Not exactly… but having Gary McHale, Mark Vandermaas and their supporters talk to the press at Queen’s Park, from where most of the injustice to the people of Caledonia started, almost sounds like a takeover.
Unfortunately, we can’t credit Dalton McGuinty for that event. The news conference, entitled “Ending Race-Based Policing: The Caledonia Act”, was arranged by MPP Toby Barrett and he is the person, who deserves the praise. Regardless of how good Mr. Barrett is, I can’t miss the opportunity to say a word about his party boss.
I (and other conservatives) would never forget how Tim Hudak squandered the chance to defeat in the last election one of the worst Premiers Ontario ever had. If he had the courage to place in his platform, as one of his major issues, the restoration of justice and equal treatment under the law of everybody in Ontario, he could’ve easily defeated McGuinty, who was already disliked for his abysmal economic record. Instead, we are now faced with the perspective of another 4 years under Dalton’s rule and nobody knows how bad those years would be for the people of Caledonia (and for our electric bills).
Besides the Caledonia activists, some other organizations were present at the event. Stuart Laughton from the pro-Israel Hamilton-based Never Again Group, who made an excellent speech (I will get back to it), and Mary Lou Ambrogio, the VP of the International Free Press Society.
No Caledonia-related event has ever gone smoothly and this one wasn’t an exception. The third speaker, Kristin Kaye, a reporter for the Regional, was previously shoved by an OPP officer. Right before the news conference, she was contacted by the OPP who called to tell her that if she did speak at the conference she would be “breaching the peace.” Kristin was very concerned about this threat, but refused to be intimidated and gave a great speech. In my earlier post about Gary I quoted a statement of an OPP officer, who was also complaining of Gary disturbing the “peace”. It’s amusing to hear such complaints from an organization, which for years made sure that there was no peace in Caledonia.
Gary McHale and the others presented a well thought-out summary of the issues and the legal remedies that would resolve them. I don’t have enough space to list each and every one of them, so I will provide just the highlights. The major issue is the institutionalized race-based policing through which the province violated the rule of law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result, police protection was refused to the victims of the radicals.
The senior police officers were engaged in issuing illegal, politically-motivated orders, which were disguised under some kind of a “peacekeeping” mission to justify the race-based policing. The police allowed security threats from radicals conducting economic terrorism on the Canadian state at the cost of $4.1 Billion (according to MPP Toby Barrett) in the Haldimand Tract.
The vexatious land claims used by radicals created instant payouts for them from federal/provincial governments while opening door to legalized lawlessness. Thus the land claims became a political process rather than a legal one.
On the basis of those issues, the activists presented legislative recommendations affecting several government acts. Some of the changes in the Police Services Act would require: ‘Duties of a police officer’ to include higher duty to come to the aid of victims while crimes are being committed; duty not to violate section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; duty to report, to the Ombudsman and civilian oversight agency, orders from a superior officer not to uphold the rule of law, or orders that violate section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (providing ‘Whistle-blower’ protection for officers who report); Police Services Boards, by resolution, may call public inquiry into police services in their jurisdiction; police officers not permitted to refuse to give a statement during police complaint investigations; end the policy of police investigating police – creation of transparent, independent civilian investigation service for police complaints, and others.
The Ombudsman Act should require: expanding Ombudsman’s mandate to include policing issues; the Ombudsman to have authority to call public inquiry into police services in an affected jurisdiction; whistle blower protection for any officer who report violations of the Charter.
The Crown Attorneys Act needs an overhaul as well: private prosecutors to be treated on par with the Crown; Crown to be required to seek permission from the Court in order to take over a prosecution in absence of consent from private prosecutor; Crown to be prevented from intervening to stop a private prosecution before a charge has been issued by a judge, i.e. before evidence is presented by the private prosecutor, etc.
Similar changes were proposed to the Ministry of the Attorney General Act and the Ministry of the Solicitor General Act.
A section on Policy Recommendations proposed concrete measures to address the grievances of the victims: call public inquiry into Caledonia to examine both the policies and actions of the OPP and Crown’s office as to whether they violated section 15 of the Charter of Rights regarding equality of all people and whether they followed orders that permitted and/or encouraged criminal activities; apology to Caledonia/Haldimand County by OPP; apology to Caledonia/Haldimand by Ontario Government; Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) to be given to Haldimand County subject to exercise of right of first refusal by Henco, under no circumstances is DCE to be given to Six Nations; provide funding for future monument on DCE, to be inscribed with above apologies; fund counselling for Caledonia victims; refuse any further negotiations with any group that is involved in violence or illegal occupations of private property; appoint a new OPP Commissioner with a mandate to end race-based policing within the OPP.
There was also a request to call on the federal government to cease all funding to groups, organizations or publications such as Redwire Magazine that advocate racism, hate, violence or other criminal behaviour – with the exception of peaceful civil disobedience.
The last part providing recommendations on how to make the land claim process more transparent and straightforward and to specifically exclude from the claim negotiations violent groups involved in illegal occupation.
