For greater understanding of the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry event that took place Friday, July 6, here are some excerpts of emails and explanations pertaining to the Sinclair case and the MGEU’s false accusations of me, which we now know are clearly defamatory.
This was Mr. Smorang’s initial e-mail dated July 6 to stakeholders of the commission, including commission counsel Sherri Walsh and cc’d to me:
“It has come to my attention that Mr. Broadbeck (sic) of the Winnipeg Sun has violated the media protocol by filming the proceedings this week with his own video camera. This is clear form (sic) the video report which appears on the Winnipeg Sun website, and can be found at the following link
I would ask that this matter be dealt with at the outset of today’s hearing at 9:00 a.m.. As Mr. Kroft no longer acts for the Winnipeg Sun, I am copying Mr. Broadbeck (sic) with this email. Garth Smorang .”
Smorang erred gravely in that he accused me of “filming the proceedings” of the inquiry, which I did not do.
Commission Counsel Sherri Walsh qualified in an email that same morning (She, like Smorang, got the spelling of my name wrong) that I did not videotape the proceedings of the inquiry.
“Mr Broadbeck’s (sic) filming was brought to my attention on Monday. I spoke with him at the morning break and clarified the terms of the media protocol. In particular I confirmed the fact that item # 8 of the media and communications protocol provides that still photography and video cutaway shots will NOT be allowed. Subject to the rulings of the Commissioner they may be permitted at the start of the public session. I advised Mr Broadbeck (sic) that if desires such a ruling he will need to seek permission from the Commissioner. So far as I am aware, that clarified the matter for Mr Broadbeck (sic) and he did not film after our discussion. ”
So that’s where it ended. At least for me. Not for Mr. Smorang, though. He brought action against me by accusing me of video taping the proceedings, for which he had no evidence to substantiate his claim. As a lawyer and an officer of the court, he made a public accusation against me which he knew, or ought to have known, was false.
Subsequently, Commissioner Ted Hughes requested my presence at the inquiry July 6 to adjudicate the matter. I attended and explained that Mr. Smorang made a false accusation against me and that I wanted that to be recorded on the official record.
Of note, commission counsel Walsh also confirmed that there were no discussions between her and I about the video tape I had taken prior to the commencement of the proceedings July 4 and how that footage may or could be used.
Commissioner Hughes said he was disappointed that I posted the video I had taken, but said he viewed the case as a “one-off” and dismissed it, with the understanding that I would abide by the clarified rules. Which I will.
Smorang suggested to Hughes Friday morning that the commissioner had the authority to ban me from future inquiry proceedings and/or to order the Winnipeg Sun to remove the said video. Hughes did neither.
I am still awaiting an apology from Garth Smorang for defaming me by falsely accusing me of video taping the proceedings.