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2004 – ext thing, he was standing behind cardboard voting station No. 23 ripping his ballot into bite-size morsels and washing them down with water.

Vancouver Sun
February 20
A 15 (letter to the editor)
Young people disillusioned with traditional reporting

Re: The satirist as shaper of political opinion, Arts & Life, Alex Strachan, Feb. 19

Alex Strachan concludes his column with the statement, “In a democracy that relies on informed citizens to make reasoned choices at the ballot box, the idea that TV satirists wield more influence than traditional political reporters suddenly seems surreal, even dangerous.”

Mr. Strachan seems to miss the point that young people are turning to shows like The Daily Show because they can no longer stomach the non-stop diet of regurgitated lies offered up by “traditional political reporters,” who don’t have the spine to cut through the spin and the BS and get to the truth.

Brian Godzilla Salmi

Vancouver Sun
March 6, 2004
C7 (letter to the editor)

Readers wonder why we need a Governor-General at all

It’s not often that I am truly flabbergasted, but having my name mentioned as one of those being considered to replace Adrienne Clarkson as the next Governor-General of our great country has left me in such a state. I would like to be the first to say I am not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as some of the others who have been nominated by Sun readers, particularly Stompin’ Tom and Don Cherry. On the other hand, I am a better writer than Margaret Atwood, so, if she deserves consideration, I suppose I do, too.

I do, however, fear my name will be withdrawn from consideration when I reveal that I am a republican. Still, I am but a poor Rhino and would very much like to improve my miserable lot in life.

Brian Godzilla Salmi

Kingston Whig Standard
June 8, 2004
Page 14
Rhino Party resurfaces

WHITEHORSE – After a 14-year absence from the federal scene, a lone Rhinoceros Party candidate is running in the Yukon on a platform calling for the territory to change its name to Groupaction and invoice the federal government for $250-million sponsorship fees.

Other pledges include genetically modifying exotic animals so that they can live in the Yukon and battle it out on the streets of Whitehorse to increase tourism.

“This will also give us an opportunity to answer that age-old question: Can a polar bear kick a lion’s ass?” said Brian (Godzilla) Salmi, the veteran Rhino member and campaign manager for local candidate Ben Mahoney. “Every day, five o’clock, lion versus a polar bear, tiger versus a grizzly bear, kangaroo versus a moose. So that will increase tourism absolutely.”

The 1988 election was the last time the Rhinos ran a significant number of candidates in a federal campaign. In 1990, a Rhino candidate ran and lost against Jean Chretien in a federal byelection.

Salmi blames the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney for killing the Rhino Party with a law that required parties to field at least 50 candidates

“In 1993, there was a concerted effort to wipe out all the fringe parties,” he said. However that law was recently struck down by the Supreme Court.

“This will be the first time the Rhino banner has been flown since the 1988 federal election and the idea is to retreat into the Yukon, run one candidate this time, so that we can come back. But we will never register the party again because that just gives them the stick to hit you with like they did in ’93,” he said.

Instead Mahoney will register as an independent but campaign as a Rhino. Both Mahoney and Salmi crashed an NDP barbecue Sunday hosted by NDP leader Jack Layton. Wearing horns made out of toilet paper rolls, they told Layton they would urge all Rhinos to vote NDP if the leader campaigned for one day as “Jackie Layton.”

“When I was little it was Jackie, but it’s been a while since I’ve been called that,” Layton replied.

Salmi suggested the Rhino Party could have appeal based on the current frustration with politicians who have broken their election promises.

“All politicians should be hooked up to lie detectors 24/7 while in office,” he said. “They should have baseball gloves surgically attached to their hands so they can’t steal from us and stuff their pockets anymore and they should as a basic, minimum requirement, agree that they will resign if they are caught lying, cheating, stealing or breaking their promises.”

The Rhino platform is meant to be mostly fun but with a touch of seriousness, said Salmi.

“How can you take much of this seriously? I mean, year after year they bamboozle us suckers into voting for them again. The last line in the Rhino Manifesto basically says I hope you had a lot of fun reading the Yukon Rhino Manifesto. Part of our job is to make you laugh, but part of it is to make you think as well.”

Regina Leader Post
June 8, 2004
Page 9
Yukon would cash in on Liberal scandal

WHITEHORSE — After a 14-year absence from the federal scene, a lone Rhinoceros Party candidate is running in the Yukon on a platform calling for the territory to change its name to Groupaction and invoice the federal government for $250 million in sponsorship fees.

Other pledges include genetically modifying exotic animals so that they can live in the Yukon and battle it out on the streets of Whitehorse to increase tourism.

“This will also give us an opportunity to answer that age-old question: Can a polar bear kick a lion’s ass?” said Brian “Godzilla” Salmi, the veteran Rhino member and campaign manager for local candidate Ben Mahoney. “Every day, five o’clock, lion versus a polar bear, tiger versus a grizzly bear, kangaroo versus a moose. So that will increase tourism absolutely.”

The 1988 election was the last time the Rhinos ran a significant number of candidates in a federal campaign. In 1990, a Rhino candidate ran and lost against Jean Chretien in a federal byelection.

Salmi blames the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney for killing the Rhino Party with a law that required parties to field at least 50 candidates.

“In 1993, there was a concerted effort to wipe out all the fringe parties,” he said. However that law was recently struck down by the Supreme Court.

“This will be the first time the Rhino banner has been flown since the 1988 federal election and the idea is to retreat into the Yukon, run one candidate this time, so that we can come back.

“But we will never register the party again because that just gives them the stick to hit you with like they did in ’93,” he said.

Instead Mahoney will register as an independent but campaign as a Rhino. Both Mahoney and Salmi crashed an NDP barbecue Sunday hosted by NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Wearing horns made out of toilet paper rolls, they told Layton they would urge all Rhinos to vote NDP if the leader campaigned for one day as “Jackie Layton.”

“When I was little it was Jackie, but it’s been a while since I’ve been called that,” Layton replied.

Salmi suggested the Rhino party could have appeal based on the current frustration with politicians who have broken their election promises.

