McHale’s victory is Ontario’s victory

“The Ontario attorney-general has stopped a bizarre prosecution against Caledonia activist Gary McHale.”

Christie Blatchford, Globe & Mail, April 21/10


  • Caledonia Victims Project feature: R. v. Gary McHale (Counselling Mischief Not Committed

UPDATED 1817 April 22/10 — Today, the Crown dropped the charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed against Gary McHale — nearly two and a half years after a pretrial judge told the Attorney General not to bring the case to trial.

In my last post I outlined some very powerful reasons why the Crown might want to take such an action, including the fact that two of Fantino’s most senior officers have already faced Obstructing Justice charges because of the disclosure given to McHale, and the fact that the Superior Court could very well order the former Deputy Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to turn over her emails to McHale.

I suppose the Crown and government finally realized that McHale already had enough evidence to use  in private prosecutions against his persecutors, and that providing even more to open a door into the Minister’s office wasn’t such a good idea.

Photo above: Gary & Christine McHale stand on John Sopinka Courthouse steps in Hamilton after charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed dropped; by Mark Vandermaas, April 21/10.

A deluded Crown tries to put lipstick on a pig…

The Crown read a prepared statement into the record that stated it still believed it could obtain a conviction, but thought it better not to waste Court time due to the “unique circumstances” of the case. McHale then spoke for a minute or so, pointing out that the Crown had neglected to mention some key facts: the Obstructing Justice charges; and the fact that the Deputy Minister had her fingers in the pie along with Fantino’s. He also pointed out that the pre-trial judge warned the Crown not to bring the case to trial.

…but the media weren’t buying pork today.

Gary was interviewed in the courtroom hallway afterwards by both the Spectator and Christie Blatchford of the Globe & Mail who got up a post and photo shortly after 11 am. We then paid a visit to CH News who immediately put Gary and his story on live at 12 Noon as breaking news, and ran the story every thirty minutes thereafter:

The idea that the Crown had a chance of convicting McHale after two senior officers associated with his case were charged with Obstructing Justice (never mind the direct interference by Fantino, and possibly, the DM) was nothing short of laughable. I overheard Christie Blatchford on her phone talking about the charge, presumably with her editor, saying, “…yeah, the charge they made up.”  It was rather amusing.

There is was, in lawyer David Feliciant’s opening statement yesterday, a glimpse of the dark heart of the government case. Mr. Feliciant was attempting to put lipstick on the pig of the defence case in the civil trial that started here this week before Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Bielby.

To borrow a phrase from Blatchford, today’s government lawyer (who only recently inherited the case in late 2009) was reduced to putting lipstick on a pig — and the porcine attributes of his silly statement were plainly visible to all. The CHTV piece suggests they weren’t fooled by the lipstick either.

The Crown should have accepted the pre-trial judge’s advice to put their turkey of a case on the dinner plate instead of chasing it around the barn until it died of old age.

Gary McHale visits DCE for first time in two years

After sharing a lunch with Merlyn Kinrade and Jeff Parkinson, we went over to the dilapidated, trash-strewn entrance to the occupied Douglas Creek Estates – where McHale has not been allowed to go for more than two years – and took some photos.


McHale is planning a ‘Victory’ rally once he and I return from our speaking engagement at Mount Royal University on May 05/10.

Photo 1: (L to R) – Gary McHale, Merlyn Kinrade, Jeff Parkinson, Mark Vandermaas, photo by CANACE, April 21/10.
Photo 2: Occupiers’ threat to impose toll charges on public road, photo by Mark Vandermaas, April 21/10.
Photo 3: Gary & Christine McHale,  photo by Mark Vandermaas, April 21/10.
Photo 4 (Six Nations sign): (L to R) – Jeff Parkinson, Gary McHale, Merlyn Kinrade, Mark Vandermaas, photo by CANACE, April 21/10.

