer" -- presumably her son John, seated in the front row along with his brother Ray, a candidate in Nepean Carleton. The diskette contained a solution to the funding problems to which every political issue could be reduced. She waved the diskette, which had something to do with Abraham Lincoln issuing scrip, at the audience each time it was her turn to answer. "See? Funding," she said. She even managed as the hush fell over the crowd to apply the diskette to a question on abortion: "I believe that whoever wants to get an abortion, her main reason is poverty ..." She waved the diskette. There was a question on whether the opera could be brought back to the NAC. Lloyd Francis said he was in favor of opera and Therese Turmel said she did not hear the question but had heard enough of the other answers to know that it was a question of funding.
840822We Ottawa Citizen, Beth Burgess Three excluded, police called to rowdy election debate Police were called during a rowdy all-candidates' meeting in Ottawa Centre Tuesday night. A debate between the candidates for the Liberal, PC, NDP, Communist and Green party deteriorated into an angry quarrel when 3 independent candidates demanded to be allowed to participate. The scheduled issues of unemployment and poverty were all but lost as organizers struggled to gain control of the meeting and the crowd traded insults with the 3 candidates. Independent Marc Gauvin started the controversy when he refused to leave the stage reserved for the 5 invited candidates. Fellow independent candidates Roger James and Ray Joseph Cormier jumped into the fray yelling from the floor for equal treatment. The meeting was delayed, the police were called and many of those in attendance left while other heckled the 3 candidates. Several police officers arrived in the hall to check what was going on but the dispute was resolved without police action. Gauvin was ejected by police from another candidates' meeting two weeks ago. In 1982, as mayoral candidate, he was arrested when he refused to leave the stage of a CBC debate between the two leading candidates in Ottawa. (She doesn't mention he was acquitted.) Members of the unemployment committee of the Ottawa District Labor Council who organized the meeting at St. Luke's Church on Somerset St. decided to solve Tuesday's dispute by asking the crowd to vote on whether the 3 candidates should speak. The crowd narrowly supported the 3 candidates' right to participate. (Marc says it was a distortion since it was obvious enough they didn't even have to count the votes. Standard distortion though. She says it was a narrow victory but it wasn't.) But the meeting didn't get much better. People talked and fidgeted, the crowd of 150 quickly dropped to a handful. One candidate, James, screamed at the crowd to shut up while he was talking. Organizers admitted the evening was a flop. "The reason we didn't want all the candidates here was because we wanted the major candidates to deal fully with the issues of poverty and unemployment, said organizer Peter Cavers. "But with this kind of situation all we could get was superficial answers." (As if they ever had in-depth answers or solutions) Some members blamed the meeting's failure on the disruption made by the independent candidates. (They love to use the word disruption when little guys insist on their time. I wish they'd add disruption of the undemocratic format.) "The independent candidates tried to make a big issue out of a non-issue," said Carol Lane. "If they were concerned about the people in the area, especially those that are poor and unemployed, they would have talked about poverty and unemployment instead of about themselves."
Ottawa Revue , Darlene MacDonald Turmel running again, without the Greens John Turmel has one aim: to get justice from all those who act dictatorially. With that brush, the 33-year-old systems engineers leaves few institutions untouched. From the Bank of Canada to the Green Party, with which he has tried to associate himself, Turmel pulls out all the stops to achieve his goals. Unconcerned with his public notoriety, the man the call the gambler has an almost obsessive dedication to the oath he took as a graduate electrical engineer at Carleton university. "As an engineer, we take an oath of integrity. Being scientifically trained, we don't have any excuse if our system breaks down for a scientific reason," says Turmel. As the only self-proclaimed systems engineer in the country to have specialized in banking systems, which he later applied to the operation of his own casino, Turmel detected a flaw in the banking system -- that of the interest rate. For 5 years, Turmel has set out to single-handedly lobby for a reprogramming of the entire system. "All I need is to be prime minister for a day, even just chief engineer, then I could get into the Bank of Canada's central computer, re-program the system to operate on a pure service charge. That has been the thrust of Turmel's strategy throughout his nearly 100 motions before the courts, seven of which have reached the SCC, his affiliations with the Social Credit party and the fledgling Christian Credit party and his tireless campaign for the preservation of democracy. Turmel has run in 16 elections on all levels in the past 5 years. Denying criticism he is a publicity seeker, Turmel spouts Biblical passages and feels strong identification with past religious leaders who have advocated a free market by the abolition of interest rates. Turmel has attached the name Greenbacks to his system modeled after Abraham Lincoln's Greenback system. I prophesy that when the electronic revolution gets fully implemented, this is the money program that will be used," Turmel adds, waving the computer disk that contains the Greenback program, that he will then have the last laugh. "A prophet is never recognized in his own land." The Greenback system operates on the idea that people pay their taxes by working for the state of city. So, in exchange for services rendered, the worker receives tradeable tax credit notes. The working model for the system is not operating on a local level in British Columbia. Some 1,000 Vancouver Island residents are supplementing their cash income with "Greendollars" under a bartering system called Local Exchange Trading System. But it this economic theory which has caused dissension between Turmel and the Ottawa chapter of the Green party. National chairman, Trevor Hancock, refused to endorse the candidacy of Turmel on the grounds that he is using the Green party to "push his own particular economic theories and that he did not fully support the principles of the party." Infuriated, Turmel is seeking to rid the party of the "totalitarian element" which he says exists among a small clique of the top Greens and prevents freedom of expression among the general membership. "If you want to push an idea such as my Greenbacks theory, you pick a party that most closely has your goals, join it and work to add your goals if they aren't there or further them if they are. I'm as Green as any of them. I've been at all the demonstrations. I was the guy with the umbrella full of holes at the acid rain demonstrations." By accusing him of not sharing their objectives, Turmel contends the "Core of the party" does not want to encourage members to push their own ideas rather they are to express Hancock's philosophies. For that reason, Turmel plans to run in Toronto riding of Beaches as an independent and defeat Hancock on his own territory. Turmel was responsible for calling the unofficial nomination meeting which followed the party faithful's appointment of John Dodson to represent Ottawa Centre. In the succeeding meeting in which the candidates for the Ottawa area were officially chosen, appeasing the faction of the party that believed the appointment of Dodson was undemocratic, Turmel was arrested on a charge of trespassing. Unwilling to let the incident pass, Turmel is waiting for the constitutional documentation Greg Vezina promised to produce to show why the first party meeting was invalidated. Turmel's most recent venture was a motion before the Federal Court of Canada to force the CRTC to adhere to the letter of its regulations and allow the leaders of every political party to take part in the leaders' debate. In particular, he referred to the section which says that free time political broadcasts must be made available on an equitable basis. Having failed in this attempt, Turmel has a couple of other strategies left to explore. For instance, Turmel suggests that if the Independents formed a coalition of 280 candidates, Max Keeping or anybody else couldn't keep us from a major debate. We will use any legal motions necessary to try and block debates going on without us. The second strategy which he guarantees will be "clogging the courts," is an attempt to block air time given to NDP leader Ed Broadbent. "If the Federal Court judge says it's unfair to the majors (the leading parties) for the minors to get equal time, then I want Ed Broadbent to get less time. After all, if you're going to be undemocratic, do it consistently, not just to some people." He adds with a laugh "I'm doing this as a chance to corner them into contradicting themselves." (Jerome made sure there was no chance for them to contradict themselves)
840823Th Ottawa Citizen, Beth Burgess Independents charged in local riding fracas More than 900 Ottawa Centre voters cheered as police arrested two independent candidates Wednesday night when they refused to leave the stage the candidates' debate at Glebe Collegiate. Marc Gauvin and Ray Cormier climbed on the stage just before the debate was to begin and yelled at the crowd to support their right to address the voters but the crowd booed the candidates yelling at them to get off the stage. They applauded as police led the two from the schools auditorium. Gauvin and Cormier were later charged with petty trespassing and released by Ottawa police to appear in court Aug. 29. The arrests delayed the meeting by about 10 minutes. Gauvin and Cormier, along with a third independent candidate, Roger James, made a similar protest at a candidates' meeting at St. Lukes. Although police were also called that night, no charges were laid after organizers held a vote to decide whether the candidates should be allowed to speak. A crowd of about 100 voted in favor of allowing the candidates to stay. But organizers from the Glebe Community Association who sponsored Wednesday's debate weren't so accommodating. "We specifically invited the 3 candidates from the major parties" said association vice-president Jim McCarthy. "With 9 candidates running in the riding, we would have had to have an hour of opening statements and each question would take almost half an hour to finish. We consider that an unsatisfactory situation." McCarthy said the minor candidates were offered time to address the crowd toward the end of the meeting (when all the media had gone home). Only one, James, agreed to do so. "The arrests were a very unfortunate way to begin the evening but it turned out to be a good hot meeting and I think it proved our point that people are here to listen to the main candidates," McCarthy said.