“All politicians should be hooked up to lie detectors 24/7 while in office,” he said. “They should have baseball gloves surgically attached to their hands so they can’t steal from us and stuff their pockets anymore and they should as a basic, minimum requirement, agree that they will resign if they are caught lying, cheating, stealing or breaking their promises.”

The Rhino platform is meant to be mostly fun but with a touch of seriousness, said Salmi.

“How can you take much of this seriously? I mean, year after year they bamboozle us suckers into voting for them again. The last line in the Rhino Manifesto basically says I hope you had a lot of fun reading the Yukon Rhino Manifesto. Part of our job is to make you laugh, but part of it is to make you think as well.”

Yukon News
June 9, 2004
Page unknown
Rhinos vow to fight back
Juliann Fraser

Never voted? Think all political parties are the same and all politicians liars?

Two guys with toilet paper rolls taped to their foreheads want your vote.
Or, rather, they wanted your vote. Now, for lack of a qualified numbers guy, they simply want your support.

(Big) Ben Mahony and his campaign manager Brian (Godzilla) Salmi are carrying the flag of the federal Rhinoceros Party in the Yukon.

But a last-minute legal hitch prevented Mahony from getting his name on the June 28 ballot
He showed up Monday at the Elections Canada office in Whitehorse bearing a $1,000 cheque and at least 50 signatures on his nomination papers, as required by law.

But he couldn’t find a chartered accountant willing to review the party’s books before the deadline, so Elections Canada turned down his application.

“We’re likely to challenge it in court at this point,” said Mahony. “This is not the end, clearly.”
If Mahony can’t get on the ballot, the Rhinos will urge eligible voters to spoil their ballots.
Mahony, who arrived at an interview with a beer in hand, was dressed in a one-piece cotton jumpsuit.

“It’s from the women’s section at Saan’s,” he said. “It was recommended to me by a friend.” He also sported a black leather Batman- type mask over one eye.

Salmi wore white longjohns and a red pair of tanning goggles.

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton met the pair at a barbecue New Democrat Pam Boyde hosted at her campaign headquarters on Sunday.

Salmi urged Layton to change his name to “Jackie Layton.” “Actually, as a child, my name was Jackie,” smiled Layton. “You’re a funny guy.”

Mahony is best known for his popular band, Ben Mahony and the Big Eyed Beans from Venus, which broke up last summer.

He’s been touring solo for the past year.

He campaigned for the Rhino Party in the last territorial election, but never registered as a candidate.

His platform then included annexing Atlin, proclaiming Neil Diamond’s birthday a Yukon holiday and charging RVers a fee to park overnight at Wal-Mart.

The duo arrived in Whitehorse last week from Alberta in Mahony’s old utility van, dubbed Big Yellow Rhino.

The longtime friends once belonged to organizations like Greenpeace and Amnesty International. But no longer.

“At a certain point a line gets crossed and you really can’t take those guys seriously anymore,” said Mahony. “You get sick of the narrow-mindedness, the moral superiority.”

His federal platform is imaginative though not very practical.
Motorists delayed by construction along the Alaska Highway should be supplied with free liquid refreshments.

“If you have to wait more than five minutes, Yukon Brewery beer should be provided,” he said.

The party’s defence strategy involves cloning Calgary Flames goalie Miika Kiprusoff and placing the clones at secret strategic locations throughout Canada.

“A strong defence isn’t worth anything unless you have a good goaltender,” Salmi chimed in over his pint of Yukon Gold at the Westmark Whitehorse.

As if on cue, Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell walked in and stopped by to chat.

The Rhinos said the Yukon should change its name to Groupaction (a big beneficiary of the federal sponsorship scandal) and invoice the federal government for $250 million.

Bagnell chuckled good-humouredly at the suggestion before he moved on.

Mahony and Salmi said they are “white Rhinos” and not “black Rhinos,” which strive to offend i people. They just want to have some fun during another largely boring election campaign.
“Having a party is more fun j than being a party,” said Mahony.

Despite all their joking, the ex- activists can’t resist turning serious; from time to time.
They want to make the point that the “two main protagonists” — Paul Martin and Stephen Harper — can’t be taken seriously anymore.

“1 will guarantee you that the popular vote will go down in this election,” said Salmi.
“Young people know politics is a joke — de-mock-racy,” scoffed Salmi.

More and more young people recognize the futility of participating within Canada’s version of democracy.

“The idea that the electorate can be swindled and bamboozled indefinitely is over,” said Salmi.
Generation-X has grown up and something else is coming, added Mahony, hinting at an imminent revolution.

Before running off to the 98 Hotel for more beer, they offered some final suggestions to the other candidates.

All politicians should be hooked up to lie-detector machines 24-7 and have baseball mitts permanently affixed to their hands to prevent them from picking taxpayers’ pockets.”

Whitehorse Star
June 10, 2004
Page unknown
Rhinos work to horn in on ballot space
Kelly-Anne Riess

The Rhino party hopes to stampede into court as early as next week to chal­lenge its rejected nomination applica­tion.

Elections Canada discarded Big Ben Mahony’s nomination after the party wasn’t able to come up with an accoun­tant.

The pany. however, won’t be stopped dead in its tracks, as it now plans to bring forward a class action challenge based on the Canadian Char­ter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Not only have the rights of Big Ben Mahony been violated, but the rights of all Yukoners have been violated because they will not have the choice to vote for him.” campaign manager

Brian Godzilla Salmi said in an inter­view today.

Mahony will be at the Alsek Music Festival in Haines Junction this week­end trying to gather support for his cause.

“We want Yukoners who would be willing to say, ‘Yes, my right to vote has been violated,”’ said Salmi.

“Whatever it is we need, be it a peti­tion or sworn affidavits, we’ll make every effort one way or the other.”

“This is something that we would do for any of them, because it is about democracy.”

Over the next few days, he will be hitting the law books and working the phones to find out what legal path the party will take.

“Even if Yukoners don’t have intent to vote for Big Ben Mahony, we would like to be able find people that will say. ‘Yes, I would at least like to have the option to vote for one of my fellow cit­izens, and you’re denying me that right.”’

Salmi would like to find a lawyer willing to work pro bono for the party, but failing that. Salmi and Mahony are prepared to represent themselves in the court.

