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Conservatives Against Fantino

www.ConservativesAgainstFantino.ca

'HelplessByBlatchford' project: www.helplessbyblatchford.ca– CLICK HERE FOR LATEST NEWS –

1. Who are you, why are you qualified to speak out on Fantino’s Caledonia record, and are you really Conservative Party supporters?

The leaders of this campaign are Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas, two of the key activists involved in exposing and opposing racial policing in Caledonia that has victimized both native and non-natives for the past four years. We have 3.5 years experience of being targeted by Fantino and dealing with him and his lawyers through the courts, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Ontario Police Services Act complaint process and the media.

We provided extensive evidence and background information to aid Globe & Mail reporter Christie Blatchford’s research for her upcoming book, HELPLESS: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, And How the Law Failed Us All, due on bookshelves Oct 26th.

“I’m sure a lot of people don’t give a damn about what happened to the residents of Caledonia. I’m wondering where the next lawless takeover might take place — maybe in my area? Maybe in yours? People don’t seem to care unless it affects them directly — that is, except for Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas. People need to realize it could happen anywhere, and it would be nice to know you can count on the police to enforce the law. Hopefully Blatchford’s book will help ensure that.Moose & Squirrel.ca

Gary (and wife, Christine) is acknowledged in the book for his contributions, and both the book and the photo montage in the promo video below include an iconic image of him being led away bleeding after he was viciously attacked by Six Nations smokeshack supporters Dec 01/07. While still in the hospital Fantino issued a press release blaming him and his supporters for the violence – before the investigation had begun – and ordered his officers to target McHale for a charge. Helpless tells how he fought back and won – without a lawyer.

“As it turns out, the front line officers of the OPP were sold down the river too, by their senior ranks, in particular by two commissioners of the force, Gwen Boniface and Julian Fantino, who either subjugated themselves to government will, held their tongues or respectively dreamed up the disastrous operational plan for Caledonia and then stubbornly held onto it for dear life.”

In the 2008 federal election 1,821 Caledonia voters chose Gary McHale as an independent candidate over Conservative cabinet minister Diane Finley and high-profile Liberal candidate Dr. Eric Hoskins (now Dalton McGuinty’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration). Gary received 10% of the total vote in the riding, which included 39% of ballots cast in Caledonia.

Although we are not currently ‘card-carrying’ Conservative Party members, we are lifelong supporters. Mark was once a member of the original Reform Party when it was led by Preston Manning. Some of our strongest allies in Caledonia have actively campaigned for Diane Finley and donated money to the party.

You can read our ‘Caledonia resumes’ here:

2. Why is it so important that Julian Fantino not be elected as a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada?

Download our 2 page 8.5x11" brochure

Download our 2 page 8.5x11" brochure

Julian Fantino is a symbol of the Race-Based Policing practices in Caledonia that saw innocent property owners victimized with illegal occupations while OPP officers stood guard for those committing the crimes. His candidacy for the Conservative Party would symbolize that the party has fully embraced racialized policing and the dangerous ideology that innocent victims should be controlled, silenced and targeted for arrest as an alternative to enforcing the law against extremist groups. Julian Fantino has shown scarcely believable bias in favour of native criminals all the while using the full weight of his office to try to intimidate peaceful, law-abiding non-natives into compliance.

Legendary Canadian journalist Peter Worthington, founder of the Toronto Sun, comments on Caledonia & Fantino…

“It is a horror story for ordinary people who were the victims of thuggery. But it’s a greater horror story for the OPP which behaved with negligence, dereliction of duty and, yes, cowardice. Officers on the job turned a blind eye to people being beaten, homes threatened, curfews imposed, road blocks established. On occasion, the OPP even refused to come to the aid of a fellow officer being beaten. And now Julian Fantino wants to be a federal MP and cabinet minister. Shame on him for Caledonia, and for his failure to lead.”

Native people are also victims of OPP race-based policing

It should be noted that native citizens were also being victimized by the refusal of the OPP under Fantino to police the lawless ‘homefree zone’ (as residents refer to the occupation site) that is called the Douglas Creek Estates, a reality that we have repeatedly spoken out about in public, including at the 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum at Mount Royal University in Calgary: 

  • Caledonia Victims Project presentation to 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum, May 05/10: Listening to Victims: A Fresh Approach to Healing and Reconciliation [PDF, 21p, 8.5MB] (includes slides, reference citations for Fantino/OPP intimidation of non-natives; Fantino bias against non-native victims; natives are victims, too.)

Fantino’s Caledonia record

It would be impossible to detail all of the outrageous conduct of Julian Fantino here, but this is a list of the more egregious examples in no particular order of importance. Please note that we have documentation to support these statements:

1. Under Fantino’s watch four non-native Canadians were arrested for ‘crime’ of holding a Canadian flag or trying to raise one on public property across from the occupation site. OPP officers repeatedly lined up to prevent non-natives from walking down the road with flags. In the case of Mark Vandermaas, Fantino’s lawyer told the Ontario Human Rights Commission he was prevented from putting up a flag to protect him from an “extreme element” who might want to harm him. This policy of arresting victims instead of protecting their rights continued until July 2009 when non-natives were finally permitted to put a flag on the spot where a resident was first arrested for the same ‘offence’ in 2006.

2. Threatened Haldimand Council in order to intimidate them into not showing support for non-native activists via an email which eventually resulted in a Superior Court judge issuing process for a criminal charge of Influencing Municipal Official against him.

3. Intimidated Haldimand’s Mayor Trainer a second time via email after she spoke out publicly against OPP policies on behalf of residents.

4. Two of Fantino’s most senior officers were ordered by a court to face charges for Obstructing Justice after they followed his orders – at the outset of an investigation – to get Gary McHale charged with something so they could obtain bail restrictions to keep him out of Caledonia. Fantino told them not to “get bogged down with legal nuances” while doing it. Fantino’s order resulted in a charge which was eventually dropped after the Obstructing Justice charges were certified. Disclosure revealed that Fantino was communicating with the Deputy Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services about the charge.

5. Set in motion, when he was first appointed, a plan to arrest Gary McHale that eventually involved numerous officers and government lawyers even though he had committed no crime. The plan resulted in McHale being held overnight without a charge until a judge ordered his release. Fortunately, a Crown Attorney refused to go along with an OPP request that he lay a false Mischief charge so the police could get bail restrictions to keep him out of Caledonia.

6. Filed a police conduct complaint with the Hamilton Police Service after a Caledonia resident who happens to be a Hamilton police officer criticized the OPP and the Premier. The complaint was initiated when the Ontario government’s senior negotiator contacted the OPP. It was eventually dismissed.

7. Defamed non-native activists in the media with false accusations of being violent racists who want a Pakistani-style dictatorship.

8. Falsely accused non-native activists of being responsible for injuring his officers when he knew they were injured by native protesters.

9. After peaceful non-natives (and police) were sent to hospital after being assaulted at an illegal smokeshack by Six Nations people Fantino issued a press release falsely blaming the victims for the violence, and ordered his officers to target Gary McHale for charges – before the investigation had even begun. Fantino asked his officers in an email if there was any way to hurry up with a charge against McHale.

10. Wrote a letter of reference to the Court for the native man who led the violence against Gary McHale in which he blamed the violence on McHale – the victim.

11. A charge of Assault Police vs. the same native man who attacked Gary McHale disappeared within one hour of Fantino being notified. Fantino sends out email confirming the new list of charges.

12. Testified that he repeatedly meets with native protesters, but does not meet with non-natives.

13. Was photographed sharing a joke with one of the leaders of illegal occupations in Haldimand and the man who led the swarming attack that put Gary McHale in the hospital, but he refused Mayor Trainer’s request that he meet with non-native residents most traumatized by the lawlessness in Caledonia.

14. When shown a video of an OPP site commander justifying his refusal to protect a non-native landowner from an illegal occupation because he believed that Land Title deeds were not sufficient proof of ownership for law enforcement purposes, Fantino testified he supported the officer completely even though a Superior Court judge had already rebuked the OPP for abusing its authority and discretion when it refused to assist the owner, and threatened to arrest him should he exercise his right under the Criminal Code to remove trespassers himself with reasonable force. (CANACE c-founder Gary McHale provided sufficient evidence to the Court to issue 9 charges of Extortion, Mischief and Intimidation against the two ringleaders, all of which where dropped by the Crown.)

15: Refused Mayor Trainer’s request to meet with most aggrieved victims in Caledonia. 

References

1. Caledonia Victims Project, Sept 17/10: Message for federal Conservatives: Fantino as candidate = slap in the face to Caledonia victims

2. Caledonia Victims Project, Oct 07/10: Toronto Star gets critical facts wrong on Fantino Caledonia charge

3. Caledonia Victims Project, Oct 10/10: Christie Blatchford in HELPLESS: Front line OPP officers ‘sold down the river’ by Fantino & Boniface

4. Caledonia Victims Project: Caledonia Resources

5. Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality: Race-Based Policing

6. Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality: Journalist’s Quick Reference Guide (summaries of sworn testimony by Fantino & other officers at McHale trial, incl. Const. Jeff Bird who confirmed racial policing)

7. CANACE report, Dec 2007: The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations [PDF, 101p]

8. CANACE report, May 2008: Legalized MYTHS of Illegal Occupations [PDF, 56p]

9. Regional News series, Feb 18-25/09: McGuinty’s Ipperwash Cover-up: the Caledonia Legacy [PDF, 10p]

10. Caledonia Victims Project, April 13/10: Caledonia’s youngest hero: 14 year old Pam ‘Dancer’ Dudych

11. CANACE News, July 13/08: OPP tell CANACE: Land Title deeds do NOT prove ownership (see video of OPP site commander; Fantino later testifed he fully supported Sgt. Michaud’s position, and denigrated Mr. McHale for trying to obtain an explanation for the OPP’s refusal to aid the property owner. A Superior Court judge issued an injunction, saying the OPP had abused its authority and power in its treatment of the victims)

12. Human Rights complaint forces Fantino to tell truth (Part 1) (prevented from raising Canadian flag to “protect him” and followers from harm from “extreme element”)

13. Human Rights complaint forces Fantino to tell truth (Part 2) 

14. McHale/Vandermaas v. Fantino (statement of claim for slander w/comprehensive account of Fantino campaign to arrest/defame non-native activists, 49 pages.)

15. EXPOSED: How the McGuinty gov’t refused to investigate criminal allegations against Fantino (contains links to 71 page complaint to Minister re alleged Fantino criminal conduct & related docs showing repeated refusal to investigate, let alone ask for evidence. Separate courts would later order Fantino and two of his officers to face criminal charges that include Influencing Municipal Official and Obstructing Justice related to events cited in this doc. All charges dropped before trial by Attorney General of Ontario.

