Category Archives: Mark Vandermaas

Charges dropped against Caledonia Eight, but OPP undeterred

120203 Dunnville Chronicle reporter lines up Caledonia Eight for photoOn Friday (Feb 03/12) all charges against the Caledonia Eight – arrested Dec 03/11 for ‘trespassing’ on a county road running through the occupied Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia – were dropped by the specially-chosen prosecutor brought in to handle the cases.

The McGuinty government had threatened to arrest non-native protesters who attempted to enter the natives-only ‘no go zone’ which even the OPP cannot enter without permission from the occupiers. Eight of us lined up, one-by-one, to be arrested for refusing to obey the OPP’s order to leave the road known as Syrie Street.

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‘No Blacks, Whites or Jews Allowed by Order of McGuinty’ – by Gary McHale

120127 no whites no jews no blacks - photo by Jeff Parkinson

“…the law in Haldimand County operates as the law in America’s Deep South once worked, where there was one law for the white man, who could break it with impunity, and another for the black man. In Haldimand County, since the occupation began, there has been one law for natives and another for non-natives.“

What does the term ‘Non-Native’ really mean? ‘Rights for Whites?’ Or ‘Rights for All?’

For five years we have been engaged in a struggle to end OPP race-based policing directed against “non-native” people.  During that time many journalists have used the ‘non-native’ term, including Christie Blatchford, author of the Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us, in which she laid bare much of the damning evidence proving that OPP officers were given, and followed, orders to conduct racial policing. 

On May 04/11, barely six months after release of Helpless Blatchford wrote a story after witnessing the shocking testimony of an OPP officer attempting to justify why the force was again trying to exclude Gary McHale from certain areas of Caledonia after arresting him on a trumped-up assault charge (later dropped by the Crown prior to trial) in which she wrote the words above comparing the law in Caledonia/Haldimand County to the blatantly biased workings of the racist Deep South.  

But, what does the term ‘Non-Native’ really mean?

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VIDEO: The Caledonia Eight Arrested

UPDATED Dec 09/11 — CANACE’s Director of Multimedia Production Jeff Parkinson has released a short movie that tells the story of the arrests of the Caledonia 8 on the Douglas Creek Estates on Dec 03/11.

Jeff himself was arrested, but handed the camera over to Christine McHale when it was his turn line to wear handcuffs so she could continue documenting the scene. Jeff is shown kneeling in the photo below.

111203 Jeff Parkinson (kneeling) with the rest of the Caledonia 8 at OPP's Caledonia sub-station following arrests. PHOTO BY STUART LAUGHTON

The Caledonia Eight (L-R): Randy Fleming, Doug Fleming, Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale, Jeff Parkinson (kneeling), Jack Van Halteren (w/hat), Merlyn Kinrade, Bonnie Stephens. PHOTO by Stuart Laughton, taken at OPP Caledonia sub-station after arrests.

TRIVIA: You’ll see a rather humorous scene where I’m bent over trying to get into the paddy wagon but the door is too small for my shoulders and it was almost impossible to twist sideways with my hands cuffed. As you watch me try to get through the door you’ll hear me say, “If the van doesn’t fit you must acquit” (with apologies to Johnny Cochran).

MORE TRIVIA: While we were inside the van Jeff asked if anyone knew any civil rights songs so I led the seven of us (Gary McHale was taken by other means of transport) in ‘We Shall Overcome,’ so that’s my voice you first hear singing from inside the van. I didn’t see Bonnie so I assumed she had been taken away with Gary, but she was, in fact, with us in another part of the paddywagon:

There was a separate, small cell built into the van directly behind the front passenger side seat.  I was sitting in there, but I could see out because there were rows of small holes in the side, sliding door that closed off the approximately 4′ x 4′ “cell” where I was.  I could hear you guys behind me in the back.  I heard you talking to each other, but I couldn’t make out all the words.  I heard you singing and I joined in, and I heard Randy Fleming most clearly, so that might help you figure out where I was in relation to yourself.  I think that you were on the driver side, so I was across from you. I might add that I was quite proud of my calmness because I am very claustrophobic.” 

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The Caledonia 8 – arrested in non-Native ‘no-go zone’ occupation site

111203 The Caledonia 8 at OPP's Caledonia sub-station following arrests. PHOTO by Stuart Laughton.

UPDATED – VoiceofCanada editor/Caledonia Victims Project founder Mark Vandermaas was one of eight people arrested yesterday while walking on the occupied Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) in Caledonia.  The protest was organized by Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) to draw attention to the racially-segregated site owned by the Ontario government and Haldimand County, a ‘no-go zone’ for non-natives and police.

According to Gary McHale, Executive Director of CANACE, the goal of the protest was to remind the OPP, the McGuinty government and Haldimand County that citizens will never surrender their freedoms and rights to OPP racial policing policies.

111203 Caledonia 8 - Bonnie Stephens. Threatened by native occupier on Douglas Creek Estates 'no-go zone.' Click image to read story.Rule of law activists from London, Richmond Hill, Binbrook and Norfolk lined up quietly with Caledonia/Haldimand residents to wait their turn to refuse OPP orders to leave the road into DCE. We were then arrested, handcuffed and loaded into a paddy wagon which took us to the Caledonia OPP sub-station where we were issued tickets and released. The photo above of the ‘Caledonia 8’ was taken in front of the station after our release. Additional photos can be found below.

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Mark Vandermaas letter to London Free Press editor

110703, Day 11 Blue Beret vigil re London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn Boat to HamasFrom: Mark Vandermaas
Sent: Monday, July 11/2011  9:34 PM
To: Joe Ruscitti
CC: Gary McHale

Subject: letter re tomorrow’s protest – requesting your side of the story

Mr. Joe Ruscitti, Editor
London Free Press
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Dear Mr. Ruscitti:
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Earlier today I sent out an email (cc’d to you) confirming that my protest at the London Free Press tomorrow would go ahead as planned from approx 11:15-1:00pm. I have spoken to Cst Holland at the London Police Service CORE Unit to let him know about the protest, and to confirm I’m not anticipating any issues. We will keep the sidewalks clear and we will not be harassing your employees in any way other than handing out literature.
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(8.5 MB) Mark Vandermaas presentation to 2010 'New Directions in Aboriginal Policy' forum, May 01/10, Mount Royal University: Listening to Victims: A Fresh Approach to Healing & Reconciliation (NOTES W/SLIDES) I understand you are upset with me printing our emails and those of Leila Paul regarding your need to consult with Muslims before publishing her article. If the situation were reversed, I know I would feel the same. It was not something I did lightly, and I have never done it before. We have worked with media for years during the Caledonia crisis and I well understand that we need journalists on our side, not angry with us. Unfortunately, I had to weigh the public good against the consequences of burning my bridge with London’s only major daily. I’m sorry, but I would do it again in a heartbeat because the stakes are just too important.
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If the London Free Press believes it is acceptable not to report fundamental facts countering the anti-Israel hysteria, and the the role of a religious institution in our community – no matter what the denomination – in supporting a mission which, if successful, will ultimately result in weapons getting in the hands of a terror organization sworn to exterminate Jews, then I must take exception.

United Nations rules Israel blockade of Hamas weapons is lawful

United Nations flagOn this, the 16th day of my Blue Beret vigil outside the London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, which I began on June 23/11 in order to draw attention to its support (fundraising + a ‘delegate’) for the Canadian Boat to Gaza’s attempt to break Israel’s blockade of weapons to the Hamas terrorist organization, I am pleased to report that the United Nations has ruled that the blockade is lawful.

Michael Ross, a veteran of the Israel Secret Intelligence Service, is reporting the details as follows, in part:

More bad news for the dwindling number of flotilla activists hanging around the ports of Greece. The now completed UN Inquiry on last year’s Gaza flotilla incident aboard the Mavi Marmara found that Israel’s blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza is legal and the Israeli government owes no apology or reparation to Turkey.

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Jacob Peretz to London Free Press: Coverage of Gaza boat story shameful as voyage itself

Jacob Peretz, June 25/11, Day 3 of Blue Beret vigil vs London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn Boat to HamasLetter to London Free Press submitted by resident, Jacob Peretz, who was the first member of the London Jewish community to show support for the Blue Beret vigil outside the London (Muslim) Mosque, on Day 3 – June 25/11 (I have made some minor typographical corrections).

Jacob sent a copy to me after it appeared in the LFP.

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Middle East

Gaza

I would like to submit a letter Letter to the editor July 5, 2011. The London Free Press (LFP), daily coverage of the “Canadian boat to Gaza” is shameful as is the voyage itself.

Billed as a humanitarian voyage to aid the people of Gaza against “Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza”, this trip is nothing but a provocation against the legitimacy of the state of Israel. The people of Gaza are proud to say that they democratically elected this Hamas government and the world has to accept their votes. These people then have to live with the consequences of a government bent on the destruction of Israel and the elimination of the Jewish people all over the world.

