The Justice Department has a huge volume of documentation on the landmark Joanna Gualtieri case – 52 feet of files generated over the past 10 years.
This case demonstrates the extraordinary lengths that departments are prepared to go to in order to punish truth-tellers and bury their allegations. What has been the cost to taxpayers of this ongoing litigation? The government has not yet been able to respond to this question -- but certainly millions of dollars.
Who is paying and who is responsible?
Ultimately Canadian taxpayers are footing the entire bill for defending the officials who allegedly ignored Ms. Gualtieri's reports and then harassed her out of her job.
The Justice Department pays its lawyers to defend the case and bills Foreign Affairs (the client) for these services.
Foreign Affairs, although it is footing the bill year after year, apparently does not ask Justice to account for its use of these funds, has no idea what this case has cost or what the lawyers are doing, and indeed claims to have no responsibility for the case and no control over it.
Volume of documents:
633 inches = 52.75 feet
Height if stacked vertically: higher than a 5-story building
Number of pages:
Location: Civil Litigation Division and DFAIT Legal Services Unit (LSU).
Access to Information (ATI) requests were submitted in an attempt to learn more about the cost of this case to taxpayers. Justice Department indicated that these requests would cost $3,000 in search fees alone -- to cover the 633 inches of files held on this case. The files are contained in in 30 volumes and 165 pockets. The Department also claims to have no index or inventory of these files, to facilitate access.
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