UPDATE: Cabana says he believes rulings were biased against him

James McLeod
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Brad Cabana held a brief media availability on the courthouse steps in St. John’s today while court officials scrambled to assemble the legal documents needed for him to argue that Justice Gillian Butler should recuse herself from the case.

Butler ruled against Cabana several times on Thursday, including one instance where she essentially threw out one of the main planks of his legal argument, because he had not filed proper legal notice to the federal government.

Cabana said he believes those rulings were biased against him.

He also said at the end of this case, Butler could opt to award financial damages against him for the other lawyers' legal costs. If that happens, he said, it could hurt him enough financially that he couldn't continue in the lawsuit against Williams.

The proceedings are scheduled to continue for the rest of today, and will likely continue on Monday and Tuesday.




(Earlier story)

It was another tumultuous day from the get-go at Brad Cabana's constitutional challenge of the Muskrat Falls project in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s.

Cabana started the day by asking Justice Gillian Butler to remove herself from the case because she is married to David MacKay, a senior partner at the law firm that is representing former premier Danny Williams in a separate lawsuit against Cabana.

"It comes as a complete surprise to me," Butler said, before she called a recess.

Cabana is representing himself in a legal challenge saying the government is violating the constitution on certain aspects of the Muskrat Falls project.


(Earlier story)

Blogger and failed politician Brad Cabana got his day in court Thursday in his quest to shut down the Muskrat Falls project — and he’ll get another day in court today, too.

Cabana is arguing that certain aspects of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development violate his constitutional rights; he spent Thursday afternoon cross-examining Newfoundland government assistant deputy minister Aubrey Gover, trying to get answers to support his case.

Cabana ran for both the Progressive Conservative party and Liberal party leaderships in 2011, and eventually ran as a candidate for the Liberals in the 2011 election — he garnered 344 votes and failed to win the seat against Progressive Conservative Ross Wiseman.

Cabana is representing himself in court, and at times he appeared to be struggling; judge Gillian Butler shut down one of his main lines of argument on the grounds that he failed to file proper legal notice to the federal government that he was planning on challenging the constitutionality of a piece of legislation.

Butler at times seemed to not understand the thrust of Cabana’s arguments, and following one question about the genesis of the New Dawn land claim agreement, she asked him, “Where are you going with that?”

The core of the case seems to come down to whether the provincial government provided a referendum on Muskrat Falls to the people of the Innu Nation, but failed to give everyone else in the province a similar chance to vote on the project.

Gover told Cabana during cross examination that’s not what the vote was about.

He explained that aboriginal rights are expressed collectively, and it was up to the Innu community to decide whether to support the New Dawn land claim agreement, including the components that involve Muskrat Falls.

Gover said the government didn’t organize the vote, and didn’t have any input on the ratification vote question.

“The Innu nation decided they were going to hold a vote. They decided the question,” he said. “They conducted the vote, and they gave the answer that their leaders could sign these agreements in that manner.”

Today in court, Cabana will get a chance to cross-examine Nalcor vice-president Gilbert Bennett. Depending on how long that takes, the case could continue Monday and potentially Tuesday.

At one point during the day, Nalcor lawyer Tom Kendall objected to the whole case, saying Cabana is just using the court system for political grandstanding.

“This court should not be used as Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park,” Kendall said. “We know he disagrees with the project and he has his own personal reasons for that, but that doesn’t mean that he has a legal right to tie up the resources of this court in hearing those grievances.”

This is just one of an array of litigation Cabana is in the middle of. On top of the constitutional challenge, Cabana is suing Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Tourism Minister Terry French for defamation. He’s also being sued, also for defamation, by former premier Danny Williams.

In all of these cases, Cabana is representing himself in court.



Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: New Dawn

Geographic location: Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland, Hyde Park

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Recent comments

  • Sherry
    March 12, 2013 - 08:01

    I think this man is brave, he's doing what we as a province complain about all the time! Our political system! Can't you see he's DOING something. Damn, I wish I had enough money, I'd take Kathy Dunderdale to court, frig, the whole PC Party!

  • jeremiah
    February 23, 2013 - 07:05

    This man really needs help!

  • Unfortunate Son
    February 22, 2013 - 20:33

    Somewhere past and gone, this guy has a dead rich uncle who didn't forget him.

  • good point
    February 22, 2013 - 18:55

    He might be a bit off with this court case, but you have to hand it to him on this point. A judge is to impartial at all times and make their judgement based only on what is spoken of in court. Being married to a senior partner of a law firm representing one side of the court case is a huge red flag. The judge should have known better.

  • Robert
    February 22, 2013 - 17:26

    Quite frankly I am quite amazed that Mr. Cabana may not incur the legal costs that he has generated. It blows my mind that some people must spend every cent they will ever own to defend against false accursations and this guy get away scot free. In very recent times Mr. Crockwell and Mr. Cabana have managed to at least show just how flawed our legal system has become. How much of our tax money is being spent on such useless proceedings?

  • Wonderng
    February 22, 2013 - 14:56

    If he loses and later we find that we have infringed on Hydro Quebec's rights, all of Nfld may look pretty stupid, again. And why haven't the Vision 2041 group of 5 lawyers given him a hand in this. This is a big undertaking for any person to take on. The 5 lawyers are silent on this!. And the judge said "it comes as a complete surprise to me" What is the surprise? That she is married to that person stated, or that she is in conflict? Should any judge be hearing cases if they are in obvious conflict?

  • nuts
    February 22, 2013 - 14:55

    Well, as expected, Cabana proved that a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.

  • Duffy
    February 22, 2013 - 14:42

    Lets do a citizens poll to see what people think. Oh forgot the Conservative MHA's stack the results - so bad idea. Musk-Rat Falls will go no matter what - it is about BIG Business and MHA's that are like sheep and follow the great leader - and are unable to think or speak on their own!

  • Don
    February 22, 2013 - 13:29

    Is this guy for real ???? He's worse then Leo Cochrane. What a waste of taxpayers money. I hope when the court rules against him that he will have to pay ALL costs.

  • John
    February 22, 2013 - 13:28

    A self proclaimed "blogger" is disorganized? My word!! Never saw that coming. This guy seems like he cares more about attention than anything else. This is narcissistic grandstanding at it's worst. If he was serious about this, he would have a much stronger case, and have all his details sorted out. He should stick to arguing with the rest of the unemployed "bloggers" on Twitter, oh sorry, I mean engaging . . .