840827Mo Ottawa Citizen, April Lindgren Fringe Candidates The grand-daddy of local fringe candidates is John Turmel, the professional gambler who had run in 16 elections in 5 years. He is running in Beaches in Toronto this time but has 5 independent candidates spreading word of his "economic solution" in the Ottawa area. He calls it the Abraham Lincoln job-funding Greenback program -- a barter system programmed onto a computer disk that Turmel wants to plug into the Bank of Canada's computer system to solve the country's problems "within days." In addition to his mother, Therese, and brother, Ray, Mireille Landry, Serge Girard and Marc Gauvin are running locally to promote the plan. Both Gauvin and Cormier were charged with petty trespassing recently when they jumped onto the stage of an Ottawa Centre meeting and yelled for the crowd to support their right to address the voters. Organizers of public meetings in most area ridings often have invited only the Tory, Liberal and NDP candidates to participate saying the meetings would last too long if everyone was included and that they didn't invite one independent candidate without inviting them all. There are 61 independent candidates across Canada and another 23 who say they have no affiliation. In 1980, there were 55 independents and 55 with no affiliation.
Ottawa Citizen Letter, Jim Poushinsky As one of the two original organizers for the Ottawa Greens, I would like to point out that John Turmel is correct in stating that the Green party fails to operate democratically. Dr. Trevor Hancock wrote his name in as leader of the Greens when a 100 name petition was forwarded to register the federal political party. The subsequent 3 day founding convention attended by 167 delegates representing 4500 Greens across Canada refused to endorse Hancock as leader or spokesperson. Many of the Green candidates seeking office have good ideas and personal qualities despite their poor judgment in forming a politically expedient alliance with Hancock's unrepresentative regime. I hope we will all learn from our mistakes and get on with the greening of planet Earth once this election madness passes.
840901Sa Le Droit, Manon Raiche-Pincine Moniere: The media ignored us GATINEAU -- The Nationalist party was the victim of the "Hygrade Sausage" syndrome. It's this that explains why his party didn't do too well. Like the Hygrade sausage, the more you eat, the fresher they are and the fresher they are, the more you eat, you could say about the TV, the more you say about us, the more we get and the more votes you get, the more you say about it, said Denis Moniere in Gatineau. He had come to meet his Outaouais candidates and says that his party is not dead and even though the campaign didn't reach its natural clients.
Le Droit Defending the PN Jean Paul Harney, the president of the NDP in Quebec and candidate in Levis, has come to the defence of the Parti Nationaliste who did not get free air time out of CBC and should have gotten it. He is going to complain to the CRTC that this situation shouldn't happen again.
840903Mo Ottawa Citizen SERGE GIRARD, INDEPENDENT Serge Girard says there are two culprits in Canada's ailing economy: the banks and interest rates. The independent candidate has the answer for at least one of these problems. Abolish interest rates. Girard, 34, a supply teacher, has allied himself politically with Ottawa's most famous also-ran politician John Turmel. In a proposal vaguely reminiscent of the Social Credit line, Girard says his political allies would abolish interest rates and set up a barter system. He says the group would also outlaw insurance. If a house burned down, area residents would help the victim rebuild.
