Friday, May 04, 2007

Grave Robbery

The greatest prime minister Canada never had is now having his legacy marred by the sort of petty squabbling that marks too many fights over prominent persons' estates:

A bitter fight over Robert Stanfield's estate has sprawled over three years, prompted legal action in two provinces, and is now robbing the former Nova Scotia premier and leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives of his headstone.

Known as "the best prime minister Canada never had," Mr. Stanfield died in 2003 at the age of 89. He was buried at Halifax's Camp Hill cemetery, alongside other prominent Canadians such as brewer Alexander Keith and Joseph Howe, a former premier.

Mr. Stanfield's gravesite has now become embroiled in a legal battle between his third wife, Anne, and his four children from his first marriage.

Ms. Stanfield had the tombstone removed last fall, reportedly with plans to install a larger monument. The move angered her stepchildren, who argue Ms. Stanfield had no right to alter their family burial plot until a larger dispute over Mr. Stanfield's estate is settled. Last Thursday, the children filed a request for an injunction at a Halifax courthouse, asking Ms. Stanfield be barred from installing a new headstone and "restore the Stanfield lot to its previous condition."

Mr. Stanfield's son, Max, previously told the CBC that he and his siblings did not believe that their father would want a larger tombstone.

The tombstone dispute is just the latest fight in an ongoing family feud. In 2004, Mr. Stanfield's children launched legal action in Ontario, contending their father was not mentally competent when he altered his will in 1998 in order to award the bulk of his estate to his third wife.

Let the wife and children fight over the estate until there's nothing left.

But a man of Stanfield's public stature should not be left to lie under an unmarked grave like a pauper. Let the province put up the memorial, if necessary.

Source: National Post

1 comment:

LOYALIST said...

Friday, July 07, 2006
Behind Bars, Before The Bar
Believe it or not, even the Bar has some standards for joining it. Something about not bringing the profession into disrepute.

Stop snickering.

Even the Quebec Bar didn't want this guy, but may be forced to take him:

He left the country after being repeatedly denied enrolment in the Quebec bar admission course because he stabbed his mother to death when he was younger. But Sébastien Brousseau has finally prevailed in his decade-long campaign for the right to become a lawyer.

The Quebec bar says it will not appeal a decision this spring by a panel of judges who ruled that Mr. Brousseau is sufficiently rehabilitated that he can practise law without hurting the reputation of the legal profession.


Mr. Brousseau was 21 when he killed his mother, Micheline Sévigny, in their home near Montreal, stabbing her 40 times. According to psychiatric assessments cited in court documents, his parents had separated and he lived with his mother, often feuding with her.

The night of Nov. 16, 1990, according to his account to a psychiatrist, Mr. Brousseau got into an argument with his mother and she swung at him with a baseball bat.

He said he remembered defending himself with a kitchen knife but did not recall how often he stabbed her. He said that she was in agony when he came to his senses, so he slit her throat to end her suffering.

Despite the lurid details of the slaying, the ruling noted that the Crown changed the indictment against him from murder to manslaughter, on the advice of psychiatric experts.

After being paroled in 1992, Mr. Brousseau attended law school. By the time of his fourth attempt to register in the bar exam school in 2001, he had obtained a pardon.

A pardon may wipe away a criminal record and all of the usual consequences of having one, but it cannot undo a man's past.

The absence of a criminal record is neither sufficient nor necessary proof of good character, according to just about any Bar.

Had Brousseau's past offences been fraud or any other breach of trust, the Bar would never have given him a chance. Even if he had only faced civil judgments for same, and never any criminal indictments.

Had his crime been drunk driving, the Bar wouldn't have cared as long as he hadn't killed or maimed anyone.

In any event, his may be a hollow victory yet. The Bar can close ranks against anyone with a firmness and discipline even the Mob would envy. He may have to be admitted to bar school, but no firm is obligated to hire him for articles, without which he cannot be called.

And even if he should find and complete articles, he will still have to demonstrate that he is of good character, to the Bar's satisfaction, again.

And it will find any excuse to keep him out, now.

But even if, despite all this, he is admitted, no firm in Quebec will obligated to hire him, nor the Bar help him hang out his own shingle.

When the Bar wants you out, it will move heaven and earth to keep you out.

Source: Globe and Mail
Posted by Loyalist at 7:10 AM

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I will try to prove you wrong. By the way, I already did my exams and have a job.

Sebastien Brousseau.
7/11/2006 11:57 PM