16. Caledonia Victims Project, Caledonia Lawsuits & Court Actions: R. v. Gary McHale (Counselling Mischief Not Committed)       

17. CANACE calls for RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence

18. Randy Fleming arrest re Cdn flag – VoiceofCanada, June 03/09: Randy Fleming arrest photos: OPP race-based policing alive and well

19. OPP complaint vs. Hamilton Police officer/Caledonia resident Dave Hartless, Feb 19/07

20. OPP Professional Standards Division: Investigation into Dec 16/06 McHale arrest, Dec 16/08 (Fantino ordered McHale targeted; McHale held overnight w/out charge; OPP asked Crown to lay phony Mischief charge (refused); OPP didn’t know if what it did was even legal, but investigators say OPP did nothing wrong)

21. Bo Chausse arrest re Cdn flag: Lawyer’s letter, Jan 12/07

22. Bo Chausse arrest re Cdn flag – The Sachem, Dec 15/06: Caledonia man seeks public apology from OPP

23: Dunnville Chronicle, Oct 21/09: Fantino says no [PDF] (Fantino refuses Mayor Trainer’s request to meet with non-native residents)

'HAS ANYONE SEEN DIANE FINLEY? LEADERSHIP?', seen at Gary McHale's inaugural March for Freedom, Caledonia, Oct 15/06
‘HAS ANYONE SEEN DIANE FINLEY? LEADERSHIP?’, seen at Gary McHale’s inaugural March for Freedom, Caledonia, Oct 15/06

2. Why campaign or vote against the Conservative party – how does that help the party?

The Harper government and Diane Finley have been virtually silent for four years while innocent people were being traumatized by OPP/Liberal racial policing and native extremism.

In welcoming Fantino as a candidate, the Conservative Party is putting short term political gain ahead of fundamental principles of respect for the Charter while slapping the victims of Caledonia squarely in the face. It is sending a message that the party will embrace a future that includes racial policing directed against innocent victims of extremism as an alternative to protecting those victims. We want no part of any party that embraces such views. As one prominent Conservative supporter in Haldimand who understands the issues better than most told us privately, “This is just wrong.”

As one very conservative blogger wrote:

“If this story is even a little bit true, the Conservative Party of Canada deserves to be blasted to political oblivion for at least a generation. […] If Julian “Caledonia” Fantino is the Conservative’s idea of “most eligible bachelor”, they have no business wrapping themselves in the fake mantle of “law and order” they have been assuming of late. The bigger question I have, is why Fantino wouldn’t run to be MP of Haldimand County? Hmmm?”

(For other news and opinions, check out our News feature page.)

We are under no illusion that the Liberals or NDP will do ‘the right thing’ either, but the only way to force the Conservative Party to become conservative is to deny it the thing they value most: power. We need to teach the party that it will pay a serious price for ignoring its principles. Canada doesn’t need another Liberal Party, it needs a strong Conservative Party that stands for true equality and justice irregardless of race or grievance. If denying them power today contributes to that goal, then the short term pain is worth the price.

3. Are you actually going to vote Liberal or NDP and campaign for them?

Yes – as much as the thought offends us, if Fantino is nominated we will actively work to defeat both him in Vaughan and Diane Finley in Haldimand Norfolk by campaigning and voting for the strongest runner-up who has the best chance of defeating them, be it NDP or Liberal.

4. What could you possibly do that would make a difference in the election – what’s your strategy?

We have registered with Elections Canada as a third party (without a candidate) in order to be able to spend money on campaigning during the election:

If we can convince the 5,000 voters in Haldimand who cast a ballot for Gary last time to switch their votes to the Liberals it would count as a 2 for 1 loss for Diane Finley. In other words, not only would the Conservatives go down 5,000 votes, the Liberals would also go up 5,000 votes for a total loss to Finley of 10,000 votes. In a riding where there was already so much anger towards the Conservatives long before Fantino was nominated and long before McHale had the credibility he has today 10,000 votes would very likely mean defeat for Finley.

5. Why not work behind the scenes and try to talk to the party?

We have been trying to work behind the scenes, but cannot reveal the full extent of our efforts to make them aware of our concerns. You can assume from the creation of this site that we have no confirmation they are taking our concerns seriously.

6. What do you want?

We want the Conservative Party of Canada to immediately put any movement to nominate Julian Fantino on hold until the party has fully reviewed the evidence of his conduct in Caledonia and fully understands the consequences of his nomination for the party. We are prepared to assist the party in every way possible as we did Christie Blatchford.

7. What can I do to help?

– Protest with us every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm at Fantino’s campaign HQ until the election. We have 60,000 professionally-printed 2-page 8.5×11″ brochures to get our message out, so after a half hour protest we will be distributing our brochures in the riding. Details here.

– Write a letter to the editor.

– Call the Conservative Party and tell them you no longer support the party because of Fantino’s candidacy. If you are a donor, tell them you are stopping donations so long as Fantino and Finley are elected members.

Contact info

 

Authored for the Landmark Report by ‘Kaffir Kanuck,’ a Canadian Forces veteran of Afghanistan
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A-Native-Patrol-drives-by-in-a-red-pickup-in-front-of-the-Embassy-sign-invites-tourists-outside-the-barricade-remains1-300x202 (photo by Kaffir Kanuck)(My second part from Landmark Report. See here for Part 1)

(This is the second of two parts examining the Native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, Ontario. It is a result of interviews with activists Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade. It has been framed exploring what it has cost the Ontario taxpayer so far and how the OPP’s actions under their former Commissioner Julian Fantino and those of various stake holders may affect the federal election in two ridings.)

Behind the barricade remains, a Native patrol drives by in a red pickup in front of the press-board ramshackle “Embassy.” Outside DCE, a sign invites tourists.

