B.C. Top Judge Caught in Conflict of Interest | Kip Warner
April 10, 2023
It is an interesting point of Canadian law that it is illegal to publicly criticize a judges’ decision. However, it is not illegal to criticize a judge.
Kip Warner is the founder of the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Science in Public Policy. I last interviewed Kip in September. The CSASPP currently has three suits in the provincial courts against the B.C. government, and specifically against Bonnie Henry.
Shortly after my last interview was released, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled against one of those suits on technical grounds.
Subsequently Kip became aware of a potential conflict of interest in the case. I say potential conflict of interest as Kip is involved in the case and must be careful of how he expresses his concerns.
I, however, am not involved, and I can say whatever I like about Justice Hinkson. I’ve looked at the evidence that Kip has provided, and in my admittedly unqualified opinion, there is not only a conflict of interest, but one of such import and scope that I felt it necessary to invite Kip back for an update so we could pass the details on to you.
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Kip Warner, Will Dove
Will Dove 00:15
There are at present a number of legal actions being taken against our federal and provincial governments for the violations of our rights and the severe impact of these violations upon the people. My guest today, Kip Warner is the executive director of the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Science and Public Policy. The CSASPP is entirely run by volunteers, and is pursuing legal action against the BC government for the harms caused to the people of British Columbia by the ongoing unjustified state of emergency. They are currently active on a number of social media channels. They have been in action since January of 2021 and they are now crowdfunding to finance their ongoing efforts. Kip is here today to discuss their plans and legal strategy. Kip, welcome to the show.
Kip Warner 01:04
Thank you for having me. Will,
Will Dove 01:06
Now first, before we get into the legal strategy, I happen to know a little bit about your background, and you’re a very unlikely person to be doing this. You’re not a lawyer. In fact, I believe you’re a software engineer. So how did you come to start this organization and be involved with it?
Kip Warner 01:20
Yeah, it’s a good question. People ask me that all the time. And you’re right, my background is not in law. You know, I wanted to be a lawyer, never wanted to go to law school. My background, as you say, is in software, my formal background is actually in artificial intelligence. And really short summary, this basically got dumped on me. So I was quite happy to be a passive observer in the background. There’s a large number of people in our community that had been lobbying me. And someone just assumed that I already started a campaign of some sort, before I had, or even mentioned anything about it. And so a lot of members of our community had asked me to do something about it. Why me specifically? I’m still uncertain about that. But, you know, time went on, I made some suggestions to proper process this through the courts. And I came up with some some tips and so on for people. But after maybe a month or so I could see that the community, while well intentioned, was still floundering with getting things going. And they just didn’t have the tools needed really in order to effectuate the kind of changes that they wanted to see. So I figured, if you want something done, right, as your grandma told you, you need to do it yourself. So this got dumped on me, I got started on it. And I told people that if we’re going to do this, we have to do it properly. So I have a background working in industry extensively to software space, and startups and so on. And so use a lot of the knowledge that I have in that area, and try to inform how we do our process, our campaign. And we began by incorporating a nonprofit with bylaws, constitution and so on, to basically act as a logical entity to organize all the efforts or resources and so on underneath that, right.
Will Dove 03:16
Now, you’ve got a number of legal actions that you’re pursuing. Would you please explain those to our audience?
