UPDATED 1255 EST July 13/08
In an editorial published today (July 11/08), the Brantford Expositor grudging admitted that Gary McHale, Executive Director of CANACE, is making a difference in pushing the perpetrators of land claim occupations into the court via private prosecutions.
“When we see McHale has been up to something, we normally reach for an 11-foot pole. However, we admit McHale has accomplished something by laying private charges against Floyd and Ruby Montour.”
“McHale is filling a vauum. Although the OPP has been investigating, no charges have resulted.”
“Do the Montours (or anyone else) have the right to shut down development to enforce demands from HDI? It’s time to involve a judge. Of course, the judge would need the wisdom of Solomon. If the charges are upheld, the Montours will say the justice system isn’t fair to natives. If the charges fail, McHale will say the courts are too lenient. All the same, it will be good to clear the air.”
By the time I left a detailed reply (see below) to the rather bizzare contortions the Expositor went through not to offend native protesters while still doing their best to paint McHale as a villain despite his amazing accomplishment, several readers had left comments echoing my own thoughts that the real problem in Brantford wasn’t Gary McHale, but the Brantford Expositor’s clear bias towards native protesters who have caused economic devastation with their lawlessness. Thanks to ‘talksforaliving,’ ‘justin from Toronto,’ and ‘Bosco’ who put it short and sweet:
“Gary Mchale has been the only individual to bring charges against the Montours, and for this alone he deserves to be praised, regardless of what dirt someone can dig up on him. The Expositor can be part of the solution too. Here’s how. Stop putting a “but” at the end of every report of the city police’s dereliction of duty and pretend for a moment that people in this town can actually see corruption for what it is.”
Below is a reprint of the comment I posted to the online version of the Expositor’s editorial. Reference links follow:
Re: Brantford Expositor editorial, July 11/08: Private Charges
I apologize in advance for the length of this reply, but these issues are vital to Ontario, so it is essential that the public has access to the true facts regarding Mr. McHale.
I have worked closely with Gary McHale since October 2006 and really must take issue with the Expositor’s editorial characterization of peaceful, law-abiding, non-native activists as troublemakers while giving a free ride to native extremists who have devastated entire communities economically while committing countless serious crimes against persons and property.
1. NO MARCHES TO REPLACE ABORIGINAL FLAGS
Mr. McHale has never organized a march to ‘replace aboriginal flags with Canadian flags.’ Not in 2006. Not ever. His Dec 16/06 and Jan 20/07 marches were organized to raise Canadian flags AFTER Caledonia resident Bo Chausse was arrested while trying to place a flag on a hydro pole across from the Douglas Creek Estates which, by the way, is his right to do so under the Supreme Court decision in Ramsden v. Peterborough, 1993. I challenge the Expositor to produce a single shred of evidence to prove that Mr. McHale organized any protest for the purpose of removing aboriginal flags. It never happened. In fact, two native media outlets expressly stated only that the purpose of Mr. McHale’s Dec 16/06 march was to raise Canadian flags. You really should stop taking OPP news releases at face value.
Speaking of the OPP, to the best of my knowledge, the Expositor has never reported that OPP Commissioner Fantino has been requested by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to appear at a mediation session to address my complaint that he and his officers violated my constitutional rights due to my race when his officers refused to allow me to raise Canadian flags on Dec 16/06 and Jan 20/07. Mr. McHale has a similar complaint with the OHRC that went similarly unreported.
2. EXPOSITOR GETS FACTS WRONG, INSULTS VICTIMS OF NATIVE VIOLENCE
On Dec 01/07 CANACE founders Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas were attacked by native smokeshack supporters during a peaceful protest by Caledonia residents upset with yet another illegal smokeshack selling cigarettes to their children. Jeff Parkinson suffered brain damage after being thrown to the ground by an OPP officer while videotaping the vicious assaults on Gary McHale by various smokeshack supporters. Both McHale and Parkinson went to hospital for their injuries.
Despite numerous assaults, false accusations, and slurs directed against him by natives that day, video evidence shows that Mr. McHale endured their violence and hateful words without retaliating in kind even once. The Expositor however, didn’t report his steadfast commitment to non-violence. Rather than condemn those who committed the violence and incited it with false allegations of assault (a native woman was eventually charged by the OPP for filing a false report against McHale), the Expositor ran an editorial on Dec 04/07 that used lyrics from a Christmas carol to make fun of Mr. McHale’s injuries. It criticized Mr. McHale for moving to the Caledonia area and for his (peaceful!) attempts to protest against injustice, yet it never once rebuked the perpetrators of the unprovoked violence – the native smokeshack thugs. This is akin to making fun of a woman who has been raped because she dared to exercise her right to walk down the street in the ‘wrong’ neighbourhood. It was, in our opinion, the most disappointing example of ‘journalism’ we have experienced to date.
