UPDATED 1845 EST Feb 23/08
What a difference a couple of weeks can make:
- Smokeshack thugs attack peaceful non-native protesters and police.
- Fantino taints the investigation by blaming the non-native residents and ‘interlopers’ [his code word for Gary McHale and company] before any investigation is done.
- Detective Murray testifies that the OPP received ‘complaints from stakeholders’ regarding McHale’s protests. Can you spell ‘political interference?’
- Evidence is obtained to prove that at least two native women lied to police in order to try to have McHale charged with crimes he didn’t commit. One has been charged by OPP, the other is in the works via private prosecution.
- The interlopers begin to use private prosecutions to do the OPP’s job for them.
- The National Post takes up the cause of Caledonia with hard-hitting editorials and a series that exposes the good, the bad and the ugly of Canada’s native reserves.
- McHale subpoenas Fantino to testify in his bail variation hearing.
- Toby Barrett gives his ‘Barrett Proclamation‘ [my term, not his] to Haldimand Council for their discussion and possible action.
- and…John Tory and the Ontario PC’s sink their teeth deep into McGuinty over landclaim lawlessness, and are rewarded with terrific media coverage they could have dearly used before the last provincial election from the National Post, the Spectator and the Toronto Sun. The Sun’s Joe Warmington went way, way beyond merely covering the story – he demanded that McGuinty apologize for “a horrible wrong.”
John Tory and the Ontario PCs sink their teeth into “gutless” Premier
Yesterday, John Tory and MPP Toby Barrett were in Caledonia doing what McGuinty has refused to do: meet with residents, including Sam Gualtieri. Last night Gary McHale got a call from brother Joe Gualtieri to let him know that John Tory had met with his family and their lawyer, John Findlay, who also happens to be our lawyer and author of the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit.
Joe mentioned that the Toronto Sun was doing a story today, and that they had taken a photo of the cover of our CANACE report, ‘The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations‘ which shows Sam Gualtieri recovering in the hospital following his attack by “a pack of [native] goons” in the house he was building for his daughter.
If Sam Gualtieri had died when he was attacked by a pack of goons last year, would Premier Dawlton [sic] McGuinty have come down for his funeral?
Toronto Sun, Joe Warmington, Feb 21/08: On the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the Caledonia Crisis, it’s time for the premier to apologize for a horrible wrong [REPRINT]
John Findlay also shared with Tory his reasons for defending McHale and me. It’s a great story that probably says as much about him as us, but it’s his to tell so I won’t relate it here.
Warmington’s editorial was scathing in its criticism of McGuinty:
Another question that came up in my [Joe Warmington's] visit to Caledonia yesterday was: Has McGuinty forgotten about Caledonia? John Tory had the best line of the day. “He hasn’t forgotten. I guarantee you. It is on his conscience.” It should be. What a disgrace it has been. His gutless approach then and his gutless approach now is unbecoming a premier of this great province. The lawlessness that went on down there should not have been condoned or accepted by anybody.
It should be no surprise that the National Post was in Caledonia for the Tory visit. Allison Hanes quoted residents near the occupied Douglas Creek Estates:
John Tory stood yesterday before a crude wooden barricade erected on a suburban street that serves as a dividing line between order and lawfulness in this community of 11,000 on the banks of the Grand River.
She [resident] describes the empty tract as a “get-out-of-jail card” for scofflaws who have led police on high-speed chases, then thumbed their noses when authorities declined to pursue them on to the site. “They know if they make it there, they’re home-free,” said the woman, who, like her neighbours, was too fearful to give her name. “That we’re afraid of now is that the government is going to sit still long enough for us to get used to this, then they’re going to give [the Six Nations] the land.”
Walking her dog yesterday, Judy Coulter said Caledonia should serve as a warning for the rest of the province. “If they don’t stop it here, it’s going to go a lot further,” she said.
Mr. Tory yesterday reiterated demands that Premier Dalton McGuinty make an unqualified statement that the rule of law be upheld…
National Post, Allison Hanes, Feb 21/08: Tory condemns Caledonia ‘lawlessness
The Post printed a response to Tory’s criticism by a spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant who used the official cover-up known as the Ipperwash Inquiry to defend their wholesale abandonment of the people of Caledonia:
…the government is following the “road map” of the Ipperwash inquiry report…which prescribes talks, not force, to resolve crises. “The rule of law is preserved by negotiating,” Greg Crone said.
The Hamilton Spectator quoted Tory as he urged the people of Six Nations to reject the extremists in their midst:
Standing with his back to a native barricade at the edge of the former Douglas Creek Estates subdivision that protesters have occupied for almost two years, the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader called for an end to the “lawlessness,” arson, extortion, barricades, land seizures, occupations and mob violence and intimidation he says Ontarians are suffering.
And Tory urged Six Nations people who do not agree with the tactics of confrontation and occupying development sites claimed as traditional native land “to rein in those who are doing illegal things.”
Q: Will Julian Fantino start attacking John Tory, MPP Toby Barrett, the National Post, the Toronto Sun and the Hamilton Spectator for saying exactly what ‘interlopers’ and Caledonia residents have been saying for a year and a half? ‘John Tory, Interloper’ – I like it!
Q: Will Julian start making irrational statements saying that Tory and Barrett want civil war, and are like bombs being thrown into Caledonia as he did about us in his interview with the Hamilton Spectator back in November? (When will the Spectator give us the chance to respond to Fantino’s lies? We’ve asked them 5 times.)
Q: Will Julian make public pronouncements regarding the policing costs associated with the attack on Sam Gualtieri as he did on Gary McHale? (link above)
Q: Will John Tory keep his teeth in McGuinty without letting go until the blot on Ontario’s history known as Two Tier Justice is dead and buried; the Ipperwash Inquiry is thoroughly discredited; and profound goverment apologies for the outrages committed against Caledonia and those who protested in the name of democracy have been issued?
Q: Will the media finally tell ALL the stories of Caledonia they have refused (with few exceptions) to tell for nearly two years? They can start here:
Q: What will poor McGuinty use to justify violence against innocent residents once the ugly truth about how the Ipperwash Inquiry suppressed evidence of native lawlessness against residents is revealed?
VoC breathes a big sigh of relief
There was a time, when the odds seemed overwhelmingly stacked against us, when almost no media, politicians, NGOs, Legions, government agencies or business leaders would step up and help, that I confided to Gary McHale my fear that the only thing we were accomplishing was proving that peaceful protests would not work, that others would use violence to defend themselves and justify it based on the failure of those in power to listen to us. I wrote of those fears on June 06/07 in Canada at the crossroads: Rule of law or anarchy?
Today I believe that my country will be safe. Private citizens are filing charges against native criminals that the OPP refuse to lay. Some media and politicians are finally working to make landclaim lawlessness as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. The first step to solving any problem is to recognize there is one. That has been accomplished. Phase One of the struggle against Two Tier Justice has been completed.
Once the extremists and criminals in native communities have been isolated and jailed, and every OPP and government official who had a role in perpetuating the lies and political interference that made Two Tier Justice possible has been denounced, fired or jailed, then meaningful progress towards a better, fairer, admittedly-imperfect Canada can continue.
Thank you, John Tory. Thank you, Toby Barrett. Thank you, National Post. Thank you, Joe Warmington. History will record that this was your most important work.
Ontario PC Party website: www.ontariopc.com
Ontario PC Party news release, Feb 20/08: Lawlessness in Caledonia hurting Ontarians
MPP Toby Barrett website: www.tobybarrett.com
VoiceofCanada feature: The Barrett Proclamation
Toronto Sun, Joe Warmington, Feb 21/08: On the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the Caledonia crisis, it’s time for the premier to apologize for a horrible wrong [REPRINT]
National Post, Allison Hanes, Feb 21/08: Tory condemns Caledonia lawlessness
VoiceofCanada, Feb 15/08: John Tory: Ipperwash Inquiry not a licence for “OK Corral”
National Post, Feb 13/08: Police ignoring native violence, MPP alleges
VoiceofCanada, June 06/07: Canada at the crossroads: Rule of law or anarchy?
VoiceofCanada, Feb 01/08: Lawyer John Findlay blasts Caledonia’s “real interlopers”