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CAN AN ORDINARY CITIZEN BEAT THE GOVERNMENT IN THE COURT?
You are the JUDGE. Please read and let me know.
New Westminster BC
Nov 19, 2001
CANCELLATION OF MY CERTIFICATE WITHOUT A NOTICE
- ELECTRICAL INSPECTION
I am a 50-year-old electrical engineer who has been in electrical contract business since 1994. In March 1998, I had two projects; a new house in Maple Ridge and a Subway store in Vancouver. On March 30th 1998, electrical inspector Mr. John Evans, -in his preliminary inspection- spotted "one item of deficiency" in my Subway project, that I corrected without any argument.
- SURPRISE CALL FROM SAFETY ENGINEERING
Three days later, on April 2nd 1998, I had a phone call from Mr. Brian McHugh, Examination and Permits Officer at the Safety Engineering Services. Mr. McHugh mentioned a problem with my Subway project and he wanted to discuss the issue, for the first time in my four-year- electrical- service. An hour later, in his office, Mr. McHugh told me that electrical inspector, Mr. John Evans and his supervisor, Mr. Art Tsisserev, P. Eng., had questioned my qualifications as an "electrician".
- REASONS FOR QUESTIONING MY CERTIFICATE OF QUALIFICATIONS
The issue was the validity of my "AX" certificate instead of "the deficiency". Mr. Tsisserev admitted the fact as follows:
MR. TSISSEREV: In respect to the electrical work undertaken by you under the scope of electrical permit # EL 428115 at 6402 Victoria Drive, please note that John Evans, our District Electrical Inspector, is fully satisfied with your prompt acknowledgment of the electrical safety (*) deficiency noted during the referenced installation and your complete cooperation in order to rectify that deficiency. (*) The deficient item was the lack of neutral connection in an un-energized panel and it was NOT a safety issue.
It is obvious why Mr. Tsisserev has failed to answer the following question:
KORKUT: If Mr. John Evans was satisfied with my prompt acknowledgement of the deficiency that was NOT a safety concern, on what grounds and under what authority you phoned Mr. Brian McHugh and questioned the validity of my "AX" certificate that prompted the cancellation of it without due process?
Mr. McHugh, instead of advising Mr. Evans and Mr. Tsisserev that they had no authority to question my lawfully issued certificate, he co- operated with them and he took my certificate from my hand and kept it. In other words, he has cancelled it and I lost my four-year-old "AX" certificate within two hours. He, in person, has reversed the decision of his superior, the former Chief Inspector of British Columbia, even though the Chief Inspector himself does not have the authority to reverse his own decision.
A week later, Mr. McHugh called me into his office, and offered me an agreement in the presence of Mr. Chuck Webber. According to this agreement, I had to consent to the cancellation of my certificate; in return, Mr. McHugh promised to give me permission to complete my ongoing projects. Contrary to his expectations, I declined to sign his bizarre agreement before consulting with my lawyer. Mr. McHugh refused to give me the copy of the agreement. Later, Mr. McHugh stated that the document was a draft copy and therefore he recycled it. However, it is highly interesting to know why Mr. McHugh asked me to sign the draft copy of the agreement instead of the original and he destroyed both documents.
OFFICIAL REASON FOR THE CANCELLATION
I received the notice of cancellation signed by Mr. Brian McHugh on April 17th 1998 even though it was dated April 8th 1998. Mr. McHugh officially expressed the reason for the cancellation as follows: MR. MCHUGH: ". we have determined that you are not a member in good standing of A.P.E.G. of BC as a professional engineer. " Nevertheless, Mr. McHugh was not factual about "determining" that I was "not a professional engineer", because the documents he presented to the Court clearly indicated that I was not a professional engineer at the time my qualifications were evaluated by the Chief Inspector. In addition, "Professional Engineer Status" was not a requirement for "AX" class certificate, in 1994. Mr. Aksoylu, an acquaintance of Mr. McHugh, testified that he had a valid "AX" class certificate issued in 1994, like me, and he did not have "Professional Engineer Status". Therefore, the lack of "Professional Engineer Status", hardly justifies the cancellation of my certificate.
AUTHORITY TO CANCEL CERTIFICATE OF QUALIFICATIONS
As the name implies, a "certificate" is a certified and legally binding document and no person is entitled to cancel or question the validity of it; especially certificate of qualifications. Under the common law, cancellation of a certificate of qualifications requires a hearing, if there is a lawful reason to cancel it. In addition, Mr. Brian McHugh, as an officer in the employ of the Safety Engineering Services is bound with the Electrical Safety Act and Regulations. The Electrical Safety Regulations section 17 specifically prescribes a board hearing for the cancellation of the registration of a certificate. The cancellation of the certificate itself has civil consequences and that requires a judicial hearing. (1) The Chief Inspector may ... cancel the registration of ... an accredited representative (my "AX" certificate) ... certificate. (2) The Chief Inspector must, when making a decision under subsection (1), consider the board's recommendation ... Any reasonable person may conclude that Mr. McHugh as the Examination and Permits Officer had NO AUTHORITY to cancel any certificate under the above legislation.
LEGAL ACTION AGAINST MR. MCHUGH
I wrote a letter to Mr. McHugh, informed him that his cancellation procedure was improper and pleaded with him to return my certificate to avoid an unnecessary litigation that might cost $200,000 to taxpayers. Mr. McHugh ignored my pleading and I proceeded against him on the grounds of UNAUTHORIZED CANCELLATION and VIOLATION OF MY STATUTORY RIGHT TO A NOTICE and BOARD HEARING. The Attorney General of British Columbia preferred to defend Mr. McHugh rather than reinstating my certificate and paying my loss of $18,000. Mr. Keith Johnston was appointed as a legal counsel for Mr. McHugh. Upon the refusal of my "offer to settle" by his superiors, consistent with his professional obligations under chapter 10, Mr. Johnston withdrew from the case and Ms. Lisa Shendroff replaced him.
MS. SHENDROFF'S CONDUCT AT THE TRIAL
During the three-day-trial in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Ms. Shendroff patently stated that I had a hearing:
MS SHENDROFF: "He (Korkut) had notice of the hearing, he had the opportunity to be heard, and in fact he was heard." (Transcript page 8, line 37)
Contrary to her submission, her client Mr. McHugh testified that "there was no board hearing" before the cancellation. (Transcript page 97, line 37) Furthermore, Ms. Shendroff, perverted the issue by arguing that my certificate was issued by an anonymous clerk, even though clerks are NOT authorized to issue any certificate of qualifications under the Electrical Safety Act and Regulations. Even if a clerk were authorized to issue my certificate and his/her error were proven, that would not justify the violation of my STATUTORY RIGHT TO A NOTICE and BOARD HEARING. In addition, Ms. Shendroff had a professional obligation to inform the Court that board hearing was required by law. (Professional Conduct Handbook Chapter 8, 1(f)). The following statement is a perfect example of her misleading the Court regarding my right to a board hearing: MS SHENDROFF: "I don't think the board can be called to a hearing at each individual - - every instance." (Transcript page 240, line 15)
DISMISSAL OF LEGAL ACTION
Consequently, the Honourable Madam Justice Lynn Smith IGNORED THE LAW that unequivocally required a board hearing and DISMISSED my legal action. Inherently, the Court who ignores the law has no jurisdiction to enforce it. The Court of Law is meant to protect our rights, not the offenders.
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
Madam Justice Smith decided that my certificate was issued by an anonymous clerk (paragraph 7). Nevertheless, she did not have the curiosity to ask the Defendant's counsel whether a clerk had authority to do so. The Honourable Madam Justice Lynn Smith pronounced that I was NOT QUALIFIED for my "AX" certificate because I did not have an apprenticeship (trade qualification) certificate. (Paragraph 11) Obviously, Madam Justice Smith was under the impression that electrical engineering degree was an inferior qualification to electrical apprenticeship (trade qualification) certificate.
COMPLAINT TO THE LAW SOCIETY
In order to ensure a fair appeal hearing in the Court of Appeal, I filed a complaint against Ms. Shendroff, on the grounds that she misstated the facts and law before the Court. Obviously, it is impossible to administer justice in the Court of Law where a lawyer is entitled to misstate the facts and law.
FAILURE TO INVESTIGATE MS. SHENDROFF'S CONDUCT
The Law Society Executive Director Mr. James Matkin declined to investigate my complaint claiming that misstating the facts and law do not constitute a discipline violation. The Staff Lawyer Ms. Kyong-ae Kim made the following statement and Mr. Matkin concurred with her. "It was open to her (Ms. Shendroff) for instance, to make the legal argument that you (Plaintiff) were not entitled to a Board hearing, or that the hearing which took place on May 28, 1998(*) was the Board hearing required by law." (*) Eight weeks after the cancellation. It is a grave concern for the Honour and Integrity of legal profession that the Executive Director of the Law Society has ratified Ms. Shendroff's arguing my right to a board hearing before the Court. Furthermore, it is disheartening to note that a member of the Law Society is entitled to argue board hearing after the cancellation of a certificate is "the board hearing required by law".
LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE LAW SOCIETY
I filed a legal action against the Law Society Executive Director Mr. James Matkin on the grounds that he failed to investigate my complaint against Ms Shendroff. Mr. Matkin's legal counsel Mr. Michael Armstrong filed a motion and the Honourable Madam Justice Mary Boyd DISMISSED my legal action without any justification. I appealed her decision, nonetheless, Mr. Armstrong made false statements in his factum as follows:
MS. SHENDROFF'S WITHDRAWAL
MR. ARMSTRONG: "There was no evidence before the court substantiating any alleged misrepresentation or misstatement by Ms. Shendroff and no evidence from the Appellant concerning his complaint to the Law Society." (Factum Paragraph 25) Therefore, I filed a complaint against Mr. Armstrong. The Law Society President, Mr. Richard Margetts declined to investigate my complaint. Under the circumstances, it does not make sense for me to proceed with my appeal, knowing that Mr. Armstrong has no ethical restraints to argue the established facts before the Court of Appeal.
Four days after I served my Complaint Book to the Law Society, Ms. Shendroff withdrew from the case. The Attorney General appointed Mr. Jakob de Villiers to act as the Defendant's THIRD counsel.
DISMISSAL OF APPEAL HEARING
In the Court of Appeal, Mr. de Villiers repeated the same arguments Ms. Shendroff made in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The presiding justices Madam Justice Southin, Madam Justice Prowse and Madam Justice Newbury overlooked my RIGHT TO A FAIR HEARING and the established facts and they DISMISSED my appeal.
DEMAND FOR COURT COSTS
Mr. de Villiers, the Defendant's counsel, was not satisfied with his procuring the dismissal of my appeal. He attempted to collect court costs from me. In his letter dated June 18, 2001, he wrote me that: 1. -I lost my legal action- NEVERTHELESS he overlooked the fact that Madam Justice Smith's decision was not valid because it was OVERRIDING my right to a board hearing. 2. -I fraudulently made use of my certificate and I recklessly put the lives of citizens at risk- NEVERTHELESS he had no supporting evidence of it. 3. -He would not be deterred by publicity and pursue the collection of court costs ($13,381) vigorously- NEVERTHELESS he had no warrant to do so.
RESPONSE TO MR. DE VILLIERS
In my open letter (3) to Mr. de Villiers, I made the following remarks in response to his letter: "Please, stop acting like an idiot (SIC) who has no respect for the public's STATUTORY and CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO A FAIR HEARING. Please, bear in mind that you are entitled to maintain your self-respect and professional integrity. Even if you are devoid of those values, you must understand that you have a duty to preserve the honour and integrity of legal profession, the credibility of the Administration of Justice and the historic traditions of the Attorney General's Office." I have not heard from him since then.
ONE MAN AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
My legal action was against Mr. McHugh, in person, nevertheless, Madam Justice Smith ordered to change the Defendant's name to "Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of the Province of British Columbia". Obviously, it was not fair to attribute Mr. McHugh's unlawful cancellation to Her Majesty the Queen. In fact, I am not an adversary to Her Majesty or the Government that represents the LAW OF THE LAND and protects us from offenders.
RESPONSIBILITY TO INFORM THE PUBLIC
Despite my repeated attempts to take this issue to the attention of the media, they preferred to stay silent about it. Therefore, I undertook the responsibility of informing the public myself. I started an email campaign to inform all the lawyers of British Columbia who has an email address, all MLA's, MP's, Law Professors, the members of the media and the activist organizations such as Civil Liberties Association. The Attorney General's office intimidated me with defamation lawsuits for publicizing this story and the court proceedings. It is likely that the media reporters might have had similar threats from the same office, because a few - positive- initial responses I have received from the news-reporters ceased with no explanation. Even though, I understand their fear of the government, fear is no excuse to ignore the duty to inform the public.
MISTREATMENT BY ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
After the cancellation of my "AX" certificate, I kept working under my "C" certificate that was issued in 1984. Due to the mistreatment of inspectors and the restrictions of "C" certificate, I had to terminate my official electrical contract business as of September 28, 2001. Mr. Richard Biletski's conduct: I had a coffee-shop project in New Westminster in July 2001. I filed a request for the preliminary inspection. The electrical inspector Mr. Richard Biletski came to the site and inspected my work as if I requested a final inspection. He rejected nine items of deficiency, which were beyond the scope of his inspection and claimed that the site was life safety and fire hazard. He shut the power down and stopped the construction work. After I notified his supervisor Mr. Chuck Webber that Mr. Biletski's conduct was not lawful, he assigned another inspector and my work turned out to be safe and ready to cover. Nevertheless, Mr. Biletski's conduct as humiliating and counterproductive from the point of public service. Mr. Art Tsisserev's conduct: In August 2001, I had a fast food store project in Vancouver. This was a single-phase project, however BC Hydro was unable to provide single-phase power and it turned out to be a three-phase project. I requested a special permit from Mr. Art Tsisserev, city electrician because he knew that I had an "AX" certificate and I had completed numerous three-phase projects previously. Nevertheless, Mr. Tsisserev refused to give me the permit and consequently I lost my contract.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND VAN CITY CREDIT UNION
On August 7th 2001, I asked the branch manager Mr. Bob Craig to defer my mortgage payments for a couple of months until I get a reply from the Attorney General. Obviously, if the Attorney General ratifies the COURT'S OVERRULING MY RIGHT TO A FAIR HEARING it would not make sense for me to pay my mortgage because the same Court may overrule my property rights as well. Mr. Craig without consulting with my wife and me cancelled my creditline and sent my file to the collections department. I had a meeting with the Collections Manager Mr. Pat McLarnon. Even though he confirmed that I was a member since 1981 and Van City never had any payment problems with me, he failed to explain why Mr. Craig had treated me unfairly.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S DUTIES AND POWERS
The Attorney General Act of British Columbia: 2. The Attorney General (b) must see that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with law. (c) must superintend all matters connected with the administration of justice in British Columbia that are not within the jurisdiction of the government Of Canada.
IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO BRING THIS ISSUE TO THE ATTENTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE PUBLIC HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW HIS RESPONSE.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS THE ONUS TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
Are the Courts entitled to overrule my RIGHT TO A BOARD HEARING or the following justices made a judgment error?
The Honourable Madam Justice Lynn Smith, SC
The Honourable Madam Justice Mary F. Southin, CA
The Honourable Madam Justice Mary V. Newbury, CA
The Honourable Madam Justice Jo-Ann E. Prowse, CA
I have been waiting for the answer since May 2001.
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