Dear York University Board of Governors,
You will recall the March 15, 2017 letter I sent to you and President Shoukri.
I now request your attention to the outstanding matter between Paul James and York University and an immediate audience with you as the board of governors.
In the event you will NOT grant me this opportunity then I will regrettably begin on June 15, 2017 my fourth hunger strike in 6 months.
The Paul James matter highlights the moral and ethical responsibility all Canadian organizations have when confronted by errors and mistakes they have committed in regards to their handling of the poor mental health of an employee. Being honourable in swiftness and integrity in correcting such circumstances is the bare minimum all Canadians should expect.
Knowing that poor mental health will be the number one cause of disability in 2020 in Canada and around the world, hiding behind “illegal systemic barriers” and segments of a colluded non-respectable Canadian Judicial process as this matter before you identifies, compounds the injustice and devastation which in the paraphrased words of former health and welfare minister Monique Begin, “costs Canadian lives on a grand scale”.
York University have illuminated through the Paul James matter not only a failed Canadian system of mental health care support - one of the worst of all G8 countries - but also a Canadian academic organizational culture riddled with bad politics and non-responsibility in the event of errors or mistakes which as this case illustrates can be protected by the Canadian judicial system through the disturbing manipulation of power and wealth.
As the York University Board of Governors if you now reflect back on the past decisions of your institution in the Paul James discrimination claim against York University, it will highlight your failure to appreciate the significant damage you have caused to so many people not just those currently working at York University but in various segments of Canadian society. For example, persons suffering from poor mental health in the form of substance use disorders “who do not know what to do” will continue to remain in paralyzed fear of the negative consequences if they openly and responsibly seek help and support for their bonafide mental health condition. It is the juggernaut of stigma which York University through their immoral and unethical handling of the Paul James case have exacerbated.
Poignantly, had the institution displayed integrity, fairness and compassion, 6 years ago you would NOT have spent significant amounts of money, time and energy to LIE on public record most damaging of which was your assertion that you did NOT know of my poor mental health - which ultimately was determinative of discrimination - to then collude with others to harm Paul James, a person who gave his heart and soul to your institution, only for York University to be in a worse position today with the matter still unresolved.
As a consequence of this case remaining incomplete, the implications in regards to York University’s tarnished reputation, culpability, visible immorality and hypocrisy are a chasm worse than they were in 2012.
On a legal level, while you have promoted to the Canadian public that for now you have won the claim it has been achieved through controlled, corrupted and colluded segments of the Canadian Judicial system and Canadian media including the CBC and National Post which are tantamount to “criminal acts”. Using a sporting parallel this is not winning. This is cheating. Egregious cheating which has ruined a persons life and damaged many others. Lance Armstrong and Ben Johnson won events. But they cheated. They were caught. And they were held accountable.
I now hold you, the Board of Governors of York University accountable to do the right thing for the decisions and behaviour your institution have delivered and displayed towards myself and those closet to me. In doing so, I am now ready after three training camp hunger strikes to give up my life if necessary to cement the point in posterity and to make the path easier for other Canadians suffering such appalling indignity.
Sequence of events March-June, 2017
As a consequence of a meeting I had with the Canadian Soccer Association on March 26, 2017 I suspended my third hunger strike protest in anticipation there would be constructive, unconditioned support from Canada Soccer on gaining legal counsel to file a complaint at the Canadian Judicial Counsel on the egregious judicial process my discrimination claim against York University has been exposed to along with the application of an appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada requesting my file be reviewed by one SCC justice. Shamefully, however, after six weeks of waiting for a reply on a balanced ethical counterproposal, it was unscrupulously declined by the CSA board, which in tandem with members of the association being in communications with persons from York University, including President Shoukri, it gives the plain and obvious confirmation of complicity and impropriety.
Meanwhile, prior to the CSA contact, on March 24, 2017 I received the following correspondence from York University’s General Secretary whose prime purpose was not to care about Paul James as a person or human being but to protect York University in the public eye in the event of my death. Immorality had reached a new level at York University.
Dear Mr. James,
I am writing to you in response to your March 15, 2017 letter to President Mamdouh Shoukri also copied to members of York University’s Board of Governors. Mr. James, let me first express that we are very concerned about your health and urge you to end your hunger strike immediately and permanently.
I have reviewed our file with respect to your complaint against the University to the Human Rights Tribunal, the decision dismissing the complaint, and your subsequent efforts to have that decision reconsidered which you pursued up to the Supreme Court of Canada. York University remains confident that it did not discriminate against you.
York University accommodates employees with disabilities including those that may be associated with addiction. We appreciate the importance of mental health for all community members and are committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment to promote mental health and well-being.
