John Tory and Toby Barrett speak out on landclaim lawlessness

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On September 04/07 the Kingston Whig Standard ran a hard-hitting editorial against native lawlessness in connection with land claims and the OPP’s direct contribution to the degradation of the rule of law and democracy.

“But if the aboriginals succeed in flouting the court, they may never pay directly. Instead, they will damage democracy by reinforcing the wrongheaded notion that courts are a mere convenience, to be ignored when desired. And if the OPP do not enforce the judge’s orders, they will have successfully helped erode the rules that bind this society together. The ultimate end of such scenarios can only be anarchy.

Which means no laws are sacred.”

Kingston Whig-Standard, editorial, Sept 04/07: Aboriginals and anarchy (original story link)

On Sept 07/07 John Tory came out swinging:

john-tory.jpg“As premier, John Tory says he would enforce a “one law for all” legal system and apply it to aboriginals who occupy lands as a form of protest against proposed developments…” 

“Speaking to reporters from Osprey Media newspapers…the provincial Progressive Conservative leader suggested he would establish a zero-tolerance policy on aboriginal land occupations if he is elected premier…”

“We can’t have even legitimate complaints settled by people taking the law into their own hands,” Tory said in response to a Whig-Standard question about the six-week-old uranium mine blockade by local Algonquins in North Frontenac.”

“I won’t just sit back and [these occupations] go on in place after place after place. The results of that are very predicable.”

“Tory also admonished Premier Dalton McGuinty for not using the courts or the “moral authority” of the premier’s office to end land disputes.”

 Kingston Whig-Standard, Sept 07/07, Brock Harrison: One law for all: Tory; Conservative decries aboriginal blockade 

Mr. Tory was also quoted by the Brantford Expositor: 

knight-w-sword.jpg“A local developer whose housing project was stalled by a Six Nations protest this week should not be left to fend for himself, Ontario Conservative leader John Tory said Thursday. “We cannot have a situation like that, where people take the law into their own hands.””

“”I’m going to be an advocate of one law for all,” Tory said, adding that he would also be a staunch advocate for the rights of native peoples.”

“The Conservative leader also said he would engage in dialogue with native leaders, making it clear illegal protests won’t help their cause. “I want to sit down and have a friendly but firm chat with the (natives).””

Brantford Expositor, John Paul Zronik, Sept 07/07: Tory wants ‘friendly but firm’ chat with natives over protests 

Radio Station CD98.9 in Simcoe – serving Norfolk, Haldimand, Brant, Oxford and Elgin counties – carried Tory’s message:

“John Tory says that if he’s elected premier, he would put a stop to aboriginal land occupations, like the one in Caledonia. The Progressive Conservative leader says he would enforce a ‘one law for all’ legal system and apply it to those who occupy disputed lands as a protest. Tory says a zero tolerance policy is the only way to ensure that people don’t take the law into their own hands.”

CD98.9 Newscentre, Haldimand News, Sept 07/07: Tory Promises to Stop Aboriginal Occupations

MPP Toby Barrett had a few choice remarks of his own today:

“The bottom line is that government must make it a priority to work with the federal government and aboriginal leadership to create a framework to resolve land claim issues effectively.

“No matter the grievance, no matter the dispute, all of our laws – such as the Criminal Code – apply to all of us, equally, at all times – without exception. Whether it is in situations where protesters are concerned about environmental projects or land claims, unlawful action is not acceptable.

“And the Premier of Ontario must be willing to pursue civil remedies against those who lead protests that disregard public safety and disrupt the economy. We simply cannot negotiate with protesters who undertake unlawful actions.”

Conservative MPP Toby Barrett, Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant, newsletter of Sept 07/07 (Photo taken at inaugural March for Freedom, Oct 15/06 where Toby was one of the few politicians in Ontario to speak up publicly for law and order at a time when political voices of sanity were almost universally silent about the victimization of innocent Caledonians. Let’s also not forget MPP Tim Hudak who spoke out against the hysteria whipped up against the March by the Liberals. )

VoC perspective

Firstly, we all owe a vote of thanks to the Kingston Whig-Standard for their editorial recognizing the damage being done to our democracy by state-sanctioned lawlessness. Well done! Thanks also to the reporters from the Osprey Media group for taking time to question John Tory about this oh-so-vital issue.

