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Conservatives Against Fantino

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.

Continue reading this article ›


Michael DenTandt’s column widely distributed through SunMedia empire:

Will Fantino be too much for Harper? [PDF
by Michael Den Tandt
Oct 22/10

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has invited the Big Dog into his tent. It’s a bold move, one virtually guaranteed to win him a new seat in the House. But will it come back to bite him?

We’re speaking, of course, of Julian Fantino — former commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, former Ontario commissioner of emergency management, former Toronto chief of police, former police chief for Ontario’s York Region, and former London, Ont., police chief.


Then there’s the bigger problem, inextricably linked with Fantino’s charisma. That would be his unshakeable certainty that his side is always the morally correct one, and that anyone who faults him is therefore dead wrong and worthy of attack, by definition.

For years, as Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed him to successively more important jobs, Fantino made a habit of telling his civilian boss what laws to write.

Continue reading this article ›


Regional News reporter Bill Jackson takes notes at Oct 13/10 Caledonia debate

Regional News reporter Bill Jackson takes notes at Oct 13/10 Caledonia debate

Reporter Bill Jackson, himself a victim of an assault by native protesters in Caledonia, provided this editorial comment in the Oct 20/10 edition of the Caledonia-based Regional News, which serves Haldimand County:

Regional News – Comment [PDF]
by Bill Jackson
Oct 20/10

I echo the sentiment urging people to get out on Oct. 25 and exercise their democratic right as voters. It is a trite cliché, but nonetheless true. A strong voice is needed in Haldimand now, more than ever. 

Yet it’s easy to understand how people have lost their faith in government, especially when someone like Julian Fantino gets nominated as a candidate for the federal Conservatives. After years of lawlessness and two-tiered justice in Caledonia under his watch, countless letters and phone calls pleading with upper levels of government to do something to protect local residents, and Conservatives themselves saying that the province needed to uphold the law, it’s bloody disgraceful. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, local MP Diane Finley and the entire federal Conservative Party should be ashamed. There’s simply no way around it. 

Continue reading this article ›

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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]


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… much as that would go against every thing that I believe in….
Bill Dietz
Sgt. R.C.M.P. (Retired)
Caledonia, Ontario


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 –
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.
Bill Dietz

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,
(Mark Vandermaas is also the editor of



CAF has been receiving links from comments in a number of Liberal-friendly blogs, like ‘A BCer in Toronto’ who cited a Toronto Star article suggesting that Tim Hudak, leader of Ontario’s Conservative Party didn’t show Fantino “the love”…


Rob Ferguson
Queen’s Park Bureau 

Former OPP chief Julian Fantino says he’s running to be a Conservative MP in part because he wasn’t approached by Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

“I’ve never had those discussions with Tim Hudak,” Fantino said Friday after appearing with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a solar panel factory in Vaughan, where a by-election call is expected soon. […]


Bless those provincial Conservatives

I have it on good authority that the provincial PCs understand that if they’re elected the Caledonia millstone gets hung around their necks. It certainly appears they have much better sense about not making that millstone even heavier by embracing Fantino.

It would seem they are able to see what the feds don’t: that it would be much better to be on the side of the victims than their tormenters when the Blatchford stuff hits the fan via a book subtitled Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, And How The Law Failed Us All

Hudak  can, I am sure, do basic math; he knows that Caledonia + Nightmare + Fear + Anarchy + Law Failed Us All + Fantino + McGuinty = Bad News.

Continue reading this article ›

The Hamilton Spectator has published the first story based on excerpts from Christie Blatchford’s book, Helpless.

(Note that the date of the meeting with Inspector Getty described in paragraph 3 was actually April 28/06, not Feb 28th as shown. The meeting occurred eight days after the disastrous raid of April 20/06):


CALEDONIA It was a bizarre display of self-congratulation for an OPP commander whose elite squad had been publicly humiliated by a group of crudely armed native protesters only eight days before.

Instead of removing protesters from Douglas Creek Estates (DCE), members of the OPP tactical team were themselves pelted with rocks, attacked with clubs and other makeshift weapons and driven off the occupation site as television cameras rolled.

But on Feb. 28, 2006, two months after the protesters took over the subdivision, Inspector Mel Getty held a meeting to praise his troops for their handling of the volatile situation.

He declared the operation a smashing success and defied anybody to disagree with him. “If anyone doesn’t agree, you can leave the door right now,” he stated while pointing to the exits.

According to Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford’s new book, Helpless, Getty then said something even more astonishing. The new mission, he stated, was for the OPP to protect “natives from non-natives.” It was the first time a superior officer had told them they should be treating people differently because of their racial background. […]


Read the rest of this story & see more photos…

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas,

If there was any doubt about whether the Prime Minister of Canada supports Julian Fantino and police use of racial policing; appeasement of violent extremists as an alternative to protecting victims; the blaming of victims for crimes against them; intimidation of elected officials; and the wholesale abuse of police powers to smear and arrest citizens who speak out, there is absolutely none now:

VAUGHAN, Ont. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the 905-area Friday to give Julian Fantino a political boost. Fantino is running for the Conservatives in an upcoming Vaughan by-election. The date for the byelection has not yet been set. Harper said he is proud to have the former lawman on his side. ”He’s, as you know, a highly-respected figure throughout the GTA and throughout Ontario,” Harper told reporters at the news conference. […]

680 News, Oct 15/10: Fantino gets high-profile help from Harper in Vaughan

Front line OPP officers “sold down the river” by Fantino

Harper has deliberately and knowingly wrapped the Conservative Party’s arms around a man who Christie Blatchford – after carefully researching the facts – including with the Ontario Police Protection Association (and what facts they are! I only wish I could reveal the evidence and statements from OPP officers in the book.) introduces Julian Fantino in the Author’s Notes section of her Caledonia book thusly:

“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.”

Blatchford gets evidence from the union from officers who served under Fantino

The fact that Blatchford got damning evidence about racial policing through the OPP union about Fantino’s race-based policing policies is no secret. On July 07/10,  she published an article in the Globe & Mail about how the the present commissioner Chris Lewis (charged w/Obstructing Justice in the McHale case by following Fantino’s orders to target him for a criminal charge at the outset of an investigation), with Fantino beside him, told OPP officers they were NOT allowed to pursue suspected native criminals onto the provincially-owned Douglas Creek Estates occupation site:

The Globe and Mail has obtained OPPA minutes of the spring, 2008, meeting, one of two that the force’s senior command have every year with the police union and where they answer questions.

The minutes show that Detective-Sergeant Roger Geysons, president of the branch encompassing Caledonia, prefaced a question by noting that there had been several recent occurrences “involving First Nations persons observed committing a criminal act and subsequently fleeing” onto DCE.

He demanded to know what written orders there were, and concluded, “Are OPP members allowed on DCE?”

Mr. Lewis, then deputy commissioner, with Commissioner Fantino at his side, replied that it was “news to me that this was still an issue” and said, “Short of somebody having a kid kidnapped and running onto the DCE, we’re not going to go onto that property. It’s just a recipe for disaster and it will set things back there.”

The emperors have no clothes

The two emperors are walking around with no clothes as they embarrass themselves and the Conservative Party members who are forced to pretend otherwise. Perhaps someone should tell them. Oh, we tried that. I forgot. It didn’t work, and they probably won’t listen to this either:

POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas,