Congratulations Caledonia!

UPDATE 0942 EST May 03/07: Full reporting on the Caledonia Convoy now available at Awesome media coverage!

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpgYesterday’s convoy from Caledonia to Queen’s Park was truly a thing of beauty, not because it seemed like every OPP car in Ontario was on duty to escort us to Toronto; not because Toronto motorcycle cops stopped traffic to let us breeze through busy downtown streets; not because people waved and honked and asked us what all the fuss was about (freeing Caledonia from Two Tier Justice we told them!), but because the people of Caledonia joined together, organized themselves and took their message to ‘outsiders’ across Canada without help from the ‘outsiders.’

Yesterday, Caledonia finally got the message that Gary McHale has been trying to send them for so many months now: reach out, grab the media by the collar and give them a story to tell. And they did! As we drove at 60km/h in the passing lane of the QEW all the way to Toronto I saw TV vans getting ahead of us and quickly pulling over just so they could get shots of our convoy as it passed. There were more cameras at the overpasses we went under. There were helicopters in the air, and one TV outlet reported a total of 83 cars in the convoy. It was very exciting and all I can say is, ya shoulda been there!

march_for_freedom_oct15-06-011.jpghaldimand-mayor-marie-trainer.gifMedia flocked to hear speeches from MPP Toby Barrett, Mayor Marie Trainer, Councillor Grice, and other ‘ordinary’ Caledonia residents who were inundated with requests for interviews afterwards.

Toby brought out some of the Conservative caucus outside to listen and say a few words. Former Solicitor General Bob Runciman almost stole the show when he said, “I don’t believe in negotiating with criminals.” The crowd went nuts, and my convoy co-driver, Merlyn Kinrade (first Caledonia resident to file a complaint to the Solicitor General regarding Fantino’s threatening email) couldn’t resist yelling out, “Take THAT Fantino!”

Caledonia resident, Lisa Parent, brought some signs for us to hold behind the speakers for the benefit of the cameras, and we hoisted them proudly as we listened to Caledonians speaking out for themselves with their elected officials by their side. Other people brought their own signs, including one large flag with the Caledonia bridge on it.

It was a beautiful day because a town found its voice, and it was a beautiful day for a convoy – I got a nice case of sunburn!

After the speeches were over, a few of us walked over to Solicitor General Monte Kwinter’s office at 25 Grosvenor Street to ruin Fantino’s day with 4 more complaints; one of them was mine against Fantino and 20+ OPP officers for violating my constitutional rights on Dec 16 & Jan 20. The other three were from some Caledonia residents who wanted to help Merlyn Kinrade remind the Solicitor General of his responsibility to do the right thing for democracy by turfing Fantino for threatening Haldimand Council.

I’ll be doing another post on the complaints, but for now here are the residents we know of who have filed complaints against Fantino:

  1. Lenora Taylor, Caledonia
  2. Sheldon Taylor, Caledonia
  3. Steve Tong, Caledonia
  4. Merlyn Kinrade, Caledonia

It was a great day for Caledonia and for one man in particular who made a point of staying away, someone whose absence was noticed by members of the media who asked me where he was – Gary McHale. McHale made sure that it was Caledonians whose voices were heard yesterday and that it was Caledonians who got the credit for organizing a great event that reached out to ‘outsiders’ across Canada without the help from the other ‘outsiders.’

I talked to McHale throughout the day, and though he would have loved to have seen it all first hand, he knew it had to be Caledonia’s day, not his. Besides, he really enjoyed watching and listening to the media take Caledonia’s message to their fellow Canadians.

VoC Comment 

Our Premier, the man who has never visited a town where criminals have stolen an entire subdivision and terrorized its citizens, made sure he wasn’t available to speak to the Caledonia residents who took up the government’s offer to protest on his front lawn.

Later in the day, McGuinty talked about how the OPP should be issued blue helmets because they were ‘peacekeepers.’ [dial-up] As someone who served in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, I have a few comments of my own to pass on to the Premier in my next post on this subject. 

In the grand scheme of things Premier McGuinty, you’re now all but irrelevant. That’s because Caledonia got very smart today and reached out to every citizen of the province in their bid to rid themselves of your government during the next election. Your days in power are numbered.  You and your little lap-dog, too!

Mark Vandermaas, Editor

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