Supposed Caledonia Convoy organizer criticizes CANACE & VoC – anonymously


I received a lengthy comment today from someone using the screen name, ‘abettermanwouldawisermanwill’ (I will refer to her/him as ‘Betterman’) in which he/she makes a number of accusations against me and CANACE.

I have a ‘dog in the fight,’ but I try to be fair

I am an activist engaged in what I believe is a life and death struggle for the future of our country by doing what I can to preserve the rule of law. I am not unbiased; I have taken a side. As Dr. Phil would say, “I have a dog in the fight.'”

As an activist my policy is not to publish comments unless I think they will prove useful in achieving the goal of ending racial policing and landclaim lawlessness. I am not a journalist or a discussion board for all views, but I do strive to be fair and accurate, and I am proud of my record on VoC for doing so.

I publish comments which help the fight against racial policing, not hurt it

I often publish comments that are critical of my position because they help illuminate various issues for readers. Still, I feel no obligation to give anyone a place to try to destroy or denigrate all the hard work I and many others have invested in holding government and police accountable for their outrageous actions in allowing innocent people to be victimized in places like Ipperwash and Caledonia. Especially when they’re made anonymously.

Betterman claims to be an organizer of the Caledonia Convoy

‘Betterman’s comment was a little unique in that he was claiming to be an organizer of the Caledonia Convoy which took place on May 02/07.

I am proud to say that CANACE founders fully supported and participated in the convoy; Merlyn Kinrade and I drove to Queen’s Park in one of the 83 cars or so that participated.

Gary McHale made the classy decision not to go so the media focus would be on residents and not his presence. While at QP I made a point to tell Rick Vanderwyk how impressed I was with the organization of the event.

Want to criticize others? Time to step up to the plate.

I think its long past time for those who want to criticize CANACE’s record (or anyone else’s that matter) to step up to the plate and tell us – specifically – what they would do differently, especially if they are claiming to be a community organizer/leader.

I decided to send the following email to the address Betterman provided. Unfortunately, it came back as undeliverable, so since I don’t know if the mailbox is just full or doesn’t exist, I decided to post it here since he obviously reads VoC:


—–Original Message—–
From: Mark Vandermaas, Editor – []
Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:46 PM
Subject: Your comment to VoC
Dear ‘abettermanwouldawisermanwill’:
If you are such a proud organizer of the Convoy you should have no trouble providing me with your real name and a real email address. If you do, I will publish your comments in full – with your name – and respond to them in detail. I’ll even put them in a post of their own. If you want to attack CANACE’s record, here’s your chance. But, have the decency to do it out in the open. 
Your comment contains so many false accusations, specious arguments, and hearsay arguments that I’d have to write a book just to respond to them all in order to defend my/our record, and I’m not going to waste my time for an anonymous skulker who’s too afraid to tell readers who they are.
At least the members of CANACE have the guts to make ourselves targets for those who sit back and criticize us while doing nothing.  You did one protest two years ago that got a great message out for one day. Very good. Then…you stopped. If you want to criticize my record, OK. Bring it on. If/when you send me your name & email address tell me two things that I can post along with your comments:
a. What have YOU done since May 2007 to restore the rule of law to Caledonia? Here’s a link to the list of CANACE accomplishments. Send me a list of yours and I’ll post them together so everyone can compare.
b. What ideas do YOU have for a protest and/or method of holding gov’t and police accountable that CANACE hasn’t used that you feel would be more effective?
VoC Comment
I look forward to receiving Betterman’s reply. He can call or write anytime. I’m looking forward to his suggestions for helping us mount a more effective campaign against racial policing.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor (my real name)
VoiceofCanada (my real address)
519.457.0709 (my real phone number)
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality

3 responses to “Supposed Caledonia Convoy organizer criticizes CANACE & VoC – anonymously

  1. abettermanwouldawisermanwill

    Hi Mark,

    I can’t begin to express to you how disturbing it is for me to see CANACE once again go after residents of Caledonia.

    Mark my words, that will continue to be the biggest mistake that organization makes.

    I am not Rick Vanderwyk.

    VoC REPLY: Hello ‘Not Rick’ or ‘Betterman,’ whatever you call yourself. Your refusal to step up and identify yourself so your comments can be published speaks volumes.

    I guess this means you don’t want to compare resumes and provide CANACE with ideas that will better serve your fellow residents? I thought not.

