DONNA LAFRAMBOISE (ďDLĒ) AND BRIAN ST. GERMAINE (ďBSĒ)
BS:††††† took it and ah had a focus on what we want to do
DL:††††† So you and who else?
BS:††††† Carolyn VanEe.
DL:††††† Carolyn VanEe?
BS:††††† Yes she was the President.
BS:††††† and ah, but seriously when it started in Ď92 when I first came in contact with it, it was just a small group of people meeting in a small room.†† The President at that time, ah because of the stress of what he was going through, just couldnít stay so, ah it fell on Carolyn and me to, to ah keep it going
BS:††††† so we set up a focus that we wanted to lobby for political change and ah provide information as much as possible to people about ah you know the court system and what they were up against.
BS:††††† So then it, it expanded to ah the
DL:††††† Oh really.
DL:††††† Oh so what year was that?
BS:††††† Ah, it would have been ah boy, I would say 1995.
DL:††††† Oh, okay.
BS:††††† Yeah, So, I mean they were active in
††††††††††† focuses mainly on the Federal Government†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
DL:††††† Okay.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HH00528
BS:††††† and we ah deal as much as possible with the Provincial.
DL:††††† Oh, well thatís a good thing. You have a
different scope. Okay so Provincial is
BS:††††† Well, to generally speak that was the
general idea, of course we all both appeared at the† **** and ah very active to try and get
some changes to happen, as a matter of a fact ah we were instrumental in
getting the ah * participating in the ah, the access enforcement legislation in
DL:††††† Is that working at all, itís a wonderful idea, do you have any sense of
BS:††††† Well at least it gives people an avenue to ah to get some resolution before they would just go back to Court, spend a lot of money and there would be no consequence, so now at least thereís, thereís the possibility of a consequence where there is real abuse of the system.
DL:††††† Right, right.
BS:††††† At least thereís a procedure they can follow and get some resolution.
BS:††††† We had one member who had been to court over twenty, at least twenty-four times.
DL:††††† Oh my god.
BS:††††† and ah I had no resolution and eventually he has no contact with his children see. So ah you know that, that was a good step forward.
DL:††††† No kidding.
BS:††††† Yeah. So yeah, there, the organization now
has a support group where people go and they get ah some advice on how to proceed and how to represent themselves† if they
want to or, or what, what the issues are and how to best make their case for
access and custody, plus you know we ah, we promote joint custody, we donít believe full custody is good and ah you
know, access as much as possible.
††††††††††† [The former vice president is here describing the support group, set up after his time...]††† [Next]
DL:††††† Right. Yeah, so your kind of a voice of reason in the wilderness.
BS:††††† Well we try to be, ah, anyway the reason, back to the reason why Carolyn and I sort of stepped aside is we felt the organization needed to sort of get a new ah perspective, itís kind of like we nurtured it along but everything that we did was what Carolyn and I wanted to do and we felt that it needed a broader perspective from
other people participating.†††
So we sort of stepped aside and said okay,† you
know if this is a good thing then its gonna continue to flourish, if its
not then its gonna fall by the
waist line. Kind
of a test, you know, whether it was just me and Carolyn or whether it was the
proper thing to be doing.
DL:††††† Right, right, well that sounds very ah very broad minded and sensible to me.
BS: †††† Yeah.
DL:††††† Yeah. Well im sorry um that im
having to write this story, that this is an issue that's come up and I,
I don't know um how closely you've um you've followed since but last
I feel something um very disturbing
happened in ECMAS Edmonton, um and that's a gentleman by the name of [Tim]
Adams was, was elected as Vice-President and the difficulty as I see it with
his election is that he's a man with an unsavoury
past and um that might kind of taint ECMAS, um and um im,
it does not appear to
††††††††††† me from the people that I have spoken to that the desperate usually fathers, but not always fathers, who are going to ECMAS' support group for help are being told, aren't totally being informed of who this man is and what his past is.† [More will be said
shortly in My Case about this matter of whether people were in fact being informed.]
BS:††††† Actually it was just last week that I heard about it myself and I, I suspect youíve
heard it from Louise *[Malenfant].†††††††††††
[He well might not have heard of
because he'd been inactive in ECMAS since
DL:††††† Iíve heard it from a couple of people including Louise, yeah. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††[Back] †
BS:††††† So, ah I really donít know. Ah she says she has his ah, a copy of his disbarment papers or his disbarment order or whatever, so I was unaware of his history ah
DL:††††† When did you meet Mr. Adams or did you meet Mr. Adams?
BS:††††† Ah, I met Mr. Adams, ah probably ah two years ago.
DL:††††† Okay, so. Were you still involved or?
BS:††††† Ah, just at the very end of my involvement probably.
DL:††††† Okay. Do you remember how he joined the group.
BS:††††† Ah, no I donít.
DL:††††† Okay, okay. Um so, so when you were around it certainly wasnít common knowledge that he you know was disbarred?
BS:††††† No, no.
