Jessica Ernst was an environmental consultant working in the petroleum industry. In 2007 she sued the Alberta government, Encana Corporation, and the industry regulator, for negligence over Encana’s severe contamination of aquifers comprising part of the public water supply caused by Encana’s hydraulic fracturing of coal seams for gas production near her Rosebud home. She met with many obstacles, including legal wrangles which included the question of whether her freedom of expression was abrogated by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
Ernst’s case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and she still has a valid Charter claim against the AER for violating her right to freedom of expression. The courts, however, are disallowing her Charter right to seek remedy.
As of December 2017 Ernst is still suing Encana and the Alberta Government for breaking the law, and she continues to seek justice regarding her community’s drinking water, though it appears that the legal system is too corrupt for justice to prevail.
While the case of Dr. Hall falls into a different area of the public interest than that of Jessica Ernst the broad questions of principle are the same. All authorities are fallible, whether they be energy regulators or university administrations, and democratic societies must protect the freedom of expression of citizens who attempt, in the service of the public interest, to speak of matters to which the authorities are blind. The block to Ernst’s right to seek remedy for the breach of her Charter right to freedom of expression tends to make the right unenforceable. It is to be feared that this allows a totalitarian state to grow under a veneer of democratic freedoms.
For a review of Andrew Nikiforuk’s book about the case, Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry, go to:
Some of the details of Ernst’s case can be found at The Tyee:
February 2, 2017: On Jessica Ernst, and the Vagaries of Justice in Canada
January 13, 2017: Landowner Loses Fight to Sue Regulator in Fracking Case
Her own website, Ernst v. EnCana Corporation, gives many more details, and contains a wealth of information on related issues. She has reproduced some of the writings from https://academicfreedomanthonyhall.ca/ (i.e., this site) on her site, and she bolds and colours many of my sentences in an appropriately emphatic way, often providing commentary that makes connections between the Hall case and her own:
My open letter to Premier Notley is included in Ernst’s post of December 4, 2017: Jackboot Justice & Why are authorities and politicians terrified of b’nai brith? Premier Notley Injects Politics of Slander into Juridical Process. Big Win for U Lethbridge Prof Anthony Hall, Academic Tenure and Freedom of Expression
My open letter to U. of L. President Mahon is included in Ernst’s post of July 31, 2017: Judicial Review rears its ugly biased head again. Lethbridge, August 8, 2017, 2 PM: Public Court Hearing to resolve dispute over appointment of an arbitrator in the University of Lethbridge Board wrongfully suspending Prof Anthony Hall. Does the Board know they will lose with an arbitrator, but not with judicial review?
Jessica Ernst’s own letter to U. of L. President Michael Mahon may be found here:
Robin Mathews is a retired professor who taught English literature at Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC. He is known for his campaign to Canadianize the faculty and curricula of Canadian universities.
The (Criminal?) Subversion of the Academy in the Case Against Professor Anthony Hall, published in the American Herald Tribune, September 15, 2017
he tells the story of Hall’s suspension, putting it in the context of four aspects of our understanding (or lack of it) of the larger picture:
- Germany from 1930 – 1945
- the present state of Israel
- false flag events
- the role of universities in the quest for truth
JACKBOOTS IN THE CANADIAN ACADEMY. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND INQUIRY UNDER THREAT … AGAIN. UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA. published in the American Herald Tribune, December 04, 2017:
he discusses the issue of freedom of expression and of inquiry in the Hall case, making reference to his own struggle for academic freedom in the late 1980’s at Simon Fraser University, and a false flag event perpetrated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.