John Tory: Ipperwash Inquiry not a licence for “OK Corral”


It’s been almost a year since we visited the Queen’s Park Media Studio (March 14/07 to be exact) to release our Ipperwash Papers project that predicted – 2 1/2 months before the release of the Ipperwash Inquiry report – that the Inquiry would never be able to make any credible recommendations for preventing landclaim lawlessness because it deliberately suppressed evidence of native crimes against innocent residents before, during and after the death of Dudley George.

I hate to say, ‘We told you so’ but not only did the Inquiry not make any credible recommendations for preventing violence against residents, it didn’t make a single specific recommendation on the subject.

During the past year we have repeatedly tried to get the word out about the failings of the Ipperwash Inquiry, but no politician in Ontario would touch the subject with a ten foot pole. That changed on February 13/08 when Conservative leader, John Tory, with MPP Toby Barrett by his side, held an ‘End Lawlessness News Conference.’

Here is a reprint of Mr. Tory’s remarks as provided me by Toby Barrett:

Speaking notes for John Tory, Leader of the PC Party

End Lawlessness News Conference

February 13, 2008

I’m here today with MPP Toby Barrett to talk about the breakdown in the rule of law in Ontario.

The economy is getting a lot of attention these days and for good reason. But a growing trend of unchecked lawlessness around Ontario seems to be slipping under the radar. Stopping it is definitely not on Dalton McGuinty’s priority list.

john-tory.jpgSo we’re here today to start a campaign to draw attention to what Mr. McGuinty is allowing to happen and to bring about an end to this kind of lawlessness in Ontario.

When the House returns later this month (whether it’s in the morning or afternoon) our Party will once again stand up for the rule of law. Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are letting respect for the law, the backbone of our entire system, crumble and we just can’t stand by and let it happen.

We live in Ontario, not the O.K. Corral. It’s time the actions of Ontario’s Premier and his government reflect that.

To date, the PC Party has been the only Party in Ontario standing up for the rule of law.

The reason we’re here today is because two weeks from now is an important but very sad anniversary – two years of an illegal occupation in Caledonia. That’s 730 days where people have been subjected to extortion, barricades, occupations, destruction of private and public property and a whole host of other unlawful activity.

Dalton McGuinty’s response to this has been to look the other way. That’s a disgrace, it’s an abdication of leadership and our Party won’t stand for it because the people of Ontario don’t accept it, nor should they.

The lawlessness we’ve seen in Caledonia is not the only example but it’s the worst one of a growing trend of disrespect for the law. Here are some of the other examples:

Developers on the Grand River have been hit with “development fees” which are essentially extortion. No one does anything about it while these law abiding businesspeople are harassed and ripped off;

The illegal cigarette industry is booming. Other than the media, no one says a word while the law is broken and taxpayers are ripped off for billions, probably by organized crime;

Other occupations and blockades crop up regularly as people decide we should resolve disputes just the way it’s being done in Caledonia;

There was a mixed martial arts championship card on Six Nations territory last weekend, despite the fact it is illegal in Ontario;

Serious charges are dropped due to incompetence or worse in the Attorney General’s department and chaos in the court system. But after a couple of days of investigating himself and his own department, the Attorney General says we don’t need an independent investigation;

Thousands of provincial offence charges are dropped across the province due to a shortage of JPs and closed courtrooms.

These are just a few examples. We’re seeing more every day.

People in Ontario simply cannot go on seeing double standards, governments looking the other way while laws are broken and there are hamstrung police officers who may be reluctant to enforce the law within the climate created by the McGuinty government.

If I set up a gate at the entrance to Queen’s Park claiming I owned the land, and tried to charge a hefty admission fee, I would be asked to leave and if I refused, I would be arrested – and rightly so.

If I sold contraband no tax cigarettes out of the back of my car in the parking lot, I would be arrested and brought to justice, and rightly so.

We need to see consistency, one standard for all, some real leadership from Mr. McGuinty based on principle, and while politicians do not and must not tell the police what to do, they must be seen actively enforcing the law.

Our campaign to stop this will take a number of forms. We are going to push the government in the Legislature. I will be visiting affected areas and sitting down with affected groups. And we will use every means at our disposal to try to get this government to end the lawlessness.