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Is free speech at London Free Press now subject to Muslim approval? The ‘Leila Paul’ emails

The ‘Leila Paul’ emails:
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UPDATE: Masters of Deceit (Leila Paul), July 07/11: True Patriot Love – Standing Up To London’s Mosque
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On Day 13 of the Blue Beret vigil to protest the London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque’s support for the Canadian Boat to Gaza, I released a statement announcing that the London Free Press had informed me that, despite two interviews (one by phone, one on site), and despite their publishing of several stories about the anti-Israel side of the London connections to the Tahrir, they were not going to report my vigil, or the evidence that led me to begin it:
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On Day 14, I published my email exchange with the editor of the London Free Press, Joe Ruscitti:

  • Mark Vandermaas – London Free Press emails:  [PDF].

A former journalist named Leila Paul contacted me through a mutual friend and gave me explicit instructions to publish her email interaction with Editor Ruscitti in which he states – among other things – that he will not publish her opinion piece about the alleged terrorist connections to the funding of an Islamic Chair at Huron College at the University of Western Ontario until after he has had a chance to meet with the Muslim community to try to persuade them to also write a piece.
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Ms. Paul’s piece was never published by the London Free Press, but you can read it here in her original email to Editor Ruscitti along with his explanation of why he won’t run it:

  • Leila Paul – London Free Press emails [PDF]

About Leila Paul

Leila Paul was born in Bethlehem in 1945 and baptized in the Church of the Nativity. She grew up believing she was a Palestinian Arab, yet became increasingly uncomfortable, feeling somehow that she did not belong.

It was this long ago feeling that would eventually bring her to the decision to speak out about her experience with the London Free Press after seeing the the paper’s decision to cover the anti-Israel London connection to the Canadian Boat to Gaza,  yet not report the evidence and facts behind my Blue Beret vigil

I asked Ms. Paul if she would tell readers why she decided to speak out now.

In her own words…

THE LEILA PAUL STORY

For years I tried to remain aloof from the issue after I started having doubts about the real, long term motives of Islamists. It’s only when I acknowledged the truth after Rory Leishman’s column [London Free Press, ‘Media Ignores Islamist Extremism, Sept 30/11 – also spiked by Editor Joe Ruscitti, leading to Leishman’s resignation] that I finally admitted I’d been wrong. Once the wall had collapsed, everything cascaded through. I did a second ancestry test and began to study the anthropology and archeological evidence to discover my instincts were right. My belief is that there is no Palestinian ethnicity but they’ve been indoctrinated by years of Arab Islamic domination. In fact, I’d long suspected that some of my ancestors were Jews and later converted to Christianity.

Caledonia milestone: Occupiers & OPP respect non-native right to place Truth & Reconciliation monument at entrance to DCE

Gary McHale, DCE occupation site, June 19/11

“I believe the greatest reason the OPP both acknowledged our Charter Rights and then protected them this past Sunday was because we have maintained a clear message of Equality under the Law for all people, that the Rule of Law demands all people obey the Law and that we have remained peaceful even in difficult situations.” – Gary McHale

Something changed in Caledonia yesterday. In a way never before seen in the history of the Caledonia crisis both the OPP and the occupiers of the Douglas Creek Estates displayed great respect for the rights of non-natives at yesterday’s CANACE/Caledonia Victims Project Truth & Reconciliation Rally yesterday, and that respect resulted in us being able to place our symbolic Apology/Reconciliation monument on the paved entrance to DCE while we made some short speeches and answered questions from the media.

The contrast between the conduct of the OPP and the occupiers yesterday compared to our Feb 27th and March 27th attempts to place our monument couldn’t have been more stark. During those attempts the OPP stood by as occupiers bumped, assaulted, and screamed insults at us from inches away, and falsely accused us of assault. During the March rally officers watched as our monument was stolen from us by occupiers, destroyed and then burnt with our Canadian flag. Yesterday’s event, however, was nothing short of remarkable.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Father’s Day BBQ and Truth & Reconciliation Rally in Caledonia, Sunday, June 19th

UPDATE: Caledonia milestone: DCE occupiers & OPP respect rights of non-natives during Truth & Reconciliation Rally

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CANACE logo       Caledonia Victims Project. Click the image to find out about the dancer.

Joint Media Release by CANACE and Caledonia Victims Project – June 9, 2011

Father’s Day BBQ (free food & live entertainment) 
12 to 2 pm

and

Truth and Reconciliation Rally in Caledonia on Sunday June 19 at 2 p.m.  [PDF]

CANACE, founded by Gary McHale, and the Caledonia Victims Project, founded by Mark Vandermaas, are holding a Truth and Reconciliation Rally in Caledonia as part of their on-going efforts to bring about lasting peace based on truth, justice, mutual respect and restoration of the Rule of Law. 

