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Author Jeff Schmidt apologizes to Professor Joanne St. Lewis

November 23, 2011

From: Jeff Schmidt
To: Richard Dearden (Partner, Gowlings LLP)
Cc: Joanne St. Lewis, Joseph Hickey
Date: November 22, 2011
Subject: Re: Letter to Allan Rock — please check facts

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your message (below) in which you ask me to apologize for my letter to the president of the University of Ottawa and a university senator.  I would be happy to apologize for any facts that I got wrong — or even for any analysis that is incorrect.

First, however, I must disagree with your characterization of my conduct as malicious.  I think the definitive proof of the beneficence of my letter will be a university decision to give law school professor Joanne St. Lewis her long-overdue promotion from the assistant professor level.  University president Allan Rock has not yet responded to my request for that, but I expect him to make sure that Ms. St. Lewis gets that promotion within the next annual promotion cycle.

Now, concerning an apology for any mistaken facts or analysis in my letter, please consider as an example my letter’s primary charge:  That racism is the reason why the university has not promoted Ms. St. Lewis from the assistant professor level after so many years of service, very much unlike the promotion patterns of her white colleagues.

I apologize if I was wrong about the fact.  That is, if the university has indeed promoted Ms. St. Lewis from the assistant professor level, then I apologize for saying that it has not done so.  However, I must note that I made every effort to check that fact, by researching it on the university’s website and by giving Ms. St. Lewis the draft of my letter two times.

I apologize if I was wrong about the analysis.  That is, if racism is not the real reason why the university has failed to promote Ms. St. Lewis from the assistant professor level, then I apologize for saying that it is the reason.  However, I must note that my conclusion is based on careful consideration of the facts and decades of experience analyzing such workplace issues, and so I am confident that it is correct.  In fact, I would be astounded if Ms. St. Lewis said that racism has not played a role in keeping her at the assistant professor level.  But if Ms. St. Lewis tells me that racism has not played a role in keeping her at the assistant professor level, and would tell me the real reason why the university has declined to promote her, then I would be happy to apologize for my incorrect analysis.  I will need to hear this directly from Ms. St. Lewis rather than through you, because you are a part-time professor in the law school faculty, which, like any faculty, will have recommended for or against Ms. St. Lewis’s academic promotions.

Please feel free to take this message as an apology and to make it public.

Best wishes,


Jeff Schmidt

From: Richard Dearden
To:   Jeff Schmidt
Date: November 22, 2011
Subject: RE: Letter to Allan Rock — please check facts

Mr. Schmidt – you intentionally ignored my previous emails by publishing your defamatory letter addressed to Alan Rock to Joseph Hickey who publsihed your letter last evening inter alia on his blog “Student’s-Eye-View”. Your conduct is malicious. I demand that you retract your false and defamatory letter and apologize to Professor St. Lewis immediately.

Richard Dearden

6 Comments leave one →
  1. The Truth permalink
    November 23, 2011 1:14 am

    It’s because she doesn’t have an LLM. Not racism buddy.

    • The Truth permalink
      November 23, 2011 6:28 pm

      “Prior to appointment, candidates must hold an undergraduate degree in common law and have completed or be on the verge of completing either an LL.M. degree or doctorate degree in a related discipline. In the case of candidates currently enrolled in an LL.M. or related Master’s degree, the candidate must acquire the degree within 6 months of appointment. In the case of persons currently enrolled in a doctorate program, the candidate’s supervisor will be expected to verify that there is a reasonable likelihood that the dissertation will be submitted prior to appointment.”

      • The Truth permalink
        November 23, 2011 6:43 pm

        Sorry I jumped the gun. There are a number of professors that DO NOT have LLMs and are at the Associate Professor level or higher.

        -Graham Mayeda
        -Amir Attaran
        -Jeremy de Beer
        -Ian Kerr
        -Allan Rock

        I’m sure there are more professors to add. Therefore, racism is possibly a factor in failing to promote Professor St. Lewis.

  2. Huh? permalink
    November 23, 2011 12:53 pm


    This morning a whole bunch of current and former the law students at UOttawa were bcc’d a spam message linking to this article.

    The email, which links to this blog article directly, says:

    From: Joseph Hickey (
    Sent: November-22-11 11:30:53 PM
    To: Joseph Hickey (

    Dear Law Students,

    For your information, please see the following e-mail below from author Jeff Schmidt:


    Joseph Hickey
    Student, M.Sc. Physics program
    University of Ottawa
    Student Senator, FGPS

    Did you actually send this? If not, you should know somebody is doing this in your name. If you did, how did you get get all our personal university email addresses, and why are you dragging us into this? I see further down this blog that you are a supporter of Mr. Rancourt in the lawsuit against him for racial defamation – can you clarify how exactly does this posting or any of your others actually helps, rather than hurts (big time) his case? Who is Jeff Schmidt, btw?

  3. Paule permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:26 pm

    Do not expect a reply or explanation from Mr. Hickey. He is one of many puppets in the hands of Mr. Rancourt. I have been following this case from the start, and Mr. Rancourt’s strategy is quite simple: he knows that he cannot win on the merits, so he attempts to create various diversions. In the beginning, it was his so-called expert on racism, the white Professor Lamontagne. Second, it was his refusal to answer questions, which led to a jugment against him and an order that he pay costs of over $3,000. Third, it was the attempt of Mr. Hickey to argue that the public had the right to be present during Mr. Rancourt’s cross-examination. This was also shot-down, in the same judgment as the one ordering Mr. Rancourt to answer the questions and pay costs. Fourth, it was the professional opinion of “Dr. Steven Knobles”, one of Rancourt’s followers. Fifth, it is the disingenious letter of Jeff Schmidt to Allan Rock. The only purpose for this letter is to highlight the fact that professor St. Lewis is an assistant professor. Nothing else. Another smokescreen.

    Mr. Rancourt is a great magician. He keeps pulling rabbits out of a hat and saying “look at this, look at how great I am”. Yet, he is the one placing them in the hat, with the help of his lovely assistant, Joseph Hickey.

    Wake up people. Think for yourselves.

  4. November 26, 2011 4:02 pm

    From: Sig Pantazis
    To: Joseph Hickey
    Cc: Allan Rock, Joanne St. Lewis
    Date: November 21, 2011
    Subject: Re: Author campaigns for just treatment of Joanne St. Lewis at the University of Ottawa

    I would like to know the following:

    #1 – How do you come to the ridiculous conclusion that Joanne St. Lewis would compromise her tremendous amount of integrity to hide a systemic ‘problem’ when she would be the first person to shine a white hot spotlight on it if it existed?

    #2 – Joanne’s a big girl. If she wants to sue someone, so be it. Of course a lawsuit would only extend the coverage of something like this — if she wanted it to quietly go away she just would not have said anything and let the five bloggers who read that disgruntled physics professor’s blog have their own opinion. That was the same guy who got in trouble for giving everyone A’s, right? Yeah, I’m sure he had no axe to grind with the University. Why would she sue if she just wanted it to go away? Now morons like you are wasting my time with this non-issue.

    #3 – If I perform my job and someone defames me while I’m doing the duties of my job and I sue them, if my boss picked up the tab I wouldn’t find it that ‘weird.’ That’s just normal.

    #4 – Who the heck are you and how on earth did you get my non-university email address????

    This is a gross violation of my privacy, and I would really like to know that.

    Former student,
    Sig Pantazis

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