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Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health proceedings

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Our rights and the constitution are on the line - TrueHope is challenging Health Canada. This can be the most important case to effect our health in Canada... Let's hope there is a swift outcome and that Justice will prevail in this David and Goliath case. 
Federal Court in Calgary Day 1 (November 3) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
Council for the Applicants (Truehope), Shawn Buckley gave his opening remarks to the court and clearly outlined the case for the Judge and an audience of about 40 people. After completing a lengthy and detailed opening Mr. Buckley continued by outlining the evidence of the Applicants case to Justice Campbell who is the presiding on this matter. This process began mid morning and continued until court adjourned at 4:30 PM
Part of today's events included the playing of a voice recording of a Canadian woman in obvious crisis begging for help and assistance because she was absolutely terrified that the actions of Health Canada in stopping shipments of EMpowerplus across the border would result in her not being able to obtain the product and thus she would revert back to the terrifying state of severe mental illness. This recording was profoundly disturbing and heart wrenching for most in the court room to hear.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 2 (November 4) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
Started with Shawn Buckley continuing to present the Truehope case to Justice Campbell. He spent most of the day trying to get the testimony of ordinary Canadians impacted by the actions of Health Canada into evidence to be considered by the Judge. The Federal Crown (Health Canada) is of course as expected objecting to every piece of evidence. They wish the court to ignore the stories and experiences of those who suffered by the States (Health Canada's) actions as inadmissible and of no value. During the morning session a DVD of the "Ladies with the red umbrellas" press conference was played to the court. This unscripted adhoc press conference was held in the Parliamentary Press Gallery after the seizures of EMPowerplus by Health Canada. It had several Canadian women stand before their nation and tell their personal stories before taking the product, how it has positively impacted their life and health, and how they want continued access. Many begged for access and pleaded to be heard by their Prime Minister and country not to send them "back to the hell of mental illness and despair". The afternoon session was once again dominated by Mr. Buckley trying to enter to tender the evidence. The Judge seemed to be having difficulty grasping the specifics of how the rights of the individual are guaranteed by the constitution and that Health Canada's seizures jeopardize these rights!

Federal Court in Calgary Day 3 (November 5) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
Once again Shawn Buckley began the court day by laying out the Case Law for Justice Campbell. This process, although very technical in nature, is extremely important to support the Charter Section 7 and 8 argument put forward by the Applicant Truehope. It was clearly brought to the courts attention today that the seizure of EMPowerplus by Health Canada in 2003 was warrantless and therefore the Hunter requirements applied. Justice Campbell was interested to hear that the Section used by Health Canada to make the seizure in 2003 was already struck down in 1985 by the Canadian Court. However, Health Canada to this day continues to ignore that fact! We are hoping by the end of this trial Justice Campbell does the right thing and holds Health Canada and the Attorney General of Canada accountable for their actions in their reckless disregard for the "life, liberty and security" of Canadians and the violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There are no live witnesses as this is a Federal Court Judicial review it is all paper case. Shawn wraps up his case presentation today. Then the Federal Crown lawyer Jaxine Oltean will begin to present their case.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 4 (November 6) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
Day 4 of the Trial was spent by Shawn Buckley putting the evidence of witnesses into the record. There has been a significant challenge by the Federal Crown (Health Canada) to one witness: Dr. Bonnie Kaplan. As you might recall she was tendered as an expert at the Provincial Trial yet the Crown is objecting to her this time. She is the expert in research for treating mood disorders with Micronurtrients. Today Shawn will try to have her admitted, again. ('Coles' Notes on Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D. Behavioural Psychologist, University of Calgary: Kaplan is a research psychologist who studies mood and behavioral disorders and was one of the first researchers to study EMPowerplus. Her ground-breaking work has sparked interest in scientists from around the world to participate in further EMPowerplus research. She told the story of how she was introduced to Truehope and EMPowerplus when she testified as an expert witness in Truehope's 2006 court victory over Health Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary and is also Director of the Behavioral Research Unit at the Alberta Children's Hospital.)

Federal Court in Calgary Day 5 (November 7) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
At 9:30 AM court opened to Mr. Buckley entering into the record the reasons why the Applicants (Truehope) are seeking to have Dr. Bonnie Kaplan designated as an expert in these proceedings. Further her long list of qualifications were used to support the application. Despite the attempts of the Respondants (Minister of Health and Attorney General of Canada) to discredit her, it appears Justice Campbell was satisfied and we await his ruling on this matter. Today, Day 5, was the start of the Respondants case. Ms. Oltean, lawyer for the Federal Crown, spent most of the day presenting her opening submissions to the court on what is know as a "Motion to Strike". This is where the Respondants ask the Court to exclude evidence before them in the Applicants case (in other words to "strike" it from the record). The Applicants will certainly be responding to this motion when the Respondants complete presenting their case next week. The Justice suggested an early adjournment and polled the Court (meaning the lawyers on both sides).

