McHale seeks court order for Deputy Minister emails


BULLETIN: Crown drops charge against McHale

On Friday April 23/10 Gary McHale and the Crown will schedule a date for a ‘Stinchcombe’ hearing wherein McHale will ask the court to order the Crown to disclose certain evidence required for his defence against the charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed laid by the OPP in December 2007. For those involved in this shameful abuse of power, the implications could be severe.

STINCHCOMBE/CHARTER Application for Disclosure Hearing – date to be scheduled on April 23

Key items requested…

1. DISCLOSURE OF EMAILS TO/FROM DEPUTY MINISTER & OPP: McHale is requesting copies of emails & text messages between OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and the Deputy Minister for  the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Deborah Newman (photo below) as they pertain to the charge against him. 

In the latest volumes of Crown disclosure received in January 2010 there were several emails which indicate that the Deputy Minister was involved in “the McHale investigation.” Both emails were turned over to McHale because they were deemed as being relevant to his charge: 

  • Dec 03/07, 6:45 am: [PDF] Fantino email to Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and others re phone call with Deputy Minister:

Hi all: Would like to meet in the boardroom @ 9am if at all possible to discuss Caledonia issues. I have a phone call with the D/M @ 9:30am and want to get up to speed before I speak with her. JF

  • Dec 07/07, 11:41 am: [PDF] Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis emails Superintendent Ron Gentle and others about the “political perceptions” and the importance of ‘Info Flow’ regarding the “McHale investigation” so Fantino can keep the Deputy Minister informed. Perceptively, he acknowledges that all this intense communication may cause “disclosure issues” in the future (emphasis mine):

Hi Guys. This past week has been a challenge for all of us and even more so for our people, given the concerns  and sensitivity around the McHale investigation. Our people have done a great job of getting the facts straight, gathering evidence and filling gaps and that is much appreciated. We’ve put extraordinary pressure on them to do what is right as quickly as possible, due to the political and public perception issues. Appropriate charges have been laid and the judicial system will run its course. I firmly believe that having CIB lead these investigations, both proactively and post event was the proper decision.

Where we need to tighten up our efforts is in the timely communication of progress and significant investigative and media release issues, with the Commissioner. That’s not an easy task when we’re dealing with issues that transverse CIB, the Detachment/Region Commanders, local/regional CSO’s and Corporate Communications, but we need to pull it together in a more efficient way.

The Commissioner and the Provincial Commanders need to know what is happening in a timely way and the Commissioner wants input on press releases well in advance. When he has to reach out for an update and then doesn’t get a reply, that’s not a good thing. Then he asks questions of various commanders and gets conflicting info, which further frustrated him and hampers his ability to keep the DM properly apprised, or he runs the risk of getting caught off-guard by a direct call from a media contact. I realize that there may be disclosure issues as a result of such communications, but we’ll deal with those hurdles as they arise.

Plase put your heads together and tighten up the processes so that we don’t fall into similar traps in the future.

Thanks for everything.

Chris D. Lewis
Deputy Commissioner
Field Operations

We already know that Julian Fantino gave specific orders on several occasions to target McHale for charges at the outset of the ‘investigation’ into Dec 01/07, even while the protest was ongoing — before any violence had occurred. We know that Deputy Commissioner Lewis and Superintendent Gentle followed those orders by deciding McHale would be charged with something in order to avoid a backlash from natives upset with the charge against Clyde Powless even though they had next to no evidence. Both men faced criminal charges for Obstructing Justice for this decision which were withdrawn by the Crown at a fast-tracked court appearance.

The latest emails obtained show Fantino and the Deputy Minister were talking about McHale. One can only speculate as to where the Deputy Minister’s emails will take this case once they are turned over. Very likely, they will take ‘the McHale investigation’ into the Minister’s office and, possibly, to the Premier himself. After all, Fantino’s threatening email to Haldimand Council of April 07/07 – for which he once faced a criminal charge of Influencing Municipal Official – was copied to three of McGuinty’s closest advisors including his Chief of Staff Peter Wilkinson and his Press Secretary Chris Morley (who is now his Chief of Staff).

Deborah Newman was also the person who notified me that the Minister was not going to investigate my May 30/08 complaint regarding allegations of possible criminal conduct by Fantino. She left her position as Deputy Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services in December 2008 to become Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Political targeting of McHale via OPP nothing new

OPP Detective John Murray’s testimony under cross-examination at McHale’s bail hearing revealed some startling information about political interference with respect to Gary McHale:

“…what I suggested was that there are ongoing negotiations at a political level at both the Provincial and Federal levels and that there were concerns expressed to the O.P.P. that your continued exposure to this, this issue was hindering that process.”

”What I said sir was that the O.P.P. officers had occasion to speak with people that were affected stakeholders and those affected stakeholders related to us that they believed that your interference in their issue was creating problems. I never suggested that the Federal government or the Provincial government came down and had any input at all, with anything that we have done.”

  • OPP Detective John Murray, Dec 14/07: Testimony at McHale bail hearing (para 55) [PDF, 70p]
  • CANACE reference: Journalists’ Quick Reference Evidence Guide [PDF, 9p] (see John Murray, p7)

McHale not the only non-native activist to be targeted by Ontario government via OPP

On Dec 05/06 Ontario’s Senior Negotiator John Nolan sent an email to Jane Stewart [PDF] (Ontario’s ‘Special Representative’ to Caledonia discussions) and the OPP’s Haldimand Detachment Commander Inspector Dave McLean about an editorial on McHale’s website written by Caledonia resident Dave Hartless, a police officer with the Hamilton Police Service. The editorial was highly critical of the OPP. Inspector McLean then forwarded Nolan’s email to Bill Dennis, OPP Chief Superintendent, Regional Commander – Western Region, who in turn sent it to HPS Chief Brian Mullan on Dec 06/06 with “High Importance.”

In his email to Dennis, Inspector McLean noted,

“[…] We have in the past contacted his Chief, Brian Mullen and on several occasions he has been spoken to by their senior command.” McLean also stated that “Hartless’ association to Gary McHale…is a breach of the code of conduct by virtue of McHale’s position against the past and present commissioner and his inability to follow rules of law, create breaches of the peace and sponsor the Rally for Freedom this past October. […]”

(Apparently, the Inspector did not think much of the Charter’s protection of freedom of speech and association. Also, it should be noted, according to Julian Fantino’s own testimony on November 26, 2008, McHale was never charged with a crime prior to December 2007 because the OPP had no evidence to support any charge.)

gary-craig-mark.JPGOn Feb 17/07 John Nolan sent a second email to Inspector McLean along with a copy of another critical letter written by Hartless. This time McLean forwarded it to Superintendent John Cain along with his observation that HPS Chief Brian Mullan might want a “heads up” should the Premier want to talk to him (bolding by VoC):

This email to Premier McGuinty was sent by David Hartless a Hamilton Police Services officer who lives in Caledonia on Braemar. I could be wrong but perhaps Chief Mullin [sic] might like a heads up should the premier’s office or the minister of CS and CS who also got this email want to discuss it with the officers chief. Just a thought as I know you would like a heads up if I or any of your officers called the premier a coward directly in an email to so many politicians and press including the Hamilton Spectator which the chief likely reads. Again just a thought. Dave.

crowd1.JPGOn Feb 18/07 Commissioner Julian Fantino complained to HPS Chief Brian Mullan, and on Feb 19/07 HPS Deputy Chief Ken Leendertse informed Hartless that the force had received “an official complaint of Discreditable Conduct from the Commissioner of the OPP concerning your email of Feb 17, 2007.” 

On March 03/07 we organized a protest on behalf of Hartless at OPP headquarters in Cayuga (photos, R). Hartless was eventually cleared.  


