Haldimand’s choice: learn from FantinoGate…or not


UPDATED 2117 EST April 19/07 

Haldimand Council was handed a golden opportunity to wash their hands forever of a police commissioner who has denied policing to residents, threatened elected officials, misled them, and intimidated them into not supporting the lawful protests conducted in Caledonia against ongoing civil rights violations by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Every member of Council could have followed Merlyn Kinrade’s lead in filing a complaint with Solicitor General Monte Kwinter about Fantino’s April 07/07 email that was also sent to high-ranking officials inside Premier McGuinty’s office. Instead, they’re going to invite Fantino to meet with Council. As Councillor Lorne Boyko was quoted in today’s Hamilton Spectator said:

“We want to deal face-to-face and clear the air. Any time you can meet with someone face-to-face and keep the channels of communication open, that’s positive. We can get direct answers from him and he can get direct answers from us.”

So…Haldimand Council is going to invite the man who, along with his fellow officers, has publicly slandered, libelled and arrested law-abiding citizens [1, 2, 3] who have committed no crimes, the same man who thought he and Council had a secret “mutual understanding regarding about the detrimental effect that McHale and his followers were having on Caledonia.” 

In keeping with Council’s expressed interest in clearing the air face-to-face through open communication, I have three questions:

1. Is Council also going to invite the victims of Mr. Fantino’s defamation campaign to meet with them so they can clear their names before Council and the people of Caledonia?

2. Is the meeting with Fantino going to be held in public, or will it be held behind closed doors?

3. If, by some miracle, Fantino keeps his job how will any citizen of Caledonia or of Ontario ever again be sure that their elected officials are not being secretly intimidated by the Commissioner and/or influenced through the Premier’s office?

negotiating.jpgIf Haldimand Council is determined to meet with a man who has proven he will go to any lengths to defame law-abiding citizens who speak out against the injustices brought upon Caledonia by his force, I can only hope they will have the decency to do it in public and allow those who were wronged by Fantino to speak.  

Personally, I can’t understand why anyone on Haldimand Council would insult the citizens of Caledonia and Ontario by even considering a working relationship that will be always under a cloud of suspicion, but – hey – that’s democracy for you: threats, intimidation, secret ‘understandings,’ defamation conspiracies; connections to the Premier’s office today, and tomorrow everybody’s friends again. 

Oh well, nothing a couple of hundred more complaints to the Solicitor General from the good citizens of Caledonia can’t cure.


Mark Vandermaas, Editor

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