VoC Comment


This particular chapter in the struggle against racial policing cannot be closed without commenting on the remarkable accomplishments of an ordinary schlub with a reading & writing disability; with no lawyer and no law degree; wearing the best shoes he could afford — his running shoes; taking on the best and brightest legal minds employed by the Ontario government (one of whom is now a judge) and turning the unjust charge against him into a stunning victory for all of us.

McHale could have simply taken the easy road and pleaded guilty, but he refused to play their game. Instead, he forced Julian Fantino and other officers to play his game — of exposing their outrageous manipulations of the justice system.  McHale called the Mayor of Haldimand to testify about racial policing. He forced Fantino to take the stand. He called other police officers to testify, as well, including Hamilton Police officer Dave Hartless (also a Caledonia resident, and himself a target of the OPP/Ont gov’t) who said there was no policing in his town, and he called a heroic OPP officer named Jeffrey Bird who became the very first to confirm, under oath, the existence of race-based policing in Haldimand County. In the end, two of Fantino’s senior officers were themselves charged, and more OPP officers may face similar action.

If you would like to see the remarkable contribution to the history of Caledonia we now have access to thanks to Gary McHale, please see the links in the the Reference section below.  And do be sure to read about Gary’s (and CANACE’s) many other accomplishments here:

All of Ontario, all of Canada, really, owes Gary McHale a big ‘Thank you!’ for standing up to the OPP’s attempt to subvert the Canadian Constitution in order to silence a vocal and effective critic.

Be sure to read Jeff Parkinson’s story about today:

Mark Vandermaas, Editor


1. Transcripts & Exhibits

Witnessess at Preliminary Hearing, Nov 2008 – April 2009

  1.  Terry-Lynn Brant [PDF, 136p] (Six Nations school principal; lies to court about assault on McHale)
  2. Lisa Parent [PDF, 136p] (Caledonia resident, videographer for
  3. OPP Officer Ben Gutenberg [PDF, 136p]
  4. OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino [Nov 26/07: PDF, 92p; April 2009: PDF 134p]
  5. Merlyn Kinrade [PDF, 101p] (Caledonia resident, CANACE founder)
  6. Mayor Marie Trainer  [PDF, 101p] (Haldimand County)
  7. OPP Officer Paul McDonald  [PDF, 101p] (assaulted by natives, no investigation or charges)
  8. Clyde King [PDF, 99p] (Turtle Island News tech)
  9. OPP Officer Jeffrey Bird  [PDF, 99p] (confirms racial policing)
  10. Jeff Parkinson [PDF, 99p] (CANACE founder, knocked unconscious, suffered brain damage)
  11. Dave Hartless [PDF, 54p] (Caledonia resident, Hamilton Police officer)
  12. Dana Chatwell (Caledonia resident [PDF, 54p] (see also LINK)
  13. OPP Detective John Murray (to be posted)
  14. OPP Inspector Bill Renton (to be posted)

Witnessess for Bail Review Hearing, Dec 2007

  1. OPP Detective John Murray, Dec 14/07 [PDF, 70p]
  2. Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer, Dec 24/07 [PDF, 38p] 
  3. MPP Toby Barrett, Dec 24/07 [PDF, 38p] 
  4. Dave Hartless, Dec 24/07  [PDF, 38p] (Caledonia resident, Hamilton Police officer)

2. McHale letters, documents (not a complete list)

3. OPP Emails

NOTE: On Dec 01/07 front line officers were sending information up the chain of command that reflected the reality that the protest had been organized and led by Caledonia resident Doug Fleming, and the violence and criminal acts were being committed by native smokeshack supporters, but the message flowing downward from Fantino was that it was McHale’s protest, that McHale was responsible for the violence and mayhem in Caledonia, and officers needed to target him so the force could obtain travel restrictions that would keep him out of town. Instead of simply allowing his officers to conduct an investigation Fantino and his brass eagerly jumped on a false report that McHale might have assaulted a native woman and immediately set to work blaming him and his supporters for the day’s violence – even though the non-natives were actually the victims of multiple, unprovoked assaults.