VoiceofCanada, Dec 05/07: Brantford Expositor endorses violence against civil rights activist CANACE incident summary: CANACE CALLS FOR RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence
At least a dozen OPP officers were assaulted on Dec 01/07, but the Expositor had no criticism of the native perpetrators; never singled out any of them some of whom have been involved in serious criminal activities for nearly two years.
The editorial also stated that Brantford developer Mike Quattrociocchi had warned Mr. McHale not to protest at his property. False again. Mr. McHale has a tape recording proving that, far from discouraging a protest at his site, Quattrociocchi made a point of telling Mr. McHale there was a vacant field beside his property.
I contacted the Expositor’s owner, Osprey Media and spoke with a vice president to express my displeasure over the Expositor’s seeming endorsement of violence against a peaceful civil rights activist. I offered that McHale and I would be pleased to meet with editorial staff to set the record straight, but the offer was rejected in an email in which the Expositor made other false statements about Mr. McHale that dramatized just how badly misinformed the paper is about us and about our activities.
In his reply refusing my offer of a meeting, Managing Editor David Judd repeated the misinformation that Mr. McHale’s presence was ‘discouraged’ by Quattrociocchi, and also stated that McHale was facing a defamation suit by the Ontario Provincial Police. False again. Mr. McHale is being sued by the Ontario Provincial Police Association, not the OPP. Mr. Judd was also, apparently, unaware of the lawsuit by McHale against the OPPA, OPP, Haldimand Country and 3 people in Premier McGuinty’s office for their alleged conspiracy to defame him. But, he knew for sure that he and his editorial staff didn’t need to meet with us.
More recently, the Expositor ran a story about how Mr. McHale was planning a rally in Brantford during the court case brought against native occupiers by the city. The only problem was, that story wasn’t true either.
3. EXPOSITOR DOWNPLAYS EVIDENCE AGAINST NATIVE PROTESTERS
The current Expositor editorial suggests, “The charges [against the Montours] may not have merit.” And, how did the paper’s editor come to that conclusion? Because one of the persons charged with Extortion, Intimidation and Mischief (Ruby Montour) says, “McHale is a “silly man” and says he can’t prove the charges.”
A judge ruled that Gary McHale satisfied the court that he had a prima facie case for every element of each and every one of the nine charges against the Montours. McHale published the judge’s ruling along with all the evidence he provided the court on his website with a link from the homepage at http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com. Has the Expositor even bothered to read it? Had it done so, it would have discovered that some of the evidence used by McHale came from the City of Brantford court case which resulted in the injunction against the Ruby and Floyd show. McHale’s submission also included evidence from the Cayuga builders who also obtained an injunction against further occupations by the two.
CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature: Upholding the Law (Evidence submitted to court re Montour charges)
4. THE LAW IS CLEAR ON ILLEGAL OCCUPATIONS & DUTY TO CONSULT
The Expositor asks the question, “Do the Montours (or anyone else) have the right to shut down development to enforce demands from HDI? It’s time to involve a judge. Of course, the judge would need the wisdom of Solomon.”
This very question has already been answered by the Ministry of the Attorney General in their submission to the Ipperwash Inquiry which cited numerous decisions by Canadian courts throughout the land to conclude that natives CANNOT use the ‘colour of right’ defence for illegal occupations. The Ministry’s legal opinion was provided to the court by Mr. McHale.
The Supreme Court specifically stated in Haida Nation v. British Columbia, 2004 that the duty and liability to consult and accommodate native groups during unproven claims DOES NOT APPLY to third parties such as municipalities and landowners, and cannot be delegated to them by the Crown. This decision was also submitted by Mr. McHale to the court.
May I suggest that reporters from the Brantford Expositor take the time to attend the next CANACE information meeting at the Cayuga Lions Hall on July 21/07 at 7pm. where we will once again address this very question. If the Expositor had attended CANACE’s May 07/08 presentation in Cayuga where we released our report, ‘Legalized MYTHS of Illegal Occupations’ they would know that there is absolutely no legal basis that gives natives the right to break the law or conduct illegal occupations. None. This report is available online – along with our other report, ‘The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations’ – at http://www.canace.ca. Click on ‘Reports and Investigations’ in the right side menu.
CANACE report: Legalized MYTHS of Illegal Occupations CANACE report: The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations
5. EXPOSITOR NEEDS A VILLAIN
You state that Gary McHale is, “dedicated to stirring the pot on native issues,” and that he’s not part of the solution. (I’m not sure how you reconcile that with your later statement praising him for “filling a vacuum.’). It seems silly that I have to state the obvious that Gary McHale didn’t terrorize the people of Ipperwash or Caledonia. He didn’t’ burn down a bridge, destroy the power station; attack old people; assault police officers and threaten their families; dig up the road; block rail lines; harass residents; and build illegal smoke shacks to sell cigarettes to kids and others trying to avoid taxes that support our society.
