By Les Whittington, Ottawa Bureau reporter, Toronto Star, March 24, 2015
Renowned Toronto lawyer brings unusual case to change the way Canada’s central bank operates.
Ottawa – Renowned Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati is pursuing a court case intended to do nothing less than force the Bank of Canada to reorient its activities on behalf of Canadians.
Galati, who led a successful challenge against an appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada, is representing a small Toronto group whose legal bid is attracting increasing attention from people in Canada and elsewhere who distrust global financial institutions.
The unusual case originated with William Krehm, a much-travelled 101-year-old Toronto native and former Trotskyite who was in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and once stood guard over Leon Trotsky’s corpse after the Russian revolutionary was assassinated in Mexico City.
Krehm, later an economic writer, asked Galati to launch the case on behalf of his Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER). Galati first filed the case in 2011 and after several legal rounds – including a court skirmish with federal government lawyers – is expected to return to Federal Court within days to move the challenge forward.
COMER contends the Bank of Canada, a publicly owned national financial institution created in the Great Depression, is mandated to provide debt-free support for public projects undertaken by federal, provincial and city governments. Not doing so has deprived Canadians of the benefits of larger infrastructure investments, COMER alleges.
Among other arguments in its court submission, the group alleges Canada ceded its sovereign ability to conduct independent monetary policy to the “secret” deliberations and control of private foreign bankers. This
unconstitutional move, COMER argues, was a result of Ottawa’s decision to join several multinational financial organizations, particularly the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Headquartered in Switzerland, the BIS is an organization that brings together the central banks from 60 countries to cooperate in the promotion of international monetary and financial stability. Canada joined in 1970.
“It’s by far the most serious and important case I’ve ever done,” said Galati, who gained national prominence in a classic David versus Goliath case last year in which he moved to block Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to Canada’s top bench.
Of the current case, Galati says, “It impacts the entire country in a profound way, right down to the bone of our economics and the history of the way we’ve maintained and lost, through illegal action, our independent monetary policy. It’s huge.”
The federal government tried to quash the case on the grounds it was frivolous and the alleged infringement of the plaintiffs’constitutional rights was “too uncertain, speculative and hypothetical.”
And judges noted COMER’s contention that the Bank of Canada has a mandate to provide interest-free loans to governments in Canada hinges on the interpretation of a sentence in the bank’s enabling legislation saying it “may” provide such loans.
But the courts have said Galati can proceed with an amended statement of claim.
“We have no comments on a matter that is before the courts,” the Bank of Canada stated.
But on its website, the Bank of Canada explains why it doesn’t “print money to repay the national debt or to finance government programs.” Doing so, it says, “would reduce the value of our money, raise interest rates, and undermine the growth of the economy.”
Ann Emmett, a former teacher who now chairs COMER, said she “absolutely” believes foreign banks are controlling the Bank of Canada’s actions.
“I have to tell you that the lawsuit has sparked interest around the world,” Emmett added. “They are not going to be able to put the genie back in the bottle.”
The lawsuit also alleges the federal finance minister is depriving MPs of their right to properly vet government spending by inappropriately calculating available financial resources.
The original COMER case indicated an intention to make it a class action suit, with $1 in damages for each Canadian. But it’s unclear if that part of the claim will stand.
As Ann [Emmett] commented in the Toronto Star article “The genie is out of the bottle” and we won’t be putting her/him back! We will proceed until we restore the Bank of Canada to its original intent – to serve Canadians and build a kinder, fairer country for all its people.
Margaret Rao, Friend of COMER
Finally a major paper covering this case. So exciting! And the article really does do justice to the nature of the case. Picks out the really important aspects. Reads well. Makes sense of the case. Now maybe more public will begin to get a handle on the crime being perpetrated against us.
I am so proud of all of you, Bill, Anne, and Rocco for your ongoing noble work. Watch all the insignificant useless hypocritical gatekeepers now try to get on board. Bill, you are and have been such an incredible force keeping this case going financially. It is such a tribute to your life.
Anne, your constant attention to educating is really paying off.
Rocco, your work at so much reduced rate of fees is an incredible contribution to Canada. The quality of your work goes without saying. You have already proven yourself over and over in this case, as well as so many others. You are a special gem in the fiber of this country, and in fact of the world. You refused to accept no.
I remember how hard Bill worked to get this case off the ground and into your gifted mind and hands. I remember all that early struggling so well: off to other lawyers none of whom had the balls or competence to run this case; Bill’s initial anxieties troubling his determination to make this lasting contribution out of his life’s pursuits; the do good know-it-all naysayers pouring water on the fire of excellence.
feel privileged and honoured to know all of you personally. You are so incredibly special, all of you….
Both Rocco and Bill have been making an incredible financial contribution to this case. Bravo! Bravo!
