Caledonia land claim BOGUS? 16 Questions for investigators

UPDATED 1117 EST, Feb 24/07: Hamilton Spectator, Feb 24/07, by John S. Hagopian – “The myths of Caledonia

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpgHave Ontario’s Liberal government and the OPP allowed themselves to be intimidated by criminals into trampling all over the Canadian Rule of Law and our Constitutional rights over a BOGUS land claim?

According to a Jan 26/07 article by Daniel Nolan at the Hamilton Spectator (also reported in the Globe & Mail), the federal government has told Six Nations that their claim against the Douglas Creek Estates would fail in court. Here’s part of what Mr. Nolan had to say in, “Land claim would fail in court: report” [reprint]:

Ottawa has told Six Nations it doesn’t have a leg to stand on it its claim to Douglas Creek Estates and its land claim would fail in court.

One VoC reader offered the following comment:

 WL Mackenzie Redux |

“In light of the recent report the Feds tabled stating there is no legal grounds for the occupation, this kicks the whole 2 tiered police policy into another league.

barricade1.jpg“The Feds have essentially stated that from this point forward Dolton and Fantino are allowing an ongoing criminal breach without the slightest justification….they were unjustified in forcing the developers to sell as the deed was never in doubt.

“It would appear that there’s enough “criminal intent” in this saga to flow right into some government offices.

First of all, I don’t believe there were ANY ‘legal grounds’ to steal land by force and terrorize Caledonia, but I do understand WL’s point that – as feeble and repugnant as it may be – the ‘I was only terrorizing your town because it’s mine‘ excuse is no longer available to the criminals, their supporters, the OPP and the Liberal government as of today. 

Since originally writing this article almost one month ago a lawyer has now offered his own fascinating insights into the history of Six Nations land claims in a Hamilton Spectator article entitled, “The myths of Caledonia.”

“It’s time for the politically-incorrect truth to be told. In short, the Six Nations have no legal rights to the lands in question. They have never had any rights to land in Ontario by virtue of aboriginal title or treaty. For a tract of land along the Grand River, they obtained in 1784 merely an occupancy permit from British colonial Governor Frederick Haldimand that endured only at the pleasure of the Crown. After 1784, the Six Nations surrendered to the Crown various portions of the Grand River tract, and by the middle of the 19th century all that remained was the land contained in the current Six Nations reserve south of Brantford. That is a summary of their legal rights.”

“British sovereignty over what is now southern Ontario was declared in King George’s Proclamation of 1763, and was reinforced by the Quebec Act of 1774. The Six Nations did not occupy southern Ontario at these times either.”

John S. Hagopian, Feb 24/07
Hamilton Spectator, page A13

So, it would appear that our government and the OPP are refusing to uphold the Rule of Law and the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens over a BOGUS land claim!

During my ‘Blue Beret’ speech at the March for Freedom in Caledonia on January 20, 2007, I talked about how Gary McHale and I had been slandered and/or libelled by the OPP and the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA), and my attempts to address those issues with both Commissioner Fantino and the Vice-President of the OPPA.

mark-jan-20-07-by-jim-smith.jpgI closed my remarks with four questions for the OPP that I hoped we could have answered that day – questions regarding the explanations they could offer for denying law-abiding citizens (including ‘outsiders‘ like us) their constitutional rights.

In light of the revelation regarding the validity of the DCE ‘land claim,’ I would like to once again pose the four questions from my speech, and add a few more in order to help potential investigators reveal the truth of this shameful episode in Ontario’s history:

– VoiceofCanada’s 16 Questions for Investigators – 

Q1. Why does the OPP not deploy its forces to the West side of the road [Argyle St., Caledonia] and allow a small delegation of us to erect Canadian flags as is our right according to the Supreme Court of Canada?

Q2. If the OPP and the government have a legitimate fear that violence will be provoked, who do they feel will be committing this violence?

Q3. Are the people occupying DCE so dangerous, so violent and so volatile that OPP officers and citizens face a very real danger to their persons should they try to erect a Canadian flag?

Q4. If the OPP does indeed believe that these people are so dangerous that hundreds of their officers could not control them, have they requested military assistance from the government?

“We do not wish to provoke violence from people that the government cannot control, but before I will allow the OPP and my government to restrict my rights as a Canadian citizen, I believe that I, along with every other citizen in this country, have a right to know the reason why.”

[questions & comment from speech by Mark Vandermaas, Caledonia, Jan 20/07]

Qfantino.jpg5. Why has the OPP Commissioner met with the DCE criminals and/or supporters, but consistently refuses to meet with law-abiding citizens to answer the four questions listed above? If the people on DCE are so dangerous that they could be provoked to uncontrollable violence at the sight of a Canadian flag raised across the the street from them, why would the Commissioner put his life into their hands?

Note: Gary McHale asked the OPP Commissioner to attend our presentation on Jan 14/07 at the Caledonia Lions Hall, but he failed to show. In an effort to obtain explanations for their violations of our rights McHale has also faxed, emailed and telephoned the OPP leadership, all to no avail. They simply refuse to make themselves accountable. 

Q6. Why have both the OPP Commissioner and the OPPA made serious and unsubstantiated allegations against Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas simply for exercising their democratic right to peacefully protest in Caledonia? Has anyone in the media actually asked the OPP/OPPA if they had any evidence against us? (Let me assure you, they don’t! See also, “VoC letter to Chief of London Police Service.”)

Q7. Why ARE the OPP so intent on not being accountable for their actions in Caledonia?

Q8. Why is it legal for natives to erect flags, but not non-natives?

Q9. Has the OPP leadership given orders to the frontline officers not to arrest native suspects without authorization from senior officers? If not, why are the OPP practicing a race-based ‘policing’ doctrine that allows native suspects to escape the scene without any attempt being made to identify them while aggressively restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens, and arresting those who choose to exercise their Constitutional rights?

Q10. Who had the most to gain from the seizure and occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia? After getting actively involved in this issue, I began to suspect that the occupation was more about money and power than a legitimate land claim, especially since terror and intimidation played such an important part.

Q11. Who provides/provided the money to keep the occupation going?

Q12. Who are the criminals that actually took part in the occupation and in the acts of terror, and the intimidation that is still going on today? Are they known to police? Do they have links to organized crime? Has the OPP even tried to identify them?

Q13. Why has the Liberal government and the OPP allowed violent criminals to sully the reputation of law abiding native peoples in Ontario?

tim_hudak_ontario_mpp_erie-lincoln.jpegQ14. Why is any level of government negotiating with or on behalf of criminals who have terrorized an entire town for almost a year? Let’s all recall MPP Tim Hudak’s wise words back on October 11, 2006, just days before the original March for Freedom. 

Q15. When did Dalton McGuinty, Attorney General Michael Bryant, and OPP Commissioner Fantinio become aware that the land claim had no credibility?

Q16. Why has the Liberal government and the Ontario Provincial Police allowed criminals to use a land claim – and a frivolous one at that – to deny law-abiding Canadian citizens the benefits of the Rule of Law and their Charter Rights as guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada? 


The lesson here – as should be immediately obvious to any right-thinking citizen – is that the Rule of Law is supreme, and there is a valid reason for believing it to to be so. Caledonia is a prime example of why we don’t (correction: shouldn’t!) allow people to take the law into their own hands.

We have allowed a small group of organized criminals to open the rule of law up for debate – a debate that never should have been allowed to happen. What is absolutely astounding and frightening to me is how easy it was for them to get so many of our ‘leaders’ to fall for it – hook, line and sinker – simply because they wrapped up their evil with a red ribbon and labelled with a ‘land claim’ tag.

march_for_freedom_oct15-06-048.jpgLaw abiding residents in both Ipperwash and Caledonia have been re-victimized by both their government and their police force after suffering at the hands of these thugs. Good citizens have been slandered and libelled and arrested simply for exercising constitutional rights we once thought inviolable.

I am reminded of this photo (above right) I took during the original March for Freedom on October 15, 2006. Indeed – how DID we become the enemy? 

So…what now? 

I am aware of at least one citizen who has written to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable James K. Bartleman, requesting that he dissolve the Ontario Parliament based on the opinion that highly placed officials have “breached their oaths of office by failing to uphold the laws of Canada.”

justice_gavel_cdn-flag.jpegThe Government of Ontario and the Ontario Provincial Police have a lot to answer for with respect to their refusal to defend law abiding citizens from criminals. Whether their actions are themselves ‘criminal’ I do not know because, as they say in the military – that’s way above my pay grade.

At the very least, I do believe that there needs to be a full and open inquiry into the actions of the OPP and the Ontario government with respect to both Ipperwash and Caledonia. Most immediately, however, the Attorney General of Ontario needs to send a real police force to both these communities to protect law-abiding citizens from the criminals and the OPP.

Beyond these obvious suggestions, I don’t have all the answers. As Gary McHale wisely told me once, it is our job is to hold the OPP and the politicians accountable for their actions; it is not our role to provide solutions. That is the role of our ‘leaders’ and they already have all the tools they need. We just need to make them listen to us.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor

Readers may be interested in a post at The Reformer’s Firebrand called, “McGuinty’s lawless DCE stand-off bitten by POGG.” ‘WL Mackenzie Redux’ has done a little research into the power of the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve governments that have failed the people. If ever there was a time for our LG to act, this is surely it.

Another interesting perspective on the OPP’s activities in Caledonia can be found by reading one of the class-action lawsuit documents. Oh yes, the OPP have much to answer for. Who in the halls of Canadian power will finally step forward to hold them accountable? 

4 responses to “Caledonia land claim BOGUS? 16 Questions for investigators

  1. Mark:

    Thank God for a caring person like you.

