So now this chick Mitra Kermani is calling me on the phone, telling me to take down this post.
I not-very-patiently explained to her that I can post whatever the hell I want on my blog, because this is Canada not Ooongaboongaland, that I got my info from a national newspaper and linked to it, so she has to take up her complaints with them:
Senior executives at Loblaw Cos. Ltd. have endured an intolerable three-year campaign of harassment, intimidation and multiple death threats from an irate food supplier who is angry over the grocer’s decision to end their business arrangement, according to court documents.
The ongoing problem became so bad that some members of company management weren’t able to concentrate on work because of fears for their lives, say affidavits filed in Ontario Superior Court.
The alleged harassment began after Loblaws cut ties with Toronto supplier Misom Halal Food Products in 2005.
That move sparked a vitriolic response by Mitra Kermani, Misom’s co-owner, which included her telling one executive that she would “cut his tail off and shoot him in the head,” the documents allege.
Ms. Kermani was convicted of criminal harassment last year, the documents say, but the harassment continued and Loblaws recently asked a Toronto court to enforce a no-contact order against Ms. Kermani– again.
The food supplier has allegedly written “thousands” of threatening e-mails, telephoned executives at all hours of the day and night and made surprise visits to their homes, the documents say.
In response, the company hired private security to guard one employee’s house.
Ms. Kermani also followed staff, demanding to know why Loblaws stopped buying from her small operation, which supplied chicken and other food prepared under Islamic guidelines, the documents say.
“Ms. Kermani’s repeated telephone calls, voice messages and e-mails to employees of the Loblaw Companies is intolerable,” says an affidavit filed earlier this year by the grocer’s inhouse lawyer, Michael Kimber.
“It interferes with the ability of employees of a Company, which is Canada’s largest private employer, in performing their duties.”
Efforts to reach Ms. Kermani were unsuccessful.
In documents responding to Loblaw court filings, she has said the grocer is trying to “kill our business cold bloodily.”
Loblaws declined to comment beyond what it has said in the legal filings.
“We believe the court documents speak for themselves,” said Elizabeth Margles, a company spokeswoman.
A couple of years ago, the 38-year-old Ms. Kermani allegedly called senior vice-president of sourcing and procurement, John Tavolieri, saying she has “taken care of lots of Italians” while repeatedly slamming what he thought sounded like a meat cleaver against a cutting board.
In an e-mail exchange, Mr. Tavolieri demanded that the company’s lawyer do something to stop the harassment.
“I want legal action taken now,” he wrote in the note to Mr. Kimber dated June 25, 2005. “I have a family and this bullshit isn’t worth it.”
Ms. Kermani — who as recently as two months ago tried to reinstate her business with Loblaws — told police that her threat to shoot another executive wasn’t a real threat. Rather, it was an old Iranian expression about shooting a snake to stop it from biting you, she said.
In rambling, sometimes unintelligible responses toLoblaw court filings, Ms. Kermani says the grocer has accused her of being a “terrorist” because of alleged threats to “attack” its Toronto headquarters.
Loblaws says it cut its business with Misom because Ms. Kermani became domineering, telling other Loblaw suppliers how to run their business.
Ms. Kermani promised a Toronto judge she would stop contacting Loblaw employees, asking for a “second chance” after she was found guilty of contempt of court for breaching a no-contact order.
Among 50-odd people whom Ms. Kermani is barred from contacting are Galen Weston Jr., Loblaw executive chairman, and his father, Galen Weston Sr., Loblaw’s former chairman, who sits on the board of parent company George Weston Ltd.
She is also prohibited from any contact with the grocer’s outside lawyers after Ms. Kermani allegedly tried to get them fired by calling their colleagues to complain about their work.
Ms. Kermani’s bid to sue Loblaws for more than $60-million was dismissed by a Toronto judge last year.
A request to subpoena more than 100 company employees to testify at her criminal trial on the harassment charges also failed.
And she can call the cops all she wants — they’re all too familiar with her name, as you can see from this story.
I cannot figure out how things get to this point. More beligerent foreigners presuming to tell us what we can and can’t publish, and going to the cops when they don’t like it.
Oh well, better jump in the shower, in case I get a knock at the door…
Remember the good old days, when multiculturalism just meant ordering Chinese food on Saturday night…?
Good thing my gun license is in the mail.