Despite the eagerness to blame McHale for Caledonia’s woes and target him for a criminal charge, Fantino testified on Nov 26/08 that prior to Dec 01/07 the OPP had never charged McHale with a crime because they had no evidence to do so. The OPP has never apologized for publicly accusing McHale and his supporters for the violence, and in fact, Fantino wrote a letter of reference for the native man who led the swarming attack that put McHale in hospital.

  • VoiceofCanada, Feb 04/10: Fantino’s sworn testimony vs. Fantino’s emails (exposes the extreme contradiction between Fantino’s allegations regarding McHale’s role in Caledonia violence and Fantino’s own testimony under oath at McHale’s preliminary hearing. On Nov 26/08 Fantino testified that prior to Dec 01/07 the OPP had not arrested McHale because they had no evidence to support a charge.)
  • McHale preliminary hearing, Exhibit 38: Fantino emails, Dec 01-07/07 (early batch of key Fantino emails, rec’d 2008)
  • McHale preliminary hearing: OPP emails [PDF, 105p] (selection of key OPP emails, rec’d 2010, includes Exhibit 38)
  • Dec 01/07, 1020 – Fantino email to Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis: “at some point McHale has to go” [PDF] (protest began at 1000)  
  • Dec 01/07, 1213 – Det. Scott Wade email to Rick Barnum: Natives blocked road at 6th Line w/hydro tower; McHale “viciously beaten” [PDF]
  • Dec 01/07, 1330 – Det. Scott Wade email to Rick Barnum: Clyde Powless threatened police, assaulted McHale; “Emergency vehicles will be allowed thru Argyle Street. Residents of Sixth Line will be allowed to their homes.” [PDF
  • Dec 01/07, 1522 – Fantino email to Bob Goodall et al: get McHale, don’t be frustrated by “timid Crowns” who want a sure conviction [PDF]
  • Dec 01/07, 1624 – Goodall email to Supt. Ron Gentle: re “hidden gem” because McHale (falsely) alleged to have assaulted native woman [PDF]
  • Dec 01/07, 1750 – OPP news release blaming non-native victims for violence against them [PDF] (Fantino confirmed under oath he was talking about McHale & associates)
  • Dec 02/07, 0645 – Fantino email to Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis: re Phone call with Deputy Minister [PDF]
  • Dec 02/07 1619 – Fantino email to Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis: “feeble Crowns” [PDF]
  • Dec 02/07 2131 – Fantino email to Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis: get McHale; “don’t…get bogged down with legal nuances” [PDF]
  • Dec 03/07, 1951 – Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis email to Supt. Ron Gentle: Fantino wants McHale charge rushed [PDF]
  • Dec 03/07, 2137-2328 – Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis exchange w/Supt. Ron Gentle: McHale must be charged to avoid native backlash [PDF] (this is the evidence Justice of Peace relied on to issue Obstructing Justice charges against Lewis & Gentle.)
  • Dec 07/07, 1141 – Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis email to Supt. Gentle & Cain: re Fantino’s ability to keep Deputy Minister informed [PDF]
  • Dec 04/08 – Fantino letter of reference to Court for Clyde Powless, man who led swarming attack on McHale on Dec 01/07 [PDF]

4. Background

5. Obstructing justice charges vs. OPP officers involved in McHale case

6. Other references


4 responses to “McHale’s victory is Ontario’s victory

  1. Congrats to Gary and a big thank you from a Caledonia resident.

    VoC REPLY: That’s especially nice coming from you, Donna. I met with a couple of residents yesterday after court, including one from the Sixth Line who I’ve never had a chance to speak with before. I was struck by how utterly abandoned by government and police she felt and how hopeless she was that anything could ever change. Many things have changed over the past few years as we all worked together to force the OPP to respect non-native rights. Sometimes it may not seem so, but some great things have been accomplished. For me, the counter-protests by Tom Keefer and CUPE against Fleming and CANACE show that – without ever raising a fist – we have forced the thugs and their supporters to abandon violence and even their loudspeakers. We have shown native extremists that we will NOT be cowed by their evil, and that they will pay a price for engaging in it

    Yesterday’s victory for justice shows that ordinary people CAN change things if they simply fight back using our democratic processes. The attention of Christie Blatchford on Caledonia shows that the the truth WILL be told. Judges ARE listening and they ARE rejecting the idea that non-native people are expendable.

