What’s that sharp-looking shiny thing sticking out of your back, Ernie?

Illegal smokeshack on Palmer property, June 16/09: STAIRS

UPDATE 2235 EST June 29/09: Regional News Comment by Bill Jackson, June 24/09: Getting both sides of the story. I’ve posted some excerpts related to Ernie and the smokeshack at the end of this post.


Let’s take a fun stroll through the ‘Everything That Goes Around Comes Around Department,’ or, if you prefer, the ‘One Knife in the Back Deserves Another Department” and, if you have time, what about having a look at the ‘When You Lie Down With Dogs You Get Fleas Department.” They’re all good when it comes to this story:

I recently ran a post regarding my opinion that 73 year-old farmer Ernie Palmer was an honourable, law-abiding citizen who was bullied by Steve Powless into allowing a smoke shack onto his private property and then insulting Doug Fleming for announcing the Caledonia Militia after speaking to Ernie. (now called ‘Caledonia Peacekeepers.’)

Since running that story, Ernie’s been busy trying to paint Powless as a great guy who had coffee with him all the while insulting Caledonia resident Doug Fleming at every opportunity. I was a little puzzled, but I was pretty sure this story wasn’t finished.

At first, I just couldn’t believe that he wasn’t intimidated. After his numerous backstabbing jabs at Doug Fleming, an honourable man who went to speak with him in good faith to try to offer lawfully permitted assistance if it was desired I began to have my doubts.

After all, who willingly allows a criminal tobacco enterprise on their private property in a town where people have been assaulted by smokeshackers while protesting against the scum who are selling cigarettes to their kids?  Why would Ernie want to do such a thing? Why would Ernie insult the man who came to offer help if the OPP did nothing?

Outsiders, they stick their nose into it … because this is my problem,” said Ernie Palmer. “Mr. Fleming, you are a publicity seeker and you should have stayed out of it as I told you.”

What’s that sharp-looking shiny thing in your back, Ernie?

Well, now it seems that Ernie has discovered he was insulting the wrong guy (gee, who knew?).  Apparently poor, poor Ernie – despite drinking gallons of coffee with that nice Steve Powless fella who once threatened to turn Brantford into another Caledonia – can’t convince Stevie to pack up his crime operation in order to keep Ernie from being charged by the police! And since nice Stevie won’t leave, Ernie’s asked the OPP to help him.

But with police warning him that he could be charged with aiding and abetting an illegal operation, Palmer said he regretfully told Powless to move the operation off his Highway 6 farm, just south of Caledonia.

Powless refused.

I’m not even going to, to, ljl\lw=\;.w;]\v;a’g=oiem2@

Sorry…I was laughing so hard I couldn’t type properly. What I was trying to say is that I’m not even going to speculate on what’s going to happen when the OPP refuse to remove Powless and crew. Hopefully, they go quietly and Ernie & Stevie can go back to having their coffee klatches.

If not, well…Doug’s a pretty classy guy, but I’m not sure that even he (or any other member of the Caledonia Peacekeepers) would lift a finger to help Ernie once they’re ready.

After all, one knife in the back is enough for anybody.

I just LOVE that it was all soooo predictable. Gee, who could possibly have known that cosying up to criminals could have a bad outcome?

And the truth…shall set you free.

A Question?

I can’t tell you how delighted I am that Ernie is being held accountable for the illegal criminal enterprise on his property. (See CUPE, we really do believe that the law applies to non-natives, too!) What I’d really like to know is why the OPP isn’t enforcing the law against the shacks set up by native criminals on public property.

Couldn’t be because there’s one law for the non-native folk and one law for the natives, could it?

Regional News Comment by Bill Jackson, June 24/09: Getting both sides of the story

Reporter Bill Jackson, after speaking to Ernie, comments on OPP Inspector McLean’s statement that the media isn’t telling both sides of the story. The excerpt below deals with the Ernie/smokeshack story (emphasis mine).

