Yesterday, CANACE co-founders, Jeff Parkinson and Merlyn Kinrade managed to do what the OPP refused to do – lay a charge of assault against Haldimand Councillor Buck Sloat with respect to an Aug 07/07 incident at the Haldimand County office in which Sloat allegedly grabbed Parkinson’s shoulder while he snatched Parkinson’s tape recorder from his pocket and dropped it on the ground. Fortunately, the recorder was running at the time and recorded the incident.
Parkinson was standing quietly waiting for his turn to ask a question as Merlyn Kinrade and Sloat were talking when Sloat noticed the tape recorder in his pocket and got upset. I was nearby at the time of the incident, but did not witness it.
After taking an hour to consider the matter, Parkinson decided to file a complaint with the OPP who did their best to talk him out of it. Parkinson, however, believes, as do I, that if he had done the same to Sloat he’d have been arrested and charged, and deservedly so. Sloat’s status as an elected official should make him more accountable for his actions, not less.
Yesterday, in a Cayuga court – several court appearances and 5 months after the OPP refused to act – Parkinson and his witness Merlyn Kinrade convinced a judge that there were grounds to lay the charge. In doing so, they have sent some powerful messages to the OPP and Haldimand Council – that elected officials are not above the law, and that citizens will not allow the OPP to get in the way of justice.
Congratulations to Jeff and Merlyn for their persistence and determination to hold Buck Sloat accountable for his alleged assault. I salute you both!
Be sure to read Jeff’s story listed in the References below.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
CaledoniaWakeUpCall blog, Jan 09/07: Haldimand councilor charged with assault
CaledoniaWakeUpCall audio recording, Aug 07/07: Councillor Sloat w/Merlyn Kinrade, Jeff Parkinson
Haldimand’s Unheard Voice, Jan 09/07: Local Councilor Charged
CaledoniaWakeUpCall blog category: Jeff’s blogs