We value the contribution you made to York University during your employment here and your many contributions to sport in Canada throughout your career. We truly hope you will end your hunger strike immediately.
Maureen Armstrong University Secretary and General Counsel
Addressing the Email
“I have reviewed our file with respect to your complaint against the University to the Human Rights Tribunal, the decision dismissing the complaint, and your subsequent efforts to have that decision reconsidered which you pursued up to the Supreme Court of Canada.
To any right minded Canadian citizen or responsible York University Board of Governor privy to all the public record information and evidence, I have not been treated equally or fairly or with dignity and respect by York University or through the judicial process up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada. On the contrary my rights under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have not only been infringed upon and obliterated they do not exist as the current Charter is written. I have been prejudiced, discriminated against, ridiculed, stereotyped, defamed, slandered and taken advantage of by your institution, Canadian society and throughout the legal process beginning at the HRTO in 2012/13 and I have no redress aside from risking my life as the circumstance currently stands.
I do not accept this nor should any other Canadian or global citizen.
I have not been treated as a normal person with a bonafide mental disability. Rather, I have been treated differently each time it has suited the need of the system to justify dismissing the claim through overt bad faith manipulation of evidence, partiality, non-transparency, extraordinary conflict of interests, and an abuse of power.
Attached to this letter (through email to board governor Sheila Forshaw) are the following documents which will permit you to begin your own due diligence:
• 38 Page Report sent to President Shoukri November 2013
• 60 Page Request for Reconsideration sent to HRTO 2014
• 20 page Memorandum of Argument from my Leave to Appeal application at the Supreme Court in January 2016
• 78 page Affidavit connecting the dots of the Canadian Judicial process in my regard an submitted as an appeal of my dismissed Leave to Appeal application.
• 10 page Statement of Argument and 78 page Affidavit
I request you read the latter two documents first as they encapsulate the circumstance on the legal process thus far. Keep in mind both were returned to me by the SCC and not considered as a request for reconsideration of my dismissed SCC leave to appeal application in May of 2016, providing another layer of a rigged Canadian judicial system in my regard.
Yet these documents clearly outline the manner in which my human rights claim and myself as a person have been unfairly and inappropriately treated throughout the judicial process, which forensically negates York University’s position that my claim was dismissed at each level. It was based on collusion and impropriety. Yorks judicial position has no credibility based on the Applicants submitted truth and your institutions deceit which was plain and obvious. The system and York University have made a mockery of my health, my life, and wellbeing and in the process compounded my conditions adding further stress and pain to my circumstances. More importantly you have harmed hundreds of thousands of Canadian citizens through the creation of false case law based on untruths and misconduct not truth and transparency, ultimately, to NOT do what is right for those who live the ignominy of mental disability in the form of substance use disorders.
Encapsulated my rights under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be treated equally and fairly have been ignored because they do not exist. Mental disability under section 15 of the Charter does not cover substance use disorders just like the Canadian Mental Health Association does not list substance use disorders on their extensive list of mental health conditions. And its the same with Bell Canada’s Lets talk campaign. The elephant in the room is, “if you have a substance use disorder - then lets NOT talk”
As one lawyer, a graduate of Queens University and the University of Toronto of law school commented on what has happened to my claim against York University, “you have the right to be livid”.
“York University remains confident that it did not discriminate against you”.
As outlined earlier York University are not in the position to deny they discriminated against Paul James by using the bad faith rationales of the Canadian judicial system. York University submissions were ludicrous littered with manipulation; witnesses who were not talked to; and Lies.
In addition, the issue of discrimination was not before the court and as a consequence the facts of the discrimination were never heard or presented at a hearing. This opportunity was inappropriately and unfairly denied to me at such a preliminary stage of the proceedings which infringed on my purported, “supposed right”, under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be treated fairly and equally.
Nevertheless, the evidence I, as Applicant, provided to the court in my written submissions established overwhelmingly that I was discriminated against because of my poor mental health with no rebuttal evidence from York University. Yet Justice Edwards incredulously, ruled on the merits of the case with a bad faith, corrupt, prejudicial, discriminatory statement which guaranteed my claim would be dismissed as it moved forward through the process unless there was integrity from the system to correct the blatant impropriety.
Regarding this issue of discrimination the York University Board of Governors NOW need to answer to Paul James, the Paul James supporter group, York University students past and present and to all Canadians: why as an academic institution did Jenn Myers, Bree Carr-Harris, Jamie Teixeira, and York University LIE on issues which were determinative of discrimination, including: Did York University have the knowledge or should they have had reasonable reason to suspect that Paul James was in mental distress indicating mental disability?