    As for ‘going after residents,’ I’m not even sure where that bizzare remark comes from given the very kind things I said about the Convoy both at the time it took place [link] and in my reply to your original comment toThanks to Six Nations women for helping to expose racial policing during highway protest.

    Sorry, but it seems to me the only person who’s making smarmy, irrational attacks here is an anonymous shadow who has attacked people who have supported every resident protest and endeavour to the best of our ability, including the one you claim to have helped organize.

    Don’t bother writing again unless you’re willing to put your name to it and provide a real email address. Mark

    P.S. do you really think I don’t know who you are?

    P.P.S. see Mark Delio’s comment below; you might learn something.

  2. Don’t fret, Mark, I think you guys with CANACE are doing a great job. I wish I had your stamina to hang on as long as you have. I wish I could do more than just writing letters, but I have to admit that sometimes it is tough. I’m sure my previous notoriety from letter-writing has cost me a couple of part-time jobs I was seeking over the last year. However, I still fully support your efforts and applaud regularly whenever you guys give the OPP and authorities a “black eye”.

    Good show…keep it up. I will continue to come out to the rallies when I can and add my voice to your mission to rid us of two-tiered law enforcement. You can count on that.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks Mark, that letter of yours was a real boost to morale and it was appreciated so very much at the time. Sorry to hear you lost a couple of jobs over it, but I hope you will take it as a mark of pride. It takes guts to make a stand knowing that you might risk something valuable for what you know is right.

    That’s how I’ve grown to see people today after 3 years at this – who is willing to pay a price to stand up for other people? Very few people are. I’m proud to know that Mark Delio has so thanks for telling me. Regards, Mark

  3. The people who detract from your efforts are irrelevant. The reality of events on the ground speak for themselves. Over time, they will, that is the way of the world.

    The real problem is that our elected officials will not stand in front of the OPP at a crime scene (shacks etc.) and state that it is their duty to speak out against the actions of the police as a representative of the civil authority. Until politicians recognize that they represent the people and not the paramilitary organization called the OPP, nothing will change.

    Save for the shootings, are the OPP acting any differently than the military in Tehran? Opposition and dissent will not be tolerated, rules of law will be set aside. Size does not matter when civil rights are violated, especially when those commissioned to protect them abdicate their authority.

    If it were not for the few, the many would be nothing but hushed whispers in the halls of parliament.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks so much for the support Mark. Small minded ‘cluckers’ who run and hide from the fight are nothing new in history. Chamberlain almost lost England by deluding himself that he could have peace with the Nazis by not confronting them about their crimes.

    Your point about politicians representing the people and NOT the police is a good one. An MPP (not Toby) told us that the PCs will never come out against the OPP because Caledonia is just a blip on the radar and it wasn’t worth losing votes for in the rest of Ontario. Based on the cross-country news coverage of the Caledonia Militia, I wonder if he still thinks that?

    As for those who may or not come to appreciate the importance of confronting the evil of racial policing head on, when Dr. King went to Birmingham to protest he was urged not to go by well-meaning clergy who were afraid things would get worse for blacks, that he would ‘provoke violence’ (where have we heard THAT before?) by insisting that the rights of black people be respected.

    Because of the universal recognition of Dr. King’s contributions, many people think that King always had support from all blacks, but it isn’t true. There were a lot of black people who didn’t support him because they were afraid whites would make their lives even more miserable just as some are afraid in Caledonia. Today, I doubt that any of King’s detractors would say today that they’re sorry King didn’t listen to them.

    King’s reply to those who wanted him to postpone his protests is telling:

    First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    So, you are right, Mark, history is very much on our side. Those who now do their best to get in the way of the movement to reaffirm the constitutional rights of non-natives during land claims will be too ashamed to admit what they did (or didn’t do!) once the struggle has been won.

    As I said to the OPP and others, I am a reasonable person and I understand that it may be necessary for the police to temporarily restrict my right to protest while they are actively engaged in a law enforcement operation (i.e. making arrests) for a few hours, but I will not allow them to simply declare my rights invalid in perpetuity because native criminals have threatened to harm me, and the police find it more convenient to arrest me than the racist criminals making the threat.

    No one, including ‘Betterman/Not Rick’ has the right to set the timetable for other people’s freedom. I will not wait for him or anyone else to tell me when I have rights and when I do not, or that I must voluntarily refrain from exercising them while he cowers in fear waiting for well-paid negotiators, corrupt police or native criminals to give him permission to live as a free Canadian citizen.

    Thanks again. Mark