1 IN THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH OF ALBERTA
2 JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF EDMONTON
No. 0103 14569
THE NATIONAL POST COMPANY, NP HOLDINGS COMPANY,
12 GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED and DONNA LAFRAMBOISE
CONTINUATION OF EXAMINATION FOR DISCOVERY OF
19 August 25, 2005
20 Edmonton, Alberta
G.A. Brown, Esq. For the Plaintiff
F.S. Kozak, Esq. For the Defendant
Deborah Wacker, CSR(A) Court Reporter
INDEX OF UNDERTAKINGS: Page 438
1 COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH ACTION NO. 0103 14569
2 CHRISTENSEN v. NATIONAL POST
3 (EXAMINATION COMMENCED 10:10 A.M., AUGUST 25, 2005)
4 FERREL CHRISTENSEN, AFFIRMED, EXAMINED BY MR. KOZAK:
5 Q MR. KOZAK: Dr. Christensen, I have several
6 questions for you arising from some of the answers that
7 you've given to earlier undertakings, and a few of them
8 may cover ground that was covered indirectly in an
9 earlier discovery, but has a slightly different context
10 given your answers. So I'll try to be brief. I expect
11 that we will take no more than an hour this morning. I
12 take it that in 1995 prior to your retirement at the
13 University of Alberta you were a full professor?
14 A Yes. Official title is professor. Informally they say
15 full professor just to distinguish from other ranks.
16 Q Yes. And that was in the Department of Philosophy?
17 A Yes.
18 Q Prior to your retirement what was your annual income in
19 the last completed year as a professor?
20 A I'm not going to be able to recall that very well. You
21 do remember my telling you that I was on half time.
22 Q Yes.
23 A And I think it would have been someplace around, on that
24 half-time basis someplace around 40,000, maybe $45,000 a
25 year, someplace in between those two numbers I think.
26 Q I assume that you've retained your income tax returns and
27 you can look back to see exactly what your income was in
1 the year preceding your retirement?
2 A I believe I've kept them back that far.
3 Q All right. I'm going to ask you to produce through your
4 legal counsel your income tax returns for the years 1993
5 through to 1997. In fact, if you have them for the years
6 from 1993 through to 2001 that might cover some questions
7 that I'm about to ask. Would you produce those through
8 your lawyer if they're available to you?
9 A If they're available I don't have an objection. '93 to
10 '97 but then you also mentioned another range.
11 MR. BROWN: He's correcting the range.
12 Q MR. KOZAK: I would like the range extended
13 beyond 1997 through to the year 2002, let's say. I want
14 the range to begin prior to your retirement and to end
15 after the date of publication of the article.
16 MR. BROWN: Can we just go off the record for one
18 MR. KOZAK: Sure.
19 (Discussion off the Record.)
20 Q MR. KOZAK: Dr. Christensen, in an off-the-record
21 discussion with your counsel I have confirmed that if
22 you're able to produce the income tax summaries as
23 opposed to the return itself for the years mentioned that
24 would be sufficient for the purpose of my inquiry.
25 A I'm certainly willing to do that.
26 Q Thank you.
1 UNDERTAKING NO. 52:
2 RE PRODUCE TAX RETURNS OR SUMMARIES FROM
3 1993 THROUGH TO 2002.
4 Q MR. KOZAK: When you retired in 1995 --
5 A May I say. I realized this is one of the very minor
6 errors that I didn't ever correct from the first session
7 of discoveries. It was '96 that I retired.
8 Q I see.
9 A I was 55 and I retired in '96 and I guess I got the 5 and
10 the 6 mixed up. It was the end of 1996 when I retired.
11 Q But you were 55 years of age in that year?
12 A That was the same month that I retired is the month I
13 turned 55.
14 Q And what year was that, November?
15 A That was December.
16 Q Now, I think that you indicated earlier that the
17 University had made a very lucrative offer which
18 precipitated your early retirement; is that correct?
19 A That's part of my reason for taking early retirement.
20 Q And I think you said that you had undertaken an analysis
21 that in rough or general terms suggested that you would
22 be as far ahead taking early retirement as you would
23 working until the age of 65?
24 A Not as far ahead but adequately close to it for my
25 purposes because I live frugally.
26 Q Now, I assume that that offer was a combination of the
27 payment of a lump sum of money and an eligibility for
1 early retirement?
2 A That was basically it as I recall now.
3 Q And was that lump sum payment characterized as a retiring
4 allowance, that is was it money that was paid directly
5 into your RRSP?
6 A It was put directly into an RRSP, yes.
7 Q And do you recall in general terms what the rough numbers
8 were in terms of that retirement allowance?
9 A I think it was $50,000. I may be wrong on that. That
10 number comes to mind at the moment, though.
