Bad as Fantino’s recent comments about Gary McHale and his ‘interlopers’ were in Susan Clairmont’s Nov 08/07 Hamilton Spectator article called Fantino Takes Aim [reprint], they pale in comparison to other remarks attributed to Fantino in a Nov 09/07 Spectator transcript of the entire interview [PDF].
Here is an email I sent to reporter Clairmont today:
1. I just read the full text of Fantino’s remarks. Given the various Police Act complaints, Human Rights complaints and lawsuits against him, his force and the OPPA – including several for slander – that we have submitted, I am shocked that Fantino would continue his outright lies and misinformation. There are too many statements to respond to here, but this one is simply beyond the pale:
“You can’t call in the army and deal with this issue. You can’t do it because what are we going to have? Civil war in our own country. I mean that’s crazy. These things have to be resolved. We’re a sophisticated society. We’re a democratic society. We don’t use the police as the army of occupation. Look what’s happening in Pakistan for goodness sakes. And that’s what the expectation is that a lot of people have, including McHale and company. But you know they want to see this thing escalate to a violent outcome, and for what? For a piece of land.”
Native women are being raped on the DCE, the original occupiers are afraid to enter the DCE, Sam Gualtieri is almost murdered and children on Sixth Line in Caledonia are afraid in their homes, all because of the OPP’s failures, yet Fantino says WE want violence? We have consistently spoken out against violence and in favour of equal treatment before the law, respect for the Charter and for the Supreme Court, but Fantino says WE want a Pakistani-style dictatorship and repression of civil rights? Is the commissioner of the OPP delusional or just desperate to silence the truth that innocent human beings – native and non-natives are paying a terrible price for the so-called ‘peacekeeping’ approach used by his force?
In order to show the absolute fallacy of Fantino’s statement and the overall impression of us given by Fantino, may I suggest that you listen to our speeches from our October 08th ‘Remember Us’ March. I have attached a transcript of my speech for the day called, ‘Natives are victims of Two Tier Justice, too.’
2. Is the Spectator prepared to provide McHale and me with an opportunity to provide a detailed response to Fantino’s statements? We are more than willing to meet with you in Hamilton along with copies of our various complaints as well as documents from our Ipperwash Papers project, documentation that proves the Inquiry deliberately ignored the suffering of innocent residents, just as Fantino did during your interview.
P.S. On Nov 01/07, McHale and I visited the University of Waterloo, by invititation, to speak to a class conducting extensive research into the Caledonia situation for a presentation schedule to take place in Feb 2008. I’ll be talking about this in my next post on VoiceofCanada.
P.P.S. We are currently preparing a detailed report called ‘The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations.’ Would you like to be among the first to see a draft copy when available?
I defy Fantino to supply a single shred of proof that McHale or I have EVER advocated for the use of violence or force other than that required to preserve the rule of law for the benefit of innocent victims of landclaim lawlessness.
I defy Fantino to supply a single shred of proof that we are motivated by anything other than a sincere desire to stop landclaim lawlessness and OPP violations of civil/human rights against non-natives.
I would hope that the Hamilton Spectator will allow us the opportunity to address this outrageous libel and the other mis-information in Fantino’s statements in an attempt to mitigate the further damage he has done to our reputations.
To Julian Fantino: we do appreciate you exposing, for all to see, your irrational logic, and your obsession with silencing opposition to your force’s failures, but you really do need to get a grip, man! You’re the commissioner for a 7,500 member police force; truth and reality should matter to you, at least a little.
Oh yes…you’ll be hearing from our lawyer – again.
Let me close with a question Susan Clairmont should have asked you:
“You seem to be spending a lot of time and energy obsessing over Gary McHale and his followers who haven’t committed a single crime in Caledonia while exercising their Charter rights to Freedom of Expression. Is that the reason you haven’t taken the time to meet with the people on the Sixth Line and/or issued an order to police their street so the children who live there no longer have to take medication and attend counselling [dial-up]because they’re afraid in their homes?”
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
- Hamilton Spectator, Nov 08/07: Fantino Takes Aim [reprint]
- Hamilton Spectator, Nov 09/07: Full text of the Spec’s interview with OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino
- VoiceofCanada, Nov 08/07: History comes to Hamilton: “No one was left to speak for me.”
- VoiceofCanada, Nov 10/07: Let’s remember Jack tomorrow
- CaledoniaWakeUpCall, ‘Remember Us’ March feature: 15 year old Dancer’s speech – Road of Hope [dial-up]