[To repeat, "at the very
end" of his involvement, BS wouldn't have known what was and was not
common knowledge in the group about then-newcomer
DL:††††† Okay. Um, now I,
I, I donít want to put you in a difficult position, um and I donít have to
um use your name, although I would prefer to um my, I think its important to
write the story because I think it's important that people not be mislead when
their going to groups for help um or hurt by associating with groups for help,
think it would be very healthy for the you know the non-custodial parents
movement if I did have people on the record who were prepared to let me use their names
and you know you may be one of those people or you may have your own reasons
not to, but people saying
you know this is wrong, because then it doesnít look like the whole
non-custodial group out there or you know the whole community doesnít care
about this. Um so you know I, I, I realize that im
kind of putting you in a awkward position and im
sorry about that but im going to write a story that says this man has an unsavoury past heís a disbarred lawyer,† he was disbarred for having sex with
one of his clients, that client was a sixteen year old prostitute and people
are not being told about that and they deserve to be told about that. Um now is there any comments that you feel that you might like to
make? [As seen by reading from the
beginning, the reporter never asked the former VP what he knew about the events
at issue. She merely launched into saying she's going to write against
when Louise approached me about this I, it was the first I heard about it of
course and ah I took the position that because Carolyn and myself had said
the point where we stopped being President and Vice-President weíre gonna let
you people have this and do with it what you can or will. Ah I told Louise I
said I donít feel comfortable now going back and saying well youíve done it
DL:††††† Fair enough.
BS:††††† You know.† So ah with that in mind I really canít comment on, on whatís happened or who is involved now just for that reason.
DL:††††† Okay. Do you..sorry
BS: †††† Ya,†††††† [The reporter continues to apply pressure even after being told "No comment":]
you have any concern that um, see im concerned that a
guy goes there heís got trouble up to his ears because heís heís
you know all these problems in family court he goes there, he gets involved
with [Tim] Adams who apparently is giving out his cards at these meetings and
people are saying oh you should talk to [Tim] about that, he was a lawyer. He
shows up in Court with this guy and itís a strike against him. [To convince BS to comment,
she presents as facts the claims
(both false, as noted earlier) that
DL:††††† You know. Because heís hanging around with this unsavoury character and he doesnít even know, no one has even told him. [BS now just changes the subject.]†††† †[Next]
BS: †††† You, you know what the, for me the underlying issue here is
BS:††††† When we started ECMAS, we Carolyn and myself, decided that we didnít have the skills that or the ability to give counselling.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HH00531
BS:††††† What we wanted to do was to lobby for political change
BS:††††† As well as give as much information to people as possible about what, where to find the law, ah you know what they can expect when they go to court. The problem really is that there is no support available through any of the social agencies.
BS:††††† There is no funding available for organizations like ECMAS. So you have the only support for these people is kitchen table support if you will.
BS:††††† Where the neighbour helps you out.
BS:††††† There is no government programs or social programs available to help these people.
BS:††††† So now youíIl end up with someone who is now described as unsavoury, but where else are they gonna go.
BS:††††† Thatís the problem
BS:††††† And weíve asked for funding and ah weíve asked ah various social agencies to provide support groups and itís not there.
DL:††††† Why do you think its not there?
BS:††††† Because its not politically correct.
not a hot button issue that people want to support and ah its
pretty tragic I mean thereís ah people will ah you know committing suicide and
there was this girl in
BS:††††† and ah you know so, your left with [Tim] Adams to help these people and until, until there is some kind of funding and support and professional people who, who can give this kind of support thats needed then thats what your left with.††† † [Next]
BS:††††† Who else can help?†††
DL:††††† Right. Okay.† Would you consider letting me quote you saying that or no or can I just say it? Pardon me?
BS:††††† Yes you can.
BS:††††† You can use my name.
DL:††††† Okay. Oh well thank you.
DL:††††† Okay. Okay. So thats on the record. So your saying that the problem is, is there is no support from, from social groups who havenít had any funding.
BS:††††† Thats right.
BS:††††† This is a kitchen table people kind of help, people without the skills or the knowledge to give proper counselling. You know I mean itís, its a professional business and your just depending on basically your neighbour to help you out.† †††††[Next] †
BS: †††† You know.
DL:††††† Okay. So um now one of my concerns is that you know, you know and this is just different peopleís perception and I donít think you can ever prove or disprove of it but one of the things that Iíve been told is that some people feel that [Tim] Adams doesnít really particularly care about these guys, that heís simply going to the meetings because this is how he can get business for himself and heís actually preying on these people and thats very desperate and so you know they and they
[DL had only one prior interviewee; we'll see what he really said, and that it wasn't attributed to other "people".
It is possible that Ms. Malenfant too had made this claim in unrecorded conversation. But her voluminous email
never does so--and since she'd barely met Mr. Adams, citing her on this would be illegitimate anyway.] [Next]
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have not much money and so he charges less than a normal lawyer charges do you think thatís possible or?
BS:††††† It could be possible. I mean and yet it goes back to ah whoís providing the support services.
BS:††††† And there is no there is no ah you know ah support service other than what ah ECMAS provides.
BS:††††† Thereís nothing
DL:††††† Right, right okay, okay. Is there anything else about ECMAS that I should know?
