Case Studies, Pendrell Place: Balderson opposes gag order

[NOTE: the transcript for the July 27, 2005 Case Management conference referenced in Dr. Balderson's letter can be found here.]

August 03, 2005


Attention: G. Stephen Hamilton

Dear Mr. Hamilton:

Re: Pendrell Place, Strata Plan VR 1008 -
Case Management Conference, July 27, 2005

I have reflected upon your statements about me in court.

You told the court that I have interfered with the governance of Pendrell Place Strata Corporation VR 1008.

This unsubstantiated outrageous allegation remains unproven.

You also told the court that you intend to apply for an injunction against me; that your application to do so is half-finished; and that you have been instructed to proceed.

You will remember that I told the court your proposed action was an attempt to gag me.

I deny having interfered with the governance of Pendrell Place.

I do acknowledge having distributed various investigation reports and letters to owners of strata lots at Pendrell Place and other interested parties.

I am astounded that you and your clients propose to restrict my freedom of expression with respect to the long history of leaks, rot and mould at Pendrell Place generally, including unauthorized expenditures, fraudulent Form B's, work done without permit, and other such matters, and specifically the continuing uninhabitable condition of Strata Lot 22, Suite #504, that is owned by Mr. Richard B. Oldaker.

I noticed that you consulted with Dr. Joy Dixon and others during the Case Management Conference.

Dr. Dixon is an owner, with her partner Hillary Mason, of a strata lot at Pendrell Place. Hillary Mason is a former Chair and Joy Dixon is the current Chair of the Strata Council at Pendrell Place. Joy Dixon holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers and an appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia.

I hold two degrees from the University of British Columbia in addition to a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Prior to electing early retirement, I held a position as Associate Professor at the University of Alberta.

The work of professors is founded on research, publication and teaching. Freedom to question, investigate and report in writing and orally is essential to the work of professors. The work of professors is generally made freely available to academic colleagues and the world at large.

Professors have been known to investigate topics of immense interest and great importance to many and also topics of little interest and little importance to many.

I have chosen to devote several years of my retirement to an investigation of leaky rotten condos. Pendrell Place has become one of my more fascinating longitudinal case studies in leaky condo governance, maintenance, renovation, repair and faulty management.

Joy Dixon has pursued topics such as theosophy and feminism, modern motherhood, sexology and the occult, and is currently studying new sexual theologies in Britain, 1880-1930.

Like Voltaire, I will defend Joy Dixon's right and freedom to investigate and to publish on any topic she chooses, whether it be new attitudes to sexuality or leaky rotten condos. I am disappointed that she would do otherwise for me.

My opposition to your proposed restriction on my freedom of expression is bolstered by several Supreme Court of Canada decisions which I advise you and your clients to review prior to launching your proposed action to restrict my freedom of expression.

The following extract from 2002 SCC 8 (CanLII) indicates my fundamental position:

20 Although s. 2(b) of the Charter is not directly implicated in the present appeal, the right to free expression that it enshrines is a fundamental Canadian value. The development of the common law must therefore reflect this value. Indeed, quite apart from the Charter, the value of free expression informs the common law. As McIntyre J. observed in Dolphin Delivery, supra, at p. 583.
Freedom of expression is not, however, a creature of the Charter. It is one of the fundamental concepts that has formed the basis for the historical development of the political, social and educational institutions of western society.

I have performed no wrongful act in exercising my freedom of inquiry and expression with respect to my investigations and opinions regarding Pendrell Place. You and your clients are therefore completely without grounds to restrict my freedom to continue my investigations.

Please be advised that I will therefore continue to express my findings and opinions about past and continuing leaks, rot, and mould at Pendrell Place. I will continue my investigations into the continuing failure of the Pendrell Place Strata Corporation to perform its statutory obligations under the Strata Property Act. I will continue to examine the way certain owners of condominiums are treating one leaky condo owner, namely Mr. Oldaker, unjustly by leaving his condominium at Pendrell Place uninhabitable due to building envelope failure, while repairing the leaky exterior walls of certain condos, including the leaky exterior walls of Joy Dixon's and Hillary Mason's condominium as well as the leaky exterior walls of the condominiums owned by other Strata Council members such as Merrill Fearon (a former Chair) and George/Douglas Fetherling, both of whom were in court with Joy Dixon and both of whom are also engaged in the writing and publishing field.

As a side note, Sergeant-Major John Balderson of the 76th Foot Regiment helped Wellington defeat Napoleon, after which he established the town of Balderson in 1815 in Upper Canada (Ontario). James Noonan Balderson, my uncle, was born at Balderson. He joined the Mackenzie-Papineau Batallion during the Spanish civil war. He died in February 1938 while machine-gunning Franco's fascists who were supported by troops and planes from Mussolini and Hitler. Unfortunately, the fascists were eventually successful in defeating the democratically elected government of Spain, thus encouraging Mussolini and Hitler to try to take over the world. You may be aware that it took much blood and treasure to defeat Mussolini and Hitler. It therefore seems useful to view the present skirmish at Pendrell Place with a sense of history. I am willing to provide a selection of fine Balderson Cheese if you and your clients would like to supply some wine so that we might discuss and resolve matters out of court.

Take notice that any attempt to restrict my freedom to investigate Pendrell Place and to publish my findings and opinions about Pendrell Place will be vigorously opposed.

Dr. James Balderson

B.Ed., M.Ed., Ph.D. Q.S.
COLCO: The Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners