When Michael Bryant came to visit Caledonia on Nov 26/07 we were handing out a CANACE flyer to journalists and other dignitaries as they arrived at the Caledonia Lions Hall for their private meeting.
MICHAEL BRYANT: ONTARIO DESERVES A FULL AND FAIR INQUIRY INTO VIOLENCE AGAINST INNOCENT RESIDENTS
Michael Bryant named Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
in new Provincial Cabinet
Chiefs of Ontario media release, October 30, 2007
“The Regional Chief pointed out that it is significant to note that it was Minister Bryant, in his role at the time as Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, who announced on behalf of Ontario the establishment of the Ipperwash Inquiry in November 2003.”
Dudley George’s brother applauds Bryant appointment
CTV.ca – October 31, 2007
“[Sam] George [Dudley George’s brother] met with Bryant for a morning cup of coffee, and the two discussed implementing some of the 100 recommendations from the Ipperwash inquiry.”
“Best Practices” used by OPP in Caledonia
Ipperwash Inquiry Commissioner Sidney Linden – May 31, 2007
“The OPP’s ‘Framework for Police Preparedness for Aboriginal Critical Incidents’ is one element of a comprehensive OPP strategy to improve the policing of Aboriginal occupations and protests. It is an operational policy, intended to guide incident commanders and officers before, during and after such incidents. The OPP has been applying the Framework at Caledonia. I consider the Framework and related programs to be best practices.” Volume 4 – Executive Summary: Policy Analysis, Volume 2 – Executive Summary, p87
The Ipperwash Inquiry – does this sound fair to you?
From 1992 onward, residents of Ipperwash were victims of crime, vandalism, intimidation and violence during 3 separate land claims, including one against their own homes they were forced to defend to the Supreme Court of Canada, yet the Ipperwash Inquiry deliberately excluded residents and all evidence of the crimes against them:
- Out of 139 witnesses, not a single full time resident was allowed to testify. Not one frontline military police officer was called to testify. We also know of at least one member of the OPP Tactical Response Unit in Ipperwash who was not allowed to testify.
- The lead counsel of the Ipperwash Inquiry successfully defended the West Ipperwash Property Owners Association all the way to the Supreme Court against an invalid land claim. He was, therefore, well aware of the concerns of residents regarding their victimization by native lawlessness, yet refused to allow them to testify or otherwise allow their stories to be told.
- During the 3 years the Ipperwash Inquiry was in progress, the residents were allotted a total of ninety (90) minutes to meet with the Commissioner during a townhall meeting on June 21, 2006. The minutes of that meeting were ‘sanitized’ by the Inquiry in order to exclude anything of substance by the residents. The Inquiry’s version of what was said that night varied so much from a reporter’s account that we were forced to contact the reporter to verify that she was talking about the same meeting.
- The Inquiry did not publish projects related to the suffering of residents, one of which was a 29-page chronological summary submitted by long-time Ipperwash resident and community leader, Mary-Lou LaPratte.
- The Inquiry did not hold a single symposium related to the preservation of the rule of law or the prevention of violence against innocent residents.
- The Inquiry did not call a witness who says he saw natives raking the ground at the unsecured shooting scene and picking objects out of the sand.
- The Inquiry’s final report contained 79 recommendations for preventing violence during land claims. Not a single one of them is specifically directed at preventing violence against innocent residents.
- In 1996 hundreds of residents wrote victim impact statements to Federal Liaison Robert Reid. No one knows what was done with them. None were admitted as evidence to the Inquiry.
- On March 13, 1996 the township wrote a letter blaming the death of Dudley George and the “terrorization of a municipality” on the “failure to remove illegal occupiers” and the “failure to permit the law to be upheld.” The letter also said they had warned every level of government for two years prior to Mr. George’s death that someone was going to be seriously injured or killed. Unfortunately, the role that the failure to enforce the law against native lawlessness may have played in Mr. George’s death was never explored by the Inquiry.
On March 14, 2007 we held a news conference at Queen’s Park media studio to release ‘The Ipperwash Papers,’ a collection of over 400 pages of documents that were not published or admitted as evidence to the Inquiry. We supplied the Premier and leaders of the other parties with copies of our press kit which included Mary-Lou LaPratte’s chronological history of events in Ipperwash. The government knows the truth – that the Ipperwash Inquiry is a flawed, incomplete and utterly unfair report that covered up the fact that, just as in Caledonia, innocent residents were badly victimized by landclaim lawlessness and the refusal by authorities to enforce the law.
Soldier of Fortune – Protection Racket
An Ontario Judge glosses over illegal Aboriginal acts at Ipperwash
Western Standard magazine – July 02, 2007
“One conclusion, then, is that [Ipperwash Inquiry Commissioner] Linden was selective with the historical record and ignored potentially important testimony, thereby exonerating the protesters. But then, McGuinty’s government stands accused of creating pretty much the same conditions in ongoing problem areas such as Caledonia, where Indian protesters have occupied a subdivision since April of 2006.”
Ipperwash Inquiry a shameful cover-up
media release – September 20, 2007
“Imagine if the government invested $20M and 3 years on an inquiry into Caledonia, but refused to allow a single resident to testify, and went out of its way to exclude every shred of evidence of native crimes against them? What if this inquiry was then used to justify a ‘hands off’ policy against native lawlessness in another Ontario town? That’s the legacy of the Ipperwash Inquiry for Caledonians.”
Tell Michael Bryant the people of Caledonia want a full and fair inquiry into the impact of native lawlessness on innocent residents in both Ipperwash and Caledonia. Ontario deserves nothing less.
Gary McHale, Editor
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Lead Investigator, The Ipperwash Papers project
Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
Ipperwash Inquiry, Volume 2 – Policy Analysis, Chapter 2, page 29 quoting Gary McHale of CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com, September 14, 2006
“Is it a question that the OPP are completely inept? Is it a question that the OPP are completely clueless? Or is it just that they don’t care about the safety of people? Whichever it is, it is time to talk about disbanding the whole OPP force.”
NOTE: Upon being informed that he and his website were quoted in the Ipperwash Inquiry, Gary McHale remarked, “It’s ironic that the Inquiry excluded all the residents, but included a quote from me calling for the disbanding of the OPP; too bad they didn’t just listen to the residents and address the issue properly. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.”