SATURDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2012
Don Staniford’s Final Day in Supreme Court
If a ruling were made by popular vote on the matter of Mainstream Canada vs Don Staniford and Don’s right to make public his concerns about the salmon farming industry, this trial would have been over on day 1, with freedom of speech and expression the victor.
The final day of the court case saw every seat filled with proud wild salmon supporters in the battle against salmon farms. If nothing else, this lawsuit has brought to light the global recognition of tireless efforts by Don Staniford to put an end to destructive aquaculture practises that have spread around the world (much like the cancer analogy made by Don for which he was sued upon).
After 20 days of mind boggling nonsense, false accusations, and fiction being played as fact, the plaintiff (more accurately known as the whining nonsensical complaintiff) made a last ditch effort to keep the truth about the salmon farming industry hidden by submitting the following injunction:
"Mr. Staniford by himself, his agents, servants or otherwise shall be restrained from publishing, or causing to be published, on the internet or by any other methods or medium, any defamatory statement referring in any way to the plaintiff, whether by name, pseudonym, address, photograph or other means of identity."
Mainstream Canada’s lawyer, Mr. Wotherspoon, appealed to the judge to grant this injunction as soon as possible due to Don having cleverly moved hisG.A.A.I.A. website beyond B.C. jurisdiction to a U.S. server undersalmonfarmingkills.com, Don’s departure from the country in two weeks, and his full intent to continue campaigning in other parts of the world.
Guaranteed, there would have been mayhem in the court room had Justice Adair granted the injunction at the end of the day. Quite rightly, she noted it would be impossible for her to make such a ruling without first going over the entirety of the case and establishing the legitimacy of such an injunction. While there are many who recognise that such an injunction is entirely laughable, (Servants?! Agents?! Muzzling the public?! Really Mainstream, enough with the jokes) it will be a serious breach of justice should Justice Adair rule in favour of the plaintiff and the proverbial hornets nest will be stirred in a way that she cannot begin to fathom.
The double standards of Mainstream Canada have been staggering throughout the case. In the request for the injunction Mr. Wotherspoon stated; "As a true statement can never be defamatory, all Mr. Staniford must do to avoid offending the "No Future Defamation Term" is constrict himself to the truth – he is absolutely free to discuss and even attack salmon farming. Provided he gets his facts straight."
Such comment coming from an industry that falsifies facts and feeds them to the public like a diseased dinner puts them high on the Hypocrisy Hall of Shame. Since they are seemingly incapable of recognising the truth they will be hard pressed in trying to silence it. Throughout the trial, there have been enough defamatory remarks made of Don Staniford and untruths told as to warrant a defamation case against the plaintiff! Alas, much like wild salmon, Don has a thicker skin than those of the salmon farming industry and has better things to do with his time. Besides which, when truth is on your side there is nothing to hide.
Don’s lawyer, David Sutherland, was in peak form in his closing submission and did not back down from letting Justice Adair know that a ruling to restrict Don from posting about the salmon farming industry as a whole (it took all of my willpower to not put "ass" in front of that whole, and speaking of holes, perhaps Mainstream will finally learn the lesson to stop digging when in one!) would be a "draconian order".
Prior to that, Sutherland informed the court that Don was of the mind that the BC Salmon Farmers Association, through their BC Salmon Facts campaign, had falsely asserted that farmed salmon was free of contaminants that directly related to the cancer causing issues brought up in this case. He put forth that Don had compiled numerous examples of historical tobacco adsemploying similar rhetoric to the pro-salmon advertisements juxtaposed in the pages from the BC Salmon Facts campaign and Salmon of the Americas campaign.
He followed to say; "It is submitted that a prejudiced, biased, bigoted, pigheaded person could, on the foregoing foundations, hold the view that there is a comparison or an analogy with the historical situation of the tobacco industry before the U.S. surgeon general mandated the warnings and that that is sufficient to make out the defence of fair comment."
Like so many other happenings that are of public interest but not in the interest of corporations or government, there was very little coverage by mainstream media on this important case where free speech was at stake.
Fortunately, Norwegian media saw the importance of this case and has been keeping Norway informed on what the Norwegian salmon farming industry can expect when Don goes to Norway to work with the Green Warriors! Don Staniford’s blog "Closing Norway’s Noose on Freedom of Speech" takes note of the irony that the Norwegian Government (via it’s ownership in Cermaq) seeks to clamp down on free speech when 2009 Norway’s Nobel Peace Prize honoured Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
For the thousands of Don Staniford supporters who longed to be updated on the trial, two of Don’s strongest supporters were posting the proceedings on the facebook page Salmon Are Sacred. Squished into the back corner of the room sat a shifty eyed woman dressed in black, (emitting an odoriferous perfume that seemed more of a repel ant) with a thin black Ipad on her lap. Seemingly the "wolf in sheep’s clothing" she was seen opening her Ipad to theSalmon Are Sacred facebook page while glancing around the room to see who the posters were. She was later identified to be working for Mainstream’s legal council. Whether she was there to identify who was posting or to satisfy her secret wish to be among people who care about wild salmon was uncertain, but certainly she was as out of place as an open net salmon farm in the ocean.
It is worth noting that throughout the case it was not the plaintiffs who sat in the courtroom with a room full of supporters, but the defendant. Now why might that be?
I put forth it is because a corporation does not have a pulse. It survives solely to exploit those who do have a pulse, from the smallest organism to the collective human population, there can be no love for such an entity.
In contrast, wild salmon are, literally the pulse of life as we know it, through the very air we breath, the trees we look up to, the 200 plus species that depend on wild salmon’s cycle of life. It is those who feel the pulse of wild salmon who will stand behind anyone who seeks to protect them.
Essentially, the salmon farming industry, by name alone, exists to manipulate the natural cycle of life. It cannot, will not, understand the reasons why it must must be stopped as it must believe it’s own lies in order to continue. As a machine cannot understand what it means to have a pulse that pumps life into the veins of the natural world, nor can the salmon farming industry understand that money will never be a substitute for a real pulse that indicates life.
Regardless of the final ruling to be made by Justice Adair, Don Staniford has succeeded in flushing out the lengths to which the salmon farming industry will go to hide the truth about its sordid affairs and destructive practises. He has succeeded in uniting people globally in the battle to put an end to salmon farming once and for all. He has won the respect of all who care about wild salmon and the need to protect them from salmon farms. Regardless of the outcome to this case, Don has won.