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Motion for Access to Allan Rock’s Cross-Examination on Champerty Allegations

March 15, 2012

From: Joseph Hickey and Hazel Gashoka
To: Diane Davidson
Date: March 15, 2012
Subject: Re: UofO Senate Meeting Cancelled: Motion for Observation of President Rock’s Cross-examination must be Heard

Dear Vice-President of Governance, Diane Davidson,

You have not responded to our e-mail of yesterday (see below) regarding a notice of cancellation of the March 26 meeting of the Senate that was sent from your office yesterday.

The notice states that your office has decided to cancel the March 26 meeting due to there being few items on that meeting’s agenda.  However, we point out that this notice was sent before the Senate’s deadline to receive items for the March 26 Agenda.  This deadline is Friday, March 16 according to the Senate’s established practice of accepting Agenda items up until 10 days before the Senate’s meeting.

We are certain you would agree that it would be a violation of the Senate’s democratic process for you to unilaterally cancel a Senate meeting due to a lack of Agenda items before the deadline for submitting Agenda items has passed.  This violation must be corrected now: please immediately confirm to all Members of Senate that the March 26 Senate meeting will take place at the scheduled time.

As we informed you yesterday, we intend to bring an urgent motion to the March 26 Senate meeting, regarding public observation of President Allan Rock’s sworn testimony in response to allegations of improper financing of the ongoing lawsuit of St. Lewis v. Rancourt.  This lawsuit involves multiple members of the University community.

The motion is as follows:

* * *

Motion on University Transparency in Relation to Questions of Academic Freedom and Racial Discrimination

Whereas the media have nationally reported a lawsuit by law professor Joanne St. Lewis against former physics professor Denis Rancourt as a litigation about freedom of expression, defamation, and racism, and;

Whereas the University has stated that it is financing professor St. Lewis’ legal fees in the lawsuit incurred with Gowlings LLP, and;

Whereas Mr. Rancourt’s Champerty Motion in the lawsuit seeks to dismiss the action on the grounds that it is improperly financed by the University using public money, and;

Whereas  examinations of affiants and witnesses in the Champerty Motion will relate to  a report of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) about systemic discrimination at the University and a University evaluation of the SFUO’s report authored by professor St. Lewis, and;

Whereas it was a published criticism of Ms. St. Lewis’ report by Mr. Rancourt that occasioned the statement of claim, and;

Whereas the Civil Liberties Association of the National Capital Region (CLA-NCR) has published a public statement on March 12, 2012 supporting public observation of examinations of affiants and witnesses in the Champerty Motion of St. Lewis v. Rancourt, and;

Whereas University President, Allan Rock and Chairman of the Board of Governors, Robert Giroux will be cross-examined on their affidavits submitted in response to the Champerty Motion,

Therefore be it resolved that the Senate is in favour of public observation of the President Allan Rock’s cross-examination on his affidavit submitted in response to the Champerty Motion in the litigation of St. Lewis v. Rancourt.

Be it further resolved that the Senate is in favour of public observation of Chair of the Board of Governors, Robert Giroux’s cross-examination on his affidavit submitted in response to the Champerty Motion in the litigation of St. Lewis v. Rancourt.

* * *

We stress that this is an urgent motion that must be dealt with by the Senate on March 26 and not later, due to the upcoming scheduling of Mr. Rock’s cross-examination.

Please confirm immediately that the March 26 Senate meeting will take place and that our Motion will be the first item on the Agenda for that date.

Sincerely,

Joseph Hickey
Graduate Student Representative to UofO Senate, Sciences section

Hazel Gashoka
Undergraduate Student Representative to Senate, Faculty of Social Sciences

Cc: Members of Senate, concerned community members, media

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