Toby, thanks for the strong position. You have always stood and spoken on the side of law and order.

To John Tory, here’s the comment I left for you on the CD98.9 post mentioned above:

Bravo, Mr. Tory. Bravo.

justice_gavel_cdn-flag.jpegAt least John Tory realizes that native lawlessness conducted with the full cooperation of the OPP is a serious threat to our democracy, and he’s talking about it. Contrast that to McGuinty who has never visited Caledonia, and who pretends nothing’s wrong.

Let’s not forget that both native and non-native people have been badly victimized by OPP/McGuinty Two Tier Justice. We must restore the rule of law in Ontario and equality before that law. Without it nothing else matters.

You got my vote Mr. Tory.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada

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2 responses to “John Tory and Toby Barrett speak out on landclaim lawlessness

  1. Mary-Lou LaPratte

    Dear Mark,

    I guess I am one of those people who will believe something when it actually happens. John Tory’s statements about one law for all are admirable, however, I want him to state explicitly how he will do this. Since the Province is not allowed to tell the OPP how to do their job, how will he change the OPP policies now in place that Justice Linden lauded as best practices in the final report of the Ipperwash Inquiry??? How will John Tory be able to enforce court injunctions granted land owners to be acted upon by the OPP in the event of a native occupation???? How will John Tory be able to circumvent the so-called entrenched rights of aboriginals in the Constitution and the Rule of Law in areas such as Colour of Right???

    It is great that John Tory will be an advocate for the Rule of Law, but Ontarians do not need useless rhetoric. They need these claims to Justice for the little guy backed up with sound, legal methodology. The natives have raised Dudley George to Martyr status for his death over land. The first native killed in a century over land disputes. I could say the same for Marcel Lemay, the first policeman killed in a century over land disputes, but who would even know who I am talking about????(OKA)

    We cannot change the past. It is history.

    Today must be used not in violence , hatred or racism, but in respect and integrity towards each other in all matters. We have the will of the government. We need the committment of the natives that violence is not the answer. We need the natives to not want anymore bloodshed. Without that committment how will John Tory ever be able to sway the courts, the Provincial Parties, or the Police to re-instate the Rule of Law. I need the answers to these questions well before the election. The Ontario Government also needs to entrench our property rights as has been done recently in the USA. Right now, in a native land dispute, our deeds are not worth the paper they are written on, because the Province will not back them up as a legal contract.

    MLL

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the perspective ML. I’m not professing to be a constitutional lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that neither the framers of the document, or the Supreme Court intended to grant native citizens the right to use violence, crime and intimidation against the rest of us. In fact, the Court held in Haida Nation v. British Columbia (the famous ‘Duty to Consult’ case) that third parties have NO duty to consult or accommodate the concerns of aboriginals. Furthermore, the court held that aboriginals have a duty to act in good faith.

    My understanding of the ‘colour of right’ concept is that it is justified only in rare cases, and not designed to give a carte blanche excuse for lawlessness. In fact, as your own case shows, the people on West Ipperwash Beach suffered years of crime and intimidation over a land claim that was ultimately proven to have no basis. This shows the dangers of loose interpretations of this concept. Just because the perpetrators of landclaim terror, and self-serving politicians and their Inquiry bureaucrats try to argue that colour of right justifies crime and violence does not make it so.

    Our lawyer, John Findlay is a litigation specialist (one of the few class action experts in Canada!) and he feels our cases are strong. Remember, none of our court cases have reached a courtroom yet. We will – through the ‘discovery’ process – eventually get the documents we need to expose OPP and government corruption. All you have to do is look at just the one email sent by Inspector McLean trying to get Dave Hartless charged under the Police Act to know how desperate they must be not to have to turn over more documents to us! The lawyers for the OPP/OPPA are doing everything they can to delay going to court against us. You can only guess why. Actually, it’s a good thing because public opinion, the media and now the politicians are turning against them.