THERESE TURMEL, INDEPENDENT Therese Turmel believes she has the solution to the country's problems on a small computer disk. The 55 year-old mother of perpetual fringe candidates John and Ray Turmel is staking her political fortunes on Abraham Lincoln's job-funding Greenback program programmed onto the disk by her "genius son John." The program involves bartering for labor and goods, abolition of interest rates and a system that would allow everyone to issue and manage their own money supply. This Turmel's first venture into politics as a candidate but she says she is an experienced campaigner having worked for her sons in their ill- fated attempts to gain office at all levels. The former teacher and translator who has been on a disability pension since 1971 also pickets regularly in front of the Bank of Canada on Thursdays to protest bank policy and interest rates.
RAY TURMEL, INDEPENDENT GREEN One of the main issues in this election is the threat to democracy by the biased media, says independent Green candidate Ray Turmel. Big Brother is taking over, it's as simple as that, said the 32 year-old Gatineau resident who "fights banks" with his brother John. We should have limitless money," he says explaining that people should be able to borrow as much as they need without paying interest on it. Ironically, Turmel survives financially to the banking system he abhors. His father dies recently and Turmel, his wife and two children live off the interest he was bequeathed. Turmel says he chose to run as an independent Green because he was denied a fair opportunity to seek the official Green party nomination.
MARC GAUVIN, INDEPENDENT Independent candidate Marc Gauvin's platform is all on a computer disk. The disk outlines a monetary system to end unemployment and inflation that was developed by professional gambler John Turmel (notice how they always mention gambler and never engineer. A program developed by an engineer would be more difficult to denigrate.) Gauvin says the government could solve the economic crisis by giving the unemployed interest-free tax credits. "Until we solve the economic problem, we'll never be able to solve the problems of the environment, disarmament, poverty and hunger." He was nominated to represent the Green party in Ottawa Carleton but decided to run as an independent.
840905We Halifax Chronicle Herald, Ken McQueen CP Turmel fails to stop election OTTAWA -- At 11:11a.m. Tuesday, James Jerome, associate chief justice of the Federal Court of Canada, appeared to stifle a sigh as he announced "Call the Turmel matter." The matter was an attempt by perennial candidate and amateur lawyer John Turmel to have the Federal Court order the Chief Electoral Officer to cancel Tuesday's federal election. The fact that thousands of voters were already streaming to the polls in all parts of the country except the westernmost pacific zone didn't appear to affect Turmel, an Ottawa resident running Toronto Beaches riding. Jerome accepted about 15 minutes of enthusiastic argument by Turmel before dismissing his application. It was at least the third time in this campaign that Turmel has tried and failed to get the Federal Court of issue injunctions related to the election or election television coverage. This time Turmel argued the election was "tainted" because he and other independent or "small party" candidates haven't received what he considered fair television coverage. Having failed to halt the election, Turmel presented the court with a petition signed by 15 independent candidates who want their $200 election deposits back. "I have been the victim of an undemocratic election" Turmel said.
Le Droit `REQUETE POUR ANNULER L'ELECTION' Journal de Montreal `EN BREF' Le Devoir `LES ELECTIONS AURONT LIEU'
840920Th Ottawa Citizen, Charles Gordon Being in a crowd makes you think about your fellow man Special Agent, I suppose you've been studying how the behavior patterns of the city have been affected, Special Agent? Of course, sir. You know how every Thursday these people wave signs in front of the Bank of Canada condemning interest rates? Yes. Well, yesterday, they moved to Wellington St. and waved them at the Pope. They thought interest rates were his fault? No. They thought that was where the crowd was.
840925Tu Ottawa Citizen, Chris Hall Turmel fined for trespassing at meeting The Green Party had John Turmel seeing red Monday. The professional gambler and perennial candidate was fined $53 after a Justice of the Peace Gerry Binda convicted him of trespassing Aug. 5 at a Green party nomination meeting. Turmel said he will appeal the conviction and fine to the Provincial Court. He was charged after twice being evicted from the meeting which had been called to resolve the dispute between Turmel and his supporters and the party executive. (Executive?) The dispute arose over the manner in which party candidates were nominated to run in Ottawa ridings during the Sept. 4 general election. (They never told the people how my meeting operated. Though they mentioned the other was not democratic, they never mentioned mine was fine.)
841023Tu Ottawa Citizen, Dennis Foley Federal candidate convicted of trespassing at meeting A fringe candidate in last month's federal election was found guilty in provincial court of trespassing during an Ottawa Centre candidates meeting at Glebe Collegiate. Ray Joseph Cormier, 40, a self-styled religious prophet, argued he had a right under the charter of rights to address the meeting sponsored by the Glebe Community Association. But james McCarthy, Association vice-president, told the court the gathering was not billed as an all-candidates' meeting. Six candidates had been told they could speak after the main debate among the Liberal, PC and NDP candidates. When Cormier and Marc Gauvin refused to leave the stage, they were charged with trespassing. "You cannot impose your views on the people who organized the meeting" Justice of the Peace Gerry Binda said in finding Cormier guilty. When the minimum fine of $53 was imposed, Cormier said he would not pay it on principle and wanted jail instead. Binda told Cormier he would have to wait the customary 15 days allowed to pay a fine allowed under the Provincial Offences Act before exercising that option. `The alternative is 6 days in jail. Gauvin's trial is set for Nov. 7.
841106Sa Ottawa Citizen, Charles Gordon Demonstration downtown gets typical Ottawa reaction Two things happen at every demonstration in Ottawa. The first thing is that demonstrators from other causes try to get in on the act. The second is that downtown Ottawa ignores it. Ten thousand people could parade down Bank St. dressed as transvestite white mice and people would just go about their business. Only John Turmel paid attention. Ever resourceful in his campaign against the Bank of Canada, Turmel carried a sign that linked crime to poverty, poverty to banks. "Are you hanging the right people?" he shouted as the policemen as they passed Sparks St. "Yeah you!" one policeman shouted back.
841116Fr Ottawa Citizen, CP RCMP probing complaints of improper voting conduct The RCMP is investigating complaints of improper conduct during the federal election... Two people were disorderly at an all-candidates meeting during the campaign.
841129Th Ottawa Citizen Independent candidate John Turmel suggested the province's funding problems could be solved by using the Greenback system, which involves working for the government in exchange for tax credit notes.
841130Fr Ottawa Citizen John Turmel, a perennial independent, said the housing shortage could be solved through his Greenback system, which would put people to work for the government building new homes for pay in tax credit notes.
Ottawa Citizen, Anne McNeilly Ottawa Centre candidates In Ottawa Centre, six candidates are vying for the seat left vacant by MPP Michael Cassidy who won a federal seat. Evelyn Gigantes is competing against Graham Bird and Lowell Green. Greg Vezina, who ran federally for the Green party in Nepean slipped in just under the deadline. At first, his candidacy wasn't going to be allowed because only 78 of the 100 names required were on the voters' list and lived in the riding. But because of Vezina's confusion over federal and provincial boundaries for Ottawa Centre, Warren Bailie, the province's chief election officer, decided to allow his name to stand. The independent candidates are John Turmel and Ray Cormier. The independent candidate in Ottawa East is Serge Girard.
841201Sa Ottawa Citizen, Sherry Baron Candidates attempt to stop TV debate Two candidates vying for the Ottawa Centre seat in the Dec. 13 provincial by-election are taking legal action against CJOH-TV because they say the station is denying them an equal opportunity to be heard next week during a political debate. Green Party candidate Greg Vezina and John Turmel are seeking separate injunctions in the Supreme Court of Ontario Tuesday to stop CJOH from broadcasting the debate in its present format. Both candidates notified the station Friday of their intent to bring legal action. They say the stations' policy violates various regulations and ignores democratic rights guaranteed in the Charter. "They're not allowing me an equal chance to get my message to the people," says 27 year-old Vezina. He wants the debate postponed until the courts can rule on its constitutionality. Although Tuesday's debate will allow Turmel, Vezina and Cormier one minute each at the beginning of thee show to make a statement, all three will be excluded from the following live 15-minute debate. The statements are to be taped in advance. Station policy for such debates restricts participation to people who represent registered political parties who have seats in the provincial legislature or the House of Commons.