An eloquent speech was delivered by Stuart Laughton from the Hamilton-based Never Again Group, whose purpose is to defend the state of Israel from baseless accusations and fight anti-Semitism in its various guises. Although this may seem a very different issue from what happened in Caledonia, there are staggering similarities due to the bad policies of the Ontario government:
“The Never Again Group does not believe that the Ontario government’s directives to police in Caledonia began with ill intentions—and we don’t know anyone who believes that Premier McGuinty is specifically targeting Jews there—but these directives were nevertheless profoundly wrong and dangerous in ways Canadians are only now beginning to appreciate. I want to stress that my group has made no opposition to Natives who make land claims: we only protest the violent manner in which the claims to the Caledonia property are made and the racially skewed responses of the Ontario government.
It is a temptation we all fall into at one time or another to do what feels generous in the short term and to extend consideration to others, especially those perceived to be different from us. A much more challenging stance is to consider what the unintended long-term consequences of such generous instincts might be, and whether these results might still be judged to be good. We see today that one of the unintended consequences of privileging natives on the Caledonia property has been to bar Jews from that property.
Gary McHale’s provocative “No Jews Allowed” sign is correct. Does Premier McGuinty now wish he’d chosen the path of one law for all right from the beginning?
Now that we have this unfortunate precedent in Caledonia let’s consider who Ontario’s next Premier might be, and which groups he might favour. Will he turn everything completely around and allow me to assault a native person, arresting the innocent victim of my violence? Will Tamils once again be allowed to walk their families down an expressway, stopping traffic and endangering lives? What if a large Christian activist group “occupies” downtown areas of our cities for weeks on end at great expense and inconvenience to the public, breaking numerous laws with impunity? Why wouldn’t that be permissible under some future premier? Will our next premier instruct police not to enter predominantly Muslim areas of our major cities, and allow microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law to flourish there? The nightmare scenario of parallel, segregated societies where police have lost control is playing out in Europe today. Parts of England—even parts of London—have become No-Go zones that are extremely hostile to non-Muslims.
We also have to consider the effect that racially biased policing has on those Native Canadians, Tamils, Muslims and others who ask for no special favours and want nothing to do with the demands of the more militant members of their community. Who speaks for them? We have to consider the corrosive effects of the government’s directives on the rank and file police officers who can no longer obey their primary instinct—and sworn duty—to arrest the bad guys. Who speaks for them and what has been lost in this process?
The Never Again Group calls on the Ontario Provincial Police and the government of Dalton McGuinty to set the example that Ontario’s citizens expect from them. Equality before the law is an unassailable position that must be part of the election platform of every responsible political party.
There are many ethnic groups in Canada, which is a wonderful thing but wholly irrelevant where the law is concerned—because where the law is concerned we must forget who is a Jew, a Native, a Tamil, a Muslim or an atheist. Our citizenry consists of millions and millions and millions of individuals, and these INDIVIDUALS are the ultimate minorities. Each of us has the right to be treated impartially before the law. That’s what matters.
Maybe it’s all that matters.
This speech should be required reading for all politicians in Canada. It illustrates very well the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions – the preferential treatment of any group usually end up in disaster. You see, I don’t think that politicians could be our moral compass – most of them really think within a very short time frame and only from a position that would answer their most essential question: “What can I do to get more votes?”
As a result, the big picture is totally lost to them and all they care about is finding some ethnic, religious or other group, which they can enchant en masse to win their votes. Do you remember those inspirational posters with a picture and a slogan, which you could see in every corporate office? One of the Laughton’s closing sentences should be on the wall of every politician’s office:
“Our citizenry consists of millions and millions and millions of individuals, and these INDIVIDUALS are the ultimate minorities.”
I am sure Dalton McGuinty and Barbara Hall would definitely win, if they follow it (but I don’t bet on it).
As I mentioned before, I fully support the recommendations outlined in the Caledonia Act. And I am just as sure that the next Ontario government would start working on restoring justice in the province. However, none of those measures would ensure full justice unless an important obstacle is removed.
Actually, that’s not an obstacle; it’s a giant boulder that blocks the solution of the native issues in Canada. It’s called the Indian Act. That outdated piece of legislature, a relic from the colonial past, ensures that all aboriginal issues are treated from a racist point of view. Since the federal laws supersede the provincial ones, the shadow of the Indian Act will always be a threat.
Right now I am working on a piece about Section 13 of the Human Rights Act (the censorship section). While going through the decisions of the Human Rights Tribunal, I came across a recent (September 2011) decision concerning a native rights complaint: Jeremy Eugene Matson, Mardy Eugene Matson And Melody Katrina Schneider (Nee Matson), Complainant – and – Canadian Human Rights Commission – and – Indian And Northern Affairs Canada, Respondent; Ruling by Member: Edward P. Lustig, Tribunal Member, 2011 CHRT 14, 2011/09/27.
