Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Goudge Inquiry: The OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) letter: Part Four: Was This The Real Dr. Charles Smith?

To be fair, the letter from OPP Inspector Szarka to then Chief Coroner Dr. James Young contains unproven allegations.

If the matter ever came to court, each one of us would have to decide, who, in all of the circumstances, we would be inclined to believe: The police officer or Dr. Smith.

However, this Bloggist thinks it would be a very interesting exercise to give Dr. Smith the benefit of the doubt, and treat all of the facts set out in the letter as a hypothetical problem posing the question: What kind of human being is depicted here?

Let me take the first shot.

For a start, the driver is clearly an arrogant bully, who will not hesitate to use threats - even very ugly threats - in order to get his way.

I would also surmise that the driver is not very concerned that his conduct may come back in some way to haunt him - probably because he is confidant that his superiors will undoubtedly cover it up.

The driver also evidences a huge, swollen sense of his own importance, and does not hesitate to trade on his stature in order to get his way.

He clearly does not have any respect for the Officer - who is just doing her difficult job - and I wonder if he would have picked on a male officer in the same belligerent way.

Nor does he have any respect for the institutions he serves - because someone who did would never threaten, out of spite, to deny his office's services to people who are enduring unbearable personal grief.

There is no way the driver in this hypothetical example could be the Dr. Charles Smith admired for so many years by Deputy Coroner James Cairns who saw him as "a very sincere religious person" who could be expected to tell the truth.

Nor could the driver be the Dr. Charles Smith who Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford recently said she saw as: "a compelling witness, an odd duck but so seemingly square – he pronounced himself a strong Christian, had a soft voice and gentle mannerisms, and used to wear cartoon-print ties to court so as to remind jurors he had feelings too."

I am confident that the readers of this Blog will have no trouble making up their own minds as to which one is the real Dr. Charles Smith.

Harold Levy;;