(This is the second of two parts examining the Native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, Ontario. It is a result of interviews with activists Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade. It has been framed exploring what it has cost the Ontario taxpayer so far and how the OPP’s actions under their former Commissioner Julian Fantino and those of various stake holders may affect the federal election in two ridings.)

The Douglas Creek Estates were to be a bedroom community for Toronto and Hamilton. Small economic off shoots to strengthen the community were planned such as Chris Syries’ plans to open up a music school for 400 students. A class action suit is still under way representing the few businesses which have remained and are still fighting for justice.

Continue reading this article ›

Authored for the Landmark Report by ‘Kaffir Kanuck,’ a Canadian Forces veteran of Afghanistan
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600-Million-Hydro-Tower-Project-kept-unfinished-and-unwired-due-to-Native-occupation-of-the-Douglas-Creek-Estates-300x257 (photo by Kaffir Kanuck)(This is the first of two parts examining the Native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, Ontario. It is a result of interviews with activists Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade. It has been framed exploring what it has cost the Ontario taxpayer so far and how the OPP’s actions under their former Commissioner Julian Fantino and those of various stake holders may affect the federal election in two ridings.)

Conservative MP Julian Fantino hopes for re-election in Vaughan on Monday. He won the previously Liberal held seat by less than on thousand votes. However, the legacy he inherited and left behind in Haldimand Track, the events of Native occupation in Caledonia have come back to haunt him.

Conservatives Against Fantino peppered his constituency during his by-election, and their information campaign may very well have contributed to his marginal win, although the 2008 election had Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua win by over eight thousand votes. This movement has morphed into Conservatives Against Racism, now also targeting the Conservative Party elite who supported getting Fantino elected into Vaughan.

In Haldimand-Norfolk, Liberal Bob Speller running against incumbent CPC Diane Finley, has been the first federal candidate to offer a Caledonia policy statement. Of note to Caledonia residents has been Finley’s conspicuous absence from their township and her silence regarding issues related to the Native occupation during this campaign.

Recently, some of the main stream media played up a few resignations form the Julian Fantino Conservative MP re-election camp.

[…]

Read the rest of this article…

References

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas  info@caledoniavictimsproject.ca

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When I returned home last night after our final protest rally (that’s my wife and me to the right) prior to getting out most of the rest of the 60,000 ‘Conservatives Against Fantino’ brochures we have been blanketing Vaughan parking lots with during the past four weeks, there was an email from a journalist I respect asking simply, “Any predictions about byelection?”

Here is an updated, edited version of what I sent him:

PREDICTION? Well…first things first

I read in London Free Press recently that reporters were being told that Genco (Libs) people were telling them they expected to lose by a landslide of 10K. A CPC contact in Vaughan who was supporting Genco (the Liberal candidate) tells me the ‘source’ was a CPC plant and it was pure BS. Says Genco started down 20% but has now closed gap to pull even. (I seem to recall a Globe & Mail article w/similar stmt, but not sure 100%.)

My/our impressions from our experiences in Vaughan:

Our team of about 15-20 regulars from Caledonia got out between 40-50,000 of our brochures during the past few weeks, mainly by leaving them on cars in parking lots. What was really interesting is how often new people were reporting how pleasantly surprized they were by the warm reception they got from people they met during the day, how most people seemed to know about Caledonia (at long last!) , and how no one was rude to them. They also reported that people weren’t throwing the brochures away, but noticed that after getting in the car, the car wouldn’t move for about 5 mins because they were reading the brochure. (It is very eyecatching and extremely hard hitting.)

  • Conservatives Against Fantino brochure: ‘Caledonia: Fantino’s legacy of Lawlessness & Racist Policing Policies’ [PDF]

We began each Sat/Sun with a protest in front of Fantino’s HQ for which media including the Vaughan Citizen (love those ladies!), Rogers Cable and CBC showed up to interview us. This fabulous photo of the loyal Caledonia Contingent – who regularly drove 1.5 hours each way just to make sure their town’s suffering wasn’t forgotten in this election – was taken yesterday (Nov 28/10):

101128 Caledonia Contingent at Fantino HQ

My friend, CANACE co-founder Merlyn Kinrade (who is also featured in Helpless) and I are both former peacekeepers and, since Fantino/McGuinty ‘justified’ suspending the rule of law in Caledonia by claiming it was a ‘peacekeeping’ operation we both wore our blue berets for some of our rallies in front of Fantino’s HQ in protest of this illegal peacekeeping mission on Canadian soil for the media. Rogers Cable did a stand up interview w/me on that topic, said the story would be aired in Richmond Hill area, so I didn’t catch it. This picture is after the Rogers reporter left last week’s rally and was taken by CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson as we were handing out flyers at the Price Chopper grocery store which is 100 feet or so from Fantino’s HQ – in the background.

Read the rest of this article…

  1. VoiceofCanada, Nov 29/10: Prediction: Caledonia & Canada win Vaughan byelection by landslide

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas info@voiceofcanada.ca

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www.MooseandSquirrel.caConservative blogger ‘Natasha’ who runs the very conservative and very well-written ‘Moose and Squirrel’ blog (www.mooseandsquirrel.ca) has become the first blogger to announce her withdrawal of support from the Conservative Party of Canada in a letter to the influential Blogging Tories website in which she terminates her relationship over the party’s decision to appoint former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino as a candidate in the riding of Vaughan.

As noted in her letter, however, her decision to disassociate herself from the site was premised on a belief that the CPC had failed her with its choice of Julian Fantino as a candidate, and not that the operators of the Blogging Tories had behaved inappropriately in any way (see also, Comment section below).

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  • Comments Off on Moose & Squirrel.ca takes a stand as first conservative blog to resign from Blogging Tories over Fantino candidacy
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Gary McHale in hospital after being repeatedly attacked by native smokeshack protesters, Dec 01/07. By the time this picture was taken Julian Fantino had already ordered his officers to target McHale for charges before the investigation had begun. He gave officers instructions not to "get bogged down with legal nuances" in order to get McHale, which resulted in charges of Obstructing Justice vs. Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and Supt. Ron Gentle who followed his orders. Click image for complete story & docs.
Gary McHale in hospital after being repeatedly attacked by native smokeshack protesters, Dec 01/07. By the time this picture was taken Julian Fantino had already ordered his officers to target McHale for charges before the investigation had begun. He gave officers instructions not to “get bogged down with legal nuances” in order to get McHale, which resulted in charges of Obstructing Justice vs. Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and Supt. Ron Gentle who followed his orders. Click image for complete story & docs.

A fan of Conservatives Against Fantino has produced what must be the finest video satire yet on Conservative Party assertions that Julian Fantino is a law and order friend of victims with a strong moral compass.

The clip opens with a shot of the Prime Minister, then some words from Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson (who turned us down when I wrote to him on May 30/08 asking for help in combatting Fantino’s racial policing policies) and then we see/hear this endorsement from an unnamed fan of Fantino who says he has years of experience in working with victims of “extreme violence”: 

“I have never met an individual who has a finer sense of the difference between right and wrong than Julian Fantino.”

The video then moves to Christie Blatchford’s appearance  on the Michael Coren Show where she reads, then comments on what she says is the document in Helpless that angered her the most during her Caledonia research. In just a few scant minutes Blatchford explodes the CPC’s carefully contrived myth about Fantino’s well-developed sense of right and wrong: 

Merlyn Kinrade rebuts Fantino supporters assertion that he isn’t a Conservative member

Readers might also enjoy this ‘Vaughtino’ video taken Nov 14/10 at a Conservatives Against Fantino protest at Fantino’s campaign HQ held before we split up to deliver some of our 60,000 anti-Fantino brochures in the riding.

Continue reading this article ›

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Caledonia artist portrays Stephen Harper as one of the 'Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil' monkeys in her award-winning portrayal of the Caledonia crisis - 2 years before he welcomes Julian Fantino (shown below as one of Caledonia's tormenters) Click the image to learn more.The headline of this Globe and Mail piece by Jane Taber is rather misleading (it leads readers to conclude the Liberals made a serious effort to recruit Julian Fantino for themselves), but some important news is found further down in the article itself where Taber reports that on Nov 25/10 Fantino’s conduct in Caledonia was, for the first time in five years, the subject of discussion in the House of Commons thanks to two Liberal MPs who wondered why – given Fantino’s candidacy for the federal Conservatives – MP Diane Finley’s signature was on a 2009 anti-Fantino petition circulated by Haldimand residents.

And Thursday two Liberals [MPs Rob Oliphant and Maria Minna] – stood up in the Commons to attack Mr. Fantino over his handling of the native protests in Caledonia when he was the OPP commissioner. They noted that Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, whose represents the troubled corner of Ontario, had signed a petition calling for an inquiry into Mr. Fantino’s actions.

“The member was a minister when she signed a petition demanding the Prime Minister’s hand-picked candidate in Vaughan, Julian Fantino, be investigated. She wanted his pay docked,” Toronto MP Maria Minna charged. “She wanted him suspended and she wanted him fired. Does she still hold the same view now?”

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Justin Trudeau, son of the former prime minister responsible for enshrining the Charter of Rights in the Canadian Constitution, has recorded a strongly-worded video condemnation of Julian Fantino’s views that the Charter benefits mainly ‘common criminals’ and ‘Hell’s Angels.’

Comment

Justin Trudeau’s statement is simply a must-see. During the past four years we have seen – up close and personal – Fantino’s utter lack of respect for truth and for the Charter in Caledonia as illustrated by his utter disdain for the victims his OPP created, and his all-out assault on the rights and character of non-native activists, so Mr. Trudeau’s comments hit especially close to home:

Christie Blatchford makes it clear in the Globe today that she didn’t agree with the endorsement of Fantino by Trudeau’s opposite number – Don Cherry – the loud-mouth hockey pundit who said Fantino was “always there for the little guy” as she points out the irony of using Cherry (who lives outside Vaughan) to shill for Fantino who smeared Gary McHale’s motives for speaking out in Caledonia by calling him an ‘outsider’ with ‘an agenda”:

Mr. Fantino sure wasn’t “there for the little guy” in Caledonia. Indeed, in the case of Mr. McHale, he set out to nail him. I mention this in part because the 68-year-old Mr. Fantino has managed to duck the only truly public all-candidates debate in Vaughan (he did attend another taped by Rogers television) where by chance, Mr. McHale and about 20 supporters showed up to make sure that the subject of the Caledonia occupation was raised. […]

It’s funny, but over the course of my long newspaper career, I’d always previously defended Julian Fantino. His performance in Caledonia changed my mind, and I venture to say if more people knew just how he conducted business there, more minds might be changed. And that, methinks, is why he’s run the pop-up, peek-a-boo campaign he has, and enlisted, as Fantino-speak would have it, interlopers such as Don Cherry.

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”]James LeCraw-committed suicide July 19/04 claiming in his suicide note that Julian Fantino's public statements falsely accusing him of child pornography activities ruined his life. [all photos from CBC source article, click image to view]

“You may want to seriously consider a wrongful death suit, or whatever it would be called against the police and Fantino,” wrote James. “You know the complaint: Their reckless irresponsible media release destroyed my life. They should be held responsible for compensation. Also they should have to change their and all police department media ways so that others don’t get caught up in this crap.”

“On July 19, 2004, James drove to a country road, about 10 kilometres from his brother’s home in Newmarket, north of Toronto. He put a charcoal barbecue on the seat beside him and lit it. James died of carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes.”

  • CBC Documentary, 2005 : Weighing the Balance 

Earlier this morning VoiceofCanada editor/Conservatives Against Fantino co-founder Mark Vandermaas was tipped off to a tragic 2004 story about the suicide of an innocent man wrongly accused of being involved in a child porn by Julian Fantino and the Toronto police, both of whom were by blamed by James LeCraw in his suicide note for his ruined life. 

Continue reading this article ›

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The Vaughan Citizen – sponsor of the Nov 23/10 debate which Julian Fantino snubbed – has released a scathing editorial about his failure to face voters, and which questions Fantino’s fitness to serve as Vaughan’s Member of Parliament.

This is the relevant excerpt for Caledonia victims:

[…] Mr. Fantino’s contrary decision [not to participate in the debate] is particularly unfortunate because, while his prior career activities have made him the best-known candidate, they have also made him by far the most controversial.

They raise questions that voters should have been entitled to have a chance to put to him at Tuesday’s debate before deciding how to vote.

For instance, it appears indisputable that during the aboriginal occupation in Caledonia, Mr. Fantino as OPP commissioner ordered his officers to stand idly by without enforcing the law while the occupiers committed serious criminal acts.

At the same time, he had his officers intimidate and even arrest law-abiding local residents who tried to assert their rights.

Whether Mr. Fantino was acting on his own initiative or following directions from the provincial government, couldn’t this be seen either way as a breach of the oath he swore under the Police Act to “prevent offences and discharge my other duties faithfully, impartially and according to law”? If so, wouldn’t that make him unsuitable for elected office, let alone to be a potential minister? […]

Editor of the Citizen Kim Champion also made it clear in her editorial, as she did on debate night, that Fantino did his best to thwart her efforts to accommodate his schedule when organizing the debate:

Comment

Since Conservatives Against Fantino was launched I have been pleasantly surprised to see that the Vaughan Citizen has never backed away from covering us, or holding Julian Fantino accountable where a lesser outlet might have shied away from the controversy out of fear of losing access to him should he win. Fantino isn’t the type to let go of a grudge, so the Citizen must have made a wilful decision to fulfil their role as watchdogs knowing it could have negative consequences for them.

Editor Kim Champion, reporter Caroline Grech and the Vaughan Citizen remind me of the Regional News in Caledonia, its publisher Chris Pickup, and reporter Bill Jackson who was himself assaulted and his camera stolen by native protesters when he photographed an assault on an elderly couple in Caledonia. 

Bill Jackson takes notes at 2008 debate in Caledonia during 2010 municipal election

Bill Jackson takes notes at 2008 debate in Caledonia during 2010 municipal election

Not only did the Regional print hard-hitting letters from Caledonia residents and cover the stories without giving ink to the lies and propaganda of the native radicals terrorizing the town, Chris Pickup made the extraordinary decision in 2008 to give what some readers called the “devil incarnate” Gary McHale a weekly column so he could share details on the legal battles, protests and other matters related to our struggle in his/our own words. These columns provide an unequaled historical record of our work and Gary’s extraordinary use of the courts to seek justice on behalf of Caledonia residents, and they cannot be found anywhere else.

The Regional allowed Gary to use his column for other works he thought important such as my speech given at our flag raising protest on May 24/09 Provoking Violence? Lessons from Dr. King and the Little Rock Nine; and it became became the first media outlet in Canada to allow us to share the important lessons of our Ipperwash Papers project in our own words. The Regional’s gutsy decision to do so was recently acknowledged by the legendary Peter Worthington in Caledonia Crisis of Facts.

From our perspective the little, independent, weekly Regional News did more to stand up for justice in Caledonia and uphold its responsibility as ‘watchdogs of democracy’ than every other so-called mainstream media outlet combined. This is not an exaggeration. Other locals such as The Sachem, and the Dunnville Chronicle carried good articles occasionally and important coverage of our activities, but they did not take a clear, consistent editorial stand on the side of the victims. The MSM outlets were simply abysmal in their coverage; preferring to do mainly ‘he said/she said,’ ‘drive-by’ stories with occasional bursts of condemnation for those responsible for Caledonia’s misery.

The terrible truth is that until Christie Blatchford agreed to look at our evidence in late 2009 after the Brown/Chatwell trial began there had been zero investigative reporting in Caledonia since 2006, and not one media outlet had agreed to meet with us to go over our considerable evidence. Regional News stood alone with us to tell the truth, and it paid a price for doing so.

We wanted to honour the Regional and its staff for their commitment to the highest ideals of journalism in giving a consistent voice to Caledonia’s victims and those of us speaking out on their behalf, so we (CANACE and the Caledonia Victims Project) presented the Regional – at Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless launch party on Oct 27/10 – with a print of Barb Patterson Tuck’s award-winning painting ‘Caught in the Middle‘ which was signed by the artist and by us. Earlier in the evening we had given an identical print to Blatchford.

In a subsequent editorial Bill Jackson commented at length on the Regional’s approach to covering the Caledonia crisis; his gratitude at being honoured by CANACE; and the vindication of the Regional and CANACE activism in the light of Helpless. Bill’s editorial should be required reading in Canadian schools of journalism: 

  • Regional News (Caledonia), Nov 03/10: Comment by Bill Jackson [PDF] (re vindication of Regional News coverage and CANACE efforts to oppose racial policing in light of Helpless)

I thank the Vaughan Citizen for holding Fantino accountable with their excellent coverage of this campaign. If I/we ever manage to have enough income to do so (now that would be a happy day!), I would propose to my colleagues that we institute a joint ‘CANACE/Caledonia Victims Project Watchdogs of Democracy Award’ to highlight excellence in Canadian journalism, and the Citizen would be its third recipient – after Christie Blatchford and Caledonia’s heroic Regional News.

I can only hope that Ms. Champion and Ms. Grech can appreciate the tremendous compliment paid to them and the Vaughan Citizen with the comparison to Caledonia’s Regional News. They are in very fine company indeed.

Letter to Vaughan Citizen by Bill Dietz, Sgt., RCMP (retired)

Caledonia resident Bill Dietz is a former Sergeant with the RCMP. He wrote a letter to MP Diane Finley expressing his outrage at the party’s embrace of Julian Fantino which he allowed us to post here on CAF, and use in the 60,000 brochures we are distributing to Vaughan voters during the campaign. We used one of Bill’s quotes on the front cover.

Coincidently, as I was working on this article, Bill sent me a copy of a letter he emailed today (Nov 25/10) to Kim Champion, Editor of the Vaughan Citizen:

Hi Kim

I have just had the opportunity to listen to your introduction of the Candidates at Tuesday’s All Candidates meeting….courtesy of Jeff Parkinson of CANACE, and have just read the article posted online at the York Region.com regarding “Fantino Cops Out”.

I am so pleased and thankful that you have given us an ear, and taken the time to try to understand Mr. Fantino, I truly realize what a challenge that must have presented, when I first contacted you.

I understand that you have had the opportunity to meet and speak with some of the members of CANACE; and while I am not a member of that organization, I fully support what they are trying to do.

Mr. Fantino seems oblivious to his surroundings and to the ordinary people that his actions affect deeply. I sincerely hope that the good voters of Vaughan, including members of the Conservative Party, will recognize that

this is not the type of person that should be representing all of us in Ottawa.

Thank You for Your efforts to understand the truth.

Sincerely

Bill Dietz
Sgt, RCMP (Retired)
Caledonia, Ontario

Thank you again Bill, for speaking out, and sharing similar thoughts. As a note, I’m not sure if Ms. Champion herself has met CANACE members, but I believe reporter Caroline Grech has.

References

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas info@caledoniavictimsproject.ca

NOTE: Mark was an original founder of CANACE as described in Helpless, but left in early 2010 to found the Caledonia Victims Project.

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Liberal candidate Tony Genco was there. The Vaughan Citizen was there. A good group of Caledonia residents was there handing out brochures on behalf of Conservatives Against Fantino.

But Julian Fantino, Stephen Harper’s annointed candidate, couldn’t be bothered showing up at last nights Vaughan debate hosted by the Vaughan Citizen. 

Kim Champion, Editor for the sponsoring Vaughan Citizen commented at length (see video below) on Fantino’s efforts to avoid making himself available, upon which she elaborated in a subsequent editorial (link below). CANACE/CAF co-founder Jeff Parkinson took this photo that says it all:

Fantino snubs Vaughan debate, but Tony Genco for the Liberals was there, Nov 23/10. Click to enlarge.

Fantino snubs Vaughan debate, but Tony Genco for the Liberals was there, Nov 23/10. Click to enlarge.

Video highlights

  • CAF video, Jeff Parkinson, Nov 23/10, 3:00 mins: Opening remarks by debate sponsor (Kim Champion, Editor, Vaughan Citizen explains how her efforts to accommodate Julian Fantino’s schedule were thwarted)  
  • CAF video, Jeff Parkinson, Nov 23/10, 2:49 mins: Opening remarks by Liberal candidate (Tony Genco tells attendees that he had to cancel out on his 13 year-old daughter’s birthday trip to see Justin Bieber, that she understood it was important that he meet voters) 

News & Commentary

Photos

Gary McHale, Mark Vandermaas and Caledonia residents handed out hundreds of CAF brochures at/around the debate and had the opportunity to meet residents and media. Here are some photos taken by CAF co-founder Mark Vandermaas:

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CAF Comment

Kim Champion and the Vaughan Citizen deserve a lot of credit for their reporting on the Fantino campaign, for hosting the debate, and for not allowing Fantino’s attempts to thwart his attendance at the debate to go unreported. I’ll comment separately in a new post on Champion’s hardhitting editorial on Fantino’s failings.

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas info@caledoniavictimsproject.ca

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Christie Blatchford, Chedoke Presbyterian church, Nov 16/10, Hamilton, ON

Christie Blatchford, Chedoke Presbyterian church, Nov 16/10, Hamilton, ON

Jeff Parkinson, co-founder of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE), has released a short video containing highlights from Christie Blatchford’s speech to a packed crowd at Chedoke Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario on Nov 16/10.