“I am going to assume that this will be a huge inconvenience for Elections Canada,” said Salmi. “But an inconve­nience for them isn’t going to balance the scales for denying voters the right to vote and citizens the right to stand.”

Salmi said Elections Canada should be providing candidates with accoun­tant services if it’s such an important issue. He is optimistic Mahony can get back into the race.

“I know this case very well and we can slam-dunk them (Elections Canada),” said Salmi.

A few years ago. a court ruling, involving the Communist Party of Canada found a nomination deposit was tantamount to having people paying to vote. The ruling, however, did not strike down the deposit.

Salmi said the accountant requirement is the same as the deposit.

“It is a violation of the Charter and the Constitution, so it should therefore be null and void.” said Salmi.

If the party does not get its name back on the June 28 ballot, he said, it would be letting down the disenfranchised and disheartened who are disgusted with the other parties

“We will not be able to offer a candidate to all of those people. They wil not have a chance to have their voices heard, because if you can’t bring yourself to vote for anybody, we’ll give you somebody not to vote for.”

Salmi said he called every accountant in the Yellow Pages with no luck By the time they found someone willing to help out, the nomination deadline had passed.

The search for an accountant was also hampered by their late organizing Mahony only arrived in Whitehorse last Thursday.

“And of course we were drunk until Saturday,” said Salmi.

The Rhino party will be asking the other candidates to support it in this case.

“This is something that we would do for any of them, because it is about democracy,” said Salmi.

Vancouver Sun
June 12, 2004
A5
Ever fancied seeing a polar bear kick a lion’s butt? Then vote Rhino
Bill Curry

Out of the running since 1990, the Rhinoceros Party is seeking a seat in the Yukon

WHITEHORSE –After a14-year absence from the federal scene, a lone Rhinoceros Party candidate is running in the Yukon on a platform calling for the territory to change its name to Groupaction and invoice the federal government for $250-million in sponsorship fees.

Other pledges include genetically modifying exotic animals so that they can live in the Yukon and battle it out on the streets of Whitehorse to increase tourism.

“This will also give us an opportunity to answer that age old question: Can a polar bear kick a lion’s ass?” said Brian “Godzilla” Salmi, the veteran Rhino member and campaign manager for local candidate Ben Mahoney. “Every day, five o’clock, lion versus a polar bear, tiger versus a grizzly bear, kangaroo versus a moose. So that will increase tourism absolutely.”

The 1988 election was the last time the Rhinos ran a significant number of candidates in a federal campaign. In 1990, a Rhino candidate ran and lost against Jean Chretien in a federal byelection.

Salmi blames the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney for killing the Rhino Party with a law that required parties to field at least 50 candidates.

“In 1993, there was a concerted effort to wipe out all the fringe parties,” he said. However, that law was recently struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

“This will be the first time the Rhino banner has been flown since the 1988 federal election and the idea is to retreat into the Yukon, run one candidate this time, so that we can come back. But we will never register the party again because that just gives them the stick to hit you with like they did in ’93,” he said.

Instead, Mahoney will register as an independent but campaign as a Rhino. Both Mahoney and Salmi crashed a weekend barbecue hosted by NDP leader Jack Layton. Wearing horns made out of toilet paper rolls, they told Layton they would urge all Rhinos to vote NDP if the leader campaigned for one day as “Jackie Layton.”

“When I was little it was Jackie, but it’s been a while since I’ve been called that,” Layton replied.

Salmi suggested the Rhino party could have appeal based on the current frustration with politicians who have broken their election promises.

“All politicians should be hooked up to lie detectors 24/7 while in office,” he said. “They should have baseball gloves surgically attached to their hands so they can’t steal from us and stuff their pockets anymore, and they should as a basic, minimum requirement, agree that they will resign if they are caught lying, cheating, stealing or breaking their promises.”

The Rhino platform is meant to be mostly fun, but with a touch of seriousness, Salmi said.

“How can you take much of this seriously? I mean, year after year they bamboozle us suckers into voting for them again. The last line in the Rhino Manifesto basically says, I hope you had a lot of fun reading the Yukon Rhino Manifesto. Part of our job is to make you laugh, but part of it is to make you think as well.”

Yukon News
June 16, 2004
Page unknown
Rhinos charge elections policy is undemocratic
Julianne Fraser

The Yukon chapter of the Rhino Party was expect­ed to file its legal chal­lenge today over not getting its candidate’s name on the ballot.

“We do have a damn solid, airtight case,” said Brian (Godzilla) Salmi, (Big) Ben Mahony’s campaign manager.

Mahony was unable to find a qualified accountant to audit the riding association’s books, as required by Elections Canada, before the June 7 deadline to file his nomination papers expired.

“They don’t have the right to impose that rule in violation of the most sacred right a per­son has,” said Salmi.

To make their case, the Rhinos are using Section 3 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which guaran­tees the right of every Canadian citizen to vote, “sub­ject to reasonable limits such as mental capacity, age, residence or registration.”

According to the Elections Act, the purpose of audit requirement is to protect the public purse, to keep track of legitimate contributions and expenses.

The Rhinos claim this does­n’t apply to them because they won’t be incurring any expens­es or accepting any contribu­tions.

Salmi said the practice is also highly vulnerable to cor­ruption.

“That goal would be better served if Elections Canada appointed the auditor them­selves,” he said.

Excluding Mahony is unde­mocratic and “frighteningly similar” to what happened in the former Soviet Union, where the state picked the slate of candidates, said Salmi.

The Rhinos have written the commissioner for Canada Elections, whose job it is to investigate such complaints, urging him to call off the June 28 elec­tion.

“This is going to be the story of the election,” said Salmi. “We’re going to stop the election from happening.”

Despite their antics, Salmi insists he and Mahony are tak­ing the charter challenge seri­ously.

But they’re not letting this little setback get them down. They are hosting parties at the Backwater Lounge the next two Fridays.

It will include “Rhino Party disco dancing, policy slam­ming, legal muckraking, Yukon Brewery beer swilling and underground rock and rolling.”

Whitehorse Star (Yukon)
June 17, 2004
Page 2
Rhinos plod on in push for ballot status, more beer
Jason Small

The Rhino party has taken the first step to getting admitted into the reindeer games that are the 2004 election in the Yukon.

Big Ben Mahony was to be the only Rhino candidate in Canada in this federal election but was left off the Yukon ballot because he could not find a chartered accountant to be his auditor. He applied in court Wednesday for indigent status.

Indigent status would mean Mahony wouldn’t have to pay any fees to file the legal action he and his campaign manager, Brian Godzilla Salmi, planned to register because he does not make enough money to afford it.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Mahony informed Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale that he makes $120 a month.

Given the income Mahony said he earns off of being a musician, Veale granted the status.

“I don’t believe it’s possible for you to make the necessary fees,” the judge said.

Mahony is filing a challenge that the requirement by Elections Canada that all candidates must obtain the services of an auditor to become a candidate in a federal vote violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Salmi has recently said the Charter ensures all Canadians the right to vote and run in federal elections. The duo believes the accountant requirement denies that right.

While in court yesterday, Veale suggested that as he pursues this challenge, Mahony should consult with a lawyer before proceeding. The judge said it never hurts to have a lawyer on one’s team.

While Mahony cannot afford a lawyer, Veale said there may be some lawyers in Whitehorse willing to take on the case for free.

As the proceeding ended and Mahony went off to file his court actions, Veale also gave him a word of warning, “Time is of the essence,” said the judge.

The election will be held June 28. The Charter challenge cannot be dealt with in that time.

As part of the court proceedings, the pair wants the court to stop the current election in the Yukon and have the court order another election as it sees fit. As well, any ballots that had already been cast would be destroyed, if the court agrees with the pair’s wishes.

The Rhinos want to see that in any further election, Mahony will be allowed, “to exercise his constitutionally protected right to stand for office in this country,” by Elections Canada appointing an auditor for him, according to the legal documents.

Mahony’s challenge of the federal election process would have come to an end Wednesday if Veale had rejected his request for indigent status.

He said that would have done something similar to him that the accountant’s provision did to him in applying to run in the election.

The pair applied to have their request to get the election stopped heard this Monday, which is when the proceeding will take place.

Salmi, who has dealt with similar instances in British Columbia, expects the court to render a decision on whether the election will go ahead within two days of the hearing.

Salmi added it’s not a coincidence he and Mahony asked for the proceeding to take place on summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

“We are calling upon the powers of the sun to destroy the forces of darkness and eveil who are trying to impede democracy and continue deMOCKracy,” Salmi said.

As for Veale’s suggestion the pair obtain the assistance of a lawyer, salmi said: “If somebody wants to step forward and do so, we are happy to communicate (with them).”

The notice of motion filed about the pair’s request to stop the election also makes one more request:

“An order for the Chief Electoral Officer to surrender five flats (twenty six-packs, 120 bottles) of Arctic Red Beer and five flats (twenty six-packs, 120 bottles) of Yukon Gold beer to the applicant (Mahony).”

Salmi said the pair would be willing to settle out of court on the beer request for 10 cases of Chilkoot lager.

Whitehorse tar
June 17, 2004
Page unknown
Bagnell, Hartle miss candidates forum
Jason Small

Young voters had a lesson in fed­eral politics last night at the People’s Forum, which was an opportunity for people to ask questions of the local can­didates in the federal election.

“The candidates spent a lot of time talking without really answering the questions,” said first-time voter Jared Tuck.

The 18-year-old said if the candidates had been more direct and to the point, people could have asked more questions during the two-hours of questions and answers.

Since the forum was hosted by Bringing Youth Towards Equality (BYTE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), half of those in attendance were young peo­ple whose concerns included gay health, child labour, marijuana and the U.S. missile defence program.

Four out of the six federal candi­dates showed up for the public grilling at Hellaby Hall.

Candidates from the Christian Her­itage Party, the Marijuana Party, the Green party and the NDP were in atten­dance.

Liberal incumbent Larry Bagnell was not present, while the Conserva­tives sent a representative on behalf of candidate James Haitle.

Both the Liberals and Conserva­tives blamed scheduling conflicts for the absences.

Bagnell was in Watson Lake dur­ing yesterday’s forum.

“I am not going to sacrifice the rural vote to attend one of the many invita­tions I get in Whitehorse,” Bagnell said in an earlier interview.

His campaign manager, Shayne Fairman, said sending a representative on Bagnell’s behalf was not an option.

“In an election campaign, Larry is the candidate and Larry should be the spokesperson. And I don’t think it is appropriate that we send someone in his place,” said Fairman.

Hartle on the other hand sent his campaign manager, Fred Jennex, to speak for him.

However, Jennex could only stay for an hour and would not speak on controversial issues such as gay health.

The Rhino candidate, Big Ben Mahony, let out a laugh when he heard Bagnell and Hartle were not going to be present at the forum.

“It is absolutely scandalous that they are not here,” said Mahony, who isn’t actually on the June 28 ballot as his nomination was rejected by Elections Canada after he couldn’t find an accountant He is planning to challenge the rejection in the Yukon Supreme Court.

Candidates used Bagnell’s absence as an opportunity to attack Liberal mis­spending.

Geoffrey Capp, the Christian Her­itage Party candidate, said the spon­sorship scandal stole from Canada’s children. “And theft is a moral issue.”

Mahony said if he were ever elected he would rename the Yukon Group Action and use the new name as a method to get more federal money for the territory.

Former MP Louise Hardy of the New Democrats accused Bagnell of being seduced by power because he did not stand up to his party on gun regis­tration.

Bagnell skipped a parliament ses­sion in order to avoid voting against his party on the issue.

Jeromie Williams, BYTE’s youth health promotion and prevention worker, brought gay health issues to the table.

The 28-year old said many gay peo­ple are afraid to seek health care because they are scared of being outed by doctors. He wanted to know how candidates would improve health care for gays and lesbians.

Pam Boydfe, the NDP candidate, said it sounds like there is a lack of edu­cation in the system, adding her party would reinvest in health care.

“We want to create a number of community health centres so that the issues you are describing can be dealt with,” said Boyde.

Green candidate Philippe LeBlond said his party is committed to people understanding each other. “And that is going to take a lot of education.”

He said his party is ready to recog­nize gay marriage.