Ottawa Citizen Editorial Cartoon, King Some loony protest signs saying "The Earth is Flat," "Stop Fluoridation Now," "Save the Baboons," "Arrest the Bank of Canada," VDTs cause cancer," with someone yelling "Hey look. A new member" when a guy is approaching with "Ban Rubella Vaccine."
841204Tu Ottawa Citizen, Sherry Baron Two candidates seek rulings on TV debate In a separate case, The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Monday an application from Turmel who was seeking leave to appeal a similar case involving CJOH-TV. Turmel has been fighting through the courts since last January to get CJOH news producer Max Keeping charged with theft, breach of trust and conspiracy for not letting him participate in a debate broadcast by the station Dec. 6, 1983. Turmel was a provincial candidate at the time for the riding of SDG.
Ottawa Citizen Independent John Turmel is delivering his familiar message about the Greenback system which would provide tax-payers with tax credits in exchange for work down for the government. Turmel, 33, who says he makes his living at a mobile blackjack game, explains his Greenback system is programmed on a computer disk he displays at public meetings.
841205We Ottawa Citizen, Jennifer Jackson Exclusion of 3 candidates sparks TV-debate boycott Two of the three major candidates in Ottawa Centre's by-election walked out moments before the taping of a CJOH debate because other candidates weren't permitted to participate. Conservative Graham Bird and Liberal Lowell Green left the Merivale Rd. Studios about 6p.m. when station officials refused to let Green party candidate Greg Vezina and independents Ray Cormier and John Turmel participate. NDP candidate Evelyn Gigantes remained. Bird said later: "I think any legitimate candidate should be able to play. No matter how much I disagree with them, they should be able to say their piece." But Gigantes, who stayed for what ended up to be a 15 minute interview with news director Max Keeping said: "I don't see any reason why the three other candidates should be involved in the debate. They aren't newsmakers since they can't attract enough support for their ideas to get a member elected to the government. I think it was ridiculous for Green and Bird to walk off, if not of bad intent." Vezina applauded the integrity of Bird and Green saying: "It's something Evelyn Gigantes doesn't have and I'd like you to quote me please. I get awfully upset when I'm called a fringe candidate. I don't think peace, the environment and democracy are fringe issues. Turmel said: "Good for them. What guts. I never thought they'd take a stand." Keeping said all six candidates were given one minute to state their positions but only the three major candidates were invited to participate in the taped debate to be aired about 11:30p.m. after the 1 minutes segments. Keeping said the station stipulates only candidates from parties that have elected provincial or federal members can join in these debates. Otherwise, the forum becomes too unwieldy. (how about excluding my mother, the fourth and only candidate?) Asked why he didn't cancel the debate after Bird and Green walked out, Keeping said: "That the other two candidates couldn't take part is no reason to discriminate against Ms. Gigantes who was willing to abide by the ground rules. This isn't a free-time political broadcast, it's a news broadcast. We want to present what the voters need to know." The station has used this format for about 10 years and no candidates have refused to participate. Keeping said another debate won't be rescheduled before the Dec. 13 provincial by-election but he will review the policy. He estimates about 75,000 people would have seen the debate. The show started falling apart around 4p.m. when Vezina went to Green's campaign headquarters to tell him he just lost his case in the Ontario Supreme Court where he hoped the judge would force CJOH to allow him an equal opportunity to speak. "When he told me he'd lost the court decision, I said I simply couldn't go on," said Green. Vezina later travelled to Bird's campaign headquarters and got the same answer. Both Bird and Green said they waited until the last minute before refusing to appear on the show because they were waiting for the outcome of the court case heard earlier Tuesday. Green said he was astonished the representative of the NDP, of all parties, should be the one to support shutting out the others. "The CCF was a so- called fringe party that had trouble getting attention from the media."
