From Connie at FD….
Yesterday Mark and I drove all the way to Ottawa to take some paperwork to the CHRC. They have been stonewalling us since April on our Access to Information request for the files on Free Dominion and I had a document that I wanted to give them in person that would clear the way for them to fulfill our request.We got to the building on 344 Slater St. and took the elevator to the 8th floor.
When we walked in, we did not encounter a receptionist like we expected. There was a security guard behind glass, instead. When I wanted to hand him the letter with my case number on it, I had to slip it through a little slot in the glass.
He directed us to sit in two chairs across from his station and he disappeared into the back. He came back out in a couple of minutes and told us that he had given the letter to someone who would pass it along until they found someone who could “give us an answer”. I thought that was rather strange since I had already said that I just wanted to talk to Heather Throop and give her a document.
As we were waiting, we heard a huge commotion in the outside hall, which had been utterly deserted. A guy came barrelling down the hall with a cart loaded with files, grabbed an elevator, and disappeared. I turned to Mark and whispered, “There go our files”.
A few moments later, a young, timid-looking girl came out and handed something to the security guard, whispered something to him, and then retreated quickly from our sight. I honestly thought the poor girl suspected we were wired with bombs!
The security guard then told us that Heather Throop wasn’t in, but asked if we would like to talk to Deborah Cansick. I said that that would be fine because I have talked to her by email several times.
Mark and I stood waiting as the security guard walked out the back door of his booth and we prepared to go in to see Deborah Cansick.
To my utter astonishment, he, instead, picked up a phone in the waiting room, dialed a number, and handed it to me. I wasn’t even allowed to see Deborah Cansick…I had to speak to her on a phone while she hid in another room!!
Well, to make a long story short, Cansick told me there was no point in giving her the paperwork I brought because they weren’t planning on fulfilling my request.
I hung up the phone, took my letter back through the little hole in the window, and Mark and I left the office for the elevator. As we were waiting, an older woman and a guy with a bunch of earphones attached to him came and waited with us and got on the elevator as we rode down. I said to Mark later that it seemed like they appeared out of nowhere to make sure we actually left the building!
Both Mark and I were spooked by our experience at the CHRC. It was unlike any other government office we have ever seen. Talk about “faceless bureaucracy”! It is absolutely frightening that these people, who spend their days hidden behind a security guard and bulletproof glass, have the power to utterly destroy the lives of Canadians, and they don’t even have to look their victims in the eyes.
George Orwell must be spinning in his grave.
It’s time like these that I sure am glad to have the courageous guys like Stephen Harper and Rob Nicholson on our side. Can’t we all see how they jump in the service of freedom and liberty? We sure are lucky, huh?