11 Q And that would have been the lump sum component of the
12 retiring allowance or --
13 A That's the way it seems to me now.
14 Q And following your retirement in December 1996 what was
15 your eligibility for an annual pension, that is the rough
16 amount of your annual pension?
17 A Again I don't have any precise numbers in my head.
18 Q I assume --
19 A Somewhere in and around $30,000.
20 Q I assume that that will be answered by the income tax
21 summaries that you're going to provide?
22 A Surely.
23 Q But based on your recollection at this point in time your
24 annual income would have dropped from a salary in the
25 range of 40 to $45,000 down to roughly a pension of
27 A Very roughly. Again, I'm not at all sure of the exact
1 numbers, but in that ball park, yes.
2 Q Following your retirement from the University of Alberta
3 have you earned any salary or had any other income
5 A Only such things as interest on my savings. Certainly no
7 Q And I think that in an earlier response to a question put
8 to you during examinations for discovery or perhaps in
9 the documents that you've produced you described your
10 savings as being considerable, is that a fair assessment?
11 A I'm not sure what it means. I'm not sure whether I said
12 it. So I'm not quite sure how to answer now.
13 Q I think that it was in a response that you provided to
14 Undertaking 13 which asked for e-mails sent by you to
15 Ms. Malenfant.
16 A Okay.
17 Q And I think in that e-mail to her -- I'm sorry, your
18 words were I believe, Because I own my own place and live
19 frugally and have a fair amount in savings. So I stand
20 corrected, it wasn't considerable savings it was a fair
21 amount in savings.
22 A Big improvement.
23 Q But is that a fair characterization?
24 A It's vague enough that it could hardly fail to be. Yes,
25 I do have savings to tide me over hard times.
26 Q All right. Other than the pension that you've described
27 do you get any other payments from the University of
2 A No, no other payments. Some extra medical insurance
3 through them, that sort of thing, but no other payments,
5 Q Part of the retiring package that you received gave you
6 some entitlement to non-salary benefits, I assume?
7 A That's right.
8 Q And those would be what?
9 A Dental insurance, eyeglasses, standard medical type stuff
10 that goes beyond the Alberta Health Care plan.
11 Q And do you pay any portion of the premiums for that
13 A No.
14 Q One of the other things you said about your early
15 retirement, apart from the financial consequences, was
16 that it would allow you to pursue your long-standing
17 interests with MERGE and ECMAS, do you recall that
19 A My main reason for taking early retirement was to be
20 involved in the kind of research and the kind of activism
21 that I had gotten so heavily involved in before retiring.
22 Q That activism, though, wasn't directly linked to any of
23 your interests or responsibilities as a professor at the
24 University of Alberta, were they?
25 A No, that's independent. Well, I should make a more
26 careful answer. The University of Alberta does give
27 credit for community activity in general. The feeling is
1 that we shouldn't just be locked away in the ivory tower
2 and have our taxpayers' money not going back to the
3 community, and so the University does give a certain
4 amount of credit for community work of various kinds.
5 And so if you use the term activism in a very narrow
6 political sense, then of course that wouldn't be
7 appropriate for the University to be sponsoring that, but
8 in a more broad sense of doing things to help the
9 community the University has always considered that along
10 with publication and along with administration work when
11 they look at deciding how to reward your yearly work. I
12 hope that answers your question. I'm not totally sure.
13 Q It does, thank you. Within the answers to undertakings
14 that you've provided through your legal counsel you have
15 referred to a research group that attains some charitable
16 designation or status. Can you provide me with details
17 of that?
18 A It's the Gender Issues Education Foundation. It's, as
19 the name implies it's a foundation, it's a corporation
20 rather than a society established under the rules of
22 Q Business Corporations Act?
23 A As an educational type of entity.
24 Q And did you found that foundation?
25 A Yes.
26 Q And are you still actively involved with it?
27 A I'm still the president.
1 Q And I take it that you don't receive any income or salary
2 as a result of your work with GIEF?
3 A That's correct.
4 Q Are you entitled to be reimbursed for any expenses that
5 you incur on behalf of GIEF?
6 A If you just mean expenses that I pay out of my own pocket
7 and then just get money back for it, yes, that's my
8 standard way of working. Sometimes when we're dealing
9 with larger amounts of money I'll write a cheque on
10 GIEF's bank account, but most of the time for smaller
11 things I just pay out of my own pocket and then get
12 reimbursed later.
13 Q I see. And when was GIEF founded?
14 A I believe it was right at the end of 1986.
15 Q And you've been an active participant since that date?
16 A That's correct.
17 Q Have you been the president throughout that time?
18 A Yes, I have.
19 Q Where does GIEF get its funding?
20 A From individual donations, mostly mine, but sometimes
21 from others. There is -- I don't know how much detail
22 you want, but that's the general answer. We don't have a
23 lot of money, and so we don't do a lot. Most of the
24 donation is donation of time, and mostly it's my time,
25 but there's some funding from donations as well.
