Christie Blatchford ends Fantino’s propaganda war vs. McHale

On Jan 08/10 the Globe & Mail’s Christie Blatchford effectively cleared CANACE co-founder Gary McHale’s name  and vindicated all who stood by him in the face of Fantino’s attempts to target him for arrest and smear him with false allegations of inciting violence and injuring police officers: 

As for Mr. McHale, despite Mr. Fantino’s clear efforts, as documented in emails and court transcripts, to “take him out” – that is, have him charged with something, anything – the only crime the OPP has charged him with is the novel “counselling mischief not committed. A date for the resumption of the preliminary hearing on that charge [against Fantino] has yet to be set. Mr. McHale, as he almost always does, will represent himself – a portly, bespectacled fellow who is nonetheless proving a spirited and sharp combatant.

Globe & Mail, Christie Blatchford, Jan 08/10: ‘Activist a nagging thorn in Fantino’s side‘ [PDFREPRINT

Readers who want to know more about the – as Christie calls it – “bizzare” ‘Counselling Mischief Not Committed’ charge against McHale should check out these items:

VoC comment posted at the Globe & Mail, Jan 08/10

Christie Blatchford has shown why she won the Governor General’s prize for non-fiction literature. As someone who has worked with McHale for more than 3 years I can assure Globe readers that she has indeed done her homework.

She has read the transcripts. She has spent hours upon hours reading our website documentation. She has spoken and corresponded with us. She listened and tried to understand. Where many other journalists were content with their superficial “drive by” stories, Christie sought to understand the real issue at stake: that the the rule of law in Canada was being dangerously subverted for political purposes.

And the result shows: she has done what few journalists have done before her: she has told the truth about Caledonia, Brown-Chatwell and Gary McHale. Where other media have simply reprinted Fantino’s lies without even asking for our opinion or allowing us to rebut them, Christie actually listened and researched. More importantly, she took a side – with the victims.

Bravo, Christie Blatchford!

Some references:

1. More info about McHale’s accomplishments (click on RESUME PDF link):

2. Fantino’s campaign to defame and arrest non-native activists:

3. How native people themselves have been victimized by racial policing in both Ipperwash & Caledonia:

4. Documents, reports and reference links about Race-Based Policing:

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality

Blatchford ends Fantino’s propaganda war against us

The effect of Christie’s article was immediate and satisfying in that reporters suddenly began treating McHale and CANACE with new-found respect, and listening to what he/we had to say and digging deeper. I spent half and hour on the phone today with a Toronto Star reporter while Gary was doing interviews with various media outlets.

The Star is also starting to get very interested in the real Caledonia story. The reporter printed out key documents as I guided him through VoC and the Race-Based Policing page before calling Gary.

One media outlet which has repeatedly printed Fantino’s silliest lies and innuendo without allowing us to rebut them – appears to have had a shift in attitude, from trying to portray us as troublemakers to trying to understand what we (Gary) are trying to accomplish. CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson summed up the impact of Christie Blatchford’s story very well in the title to his post (which I shamelessly plagiarized!] on the subject:

Christie Blatchford, in one fell swoop, single-handedly, has smashed down the wall of suspicion in the minds of the Canadian media – and the public – that Fantino had erected in his spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to silence us with his smears and arrests. We shall be forever grateful to her.

Blatchford first to tell of political direction to OPP to target Dave Hartless

councillor_craig_grice-speaks.JPGChristie’s article is also the first MSM piece to report on the political influence brought to bear on Caledonia resident and Hamilton Police Service officer Dave Hartless by Ontario Senior Negotiator John Nolan who used the OPP to try to silence him. These details were revealed by Hartless’s testimony at McHale’s preliminary hearing into the Counselling Mischief Not Committed charge.

[photo R: Haldimand Ward 3 (Caledonia) Councillor Craig Grice speakson steps of Haldimand OPP Detachment in Cayuga as part of our March for Freedom protest Mar 03/07 in support of Dave Hartless.]

Blatchford set the pace for Brown-Chatwell Trial coverage

It is a sad fact that on the day of Gary McHale’s preliminary hearing when an OPP ERT (Emergency Response Team) officer confirmed – under oath – the existence of race-based policing as an OPP practice there was not a single journalist in the court to report it. Still, even when they were there, it didn’t matter much.

Some of the coverage was OK, but not one journalist was ready to try to connect the dots by digging just a little deeper. There was direct evidence that Fantino had ordered his officers to target McHale before the investigation into Dec 01/07 had even begun even though he had no evidence McHale had committed any crimes in Caledonia, but somehow, instead of putting two and two together and vindicating McHale, the stories tended to still paint him as the villain who hadn’t quite got caught.

When McHale and wife Christine showed up on the first day of the Brown-Chatwell trial there were only a few media reps in the room, Christie Blatchford being one of them. It looked like a repeat of the McHale preliminary hearing – little interest in one of the most important issues facing Ontario and Canada…until Blatchford wrote her first story and proved that she ‘got it’: 

What Ms. Blake had to say was nothing short of astonishing. […]

Ms. Blake’s remarks also suggest the government appears ready to defend the case on the basis that native land claims are such precarious matters that their settlement, however achieved, trumps all non-native rights. […]

And the government denies it owes any “duty of care” to Mr. Brown and Ms. Chatwell because all its decisions “in relation to the occupation of the DCE lands were policy decisions.”

Effectively, Mr. Brown’s and Ms. Chatwell’s lawsuit alleges the same thing – that the government, as a result of policy decisions taken for improper reasons including “political gain,” actively condoned the unlawful and criminal conduct of the protesters and failed to protect non-natives, denying them “the equal protection that they are entitled to under the law in a free and democratic society.”

Globe & Mail, Christie Blatchford, Nov 10/09: Just how sensitive is Canada’s native file? REPRINT

With her very first article on the Brown-Chatwell trial Blatchford grasped that the Ontario government was engaged in a mission to rewrite the rule of law for political purposes to the utter detriment of non-native victims. Compare her story with this one from the Spec published the same day. The Spec got the facts right but – unfortunately- missed the real story:


Perhaps it was her love for Canadian soldiers and veterans that helped her intrinsically understand the disgusting mockery that McGuinty and the OPP were making of our vets’ sacrifices for democracy, I don’t know, but Blatchford took a side that she would champion more and more aggressively as the trial went on. The next day, according to McHale, the courtroom was filled with journalists – thanks to Christie Blatchford’s credibility and willingness to be more than just a journalistic order-taker.

News vs. Advertising

Blatchford could have stopped after the Brown-Chatwell case was settled, but she didn’t because she was very troubled by what she heard in court. Both Gary and I provided key evidence to help her understand and she took full advantage of it, reading CWUC and VoC, downloading documents and reviewing some of the many court transcripts in McHale’s possession.  It showed in her deft defence of McHale interwoven with the story of political interference directed at Dave Hartless. 

As the former editor of the Sunday Times Harold Evans recently reminded John Barber of the Globe: ‘News is whatever someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising.‘ Christie Blatchford has the gift of knowing that vital distinction.

Even if she never writes another article about Caledonia she has shown herself to be, in every sense, a true watchdog for democracy. Fortunately for all of us, she promised me in an email, ” I have no intention of letting this go.”

Thank God!

Recent stories from Christie Blatchford

Christie’s other stories about the Brown-Chatwell trial can be found listed along with other media coverage in the CWUC FantinoGate feature link below.


2 responses to “Christie Blatchford ends Fantino’s propaganda war vs. McHale

  1. It is a good feeling seeing the public record corrected on some of the personal injustices and slurs Gary has suffered in his cause of speaking truth to power when power is running an agenda at odds with the truth.

    I hope for full public vindication for Gary.

    Christie Blatchford has been a ray of light in Canada’s otherwise dismally shallow journalism gene pool. She is one of the last vestiges of unbiased investigative reporting and factual opinions left in the otherwise narcissistic blasé clique of incurious mediocrity which has become our print media journalism pool. I highly recommend her book on Afghanistan to help you deprogram from the biased MSM spin on our troops mission, morale and the nature of that war.

    What I find incredulous about the willfully myopic pillocks in the MSM is their inability to sense or anticipate underhanded and shady dealings from officialdom. Honest hard working citizens who are directly damaged by systemic iniquity become so civilly incensed at the corruption and abuse of office they, like yourselves, put their livelihoods and reputations on the line to warn others of the open malfeasance and our “watchdog” (lapdog?) MSM either goes into reflexive denial of your allegations or sides with the official smear job the powers that be concoct to tar you with to cover their culpability. It’s like what you expect of government and media in some banana republic.

    So it took how many years for the GTA MSM to smell a rat in the way Caledonia was handled and validate the complaints of the two tiered policing victims? It took them how long to investigate and report on your extensive documentation of the Ipperwash and Caledonia debacles of race based policing ? It took them how long to realize the only people documenting and protesting against this civil atrocity were being officially smeared?

    Where does the MSM’s blind trust in agenda-driven government come from? Particularly when the historic record shows a long pattern of authority being abused to silence the little fellow who complains when he’s being gooned by obsessive authority.

    The worm has definitely turned on the official conspirators of the two tiered policing policy. Things will never be as snug and comfortable for them again.

    I thank both yourself and Gary for reviving my faith in the judicial function. In the past a few regime sycophant Judges have been responsible for my deep cynicism but Gary has proven to me there are still enough decent judiciary left, who are willing to defer to the little guy struggling against the leviathan system he is attempting to winch some small measure of justice from, that the whole exercise of standing your legal ground against official injustice can and will vindicate you eventually.

    Thank you for renewing that lost faith in the system for me. I was quite jaded about the amount of ‘justice’ a poor lone citizen can extract from the leviathan – but there are still some good people working quietly in the belly of the beast.

    I am ecstatic that this civil abomination has gotten too big for the Government spin to contain and its publicity is giving McGuinty sleepless nights.

    All that is left to make this a total happy ending is the turfing from office of the race-based public policy conspirators and the appropriate laying of charges .

    Ya done real good yous two little guys 😉

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the very kind words about restoring your faith in our justice system. Obviously, we also share your pleasure.

    In our case, it was never the judges who were corrupt, it was the crown/MOAG lawyers who are trying to twist the law to force a rewrite of the rule of law and the Charter through the back door (because they know they could never get it done through the front door through legislation) for political appeasement purposes in order to appease…who, exactly? A small group of extremists who a Six Nations councillor has said don’t speak for the people of Six Nations!

    As I recently told a university professor who wanted a copy of our ‘Reconciliation: the CANACE Path’ diagram that I gave to the new OPP detachment commander in Haldimand:

    “Honestly, I can’t believe that a group of ordinary schlubs like us had to put our lives on hold to intervene in this crisis and then actually have to draw a diagram to explain the pros and cons of maintaining the rule of law in Canada. It’s like every politician and government lawyer in Ontario had their brains put on a shelf because some native extremists/criminals/sociopaths told them that the rule of law shouldn’t apply to them or their victims. Duh!”

    Once we get the rule of law returned to Ontario, we can then ask the question of what can we NOW do to bring about healing and reconciliation between the people of Caledonia and Six Nations.

    VoC, June 09/09: Let healing begin with Six Nations apology

    VoC, July 14/09: ‘The Strength of a Woman’: Six Nations Councillor Helen Miller

    As for the media, I did feel the need to point out Christie’s strengths after so much disappointment in the past, especially since she was the first journalist (other than Bill Jackson and the Regional News) to really take a stand. But for us the struggle demands that we put aside our grudges and disappointment for the good of the cause.
    If there’s one thing we have done well, it’s not allowing our own personal feelings about the snubs and knives in our back to get in the way of the mission. The media are – oh, so very much! – on board now, there is no purpose in rubbing their noses in the dirt now. The media are pretty much with us now, and all is forgiven.

