Feb 4/98: Gustafsen war criminal named Queen's Counsel


Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty (S.I.S.I.S.)
February 4, 1998

British Columbia's New Democratic Government has named Maureen Maloney Queen's Council. Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh characterized the "QC" recipients as "highly respected representatives of the legal profession [who] have made outstanding contributions to British Columbia." Maloney is deputy minister and deputy attorney general for the province of BC. She is a former dean and professor of the University of Victoria law school. In 1995, Maloney acted as one of the main liaison people between AG Dosanjh, then deputy AG Stephen Owen, and the paramilitary forces besieging sacred Sundance grounds at Ts'peten near Gustafsen Lake.

Dosanjh, Owen, and Maloney and other unindicted war-criminals involved in the infamous assault against Shuswap traditionalists committed serious state crimes in the mounting of the operation on unceded territories in south central BC. According to binding constitutional and international law, these actions constituted acts of war against a sovereign indigenous nation. The demands for independent, impartial, international adjudication of the dispute was peremptorily rejected by BC's Attorney General. "There shall be no alien intervention in the affairs of this state," said Dosanjh at the time. Thousands of rounds of internationally prohibited hollow-point ammunition was fired at the Sundance camp occupants, a land mine was used to blow up a camp vehicle, and Canadian Forces and Armoured Personnel Carriers were employed by the authorities during the month long siege. As well, revelations emerged of a "smear and disinformation campaign" conducted by the RCMP with the complicity of the domestic media. Calls from at home and abroad for a public inquiry into the incident have thus far been ignored, as have the calls to release the Ts'peten Defenders OJ Pitawanakwat and the 67 year old elder Wolverine, being held as political prisoners by the BC and Canadian governments.

Attorney-General Dosanjh, who is simultaneously the Province's Human Rights Minister, masterminded the Gustafsen operation, and is credited in achieving political gains from the "tough stand" taken. Dosanjh's constituency account was the richest in the province following the standoff, shortly before the NDP successfully won re-election.

Other appointments to Queen's Counsel named by Mr. Dosanjh include Allan McDonnell. McDonnell is the nephew of BC's notorious Chief Justice Allan McEachern, who referred to life in the pre-contact Gitxsan Nation as "nasty brutish and short," when he rejected their claims as trial judge on the Delgamuukw land-claims case. McDonnell was himself a former senior partner of the powerful law partnership of Russel & DuMoulin, as was his uncle. The firm is often engaged to battle Indian sovereignty cases on behalf of the BC Attorney-General's Ministry such as in the pending appeals of Wolverine, OJ Pitawanakwat and LiL'Wat national Harold Pascal. McDonnell is past chair of The Law Foundation of British Columbia and is executive director of BC Wild - The Conservation Alliance of BC - a coalition of the province's leading environmentalists.

Michael A Fitch, a managing partner in Russel & DuMoulin, was also appointed Queen's Counsel.

A government press release on the thirty appointments states: "In recommending Queen's counsel designations, the attorney general, all levels of the judiciary, and the Law Society on behalf of the legal profession, arrive at a consensus. The appointments are then made by the lieutenant-governor."

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