    Moreover, I believe that the good people of Six Nations are also rejecting the thuggery of the criminals in their midst and the terrible shadow it casts over their community. We are closer to the day when we can finally have true partners for peace, healing and reconciliation from Six Nations who understand their responsibility to apologize for what they allowed to take place on their watch. The OPP and provincial government must do the same. It may take 5 years, or even 10, but that is what must happen before this is over. Gary’s victory has taken us another step towards that day.

    Thanks so much for writing Donna. Regards, Mark.

  2. Congratulations to Gary for having the courage and tenacity to fight for what he believes is right against formidable odds. I am not familiar enough with the Caledonia situation to have an opinion. However, the reported apparent reluctance by the OPP to be hampered by having supporting evidence before laying serious criminal charges that can ruin reputations and destroy lives is obviously very wrong. Investigative Reporter,Christie Blatchford, of the Globe & Mail is also to be commended for continual fair and balanced reporting. It is to be hoped that she will keep the public informed as this story continues.

    VoC REPLY: Christie deserves so much credit for her willingness to dig deep (VERY deep) into the Caledonia crisis. She is the first to do so. The CBC did a bit, but Christie is going all the way to the bottom, and she is shocked by what she sees.

    If you want to know about Caledonia and the importance of our fight, read this CANACE report I co-authored with Gary. It’ll blow your mind, and it covers only up till late 2007:
    The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations

    The other reports listed in the right side margin are pretty good, too. Thanks for writing. Mark.

  3. Gary is in an even bigger fight than most people are aware of, that is: Our country is based on racial policies, procedures and laws. Our politicians over the years (both parties) have been on a steady path towards complete segregation of the races. Native Schools, Black Schools, Distinct Societies, OPP Framework, Human Rights Commission, Special courts, taxes….. All these structural privileges create resentment among the masses who thought they were all equal under one government and one set of laws. This resentment is cloaked by the benefactors of such policies who simply claim RACISM. A chilling effect results and all debate comes to a crashing halt. “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others”. George Orwell ‘Animal Farm’. Canada is not free, free speech does not exist.

    VoC REPLY: You are so right; we are in a big fight to turn back politically-correct racism in Canada. We recently saw just how ugly it really is when the Mac student (former CUPE officer) commented on a CANACE anti-racism event by saying – essentially – that because Caledonians are mainly white, they deserved what happened to them at the hands of native thugs.

    We were certainly aware of the ‘white privilege’ doctrine in support of the crimes against Caledonia, but her article in the Spec is the first time it has been forced out into the open – in all its disgusting evil. Those who would deny Caledonia victims protection and their place in history because of the colour of their skin vs. the colour of their victimizers are desperate to stop this growing movement to expose their repugnant, racial supremacist attitudes.

    In my opinion, ‘white privilege’ is uncannily close to Nazi doctrine of assigning group guilt to a race of people in order to deny them their rights, and justify outrageous crimes against them and theft of their property. Wish I had more time to comment further; I do have an article in progress on this that I haven’t had time to finish.

    For now, let’s try to remember Gary’s message all along that we must stand the test of time and never give up. This is a fight we cannot lose and will not lose. The media is finally catching on. Academia is catching on. Even (believe it not) the OPP is catching on to the fact that we will not be ignored; we will not allow them or their favourite criminals to subjugate us; we will not be cowed; we will not be silent; and we will fight back. Good things are happening. Gary knew it would take years of tiny steps to make it happen, and he was absolutely right. Somehow, all those tiny steps turn into big ones.

    Thanks for writing Twister! Good to hear from you again. Mark.

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