After publishing the story about my numerous attempts to beg the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) for help in defending civil rights in Caledonia (Canadian Civil Liberties Association turns blind eye to Caledonia’s agony), I, along with several readers who also took time to contact them, finally received a response.
I apologize for not getting this up sooner, but I’ve been a little swamped.
December 12, 2007
Dear Mr Vandermass
Thank you for contacting the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Due to our active workload, the small number of our staff, and the large volume of correspondence that we receive on an ongoing basis, we are unable to respond to each message personally.
As you may know, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is primarily a law reform organization working to entrench fundamental civil liberties in Canada’s legal system. While the Association engages in a wide range of public interest advocacy work in defence of fundamental freedoms, we do not generally perform investigations or provide legal advice or services to members of the public; indeed, we are not in a position to do so. On the whole, when critical issues are at stake, people are advised to approach a lawyer or legal aid clinic in their community. Generally, such services may be reached by contacting directory assistance, the provincial or territorial law society, or through an Internet search.
If you have complaints against the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), they can be filed with the OPP itself or with the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services (OCCOPS) in Toronto. Appeals against OPP disposition of complaints can be made to the Civilian Commission. The Ontario legislature has enacted a bill to establish a new complaints mechanism which is expected soon.
In closing, while the CCLA is not in a position to address all of the concerns conveyed to our offices, we appreciate when people bring current and important civil liberties issues to our attention.
Director, Public Safety Project
Should I tell the CCLA…?
Do you think I should tell the CCLA that an OPP officer testified in court on Dec 14/07 that one of the reasons they want to restrict Gary McHale’s Charter Rights is because the landclaim negotiation “stakeholders” complained to the OPP, and because natives have threatened to “escalate” if McHale’s protests continue?
Should I tell them about Toby Barrett’s column, ‘Who sets direction for OPP?‘ in which he says people are being treated differently “depending on which side of the barricades they are on,” and in which he asks, “Why does there appear to be two-tier justice?”
Naw, I guess not. If children afraid in their home because the OPP won’t patrol their street under orders from native occupiers, and deals with Liberal cabinet ministers not to enforce the law don’t interest them, why would the Canadian Civil Liberties Association care about the OPP taking direction from political “stakeholders” and native criminals to violate the civil rights of a man who was the victim of a vicious, un-provoked attack by native thugs? Now that Mr. Norton’s explained it to me, I understand how mistaken I was to possibly imagine that such things would ever be of interest to his organization.
Thanks for nothing, CCLA. When the story of this period in Canadian history is written, your refusal to help, your refusal to even try to understand the crimes against ‘fundamental civil liberties’ that are being committed in Caledonia will be very much to your shame.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada, Dec 09/07: Canadian Civil Liberties Association turns blind eye to Caledonia’s agony
VoiceofCanada, Dec 14/07: McHale cross-examines OPP as “Two Tier Justice” enters Canadian courtroom for first time!
VoiceofCanada, Dec 18/07: MPP Toby Barrett: Who sets direction for OPP?
VoiceofCanada feature: CALEDONIA VIOLENCE