The hearing of our second Federal Court Application, Beatty v AG Canada
et al was this morning in Calgary. Mertie Beaty and Rene Dussome were
there to cheer me on. Patrick Bendin appeared as Counsel for the
misguided ones. We presented argument for about 3 hours with a few
questions from Mr. Justice Gibson. I would have preferred more
questions and discussion with the judge since that would have given me
some clues about what he was thinking and what he did and did not accept
from my arguments. The decision was reserved. This means the judge
will think about it all some more, perhaps do some research of his own
and give us a written decision later.
The late Bob Westbury was very much on our minds as we arrived at the
Court. I have to correct Gordon Watts' suggestion that Bob was just
playing devils advocate when he suggested civil disobedience. He meant
every word of it. Access to our history was a matter of great
importance to him. He was truly outraged with the attitude of the Chief
Statistician and, more recently, with the deal the National Archivist
apparently felt he had to make (Bill S-13). Fortunately, I forgot about
everything except the argument to be presented once Court started.
Thoughts about the loss of Bob and how much the census release campaign
meant to him would not have helped my composure.