We want to see four things from the McGuinty government:

A clear, unqualified statement that there is one rule of law for everyone in Ontario and that will be upheld always.

2. A policy that the government will not negotiate on the substance of any legal dispute with any person or group involved in an illegal occupation or any other illegal activity. Stop the lawbreaking first, then we will negotiate.

3. A commitment to use the courts to ensure one rule of law and a commitment to not stand in the way of police enforcing the law.

4. A commitment to an independent examination of the chaos presently enveloping our justice system and eroding public confidence daily as charges are dropped and outrageous deals are agreed to. What does the government have to hide and if the answer is nothing, why not commit to the inquiry now?

Through these things – a strong message, clear policy and action to back that up – we can stop lawlessness in Ontario.

We are heading down a slippery slope. That needs to stop and it’s up to Dalton McGuinty to show the leadership to get that done.

First-ever reference by a politician of link between landclaim lawlessness and Ipperwash Inquiry 

According to a Hamilton Spectator/Canadian press article, Tory blames an “overzealous reading” of the Ipperwash Inquiry report:

The climate created by the Liberals has left the Ontario Provincial Police confused about how to police the occupation — the result, he [Tory] said, of an overzealous reading of the inquiry into the police shooting of aboriginal protester Dudley George.”

Hamilton Spectator/Canadian Press, Feb 14/07: First Nations becoming lawless, says Tory

Tory knows what we know. McGuinty knows that Tory knows. 

We have worked hard to keep the lessons of the Ipperwash Papers project in front of the Conservative Party and various politicians (including one former cabinet minister). It was Toby Barrett who made it possible for us to use the Queen’s Park Media Studio, a contribution to truth and justice for which all Ontarians should be very grateful. It was fitting, therefore, that he should be with Tory when the first-ever reference of the link between the Inquiry and landclaim lawlessness was uttered by a politician in Ontario. The fact that it came just one day after releasing what I call ‘The Barrett Proclamation‘ makes it more the sweeter. 

Tory sends a subtle, yet strong message to McGuinty

On the surface, John Tory’s reference to the Ipperwash Inquiry seems quite innocuous, but he actually sent a very strong message to McGuinty. You see, John Tory knows what we know because we left a copy of our very detailed Ipperwash Papers press kit with his assistant at Queen’s Park following our news conference on March 14/07. 

McGuinty knows what Tory knows because we left a copy for the Premier (and the leader of the NDP) at Tory’s office, and his office gets notified of VoC/CWUC articles and news releases. McGuinty knows that the battle over the Ipperwash cover-up is coming, sooner or later. It’s too important to Canada’s democratic future not to be fought.

The truth – like cream – always rises to the surface. It may take a while, but it gets there eventually.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality



4 responses to “John Tory: Ipperwash Inquiry not a licence for “OK Corral”

  1. WL Mackenzie Redux

    Why now John? This had to be said the first week of the last election campaign…why now is this an exploitable wedge issue?

    I’m still POed at you for losing a cinched election by allowing BS private school crap to displace this most important issue. The ELECTION John…that was the time to stand tall with the truth of Ipperwash.

    The 2 tiered rule of law could have been resolved by now had the PCs not blown the last election by avoiding the hard truth of the six nations-McGuinty extortion/collusion.

    Thanks for finding your gonads…albeit too late….but better late then never….now let’s get this issue ( and the malfeasant pond scum in the McGuinty machine) into court!…not hearings…court!…there is criminal malfeasance here to prosecute after the equitable rule of law has been restored…either shoulder the civil duty for completing the whole task or become part of the problem….there is NO half measure as trepid political protocol would normally dictate.

    Anything less than full committal to the restoration of constitutional rule of law and prosecution of official violators is constitutional obstructionism.

    Welcome aboard John….hope you don’t bail when the going gets tough.

    VoC REPLY: Pssst…don’t tell anyone, but our sources tell us that Tory’s serious. Dead serious. Regards, Mark P.S. I learned another new word from you: ‘TREPID.’ Thanks.

  2. WL Mackenzie Redux

    BTW: Bravo to you Mark and all the Ipperwash paper researchers and campaigners…YOU are the story here. YOU are the heroes….not johnny come lately politicos.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks so much for the thought, WL. We do appreciate it. When Two Tier Justice is finally destroyed, the threats, the assaults, the libel, the slander, the financial worries and the arrests will all seem a very small price to have paid. Regards, Mark

  3. Dear Mark,

    I sincerely hope that the sittings in the legislature produce some good and end land claim lawlessness once and for all. This will be difficult, because of the long interruptions due to the holiday breaks in the legislature. Sad that the average person gets a few days at Christmas, and Easter etc. and these guys at the top get several weeks plus the whole summer and a good part of the Fall off. No wonder nothing of substance can be accomplished. Although I am sure the Lord’s prayer will get booted out tout de suite.

    I am also concerned that John Tory may not be retained as party leader, and that may put us back to block one with another coming in. Public pressure and the media is the trump card here no matter who is at the helm of any party. These guys hate bad press, even more than they detest the ongoing criminality of the claims and the militant native agenda. Look at Ipperwash. Seventeen years of selective policing and no remedy. The conservatives were in power when the you know what hit the fan. Mike Harris refused to negotiate with the natives while the park was illegally occupied. The natives refused to leave the park until Mike Harris had an Inquiry into the death of Dudley George. Well we waited a long time to be shown in no uncertain terms that the innocent residents had no voice and the government had no concern for native lawlessness during and after the Inquiry. On top of this the natives were rewarded with the former Provincial Park irregardless of a legal surrender.

    John Tory may be sincere in his press release, but does not at this time offer the stability of four years to tackle the problem. We need a stable, in your face champion, who isn’t going away any time soon. We also need the NDP to get onside to defeat the outrageous rhetoric of McGuinty when he claims he must treat natives with respect, but not respect the rights of those assaulted , harassed, threatened and stolen from for the native agenda. It is impossible for anyone in authority to expect mainstream Canadians to respect natives when they are living in a nightmare not of their own doing, and in which they are allowed no input, and cannot be part of the solution. Canada has entered a dangerous time for persons expecting safety of property and person. Without this safety we have nothing but fear and hopelessness. The whole system of society will fall apart. This is the legacy that McGuinty is determined to give us. If anyone needs the Lord’s prayer now, it is us.


    VoC REPLY: Hi Mary-Lou. What I find remarkable is that all the MSM dutifully reported McGuinty’s statement that the government was ‘returning Ipperwash Provincial Park’ to the natives. According to the Ipperwash Inquiry, there was no claim on the park. With very few exceptions, Canadian ‘journalism’ isn’t; it resembles more of a Liberal PR department.

    I’m glad to hear Tory say the words, but we’ll have to wait and see if it translates into action. Wouldn’t it be great if Barrett and Tory joined us at another anti-smoke-shack protest? (Rumours are, they’ve been asked.) Nothing like seeing the ugliness of landclaim lawlessness up close and personal. Nothing like having MSM media capturing the whole thing for the country to see.

    I’ll bet Tory’s wishing he focused on landclaim lawlessness during his campaign, huh?

    Regards, Mark

  4. David Hartless

    As a staunch John Tory supporter and dyed in the wool conservative I applaud his stand and conviction towards EQUALITY which is really all I have ever wanted to see. I am concerned however that currently John does not have a seat in the legislature even though he is the Conservative Party leader… I am also very concerned that the leadership review coming soon for the Provincial Conservatives will force these issues and statements into the rear recesses of the order of business for the Conservative Party. There is talk of Tim Hudak running as a Conservative independent for Haldimand Norfolk in opposition of Diane Finley whose abandonment of us in Haldimand has sealed her political demise here… If that is true then perhaps John will gain his seat from Tim while Tim takes a run at Federal Politics… Either way until John is re-affirmed as party leader or a strong personality like John is given the nod I fear that words such as above will be allowed, not only be the Government of the day but also the mainstream media to ring hollow and empty.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the comment, Dave. Sorry it took so long to get up; for some reason the WP system dumped it in the spam file. You, more than most, know the price paid to get the politicians to listen. I, too, hope that the words of Barrett and Tory will be more than empty rhetoric; I hope they will join in future protests against Two Tier Justice. Good to hear from you! Regards, Mark