Thursday, March 6, 2008

Haldimand "Councillor Sloat Cleared"

Update; I would like to clarify that Councillor Sloat was "NOT" cleared of these charges, the charges were dropped.

Yesterday Councillor Sloat appeared in court to face charges that were laid stemming from an incident last August.

I wrote about this last month and there were many comments relating to this issue. The most talked about was....will he get away with it?

I had faith in the Court System and was sure that this would see it's day in Court. Well this was not the case. I am truly disappointed as I do believe if the tables had been turned, the outcome would have been totally different.

Back in December 2007 there were several people charged in relation to a demonstration in Caledonia, some of these charges were "mischief" charges. These charges are not as serious as an "assault" charge yet they are still pending. As you will read in Jeff's story one of these charges was heard in Cayuga yesterday, and this charge still stands.

We are on a slippery slope in Haldimand when before an alleged charge goes before the court, that a charge can be dropped as in this case it was deemed to be "trivial". As the representative stated to the Justice of the Peace, this was just a matter of "unwanted touching". This goes hand in hand with the Crown when they stated they wouldn't lay a charge because it wasn't "enough of an assault" to lay a charge.

Let's visit the above statement..."unwanted touching"...If Jeff had been "female" would this have been used by the Crown? If Jeff had been black, blue, or polka dot, would this have been used by the crown? If Jeff had been 70 years old would this have been used by the crown? If Jeff had been in a wheelchair, would this have been used by the crown? My point here is it seems that this was the personal opinion by the crown. Shouldn't it be left to the courts to determine whether this "unwanted touching" was actually an assault?

It is interesting as you read Jeff's story he speaks of a "gentleman's" agreement that he and Sloat made. This agreement was that if Councillor Sloat apologized to Jeff, Jeff was willing to drop the charge. Well did Councillor Sloat hold to his word?

Now I know that some of you will say that Jeff is a trouble maker, that Jeff is involved in issues in Caledonia that are controversial, and Jeff deserved what he got. I personally do not agree with some of Jeff's methods, but does that give me the right to judge him?

All I will say is Kudo's to you Jeff for pursuing what you believed was the right thing.

The following is Jeff's story;

A representative of the Attorney General’s office went before a Justice of the Peace this morning in Cayuga court and deemed the assault committed against me in August 2007 to be too "trivial" to pursue. He asked that the charge be dismissed and as the crown has absolute authority over these decisions, the Justice had no choice but to put an end to my unresolved private prosecution of Councilor Buck Sloat.

In requesting a dismissal, the Attorney General presented 3 reasons he feels the case should not proceed.

(1) It is not in the best interest of the public to proceed with this charge as it’s "simply a case of unwanted touching" and there are far more serious charges to be dealt with by the courts.

(2) Mr. Parkinson has civil remedies at his disposal to deal with this matter

(3) The incident in question was "trivial" in his opinion

You can read the rest of the story here;


  1. Great move by the Crown to withdraw the charge.

    It's about time common sense started coming back into the equation.

  2. Well I am not surprised by this at all. Sloat had too much to loose if this saw it's day in court.

    He obviously pulled in a favour, as it is unusual that a rep from the attorny generals office would do this, this was not the crown.

  3. March 08, 2008

    Paul Legall
    The Hamilton Spectator

    CAYUGA (Mar 8, 2008)

    Criminal charges have been dropped against Haldimand County Councillor Buck Sloat, who was accused of assaulting a citizen at the Cayuga municipal services building last summer.

    Sloat had been charged with assault under the criminal code as a result of a private complaint from Jeff Parkinson, who alleged he was assaulted when he tried to interview Sloat about a council matter on Aug. 7, 2007.

    He alleged Sloat grabbed him by the shoulder, pulled a digital recorder from his pocket and threw it on the concrete. According to the conversation captured by the recorder, which was played on the Internet, Sloat accused Parkinson of secretly recording his remarks. "That's against the law what you just did," he stated during the altercation.

    Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General, said the Crown decided to withdraw the charges this week because he believed it was not in the public interest to prosecute Sloat.

    The prosecutor described the alleged assault as "trivial" and decided it would not be a good use of the Crown's resources to continue the prosecution. He also noted Parkinson had civil remedies if he wanted to pursue the matter. Haldimand County covered the costs of Sloat's defence.

    A co-founder of a group called Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality, Parkinson said he had expected to drop the charges in exchange for a written apology from Sloat.

    He said the apology had been brokered through a third party and that he had alerted the Crown in writing about the deal on Feb. 15. Although disappointed he didn't get the apology, he indicated he won't be pursuing the matter in civil court.

    "I have bigger fish to fry," he said.

    Next week, he added, he'll be filing private charges against two OPP officers for their handling of recent incidents in Caledonia.

    Sloat said he was pleased the Crown had withdrawn the charges, but indicated he had never intended to apologize for anything. "I wasn't prepared to apologize for something I didn't participate in and it was up to the Crown to deal with it," he said.

  4. Thanks for your comments.

    Thank you for posting the story from the Spectator.

    It would be interesting to find out who is telling the truth about the apparent apology.

    I have no patience for people that outright tell lies!

  5. To clarify something from the Spec article, I did not say I would not pursue this matter further, I said the same thing I stated on my site which is that I have made no decision on what action if any I will take in civil court against Sloat.

    As for Sloats comment, anyone who heard the audio on CWUC can clearly hear that he did indeed "participate" despite what he now says.