This is the letter the private investigator delivered to Bernard and Lisa McCarthy at two o'clock on the last day of 1998:
Bernard and Lisa McCarthy | Re: Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton | K & K File NO: 989279
Dear Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy
We act as solicitors for the Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton (Agency). We have received a copy of a publication / Internet concerning you and the Society.
Our instructions are that the document and other documents have been circulated by you in the Sydney area with the caption " Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton abducts child."
Our instructions are that any allegations of wrongdoing, errors or omissions by the Agency are totally without substance and truth. The circulation of such material constitutes a tort and is actionable by the Agency and its personnel against you and any other person who assists in circulation and dissemination of the material.
On behalf of our clients, we demand that you cease and desist such acts and that you immediately stop the distrubution of the article and related documents on the Internet and stop physical distrubution of the documents.
Failure by you to do so will cause proceedings to be instituted against you without further notice seeking damages and cost.
Yours very truly,
G. S. Khattar. Q.C.
cc: Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton
AUTHORIZATION TO RELEASE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
We, Bernard L. McCarthy and Lisa B. McCarthy of [address] do hereby give full authorization for release of any and all information concerning ourselves from the Department of Community Services and the Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton, NS release to [us, them] and all and any interested individuals/persons/viewers.
[signed and sealed, January 18, 1999]
Lisa and Bernard McCarthy have appealed Emma's adoption.
Lisa's father has questioned CAS about why, as a member of Emma's extended family he was not informed of the final proceedings.
Lisa and Bernard McCarthy have left no stone unturned for over a year as they have tried to find out what was happening to Emma and CAS has given only contradictary, false or misleading information.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeals will hear this in April. inJusticebusters hopes that CAS will see fit to move quickly to have Emma returned to the McCarthy/Gallant family without continuing to insist on "procedures" or hiding behind the excuse that its hands are tied because the matter is before the Courts.
Frank Sampson should be fired, charged and convicted for abusing his office, deliberately misleading the public and making empty threats against defenseless people.
Meanwhile, Bernard and Lisa McCarthy have contacted Members of the Nova Scotia Legislature and Members of Parliament calling for a full public inquiry into Cape Breton CAS.
The costs that they would be able to seek are, in fact, very low. If you will recall, the McCarthys withdrew the action because CAS refused to discuss the matter with the public, using the civil action as their excuse. Only by doing this were Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy able to find out the truth about Emma's status. In fact, CAS is probably liable for the costs the McCarthys incurred in filing this suit since their claim was based on false information which CAS had deliberately provided to them. At the rate CAS is going, they are going to run through the whole directory of Nova Scotia lawyers. Nova Scotia lawyers, however, like Saskatchewan lawyers are going to learn very quickly that honest people are onto them and they will rapidly run out of intimidation strategies to sell to the crooks they represent .
February 15, 1999
RE: Notice of Intended Action
Southam Inc., doing business under the registered business name of "The Daily News", Mark Richardson (President and Publisher), Bill Turpin (Editor), Shane Ross (Sunday Editor), Nancy Radcliffe (Reporter) 11 Thornhill Drive Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1R9
Dear Sirs and Madame:
"Couple's tale doesn't add up"
I, Lisa McCarthy, of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,, although I have consulted with an attorney, I am not represented by counsel.
On January 10, 1999, your newspaper published the article "Couple's tale doesn't add up" with regard to Mrs. Lisa McCarthy.
Words complained of:
" Couple's tale doesn't add up"
"Why would government cross borders to abduct their child?"
"Our disdain for the CAS comes from all-too-frequent news reports about its tendency to reunite negligent and utterly unworthy parents with their children."
"How bad does a parent have to be before his or her rights are permanently revoked?"
"the couple's grandiose accusations"
"I have to question how bad a home environment would be for staff to tackle international laws, remove a two-year-old from a foreign country, bring her back to Nova Scotia, and put her up for adoption."
"The CAS later claimed the girl had been abused by her father, McCarthy said."
"The allegations of sexual abuse she made against her husband have since been redirected - the couple claims abuse occurred after the child was placed in foster care."
"I'll leave others to pontificate the implications for free speech."
"I just wanted to take a closer look at the couple's claims before the McCarthy's are canonized as victims of the system."
You are hereby advised that pursuant to section 18(1) of the Defamation Act of Nova Scotia R. S. 1989, c. 122, Mrs. Lisa McCarthy intends to initiate a legal action against your newspaper, Mark Richardson, Bill Turpin, Shane Ross and Nancy Radcliffe, regarding the allegations of these defamatory statements.
Kindly govern yourselves accordingly.
Update: Lisa and Bernie filed their lawsuit. Now the Halifax Daily News and Nancy Radcliffe have come up with a counterclaim which includes injusticebusters, although we were not part of the original claim. Here are the parts that pertain to inJusticebusters.
20. At some time prior to May 11, 1999 the plaintiffs, jointly with Sheila Steele published, on the Internet, under the heading "Bad Reporters: Lazy liars, Gutless Wonders or Just Plain Bland" defamatory comments about Nancy Radcliffe and Southam Inc.