BS:††††† Um, well I think that its still doing some good work trying to get you know a message out that says laws need to be changed, that ah the children are suffering as well as not only the father
BS:††††† and is rnostly fathers but ah yeah I mean thereís a lot of things that ah are just not right ah if ah Anne McLellan would ah would act on the recommendations of the senate committee and think of the children that would be a big step forward, but she wonít ask sheís ah delaying and ah and ah people are being hurt because of it.
DL:††††† Right. Now well was, um Carol Christensen involved with ECMAS when you were there. ['Carol' is clearly a mistranscription of 'Ferrel'.]
BS:††††† Yes he was.
DL:††††† Okay, now one of the things that um that Iíve been that I some people have said to me is that Mr. Christensen or Carol Christensen is kind of um very very influential† in the organization now. Would you have described him that way when you were there?††††††††† [Below, the former vice president is evidently reacting to Ms. Malenfant's earlier telephoned accusations to him, making claims that I dominated the group and hence had dominated him.]
BS:††††† Well, actually my role was to keep people ah from getting to regressive and Carol was one of the people that ah we, we often blocked heads and we often agreed on a lot of things††††††††
BS:††††† and we agreed to disagree on many things.
BS:††††† But ah, Carolís heart is in the right place.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HH00534
DL:††††† Right, right, okay.
BS:††††† He has his issues and ah sometimes it just doesnít mesh with what the issues that are involved with the custody/access and a divorce/separation and ah so yeah he has been he has been there oh im gonna say probably since 1994.
DL:††††† Okay. okay.
BS:††††† But heís never held office, heís just paid a membership fee and ah attended meetings.
DL:††††† Okay, okay. lm told he attends like every single meeting. Like, doesnít miss one. Pretty committed.
BS:††††† Well, I know he has missed a few, I mean
DL:††††† Okay. Maybe their exaggerating a little. Okay. Alright um well thank you for your time. And now because you have said this is okay for me to quote you um can I just um get the correct spelling of your name? [This is all the reporter said about me to this past
leader; when next calling the other one she didn't mention me. In discovery she said that at this point the story
was just on Mr. Adams--but that claim is contradicted by what she told her very first interviewee:]†† [Next] †
BS:††††† um Brian, B-R-I-A-N and St. Germaine, S-T G-E-R-M-A-I-N-E.
DL:††††† Okay, okay, so I can identify you as a former ECMAS Edmonton VP.
BS:††††† Yeah and your gonna quote me ah about where im talking about the lack of funding and the lack of community support.
DL:††††† Thatís right. And only there. lm not going to quote you on the rest.†† †
DL:††††† The rest Iíve made notes but Iíve got you know to decide the part where you are talking about the lack of funding and thereís no one else to help these guys, Iíve got I can quote that and thatís it. [So she even broke a promise to print his words about this.] [Back]
BS:††††† Yeah, okay.
DL:††††† Okay, well um, let me leave you my phone number incase there you think of something else that you know might be useful and you could call me collect itís
DL:††††† Yeah,† and weíre trying to get this ah to run this Saturday but im not sure im going to be able to get everyone. Iíve got sort of a number of people I want to talk to and
a lot of them im just getting their answering machines so were going to try for Saturday, um but if it's not in Saturdayís then ill try and let you know ahead of the time when it will be in. [Right after hearing this intention of the reporter on Wednesday the 21st, former vice president Brian St. Germaine ('BS' here) reported it to current ECMAS leaders.]††† [Back]
BS:††††† Okay, the only thing I would ask of you, donít make it appear that I am being judgmental of Mr. Adams.
BS:††††† [Tim] Adams, because I donít have the knowledge or anything to be judgmental.
BS:††††† Only what Iíve been told by Louis*. [Should be 'Louise Malenfant']
DL:††††† Right, right. Well I
BS:††††† My only judgment is that, thatís the only kind of support that is available.
BS: †††† And, and if
you end up with * people there itís pretty
DL:††††† Okay, okay. Um you might be interested in knowing that I um Mr. Adams when he was disbarred he appealed his disbarment to the Court of Appeal in Alberta and the three judges hear the Court of Appeal ah heard the you know his arguments he actually hired Eddie Greenspan to, to represent him and the appeal judges all three of them um rejected his arguments um and they wrote a ten page um decision which sort of outlines in, in you know fair amount of detail what his offence was and why they felt that this was a serious offence um so you know um it's, it's very much that you know Iíve kind of checked out all of the ground work and it very very much is the case that he um you know had a client who was a teenage prostitute, her boyfriend was in jail, he gets her bail and then he goes and finds her on the stroll and asks her for sex. Um he likes to say that um they trapped him, in fact the police saw him talking to her and convinced the girl to wear a wire and so when she rnet him she was wearing a wire and that's when he was arrested.† But, but you know he, heís you know she was sixteen years old and her boyfriend was still in jail and she really wanted her boyfriend to get out and he was representing the boyfriend† so itís pretty unsavoury stuff unfortunately. Yeah.
BS:††††† Yeah, okay.
DL:††††† Any way you have a great day and thank you for your time.
DL:††††† Take care.
BS:††††† Okay, you too.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HH00536
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BS:††††† Bye now.
END OF INTERVIEW