I reported a Saskatoon rheumatologist, Dr. Blocka, to the College of Physicians and Surgeons. The issue was medical malpractice. I later expanded that to a civil suit Q.B. #514/87.
Dr. Blocka hired the law firm McKercher, McKercher, Laing & Whitmore. The McKercher firm has a ‘monopoly’ on Saskatoon MDs: the firm defends all doctors on all matters, civil or criminal. As such, they use tactics sanctioned by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). Media reports say: “The CMPA is driven by protecting the doctor at all costs. There's been a concerted tactic to drag plaintiffs through as much grief as possible.”
After I filed my Statement of Claim (which initiated the lawsuit) I was subjected to an abusive backlash pervading every area of my life. Over the next 2½ years I filed two Affidavits in court, giving detailed evidence of the reprisal tactics and the upheaval caused. In result, the court ordered Dr. Blocka to sign a Restraining Order.
A month later, I developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a paralytic disease with a long road to recovery. I had to abandon my lawsuit. When the civil suit ended, the Restraining Order ceased (specifically Dr. Blocka was constrained “for so long as this action remains pending”). When Dr. Blocka was no longer monitored by the court, his vendetta resurged.
Read the Interlocutory Affidavit
Read the Final Affidavit on this page
Consider the law firm McKercher, McKercher, Laing & Whitmore which represented Dr. Blocka. As indicated by the firm's name, one of its founders was attorney Robert D. Laing. When my lawsuit was filed, Laing not only worked at this firm, he was a senior partner. Therefore Laing had full knowledge of, and acquiesced to, the brutal CMPA tactics directed at me while my lawsuit was active.
In 2006, Laing became Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench Court in Saskatchewan. He retired from that position in 2012. During that six-year period (2006 to 20012) a conflict-of-interest was likely – indeed, almost inevitable – for any medically-related cases adjudicated by Q.B. Chief Justice Robert D. Laing.
In 2009 I once again required integrity from the court regarding a Saskatoon physician (Yelland). Shortly after that case reached the Queen's Bench level, Chief Justice Laing abruptly assigned himself as adjudicator on a crucial Motion I filed called a Certiorari Application. Laing traveled 250 kilometers out of his way, from his home in Regina all the way to my city of Saskatoon, to preside on the bench for that one Motion. The result you can guess.
Personally, I can can attest that Justice Laing flouted ethics without a qualm; it was grave and far-reaching. The causative event occurred years ago, but the antagonism from the CMPA had never truly ceased.
|Admitted to Judiciary||1994|
|Appointed Chief Justice of Sask QB Court||January 1, 2006|
|Retired as Chief Justice||January 1, 2012|
|Current Status||Supernumerary Judge|
|GEORGENA SARAH SIL|||||PLAINTIFF|
|– and –|
|DR. KENNETH BLOCKA|||||DEFENDANT|
I, GEORGENA SIL, of the City of Saskatoon, in the Province of Saskatchewan, a scientist by profession, MAKE OATH AND SAY:
THAT I am the Plaintiff in the within action and as such have personal knowledge of the facts and matters herein deposed to except where stated to be based on information and belief and whereso stated I do verily believe the same to be true.
THAT the Defendant in this action is Dr. Kenneth Blocka, a Rheumatology Specialist at University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to whom I was referred for treatment by my family doctor, Dr. K.V. O’Reilly in July 1985. The within action arises out of my referral by Dr. Blocka to the Mayo Clinic for verification of a diagnosis that I suffer from a bone inflammatory condition known as Osteitis Pubis as well as recommendations for treatment thereof. The within action further arises out of Dr. Blocka's refusal to provide follow-up treatment upon my return from the Mayo Clinic as well as a number of subsequent actions hereinafter referred to.
THAT on January 11, 1989, Mr. Justice H.A. Osborne granted an Order whereby the limitation period regarding the action of medical negligence against Dr. Blocka was to be extended for a period of six months. That in the testimony of the solicitor who represented me on that day, Nancy E. Ayers, and I verily believe the same to be true, Mr. Justice Osborne was sympathetic to the extreme fatigue, pain and suffering imposed by my bone disease, and instructed verbally that should my health status not be improved over the intervening six months, it would be reasonable to return with an application for further extension.
THAT my health has not improved, and my bone disease continues to inflict intractable pain day and night accompanied by profound fatigue. Experience reveals that my intense engagement in legal work in November/December 1988 towards this case worsened my physical health drastically and, even with the lull in activity that followed, recovery was not swift. Nature ultimately has the last word, and at the present stage of the bone disease, my body will not tolerate more than a minimum of activity in caring for myself, plus meeting my necessary medical appointments.