“Get married. Get divorced. Get a lawyer. Live the same life everybody else leads,” said LeBlond.

Jennex declined to address Williams’ concerns.

“I am not qualified to answer,” said Jennex, whose response received hisses from audience members.

Sean Davey, the Marijuana party candidate, said he also couldn’t answer Williams question.

“We’re just trying to legalize pot, man,” said Davey. “But to each their own. It doesn’t matter if your gay, les­bian, Chinese or whatever.”

Capp told Williams that people need to know the truth about homo­sexuality.

“Condoms do not stop HIV trans­missions,” said Capp, who believes the pores in condoms are too large and will not prevent the virus from seeping through.

“SARS was stopped dead because people voluntary took measures to pre­vent it. HIV is the only politically pro­tected disease in the world,” said Capp.

His comments received scoffs from the audience.

Williams asked Capp where he had received his information from, to which Capp replied the Internet and his national party.

“It’s scientific fact,” said Capp.

Mahony told Williams the Rhino party was open to anything.

“We need more of everything: more money, more funding, more gay peo­ple, more condoms, more sex, more parties,” said Mahony.

The U.S missile defence program was another issue brought to die table.

America plans to build a major mis­sile defence base in Delta Junction, Alaska, a location that neighbours the Yukon border. Canada has been asked by Bush to support the program.

Both Jennex and Capp supported the program.

“We are living in the real world and that real world presents a threat,” said Jennex about the need to defend Canada.

Capp said the defence program is needed because there are people out there who don’t respond to humani­tarian efforts, referring to those who are “determined that Islam should rule the world.”

The Green Party, Marijuana Party and the NDP all opposed the issue.

‘Terrorists might be homicidal, but they are not stupid. They are going to smuggle bombs into the country,” said LeBlond, adding that would make mis­siles useless. He also said the missile technology has yet to be tested and proven.

Boyde said there are other ways to address world problems then increased weaponry. She said Canada should be looking at those measures.

‘The true threat to the world is not terrorism but global warning,” said Boyde.

Davey said he personally disagreed with missile defence. “But first things first and that is legalizing pot,” he said.

The Rhino party took a lighter approach to the issue.

“The world is a dangerous place, more so everyday – chock full of vio­lent, paranoid, homicidal and suicidal lunatics. And they are not all in Yel­lowknife anymore,” said Mahony. He suggested Canada build a one giga-ton nuclear bomb, which Mahony named Giggles.

“We just let the world know that Giggles is on our side and they better think long and hard before they mess with us,” said Mahony.

The Marijuana Party and CHP faced off on the cannabis issue.

“Marijuana is a threat to children because they don’t know what the affects would do to them,” said Capp. “If you legalize marijuana it wouldn’t just stop there. It would be cocaine and ecstasy, too.”

Although Capp did say hemp should be used to create cleaner fuels.

Davey said legalizing marijuana is a human rights issue.

“It is a personal choice and it doesn’t affect anybody else,” said Davey. “There has never been a death because of marijuana use and it has been proven to have medicinal uses.”

Davey said people who are arrested on marijuana charges should be out of jail contributing to society.

“Legalizing marijuana would lower our criminal rate,” he said.

Both Boyde and LeBlond said mar­ijuana should be decriminalized.

Marie Abbott, a 14-year-old who was Canada’s loan representative at a child labour conference in Italy last month, asked the candidates what their parties would do to stop child labour.

Jennex was absent for the question and could not give the Conservative stance.

Boyde said the NDP would do its best to contribute to the global village by putting more dollars into foreign aid.

“Canada has a responsibility to help children living in poverty,” said Boyde.

LeBlond said his party has a stance of non-violence and education.

“If you know companies are using child labour, don’t buy it,” said LeBlond.

Capp said his party has been cam­paigning against child labour since 1995.

“We believe that the trade com­missioner should ensure that goods are not made by child labour. If it is made by child labour, keep it out of our coun­try,” said LeBlond.

Abbott cannot vote because she is under age, but she wanted to hear where the candidates stood on certain issues. She expressed disappointment that Bagnell wasn’t at the forum.

“People won’t get to hear his opin­ions,” she said.

Tuck also expressed disappoint­ment in the absences of Bagnell and Hartle.

Abbott told the candidates that who­ever is elected, he or she should put into action his or her campaign promises.

Davey told the crowd that smaller parties like his are good for democracy.

“There are a lot of spineless bas­tards out there that have no back bone,” said Davey, adding people like him, who speak from the heart, should be in office.

Davey reassured the audience that he was not stoned

Yukon News
June 23
Page unknown
Rhinos urge court to stop election
Juliann Fraser

The Yukon Supreme Court was to rule today whether the Rhinoceros Party’s application to stop the federal election in the territory has legal merit.

Justice Leigh Gower must decide whether (Big) Ben Mahony is justified in claiming that his constitutional rights were violated under Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when Elections Canada rejected his application to appear on the bal­lot.

Mahony failed to find an accountant in Whitehorse willing to act as his official agent and auditor, as required by the federal Elections Act.

At the beginning of Monday’s hearing, two local members of the Rhino Party were prevented from wearing paper rhino horns on their foreheads inside the courtroom.

“I don’t find this is a legitimate case of freedom of expression,” said Gower.

Mahony’s campaign manager, Brian (Godzilla) Salmi, acted as his lawyer and entered as evidence 20 pages of case law.

In keeping with Rhino the­atrics, Salmi wore spandex tights with a pair of shorts overtop and a T-shirt bearing a skull and crossbones; Mahony w’ore a red- and-black satin bathrobe over his clothes.

Two lawyers appeared on behalf of the attorney general of Canada and one represented Canada’s chief electoral officer.

They asked Gower to throw out the case, arguing the applica­tions are vague and procedurally incorrect.

“This is serious,” said lawyer Brett Webber of the attorney gen­eral’s office. “It should be abun­dantly clear what they are seek­ing.”

“This entire petition should be struck because we are unable to respond to it,” added Suzanne Duncan, also of the attorney gen­eral’s office.

Gower agreed there were prob­lems with the Rhinos’ case, but he noted that striking a motion at the outset because of procedural flaws was a “drastic remedy.”

And because the applicants are not lawyers, they shouldn’t be required to eo back to the draing board, he said.