On both angles the evidence was absolutely overwhelming that YES you did - the Employee Wellness Office even had my doctor write in his letter and completed PRAL form that I suffered from ‘acute stress reaction/disorder’ the number one cause of substance addiction and I needed ongoing support which York admit in their submissions they did not provide to me.
To take the position that you did not know of my poor mental health is patently unreasonable, non-sensical, immoral, unethical and corrupt based on the evidence.
Even Justice Edwards at the Divisional Court of Ontario stated, “Tragically, for Mr James with such a pedigreed soccer background he fell victim to the vicious grip of an addiction to crack cocaine….”
Then I ask you, York University Board of Governors, what does a vicious grip of an addiction to crack cocaine look like?
The fragile words, “York University remains confident” lacks conviction because your legal counsel are aware it is untenable and based on the LIE. In York’s scattered submissions Jenn Myers denies she knew I was suffering ill health - yet I told her and she informed the Employee Wellness Office.
How do the Canadian public or RCMP reconcile that?
The LIE’s purpose was to relieve York University from culpability when determining discrimination which is the whole case.
York University’s approach is unethical and highly immoral knowing it concerned divulged mental health information I delivered to Ms. Jenn Myers which was so difficult for me to speak of in the first place as it is for tens of thousands of other Canadian citizens suffering the self-stigma of substance addiction. And the consequences of the LIE and coverup by York University have been catastrophic.
My life has been ruined because of the unscrupulous actions and decisions of York University, not because of my health conditions, my attitude, self-loathing, or any other stereotyped scapegoating remark York University, McCarthy Tetrault and/or their associates in the media have attributed to me through the process.
“York University accommodates employees with disabilities including those that may be associated with addiction. We appreciate the importance of mental health for all community members and are committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment to promote mental health and well-being”.
Why is this statement in a personal email to me? This declaration is written to the Canadian public as a promotional effort similar to your “timely” awarding of an honorary degree to the nevertheless deserving Clara Hughes in 2012 three months after you denied your culpability or knowledge of my own poor mental health during my tenure at your institution. Why would this statement be relevant to me? This is not what happened to Paul James in 2008/09. Your statement is for public dissemination and promotion in the event of my death which is not only immoral it is sickening.
“We value the contribution you made to York University during your employment here and your many contributions to sport in Canada throughout your career”.
If you valued my contributions to the institution why then did I leave York University without a communication from anyone after the unprecedented success the York University soccer programs had achieved during my tenure and why was I requested to write my own Press Release?
Why do you let me know now in 2017 that my contributions are valued?
If today, you value the contribution Paul James made to York University then as the Board of Governors you will have to justify and then reconcile this declaration, in light of the following:
• In November 2008 I requested and was granted 90 days leave of absence from York University to attend rehab for my addiction to crack cocaine, my doctor completed the PRAL form as directed by the Employee Wellness Office at York University after they were informed of my absence and poor mental health by Jenn Myers from Sport York, stating that I suffered from 'acute stress reaction/ disorder', and that I needed ongoing support. Yet on my return to your institution in March 2009 there were absolutely no return to work procedures, no followup of any kind, absolutely no support from your institution of any kind.
• Jenn Myers requested I formalize my resignation from my position as a master soccer coach in October 2009 instead of investigating and accommodating my mental health circumstances which she was aware of from November 2008.
• Gillian McCullough stated to me in December 2009 as I walked into the Sport York offices four days after returning from rehab to meet Athletic Director Jenn Myers and Executive Director of Sport York, Sheila Forshaw, “Jenn hopes you have your head screwed on straight this time”?
• Jenn Myers statement, “I only wanted the best for you Paul” in a manipulative email I received from her dated February 8, 2012 is inconsistent with the HRTO submissions and the treatment I received from Jenn Myers in 2008/09 . If she only wanted the best for me then why would she request I formalize my resignation and not take the time and care to investigate about my health and well being back in 2009? Why would she tell me that the master soccer position I held was being devolved because “the master soccer coach model didn't work” and I could apply for the women’s soccer position in December 2009 and my application would only be considered with other applicants while Carmine Isacco would be hired as the full time men’s coach? How was this in my best interests? It was discrimination and extraordinarily humiliating. I hadn't even left the institution and three weeks earlier the York women had won a third OUA Championship in five years. The York women's soccer team have not won an OUA Championship since 2009 and yet in 2011 Jenn Myers reassigns the master soccer coach title to Carmine Isacco who is now responsible for coaching both York soccer programs.
• How as the Board of Governors of York University do you justify that I or any other Canadian citizen deserved such treatment because of their poor mental health?
• Why did Jenn Myers lie about me telling her that I was unwell and had been unwell for some time? Why would she deny that I told her a metaphor, “When you see Blue sky I only see grey clouds?
• Why would Jenn Myers and Sheila Foresaw avoid meeting me in 2011 to discuss my poor treatment?
• Why would Jenn Myers write in the February 8, 2012 email “Without much more information it was the only conclusion I could come to? I see now that this was not correct and that is unfortunate”?
• Why when confronted in May of 2012 and offered the opportunity to settle the matter of discrimination in private did York University neglect their moral and ethical responsibility?
• Was it because the legal arm of York University Harriet Lewis knew of the ‘one year delay’ for filing a claim is an impenetrable, irresponsible, “illegal systemic barrier” for filing legitimate claims which York University - through the collusion of others in the judicial process - could control, in combination with assuming Paul James being a down and out citizen with a substance use disorder to crack cocaine, who had been unemployed for three years, and who had no financial resources, would not have the will, resilience, or nous to take this all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and then four hunger strikes?
• Rather than agree to resolution, I instead received a letter from York University’s Susan Silversides lying in the correspondence stating all they knew was that I was a successful soccer coach during my tenure there. It was approved by Harriet Lewis former General Counsel for York University, who in the fall of 2011 stated to me in person - in regards to Jenn Myers’ mishandling of my circumstances back in 2009 - ‘we all make mistakes’. As mistakes go though it was a catastrophic one - one of many the institution have since made.
• How do you justify the timing three months later in October 2012, York University engaged and honoured Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes with an honorary degree and key note speaker assignment at the Fall Convocation ceremonies talking about being open on mental health. It gave the public impression that York University care about poor mental health. Taking nothing away from Clara Hughes it highlighted painful hypocrisy one hundred miles deep.
• How do you justify that at the same time of the Convocation ceremony I filed a human rights claim against York University and again rather than attempt to correct the injustice and discrimination in 2009 York University hired McCarthy Tetrault a top law firm in Canada with a reputation for ruthless unethical and immoral cutthroat tactics to harm me as a self-represented Applicant, someone the institution knew had already suffered much pain and humiliation.
• On this very decision alone how does York University justify the strategy to not take responsibility and correct your mistakes from 2008/09 and instead you decide to “assassinate” a person who gave so much to your institution? How can this decision be anything but immoral, unethical and extraordinary callous?
• How can you state now in 2017 that you value my contributions to York University?
Under the circumstances of the actions York University have taken over the past 8 years this statement is highly offensive which merely exacerbates my feelings of outrage.
Reconciling your errors in 2012 when given the opportunity would have been a sign that York University had integrity and “valued my contributions” to the institution and to Canadian sport. It would also have indicated you were an institution with admirable respectable values in regards to poor mental health as it relates, in particular, to substance addictions.
Requested Audience with the York University Board of Governors
Afforded the opportunity of an audience with you I will present and summarize the past 8 years of my life highlighting the injustice I have faced, and the stigmatized living conditions I now experience. My circumstances today - being homeless, penniless, unemployed, no assets, no pension, significant debt, haven’t worked full-time since 2009, no social status, a social pariah, defamed, slandered, scapegoated, ostracized all at 53 years of age - are not because of mental illness or a substance use disorder. My circumstances are societal and most significantly a consequence of York University’s approach to my poor mental health and the disturbing levels of collusion York University, the Canadian Judicial system and segments of the Canadian media have committed to, in order to cover-up the truth and reality of this matter. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ futility to protect me and persons facing similar circumstances highlights the desperate need for this to change.
York University have a earned disreputable image for the way they have handled this case file which now can only get worse without comprehensive resolution.
In the event you as the York University Board of Governors DENY my request to present to you, then based on the content of the June 5th meeting with three Paul James supporters Tom Panhuyzen, Mark Purdy and Kevin Tierney who met in good faith with York University’s General Secretary I will be, as mentioned at the outset, committing to a fourth hunger strike as of 12.01am June 15th.
This decision is ultimately a consequence of the ongoing negligent handling of the Paul James matter since March 24th culminating in the disingenuous approach of the June 5 meeting, which, rather than use the opportunity for the purposes of constructive dialogue the meeting was manipulated into a forum of deceit, irrational denial that the institution knew of my poor health in 2008/09 and the disgusting scapegoating of my health disability as the reason for my previous decisions to protest/negotiate through hunger striking. There was no accountability on the immorality York University have displayed in my regard and there were no suggestions of constructive resolution for the dreadful damage York University have caused. This approach considering the harm which has been delivered including ruined soccer coaching career is not responsible nor is it based on integrity. Rather the actions and responses of York University and their legal counsel McCarthy Tetrault are in line with the behaviour of a “psychopathic organization” under the Hare test model of psychopathy. Manipulative, irresponsible, compulsively dishonest and callous with a total lack of remorse and guilt.
On that note, you as the York University Board of Governors cannot, with consideration of all that has transpired, morally justify why it took the organization until March 24, 2017 to make contact with Paul James, 20 plus painful starvation days later and this in spite of the institution receiving communications from around the country and world requesting President Shoukri to intervene and correct the injustice.
The only patently reasonable conclusion any right minded Canadian citizen can make from this neglect of responsibility and display of immorality to do what is right, is that York University and your legal counsel McCarthy Tetrault would prefer Paul James died rather than accept accountability for the egregious acts they have committed against Paul James.
How do you as the Board of Governors of York University justify that to the York University community to Canadians across the country and to the global community? The fact I have no other bargaining options as a self-represented Applicant to confront the injustice and corruptness of this circumstance is an indictment of York University’s power, wealth and arrogance and their immoral denial of responsibility once confronted on the reality of the institutions mistakes eight years ago.
My decision to begin a fourth hunger strike on June 15, 2017 also confronts the Canadian Soccer Associations’ disingenuous approach to supporting an alumnus in accessing fair social justice from York University. Their own decision(s) to wait 9 days during my previous hunger strikes before making contact is itself immoral made worse by the complicity of the actions of some CSA members with York University.
It is difficult to imagine the Italian, English, French or Spanish football federations endorsing the same approach Canada Soccer have taken with Paul James. Closer to home it would certainly not be the methodology Hockey Canada would have taken with one of their own under such dreadful circumstances. It is why I can, albeit regrettably, state, I am ashamed to have ever represented Canada as a nation. Quite candidly, Canada Soccer should, while lobbying to be a shared host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Championships, reflect deeply on their moral compass towards the human rights matter concerning Paul James.
Pat Santini the legal counsel from the Canadian Soccer Association and Tom Harrington from the CBC both asked me at varying times over the past five months near enough the same question, to paraphrase them,
“But Paul, you are surely not willing to give up your life to correct the injustice?”
I stated, “I am and I will if necessary”.
It was a sad reflection of how misaligned we can be as Canadians on how we reconcile the imbalance of power within our society and the human rights abuses it can lead to especially in relation to poor mental health in the form of substance use disorders and the persons who suffer from them.
The more appropriate moral question I now direct to you, the York University Board of Governors,
“Are you willing to let Paul James DIE or harm himself for one more day rather than correct the LIE, tell the truth and do the right thing?
It is why as the Board of Governors you now need to conduct your own due diligence on this matter independent of your legal counsel.
In the event you, as the York University Board of Governors, decline the opportunity to meet in order to gain the information you are perhaps unaware of, then, please note, on June 15 the start date of my hunger strike, I will regrettably submit to the Canadian Soccer Association, the Canadian Sports Minister, and the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame my demand to have my individual soccer hall of fame status annulled.
On the same date June 15, 2017, I will submit a letter to our Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regrettably requesting the Canadian Parliament and Government initiate a RCMP investigation into the life of Paul James from the period 2008-2017 as it relates to the discrimination, forced resignation, poor treatment, and lack of appropriate support York University and then the egregious cover-up of this reality through the collusion, complicity, slander, and defamation of York University; Canadian Inter-university Sport; segments of the Canadian Judicial system, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Canadian soccer industry.
In the event my request is denied by the Prime Minister then I will very regrettably renounce my Canadian citizenship.
On that note and pointed directly to you as the York University Board of Governors, if you do in fact govern with integrity, fairness, equality, dignity, and respect, then you will discover the Paul James file should be a time for deep, wholehearted regret, humility and immediate correction beginning with providing me the opportunity to present to you the nature and impact of the injustice which has been delivered and the reason(s) why you should correct it, which will prevent further harm to myself.
Avoidance to accommodate this honourable request then you as the York University Board of Governors will own the consequences of the unjustifiable, callous decisions the institution has made over the past eight years which will leave an uncomfortable conscience for you at the time of my passing and an irreparable global legacy of York University as an immoral, unethical, academic institution. I trust also, you will rightly feel the wrath of Canadians and citizens from different parts of the world who have and continue to support my legitimate fight for social justice.
Lou Holtz once said, “There is never the Right time to do the Wrong thing”. And there is never the Wrong time to do the Right thing”
I will trust in you to understand its relevance at this time.