A Father’s Day Barbecue will precede the rally from 12 noon to 2 pm Sunday June 19th where we will be serving free hotdogs and drinks to the public at the farm of Mr. Ernie Palmer [LINK, MAP]. All are welcome to drop in to chat and listen to the music of multi-instrumentalist Stuart Laughton who was an original member of Canadian Brass [LINK] and founder of the roots-rock band Porkbelly Futures [LINK]. He is also Founder & Artistic Director of The Forest Festival [LINK] in Haliburton, Ontario. Stuart will be singing and playing guitar on a selection of favourite songs by Willie P. Bennett, James Taylor, Jim Cuddy, Ron Sexsmith and others. 

At 2 p.m. we will go to Douglas Creek Estates to place our Truth and Reconciliation Monument on the road allowance at the entrance to DCE. At both our Feb. 27 and Mar. 27 rallies the OPP refused to uphold the law as non-natives were swarmed, harassed and assaulted. During the Feb. event the OPP refused to remove trespassers on the private property we were using, but later arrested Gary McHale for attempting to remove their leader who had led a large group of pro-occupation activists to swarm him, and refused instructions to leave. That charge has now been withdrawn by the Crown [LINK]. On March 27th the OPP allowed the occupiers to steal, destroy, then burn our original monument along with our Canadian flag [LINK]. 

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Landmark Report: Fantino’s Billion Dollar Legacy – Part 2

Authored for the Landmark Report by ‘Kaffir Kanuck,’ a Canadian Forces veteran of Afghanistan
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A-Native-Patrol-drives-by-in-a-red-pickup-in-front-of-the-Embassy-sign-invites-tourists-outside-the-barricade-remains1-300x202 (photo by Kaffir Kanuck)(My second part from Landmark Report. See here for Part 1) 

(This is the second of two parts examining the Native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, Ontario. It is a result of interviews with activists Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade. It has been framed exploring what it has cost the Ontario taxpayer so far and how the OPP’s actions under their former Commissioner Julian Fantino and those of various stake holders may affect the federal election in two ridings.)  

Behind the barricade remains, a Native patrol drives by in a red pickup in front of the press-board ramshackle “Embassy.” Outside DCE, a sign invites tourists.  

(This is the second of two parts examining the Native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, Ontario. It is a result of interviews with activists Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade. It has been framed exploring what it has cost the Ontario taxpayer so far and how the OPP’s actions under their former Commissioner Julian Fantino and those of various stake holders may affect the federal election in two ridings.)  

The Douglas Creek Estates were to be a bedroom community for Toronto and Hamilton. Small economic off shoots to strengthen the community were planned such as Chris Syries’ plans to open up a music school for 400 students. A class action suit is still under way representing the few businesses which have remained and are still fighting for justice.  

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Landmark Report: Fantino’s Billion Dollar Legacy – Part 1

Authored for the Landmark Report by ‘Kaffir Kanuck,’ a Canadian Forces veteran of Afghanistan
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600-Million-Hydro-Tower-Project-kept-unfinished-and-unwired-due-to-Native-occupation-of-the-Douglas-Creek-Estates-300x257 (photo by Kaffir Kanuck)(This is the first of two parts examining the Native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, Ontario. It is a result of interviews with activists Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade. It has been framed exploring what it has cost the Ontario taxpayer so far and how the OPP’s actions under their former Commissioner Julian Fantino and those of various stake holders may affect the federal election in two ridings.)

Conservative MP Julian Fantino hopes for re-election in Vaughan on Monday. He won the previously Liberal held seat by less than on thousand votes. However, the legacy he inherited and left behind in Haldimand Track, the events of Native occupation in Caledonia have come back to haunt him.
Conservatives Against Fantino peppered his constituency during his by-election, and their information campaign may very well have contributed to his marginal win, although the 2008 election had Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua win by over eight thousand votes. This movement has morphed into Conservatives Against Racism, now also targeting the Conservative Party elite who supported getting Fantino elected into Vaughan.

In Haldimand-Norfolk, Liberal Bob Speller running against incumbent CPC Diane Finley, has been the first federal candidate to offer a Caledonia policy statement. Of note to Caledonia residents has been Finley’s conspicuous absence from their township and her silence regarding issues related to the Native occupation during this campaign.

Recently, some of the main stream media played up a few resignations form the Julian Fantino Conservative MP re-election camp.

