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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Greg Bonnah APPEAL OF TRESPASS CONVICTIONS
APPEAL OF GREG BONNAH'S CONVICTION OF TRESPASS CHARGES AT ROCKCLIFFE PARK
PUBLIC SCHOOL WILL BE HELD JANUARY 9/01 AT 10:00 AM COURT ROOM 9.
PRESS RELEASE AND REASONS FOR CONVICTION ARE BELOW
P R E S S R E L E A S E FOR
Contact: Greg Bonnah 613-746-2997 or Cellular-613-220-5761
Contact: Jane Scharf-1-613-258-6176
Contact: Mary Anne Kazmierski-1-613-824-7469
GREGORY BONNAH VERDICT
Ottawa-Greg Bonnah, father of 9 year old disabled child Zachary Bonnah will
be in court Monday October 16, 2000 at 161 Elgin St. to hear the final
verdict on his trespass to property charges.
Justice Binda has set this date to release his decision following the
courts consideration of Greg's constitutional defense and the crowns
counter submissions. Greg argues that he had a right to be at Rockcliffe
Park Public School to drop his son off and that he was not trespassing
because he had legitimate business in the building. The Trespass to
Property does not allow a conviction where the accused had authority or
right to be in the school.
Greg says, "I have done everything in my power to try and get my child his
education including this direct action for which I have been charged with
trespassing and criminal mischief and still my son is out of school.
Zachary is now locked out 5 days a week. Zachary is in crisis because he is
denied the medical intervention (speech and psysio therapy) that was to be
part of his school placement. Children Hospital no longer provides these
services when the child is of school age because the school is suppose to
be providing it to avoid duplication of services.
No one is providing it. I asked for help from special services at home and
they have also refused to help him.
I have sought help from my MPP, Claudete Boyer, my MP M. Belanger, the
Minister of Education Janet Ecker, Minister of Community and Social
Services John Baird and I have even requested Premier Harris to conduct a
public enquiry into this matter of where the spec ed. funding ear marked
for Zachary ended up as it was not spent on him. All these requests for
assistance were to no avail. There is no political will at any level to
help the disabled student.
As we speak my child still has constitutional rights to education and a
right under the Human Rights Code of Ontario. I am not ready to give these
rights up without a fight. I do have some confidence in the court system
and I am optimistic that Monday's decision will favourably recognize the
right to access and accommodations in education for Zachary which gives me
business in the school to drop him off."
Mary Anne Kazmierski spokesperson for Integration Action Group says,
"parents like myself have fought tirelessly for this basic human right to
education for our children. Now the Ministry and the Board are mocking us.
Maybe we cannot make them care but we can assert these human rights that
are still on the books. We are behind Greg one hundred percent and will do
everything we can to see to it that his son gets educated."
Jane Scharf says, "Even the Education Act itself accords Zachary a right to
access and accommodations in education and there he sits at home with no
help. On the one hand the governments are telling us so many tax dollars
are being allocated to support the disabled student then in reality the
money never gets spent on the student. This destructive treatment of the
most vulnerable members of society is a form of social genocide. Without
help to accommodate their disability in education children like Zachary
will have no education and therefore no future. This little boy Zachary is
bright and eager to learn. He needs our support now to get his education
and he will give back to his community in spades for a life-time. I hope
this nightmare for this family is nearly over."
THE RESULTS OF THE TRAIL ARE FOUND BELOW
>In today's hearing Justice Binda agreed to deal fully with the Charter
>challenge in spite of the crown's arguments that the matter had been
>disposed of at an earlier hearing.
>Binda agreed with Greg that disabled children have a right to access and
>accommodations in education. And he agreed that when a child has a right
>to be in a school this gives the parent the right to bring the child into
>And he further confirmed that the Trespass act does not apply towards
>those who have an authority or right to be in the building.
>But then he went on to say that this child Zachary did not have a right to
>be in this school Rockcliffe Park therefore Greg had no right to be in
>Rockcliffe Park and he was therefore guilty of trespassing.
>However, he made several huge errors in his facts to establish that the
>child had no right to be in Rockcliffe Park.
>Binda said the board decided after the May 26/99 IPRC placement began that
>it was not in the child's best interest to continue the placement so they
>held another IPRC designating a segregated placement. And that this new
>IPRC decision was under appeal when Greg was charged with Trespassing.
>There was no new IPRC called until after all the charges including the
>criminal mischief was laid. The board did not testify that there was a new
>IPRC, Greg testified as to when the next one was held and that was April
>29. The trespass charges were laid on March 9 and 31 and the mischief
>charge was laid on April 20. And the new IPRC decision was a not for
>segregation placement anyway it was also for full integration but at a
>different school. And furthermore when an IPRC is under appeal it is the
>law with no exceptions that the previous IPRC placement is to be upheld
>until the outcome of the appeal, which means Rockcliffe Park is still the
>designated school even after the April 29 IPRC decision because it is
>In other words no matter how you slice it Zachary was suppose to be in
>Rockcliffe Park therefore according to the JP's own assessment Greg had a
>right to be there if Zachary had a right to be there.
>All the evidence and testimony necessary to established that there was no
>new IPRC, and that a stay of placement was suppose to be required where
>made to the court. Greg gave copies of the policy on stay of placement and
>testified that there was no new IPRC or agreement by him for a change in
>the May 26/99 placement. And there was no testimony from anyone else that
>there was a new IPRC, which is irrelevant anyway because even if it had
>been issued before the charges it was not for segregation as the JP argued
>therefore Greg can pick Rockcliffe Park because it is a designated school
>for his area and a stay of placement guarantees it no matter what anyway.
>No one testified that there was a new IPRC and no new IPRC was submitted
>and none existed either. Justice Binda just drew this fact out of a hat.
>The appeal should be simple. No new arguments or evidence is necessary and
>no barriers exist. Just reference to what is already there needs to be
>One other point there was no mention in the Binda's decision that supports
>and services were not provided to Zachary all year. The Eaton case said
>the board couldn't conclude that a placement is a failure unless
>reasonable accommodations are made. Eaton case also says the IPRC
>establishes to the satisfaction of the court what constitutes reasonable
>accommodations. Binda even said during the trail that Greg needs to stop
>demonstrating that supports and services were not provided because he has
>already proven this point to Binda's satisfaction. No mention of this
>factor in the final decision even though this fact was brought out in Greg
>submissions and is a key factor in the Eaton case which Binda claims to
>We agree with his assessment of the charter rights but not of his facts in
>this case it will therefore be appealed.
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