Federal civil rights law would protect us from OPP


UPDATE 1320 EST May 11/07: CHTV News report re guilty plea of Trevor Miller re assault on camera crew while OPP refused to help. 

So, OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino says it’s not his fault that towns are suffering from Landclaim Terror, it’s all the fault of the federal government. 

Ottawa has clearly said that the Caledonia land claim is invalid, so what more does Fantino want from them?

The OPP have abandoned the Rule of Law, violated our Constitutional rights, failed to provide policing,  and interfered with elected officials.

If Fantino is to be believed, the moment someone utters the words, “Land Claim” his responsibility to enforce and respect the law ceases.  The irony of this is that when an insurrection begins, he is the ONLY person who has the legal authority to restore law and order in Ontario. That’s because our elected officials aren’t allowed to give direction to the police, even when the police refuse to carry out their responsibility to protect citizens from criminals, even when the police become active violators of our constitutional rights.

One of the most striking things we discovered during the investigation of The Ipperwash Papers was the utter paralysis of government in the face of the OPP’s refusal to enforce the law. If you review the political correspondence of the day (see ‘Summary of Evidence,’ page 10), government officials at the highest levels – both provincial and federal – kept telling citizens that it was the OPP’s responsibility to enforce the law, and there was nothing they could do to interfere.

According to insurance companies the native takeover of the former military base and provincial park at Ipperwash was considered a ‘rebellion’ and an ‘insurrection.’ During this insurrection, an un-elected OPP Commissioner became the most important person in the province, yet was utterly unaccountable to our elected representatives for his failure to enforce the law!

Does all of this sound frighteningly familiar to those of you in Caledonia and Deseronto?

I do not want to live in a police state where politicians control the police, but neither do I wish to live in a lawless state where the police act as agents of criminals, wilfully violating and ignoring the law while spitting in the face of the Supreme Court. There must be limits placed on police independence in order to prevent the abuses we have witnessed in Ipperwash, Caledonia and, now, Deseronto. Quite simply, the OPP is out of control. Its Commissioner is out of control. The Ontario Provincial Police must be disbanded or reformed as soon as is humanly possible. 

Aside from replacing Fantino with a leader who understands the role of a police force and the proper conduct of a Commissioner, the best way to do this would be through an ammendment to the Criminal Code of Canada making it a criminal offence to violate a citizen’s constitutional rights much the same as the U.S. has done to prevent parochial jurisdictions from thinking themselves above the Constitution. If the OPP then refused to provide policing services or failed to uphold the law or violated our rights, the federal government could act to protect us without the approval of the province.

Believe it or not, it is not a criminal offence to violate the civil rights of a Canadian citizen. This must change.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor

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