Ottawa Citizen The fourth candidate is Serge Girard, a political ally of John Turmel. Girard, 35, is a high school supply teacher. He has run once before in Ottawa East as a member of the Social Credit party and twice for Ottawa Council. Girard ran in the federal election as an independent candidate allied with Turmel. Girard and Turmel believe the province's financial problems can be solved by using Turmel's Greenback system, which involves working for the government in exchange for tax credit notes.
841210Mo Ottawa Citizen, Kathryn May
The harshest attacks came from Independent John Turmel and Green Greg Vezina who repeatedly slammed Gigantes for participating in a CJOH debate which both Bird and Green boycotted because the other three were excluded.
841211Tu Ottawa Citizen, Kelly Egan NDP's Gigantes blasted for TV debate role New Democrat Evelyn Gigantes came under harsh criticism for taking part in a television debate that was not open to all six candidates. Her opponents spent much of the two hour show on cable television criticizing her stand which she took part in alone last week. Only Gigantes, Green and Bird were invited to the 15 minute debate while the other three candidates were given 1 minute on tape to make presentations. While Green and Bird left the debate after giving 1 minute speeches, Gigantes stayed and was interviewed for the remainder of the allotted time. On air Monday at the final candidates' meeting before Thursday's vote, John Turmel served Gigantes with a writ for defamation for remarks he said she made. Green also criticized Gigantes as did Greg Vezina who said of Bird and Green: "Their integrity is worth more than 15 minutes of air time." Gigantes meanwhile defended her actions by saying that CJOH and debate host Max Keeping were free to set the format for the event based on the newsworthiness of the candidates. A couple of times, I said she prostituted her integrity for the time.
Globe & Mail, Orland French A twist in a tale of politics One night last week, Ottawa CJOH television station scheduled an all- candidates debate for the benefit of voters in the Ottawa Centre by- election. Well, it wasn't quite an all-candidates' debate. It was a debate featuring candidates from the 3 old line parties. It did not include three so-called "fringe" candidates. When it came time to tape the debate, a very strange thing happened. The two older-line party candidates refused to go on the show unless the 3 minor candidates were given equal time. Evelyn Gigantes went on the show alone and got all the air time, 15 minutes worth, for herself. Was she a smart politician or did she undermine her credibility as a candidate of the party that claims to be on the side of the little guy? If you're a voter in a centretown riding, whether Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, wherever, you know how fringe candidates clutter up a neat election campaign. They bore you at all-candidates meetings and they consume precious and limited television air time. They are a nuisance for most people because only a very few ever vote for them. In the 1980 federal election in Ottawa Centre, 7 fringe candidates competed with the 3 old-line parties. Altogether, the seven drew fewer than a thousand votes. PRICE OF LIBERTY But they are a democratic nuisance, part of the price of the system in which everyone can run for office. As candidates, they have as much right to be heard as representatives of the established parties. Democracy is fine on the ballot, but not on a news show. CJOH news director Max Keeping says he wasn't running a free-time political affairs show. He said he was running a news show to which he had the right to invite whoever he wanted. He wanted the 3 major candidates because they were news. (he was making them news.) The others were not. "We're trying to create a format where the serious voter can make an informed decision. (Notice how if you vote for the fringe, you're not a serious voter and they're not going to cater to you) "We don't have to give equal time but we try to give equitable time." CJOH permitted all six candidates to tape a 1 minute message but only the 3 major candidates were invited to join the subsequent discussion. Mr. Keeping says CJOH defines the candidates it will invite as those belonging to the parties having members sitting in the legislature. Mr. Green however points out that this isn't fair to some serious candidates. Tony Roman, for instance, would not have been invited to appear on CJOH under those rules because he ran as an independent. He was hardly a fringe candidate for he won his seat on Sept. 4. We weren't asking CJOH to have them on the show with us. We only wanted to give them equal time." With a straight face, he added "We asked CJOH to delay the Twilight Zone by 15 minutes after the next evening's news show. HAVE A RIGHT Mr. Bird said "I'm not willing to decide who is nuts and who isn't. It's the cherished right of the individual to get involved and speak. I'm not sure I want to set a ministry of silly people and decide who has the right to speak." There's one more element to the story and it's significant. One of the fringe candidates is Greg Vezina, of the Green party of Ontario. Unlike the other two, he represents a party which is duly registered with the Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario having collected 10,000 signatures from Ontario residents. The Green party has no members elected anywhere in Canada but does have members in West Germany. Ms. Gigantes suggested that Mr. Vezina is really a Tory at heart. "He talks the Conservative party line about a lean, mean government." This apparently is enough to rule him off the candidates' stage. She also contends that "it's difficult for people to follow an election with six candidates." It would be much simpler with only one candidate. What she doesn't mention is that the NDP won Ottawa Centre by only 595 votes in 1981. The environmentalist Green party might siphon of enough NDP votes to turn it into a squeaker.
