CAFE Seeks Leave to Appeal McCorkill Decision to the Supreme Court of Canada: Free Speech, Freedom of Belief & Property Rights at Stake
By Paul Fromm – CAFE Director
KELOWNA, BC., August 25, 2015. Paul Fromm, Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression announced today that CAFE had, instructed its lawyer Andy Lodge of St. John to seek leave from the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal against decision of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal nullifying the bequest of the late Robert McCorkill to the U.S. National Alliance.
“The July 30 decision by the Court of Appeals was dismissive and failed to deal with the substantive arguments and submissions both by CAFE’s lawyer and John Hughes, counsel for the executor of the estate. In the end, there was no legal precedent for scrutinizing the character of the recipient,” Mr. Fromm said. “This case is crucial for freedom of belief, freedom of speech and property rights,” Mr. Fromm added.
The Court of Appeals decision was short and uninformative.
The brief two paragraph decision concluded: “Having regard to the application judge’s comprehensive reasons and his determination that the bequest was void as it was against public policy, we can find no justification to interfere. We are in substantial agreement with the essential reasons of the application judge.”
The final paragraph then slapped CAFE with $3,000 in costs ($9,000 total) to each of the parties supporting the nullification of the will on the grounds it was against public policy.
The bequest was deemed “contrary to public policy” because of the politically incorrect ideas of the National Alliance, racial views which are entirely legal in the U.S. where the NA is headquartered.
“After extensive consultations with our supporters in Canada and the U.S., CAFE decided to take this very costly step and seek leave of the Supreme Court to appeal this horrific decision which stomps on free speech and property rights,” said Mr. Fromm.
The Supreme Court grants leave in about only 10 per cent of cases. “However, ” said Mr. Fromm, “this case is of national importance. Its opens the door to endless litigation whenever a bequest is made to a controversial person or organization. It nixes the right of a person to dispose of his property as he sees fit.”
“We were assured by the lawyer for the Attorney General of New Brunswick during the original application that this was a once in a lifetime decision.”
Yet, Mr. Fromm noted, just eight months later, in the Spence case, an Ontario judge tossed out a will where a Negro preacher disinherited a daughter who had a mixed-race child in favour of her sister who had adhered to her father’s racial views.
The executor for the estate is now appealing this decision.
“This is one of the most serious cases in which CAFE has ever been involved,” said Mr. Fromm. “However, freedom of belief, freedom of expression and property rights are on the line. In the words of Martin Luther,‘Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.” (Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders.)
This appeal is a huge and costly undertaking. CAFE needs your support urgently.
CAFE, Box 332, Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3
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