Caledonia resident Merlyn Kinrade cc’d me on a letter he sent to the National Post regarding Michael Bryant’s derogatory comments about Gary McHale, me and my complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission that has resulted in OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino being asked to attend a mediation session with me.
Here’s a reprint of what Bryant said:
“Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant said the human rights complaint doesn’t help resolve a complex situation dating back hundreds of years. Most people don’t have much sympathy for Vandermaas or McHale after their tense rallies in the divided town, he said.
“Their activity, generally-speaking, is extremely harmful and, as far as I can tell, unwelcome by everybody,” Bryant said. “I know a lot of people in Caledonia feel that they’re individuals who are just trying to get attention for themselves and are, in fact, stirring it up.””
Be sure to also read Merlyn’s awesome ‘Are we a failed state?‘ speech given during our Dec 04/07 news conference (link in References, below).
April 14, 2008
Open Letter to Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant
Your callous disregard for human rights should serve as a reminder to all that there are people in authority who obviously are unaware of the sacrifices made by Canadians to ensure the rights and safety of people in foreign countries. Mr. Bryant, Canadians are still coming home in body bags and their mission seems not to matter to you or your government as you allow the rights of those of us opposed to race-based policing policy to be trampled. This policy is totally wrong and not acceptable in a democracy.
Your insidious remarks concerning Mr. Vandermaas and Mr. McHale, two truly incredible Canadians, is beyond belief. I question your qualifications in stating everybody in Caledonia is opposed to Vandermaas and McHale. Were you in Caledonia interviewing people you promised to talk to before December 2007? If so you forgot to call me as I did leave my name and telephone number with your assistant.
Mr. Bryant, I and others will be visiting Queens Park on Sunday April 20, 2008 to mourn the loss of rule of law for 2 years and counting. I extend to you an invitation to join us at 2:00pm.
Sir, we in this community are depending on you and your government to deal with the criminals, terrorists, extortionists and the insurrection we in this community have to live with. Rewarding those whom engage in these acts will surely encourage more insurrection and demands.
I would expect that a person in your position, Mr. Bryant, would have respect for everyone working towards equality for all in this great country of ours. Your statement as reported in Toronto Star regarding McHale and Vandermass is not conducive to the cause of equality.
I would like you to know both Vandermaas and myself served as UN peacekeepers. The term peacekeeper is used by Mr. McGinty in describing Commissioner Fantino. Peacekeepers serve in a war zone so, is Caledonia a war zone??
In closing, perhaps you should revisit the Ipperwash inquiry so as to save yourself, your government, the OPP and the people of Ontario any more incubus.
Merlyn is a long time resident of Caledonia and has been a tireless advocate for restoring justice in his town. I am honoured to know him, and thankful for his support; past, present and future. Be sure to read some other VoC posts about Merlyn listed in the References section below.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor, VoiceofCanada
Director of Research, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality www.canace.ca
Co-author, The Ipperwash Papers www.ipperwashpapers.ca
Co-author, The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations
- VoiceofCanada category: Human Rights Complaints
- VoiceofCanada, Dec 09/07: Queen’s Park speech by Merlyn Kinrade: “Are we a failed state?”
- VoiceofCanada, Sept 15/07: “OPP are aiding and abetting criminals and terrorists” – Caledonia resident
- VoiceofCanada, April 19/07: Leadership has a name in Caledonia: Merlyn Kinrade, RCN (retired)