    Believe me, there are some serious reporters all over this story. In that vein…no promises, but I’m told there may be an interesting article in the National Post tomorrow about the strength of the charge against Fantino, and certain conflicts of interest, written by the same reporter who covered the other recent Fantino fiasco – where he dropped the charges against two officers after spending $500K in legal actions to replace judges just to keep him from having to testify about how he targeted the officers for doing their job.

    Ya, I guess us little guys done OK like ya said. Not bad for some schlubs with no legal training, no money and no ‘Defending the Rule of Law for Dummies’ manual. Don’t forget, though, we had a lot of help and support from inside and outside Caledonia. We certainly didn’t do this alone. There were people who helped us at each stage at different times. Some were there all along; Check out my reply to Jim Anderson’s comment below. Wow, what a guy! Some like you, supported us online. Others sent some vital funds to help pay for things like gas, legal transcripts and even Gary’s rent (one year in advance!). Other community leaders like Doug & Randy Fleming marched with us and we marched with or for them. Others voted; 4,821 Canadians – including 1822 Caledonia residents – sent a powerful message of support by casting their ballot for Gary in the last federal election. Others did their own thing without us, and that was OK, too. As Caledonia resident Bo Chausse once said to me, ‘All resistance is good.”

    We also have to keep in mind that this is just the beginning. We have a lot of work to do; more court cases and more media coverage before we can declare an official end to racial policing. Let’s celebrate a little and enjoy the moment, but the mission still isn’t completed, ie., there are still traumatized people on the Sixth Line without the full PSA policing services they’re entitled to.

    I do have to thank you for your online – albeit anonymous – support over the years, Wild Bill and I’m glad we made a believer out of you. I appreciate that you defended us and our province so vigorously and so consistently. I hope your situation will one day allow you to be able to put your real name to your kind words so you can be recognized for that support. Regards, Mark

  2. Hi Mark thanks for the important updates and praise for Christie’s reporting.

    Christie’s roots are showing through in her journalism and I am sure the values she gained growing up on a local rural Flamborough Farm two concessions north of where I grew up helped to define who she is today as a Journalist.

    Christie has in the past and continues to support freedom and individual rights in her reporting and we must all express our appreciation for what she has done for Canada, Canadians and democracy by simply reporting on the truth and taking her task seriously. But like you said none of us can let this issue go and walk away. Too much is at stake for our children and grand children’s future.

    The fight has just begun.

    Jim Anderson / Flamborough

    VoC REPLY: Hi Jim, I guess we can all walk just a little taller now. I’ve been thinking about you of late. We were having a discussion about those who stuck with us through thick and thin and your name was at the top of the list. Your steadfast support will not be forgotten.

    In case readers don’t know, Jim put his own plans on hold when he answered a last minute call to accompany us to Deseronto and a meeting with residents. Later in the day he was instrumental in helping to defuse a very tense situation by initiating some very calm, positive discussions with native protesters who had been very vocal in opposing our meeting. Jim helped make our visit a great success.

    Jim was at Doug Fleming’s Dec 01/07 smokeshack protest following which he was falsely accused of assaulting a native man who had, in fact, assaulted him (as the video evidence showed). There, too, he did his best to engage smokeshack supporter in peaceful dialogue. Even when he was assaulted he did not fight back with fists or angry words.

    Jim is also the father of Chris Syrie, the man who, in early 2007, electrified all of us by going toe-to-toe – a la Oka style – up against a trespasser who was much bigger than he and who had finished ripping down his Canadian flag and throwing it on the ground. Of course the OPP watched and did nothing.

    In the summer of 2008 Jim gave up months of his life to provide tech and media relations support to a group of wheelchair atheletes travelling across Canada to raise money for spinal cord research during the Wheel-to-Walk Marathon.

    Jim is a Canadian that we can all look up to, and I’m so proud to know him. Thanks for being there for us, Jim! Regards, Mark