    Eventually, the government and the OPP will be forced to argue real law in front of a judge, not expound BS politically-correct expediencies for a re-election campaign. Our experience with senior legal advisors in various government offices leads us to conclude that there are still enough officers of the court who know the difference between right and wrong, and I do not say that lightly. There is no doubt in my mind that both the OPP and the McGuinty government know what they’re doing is wrong.

    In addition to the courts, we have some outstanding police complaints and some just-filed complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (at the suggestion of the Ombudsman’s office). We recently met with senior officials from the Ombudsman’s office to discuss the situation. If the courts don’t end this nonsense, someone else will. And if it doesn’t end, we’ll go to the United Nations once we’ve exhausted all other avenues in Canada. This NEVER ends until justice is restored.

    What can John Tory do, specifically? First of all, his new Solicitor General would have the power to immediately fire Fantino and hire a real police commissioner who understands his responsibilities to maintain the rule of law. Really, though, what is lacking in Ontario are not the specific details; it is the will to act. McGuinty and Fantino have allowed this province to reach a state of near-anarchy while he talks – in complete ignorance I must say – about ‘peacekeeping’ in Caledonia as if it were a good thing!!! John Tory is at least talking about landclaim lawlessness and making a commitment to deal with it, and that’s light years ahead of what we would get from McGuinty. Tory seems to have the will to act, and that’s good enough for me.

    Tory has been kept very well informed about what is happening in Caledonia. We also made him well aware of the deliberate cover-up that was the Ipperwash Inquiry, and of Dancer’s story. Not only does he have the will to act, he has the knowledge. He knows the truth. No guarantees of course, but he can see which way the wind is blowing, and he doesn’t have a vested interest in covering up the truth and maintaining the status quo at any cost. McGuinty, in contrast, has everything to gain by trying to cover up our complaints, by pretending his shameful Inquiry was fair, by sacrificing innocents to avoid admitting his failures. I understand that, after what you lived through, with no help from the previous Conservative government, you’re skeptical. Times are different today, though. We have resisted. We have turned the media around. We have exposed the lies of the Ipperwash Inquiry. We have made it politically possible to talk about land claim terror.

    I didn’t live through the horrors of being abandoned by the OPP, so I don’t need to know the details to know Tory’s better than McGuinty. I understand why you do, though. If Tory doesn’t follow through, we’ll just have to make his life miserable like we’ve done to McGuinty. That should be enough incentive for him to keep his promise! 🙂

    Thanks as always for writing! Mark

    P.S. We just sent a fax to Fantino, McGuinty, Kwinter and Tory telling them all about our next march, details to be announced publicly very soon. People in Brantford have contacted us about organizing protests there, and we have a few surprises of our own planned to help make landclaim lawlessness a high priority in the election. Stay tuned.

  2. I am very concerned Tory’s support for religious schools and therefore creating ghetto society. New immigrants, including myself, we choose Canada for their wonderful society, rules and tolerance. Some immigrants are demanding bizarre accommodation like wearying burkas, daggers, head dress, etc that are not part of existing society. Keep religion out of government and within your church, your temple, your mosque etc. Enjoy the life Canada offers to us all. Let your children enjoy freedom you were deprived back in your old country. We don’t want to see Canada changing its face created by generation of hard working, justice obeying pioneers that made this country what is now and allowing you to be part of it.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for writing Maria. Honestly, I know that this is an issue for some people, but I wouldn’t reject John Tory because of it even if you disagree with him vehemently. Why? Because, if our province has no rule of law, we will descend into total anarchy. Without rule of law, nothing else matters, and John Tory is the only leader who is talking about doing something about it. McGuinty will continue to stand by while innocent people are victimized during land claims, plus he is the one currently funding a religious education system. For him to refuse to fund other religions is the height of hypocrisy. Either we withdraw support for the Catholic system and fund one single public system, or we fund them all.

    As for changing the face of Canada, I think immigrants have an obligation to integrate, but I also think our differences make our country unique. What binds us together, however, is a legal system that transcends all cultures, respecting all, but not allowing people to victimize one another simply because of their race – which is currently the case in Caledonia.

    Thanks again for the comment from an immigrant’s perspective. My parents immigrated from Holland. Mark