Kip Warner 03:21
Certainly. So we began actually, by having just a single proceeding, or really I guess, the technical term is in Action. And the first one was our class action. And that’s what’s brought underneath the Class Proceedings Act. It’s a provincial statute that allows a large group of people rather than just one who have a common interest, and they’ve all been injured or affected in some way, in order to bring a claim before the courts. And so like a typical example of that would be, you know, an example people can understand is you buy a blender or something like that, from Vita Mix or something which makes great blenders by the way. And let’s say there’s something defective about it, there’s some plastic or something that comes off inside when you turn it on. But they’ve shipped, you know, 100,000 of these units, rather than one person going to court and suing for a defective product. Maybe they were injured, maybe their kid ate a little bit of plastic or something. If that’s the case, it doesn’t make sense to go to court and sue because like say, nobody got hurt, it was just a nuisance. It doesn’t make sense to spend 1000s 10s of 1000s of dollars going to court for one person to get, you know, a nominal judgment of maybe a few $100 to cost of replacing the blender. And so class actions allow all of those people to come together and bring a common claim against a defendant. And so the objectives are three in nature, access to justice, judicial economy and behavior modification. It’s the philosophy of class action, so access to justice means if you bought that blender and say you can’t afford to go to court, this gives you an option to do it. Because it’s every one going together. Judicial economy means rather than having 5000 people running to the courthouse suing the same person and jamming up the system so that no one gets hearing days until the next Ice Age. This also creates a mechanism and efficient mechanism so that they’re all heard together. Then behavior modification, a third point, what that’s intended to do is encourage the manufacturer to think more carefully about how they build their products, right? As an example. So we brought a class proceeding and beginning this sometime in January of 2021. I don’t remember the exact date. And that is going for certification this December, that’s where a judge reviews our the state of our class action, our pleadings, and determines whether or not there’s a common interest of all these fasteners doesn’t determine whether we’re right whether our provincial health officer was wrong. It’s just a procedural step. But a very important one to determine whether or not this is a suit of to see our provincial health officer, or is this three, four or 5 million people.
Will Dove 06:12
Kip Warner 16:19
The courtroom was absolutely packed, it was sad that so many people weren’t able to get in there. But we did leave various copious status updates on our website, anyone can read in detail what happened. So if you’d go to our website, su bonnie.ca, and you click status updates, it’s all in front a logical order and just links and explanations about what the terminology and so on means. But that hearing was, I saw probably one of the most interesting exchanges I’ve ever seen between a judge and counsel in that specifically defense counsel. So Dr. Henry’s lawyers, what we were seeking was specifically what’s called a Jr, judicial review, under the judicial review procedures act or something, I forgot the statute. But basically what it is, is if you don’t like a decision, that supplement some government entity, public official name, it could be to take away to your driver’s license, or to not provide certain zoning for an area that you want to develop, or in this case, the public health order, you can ask a judge to reconsider whether the or to consider whether or not that awkward er was actually lawful. But there’s a process for it. And so if you say ICBC is our auto insurer here are provincial insurance, let’s say they take away your driver’s license for some reason. You can’t go to court and ask a judge to overturn that decision until you exhausted whatever avenues for recourse you have through the government body. So you have to go to the ombudsman or whatever the special offices for ICBC. And then you go to the judge, and you say, Look, we exhausted the proper channels. We’re asking you to overturn a decision that some portion of the executive had made. And the rules are, though that you can only show the judge what it was that was before the decision maker at the time that they made that decision, let’s say to take away your driver’s license, or in this case with Dr. Henry, at the time, that she said no, I’m not granting you a reconsideration or an exemption from from the injection passport, not granting you the you know, recognizing natural immunity or whatever it is the case that you may be asking for. So you have to show the judge only what you put before Dr. Henry at the time that you asked her to reconsider the order.
Will Dove 24:19
Kip, I want to go back to the petition for the health care workers. Where is that at right now?
Kip Warner 24:28
So the health care workers petition is moving forward, the – I forgot which judge it is before. But there were a number of similar petitions that had brought them, brought around the same time and some after. And what ended up happening was all of those petitions are going to be jointly heard together. And ours is a bit different than the others and that we’re not just seeking relief for just the petitioners but we’re bringing in on behalf of a class of him. factor people kind of like a class action, but it’s in the form of a petition, where we’re seeking redress for all of the health care workers who are affected by her public health orders. And there were a number of them that required immunization requirements as she refers to it.
Will Dove 25:20
So, once again, I guess what I’m trying to do is to tie all this together into a timeline, because you said the class action is set now, I think for December,
Kip Warner 25:29
December. Yes, yes. So this one it has not been heard yet. Sorry, I should have clarified that it’s going to get heard in the coming weeks. I don’t have the date in front of me.
Will Dove 25:40
And you’re hoping for a judgement on the injections petition, very shortly.
Kip Warner 25:45
Will Dove 25:46
That one had been it had been suspended, but they were hoping for a judgment soon. So that just leaves the other petition for the health care workers.
Kip Warner 25:55
Yes. And something I forgot to mention, and which is pretty important is we already had it set down and booked for I believe, is a three day hearing two or three day hearing. And the entire time was wasted by Crown Counsel, arguing that we didn’t have standing and what standing means is the right to be in court. If you’re a party that to claim that you don’t, you don’t have any any interest at all in it, like say you’re suing somebody for hitting somebody else’s car, and you don’t own that car, you weren’t in it, you had nothing, you weren’t even there, you probably won’t have standing, you don’t have claim. And it’s the same thing here where Crown Counsel was trying to argue that our society or nonprofit, should not have public interest standing. We saw that coming. And we’ll do the same thing to class action. And they tried as well on the injection passport as well. And the judge didn’t agree with them. The entire time was wasted arguing on that. And the our judge, before things could move forward had to make a decision do they have standing or not, because if they don’t have standing, that doesn’t matter, the rest of the petition what they’re seeking doesn’t matter. And so Justice Coldwall released his ruling, since maybe two months ago or something like that, and granted us public interest standing. So we were seeking public interest standing for our nonprofit private interest standing for myself, because it was a petitioner as well. And we only needed one of them in order to be granted standing, which we got. And that allows the petition to move forward. And that made, you know, a lot of headlines, including internationally because that was a big deal. And our Dr. Henry was not happy about that. And, in fact, she went to appeal it at that decision. And she subsequently abandoned that appeal. Because there have been some recent developments in Ottawa in the Supreme Court of Canada that would have made that a fruitless endeavor.
Will Dove 28:00
Okay. So to sum up, we’re hoping that we’re gonna see a resolution in this class action by the end of the year, there’s hopefully going to be a resolution for the petition for the injections very shortly. Yeah. And the other one is still undetermined. We’re not really sure what’s going to be on that one.
Kip Warner 28:18
Correct. We’ve been awarded public interest standing. And now we have to go and have the actual petition heard, which, like I said, that whole time was wasted, because we already knew we had public interest standing. But it was an issue that judge had to determine. Because the all the evidence and everything doesn’t matter if you don’t have standing. So that’s out of the way. And, you know, their argument was basically that the two Charter rights apply to we were bringing us I believe there’s a Section 7 that challenged in charter, right to life, liberty, and so on. And, and those Charter rights apply to individual persons, natural persons, not body corporates, and because of that, the petitioner is our society. And and myself, and they, they were saying that, well, you know, your society can have Charter rights. So you don’t you therefore don’t have public interest standing. That was the gist of their argument. But there is case law already of nonprofits. The Downtown Eastside case is a classic example, which showed that nonprofits can have a public interest standing, provided that they’re acting in the best interest of the people that they’re going to be representing. And Crown Counsel read, but they said yes, but your entity is different from that in that your entity is just it’s an ephemeral, legal fiction that you just created solely for the sake of suing the government. And we said, well, maybe but we’re still allowed to do that and the judge agreed.
Will Dove 29:58
Just because the association was created for the purpose of suing for the government for wrongful actions doesn’t invalidate exactly the purpose. It’s that’s what it there for.
Kip Warner 30:07
And so we show the judge that, you know, we’re not this organization isn’t just me, there’s a lot of us and we were backed by, you know, 1000s of public health workers, that many of whom had donated to our campaign are members of our organization, we, we convince the judge that it’s clearly not frivolous and the judge agree, you know, you’re doing things properly, that your petition record appears to be well put together. And, you know, you do seem to be advocating in the best interest of the people you claim to be advocating for that what you’re seeking is justiciable issue. It’s something that the court can think about, can make a decision on it. It’s a serious issue to be tried or whether constitutional rights had been undermined. And so you’ve granted us public interest standing. And Dr. Henry was not happy about that at all.
Will Dove 31:00
I imagine not. Kip, thank you very much for what you’re doing. It’s, this whole situation has led to a number of unlikely warriors stepping forward, people such as yourself, who have no background in law, you’re a software developer, I myself was a web developer before I launched Strong and Free Canada. And yet many of us now stepping up and have stepped up in the last two years in defense of our rights and freedoms. So thank you very much for what you’ve taken on. Folks, for those of you who are watching do, if, you can please donate to their efforts, we will find links, as always, below this interview, to the website, to places where you can donate. And even if you’re not in BC, I would urge you to remember that this can set precedent that would be applied across the country. So these cases are extremely important. Kip, once again, thank you for your time.
Kip Warner 31:47
Thank you, sir.
Will Dove 31:49
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