September 3, 2015
ERT second day
With great relief all around, we saw Dr. Beaudry off on his way home about 10 am today. Ms. Davis finished off her cross examination and after brief counter by Mr. Gillespie, he was released.
For most of the day it was Kari Gunson’s turn to be grilled and barbequed. From the beginning it was evident that the Gilead and MOECC lawyers were intent on discrediting Ms Gunson’s qualifications and her credibility. It started off with an attempt to have her accreditation as an expert witness de-valued. When that was unsuccessful both Ms. Davis and Mr. Rogers, acting for Gilead, objected to several of her statements in her Power point presentation. There was a lot of argument about whether or not Ms Gunson was qualified to speak about hydrology. She had to explain again and again that ecology includes effect on land, air, water, vegetation and animals. A crucial moment arrived when one of Ms. Gunson’s slides showed a map of the compensation property. Apparently, the ERT had agreed that this information was confidential to keep potential poachers away from the area. Eventually it was agreed that only the Tribunal would be able to view the slides with the offending map and they would be marked “confidential” (everybody had already seen them!). This was all before the cross examination of Ms. Gunson by Ms. Davis and Sam Rogers started.
Cross examination by Ms. Davis proceeded in the same way as for Dr. Beaudry. She went through all the reports that Kari had cited in her testimony and asked questions about how they fit into Kari’s opinion of the mitigation plan for Ostrander Point. Mr Roger’s questions were even more esoteric. What do you think would be the effect of a particular mitigation after 5 years or after 10 years? He asked time and again – parsing through Ms Gunson’s witness statement.
Throughout Kari maintained her composure – and answered the questions directly. It was an amazing exhibit of professionalism. Ms. Gunson’s cross examination, and the day finished at 5:30 pm. The ERT will resume tomorrow at9:45 am. It is expected that a fourth day will be required to hear all the witnesses. The date for the extra day will be decided shortly.