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Mr. Sinclair was asked what he had observed in the courtyard that day regarding the fight between Mr. Allen and Mr. MacDonald. His answers were vague, and he expressed a great reluctance to give details about who or what he had seen. At one point, when Crown counsel asked him about an answer he had given to a question put to him by defence counsel, Mr. Sinclair said he didn't understand what the Crown was getting at. Crown counsel asked, "What don't you understand?" Mr. Sinclair angrily responded with several words in Cree followed by the statement, "You don't understand what I just said, that's why I don't understand what you said," effectively making the point that in many respects he was appearing in a forum and a language foreign to him.

The issue of cultural distance was revisited when Crown counsel questioned Mr. Sinclair about his lengthy criminal record. Mr. Sinclair politely said he did not want to talk about it. When Crown counsel asked him why, he replied that he was trying to heal himself from all the harm he had done to others, and to bring it up in the courtroom would not help him along that path, and indeed would set him back. Since the jury did not know that over the past several years Mr. Sinclair had been participating in Aboriginal ceremonies and working with Aboriginal Elders in a healing journey, it is likely jury members were left with the impression that he was being evasive, thus placing his credibility on the line.

Evasive was not a word that could ever be used to describe the next witness, Jean-Louis Tremblay. He entered the courtroom wearing a black sweatshirt with the words "Murder Incorporated" emblazoned on the front. At the time of Gary Allen's death and for some time before and after, Mr. Tremblay was chairman of the Inmate Committee of the general population side of Kent Institution. While doing my research at Kent I had met regularly withM Mr. Tremblay, or Cacane as he is known to prisoners, and he filled me in on the politics of the prison. Mr. Tremblay had a passion for tropical fish and in both the Inmate Committee room and his own cell there were large fish tanks filled with exotic fish, which he kept in immaculate condition.

Mr. Tremblay was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, together with a 10-year sentence for attempted murder. In his examination-in-chief, he was asked to describe Gary Allen's reputation and his own relationship with him.

He was a bully, a man who had his own way in jail. I met him when we were both in Matsqui Institution. I had come from Kent and had asked some people who I trusted at Kent for some contacts at Matsqui. They told me about Gary Allen. I saw him again when we were both in Pre-trial. It's good to have a bully on your side in prison, someone who can rock. I didn't like a lot of the things Gary did to other prisoners, still I liked the guy.

When Mr. Tremblay first visited him in segregation, Mr. Allen told him he had beefs with two guys in the population, Shawn Preddy and Hughie MacDonald, and that he intended to kill Hughie MacDonald when he got out of the hole. Mr. Tremblay testified that he was taken off guard by how committed Mr. Allen seemed to this course of action and discussed it with his fellow committee member Dennis Smith. As chairman of Kent's Inmate Committee, his job was to resolve differences and to avoid problems in the population. Mr. Tremblay and Mr. Smith went to see Mr. MacDonald, who asked them to find out why Mr. Allen wanted to kill him. On his next visit to segregation, Mr. Tremblay conveyed Mr. MacDonald's question. Mr. Allen replied: "He stabbed my brother. It's payback time." Mr. Allen told Mr. Tremblay that he planned to do the killing in front of the entire population. Mr. Tremblay testified that he asked Mr. Allen to reconsider this course of action. "There was no need to do it in front of everybody. He could do it in his cell, in the showers, anywhere but not in the courtyard in front of the cameras and in front of the guards." Mr. Allen responded that he had made a commitment and meant to keep it. Mr. Tremblay calculated that he would have more time to work on Mr. Allen to get him to change his mind, because it would be at least a month, if not two, before Mr. Allen was released from segregation to the population.

Mr. Tremblay testified that on the morning of February 22 the Inmate Committee had a meeting with Unit Manager Gerry Dewar. Mr. Dewar asked Mr. Tremblay and Mr. Smith whether Mr. Allen would have any problems in the population. Mr. Tremblay said no, because the issues between Mr. Allen and other prisoners were prisoner business, not the institution's. Mr. Tremblay then went back to his cell and, in accordance with his regular routine, went to sleep. He was woken up just before noon by Mr. Smith, who told him that Mr. Allen was in the courtyard waiting for Mr. MacDonald to come out of the dining room. Mr. Tremblay had a hard time believing that Mr. Allen was out of segregation. He got dressed and went out to the courtyard to talk to Mr. Allen. He put it to Mr. Allen that Mr. MacDonald was an old man and that it was an old beef, but Mr. Allen was determined that it go down. As chairman of the committee, Mr. Tremblay said it was his responsibility to go and speak to Mr. MacDonald. Together with Mr. Smith, he went to the dining room and told Mr. MacDonald that Mr. Allen was planning to kill him in the yard in front of everybody.

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