Moose & takes a stand as first conservative blog to resign from Blogging Tories over Fantino candidacy

www.MooseandSquirrel.caUPDATED — Conservative blogger ‘Natasha’ who runs the very conservative and very well-written ‘Moose and Squirrel’ blog ( has become the first blogger to announce her withdrawal of support from the Conservative Party of Canada in a letter to the influential Blogging Tories website in which she terminates her relationship over the party’s decision to appoint former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino as a candidate in the riding of Vaughan.

As noted in her letter, however, her decision to disassociate herself from the site was premised on a belief that the CPC had failed her with its choice of Julian Fantino as a candidate, and not that the operators of the Blogging Tories had behaved inappropriately in any way (see also, Comment section below).

In an email to Blogging Tories co-founder Stephen Taylor sent at 11:44 PM last night (Nov 27/10), she wrote:


The Conservative Party’s choice of Fantino to represent them in Vaughan leaves me with no other choice than to withdraw support for the Tories. Therefore, in protest of Fantino, please remove my blog and feed link from the Blogging Tories site. I will remove the link to the Blogging Tories from my site, as well.

–Sheila (aka Natasha of Moose and Squirrel:

Moose & Squirrel defends Caledonia victims against the ‘just following orders’ defence on behalf of Fantino

HELPLESS: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us, by Christie BlatchfordNatasha – as I will continue to refer to her – has picked up a number of stories about Caledonia from me during the past year to share with her readers. Once conservatives starting defending Fantino after the release of Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless by suggesting he was ‘just’ following McGuinty’s orders and wasn’t responsible for Caledonia’s lawlessness, she allowed me to respond in detail with links and documentation so that readers could access the facts in order to understand the issue from the perspective of a former soldier/peacekeeper who has served on the front line in Caledonia for the past four years:

Fantino’s role in James LeCraw suicide touches Moose & Squirrel

Natasha’s growing dismay with Fantino’s appointment turned into anger when we released the tragic story of James LeCraw an innocent who was driven to commit suicide in 2004 when his life was ruined by Fantino’s false allegations that he was involved in child pornograpy.

She posted excerpts from our ConservativesAgainstFantino story, and made her feelings known both with the title and in her closing comments:

Yet another reason REAL conservatives should ensure Fantino is NOT elected: James LeCraw

“And any of my fellow conservatives reading this who are tempted to leave their canned response of “Well, just hold your nose and vote for Fantino; we’ve got to defeat the Libs” — DON’T BOTHER! Anyone calling themselves conservative and able to vote for Fantino is just a CINO. If there was any justice, Fantino should be held personally financially responsible for the ruined lives of James LeCraw and the others who were falsely accused with such media fanfare, not to mention the residents of Caledonia and Gary McHale.”

Moose & Squirrel takes a stand vs. persistent ‘he was just following orders’ defence of Fantino by conservatives

Conservative blog ‘Blue Like You’ persisted with the ‘just following orders’ theme in a post clearly directed at those opposed to Fantino’s candidacy topped with what they clearly thought would be a perjorative title:

For the Holier than Thou conservative purists

To all those condemning Fantino for Caledonia — get real. Yes, that includes Norm. What happened or still happens at Caledonia and other Native-held sites has nothing whatsoever to do with the OPP. It is McGuinty, and yes, the feds to some degree, who are to blame. The OPP is supposed to be a-political, meaning that Fantino and his rank and file officers simply did what they were told — and still do. So, anyone who believes Fantino could control or influence what his men and women had to do to maintain law and order has fallen down the rabbit hole.

Remember too, the double standard in the media. Mike Harris got hammered for allegedly interferring in Ipperwash. Yet, McGuinty gets away with little or no action and now conservatives are blaming Fantino? […] So, to all those conservatives who live in Vaughan, do what is right for your community and the country. Vote for Fantino. Why? Because, being in opposition gets you nothing. Being in gov’t gives you a voice. And, remember, please, not to judge Fantino for the mistakes of others…

Natasha’s response was to post a link to my argument explaining why the ‘just following orders’ defence is not a valid argument for Fantino’s action along with a few comments of her own to express her disgust with Conservatives reviving this repugnant ‘defence’ for Fantino’s racial policing practices:

So I guess I’m just a “holier than thou conservative purist…”

So I guess I’m just a “holier than thou conservative purist”… Fine. I prefer that “insult” to someone who compromises their principles for the sake of power. “Mistakes of others” my ass…But, hey, I’m told conservatives should all support Fantino for the “good” of the party — for the “greater good” of grasping power by any means is what they’re really saying.

