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Mentioned in another thread, but here is the Star's "Beautiful" Bryant Article

Faceless
June 4th, 2005, 12:16 PM
What a swell guy ... [sarcasm if you didn't figure it out by now.]

Man behind Homolka hearing a meticulous risk-taker
Inside Michael Bryant's strategy

Sought to avoid `unnecessary hysteria'


LINDA DIEBEL
STAFF REPORTER

When Karla Homolka shuffled into a Quebec courtroom in leg irons this week, she faced black-robed Ontario prosecutors James Ramsay and Howard Leibovich. She never saw the rosy, puckish countenance of the man who pulled the strings.

That was Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario and the victor in the battle to rein her in when she's released from prison next month.

Bryant is Karla Homolka's worst enemy, and maybe her best friend. She may not like it, but he sees himself as the buffer between her and mob justice.

She's been on his mind from the moment he was sworn in on Oct. 23, 2003.

Bryant's Homolka strategy began to percolate right away. It picked up speed a year ago when he put the "right people" in place and came to fruition when his team travelled across Canada to seek support from federal, provincial and territorial justice officials for his bid to essentially put Homolka on parole.

Asked if he's met her, he shakes his head.

There's a long pause and he adds softly: "But I have met the victims personally."

He refers of course to the families of the girls who were raped, tortured and killed by Homolka and her ex-husband Paul Bernardo. He's in prison for life, while she signed the reviled "deal with the devil" to trade testimony against him for 12 years in jail.

Bryant has been accused of grandstanding over Homolka and trying to rewrite history by changing the terms of her deal. Toronto lawyer Julian Falconer says he is seeking to "wipe the egg off the faces" of Ontario officials who made the pact in 1993.

Bryant argues that he's worked on the Homolka file since 2003 because "an attorney-general who gets in late in the game (is) probably going to overcompensate, so that they can suddenly look at the end of the day like they've done something."

He defends his public role: "She's getting out ... she's going to be out there ... and families — moms, dads, young girls — are going to want to know that we are doing everything we can to protect them....

"I see there being unnecessary hysteria and fear around her release, with people thinking, `Well, it looks like the justice system isn't doing its job. I guess we've got to take matters into our own hands.'

"That can't happen. We have to have the justice system do its job."

Strip away the media throngs and all the lawyers last week and it comes down to a struggle between Homolka and Bryant.

She's 35, with a correspondence-course B.A. in psychology. She has a high I.Q. and there's a perception that for years she's outwitted police, prosecutors and prison officials.

Bryant is four years older, 39, a silver medallist from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard, former clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and law lecturer at the University of London in Britain. "The youngest ever" is the most familiar accolade of his life. He looks about 20, especially with the youthful kinetic energy.

"It's scary for many people still figuring out what they want to do in life to look at Michael and see his example," says his friend Lorne Sossin, associate dean of law at the University of Toronto.

Bryant's sparring with Homolka could almost be a duel between "street smarts and book smarts" on The Apprentice.

She wanted her hearing in French, leaving more than a few Ontario police officers scratching their heads.

So Bryant sent in the bilingual Ramsay, who knows her case and represented the Crown at Bernardo's appeal. In preparation for this one hearing, Ramsay and Leibovich arranged to be called to the Quebec bar earlier this year.

Bryant isn't all meticulous planning. He's also a risk-taker. Both in public and private life, he eschews the easy path.

He brought in a gradual ban on pit bulls last year, leading to a summer of protests.

"Seeing my head on a Hitler body on a website wasn't fun for my family," he says. But he didn't back down.

"I think that straight talk is what people want," he says, on a recent morning at his offices on Bay Street.

He's made gutsy moves. He won election as the Liberal candidate in upscale Toronto riding of St. Paul's in 1999, after gambling that an upstart from British Columbia could win the nomination. He planned his assault on St. Paul's much as he plotted the Homolka strategy — carefully and far in advance. By the time local star candidates paid attention, he had won the nomination and was going door-to-door to secure his base.

Former premier David Peterson says he "discovered Bryant when he was still in his twenties. Peterson credits him "with a knack for knowing what registers with the public."


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The love of Bryant's life is Susan Abramovitch, an entertainment lawyer from Montreal and a double gold medallist from McGill University — "the brains in the family," he says.

Their relationship endured through working in different cities — he in Boston, she in New York; he in London, she in Paris — and is another example of taking the more difficult path. "The Montreal Jew and the Victoria WASP got together," he says. "I don't know how they did it, but they did."

Bryant took courses in Judaism and did everything but convert. His says family members now groan and tease him about being the most observant Jew in the family.

Will he convert? He shrugs. "I'm not a theologian, I am a politician, so I don't have to have completely formed thoughts on these things. I just have to have vague ideas, and there is something instinctive about what I am that makes me feel a conversion ... shouldn't happen now."

What he is was shaped by his father, Ray, and grandfather, Jimmy, municipal politicians in Esquimalt on Vancouver Island who taught that he could achieve whatever he wanted. "They made a difference," he says.

His mother Margaret taught him about courage. She has lived with multiple sclerosis since her 40s and "she didn't let it define her life."

He won't let politics define his.

"It's strange to have your political dreams fulfilled at 33," he says, of his St. Paul's victory. "But you know, I'm here for a good time, not necessarily a long time. I don't want to be a career politician. I am here only as long as it makes sense."

twodogsandacat
June 4th, 2005, 12:33 PM
It will also be reprinted this month in 'Seventeen' Magazine.

The writing of reporter Linda Diebol reminded me of the articles Alison’s daughter used to read about Justin Timberlake. Miss Diebol needs to evaluate the type of writing she is capable of and maybe send her resume of to the Ontario Liberal Party.

"He looks about twenty". What the heck is wrong with the twenty year olds in her neighbourhood? He looks like hell and he looks worse with every subsequent day.

See you in the St. Paul’s riding in 2007 Mr. Bryant. Maybe we will be knocking on the same doors. Remember people in order to knock on doors with an election time gag order in place you will have to do it under the auspice of working for another candidate - any candidate.

Loki
June 4th, 2005, 01:37 PM
I'm not a lawyer or anything, but isn't it a REALLY bad idea for an AG to state publicly that he has been planning this since he started his job - she does have the option to appeal the decision. You'd think this would give her lawyer ammunition.


He almost caused a case to get tossed out last year, against the Hells Angels, because he shot his mouth off in the papers.

Akeeter
June 4th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I Had to send this to the star Editor. That is the WORST piece of journalism I've ever read! :yuck: :yuck: :yuck:
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Excuse me but does Ms. Diebel have a crush on Michel Bryant? Should Mrs. Bryant be made aware? That was without the most Gawd-Awful piece of journalism I’ve ever read! I hear it’s going to be re-printed in Seventeen Magazine. I think that’s about the best place for it, but I doubt that Mr. Bryant will be afflicted by Bryant-Mania at any time soon. Mr. Bryant is a short stocky, middle – aged man. He looks everyday of his age & some days considerably older. His tenor choirboy voice is ludicrous, & his rat-tat-tat delivery style is annoying.



Please spare us anymore Hero Worship from Ms. Diebel. There are people out there who are worthy of it, but not the object of her apparent ’affliction’. This was just another exercise in grand standing by Mr. Bryant, & a few more photo ops.
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