Letter in the Toronto Star, published March 31, 2015:
“Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.”
That was William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s 10th and longest serving prime minister, whose accomplishments include the creation of old age pensions, unemployment insurance, family allowances, who
led Canada through World War II and, in 1938, in the midst of the Great Depression, removed private bankers’ ownership and control of our central bank by nationalizing the Bank of Canada making the government of Canada its sole shareholder on behalf of the people of Canada.
Rocco Galati, on behalf of COMER, argues for the restoration of the BoC’s previously successful role of financing the borrowing of all three levels of government at minimal interest cost to the Canadian taxpayer, but at substantial cost in lost profits to the private banking establishment.
As for inflation, it is not who creates the money – currency and credit – that causes inflation, but how much money is created. Who creates the money determines how much that money will cost taxpaying citizens – with compound interest currently paid to privately held banks, represented (surprise) by the Bank for International
Settlements (BIS), frequently referred to as “the bankers’ bank.”
Derrell R. Dular, Toronto
I’m glad to see a major newspaper covering the lawsuit against the Bank of Canada. More attention needs to be paid to how the bank could be used to serve people of Canada. Instead, we’ve created an economy
where we’re all going further and further into debt and paying interest to the financial industry. It’s like an anvil around our necks but it doesn’t need to be this way, and it used to be different.
Thanks to lawyer Rocco Galati and COMER for bringing this to the courts. I hope they win and we get the bank we need.
Jeff Dean, Victoria, BC
Thank you for breaking the media embargo on the case involving Rocco Galati’s COMER and the Government of Canada.
Ed Goertzen, Oshawa
This topic has evaded the public eye for much too long. The people of this country are being robbed blind of their wealth and financial freedom under the fraudulent debt-money system controlled by the private bankers.
Why is this important topic not being blasted all over the news? Because “they” (the private bankers) do not want the people to know how they have been scammed over the past several years.
Time for the media to do their job – inform the public!
Grant Baudais, Kelowna, BC
It was interesting to read the article on the lawsuit by the Canadian group Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER). While the article plainly tried to spin the suit as a nuisance suit by a bunch of
“commie kooks,” nothing could be further from the truth.
This country of ours had it’s greatest years of development (1938 to 1974) attaining its modern character and form with the Bank of Canada as primary lender to the people’s governments insuring a stable monetary heartbeat. After 1974, Canada’s politicians were “hoodwinked” into believing that borrowing from an international cabal of bankers would somehow be less inflationary than borrowing from Canada’s own public
bank, having the best interest of the people as its guide, rather than the rich shareholders of private for profit banking houses.
The proof is in the charting of Canada’s governmental debt over the years. Up unti 1974, Canada had a modest and very easil manageable debt. Afterwards, the rise in debt is precipitous as Canadian governments switched to borrowing from commercial banks at the going interest compounding. How very foolish!
Since then inflation has, continually in a downward spiral, been eroding the value of the Canadian dollar as the amount of debt by all three levels of governance, carried by the taxpayers, and all owed to the commercial banking class, instead of to ourselves with any profit from that self-owed debt accruing to ourselves as under the previous Bank of Canada regimen.
The very statement by today’s Bank of Canada, stating that a return to their direct lending to government at practically 0 percent interest would somehow be more inflationary instead of borrowing from commercial banks at the going rate of compounding interest defies logic and shows how that formerly lifesaving institution has been captured by the bankers for their own ends; which dear reader will not coincide with your or our nation’s best interests.
I wish Mr. Galati and COMER every success as this will also mean every success for Canada and her people if they succeed in tearing Canada away from the avaricious grasp of the money lenders.
Brad Fuller, Nelson, BC
Letter to ER editor:
“The very idea of a government that can create money for itself allowing private banks to create money that the government then borrows and pays interest on is so preposterous that it staggers the imagination.” (William Hixson, It’s Your Money)
Precisely. I would like to know why the Federal Government – which owns the Bank of Canada – doesn’t borrow from it at LOW interest rates, rather than borrowing from commercial banks at high (compound!) interest rates, which it has done for decades, and which results in inflation and escalating government debt. Moreover, payment of this debt (through our taxes!) apparently transcends Canadian citizen concerns, such as health care, affordable housing, the scientific oversight of the environment – and so on.
The government lectures citizens as to how to stay out of debt – while their own backyard is in a debt shambles. If the Bank of Canada were used by the Federal Government to assist with needed government expenditures, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
By the way, there’s nothing in the Bank of Canada Act which would prevent the Government of Canada from doing this! If we were to do so, we could move towards a more Positive, less stressful Economy, rather than having to endure our current Negative, debt-ridden Economy. This would be a welcome change.
Good Luck, Rocco!
Happy Trials, COMER!