    I have to admit that I was losing faith in something happening to resolve this aberation of justice that has been occuring in Caledonia.

    As you already know we have experienced first hand the double standard being applied by the OPP in Caledonia in that Chris Syrie’s property was trespassed upon in full view of numerous OPP officers, I and Chris were shoved and a Flag was knocked down. The thug then told us to get off of his Land.

    No charges have been laid to date and the Police made sure that we felt we were the criminals.

    The final straw was when two Natives were seen stealing 3 Flags from Chris’ Property this week again in full view of the OPP officers, walking down Argyle Street, talking with the OPP officers and seen walking into the DCE property with the flags.

    The Police did not arrest the thieves, did not get the flags returned and did not even bother to identify the thieves.

    When the inquiry starts I would like to be a part of the testimony against the Government and OPP Police actions in this Travesty.

    Jim Anderson

    VoC REPLY: No, Jim – thank God for citizens like you and Mary-Lou who are willing to stand with us. You and Chris have made all the difference by helping us gather the vital evidence we need to show Two Tier Justice – By the Numbers.

    I think there’ll be a looooooong line of people wanting to testify at the Inquiry. Do you remember our discussion by the fire about the importance of documentation?

    Never lose faith, my friend. As I said to Mary-Lou and to others in the past, “Truth always rises to the top.” As Gary McHale has often said to me, “I cannot predict what’s going to happen tomorrow; I can only know how to use it.” Who could have known that just days after our March for Freedom on Jan 20th that the Feds would publicly announce that the land claim is bogus? (Funny, how all the big announcements come just before or after a March for Freedom event, don’t you think?)

    Thanks for the support and for writing. Make sure you send a link to this post to every politician and media outlet you know!

    Regards, Mark

  2. Dear Mark,

    How fortunate that the Federal Government has made a ruling on the validity of the claim to Douglas Creek Estates. It would seem the surrender is valid. In just less than a year this was accomplished. It took seven years for the West Ipperwash Land Claim and is now into the twelfth year and no one is even discussing the former Ipperwash Provincial Park occupation from the Province.

    That surrender in 1929 will be a topic of a movie financed by the lawyer for the Dudley George family even though we have been through two years and twenty-two million dollars in an Inquiry regarding Ipperwash. What has made the government so timely at Caledonia and so lax and uncaring in the Ipperwash situation???? Perhaps it is because of the media coverage on the attempts of McHale and company to uncover the evil of the two-tier justice system.

    I would definitely say that our elected leaders, the negotiation team and the OPP have a lot of explaining to do for what has been allowed to happen to innocent residents through no fault of their own. Those who caused all this mess should be the ones footing the bills for all the fall out.

    Any bets that Six Nations will ever have to pay a dime for any of this???

    Perhaps in the future Justice won’t be so fleeting.


    VoC REPLY: Hi Mary-Lou! Another good day, don’t you think? In fairness, I don’t think there has a ‘ruling’ regarding the Caledonia claim, just a very informed opinion offered on behalf of the federal government that the claim has no validity.

    I hope that every Canadian politician, police officer, journalist and citizen – especially those who have attempted to justify or tolerate the criminality in Caledonia & Ipperwash – now understand why we require citizens with grievances to use courts instead of violence.

    As for the future, Gary and I are going to help the clowns who violated our rights learn a few lessons they’ll never forget. Stay tuned.

    The truth always rises to the top!

    CAN YOU DO US A FAVOUR, ML? Send a link to this story to that politician who wrote back to you, and every other media outlet and politician you know.

    Thanks for writing, Mary-Lou. Regards, Mark

    P.S. Don’t those debates about ‘outsiders’ seem silly today?

  3. There’s no doubt the Federal legal study on the DCE claim has changed the nature of its continued police-tolerated illegal occupation. It has also changed the legal liabilities of the 2 parties involved in the current charade that pretends DCE trespassers have some thin legitimate reason to be there and to break the law.

    The legal claim has evaporated…with it goes the moral claim to engage in civil disobedience.

    I was interested in the revelation that someone has petitioned the LG to dissolve the assemby on a pretex that government officers were in breach of oath to uphold rule of law.

    I won’t waste your VOC server space with commentary here Mark, but I have some musings to offer on this initiative and another possible alternative civil remedy here:


    VoC REPLY: Hi WL, some interesting research, I must say. First of all, all you have to do is look at the photos and read the class action suit to know that the DCE criminals were not engaged in ‘civil disobedience,’ but violent criminality. Secondly, I find it absolutely incredible that our ‘leaders’ and other ‘officers of the court’ can stand silent while the OPP suspends civil rights in Caledonia for non-natives and refuses to be accountable for its actions. Perhaps our Lieutenant Governor will have something to say or do about this outrage. We can only hope. Thanks for the article. Regards, Mark.

  4. Pingback: Haldimand Tract land claim myth should provide sober second thought re aboriginal sovereignty negotiations with anarchist proxies | Caledonia Victims Project