An important development has occurred in the case of Joanna Gualtieri, the Foreign Affairs whistleblower who exposed lavish extravagance in the purchase of accommodation abroad for staff in Foreign Affairs. (The Inspector General and Auditor General of Canada later supported her allegations.) Gualtieri claimed the bureau seemed not to care, that their bosses harassed her for raising the concerns and that she was a given dead-end job after coming forward.
Ms. Gualtieri sued her department for harrassment, and pre-trial proceedings have lasted almost a decade, as the Crown uses various legal maneouvres to prolong the process.
The pre-trial judge, Master Beaudion, has now confirmed that the Crown's delay tactics are no longer acceptable. His decision, attached below, includes some comments that are highly critical of the Crown's lawyers:
"The discovery has taken on the dimensions of a public inquiry." (from para 25)
"The volume of these Requests [for discoveries], the nature of the facts listed along with the 31 days of discovery with over 10,500 questions asked and answered leads me to conclude that this an attempt to obtain written discovery in addition to oral discovery and is an abuse of the discovery procedure." (from para 32)
This decision reduces the Crown's ability to further delay this case, which should it ever come to trial, would be a severe embarrassment for Foreign Affairs.
Click the following fax cover image for full text of Decision Beaudoin Feb 22 2008: