I cannot stop thinking about Susan Beach our counterpart acting, yes acting, lawyer for Fraser Health in our recent court proceedings in BC.
We met the first time at the door of courtroom 208 in New Westminster BC. Yes it was before the curtain call. I walked up to her and introduced myself expressing my gratitude to finally meet her face to face.
She did smile and proceeded in anticipation that finally the controversial ” little Chilliwack dairy” could be forced into compliance, so it seemed.
The curtain rose and all the actors in their place bowed their head as the judge entered the courtroom.
The audience rose to their feed under the watchful eye of four security guards and showed equally their respect.
All actors introduced themselves.
Susan Beach for Fraser Health
Another Lady Lawyer for the Attorney General in BC
Jason Gratl for, me, the accused of running OUR COWS
Gordon Watson equally accused but chose to be his own lawyer.
The Susan Beach opening round did not really take off smoothly, because the always challenging Gordon Watson questioned the proceedings and demanded for a good reason to change the civil contempt proceedings into criminal contempt proceedings.
Objection my Lord,
objection my Lord,
objection my Lord,
Objection my Lord,……………….
Appeared to be the well rehearsed opening line by Susan Beach.
No it was not. “O B J E C T I O N MY LORD” was the battle cry of Susan Beach for six days.
The court was not only her platform for acting, it was also her way of staying in excellent shape by jumping up and down during her battle cry.
No gym required indeed.
At the end it became clear, change in procedures required more actors for act 2.
The curtain fell, nobody clapped, the drama unfolded with great confusion to be continued the next day.
Valentines day in court.
Before the curtain rose I handed Susan Beach roses for her and the other lady lawyer hoping that they would understand that I do love lawyers even on the opposite side, because they are the greatest actors on stage. Indeed I was not wrong.
I saw a shade of a little smile crossing her face, swiftly she turned and the roses ended in a cardboard box on the floor.
Here goes my Valentine.
Instead my friend Tim Shum from Fraser Health entered the stage asserting, that they always believed that the ” little Chilliwack dairy” was and still is a major health hazard, forget the cosmetics. He always wanted to take them down, never ever wanted to demonstrate restrain in his enforcement policy. Never believed us, never instructed to investigate, never inquired, never followed up……….except for sending poor George one beautiful day in August 2011 to Chilliwack to check out his pet project, the “little Chilliwack dairy”.
Tim Chum is a kind man, who appears to be caught in the crossfire of the dairy cartel and those nuts wanting to own their own cows. He does what he is paid for.
Poor George Rice seemed to be caged into the witness box. I wanted to tell him that it is not the prisoners box, but he never looked at us or to the lawyer, who was asking him questions.
Did you investigate who runs the farm? NO
Did you Test the cosmetics? NO
Did you take any samples? NO
Did you see anybody drinking cosmetics? NO
Did anybody get sick in the last 5 years? NO
Do you normally inspect dairy farms? NO
NO, NO ,NO, NO, NO was the most impressive one liner on stage I ever experienced.
George was indeed a soul I certainly felt compassion for, since he innocently was also was trapped in this situation, where suddenly his policing authority was challenged by a bunch of “cow nuts” from the “Little Chilliwack Dairy”.
I entered the stage to testify on my behalf. I realized that Georges prisoner box was not a cage. It must have been a pulpit or a speakers podium with a great view of the entire stage and the audience.
The judge to my left towering with grace over our affairs and on the right below me the lawyers and Gordon.
Why Tim and George did not use this pulpit to announce their compliance of doing their job remains a mystery to me.
Jason Gratl gently guided me with questions through the complex simplicity of OUR COWS ” Little Chilliwack dairy”.
Once in a while interrupted by the one liner of Susan “objection my Lord”. I wished I had in our grade three drama play a one liner like that, I could have been a star.
The act ended with a comical add on, when it became clear I needed to return for act 4 but had only permission from the courts in Ontario to perform in three acts.
The Judge wanted to know why?
Jason Gratl said, because The accused has bail conditions from Ontario.
The Judge wondered for what?
Jason responded hardly containing himself; “conspiracy to kidnap sheep”.
That left everyone wondering with a smile what else will happen after the break in Act 4, 5 and 6.
Nobody ever thought that this would take longer than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
It only gets better.
The curtain falls Susan Beach breaks out in laughter;
” kidnapping sheep” she says ” I would have real fun to take that on.
I thought to myself; Oh Susan, you need more than one line for that drama.
To be continued………..
[Note: The photo of Susan Beach that formerly accompanied this story, was removed due to a takedown notice received from the law firm of Stewart McDannold Stewart. The photo in question is still up on that law firm's website, along with a page of information about Susan's work, career, and bio. It is a straightforward head and shoulders studio portrait. - posted 7:21 am, February 26, 2013]