Merlyn Kinrade letter to National Post re Michael Bryant’s attack on Human Rights

t-shirt_free-caledonia-now_sep22-07.jpgCaledonia 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.””

Toronto Star/Canadian Press, April 07/08: Fantino asked to attend rights mediation [PDF reprint included in this doc]

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

Dear Sir

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.

M. Kinrade
RCN Ret’d


VoC comment

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
Co-author, The Ipperwash Papers
The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations


2 responses to “Merlyn Kinrade letter to National Post re Michael Bryant’s attack on Human Rights

  1. Dear Mark,

    I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Kinrade, and I can see that he cherishes greatly the rights we have in this Country due to the suffering of so many in uniform to guarantee these rights.
    Michael Bryant pales considerably in comparison.

    I suspect that Mr. Bryant is incapable of looking anyone in Caledonia in the eye because he is so morally bankrupt. We cannot allow him or the Liberal Government to continue to strip our rights piece by piece until all that is left is corrupt, abusive , anarchists.

    Thanks to forward thinking men like yourself and Mr. Kinrade we may just turn around the legal and moral decay that is pervading Ontario. We owe this much to our children and grandchildren, who will be the future leaders of this Province and Country.


    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the compliment ML, but we have stood on your shoulders. As for Merlyn, some people refuse to get involved ‘because I have kids.’ Merlyn got involved because he has kids. He is one of the most honourable people I have ever known.

    I hope and pray that we can, indeed, turn this disgraceful attack on democracy around before it degenerates into widespread violence. It is ironic that both Fantino and Bryant should attack protesters who are committed to lawful, non-violent resistance while openly supporting and enabling those who have thumbed their noses at the courts and common human decency.

    I can’t imagine that a cabinet minister can sink much lower than attacking someone for defending their Human Rights. But, then, as I’ve come to realize, there’s no bottom to the barrel of Liberal treachery. Thanks for writing, as always. Mark

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