First ‘Two Tier Justice,’ now ‘Two Tier Criminal Codes’?
The Toronto Star is reporting today that when Ontario Premier McGuinty was asked if Julian Fantino will step down now that he is charged with influencing municipal officials he said he will not. The Premier also downplayed the charge against Fantino by misleading the public into believing that the charge is somehow legally insignificant or lesser of a charge because it was filed by McHale through the private prosecution provisions of the Criminal Code:
McGuinty downplayed the allegations, saying he didn’t think Fantino should take a leave from his duties while the case progresses. “My understanding is that it’s a private information being put forward by a private citizen, it’s going to work its way through the courts and I’ll try to all that to take its normal course,” McGuinty said.
Toronto Star, Jan 12/10: No need for Fantino to step aside, McGuinty says [PDF, REPRINT]
Premier of Ontario shows contempt for Superior Court decision
The premier is deliberately misleading the public about the nature of the charge against Fantino and, in the process, is showing extraordinary contempt for the decision of a Superior Court judge who reviewed the evidence; rejected the government’s arguments and issued process for a charge that – according to an Osgoode Hall criminal law professor – “is no different than if filed by police,” according to a story published just today in the National Post which also points out the conflict of interest on the part of the government:
Posted in 1. VoC's MOST IMPORTANT POST, Caledonia - Brown & Chatwell, Fantino on Trial, FantinoGate, How low can they go?, Legal actions & rulings, MUST SEE, Native Protests - Caledonia, One Law for All!, Planet Earth calling, Racial Policing, Racial Profiling, True North - NOT free!
UPDATED Jan 07/10
‘Joy rising.’ That’s how I’ve been feeling lately (I’ll explain why below) and that’s how one of the 20,000 participants in this incredible, mindblowing, flashmob dance described his experience in surprising – and delighting – Oprah Winfrey as part of her 24th season kick off party held Sept 08/09 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The video below captures some of the feelings I’ve been having during the past few weeks thanks to the incredible developments in the struggle against race-based policing.
Black Eyed Peas, Oprah feeling/I Gotta Feeling, Sept 08/09, Oprah’s 24th Season Kickoff Party – ‘the coolest thing EVER!’
20,000 people suprise Oprah with help from the Black Eyed Peas. Click to visit Oprah's feature page to view video.
They are afraid!
If the video of Oprah’s surprise flash mob dance doesn’t warm your heart, maybe this will: Isn’t it nice to know that right now…as you’re reading this…frightened politicians, lawyers, OPP brass and their advisors, spin doctors and consultants are huddled behind closed doors in Orillia and Toronto wondering how it was that their plan to legitimize racial policing went so horribly off the rails, and are now trying to figure out how they can avoid losing their jobs and/or going to jail? Isn’t that a delicious thought?
Posted in 2. VoC's Favorite Post, Caledonia - Brown & Chatwell, Fantino v Truth, FantinoGate, Legal actions & rulings, MUST SEE, Native Protests - Caledonia, One Law for All!, Racial Policing, Racial Profiling, Truth in Media
The National Post editorial board has issued a notable commentary on the Brown-Chatwell settlement and the cowardice of the McGuinty government in refusing to enforce the law:
The government cannot decline to enforce the law and protect its citizens simply because it might anger a certain segment of society or create an uncomfortable political situation. (…) Men and women who lack the stomach to enforce the law, always and equitably, have no business holding public office. That’s the real lesson of Caledonia.
National Post editorial board, Jan 02/09: It’s simple, really. Enforce the law. PDF REPRINT
Their editorial captures the essence of the government’s nearly criminal indifference to the suffering of non-native victims in Caledonia.
I would – as always – like to remind readers that native people have also been victimized by OPP racial policing:
“A most unsatisfying outcome”
The Post rightly observes that while they understand why both Brown and Chatwell, and the Ontario government decided to settle the agreement does have some drawbacks:
For society at large, however, this [settlement agreement] is a most unsatisfying outcome. The Liberal government has never been able to argue coherently, in or out of court, against Mr. Brown’s and Ms. Chatwell’s basic version of events: that their family and home were abandoned to the caprices of often-intimidating protesters whose appalling conduct the police refused to … well, to police. This shocking abdication of the government’s most basic responsibilities deserves a stern rebuke from the highest court available: The government cannot decline to enforce the law and protect its citizens simply because it might anger a certain segment of society or create an uncomfortable political situation.
Posted in 1. VoC's MOST IMPORTANT POST, 2. VoC's Favorite Post, Aboriginal policy, Caledonia - Brown & Chatwell, Caledonia Class Action lawsuit, MUST SEE, Native Protests - Caledonia, One Law for All!, Racial Policing, Racial Profiling, Sam Gualtieri - Stirling Occupation
UPDATE: The Ontario government chose to end its public relations disaster known as the Brown-Chatwell lawsuit by reaching a mid-trial settlement on Dec 31/09. National media outlets have issued strongly-worded commentaries on the settlement and the failure of the McGuinty government to order the OPP to enforce the law equally:
- National Post, Jan 07/10: Kelly McParland: The high cost of Dalton McGuinty’s native terror [PDF, REPRINT]
- Hamilton Spectator, Jan 06/10: Coming clean on Caledonia [PDF, REPRINT]
- Montreal Gazette, Jan 05/10: Ignoring Caledonia thugs is an affront to justice [PDF, REPRINT]
- National Post editorial board, Jan 02/10: It’s simple, really. Enforce the law. [PDF, REPRINT] (VoC commentary)
- Globe & Mail, Dec 31/09: For Caledonia couple, the occupation is finally over [PDF, REPRINT
Please see the CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature page for complete media coverage of the Brown-Chatwell trial.
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, Nov 10/09: Just how sensitive is Canada’s native file? REPRINT
Brown & Chatwell trial: crimes against democracy
The $7M trial of Brown-Chatwell v. OPP (Ontario government) is in recess with at least 3 more weeks of evidence to come in the new year. As part of a group of people who have been trying promote truth, justice and eventual healing/reconciliation on behalf of the innocent victims of racial policing – both native and non-native – I have some mixed feelings about the lurid evidence that has so utterly captivated the national media, and about what should come next.
Posted in 1. VoC's MOST IMPORTANT POST, Caledonia - Brown & Chatwell, How low can they go?, Mohawk Warriors, MUST SEE, Native Protests - Caledonia, Native Racism, One Law for All!, Racial Policing, Reaching out to native people, Six Nations, True North - NOT free!, Truth in Media