THAT in support of this a current medical certificate dated August of 1989 is provided from the family physician in charge of my case, Dr. W.H. McKee of Saskatoon (attached hereto and marked as Exhibit A to this my Affidavit). That my covering letter dated August 2, 1989 specifies my day-to-day experience with my disease (attached hereto and marked as Exhibit B to this my Affidavit).
THAT although I was employed as a Physicist, I have been unable to work since mid-1984 when I was forced to resign as a direct result of the toll of developing serious physical health problems. The fact that this disease and the pain and exhaustion associated with it has prevented me from working since 1984 also means that I have not the financial resources to devote to legal expenses to pursue this matter immediately.
THAT I am currently representing myself in the within action, because I must lessen the strain of legal fees, and because my former solicitor on this case, Nancy E. Ayers of Saskatoon, recently ceased the practice of law on or about April 3, 1989.
THAT by letter dated May 4, 1989 I requested Dr. Blocka's Statement as to Documents from his solicitors. The Statement as to Documents was provided, though in an incomplete state and unsigned by the Defendant. Admission of service was supplied via letter dated May 24, 1989 to the Defendant's solicitors.
THAT the Defendant's solicitors developed a Supplementary Statement as to Documents to compensate for omissions I had pointed out in my letter of May 24, 1989. The Supplement was also unsigned by the Defendant. Admission of service was supplied via letter dated July 12, 1989 to the Defendant's solicitors.
THAT I made arrangements with the Defendant's solicitor Mr. Richard Elson to review the documents, as listed in the Defendant's Statement as to Documents plus the Supplement, at the offices of McKercher and Company, Saskatoon on July 27, 1989.
THAT I have sought and obtained Dr. Blocka's hospital records.
THAT the Defendant's solicitors have not yet followed through on a voluntary Undertaking (with the effect of a Restraining Order) offered to my former solicitor Nancy E. Ayers in December 1988. This Undertaking, prompted by a series of prolonged and devastating circumstances hereinafter described in this my Affidavit, was to read: “Dr. Blocka shall not engage in any direct or indirect communications respecting Mrs. Sil's character, integrity, and medical history with any person including, but not restricted to, any physician Mrs. Sil may consult with respect to her care and treatment, except as may be expressly requested and authorized by herself.”
THAT Dr. Blocka failed to exercise due care and attention in his referral of my case to the Mayo Clinic in January of 1986, the consequences proving to be:
THAT Dr. Blocka reacted in a discreditable manner to these revelations. Not only was I the recipient of his original mistakes, but was victimized a second time by an emotional backlash and extended hostility as he recognized his negligence and feared being held to account.
Tuum Est - It Is Up To You
The owl looked puzzled down,
The serpent’s satin figure
Glid stealthily along.
The Single Hound
When writing an Affidavit, you swear to the truth of the whole document in a final section called the Jurat which bears your signature plus the date, city, and Commissioner's stamp.
Why, then, is the phrase ‘Verily, I believe this to be true’ found in the body of the Affidavit? The rationale is set out in the Queen's Bench Rules of Court. Each province enacts its own version of the Q.B. Rules. The citation below is from Saskatchewan.
Affidavit to be on Knowledge or Belief
13-30 (1) Subject to subrule (2), an affidavit must be confined to facts that are within the personal knowledge of the person swearing or affirming the affidavit.
13-30 (2) In an interlocutory application, the Court may admit an affidavit that is sworn or affirmed on the basis of information known to the person swearing or affirming the affidavit and that person’s belief.
13-30 (3) If an affidavit is sworn or affirmed on the basis of information and belief in accordance with subrule (2), the source (grounds) of the information must be disclosed in the affidavit.
Definition of ‘Fact’ — In law this means a statement based on firsthand personal knowledge.
Definition of ‘Information and Belief’ — This is a standard phrase used in legal pleadings which are sworn under oath (such as Affidavits). It qualifies a statement thus: The writer does not hold firsthand knowledge of the specific point, but does firmly believe its truth.
Example — If Andy threatens you directly, then you report his words as fact. But if Tim (sounding genuine) warns you that Andy made threats against you, then you report the conversation under the umbrella of information and belief.
This option is essential during interlocutory (intermediate) motions since a Chambers session is not geared to hear witnesses. But during trial, the court expects statements of belief to be replaced by testimony from witnesses who do hold direct knowledge.
The Court imposes a rigorous structure on this option, to elevate it above hearsay.
Legal wording aims for precision, to leave no loopholes. Best advice: When reading an Affidavit, skim past the formal phrases and land your eye on the events that unfold.
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