“These are not unsophisticated litigants,” countered Duncan. “Mr. Tan has been before the courts before.”

‘Mr. Tan’ is Salmi. He legally changed his name to Sa Tan for the 2001 provincial election cam­paign in BC, where he planned to run against Liberal leader Gordon Campbell in Vancouver-Point Grey riding.

Tan lost his chance when he refused to pay the $100 registra­tion fee to get his name on the ballot.

He ended up arguing in court that charging the fee was uncon­stitutional under Section 3 of the charter, which assures every citi­zen the right to vote or run in elections.

This time around, Salmi is arguing that Mahony should not be required to hire an auditor, as stipulated in Section 83 of the federal Elections Act, because he did not plan to accept any dona­tions or incur any expenses.

Section 83 is unconstitutional because it violates an indigent person’s ability to run for public office, argued Salmi.

The Rhinos want the election delayed until Mahony’s name can be added to the ballot. They also seek compensation in the form of 20 six- packs of Arctic Red and 20 six-packs of Yukon Gold beer.

“This leads us to believe that this application is not being taken as seriously as a constitutional challenge should be,” said Duncan.

Allowing the election to go on without Mahony will not hurt him or the electorate, she added.

The Rhinos are free to contest

the election afterwards, added Duncan, citing Stephen Harper’s 2000 court case.

As president of the National Citizens’ Coalition, Harper asked the courts to overturn limits on election spending and allow his right-wing lobby group to take out third-party advertising.

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the Alberta Court of Appeal decision in Harper vs. Canada.

It would not allow an “inter­locutory injunction” to stop the election for Harper’s “ultimate relief” at the expense of the elec­torate.

The argument used there, and against Mahony, is that a law by its very nature is not considered harmful, despite any pending challenges to it.

“The status quo is that all can­didates get a signed statement from an auditor,” said Duncan.

“All the other candidates in this election complied with those rules. To allow an injunction would give Mahony a remedy for not following the rules.”

Also, more than four days are needed for the state, and the plaintiffs, to prepare for a consti­tutional challenge, said Duncan.

It would “trivialize the charter” to hear the case in a “factual vacu­um,” she said.

Salmi countered that he and Mahony are “dead serious about this,” insisting that “irreparable harm” would be done if voters are prevented from choosing from a full slate of candidates.

“What’s at stake here is democ­racy,” said Salmi.

He cited Harvey vs. New Brunswick, in which a court ruled that politician Fred Harvey’s Section 3 charter rights were vio­lated when he was prevented from running in the 1996 provincial election.

After the 1991 election, Harvey was convicted of violating the Elections Act and expelled from the legislature.

He had induced a 16-year-old female to vote in that election, knowing that she was not of legal age.

Salmi accused the state lawyers of not doing their homework, say­ing their argument to dismiss his applications as frivolous is “a desperate attempt for clemency because they are not prepared.”

Whitehorse Star
June 23, 2004
Page unknown
Ruling imminent on Rhinos’ plight

The Rhinos are getting their shot at shutting down the election in the Yukon.

In Yukon Supreme Court this morning, Justice Leigh Gower agreed to hear the request of Big Ben Mahony to stop the current election and have a new one ordered with his name on the ballot.

Since the election is set to happen next Monday, Gower said he would have a decision by the end of today in case either Mahony or the federal government wanted to appeal the verdict.

Mahony wanted to run in the Yukon as a Rhino candidate. The Rhino party, which was Canada’s satirical party for two decades, is now officially defunct.

But Mahony and his campaign manager, Brian Godzilla Salmi (legally known as Sa Tan), wanted to bring the Rhino spirit back to life, starting just in the Yukon.

However, when Mahony went to file his nomination papers on the day of the deadline, he and Salmi had been unable to get a certified accountant to agree to be their auditor. They had only looked on that day.

Elections Canada requires all candidates to have a certified accountant as an auditor. Since Mahony could not find an accountant, he was not allowed to enter the race.

Mahony and Salmi filed a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms last week, arguing Mahony’s right to run in an election was taken away by Elections Canada’s rule.

The pair also asked the court for an injunction to stop the election, an order that Elections Canada appoint an auditor for Mahony since the charter challenge can’t be dealt with right away and an order that another election be held in the Yukon soon.

The first court appearance for this matter was on Monday. Before the hearing began, Salmi expected the injunction to be heard and Gower to deliver a verdict on it by today.

However, as proceedings began on Monday morning, lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada, Brett Webber and Suzanne Duncan, asked Gower to completely throw out both requests made by the Rhinos.

The government lawyers argued Mahony’s documents did not make clear what the government was responding to in court.

Duncan told the court there were procedural flaws in the documents filed by Mahony and Salmi and for that reason they should be tossed out.

While Gower said some of it was not clear, he told Duncan the court must allow arguments that are not of the best procedural quality from people who are representing themselves if the crux of the argument is there.

If the whole case was not thrown out, then Duncan and Webber wanted an adjournment to prepare a proper case.

At the end of Monday, Gower said he would return today to give a decision on the adjournment.

This morning, Gower agreed to let Salmi and Mahony proceed and because ‘time is obviously of the essence,’ he would not grant the federal lawyers any more time to prepare for arguments on the injunction.

However, Gower did agree to adjourn the charter challenge until July 19 at the earliest, because the law calls for 30 days to prepare for constitutional questions.

Salmi and Mahony did not want to get into the challenge this week anyway. They just wanted to deal with the injunction.

However, part of the injunction application was a request for the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada to hand over 10 cases of Yukon Brewing Company beer to Mahony.

Gower tossed that request out because it was ‘clearly frivolous’.

After Gower’s decision to proceed, Salmi, who’s been speaking for Mahony in court because of his familiarity with the law (he filed a similar challenge for the B.C. provincial election in 2001), said he wasn’t surprised Gower permitted the hearing on the injunction to proceed.

‘Clearly, the bids for adjournment were cheap, desperate bids for clemency,’ said Salmi.

He accused the federal lawyers of not spending time to prepare for the actual argument and instead looked for a way to wiggle out of the case.

On Monday, Duncan said if Mahony won his charter challenge well after the election, the results could be overturned and another election with him on the ballot could be held.