It isn’t McHale who ignores the Criminal Code, the Supreme Court, municipal by-laws and basic common decency. He hasn’t threatened anyone with violence. He hasn’t threatened occupations of land he doesn’t own if the owners don’t pay money to a criminal organization that is unelected and unaccountable. He hasn’t violated his oath of office and the Police Services Act by refusing to enforce the law. He hasn’t arrested people for trying to exercise their right to raise a flag and held them overnight without charge.
He never put on a mask and picked up a baseball bat to get what he wanted; he protested peacefully. He filed complaints with the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services. With the Ombudsman. With the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. With the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He used the media to get his message out. Not one single time did he victimize innocent human beings.
VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Photos VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Lawsuits
It is true that McHale was charged for ‘Counselling Mischief Not Committed’ for allegedly suggesting to a Caledonia resident who had blocked the road with his truck on Dec 1/08 that he get other residents to join him with their cars. CANACE has submitted a complaint regarding the conduct of three OPP officers in connection with the day’s events over the fact that natives who committed the most serious crimes of assaulting police escaped charges while non-natives who allegedly committed the least serious crimes did not.
Even if McHale is convicted (which is highly doubtful) the worst one can accuse him of is suggesting that a fellow protester commit a minor act of non-violent civil disobedience that never even occurred.
If anyone knows Gary McHale and his motivations when it comes to native issues, I do. He believes, as do all CANACE founders, that the rule of law is the foundation of democracy and that no human beings should be victimized or have their rights trampled on because they were the ‘wrong’ race. McHale has struggled and persisted despite overwhelming odds, and I would urge the Expositor to read a recent CANACE.ca article that explains the price he has paid in order to seek justice for the victims of native extremism: ‘CANACE fights for Canadians against incredible odds.’
McHale has his failings, but they pale to non-existent when compared against native extremists and the police who enable them with McGuinty’s full support. The fact that the Expositor can smear a good and honourable man who has used only peaceful means to oppose race-based policing indicates that you need a villain on the non-native side to counter the awful publicity native extremists have created for themselves. It’s easier, I suppose, to throw rocks at McHale in order to show how ‘balanced’ your reporting is than to simply tell the truth and endure the inevitable allegations of ‘racists!’ from those who would justify their lawlessness against innocents.
I think ‘Talksforaliving’ is right on in his observation as to who is responsible for ‘provoking’ the situation: “The Expositor states that he [Gary McHale] wants to provoke a situation while the Expositor’s biased reporting and editorials are inciting the natives to action. YOU have been provoking the current situation!”
I couldn’t agree more.
6. GARY MCHALE FILLS A VACUUM
I appreciate that, despite its fact-challenged dislike of Gary McHale, you at least have the integrity to begrudgingly acknowledge his role in pursuing a solution through the courts.
Is it possible, therefore, that if you actually spent some time with him – not under a pressing deadline, mind you – that you could help your readers – native and non – understand the long-term wisdom of his/our non-violent confrontation of the injustices of racially-based policing?
Is it just possible that McHale has a bigger and better vision than you have given him credit for?
7. EXPOSITOR CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
Mr. McHale advises me today that he has sent a total of 503 email news releases to the Brantford Expositor. Since I receive the same messages, I know that the Expositor has access and notice of all evidence and information published by him/us. We have offered to meet with your staff to correct misinformation, to answer your questions, and to brief you on our activities and on the startling evidence we have uncovered. You have refused. As such, there is simply no excuse for reporting false and inaccurate information.
The issues at stake are simply too important to Canada’s future to ignore inconvenient facts that don’t fit the desired narrative, or to look for convenient ‘villains’ to provide illusory editorial balance. If we are to forge a relationship with native peoples it must be one based on truth and a commitment to justice for all, irrespective of race or grievance. So long as media look for villains instead of truth, they are taking us further from a just solution that most definitely does NOT include the sanction of violence and intimidation as a means to resolve grievances.
Canadian journalists have a serious responsibility to share the truth with the public so that pressure is brought to bear on those truly responsible for the landclaim lawlessness crisis. To that end, I would like to once again offer to make myself and Mr. McHale available to meet with Expositor staff at your convenience.
Please do feel free to contact me at any time, day or night. We hope to see you at our next presentation in Cayuga on July 21st.
Mark Vandermaas, Director of Research
Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
- Branford Expositor editorial, July 11/08: Private Charges [PDF]
- CANACE news release, July 08/08: CANACE ‘extortion’ charges certified by Ontario Court of Justice
- VoiceofCanada, July 08/08: July 08/08 – the day ordinary citizens took back Ontario
- CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature: Upholding the Law (Evidence submitted to court re Montour charges)
- CANACE report: Legalized MYTHS of Illegal Occupations
- CANACE report: The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations
- CANACE news: CANACE fights for Canadians against incredible odds
- CANACE news release, July 11/08: CANACE to take on ringleaders of HDI land extortion scheme
- VoiceofCanada, Dec 05/07: Brantford Expositor endorses violence against civil rights activist
- VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Photos
- VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Lawsuits
- CANACE incident summary: CANACE CALLS FOR RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence