Source: Hamilton Spectator
Date: Feb 22, 2008
Title: Native land report ready: Crombie set to make suggestions in Caledonia dispute [PDF] [REPRINT]
Crombie, the former Toronto mayor and federal Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, said yesterday his $1,500-a-day contract is winding down, his report is finished and Strahl will get it “in the next day or two.”
Crombie did say in a Spectator interview shortly after he was appointed he believed a communications system is needed between the federal government and residents “that is trusted and used on a regular basis so people are not in the dark.”
Hamilton Spectator, Feb 22/08: Native land report ready
Unfortunately, if Crombie’s willingness to communicate is any example, Caledonia residents don’t have much to look forward to in his report. On September 25, 2007 I sent an email (see below) to David Crombie offering to meet with him and provide extensive evidence related to Caledonia and the effects of the Ipperwash legacy. (I got his email address from Haldimand County). I never heard back from him.
I sent another email to him on February 08/08 asking, once again, if he would meet with us in order that we might brief him on the failures of the Ipperwash Inquiry. I also asked if he would like to provide a statement clarifying his position as to whether or not the people of Caledonia should be expected to endure native violence and other crime until the last land claim is settled. Crombie didn’t respond to this request either.
Other residents have sent emails and left telephone messages for Crombie that were never returned. How can Crombie make suggestions with incomplete information? How can he bring about a trustworthy communication system when he refuses to communicate himself? I wish I could get $1,500 a day to ignore people with relevant evidence on a subject of national importance.
Given our knowledge of how the Ipperwash Inquiry excluded residents and evidence of native crimes against them, I smell a whitewash coming or, in the very best case, a report that acknowledges some of the crimes against Caledonia, but relies – in whole or in part – on the Ipperwash Inquiry cover-up to validate the McGuinty/OPP abandonment of the community.
I’ll be the first to apologize if Crombie does the right thing for Caledonia, but I think residents are about to get screwed over by a student of the ‘Ipperwash Inquiry School for Whitewashes.’
VoC letter to David Crombie
September 25, 2007
Mr David Crombie
Federal Liason for Caledonia
Dear Mr. Crombie:
1. INTRODUCTION: My colleague, Gary McHale and I, are two of the three people who have been arrested for attempting to raise a Canadian flag in Caledonia. For many months now we have set aside our careers to devote ourselves to restoring the rule of law in Ontario on a full time, volunteer basis by organizing peaceful protests, gathering important evidence, assisting residents in filing complaints, and keeping the public informed on a daily basis about this vital issue. Mr. McHale’s website, CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com, receives as many as one million views per month, while VoiceofCanada.ca was recently named #82 out of 1.5 million sites on the WordPress.com system.
We have held 6 Town Hall meetings regarding Caledonia and conducted 4 protest marches in Caledonia. MPP Toby Barrett has spoken at one of our Marches and publicly supported the valuable information we provide to the residents of Caledonia. John Findlay, lawyer for the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit, has publicly endorsed our efforts and thanked us for the amount of information we make available to residents.
We provide a service to the residents which allows them to be both informed as well as provide them a voice. Our current March scheduled for Oct. 8th will have [xxxxxxx] and Joe Gualtieri as speakers. We have taken people from 6th line in Caledonia to Queen’s Park to speak out about the lack of policing on their road. We often provide media with background information as well as contacts to residents who are willing to be interviewed. We provide evidence to various lawyers for lawsuits and to residents for their own police service complaints. You can read testimonials from residents on the right side margin at http://www.voiceofcanada.ca.
2. EVIDENCE AVAILABLE: We and our supporters are – to the best of our knowledge – the only people who have filed Police Service Complaints, Human Rights Complaints and lawsuits against the OPP/OPPA for false arrest and defamation. We have met with Monty Kwinter’s office regarding our filed complaints against the conduct of Commissioner Fantino, and have provided extensive evidence to the office of the Ombudsman. Additionally, we are in possession of approximately 1,000 hours of DCE/OPP radio traffic that reveal native occupiers have threatened to shoot OPP officers and civilians, and that the OPP have been taking direction from them. We would be pleased to provide you with copies of all evidence in our possession, including The Ipperwash Papers documents cited below.