In addition to commenting on the “national disgrace” of the lawlessness OPP officers refused to stop, she decries the targeting of Gary McHale by Julian Fantino:

“Fantino’s extraordinary campaign to hunt down and have arrested a man named Gary McHale – who is here tonight, too – culminated in the OPP boss writing a letter of support for a native man who had assaulted McHale was probably un-precedented and was deeply disturbing. Consider how furious women would be if the justice system reverted to the days of old when a rapist should defend himself by saying, ‘Geez your Honour, she was wearing these high boots and a short skirt.’ Thats the equivalent of what Fantino did. He wrote a letter to the court in support of the man who pleaded guilty of punching McHale and said McHale had been asking for it.

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Dec 04/07: 'Illegal Smokeshacks' news conference, Queen's Park Media Studio with (L-R) Doug Fleming, Merlyn Kinrade, Brian Hagan, Gary McHale)

Dec 04/07: 'Illegal Smokeshacks' news conference, Queen's Park Media Studio with (L-R) Doug Fleming, Merlyn Kinrade, Brian Hagan, Gary McHale)

Gayle and Brian Hagan are longtime Caledonia residents who have been strong supporters of the struggle to oppose Julian Fantino’s racial policing practices in their town.

Brian was a presenter at the Dec 04/10 ‘Illegal Smokeshacks’ news conference at Queens Park – after non-natives and police were assaulted by native smokeshack supporters on Dec 01/07, and  Julian Fantino had issued a press release falsely blaming them for the violence before the investigation had even begun.

Although the OPP refused to make a single arrest for the numerous assaults against non-natives and police that sent two people to hospital, Brian and Gayle’s son Kyle was arrested as he was quietly drinking coffee on the already blocked road. His arrest (seen in the slide show below) was the only one of the day and it was made by the same officer (also seen in the slideshow) who earlier refused to arrest the native smokeshack supporter who had assaulted CAF co-founder Mark Vandermaas.

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Brian and Gayle Hagan are asking for your help to support justice for Caledonia

Brian and Gayle have put out an appeal to their friends for help distributing our anti-Fantino brochures in Vaughan, and wanted to share it with all those who might care enough to help them and us reach out to the voters there:

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Hi everybody,

Last Sunday was very successful in Vaughn.Despite rainy weather and short notice, we were able to pass out around 8000 Conservatives vs Fantino brochures on windshields in shopping malls in a couple of hours. It was easy to get to, reception was favorable, “Caledonia” seemed to be recognizable to most voters [no blank stares!].

People arrive for Conservatives Against Fantino protest and flyer delivery at Julian Fantino campaign HQ in Vaughan, Nov 14/10Many thanks to those who are participating in any way in this important campaign.Vaughan and the mighty Toronto media, including talk shows, are finally speaking out. The 3rd of 4 excerpts from C. Blatchford’s book appeared in today’s Globe and Mail.

Discounting the usual racist drivel it would appear that about 90% of opinion is in Caledonia’s favor, disgusted with revelations of government abandonment and O.P.P.discriminatory policies. FINALLY!

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Volunteers for Conservatives Against Fantino distributed approximately 8,000 of our new election brochures in the Vaughan area yesterday (Nov 14/10) after meeting with reporters in front of Fantino’s election campaign headquarters:

Merlyn Kinrade appeared on CFRB 1010 later in the day, and today, Gary McHale appeared on the Jim Richards Show during which Richards endorsed Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless repeatedly and told listeners to vote for whichever candidate Conservatives Against Fantino endorses. Thank you, Jim!

Can you help?

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Download our 2 page 8.5x11" brochure

Conservatives Against Fantino has now received delivery of 60,000 professionally printed brochures to be delivered to voters in Vaughan beginning today at 1pm.  We know it’s short notice, but if you can help that would be great. If not, then come out on another of our scheduled dates listed below.

These hardhitting brochures quote police officers and journalists to make  the case for traditional Conservative Party supporters to join us in helping to defeat Fantino’s candidacy.

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This is the first in a series of excerpts and related commentary from Christie Blatchford’s upcoming book, Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us. It tells Caledonia’s story and the story of those who fought back to preserve the rule of law:

The Globe & Mail
Caledonia: the town that law forgot [PDF]
by Christie Blatchford
Oct 24/10

Christie Blatchford - HELPLESS: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed Us All, to be released Oct 26/10

Now that I’ve written a whole book about what happened in Caledonia, Ont., starting in February of 2006 and continuing to this day, it’s daunting to offer a precis. But basically it’s this: The people of that lovely small town just an hour and change from Toronto were abandoned by their governments, and ultimately by their police force, and left to fend for themselves. The book is about the failure of government to govern, and of leaders to lead.

From the get-go, the federal and provincial governments had adopted a hands-off policy to the occupation. Ottawa didn’t even recognize the tenuous land claim that residents of Six Nations were belatedly making, and deferred to Queen’s Park; the Ontario government nonetheless treated the occupation as purely a land claim and somehow, overtly or in the subtle ways that are the hallmark of practised politicians, made its wishes known; the Ontario Provincial Police, first under then-commissioner Gwen Boniface and later under her successor Julian Fantino, now a star candidate for the Stephen Harper Conservatives, obligingly carried that message to the force’s rank and file.

The end result was a form of policing that would be simply unrecognizable to Canadians living anywhere else in the country: cops who watched or turned away as the law was broken, sometime brazenly; cops who appeared to take sides and would take action against only one group of people and not the other; cops who refused to make arrests, conduct investigations or protect the public.

Some of those officers who resisted were either punished, reprimanded or disciplined, with the result that the others lost heart.

Few people are as shamed by Caledonia, sickened by their own impotence, as the men and women of the OPP who worked there regularly.

At one end of the spectrum is a letter written by then-commissioner Fantino in December of 2008.

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