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Conservatives Against Fantino

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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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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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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:

=========================

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!

Continue reading this article ›

Diane Finley brushes off Caledonia activists who want to meet to discuss illegal smokeshacks at CPC event (Harper visit), London, Ontario, Sept 02/10. When asked again at the Caledonia fair to grant a meeting, her staff rudely told us she would not meet with us until after the muncipal election and would not schedule a date.

Diane Finley brushes off Caledonia activists who want to meet to discuss illegal smokeshacks at CPC event (Harper visit), London, Ontario, Sept 02/10. When asked again at the Caledonia fair to grant a meeting, her staff rudely told us she would not meet with us until after the muncipal election and would not schedule a date.

A retired RCMP sergeant living in Caledonia named Bill Dietz has given his permission to publish a letter he emailed to Haldimand-Norfolk’s Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament – Cabinet Minister Diane Finley – in which he expressed his anger at the party’s decision to embrace Julian Fantino as the candidate in the riding of Vaughan.

His emails below explain why he decided to tear up his CPC membership and ‘Sustaining Donor’ cards.

It is important to note that, when Mr. Dietz wrote back to grant our request to publish, he made it clear he was not an ‘activist’ and had not participated in the various protests in Caledonia. I can assure readers that he has, indeed, played no role whatsoever in any protest that we have organized.

Bill Dietz email #1 (to Diane Finley): “I always believed that WE stood for something…”

[PDF, 2p – emails 1&2]

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From: Bill Dietz
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 7:29 PM
Subject: Julian Fantino
Hello Diane
 
What is going on in OUR party?? You know as well as I do, that Julian Fantino was a complete joke as far as law and order in Caledonia and Haldimand County was concerned over the last three or four years. I see by the news reports that our party and the Prime Minister has welcomed him with open arms……if this is the best the Conservative Party of Canada can do, then “Count me Out”.
 
I have been a member for many years, starting with the Reform Party, and I have been a faithful donor. I always believed that WE stood for something above the others….this is a complete and absolutely unacceptable “middle finger” to every citizen who wishes for decency and the Rule of Law and Order.
 
I know that you, and your husband, have the ear of the Prime Minister, and I challenge you to speak to him and relate the anguish and anger that this man has caused in Haldimand County over the last four years.
 
If this man becomes a member of the Conservative Government, I will have to hold my nose and vote Liberal…..as much as that would go against every thing that I believe in….
 
Bill Dietz
Sgt. R.C.M.P. (Retired)
Caledonia, Ontario

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Bill Dietz Email #2 (to Mark Vandermaas): “I have destroyed my membership card as well as my “Sustaining Donor” card.”

From: Bill Dietz
To: Mark Vandermaas, Editor – VoiceofCanada.ca
Sent: Wed 10/20/2010 1:26 PM
Subject: Re: Permission to publish your (terrific) letter pls?
 
Hi Mark
 
As you are probably aware I do not consider myself as an ‘activist’……I have never been out to any of the organized events to protest the lack of law enforcement in Caledonia and Haldimand County over the last several years, but having said that, I am absolutely outraged by this move to have Fantino run as a Conservative in Vaughn. I am not even sure if I would be considered a member of the Conservative Party any longer as I have destroyed my membership card as well as my “Sustaining Donor” card.
 
You may use my letter to Diane in any way you see fit……hope it helps.
 
Regards
Bill Dietz
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Thank you, Sgt. Dietz

We salute Sgt. Dietz (retired) for being willing to sign his name to such a strongly worded rebuke to the Conservative Party of Canada; for giving us permission to publish it; for destroying his membership card; and for stopping his donations to the party. We hope other Conservatives will also make their displeasure known in similar fashion.

As someone who also was a member of the Reform Party under Preston Manning, and who wore the uniform of the Canadian Forces (and served in a UN peacekeeping mission), I share Sergeant Dietz’s view that the Conservative Party of Canada has betrayed the values we worked so hard to defend.

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas, info@caledoniavictimsproject.ca
(Mark Vandermaas is also the editor of www.VoiceofCanada.ca)

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