21. On a page with the headline "Nancy Radcliffe" the following words were published: Two weeks after doing her damage, Ms. Radcliffe made a grudging retracting in a column discussing ethics, no less? Lisa McCarthy has responded with this notice of interntion. 1. Nancy Radcliffe is a freelance who won't be getting much work by the time injusticebusters get through with her! If she was half as clever as she thinks she is, she would have checked some facts. She is not to be trusted and makes up sources. She quoted us as a source for a terrible allegation. She probably isn't losing any sleep, though, because there is no evidence that she ever woke up? This piece originally was on our free speech page, but we are not sure speech should be his (sic) free! And we don't think the Courts think so, either. Maybe we've run into someone who really is irreparably flawed!
22. The defendants Southam Inc. and Radcliffe will rely on the complete publication on the Internet and the website www.injusticebusters.com as defamatory and to set the context of the allegations.
23. In particular, the words, "Ms. Radcliffe made a grudging retraction in a column discussing ethics, no less" mean and were intended to mean that Nancy Radcliffe has no ethics.
24. The words, "if she (Nancy Radcliffe) was half as clever as she thinks she is, she would have checked some facts" means and was intended to mean that Nancy Radcliffe is not intelligent, self centered, has an inflated ego and is negligent by not checking facts.
25. The words "she (Nancy Radcliffe) is not to be trusted and makes up sources" means and is intended to mean that Nancy Radcliffe is untrustworthy and purposely writes columns based on sources which she knows are not real or accurate.
26. The words "she (Nancy Radcliffe) probably isn't losing any sleep" means and was intended to mean that Nancy Radcliffe has no conscience.
27. The words "because there is no evidence that she ever woke up" is intended to mean that Nancy Radcliffe is unintelligent.
28. The plaintiffs jointly with Sheila Steele published on the Internet and otherwise the impugned article written by Nancy Radcliffe and published in The Daily News on January 10, 1999. By doing so they consented to the publication of the words which they claim in the statement of claim herein are defamatory. 29. The defendants plead that the above words referred to in this counterclaim were published with malice. The words lower the reputation of both Nancy Radcliffe and Southam Inc. in the conduct of their business and profession.
30. The defendants and plaintiffs by counterclaim, Southam Inc. and Nancy Radcliffe, claim the following from the plaintiffs and defendants by counterclaim:
a. General damages;
b. Aggravated; exemplary and punitive damages;
c. Costs of this action on a solicitor and client basis.
Dated at Halifax, Nova Scotia this 14th day of May, 1999. Signature Alan V. Parish, Q.C. Green Parish 1401 Purdy's Wharf Tower II 1969 Upper Water Street Halifax, NS B3J 2X1 Phone: (902) 422-3100 Fax: (902) 425-2504 Solicitor for the Defendants
inJusticebusters have this to say: Regarding Nancy Radcliffe being out of work, that was hopeful rhetoric, and her job situation remains to be seen. She could probably find any number of government hack writing jobs in either Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan where a clever turn of phrase is more highly prized than truth. Maybe she could go to the U.S. and be a speechwriter for Bill Clinton. Many bad reporters have jobs. We repeat in plain language that Nancy Radcliffe has no ethics. We repeat in plain language that Nancy Radcliffe misread our site and quoted us as a source when we were not such a source. If she was half as intelligent as she thinks she is, she could still be quite intelligent. The filing of this claim demonstrates an inflated ego. We have no idea where her centre might be, whether in herself or in Timbuktoo. As far as her writing of the McCarthy story she has demonstrated herself to be untrustworthy. She may have a conscience, and, indeed, a rich metaphysical life. She also may be an insomniac who loses sleep over many things. We really do not care.
The response to her article, which was clearly malicious and written without thought for either the McCarthys or the 31 year old woman from Toronto, was to send the ugliness back where it came from. We want none of it. As far as having any direct or indirect impact on Nancy Radcliffe's reputation, we are all writers and have each chosen our own arenas to publish our work. We would expect that our small readership has not affected Nancy Radcliffe's reputation one bit. However, everyone's reputation should be properly grounded in the reality of their accomplishments. If Nancy Radcliffe is defending her column where she smears Bernard and Lisa McCarthy as a proud piece of work, that also speaks for itself. What we have said in defense of those she attacked also speaks for itself. Far too much ink has been spilt on Nancy Radcliffe's feelings.
Sheila Steele and Richard Klassen are the sole owners of inJusticebusters.com and Lisa and Bernard McCarthy, nor anyone else have not and do not tell us what to put or not to put on our site. If the Halifax Daily News and Nancy Radcliffe would like to serve us as parties to this counterclaim, please get in touch with us by e-mail at injusticebusters@xxxxx and we will provide you with addresses where we can be served.
We want to point out that as horrible and extreme as the Emma McCarthy case is, it is not isolated case. What distinguishes this case from many other stories is the McCarthys tenacity in fighting a huge bureaucracy.