26 Q All right.
27 MR. BROWN: Could we just go off the record for
1 one second.
2 MR. KOZAK: Sure.
3 (Discussion off the Record.)
4 Q MR. KOZAK: Dr. Christensen, in an off-the-record
5 discussion your counsel has indicated that GIEF receives
6 some money as a result of an arrangement that you've put
7 into place that involves a condominium in Hawaii. Can
8 you just explain how that works?
9 A The condominium is basically leased by me to GIEF, I
10 guess they used to call it a dollar a year arrangement.
11 And so the money goes directly, that is any profit after
12 the expenses of maintaining it goes to that organization.
13 Q Now, I take it, then, that you personally own the
15 A That's correct.
16 Q And that the condominium generates rental income because
17 it's part of a rental pool?
18 A Yes.
19 Q And you don't have any day-to-day hand in the management
20 or rental of that condominium?
21 A No, an agent in Hawaii does all of that.
22 Q And after payment of expenses the income would go
23 directly to GIEF?
24 A That's correct.
25 Q And I take it then that you get some kind of statement of
26 a charitable donation as a result of that income going to
27 GIEF rather than to you?
1 A No, the way I was advised by the people who suggested
2 this arrangement because it's leased to GIEF it's not
3 considered a donation by me. It's not money that I ever
5 Q I see. Your only income is a dollar a year?
6 A Or whatever it says on the lease. Something nominal like
8 Q Now, my notes indicate that you have been at the U of A
9 or had been at the U of A from approximately 1971 until
11 A That's correct.
12 Q Were you a professor for all of those years?
13 A No, no, as usual I began as assistant professor and then
14 went through the ranks, associate professor then finally
16 Q Prior to coming to the U of A in 1971 had you been
17 earning an income at any other University?
18 A No, I was finishing my Ph.D. prior to that and -- well,
19 if by income you include the scholarship, the fellowship
20 that I was on, yes, I guess. But it was a small amount.
21 Q You had also indicated earlier that amongst your
22 professional colleagues and I took your comment to mean
23 amongst people that you encountered at the University
24 that there was no change in their attitude towards you
25 following the publication of the article in The National
27 A That certainly is my impression.
1 Q And would that include professional colleagues not only
2 at the University of Alberta but professional colleagues
3 at other universities and institutions of higher
5 A No, I certainly can't say that.
6 Q All right.
7 A My colleagues at the U of A are people I deal with or
8 dealt with on a daily basis and so I can speak to that.
9 Q Are there any professional colleagues outside the realm
10 of the University of Alberta that did demonstrate a
11 change in demeanor or attitude towards you following the
12 publication of the article in The National Post?
13 A By professional colleagues you mean people teaching in my
14 field, philosophy?
15 Q Yes.
16 A At other universities?
17 Q Yes.
18 A You have to understand that I don't have a lot of contact
19 with such people or rather haven't since 2001. The
20 people that I deal with at that distance are mostly
21 people in some way are they connected with studies or
22 activism with regard to sex and/or gender, and so without
23 a lot of contact with people elsewhere it's hard to say
24 anything about any of their attitudes.
25 Q I'm not asking you to speculate. I'm not asking you for
26 conjecture. I'm asking you are you aware of any instance
27 where a professional colleague at another university has
1 demonstrated a change in demeanor or attitude as a result
2 of the publication of the article in The National Post?
3 A At a university? Let me think.
4 Q I think my earlier question was at a university or an
5 institution of higher learning.
6 A All right. I cannot think of anyone, and I suspect that
7 I don't know, I wouldn't think of anyone later on. The
8 only ones that I would have had contact with I would have
9 -- are few in number, people involved not just --
10 they're not just university people but they're involved
11 in, share my interest in sex and gender and the only ones
12 I can think of, the few, are people that knew me well
13 enough that they would not have expressed any such change
14 in attitude to me.
15 Q Well, is it fair to say that they demonstrated the
16 opposite, that is they were supportive towards you?
17 A Certainly the ones that come to mind now, all of them
18 were supportive, yes. Again, all people that I knew
19 fairly well and people who shared, and this might be
20 helpful, people who shared my attitudes towards sex and
21 gender and so they're sympathetic in general. Not large
22 numbers of them, but people that I've been on e-mail
23 lists with. I imagine you're acquainted with the e-mail
24 discussion groups. They're the only ones that really
25 come to mind.