Well, thanks anyway, but you can count me out of any “club” that requires me to overlook and even accept the “Good German” behavior which leads us on the path to becoming a totalitarian State. […] I’m beginning to think there’s more of a libertarian in me after all. Maybe we’re ready for a Canadian TEA Party.

She was especially distressed to discover that one of her ‘favourite conservatives’ Jason Kenney was doorknocking in Vaughan on behalf of Fantino as she expressed in her own Twitter reply to Kenney’s:

“Hope lots of doors slam in yr face for promoting Fantino -RT @MinJK: Doorknocking in Maple on behalf of Vaughan CPC candidate @JulianFantino”


The final straw was when the author of the comment quoted by Blue Like You – ‘Sandy’ – suggested Natasha was libelling Fantino whereupon she informed Stephen Taylor of her decision to renounce her support for the party and leave the Blogging Tories. 

Natasha advised me last night that she will post an announcement of her own along with an explanation on Moose and Squirrel tomorrow. She agreed to allow me to publish this in advance since I will be in Vaughan all day tomorrow distributing Conservatives Against Fantino brochures in our bid to help defeat Julian Fantino.

UPDATE – Moose & Squirrel announcement

  • Moose & Squirrel, Nov 28/10: I’ve asked for my site to be removed from the Blogging Tories blogroll over the Fantino candidacy “First, I don’t in any way have issues with the Blogging Tories site. Stephen Taylor has always been very kind and helpful. Many of my favorite conservative blogs are on the BT blogroll, and I’ll continue to frequent them. But the Julian Fantino candidacy has become kind of a final straw issue for me. I just can’t continue to support the Conservatives through my blog, and it seems wrong somehow to take advantage of the traffic the BT site sends my way when I just can’t support the party, which is what they’re all about.”

    Natasha replies to reader re Fantino’s role, Nov 28/10, 11:44 am:

    No, Fantino alone is not to blame, but if he felt his hands were tied, then he should have resigned and told the public that the government of the day was preventing him from doing his job. That would have made him a hero. Because, really, the law was NOT enforced in Caledonia, and that was Fantino’s job.

    I’m sure a lot of people don’t give a damn about what happened to the residents of Caledonia. I’m wondering where the next lawless takeover might take place — maybe in my area? Maybe in yours? People don’t seem to care unless it affects them directly — that is, except for Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas. People need to realize it could happen anywhere, and it would be nice to know you can count on the police to enforce the law. Hopefully Blatchford’s book will help ensure that.

  • Jay Currie, Nov 28/10: Moose & takes a stand as first conservative blog to resign from Blogging Tories over Fantino candidacy “…it was a fifteen point IQ drop the Blogging Tories can ill afford.”
  • Blazing Cat Fur, Nov 28/10: Moose & takes a stand as first conservative blog to resign from Blogging Tories over Fantino candidacy “Stand Tall Natasha


In a time of universal deceipt telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
– George Orwell –

Thank you to Natasha and Moose & Squirrel

After watching so many cower in silence over Caledonia and offer excuses as to why they couldn’t risk taking a stand against the crimes against democracy that were taking place there, Moose & Squirrel’s decision to, as I called it in a comment to her last story, ‘stand on the side of the angels’ (and this was before I knew she had informed Stephen Taylor she was leaving the Blogging Tories!)  is very impressive indeed. 

Natashal and her wildlife associates have been good friends to the people of Caledonia, and she proved it again last night. Thank you for taking a stand and sending a message that the Canadian Conservative Party ignores the grassroots at its peril. I’m honoured to know you.

Feed the Squirrels!

Natasha knew that renouncing her support for the CPC and leaving the Blogging Tories could affect her advertising revenue due to a loss in traffic, but she did it anyway because it was the right thing to do.  She deserves your support so please – link to her, donate to her, subscribe to her (link in right side bar), follow her on Twitter, and send her some hugs to show your support:

The Blogging Tories site is not at fault 

NOTE: I have sent a message to Stephen Taylor to inform him of this post so he could provide a comment/submission although I will not be able to post his comment – if any – until I return from Vaughan late tonight. I will post his comment in full without editing it. If he prefers to post a comment on it elsewhere I will include a link provided he makes me aware of it.