Salmi argued the case had to go ahead this week because if the election is held, Mahony will not be able to get on the ballot since there is nothing in the Elections Act which allows for a new vote to be held if a rule in the law is found to be unconstitutional.

Salmi said the only way to give Mahony his chance is to stop the election.

After this morning’s proceedings, Salmi said he was somewhat worried by Gower’s comment that he would give a decision today to allow time for Salmi and Mahony to appeal if needed.

Salmi pointed out Monday he wanted to get the case dealt with quickly if Mahony lost, so there would be an opportunity to appeal.

If the election is stopped, only the vote in the Yukon would be halted. The vote in the other 307 ridings would go ahead.

Arguments on the injunction were set to begin at 1 p.m. today.

Whitehorse Star
June 24, 2004
Page unknown
“Pathetic” Rhino says of court rejection
Jason Small

The Rhino charge to halt the elec­tion in the Yukon was shot dead Wednesday.

As wannabe Rhino candidate Big Ben Mahony sat in the courtroom in a long, silver dress, another man in a gown, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower, said he would not shut down the election and start a new one to permit Mahony’s name to go on the ballot.

Mahony and his campaign man­ager, Brian Godzilla Salmi (legally named Sa Tan), had requested the court stop the election. They had aruged the potential candidate’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Free­doms were violated when he wasn’t allowed to run.

Mahony’s application to enter the federal election in the Yukon was rejected because he was unable to find a certified accountant to be his auditor.

Salmi argued in court yesterday through a written submission that it’s

unconstitutional for someone to be pre­vented from being a candidate because they were unable to find an accountant.

They are challenging the Elections Act but that will take some time. In the interim, Mahony and Salmi wanted to stop the election and have another one held shortly after with Mahony on the ballot.

The duo also wanted Elections Canada to appoint an auditor for Mahony since the election would take place before the law could be changed, if they ended up winning the challenge.

One of the lawyers representing the Attorney General of Canada, Suzanne Duncan, argued in court that stopping the election would mean the Yukon would be without an MP for months until the charter challenge was com­plete, despite the fact Mahony was ask­ing for a new election right away.

She added that if Mahony lost his constitutional challenge, then the elec­tion would have been stopped for no reason.

Duncan argued it would be better for the public if the status quo was maintained.

In response, Salmi said the status quo is that everyone has the right to run. He argued stopping the election would actually be maintaining the sta­tus quo.

After adjourning for two hours,

Gower came back and, without any rea­sons, promptly rejected the Rhinos’ request.

Upon hearing the rejection, Mahony slapped the clear, plastic cup in his hand down on the table and loudly said: “Pathetic.”

He and Salmi then picked up the bags and left the courtroom whil Gower was still delivering his decisioi

After the pair were out of the cour room, Gower put it on the record th; the pair “quite rudely walked out o me as I was pronouncing my order.”

Gower said Mahony does not ha\ to pay for costs since the Suprerr Court has already found Mahony to fc poor.

Gower also told the court he woul have his reasons for the decision wri ten and available as close to 9 a n today as possible.

But by noon today, no reasons wei given.

Without reasons, the livid Rhine cannot appeal the decision.

“They’re trying to tie us up in prc cedural obstacles,” an indignai Mahony said this afternoon.

Salmi wondered if Gower will s on the reasons until Monday – votin day – so the pair cannot appeal the ruing.

Whitehorse Star
June 25, 2004
Candidates face small forum crowd
Kelly·Anne Riess

Last night’s CBC radio candidates’forum was a little different than those
of past years. Only the three main parties were invited to attend the Yukon’s biggest election event while the three fringe parties were bumped down to a noon
hour call-in show.

“It’s disappointing,” said Philippe Le  Blond, the Green party candidate. ”It’s the only media we have and voters need a fair chance to hear what parties have to say.” .

Although LeBlond wasn’t invited to the Whitehorse’s forum, Green party candidates in the N.W.T. and Nunavut were asked to local CBC forums there.

The decision made by CBC Yukon is not consistent with previous years, All six candidates were allowed to attend in 1993 and 1997. Four out of five of the candidates attended the forum in 2000.

Geoffery Capp, the Christian Heritage Party (CHP) candidate was not there that year because his party did not have official party sta tus.

Russ Knutson, last night’s moder ator, said the decision to include only three parties was based on “standard CBC policy,” which looks at whether a party has scats in Parliament and if the party has official party status.

The Green party, the Marijuana Party and CHP are all official parties, although they have never won any scats.

Health care and the economy were the two main issues of !he night, which featured a far smaller crowd than those at previous forums.

Larry Bagnell said the Liberals had given more than Sl8 billion to the provinces and territories to be used on health care. ”But it’s not just about putting more money into the system,” said Bagnell. ’Thbere needs to be more doctors for the North. There needs to be better ways of accrediting doctors.”

James HartJe, the Conservative candidate, said his party will work within the context of the health act. Pam Boyde, the NDP candidate, said her party was totally committed to sustainable health care.

“We would follow the Romanow report,” Boy!!e said of the former Saskatcllewan premier’s report on the nation’s health care system, ”We would reduce bealth care costs by using nurse practitioners and nutritionists that can deal with prevention and minor medical issues,

She said Yukoners are concerned the health system would be privatized, ”and they don’t want that.”

She said the reason some Canadi ans are considering privatization is because of the massive cuts to health care over the years. ”If Canada met its obligations to funding health, this wouldn’t be anissue,” she said.

One caller, from Dawson City, said Canadians already have a two-tier system, referring to professional athletes who hire their own doctors. ”How come they don’ t have to wait in the emergency room like I do to get stitches?” said the caller. “Why can’t Canadians have the option of going down the street to a private clinic? It would keep money in Canada instead of having people go down to the States for services,”

Hartle said it is not the government’s choice if Canadians want to privatize. ”It’s the voice of the people, if they want it then we will look at it.” he said.

Bagnell said the Liberals would protect public heath care.

When it came to the economy, Hartle criticized the Yukon Environment and Socioeconomic Assessment Act, which dictates how an industrial project should be evaluated. The Conservative candidate said YESAA is so stringent it will stop the construction of the pipeline and the railway “and we’d have absolutely no development here at all. Bagnell voted on YESAA . . . why would a Yukoner do this?”