Globe & Mail, Evelyn Gigantes letter News judgment Orland French overlooked a few facts in his column. The Green candidate in Ottawa Centre was a delegate to the Conservative leadership convention in 1983. He supported Peter Pocklington. He's a Conservative in Green clothing. The Liberal and PC candidates had already appeared with me in a 3 party debate on CHEZ-FM (with the second largest radio ratings in Ottawa). The decision to challenge the CJOH news format was initiated by the Conservatives; their candidate was ineffectual in 10 debates, eight with the minor candidates. They challenged the 3 party CJOH format because it would have provided full discussion of the issues to a wide Ottawa audience. Mr. French did not mention the housing crisis in Ottawa Centre -- that's a real issue. CJOH news standards are not. On the issue of news coverage: since when did newspapers provide equal access to minor candidates? News judgments are made every time an article is printed and it is passing strange to find a newspaper columnist define the rules for news values in other media. [Find what her answers are on it and put it in to show what she has to offer on the subject of her choice.]
841212We Ottawa Citizen
Rae also told reporters he supported Evelyn Gigantes' decision to participate in a television debate that excluded minor candidates. He called the CJOH-TV debate, for which Gigantes has been strongly criticized by her opponents, "a political routine cooked up by the other two candidates." Ray said never in his political life has he been involved in a television debate that included all candidates.
Girard spent most of his time discussing the "greenback system" designed by his political ally John Turmel. In this system, people work for the government and are paid with tax credits.
841218Tu Ottawa Citizen Editorial, Russ Mills Debating politics beyond the fringe Now that the voters have made their choice in the Ottawa Centre by- election, this may be a good time to look back at the controversy that erupted over the participation of the fringe candidates in a televised debate. Graham Bird and Lowell Green both walked out of the CJOH studio a few moments before the debate was to have been taped because the station would not allow Green party candidate Greg Vezina and independents John Turmel and Ray Cormier to take part. Only NDP Evelyn Gigantes -- the eventual winner -- agreed to stay. The station was simply applying the policy it has followed for the past decade (not true) which stipulates that only candidates from parties that have elected members provincially or federally to participate (good pretext). Other candidates are allowed to tape a 1 minute statement. Bird and Green should have been aware of this policy. They could have advised CJOH well in advance that they wouldn't take part in the debate unless all candidates were invited. By stalking of into the night at the last moment, their action smacked more of grandstanding than standing on principle. If CJOH believes that allowing fringe candidates to take part would turn such debates into a pointless farce, that is its judgment to make. (Can they exclude a major?) As news director Max Keeping said, they are not free-time political broadcasts. They're news broadcasts, properly within CJOH's editorial control. Bird and Green were also free to refuse to participate on CJOH's terms but did they really understand what they were doing. If so, should they not also have refused to be interviewed by the Citizen since this newspaper gave their campaigns more coverage than their three fringe competitors. Or are there limits to their devotion to the principle of equal treatment? By their decision, the voters of Ottawa Centre were deprived of a rare opportunity to assess the three major candidates together. Bird and Green might reflect upon that -- and whose interests were served by their action.
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