26 Q I want to ask you about Undertaking 14, which asked you
27 to provide the names of clients that [Tim] Adams obtained
1 because of their involvement with ECMAS. It also asked
2 you whether there was an issue with regard to
3 confidentiality, and if so to provide your position. In
4 your answer you've declined to provide the names of
5 clients that [Tim] Adams obtained because of their
6 involvement with ECMAS.
7 A Not exactly. There was a question of whether I know any
8 such names. I do not know of any. [Tim] Adams declined,
9 even if he -- if I can remember how I put this. He said
10 he would consider this confidential but he didn't have
11 records himself of such persons, so it wasn't
12 straightforward declining, it was more of a hypothetical
14 Q Nevertheless even in the absence of records Mr. Adams
15 declined to tell you the names of clients even based on
16 his memory because of a claim for confidentiality, is
17 that accurate?
18 A Not quite. He told me he did not remember, but he would
19 decline if he could remember, that was.
20 Q So he could not remember the names of any clients that he
21 obtained through ECMAS?
22 A Because he didn't remember whether the client came from
23 this source or that source or whatever. That's as best I
24 recall what he told me.
25 Q In your answer to that undertaking you say, Further to
26 that, that is the fact that he has no records and is
27 unable to recall such information, further to that he
1 certainly feels professionally obligated to keep the
2 promises of confidentiality he has always made. That
3 promise of confidentiality is not a solicitor/client
4 relationship, is it?
5 A That's correct, it is not.
6 Q [Tim] Adams at the time that the article was published in
7 2001 and since then has not been a practicing lawyer in
9 A That's correct.
10 Q And finally in your answer to Undertaking 14 you've
11 referred to redacted transcripts made from notes that you
12 took, if you look to the bottom of that answer. Those
13 are with respect to meetings of the ECMAS support group,
14 and I assume from that answer that your original notes
15 contain names of people that were advised to or expressed
16 a desire to get help from Mr. Adams outside the meeting.
17 So those names are apparent to you from your notes?
18 A Yes, sometimes there were first names only, sometimes
19 first and last.
20 Q You maintain your objection to providing those names
21 based on a promise of confidentiality to them?
22 A Yes, that's my position. As I mentioned briefly in there
23 at the beginning of each of the support groups a solemn
24 promise is given by the group leader that their
25 information will not be revealed elsewhere, without their
26 permission, I'm sorry.
27 Q Without their permission. So that's actually my next
1 question, have you sought their permission?
2 A No, I have not.
3 Q At the beginning of that session when confidentiality is
4 discussed is there any discussion about whether or not
5 you'll protect their confidentiality even if ordered to
6 reveal their names by a court?
7 A No, there's no such discussion.
8 Q All right. Now, when I was asking about your
9 professional colleagues and whether or not any of them
10 demonstrated a change in attitude following publication
11 of the article I intended to specifically exclude other
12 categories of people, but I now want to deal with those.
13 You've indicated that in terms of a change in attitude
14 towards you you had arranged to meet with the Chief
15 Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench and that he
16 declined to meet with you following publication of the
18 A That's correct, that's all in the letters that were
20 Q All right. You had also earlier referred to
21 correspondence with somebody named Sheila, and you said
22 that you inferred that the article caused a change in
23 attitude but you had no evidence of that. Is that still
24 the case?
25 A Well, I inferred it from her behaviour in not answering
26 my phone calls and e-mails, even though we had had a good
27 rapport before that.
1 Q That's the sole basis for your inference, though?
2 A The full basis? Well, not quite because I was getting a
3 very cold and very nervous reception from the person, the
4 young woman who was working with her. I'm not sure what
5 her title was, but she was the one that I often -- that I
6 was sent to when I tried to get in touch with Sheila
7 Heath. I talked to this young woman who was working with
8 her. She was sort of distant and nervous and that was
9 part of my -- was what I was going by in recognizing that
10 Ms. Heath was not -- was avoiding me.
11 Q And who is Sheila Heath?
12 A At that time she was working for the Red Cross.
13 Specifically she was working with a program that they
14 have dealing with family violence, and I don't know all
15 of her duties. I don't know her title now. But she was
16 their person specializing in the subject of family
17 violence and it involved things like taking programs to
18 schools to teach young people about the problems of
19 family violence.
20 Q And where was Ms. Heath located?
21 A Their office -- well, during the time that I worked with
22 her their office moved. The Red Cross was originally I
23 guess I'm not -- I don't know the exact address downtown,
24 but their office then moved and I believe now still is on
25 106th Street just south of 100th Avenue.
26 Q But it is Edmonton?
27 A Oh, yes, it's the local Edmonton office is what I'm
1 referring to.
2 Q You've never had a direct discussion with Ms. Heath or
3 her assistant as to whether or not the article that was
4 published changed their attitude towards you?