Federal Court in Calgary Day 6 (November 10) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
The Federal Crown (Health Canada) continued to present their case to the Judge. Most of the day was spent by the Crown reading into the record portions of the Food and Drugs Act and other legislation policy. This gets down to the crux of the case: much of the proposed legislation goes against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have a document that we have decided to make public. Here you will find detailed information relative to this case: The Crown may wrap up their case on Thursday or Friday this week. Then it is Truehope and Shawn Buckley's turn to reply to what they have said.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 7 (November 12) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
Court today was hours and hours of the Federal Crown (Health Canada) trying to discredit one of the most distinquished researchers at the University of Calgary. The Crown continued to go through their memorandum which is presenting the case that the work of Dr. Bonnie Kaplan is biased and that she is an advocate for Truehope. Mr. Buckely has been given an opportunity on Thursday November 12 [Day 8 of the trial] to respond to 2 issues the Crown has with Dr. Kaplan. This will be followed by the Crown continuing to try to discredit another expert for Truehope: Harvard Psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Popper. The expert witness for Health Canada is Dr. Peter Silverstone. He is a professor at the University of Edmonton. Through Dr. Silverstone's testimony, Health Canada discredits the use of Micronutrients in the treatment of Bi-Polar and other mental illness. CNHC ponders the question of bias and advocacy of chemical pharmaceuticals with Dr. Silverstone as an expert on behalf of Health Canada.
Note: In 2003 (at the time of the search and seizure raid on Truehope) Health Canada interfered with clinical research at an educational institute by shutting down a fully funded randomized control trial at the University of Calgary, run by Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, which would have given evidence to support Truehope's EMPower Plus from receiving a DIN #.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 8 (November 13) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
Today court resumed with Health Canada continuing to try and discredit Dr. Bonnie Kaplan and Dr. Charles Popper, the two expert witnesses for Truehope. The Federal Crown (Health Canada) are using some far reaching arguments such as:
1. Dr. Kaplan is not an MD (though she teaches MDs in certain subjects).
2. Dr. Kaplan does not do any hands on clinical work with patients, only research.
3. Dr. Popper does hardly any research, only clinical work.
According to Health Canada, neither of them are qualified since they are lacking in either clinical application or research.
Health Canada also claims that even if Bonnie Kaplan is technically qualified, she should not be allowed to stand as an expert for the purposes of this proceeding. They claim that she has become an advocate for Truehope beyond the scope of a normal expert. The judge countered this point tabled by Health Canada. He stated that many experts are emphatic towards what they believe, but this does not make them an advocate.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that Dr. Kaplan does not receive any money from Truehope for trial testimony. Health Canada's expert witness, the Edmonton-based psychiatrist Dr. Peter Silverstone, is paid.
They also attacked Dr. Popper based on the fact that he did not get his first case peer-reviewed using Truehope's EMPower Plus. They claim that his testimony is general without giving specific details on each case. To quote Dr. Popper, "I have found it very effective with a large number of patients". Health Canada are trying to discredit him for not listing out each individual case. Dr. Popper is a child psychiatrist, psychiatrist and on Faculty of Harvard University School of Medicine.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 9 (November 14) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
With a 9:30 AM start the Federal Crown (Health Canada) lawyers have moved on from their time attempting to discredit the Truehope experts. They are now qualifying their own to enter their evidence into the case. Health Canada has three experts they are seeking to qualify. Two from Health Canada and Dr. Silverstone. Dr. Silverstone is a Psychiatrist and teaches Psychiatry at the University of Edmonton.
Mr. Buckley did not object to qualifying the two experts from Health Canada stating that, in fact, he intends to rely on some of their evidence. However, Mr. Buckley is contesting Dr. Silverstone saying he would be relying on his written motion to strike for his complaints against Dr. Silverstone. Mr. Buckley chose to be efficient with his allotted court room time instead of making arguments with only three days left to address the court. There is much to cover so he is relying on specific written submissions from his work in the interest of time. Health Canada lawyers covered various points on their first two experts in the morning and then moved on to the more contentious Dr. Silverstone. CNHC understands that the bulk of what Dr. Silverstone is purporting is that EMPower Plus works purely as a placebo. Justice Campbell brought up some case law* which could potentially throw out the case, but said he would not pursue it. He said that the Crown would have to move on it.
* Case law is the reported decisions of selected other courts which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents in a other court cases.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 10 (November 16) - Truehope vs The Attorney General and Minister of Health.
The Federal Crown (Health Canada) finally wrapped up their main arguments of the case at 2:30 PM. They are five and three quarter days into their seven day allotted time. After a break at 2:30 PM Shawn Buckley began his response to Health Canada's case by countering the "standing" issue raised the week before. This was the claim that the whole case is moot and that the Applicants (Truehope) as well as all the other people affected by Health Canada's actions who are not listed as Applicants, lack the legal right to be in court. Mr. Buckley was able to free the Justice from any belief that this was true, and that the Applicants had every right to be in court under the law.
At first the arguments did not seem to be getting through to Justice Campbell, so Mr. Buckley willingly offered a lesson in Constitutional Law. (The Judge actually made reference to going to law school before our Constitution was created in 1982).
The time it took to educate the Judge on the issues around Section 52 and what the Constitution means, had Justice Campbell much happier and more impressed with the Applicant's case arguments. Mr. Buckley pointed out that given various factors the Judge would actually be setting a precedent, if he ruled against Truehope. This has CNHC considering that the Judge understands that his singular decision, made at the end of this trial, will be controversial, one way or another.

Federal Court in Calgary Day 11 (November 17) will begin by having Shawn Buckley attack the evidentiary issues in this case. This will include a submission to the Court that all of Dr. Silverstone's (Health Canada's witness) evidence is uneducated, full of bias, contains hearsay (statements made outside of court that are offered in court as evidence) and fail to meet the test for admissibility. Shawn Buckley now has until 2:30 PM on Thursday November 19th to argue his case at which point the Crown will argue their final remarks until the end of Friday.

We are grateful for this summary from a CNHC (Canadian Natural Health Collective) Courtroom Observer - also at


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