It deals with three people, whose rights as Indians were not recognized by a band and by the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada:
- The Complainants were all born before 1985. They have one Indian grandparent: a woman who lost status when she married a non-Indian before 1985, and who regained her status under s. 6 (1) (c) of the Indian Act with the passage of the Bill C-31 amendments in 1985. By virtue of those same amendments, the children of her marriage with a non-Indian man (one of whom was the Complainants’ father, Eugene) were deemed eligible for status under s.6 (2) of the Indian Act. Since the 1985 amendments only gave their father status under s. 6 (2), and since their mother was a non-Indian, the Complainants were not at the time of the filing by them of their Complaints entitled to any status under the Indian Act since s. 6 (2) does not allow a person to pass his or her status to children with non Indians. As a result, the children they have had with non-Indians since 1985 were also not entitled to status.
- The Complainants prepared and delivered a chart that sets out their family and status history as compared to a hypothetical family history that is identical in all respects, save for the sex of their Indian grandparent. In other words, in the hypothetical family history, their Indian grandparent is male instead of female. All dates of births, marriages and deaths are consistent in both scenarios. As shown in the chart, the Complainants in the hypothetical patrilineal scenario would at the time of the filing by them of their Complaints have had status under s. 6 (1) of the Indian Act, and would be able to pass s. 6 (2) status to their children while in their real matrilineal scenario they had no status either under s. 6 (1) or under s. 6 (2).
- The Complainants alleged that this differential treatment, flowing from discrimination in the Indian Act, had two principal adverse effects: first, they were themselves denied status, and the benefits that flow therefrom; and second, they were being denied the opportunity to pass status to their children.
I don’t know about you, but I feel dirty after reading that. It’s hard to believe that such blatantly racist considerations about the “purity” of origin are discussed seriously in Canada in 2011. The explanation above is like a court case in Nazi Germany or the old South Africa or an elaborate evaluation in Dr. Mengele’s Auschwitz office, where the purity of genealogy would decide who is allowed to live longer. Only the Nazi phrenology examination is missing. It also reminds me of the famous conductor Herbert von Karajan’s case where his wife who had Jewish ancestry was proclaimed an “honorary Arian” due to his membership in the Nazi party.
What would you think if any other ethnic group is privileged in the same way? With any other ethnic or racial group such discussions are taboo in Canada. I don’t see any reason why the Indians should be treated differently than anybody else.
Section 13 was suspended, because a human rights “judge” finally realized that it violates the freedom of expression. Why can’t another human rights “judge” strike down the Indian Act as discriminatory and racist?
Here is why – when things are in chaos and disarray because of a bad law, there are always clever people, who benefit from the situation. While the ordinary natives are fighting to prove their ancestry, the band elites do everything to maintain their control over them.
Let me introduce to you Dr. Pamela D. Palmater, one of the people who speak for those elites. She has an impressive resume – a Mi’kmaw lawyer and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She teaches Indigenous law, politics and governance at Ryerson University and heads their Centre for Indigenous Governance.
Last month we witnessed a meeting between the Canadian government and the Indian chiefs. Dr. Palmater was unhappy about it and wrote the following in an article for Rabble.ca:
“The assimilation plan of the 1969 White Paper which is also reflected in Flanagan’s two books, is now being promoted under the guise of “individual opportunity.” What is worse, is that Atleo signed on to this plan fulfilling Flanagan’s and Conservative visions of “voluntary” assimilation.
All you need to be able to read between the lines is to understand their use of code words like “individual opportunity” (destroy communities), “solution to Canada’s labour woes” (we are their labour pool), “unlocking the potential of First Nation lands” (transfer to non-Indians) and “maximizing benefits for all Canadians” (Canada gets rich off our remaining lands and resource).”
So no matter what the government does to empower the native individuals, it is always based on some evil plan. If they provide jobs, they are using the Indians; if they develop the lands, they are stealing them, etc., etc. Boy, it isn’t easy to be such a grumpy woman. But it gets even worse when she describes the ceremonies around the meeting:
“None of this organizational nightmare would compare to the very overt symbolism embedded in the actual ceremonies. The gathering was held in a government building, with a limited number of chiefs, separated from their real strength — their people, under the guard of many RCMP, undercover security and what looked like snipers on top of the building. It is very notable that one of our most respected elders in the procession was immediately followed by an RCMP officer. Similarly, after our elder gave a prayer, this was immediately followed up by an RCMP singing Oh Canada. This is symbolic of the very real control of our populations by Canada’s police, RCMP and military. Our relationship has been and continues to based on control over our communities by Canada in often harsh and deadly ways.”
Chiefs who can’t bring the whole tribe… Secret agents in dark trench coats… Cold-blooded snipers on the rooftops… Scary RCMP officers… Horror of horrors – somebody sings the National Anthem of Canada… And you can probably hear in the background the demonic laughter of Stephen Harper…
If I tell that woman that she is not different in her way of thinking from the violent occupiers in Caledonia, she would certainly get offended. But they both have the same goal – to alienate the natives from the rest of Canada and turn them into a herd without individual voices. A herd is easy to control when you are the elite, who distributes the federal money.
It’s no wonder that so many people are leaving the reserves. At least that is clear to the people of Caledonia – you can’t resolve any major issues in our society, if you don’t treat everybody as a sovereign individual, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, religion or any other characteristic that tends to herd us into faceless groups.
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