MPP Toby Barrett: “The people of Ontario deserve an explanation”


Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett sent out a news release yesterday that followed up on the strong PC Party statements of Feb 03/10 regarding the dropping of the charge against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. (PDF copies are available below):

Caledonia update – is there a conflict of interest in Fantino case

by Toby Barrett, MPP, Haldimand-Norfolk, Feb 05/10

Toby here,

As you may know, we in the Ontario PC Caucus, and people from across Haldimand, have criticized the fact that the Crown has seen fit to drop charges against Julian Fantino.

I continue to join Opposition Leader Tim Hudak in maintaining our stance that this matter should have been referred to an outside Crown Attorney (as we saw in the Michael Bryant case) to prevent a conflict of interest.

In my view, the Attorney General’s failure to assign an independent Crown Attorney has diminished the public’s trust in our justice system. The people of Ontario deserve an explanation.

For your information please find below statements by Tim Hudak and our Attorney General Critic Ted Chudleigh in provincial media and online (full articles attached):


“Bring in an outside prosecutor so people know there’s objectivity”, said Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak (The Canadian Press – 02.04.10)

“Otherwise, quite frankly, we’re going to wonder why he’s had Crown attorneys arguing both sides of this case,” Hudak said. “We need objectivity.” (The Toronto Sun, 02.04.10)

“Eyebrows are being raised as a result of the Crown’s handling of this matter. The law must be applied equally to all and it must be applied in a fair and transparent manner,” said Ted Chudleigh, Tory justice critic.( National Post – 02.04.10)

<<Charges against Fantino dropped 02.04.10.doc>> <<fantino’s dropped charge raises ire 02.04.10.doc>> <<Gary McHale says the Crown did not have the right….doc>>


Mr. Barrett’s release came attached with three documents:

  • MPP Toby Barrett release, Feb 05/10: Caledonia update – is there a conflict of interest in Fantino case [PDF]
  • Legislative Library filing: National Post, Feb 04/10: Charges against Fantino dropped; No Conviction Possible [PDF]
  • Legislative Library filing: Toronto Sun, Feb 04/10, Fantino’s dropped charge raises ire; Case lacked ‘objectivity’ [PDF]
  • Canadian Press, Feb 04/10: Gary McHale says the Crown did not have the right to withdraw the charge against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. [PDF]

VoC Comment

I thank Mr. Barrett (R), Mr. Chudleigh and the PC Party Leader Tim Hudak (top) for the party’s strong stand. The issue of an independant justice system is not one of politics or government policy. It is a matter of protecting the rights of all Canadians from political abuses of the type we have seen at the hands of the McGuinty government and the OPP. 

In his decision on McHale v. R., 2009 the late David Marshall quoted one of the fathers of the U.S. Constitution Alexander Hamilton on this very subject:

[46] Indeed, Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers at page 78: “Considerate men…ought to prize whatever will tend to…fortify that temper in the courts (independence); as no one can be sure that he may not be tomorrow the victim of a spirit of injustice, by which he may be a gainer today.”

Justice David Marshall, July 02/09: McHale v. R., 2009

It is comforting indeed to know that the entire PC caucus is seized of this most vital of issues.

Mark Vandermaas, Editor


2 responses to “MPP Toby Barrett: “The people of Ontario deserve an explanation”

  1. Larry Sherman

    Racism is not the issue as much as how the world view is coming into play. I don’t have a university degree in anything but after talking and listening to just handful of native men, there is great potential for the upcoming generation of youth who have joined the ‘Native Pride’ mantra of our society. This is not their viewpoint; it is mine. One couple in our church gave an emotional overview of what happened at the ‘Truth and Reconiliation’ meetings in Ottawa.
    I am by no means purporting to be an expert on what I write in here. They described everything as looking quite positive. There was celebration and tears and forgiveness and request for forgiveness. BUT! When I spoke with another individual about all these things, he opened my eyes to something else. There seemed to be the absence of Traditional Indian Elders and representatives who have not accepted this form of Truth and Reconiliation as the means by which things will be resolved. I’m sure there is much mistrust towards any efforts by the gov’t to simply say were sorry. So this means there is a division amongst First Nations people. Traditional peoples aren’t going to suddenly join up with Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Baptist, Pentecostal, and Mennonite natives. Not after being subject to discrimination. Our Canadian gov’t is distincing itself more and more and will not try to solve all our social delimnas. They will just police us. Just my uneducated comment. Thank You for allowing me to say something. You are in my prayers.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the prayers; I need them. Healing begins with apologies (I believe) to not only acknowledge a wrong, but to signify that the behaviour won’t be repeated. The healing in Caledonia will begin with an apology from Six Nations, the OPP and Ontario government for what they did/allowed there. There are NO shortcuts.

    You might want to read my presentation (Listening to Victims: A Fresh Approach to Healing & Reconciliation) at the 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum at Mount Royal University, and the solutions I proposed:

    Click to access 100505-mark-vandermaas-new-directions-forum-speech-w-slides1.pdf

    Unfortunately, I think we’re a long way away from any positive resolution because there is a determined minority of extremists that want conflict and thrive on hate:

    If you don’t know much about Caledonia, I would suggest this report at the very least which I helped co-author:

    Click to access HumanCost.pdf

    Must go. Thanks for the thoughts. Mark

  2. Pingback: Toronto Star gets critical facts wrong on Fantino Caledonia charge | Caledonia Victims Project