3. THE IPPERWASH PAPERS: On March 14/07 we presented the results of our investigation into Ipperwash from the residents’ point of view at a Queen’s Park news conference. The Ipperwash Papers is a collection of 400+ pages of documents ‘overlooked’ by the Ipperwash Inquiry that prove the Inquiry deliberately excluded the residents and all evidence of their suffering due to land claim lawlessness. This cover-up is now being used to justify the actions of the OPP and the Ontario government in Caledonia.
4. IPPERWASH LEGACY IN CALEDONIA: As we said in a recent news release: “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.”
We have held town hall meetings to explain the chilling similarities between Ipperwash and Caledonia. You may find The IpperDonia Matrix: History Repeated of interest.
5. VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS TO PREVIOUS FEDERAL APPOINTEE: In 1996, the federal government appointed a man named Robert Reid to do the same job you have been appointed to do. Residents of Ipperwash wrote hundreds of victim impact statements to him, but no one – to this day – knows what was done with them. None of these letters were entered into evidence at the Ipperwash Inquiry. We were able to obtain 33 of them with a single phone call to one of the most important and well-informed witnesses to the Ipperwash saga, Ms. Mary-Lou LaPratte. These letters now form part of The Ipperwash Papers collection and can be accessed at www.ipperwashpapers.ca . According to one of these letters, written by the Township of Bosanquet, Dudley George’s death was the result of DND failing to enforce the law during native lawlessness in the years prior to his death. Residents also blamed the OPP for their refusal to enforce the law. Unfortunately, the Inquiry refused to explore or even acknowledge the vital issue of the role that unequal/non-existent law enforcement played in the violence at Ipperwash.
Mary-Lou LaPratte was very well known to the Inquiry’s Lead Counsel but she was not called to testify, even though she demanded to be allowed to do so. Other witnesses with important information were not called. In fact, out of 139 witnesses, not a single one was a full time resident. Important evidence submitted to the Inquiry with respect to crimes committed by natives against residents during 3 separate land claims – including one against their own homes – was not published by the Inquiry despite a promise to publish all projects related to preventing future violence. In an Inquiry that cost $20M and lasted 3 years, the residents were given a total of just 90 minutes to address the commissioner on June 21/06, and the minutes of that meeting were sanitized by the Inquiry. I know because I contacted a reporter to verify that she was writing about the same event in her own account of the evening.
The Western Standard magazine recently published an expose of the Ipperwash Inquiry that relied extensively on The Ipperwash Papers project, and includes numerous quotes from Ms. LaPratte. I have attached a copy for you. You can also access it at this link.
6. VICTIMIZATION OF NATIVE PEOPLE: Our work has exposed the reality that native people are also being badly victimized by Two Tier Justice. According to native media (completely unreported in non-native media) there have been at least 2 rapes on DCE, various assaults, and drug use. The original occupiers themselves are afraid to enter DCE. A native man had a hole blown through his arm in a shooting incident that began initially with him threatening a woman and child on the occupied land. This was witnessed by a nearby resident who contacted us immediately after informing the OPP who have never acknowledged that the incident began on DCE.
7. REQUEST FOR MEETING: Would you be willing to meet with us at a time and place of your convenience? I believe we can provide a unique, comprehensive and non-emotional set of resources and perspective to aid in your effort to understand the Caledonia situation from the larger Ontario and Canadian perspective. I am certain that Ms. LaPratte herself would be willing to accompany us in order to assist you in understanding the Ipperwash legacy and its impact on Caledonians. She has spent the last 15 years of her life trying to prevent other towns from suffering what she and the other people of Ipperwash have endured.
Thank you for listening. I do hope you will be able to find some time to meet with us. Please call me any time, day or night if I can be of service.
Mark 519.457.0709 cell: 519.xxx.xxxx
Hamilton Spectator, Feb 22/08: Native land report ready
VoiceofCanada, Feb 08/08: McHale letter to David Crombie re ‘get used to it’ message for Caledonia
Western Standard, July 02/07: Protection Racket: an Ontario judge glosses over illegal aboriginal acts at Ipperwash
VoiceofCanada feature: The Ipperwash Papers