UPDATED 1928 EST April 25/07: Vandermaas/McHale interviews on The Right Side with Doug Aldridge.
UPDATED 1008 EST April 19/07: Video of news conference is now available.
Thanks to all of you for your positive feedback regarding our ‘FantinoGate’ news conference that took place today at Queen’s Park. Today was a VERY good day for the struggle against Two Tier Justice. Many thanks to Merlyn Kinrade and ‘Dancer‘ who performed brilliantly in front of the camera and the reporters present. A complete list of video footage – high speed & dial-up – is available at the FantinoGate page at CaledoniaWakeUpCall. I wish you all could have been with us to see ‘Dancer’ speak with us at Queen’s Park on April 17, 2007. You would have been very proud of her as were we all. MPP Toby Barrett came by the Media Studio before our news conference to meet us, so Pam was able to give him a copy of the video interview we made of her on March 11.
Merlyn, a retired member of the Royal Canadian Navy and veteran of the Korean war told me afterwards that he couldn’t stop the tears from running down his eyes while Pam spoke. He also noticed that members of the media seemed very moved by her words.
It was such an honour to talk about her courage and the determination of her family to allow her to tell her story, to speak up and say – in effect – “I refuse to live in fear and I will not be silent!” I think Pam’s presence and her words made the journalists in the room realize just how badly our leaders have failed us – that it was necessary for a 15 year old girl to come to Queen’s Park to raise her voice and issue her own call to action.
I can tell you that one reporter from a Toronto station actually apologized to us afterwards because he didn’t think he could get our news conference on TV yesterday because of the tragic events in the US. He did, however, promise to stay on top of the story. Another reporter from another very well-respected network told me she was “very interested” in our story, and asked me to keep in touch. We will not let them forget that a brave young lady needs their help.
After we filmed Pam back on March 11th, Christine, wife of Gary McHale, wondered out loud if there was – indeed – some good that has already come out of the occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates if it has produced young people like Dancer.
As I once wrote on VoiceofCanada “We have all been shamed by a 14 year old girl. Let us now be inspired by her words and her courage to take back our province.”
One of the key pieces of information that we wanted to make the reporters understand is that Fantino felt compelled to send copies of his threatening email to members of the McGuinty government at the highest level, including:
Tony Dean (CAB) Secretary of the Cabinet
Chris Morley (OPO) Premier’s Office (press secretary)
Peter Wilkinson (OPO) Chief of Staff to the Premier
One reporter asked Gary if he thought the Premier or his staff was directing Fantino. Gary replied that he didn’t know, but that “it was as close to a smoking gun as you can get.”
Merlyn Kinrade was awesome, and the media seemed to really pick up on his complaint to the Solicitor General regarding Fantino’s intimidation of Haldimand County’s elected officials.
After the news conference was over we walked over to the Solicitor General’s office on Grosvenor Street and delivered complaints from Gary and Merlyn.
Both the Toronto Star and CBC have already run with the story. The Star’s version is more detailed, and includes the reference to the officials in McGuinity’s office who received copies of Fantino’s threats.
(This one is VERY hard-hitting piece, lots of quotes from Caledonia resident, Merlyn Kinrade, who appeared with us. Well, done, Star!)
- Vandermaas interview, The Right Side, April 17/07: Intro Part 1 Part 2
- McHale interview, The Right Side, April 17/07: Part 1 Part 2
Mark Vandermaas, Editor