Democracy takes another hit in Deseronto from unlikely source

UPDATE 1452 June 07/07: Halls of Macademia, June 05/07: Shutting down free speech… 

UPDATE 1228 June 07/07: CBC News, June 06/07: Critics of aboriginal protests denied space in Deseronto 

UPDATE 1721 June 06/07: Article by Belleville Intelligencer, June 05/07: Deseronto keeps contentious group out

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpgIs ‘free speech’ dead in Canada? Have we forgotten the dangers of trying to remain neutral in the face of evil?

parade-mark-w-unefii-ismailia-egypt-19780001.jpgToday, I can’t help but wonder why I served in the Canadian Forces, why I gave 6 months of my life to a UN peacekeeping mission in Egypt. Why Merlyn Kinrade joined the Royal Canadian Navy to fight in the Korean War. Why there are thousands of dead Canadian soldiers in graves all over Europe. Why Canadians are fighting and dying in Afghanistan.

What – exactly – were we ‘defending?’ For what were we prepared to risk our lives, and give them if necessary? What is worth dying for?

Equality? Rule of law? Civil rights? Free speech? Democracy?

Royal Canadian Legion in Deseronto refuses to rent us a room because we are a ‘sectarian group’

If anyone should know the worth of these oft-professed Canadian values, you would think it would be members of the Royal Canadian Legion. Earlier today, however, VoiceofCanada received a call from the Deseronto Legion president, Tom Dowling, saying that they would not rent us a room because their by-laws prevented them from renting to a ‘sectarian group,’ although he was unable to explain why we deserved that label. He also said that about half their members were native, and the Legion decided it wanted to remain neutral.

roadfire1.jpgI informed Mr. Dowling that we have nothing against native people, that we are against violence, and that we believe in the rule of law and equality. I explained that people in Deseronto had contacted us because they wanted to hear from Caledonia residents who have suffered during a violent native occupation, but it was no use.

roadblocked.jpgMr. Dowling closed our conversation by explaining that the purpose of the legion is to provide “a place of comradeship” and reiterated his position that the Legion has decided to be ‘neutral.’ 

Silence in the face of evil is NOT neutrality – it is acquiesence. It is appeasement. It is anything but neutrality. 

I’m not sure I understand how any veteran – let alone an organization that represents them – can be ‘neutral’ on the subjects of preserving the rule of law; free speech; equality before the law, and protection of civil rights. In fact, the Deseronto branch of the Legion – far from being neutral – has, in effect, chosen to stand with those who would destroy the values Canadians take for granted.

Lest we forget?

In reply to a reader of Democracy takes a hit in Deseronto, an article about Deseronto Council’s refusal to honour our room rental agreement, I said the following:

“You just gotta wonder sometimes, don’t you – how elected officials can be so clueless about how democracy works, how democracy survives despite the worst efforts of those who should know better. These same people will wear poppies for Remembrance Day, but in actuality, they remember nothing. They value nothing. They respect nothing, including those who have sacrificed their lives, their limbs or their youths in the name of freedom. They mouth the words for a couple of minutes on November 11th, but they don’t believe them. As the old saying goes, “Freedom isn’t free.”

fire3.jpgI called Merlyn Kinrade, RCN (retired) today to advise him that the Royal Canadian Legion considers us to be members of a ‘sectarian group’ because we want to talk about how the Rule of Law and equality before the law can be preserved during native land claims. His anger was obvious, but there was something else – unspoken – that I felt, too: a sense of betrayal by those who should know better. 

In November, the Royal Canadian Legion will once again ask us to wear poppies to remember, ‘lest we forget.’ From this former soldier’s point of view, and a certain Korean war veteran’s, a lot of us have already forgotten the dreadful cost of appeasing evil.

However much we may sympathize with a small nation confronted by a big and powerful neighbour, we cannot in all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British Empire in a war simply on her account.”

“I believe it is peace in our time”

Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister 1937 to 1940


Mark Vandermaas, Editor

4 responses to “Democracy takes another hit in Deseronto from unlikely source

  1. Lisa Parent

    So according to the Dictionary of Canadian English, The Senior Dictionary published in 1967 by W. J. Gage Limited we who are against violence and OPP inaction are sectarians.