In his Jan 27/09 letter to the Crown Gary McHale makes this disclosure request:

“8) Audio tapes and any written transcripts of the conversation between Gary McHale and New York Native Private Investigator Jon Sabin which was used by the OPP at the Bail Variation hearing on Dec 14, 2007.”

According to OPP Detective John Murray’s testimony on Dec 14/07 two OPP officers travelled to the U.S. on Dec 28/06 to interview a native private investigator regarding his claims he had ‘proof’ Gary McHale was trying to incite violence in Caledonia. I was present while Murray quoted selections from the interview which still did not seem to support his contention that McHale was interested in violence. When I remarked on my puzzlement afterwards, McHale told me that he recalled the conversation with Sabin and said that the OPP deliberately left out important parts of it during Murray’s testimony.  Interestingly, the OPP/Crown have refused to turn over the tape or a transcript despite several requests.

  • OPP Detective John Murray, Dec 14/07: Testimony at McHale bail hearing [PDF, 70p]

How involved were OPP in Sabin’s white supremacist smear campaign vs. McHale? 

Immediately after meeting with the two OPP officers on Dec 28/06 Jon Sabin began to smear Gary McHale on discussion boards, falsely linking him to white supremacist organizations. He also bragged that he was working with the OPP. Within several weeks he created a phony neo-Nazi website which was made to appear as if the content was created by McHale. The Sabin fraud was discovered after McHale complained to the York Regional Police who investigated his complaint of identity theft.

One can certainly understand why the OPP would be reluctant to turn over any evidence from their visit to Mr. Sabin.

VoC Comment

There is insufficient space here to discuss all aspects of disclosure sought by McHale, but another item readers should pay attention to is the Dec 14/09 McHale letter regarding testimony by Camille Powless that the OPP made a deal with Clyde Powless in order to have her lay a charge of assault against McHale (an allegation proven to be a complete fabrication, which is why she is currently facing a Public Mischief charge). Lynda Powless, publisher of the Turtle Island News, corroborated the phony story and told police there were 4 other witnesses prepared to do the same. No wonder, therefore, that the OPP/Crown refused to turn over her video statement to McHale for nearly two years despite his repeated requests.

Given that he has now successfully brought two charges of Obstructing Justice against senior OPP officers for alleged misconduct in his case using disclosure evidence, one must wonder why the Crown has still not decided to dismiss the charge against McHale before he gets more – a question I have been asking ever since Fantino’s disgusting emails surfaced in 2008 showing that he – at the outset of the investigation – ordered his officers to find a way to charge McHale with something even if they had to overlook “legal nuances” to do it. Any Crown with a modicum of intelligence should have seen the writing on the wall at that time.

I think it is safe to say that if McHale gets his hands on any evidence proving that the Deputy Minister or other members of the government conspired with the OPP to lay a charge against him, there will be private prosecutions filed against those involved.  And, of course, there are two OPP officers implicated in a scheme to falsely link McHale to white supremacist groups — Canada’s Criminal Code has a special section for Defamatory Libel.

Will the Crown continue to give McHale all the evidence he needs to prove the full extent of the conspiracy against him or will it cut its losses by withdrawing the charge? I know what I’d do if I were them. 

Mark Vandermaas, Editor


5 responses to “McHale seeks court order for Deputy Minister emails

  1. Just wondering why MPP Ted Chudleigh
    ( Opposition critic for Ministry of the Attorney General ) apparently is not publicly and vigorously questioning why the AG is withdrawing charges against the OPP before they can be heard in a public court? Has he been requested to do so by Voice of Canada? Possibly any interested party should contact Ted Chudleigh and make their wishes in this regard known?

    VoC REPLY: Hi Merv. Other than telling you that evidence has, from time to time, been passed on to the PC Party, I don’t want to say too much other than to suggest that you personally call Mr. Chudleigh’s office and make your very excellent suggestion. That would be much appreciated. BTW, we had some great news today — the Crown dropped the charge against Gary McHale. I’m working on a post about it next. Thanks for writing. Regards, Mark.

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