ERDC Report to Members :2008 Annual General Meeting

The Electronic Rights Defence Committee (ERDC) held its 2008 Annual General Meeting Wednesday, March 26 at the Atwater Library Reading Room. Present were most of our executive, some new faces, as well as some who have been active in the past, but who have been busy recently. Our positive mood was fueled by the recent strong performance of Me. Mirielle Goulet at the hearings before the Superior Court of Montreal on our request for class action authorization, February 25, 26 and 27 of this year.

Me. Goulet’s legal report was the centerpiece of the meeting. She summarized her presentation at the hearings as well as that of the defendants. Those who had attended the hearings commented on the David and Goliath nature of the combat: where Me. Goulet acted by herself, the others had five attorneys present in court at all times. And, as Mireille noted, “we have our own David,” – class action representative David Homel. She would expect that the judge who heard the proceedings, the Honourable Justice Eva Petras, will render her decision within 6 months, which means it could be early fall before we have news.

Next order of business, President Mary Soderstrom’s report from the Chair. Basically she spoke about the need to provide some interim compensation for Me. Goulet, who has been working in practical terms without fee since 2003. We are exploring possible avenues, and will have more on this issue in future messages.

Next on the agenda: election of officers. President Mary Soderstrom, Secretary Jack Ruttan, and Treasurer Ron Diamond are sticking around, as are Executive Members at Large Merrily Weisbord, Ann Charney, plus Peter McFarlane and Stuart Robertson, who were not present, but had previously given notice of their assent. As well, Tracey Arial and Julia Gedeon have agreed to join the executive as Members at Large, while Anne Diamond has offered to work setting up a Facebook page. The meeting also passed motions of thanks to David Homel and Mary Soderstrom for their work.

So plenty has happened. We’re going to rely more on teleconferencing in the future, because meeting face to face is difficult with busy schedules. If the case is authorized, there’s a lot of work ahead, but the committee feels energized and ready to take on the challenge.

Jack Ruttan, ERDC Secretary
Mary Soderstrom, ERDC President

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