by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Norman Bourdeau, an information technology specialist who has challenged the integrity of business practices within Ontario’s supply-managed egg industry, has lost his appeal of a contempt of court decision.
The latest loss will pile $10,000 in costs on the $63,000 in fine and costs the self-proclaimed whistleblower must pay in connection with the original contempt finding.
“Obviously I don’t agree with the decision,” Bourdeau said Thursday, noting that’s why he says he’s considering applying to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal.
In July, Ontario Superior Court Judge P.D. Lauwers found Bourdeau in contempt for keeping copies of documents about his former employer and disseminating them after another judge had told him not to.
Bourdeau challenged Lauwers’ decision in August, claiming, among other things, that the judge had been a senior partner of a law firm at a time when the firm had been a counsel for L.H. Gray & Son Limited. L.H. Gray is Ontario’s second largest egg grader and Bourdeau’s former employer. Bourdeau and his former employer are embroiled in legal actions in London.
The Strathroy business is also one of many provincial egg industry players named in a lawsuit brought about by Blackstock, Ontario-based Sweda Farms Ltd., and its related business ventures.
Bourdeau is a witness for Sweda, and the contempt motion arises from this case.
L.H. Gray brought the contempt motion. The company was the only one of those involved in the Sweda case that was a respondent in the appeal, although all of those involved received notice of the proceedings, said Allison Webster, L.H. Gray’s lawyer.
Bourdeau’s appeal was heard Monday at the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto. The court released an oral endorsement that day. Bourdeau and Webster said they expect a written endorsement from the court will follow soon.
“We’re obviously pleased that the contempt finding which was very thoroughly made by Justice Lauwers has been upheld,” Webster said today. “I think it’s important that people who are subject of court orders, if they do not follow the court orders, are held responsible for it.”
Webster said she has no information about Bourdeau considering a Supreme Court appeal of the Ontario Appeal Court decision.
“In my view that would be an extraordinarily difficult road to go down,” she said.
Bourdeau says that if his application for leave to appeal or the appeal to the Supreme Court were unsuccessful, he would pay the penalties that have been imposed. BF