Boyde said there needs to be a public review of any large scale activites, ”People need to be involved forprojects to endure,” she said,

Bagnell said when it came to large industrial projects “a very thorough environmental assessment would have to be done.”

Bagnell took most of the heat when it came time for candidates to ask questions of each other. ”Larry, you made a point of talking about how much money you brought to the Yukon, but when it came to cleaning up the Faro mine, most of the money went to a Bay Street account ing firm instead of to Yukoners,” said Boyde.

Bagnell said he had nothing to do with the decision, as the Toronto appointment was made by the court.

“And that won’t mean the final clean up will be going to that Toronto company,” he said. “I agree that the benefits should be going to Yukoners.”

Hartle took his question as another opportunity to confront Bagnell on YESAA. ”It was designed by bureaucrats in Ottawa. How could you allow a bill to be so restrictive?” asked Hartle.

However, Bagnell said people still have chance to give recommendations on the act, if they feel it is too restrictive.

When asked what the candidates had been hearing when they go door to door, Boyde and Hartle said they heard people are upset with Liberal misspending, especially on gun registra·tion,

Hartle said the Conservatives would repeal gun registration and put more money into policing. ”There has not been one person in the Yukon who wants the gun registry to stay in tact as it is,” said Hartle.

When Bagnell went door knocking, he heard Yukoners saying they wanted a representative who can make territorial concerns heard in Ottawa. ”I guess we’re not hitting the same people,” said Boyde.

Audience member Elaine Kennedy, one of Hartle’s campaign worleers, said the Yukon is a welfare state, relying on southern taxpayers. ”And how long do you think they’ll put up with it,” she asked.

Hartle agreed with Kennedy saying the Yukon is living on handouts from Ottawa. ’This is not Mr. (Stephen) Harper’s vision,” he said of the Conservative leader.

Hartle said there are enough pre cious metals in the Yukon that the territory could be a “have” province. ”We don’t have to be reliable on transfer payments. We could be in the same position as Alberta and be sending money to Ottawa,” he said.

Boyde said her party is not against mines, “but if there are going to be mines, they should clean up their mess,” Boyde said the Yukon should be looking at renewable resources, like geothermal energy and wind power. ’These can be industries,” she said.

Audience member Dave Jones asked how committed the parties are to the Kyoto agreement. ”It’s a start, We need to cut emissions by 20 percent but since the Liberals committed to Kyoto, greenhouse emissions have increased by 18 percent,” said Boyde.

She said Canada needs to put the focus on creating more energy efficienthomes and creating infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

Bagnell said the government had invested funds into a number of green projects that would help meet Kyoto goals.

Hartle opposed the Kyoto agreement. ”We need a made·in·Canada solution,” said Hartle, adding there need to be caps on smog.

Brian Godzilla Salmi. the Rhinos’ campaign manager. asked what the candidates thought about the restrictions pl aced on people running for office.

This week. the Rhino party lost a court battle to stop the election after their appearance on the ballot was thrown out because the party did not have an accountant.

Salmi believes people should be able to run without having a large apparatus of staff.

Boyde said the Rhinos had raised a very important question, but any challenges to election legislation had to go through the legislative process.

Hartle said the Rhinos should remember that an accountant’s rights should be protected, as they have the right to refuse a party representation.

Bagnell said he wasn’t able to help the Rhinos with their plight. ”An MP is not allowed to interfere with the courts,” he said.

However, Bagnell commended Salmi for wearing an empty Yukon Gold beer box on his head. “That shows strong support for local products.”

Yukon News
June 30, 2004
Page unknown
Sa Tan fails to get exorcized at Holy Family
Juliann Fraser

What does a Rhinoceros have to do to get arrested in this town, anyway?

That’s what Brian (Godzilla) Salmi wondered Monday after he washed down his ballot with a jug of water but failed to con­vince two police officers it war­ranted hard time.

Salmi is now consoling him­self with the hope the RCMP will nail him later.

“What they’ll try to do is, they’ll try to go after me after the fact,” Salmi said as the police cruiser pulled away from Holy Family Elementary, the voting station in Porter Creek.

“They like to work in the dark.”

Salmi’s legal name is Sa Tan, which made for delicious irony as he tried to vote at Holy Family.

Last week, he lost a court challenge to stop the election in the Yukon when his buddy (Big) Ben Mahony was refused candi­dacy by Elections Canada.

He launched his final protest on voting day, donning his sig­nature headdress: a Yukon Gold beer box with a toilet-paper-roll for a Rhino horn.

Salmi called this reporter to witness how he would be denied his right to vote because he is homeless.

“They don’t like letting the homeless vote,” local writer Al McLeod whispered as he stood in line at the Legion polling sta­tion.

McLeod had just worked the winter “in the bush” and had no fixed address.

Luckily, McLeod was staying at the Bonanza Inn and, with a letter from the hotel manager, he voted a half-hour later.

For Salmi, it took longer.

But, finally, the elections offi­cers figured out a way; if Salmi occasionally slept in a park, he could use that address.

The Legion polling station supervisor offered to vouch for Salmi, but because the officer didn’t live in that polling dis­trict he couldn’t vouch for him there.

“You must know this guy bet­ter than I do,” Beckett said to this reporter. “Why don’t you vouch for him?”

After Salmi was vouched for at the Holy Family polling sta­tion, he set the rest of his plan in motion.

First, he tried to walk out of the polling station with his bal­lot in hand. The police were called.

Salmi told the RCMP he needed the ballot as evidence his right to vote for Mahony had been violated. The Mounties said he could apply to preserve the ballot later.

OK, said Salmi.

Next thing, he was standing behind cardboard voting station No. 23 ripping his ballot into bite-size morsels and washing them down with water.

“You might want to know that this is illegal,” Salmi told the two officers.

The three of them then walked outside and, for a while, the ‘good cop’ and Sa Tan chat­ted like old friends under Holy Family’s giant pink crucifix.

Eventually, both officers left, satisfied this devil in a beer-box hat was harmless.

Salmi stuck around and hammed it up for the news photographer.

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