It’s nice to know that Haldimand OPP Insp. Dave McLean thinks that the media should get both sides of the story. That’s why last week, following a council meeting in Cayuga, I took it upon myself to talk face to face with a landowner who is dealing with the owners of a native smoke shack who set up shop on his property.

But what he told me was somewhat different than what McLean told councillors who, after having no communication with the property owner in question, speculated as to what he may or may not be thinking while hearing what the police inspector had to say.

It is true, I found, and as McLean stated, that the property owner wanted to try and resolve the matter on his own.

The property owner and McLean both blamed the formation of the ‘Caledonia Militia’ by Doug Fleming as being detrimental to a coffee-talk resolution between the landowner and the smoke shack owners that would have resulted in the removal of the illegal business.

The words gullible and naive come to mind. But to say that the landowner wasn’t intimidated, as McLean asserted, is assumptive. The man, arguably, was not threatened with extortion, but does anyone think that having a native smoke shack at the end of their driveway wouldn’t be a bit intimidating with what Haldimand has dealt with the past three-and-a-half years? Would it not be a little intimidating to be liable for an illegal business and be at risk of losing your insurance, while facing possible fines? Suffice it to say that the property owner probably wouldn’t want a repeat of April 20, 2006.

McLean also stated that the shack was placed on the man’s property “with his agreement”. But the property owner told me that he didn’t allow the smoke shack on his property and that he thought it was wrong.

Note  – the Regional News does not publish an online edition.

Only in the Twilight Zone…

1. A criminal business operation was set up without permission on private property by a guy who once threatened to turn Brantford into another Caledonia.

2. The property owner/victim thought he could negotiate with the criminal to remove it, but the criminal won’t honour the deal. (Surprise!)

3. Both the victim and the criminal say it’s all Doug Fleming’s fault.

4. The police play fast and loose with the truth in order to make the native criminal look less guilty because he supposedly had ‘permission’ from the victim to set up his criminal enterprise.

5. The politicians believe the Inspector of a police force which has enforced racial policing in their town for the past three years.

Only in the Twilight Zone that is Caledonia-Haldimand. 

Mark Vandermaas, Editor


4 responses to “What’s that sharp-looking shiny thing sticking out of your back, Ernie?

  1. A small swatch of divine justice. There will be more.

    Bargaining with your tormentor for less pain never ends in an agreement you can live with.

    VoC REPLY: Hi Jim, thanks for that pearl of wisdom; I’d never heard it put like that before. Winston Churchill once said, “An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.” And both you and he were 100% right. Regards, Mark

  2. Be careful what you ask for.
    Sometimes you get more than you can handle.

  3. I don’t understand Ernie. From reading the stories on his situation and his reactions. I am just left totally confused by him.

    I think Lenin would have called him a “useful idiot.”

    I’m just not sure which word should be used for emphasis. “Useful,” to the natives, or just an “idiot” for shooting himself in the foot.

    VoC REPLY: Yeah, that seems to sum up my thoughts, too. Thanks for that, James. Regards, Mark

  4. A thought just occurred to me – if a private land owner can be held criminally responsible and can have their property insurance canceled for having an illegal and unlicensed business operating on their property…shouldn’t the same apply to public institutions?

    Specifically – I am thinking of the land owned by Six Nations Band Council that I believe has several smoke shacks on it – along with land owned by Haldimand County and Ontario Realty Corporation.

    I am sure that even Six Nations Band Council has private insurance coverage – Haldimand County and Ontario Realty Corporation certainly do.

    Perhaps a different flank to combat these smoke shacks is in order.

    A nice letter to the insurance companies for Six Nations Band Council, Haldimand County and Ontario Realty Corporation, along with a few photos might be a nice start.

    VoC REPLY: I like how you think, Simon! Oh, this battle is just beginning and thanks to McHale v. R just handed down today, anything is possible. Things are going to get a lot more interesting from here on! Justice lives in Ontario yet! Regards, Mark