5 A No, not -- let me see, certainly not with Ms. Heath, I've
6 got to think carefully here, because she would never
7 respond again. With the assistant I believe I did not
8 put the question directly for reasons I've hinted at
9 before. People when you can see someone doesn't want to
10 be the bearer of bad news you don't press them on it
11 unless there's powerful reason to do so.
12 Q Pretty well at the core of my job.
13 A When one is trying to be polite, I should add.
14 Q That's never a factor in my approach. You also mentioned
15 Terry Hodgkinson, a lawyer in Edmonton, and I believe you
16 said that you had heard through some other source that
17 she had made a negative comment about you but you have no
18 direct knowledge of that?
19 A That's correct. I would like to clarify. I came up with
20 that only because you were pressing me to think of any
21 possible situation of this kind, and it had -- it came to
22 my mind but it was a comment made by someone at the
23 support group and I couldn't subsequently remember any
24 more detail.
25 Q And you can't even say whether or not it actually
26 happened, and if it happened whether or not it was linked
27 to the publication of the article?
1 A That's right, I cannot say either of those things.
2 Q You also mentioned Senator Anne Cools as somebody who
3 demonstrated a change in attitude towards you?
4 A Yes.
5 Q Again, I assume you're linking that change in attitude as
6 an inference that you've drawn and that you have no
7 direct knowledge of that?
8 A It's a very, very strong inference. I could give more
9 detail if you would like.
10 Q Yes.
11 A I tried to give more detail in the response to the
12 undertakings here. The senator and I were very close for
13 a very long time, and on numerous occasions when we would
14 meet, which was fairly often because she travelled a lot,
15 she would see me and whatever she was doing she would
16 drop everything, run and give me a big hug. And I think
17 the other materials I submitted give some indication that
18 there's been a lot of contact. After this event -- I
19 could add further things, sometimes she would phone me at
20 home over time. There was a lot of contact with her.
21 Not only did she not phone me following this event
22 anymore or send any e-mails -- sorry, she never sent
23 e-mails to start with, sorry. She did not phone me or
24 send letters, make other contact. But when I went to see
25 her at a time when there was some kind of Liberal
26 convention here in Alberta, this was I think May
27 following the publication of the article I spotted her in
1 the main hall for the hotel speaking with someone, and as
2 I say in the past in those circumstances when she became
3 aware of me she would have interrupted what she was doing
4 and hugged me. And on this occasion she just looked at
5 me and looked rather displeased and ignored me. I
6 inferred that it was because there were lots of people
7 around and she would be seen dealing with me in public so
8 I didn't press the point. I just left. Now, it's not as
9 if she wasn't willing to talk with me at all, because she
10 had talked to me on the phone. She took a phone call
11 from me at home between the publication and that event
12 and talked to me. But she was very guarded. And when I
13 spoke hypothetically of her coming to Alberta again for
14 some activities she made these kinds of phony excuses
15 that people make and, again, so I didn't press the
16 point. I think the inference is completely obvious that
17 she didn't want to be dealing with me in public all of a
18 sudden, and the only inference one can draw is the
19 article was the reason, or the whole series of events
20 surrounding the article perhaps.
21 Q You didn't ask her if the article was the basis for her
22 change in attitude?
23 A I've tried to remember specifically what I said about
24 that, and if I said anything, and I don't believe that I
25 pressed the point, again it's -- when there's such a big
26 change in attitude it's not polite and not even fruitful
27 to press the point.
1 Q Did she mention --
2 A I don't believe I did.
3 Q Did she mention the article to you?
4 A She did not I'm quite sure.
5 Q Was there ever an occasion following the publication of
6 the article in 2001 that she refused to take a phone call
7 from you?
8 A There was only the one occasion when I did call her, and
9 so there was no occasion for her to have refused.
10 Q So the one instance after the publication of the article
11 when you called her she took your call and spoke to you?
12 A Oh, yes, but she was so distant and at that point that
13 there was no point to keep trying.
14 Q The next person that you mentioned was Roger Gallaway,
15 and that was I think in Undertaking 51. Is he somebody
16 whose attitude towards you changed following publication
17 of the article?
18 A Again I believe the material I've submitted covers that.
19 We had a good rapport. I hadn't known him nearly as long
20 as I've known the senator, but we had a good rapport. We
21 spoke from time to time on the telephone. We exchanged
22 e-mails from time to time. Sometimes I spoke with him in
23 his home on his telephone. I had his home number. And
24 in his case it was a little different. He was still as
25 friendly toward me as ever in discussing issues following
26 the events, and I'm fairly sure that I talked to some
27 degree with him about the article and so on, not a lot,
1 in conversations we had up to a certain point.
2 To be fully, give full detail, one of the last
3 occasions when I actually saw him was at that same
4 Liberal party meeting in May at the hotel in Edmonton
5 where I spoke with him and he was as friendly as ever.
6 What happened with him was that based on his value to the
7 things I'm trying to do I phoned him on one occasion, it
8 was probably around shortly after that May meeting of the
9 Liberal party here and asked him if he would be willing
10 to speak at an event later on and he agreed to that, and
11 but then subsequently apparently changed his mind, again
12 this is an inference, because having once agreed to it he
13 stopped communicating with me. I would send e-mails
14 asking for final confirmation and I was never responded
15 anymore. Again, I believe the e-mails or the ones that I
16 still have are in our production.
17 Q Well, let's just back up a step. Following publication
18 of the article in National Post you spoke to Mr. Gallaway
19 about the article; is that correct?
20 A That's what I said I'm not sure. I think I probably said
21 a little bit about the events surrounding the article but
22 I do not at this point remember any details.
23 Q Well, at this point do you remember knowing whether or
24 not Mr. Gallaway had read the article?
25 A I certainly remember assuming it. He was certainly aware
26 of it.
27 Q And when he was aware of it his attitude towards you had
1 been unchanged and was as cordial as it ever had been?
2 A That was my impression in talking with him. If I can add
3 one thing, I was telling everybody that I did speak to
4 about the article that these things that were said about
5 me were false and/or misleading or both and that much at
6 least I believe I said to him, and again he was certainly
7 cordial and friendly as before, yes.
8 Q Well, in fact in addition to telling people about the
9 article and your view that it was inaccurate and false,
10 you issued a press release, did you not?
11 A Yes, more than one.
12 Q All right. What were the instances where you issued
13 press releases?
14 A Again, this should all be in the production. The first
15 one was just sent to The Calgary Herald and The Edmonton
16 Journal and The National Post. The second one was sent
17 later on to a variety of major newspapers around the
19 Q Now, let's deal with the first one, the one that you sent
20 to The Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and National
21 Post. I assume that's in your production?
22 A Yes. Well, it's also mentioned in The National Post's
23 Statement of Defence and so on or Statement of
24 Counterclaim, I'm not sure which.
25 Q Yes, in the Counterclaim. And was that press release
26 published in any of those newspapers?
27 A No.
1 Q The second press release, the one that you sent to a
2 number of major newspapers, was that published in any of
3 the newspapers?
4 A No. Of course the press release isn't generally meant to
5 be published, it's meant for them to follow up and use
6 parts of whatever as they wish but nothing based on it
7 was published either.
8 Q Was there a third press release?
9 A ECMAS had a press release sent out at the same time as my
10 second one.
11 Q Was that published?
12 A No.
13 Q By publish, I'm referring to the traditional definition,
14 that is was it published in a newspaper. Obviously the
15 press release was published in the sense that ECMAS sent
16 it to other entities?
17 A Right.
18 Q Was there a fourth press release?
19 A No.
20 Q You did, however, take out an advertisement at some point
21 in time setting out your belief that you had been
23 A Yes.
24 Q What are the details of that?
25 A Again, that's in the production and I'm not remembering
26 exactly any wording from it right now, but the point was
27 because the trial was -- the legal process was dragging
1 on I was trying to get the word out, though my side was
2 never printed there is another side. I wanted people to
3 know that. So I shelled out money to make that
4 announcement in The Edmonton Journal.
5 Q Was that the only newspaper in which you placed the ad?
6 A That's correct.
7 Q And it was published on one day?
8 A One day.
9 MR. BROWN: Off the record.
10 (Discussion off the Record.)
11 (Examination adjourned.)
12 (Examination resumed.)
13 Q MR. KOZAK: Dr. Christensen, during our break you
14 indicated that your referral to a Liberal party meeting
15 may have been ambiguous on the record. The publication
16 date of the article was April 17th, 2001, and you
17 indicated off the record that the Liberal party function
18 was in May of 2002; is that correct?
19 A That's as I remember it. If I slipped and spoke as if it
20 was 2001 I believe that's an error.
21 Q Now, I've referred to the transcript and your answers to
22 undertakings and identified a number of individuals to
23 you whose attitude apparently changed following
24 publication of the article. Are there any that I've
26 A Have you missed today you mean?
27 Q Yes.
1 A Those were the main ones that I've spoke of in the past
2 and I spoke, I guess they're all the ones I've spoken of
3 by name if I remember now.
4 Q All right. So I asked you about the Chief Justice,
5 Sheila Heath, Terry Hodgkinson, Senator Anne Cools and
6 Roger Gallaway.
7 A I believe that's all the ones that I've mentioned
9 Q Thank you. Now, in response to Undertaking 17, which
10 asks you to produce e-mails or other documents that you
11 have that document the deterioration of your relationship
12 with Louise Malenfant, there are a number of e-mails
13 attached to that. And in those e-mails there is
14 reference to a disagreement that you had with Ms.
15 Malenfant where she accused you of using foul language.
16 Do you recall that?
17 A Oh, yes. [For the entire story of this , see the file titled My conflict with L.htm.]
18 Q She said that in a public setting you used the phrase
19 "dirty fucking cocksuckers just won't listen" and you
20 took umbrage at her suggestion that you had said that?
21 A No, this was not a public setting. This was in a phone
23 Q Oh, I see. She claimed that the use of that language was
24 in your telephone conversation with her?
25 A That's right. And in the e-mail she made that claim,
27 Q And who was she saying that you had used that language
2 A I believe this is all in what I've submitted, but we were
3 talking about certain individuals at The Edmonton
5 Q And who were those individuals?
6 A Again, as indicated by materials I sent I guess we were
7 talking specifically about two individuals, more
8 generally about attitude difficulties at the newspaper,
9 but specifically I was referring to Susan Ruttan and
10 Leanne Faulder.
11 Q So by way of background, is it fair to say that you
12 thought there was some kind of attitudinal bias at The
13 Edmonton Journal contrary to the goals of ECMAS or MERGE?
14 A Very strong attitudinal bias, yes. Again, I have
15 submitted materials that are relevant to that.
16 Q And in particular those two individuals would you say
17 exemplified that attitudinal bias?
18 A What brought them up specifically was the articles they
19 wrote against me and against MERGE the earlier summer,
20 and because of the relevance of their articles to the
21 e-mail I put them in with the undertaking.
22 Q Yes. Now, in your exchange with Ms. Malenfant you deny
23 using the word "cocksuckers"?
24 A That's correct.
25 Q And you go on to say that it's not in your working
27 A That's what I said.
1 Q So was the rest of her attribution to you accurate?
2 A No, and again this is all in what I've written, the
3 phrase I used was one that I quite well remembered and
4 had written down afterwards as I was recording all these
5 things. What I said was "they're goddamn fucking
7 Q And they was a reference to whom?
8 A Well, speaking generally a group of people at The
9 Edmonton Journal.
10 Q Now, the e-mails that I'm referring to also refer to a
11 proposal or a plan to picket The Edmonton Journal. Do
12 you recall that?
13 A Yes, indeed.
14 Q And was that one of your ideas?
15 A That was a plan that had been put in effect at the MERGE
16 annual general meeting at my suggestion because of the
17 kind of treatment we had been receiving exemplified
18 certainly by the two articles by these two particular
19 writers, together with the fact that we were not allowed
20 to make any kind of reply to the false things they had
22 Q Had you written a letter to the editor in response to the
23 things that they had said?
24 A Yes.
25 Q And it wasn't published?
26 A That's right.
27 Q And --
1 A Sorry, maybe I should state it more carefully. The
2 letter to the editor was not specifically in response to
3 what those two said, it was in response to some unfair
4 coverage in the news articles themselves, but the desire
5 to picket was certainly speared by all of those things
6 together including the articles by those two writers.
7 That's the accurate way to put it.
8 Q Have you produced a copy of the letter to the editor in
9 your production in this lawsuit?
10 A No.
11 Q Do you have a copy of that letter?
12 A I'm sure I do.
13 Q I wonder if you could undertake to provide me with a copy
14 of that letter through your lawyer?
15 A I don't see a problem with that.
16 UNDERTAKING NO. 53:
17 RE PRODUCE A COPY OF THE LETTER TO THE
18 EDITOR AT THE EDMONTON JOURNAL.
19 Q MR. KOZAK: Thank you. Is it fair to say that
20 you had a difference of opinion with Ms. Malenfant
21 regarding the wisdom of picketing The Edmonton Journal?
22 A That certainly is fair to say.
23 Q Was it something that was voted on at the annual general
24 meeting of MERGE?
25 A In these small organizations these decisions are made
26 sometimes without formal votes, just sort of consensus.
27 I couldn't swear whether it was or was not voted on. I
1 think we probably -- well, I don't know. It certainly
2 was decided, agreed on, but I don't know whether it was a
3 formal vote.
4 Q But it was your idea?
5 A Certainly my suggestion, and when we finally had the
6 picket we had a fair number of members out who felt that
7 it was worth doing, so others agreed with the idea.
8 Q And did your picketing of The Edmonton Journal receive
9 news coverage?
10 A That did, yes.
11 Q Did it receive coverage in The Edmonton Journal?
12 A It did.
13 Q Going back to some questions I asked you earlier this
14 morning, is it fair to say that the publication of the
15 article in The National Post on April 17th, 2001 had no
16 financial impact on you?