Firstly, it is my understanding that Natasha did not resign from the Blogging Tories because its founders or operators had offended her in any way, but that she was forced to do so because she could not ethically maintain a presence on the site as a contributing blogger or use their logo once she decided she could no longer support the Conservative Party of Canada. It was the right thing to do. 

There are two key components to the Blogging Tories website: one side is where posts from member blogs listed in the sidebar are automatically posted as were Moose & Squirrel’s, and whose members are entitled to use the Blogging Tories logo on their websites; the other side is the forum where anyone can register an account, as I did on Nov 19/10 under the user name ‘Caledonia Victims Project’ in order to respond to suggestions there by a user of the site who created a thread/poll asking ‘should Conservatives Against Fantino be kicked out of the party’? (88% of the 18 people who voted said ‘No’), and another who suggested we might be Liberal plants:

Being a member of the forum does not imply any kind of endorsement by the Blogging Tories, and the moderators and members (at least in the thread I posted in) seem to have a high tolerance for those who hold contrary views such as ours, as evidenced by the 88% rejection of the idea that CAF should be kicked out of the party for opposing the Fantino candidacy. My post ‘Yes, we really are Conservative Party supporters!’ is still there as of 0339 today, and I have no reason to believe it will be taken down.

I will continue to maintain my forum account at Blogging Tories in the interests of keeping a door open to constructive dialogue.

I should also acknowledge that Stephen Taylor, founding of the Blogging Tories, was the first to ‘follow’ VoiceofCanada on Twitter,  and I contacted him afterwards to thank him for doing so. I’m not suggesting for a minute that Taylor supports a word I have ever written, let alone any position I may take or have taken on Julian Fantino, or on any other issue, just that he apparently was interested enough to be the first to follow my tweets; I appreciated his kindness and interest.

What, then, the future of the Canadian Conservative Party?

How can a party that claims to believe in law and order embrace the man who subverted the Charter rights of an entire class of people in order to appease violent extremists and not lose its soul in the process? When the federal Liberals came out in the form of MP Justin Trudeau to denounce their provincial counterparts’ chosen police commissioner for his utter contempt for the Charter of Rights they showed true leadership (after all, how does any provincial Liberal now argue to defend Fantino’s record in Caledonia?), and it pains me to admit that the party I supported all my life was not the first to do so.

The CPC showed no interest in defending the rights of people in Caledonia against Fantino’s twisted policing policies other than Diane Finley affixing her signature on an anti-Fantino petition in 2009, an action from which she immediately began to distance herself when questioned by reporters:

There seem to be many self-deluded members in the Conservative Party of Canada who are all too willing to ignore and/or excuse the facts surrounding Julian Fantino’s spectacular failures and abuses of power, and this is very troubling. As the son of parents who lived in Nazi-occupied Holland the ‘just following orders’ defence mounted on Fantino’s behalf offends me to the very core as it does Natasha.

To accept that any OPP officer, let alone its commissioner should not be held responsible for conducting racial policing that left Sam Gualtieri with brain damage and children traumatized so badly they must go to counselling and take medication means that I must also accept that the judges, police, bureaucrats, clerks and soldiers who made the Holocaust possible are not responsible either. History has rejected that ‘defence’ in favour of personal accountability with an attendant duty to disobey illegal orders.

To argue that one should betray one’s lifelong-held beliefs in fundamental justice, equality before the law, and even the rule of law so that one may gain power to do good is to argue – in effect – that one is incapable of doing good at all.

History has proven decisively, time after time, that the end does not justify the means. The party ignores this lesson at its peril – even if and, perhaps, especially if Fantino wins on Monday.

The CPC is ripping itself apart, but that’s not a bad thing in the long run. It and Orwell’s quote about revolutions in truth remind me of the near-final exchange between Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) and Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) at the end of the Hunt for Red October

  • RYAN: When the dust settles from this, there’s going to be hell to pay in Moscow.
  • RAMIUS: Well, perhaps. Maybe something good will come from it. A little revolution, now and then, is a healthy thing, don’t you think?

Welcome to the revolution.


Mark Vandermaas, Editor