    1) a devoted member of a sect, especially narrow-minded or strongly prejudiced member

    2) a member of a religious group separated from an established church

    The Royal Canadian Legion is supposed to represent veterans who fought for equal rights and freedoms, for the “Rule of Law”, and for equal justice for all and they feel that a group that wants equality, justice and freedom and an OPP that will uphold the law is sectarian.

    This gentleman has partaken of far too much of the jungle juice at his Legion hall.

    The arm of the OPP propaganda machine is very long indeed.

    I hope this Legion branch is not representative of the Royal Canadian Legion as an organization. If it is then veterans should avoid it like the plague.

    If anyone is sectarian it is the Indian criminals that would hold this country hostage, impart violence and intimidation on us all in the name of protecting their race.

    Boy what a bonehead this guy is.

    VoC REPLY: You put it very well. My sources tell me that Mr. Dowling has never served in the Canadian military. If he had perhaps he might feel differently. I hope he and his buddies enjoy their beer and “comradeship” as they suppress free speech in the naive hope that native criminals will thank them for their ‘neutrality.’ We, of course, will continue our struggle to keep Canada a nation that is ruled by laws, and not thugs. Thanks for writing, Lisa. Mark

  2. Larry Dicy

    Hello Mark
    I was almost sick to my stomach as I read this post!!! I am a proud legion member of 16 years. I joined in honour of my grandfathers sacrifice that he made and all of the veterans out there that DO realize that “freedom is not free”! I will most certainly be in contact with this branch to voice my disgust over their cowardly actions. I only hope that every other proud legion member, of other branches, will also join me in doing the same. As far as I am concerned this was totally wrong!

    VoC REPLY: Hi Larry. Thanks for the support. It means a lot. Good luck with the phone call! Regards, Mark

  3. maybe the legion understands that the six nations are military allies of canada who have been stabbed in the back. some way to treat an ally, and one who served with us in two wars against the americans, ww1, ww2, and korea….

    VoC REPLY: Who said we were against native people, or native veterans? Where, in all of my writings, on VoC do you find me saying anything but that I am against native criminals and violence, and not against native people? The violence and lawlessness and intimidation by native criminals is bringing disrepute on to honourable native people. Apparently, however, it is also bringing cash – lots and lots of cash. Mark

  4. Mary-Lou LaPratte

    Dear Mark,

    It is becoming clear to me that mainstream Canadians are not getting the message that our rights are being systematically peeled off and discarded in the wake of Native Unrest. The Politicians are changing their views daily but not addressing the criminal activities ongoing ever more blatantly as the day of protest approaches in June.

    In light of the developer being shunned by the Province perhaps it is time for a peaceful revolt on behalf of the taxpayers of this Province. Since our deeds are not worth the paper they are written on, due to the inaction to support them by the government, we should all refuse to submit anymore taxes on our properties.

    The articles on the Caledonia Wake Up Call website are getting more bizarre than we ever thought possible. Now cell phone signals have become a way for the First Nations to attempt additional revenue from the air. The Natives will not be happy until they own the whole country, have all the money, and control everything. I suspect with their racist views, the white man can just die or leave. Welcome to the new North American Continent.

    What an International Disgrace our levels of Government are party to. What a crying shame that those who fought for the rights that are being ignored and abused have also been caught up in the game of let someone else step forth to save the day, just make sure it is not me.

    VoC REPLY: Our governments and police are embarking on a very dangerous and – yes – bizzare – course. Where is the leadership? How can any right thinking person with an IQ over 50 think that giving in to intimidation and lawlessness by criminals is going to accomplish anything but encourage their greed and more lawlessness? I have to admit that I don’t know what to say. The insanity must stop, but no one is listening!!! The native criminals have proven one thing – our government doesn’t care what peaceful, law-abiding people have to say, but if you use or threaten violence, then they’ll listen. I feel a great sense of dread today. This will not end well. I fear that all our efforts to pull Canada back from the brink of anarchy may have been in vain. Thanks for writing, Mary-Lou. Mark