17 A I think that's fair to say, yes.
18 Q I want to ask you some questions about what impact the
19 publication of the article had on your health, if in fact
20 it did have any impact on your health. Following
21 publication of the article on April 17th, 2001 did you
22 seek some care from a medical doctor?
23 A Not as a result of that, no.
24 Q Did you ever see a psychologist or a psychiatrist as a
25 result of any health impacts related to the publication
26 of the article?
27 A I've never seen a psychologist or psychiatrist
1 professionally as a patient for any reason.
2 Q So obviously that would include arising from the results
3 of the publication of the article?
4 A That follows.
5 Q Have you seen any kind of health professional or
6 counsellor or anyone else related to any health impact
7 the publication of the article has had on you?
8 A I can't say for certain because I have a number of health
9 problems which have gotten worse since the article was
10 published. Whether the stress of that is any part of the
11 reason they've gotten worse I can't say.
12 Q Well, let me approach it in a different fashion. You
13 have seen a doctor since April 17th, 2001?
14 A Certainly, yes.
15 Q If I asked you for an undertaking to produce medical
16 records from any doctor or health care professional
17 you've seen since that date which would detail your
18 reference to the publication of the article, would you
19 have anything to produce?
20 A Sorry, which would detail? I better get you to say that
22 Q Well, yes, I think I better say it again because I got
23 lost in the middle of it. You've seen doctors since
24 April 17th, 2001?
25 A Quite a few.
26 Q And have you ever said to a doctor I have a concern about
27 this specific symptom, I don't know whether or not it's
1 related to stress but I have felt increased stress since
2 the publication of an article about me in The National
4 A No, I can safely say I have not said anything like that
5 to a medical doctor.
6 Q You did in response to questions put to you by
7 Mr. Eastwood describe the fact that prior to the
8 publication of the article, that is when you thought that
9 there might be something in The National Post you lost
10 some sleep?
11 A That's correct.
12 Q And initially I think you said you had lost a night's
13 sleep but in a later clarification you said that even
14 following the publication of the article your sleep was
16 A Well, what I believe I said was between the first
17 publication, which did not mention me but did talk about
18 ECMAS and Mr. Adams, and the publication that did mention
19 me that period was extremely stressful because I didn't
20 know whether the reporter's threat of publishing an
21 article about me would be carried out or not, and I went
22 to bed each night fearing that my name would be smeared
23 in the newspaper the following morning. So I believe a
24 majority of the nights in the period between the two
25 articles I didn't sleep until I heard the newspaper flop
26 outside my apartment door and checked it. I hope that's
27 clear enough. There were on other nights when I did
1 sleep before the newspaper came it was fitful.
2 Q All right.
3 A By the time the article came out I had begun I guess to
4 think at least wishfully that it wouldn't ever appear at
5 all, and that night as I recall I got a good night's
6 sleep and then the following morning there was the
7 article and that was very traumatic.
8 Q Are there any adverse health consequences that you can
9 attribute directly or indirectly to the publication of
10 this article?
11 A That I know for a fact I cannot do that. As I say, I
12 have had some health deterioration in that period, but
13 what the sources are I certainly don't know.
14 Q And what is the general nature of the health
15 deterioration that you've experienced?
16 A Well, I have a number of maladies. I don't know if this
17 is really something you need to know.
18 Q Well, I don't need you to answer that if you don't in any
19 fashion relate them to the publication of the article.
20 A I certainly don't have grounds to relate them. They're
21 just anybody could say, well, you're getting older,
22 things fall apart and so I would not rely on any changes
23 in my health as part of my case at trial if that's really
24 the question.
25 MR. KOZAK: That's the question. In fact, those
26 are all of my questions, and I have completed my
27 Examination for Discovery of you, Dr. Christensen,
1 subject to anything that may come out of these few
2 remaining undertakings, which may well be handled by way
3 of follow-up written interrogatory to avoid having to get
4 together again, and also subject to any application that
5 we might make with respect to the redacted copies of
6 notes taken by you from meetings, and more specifically
7 names of people who may have used [Tim] Adams as their
9 So subject to those two categories of things, I've
10 completed my Examination for Discovery of you. Thank you
11 very much.
12 (Examination adjourned 11:20 a.m.)
13 WHICH WAS ALL THE EVIDENCE GIVEN ON THIS EXAMINATION
16 Certified a correct transcript,
20 Deborah Wacker, CSR(A)
21 Court Reporter
3 UNDERTAKING NO. 52:
RE PRODUCE TAX RETURNS OR SUMMARIES FROM 1993
4 THROUGH TO 2002. 407
5 UNDERTAKING NO. 53:
RE PRODUCE A COPY OF THE LETTER TO THE EDITOR AT THE
6 EDMONTON JOURNAL. 432