[…]

Read the rest of this article…

References

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada
info@voiceofcanada.ca

Caledonia: Was the Conservative Party of Canada friend or foe to victims?

Excerpt from
‘Caledonia: An Illegal Peacekeeping Mission on Canadian Soil’
[PDF, 11p]; PowerPoint presentation [PPT, 22.5MB]
presented by Mark Vandermaas,
Delhi Belgian Club, April 14/11

110414 Conservatives Against Racism townhall, Delhi Belgian Club, April 14/11. Clockwise from lower left: Mark Vandermaas, Merlyn Kinrade, Doug Fleming, Gary McHale. Photo by Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer[…] I would like to preface my final set of remarks by saying that I have voted for the Conservative Party all my adult life. In fact, the only party I have ever been a member of was the Reform Party under Preston Manning.

As someone who has volunteered four and a half years of my life to working towards ending race-based policing in Ontario and as someone who holds conservative values I am compelled to ask a question during this election:

What were Diane Finley and the Harper government doing while the Ontario government was undermining Canada’s Charter of Rights and our precious rule of law during the past 5 years?

SLIDE: HAS ANYONE SEEN DIANE FINLEY?

This picture from Gary McHale’s 2006 March for Freedom shows a resident carrying a sign that was posted around Caledonia to convey the sentiments about their MP’s lack of interest. It says, “Has anyone seen Diane Finley?”

Diane Finley has brushed off Doug Fleming’s attempts to meet with her to discuss the blight of illegal smokeshacks in his community. She has so far rejected our attempts to set up a meeting to talk about Caledonia issues.

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Liberal Bob Speller first federal candidate to offer Caledonia policy statement

Conservatives Against Racism brochure: HARPER: NOT HERE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Click image to download brochure

Liberal Party candidate Bob Speller (Haldimand-Norfolk) has become the first federal candidate in the 2011 election to issue a policy statement regarding the breakdown of the rule of law in Caledonia.  

Speller’s statement – which referenced Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless on several occasions – was read at our Conservatives Against Racism townhall presentation held last night at the Delhi Belgian Club by the president of the Haldimand-Norfolk Liberal Electoral District Association, Herb Ibbotson. It was much stronger than any us could have hoped for, and it referenced every aspect of the crisis: land claims; illegal tobacco; the rule of law; property rights; and helping victims (the full text of Mr. Speller’s statement is reprinted below followed by a VoC comment):

“There is nothing more important than the rule of law. We have troops in Afghanistan and our air force flying in the skies of Libya to ensure those countries have the rule of law. You can’t have democracy without the rule of law. We all know what happened in Caledonia. […]  Anyone who has read Christie Blatchford’s book as I have knows what happened. It is not acceptable.”

Empathy for Caledonia’s youngest hero

CANACE founder Merlyn Kinrade emceed the event, opening with a strong condemnation of the Harper decision to appoint Julian Fantino as a candidate.

  • Merlyn Kinrade, Conservatives Against Racism townhall meeting, Delhi Belgian Club, April 14/11: Opening remarks/introductions [PDF]

Most readers know that I and Merlyn Kinrade are ex-military and former UN peacekeepers, and so we were pleased to discover, before the event began, that Herb Ibbotson had served as an officer in the Canadian Artillery Reserve for 21 years.  Later, he explained to the crowd that seven members of his family were killed during World War I defending his ancestral country of Belgium, and asked us all if we knew why Canada’s flag was red and white. I did not know that red and white were colours bestowed on Canada by King George in recognition of Canada’s terrible sacrifice in the Great War. Clearly, he was struck by what he had heard during the presentation, and the importance of defending the rule of law.

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ELECTION TOWNHALL MEETING (Haldimand-Norfolk): Delhi Belgian Club, April 14

2011 ELECTION TOWNHALL MEETING

Thursday, April 14th at 7pm
Delhi Belgian Club
360 James Street, Delhi N4B 2B4 [MAP]

Hosted by: Conservatives Against Racism

– Keynote Speakers –

Gary McHale
President, CANACE
Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
Report on lawlessness and failure of government to help victims of crime

Mark Vandermaas
Founder, Caledonia Victims Project
Report on illegal peacekeeping mission on Canadian soil and failure to honour signed U.N. agreements re the Rule of Law

Doug Fleming
Owner ‘Dougs Smokes’
Report on illegal tobacco and current RCMP stats

IMPORTANT ELECTION ISSUES

Law & Order

Helping Victims of Crime – in particular, the residents of Caledonia

Illegal Tobacco 

Candidates have been invited to attend and to speak to issues

The format of this event will be that we will do a 75 minute presentation, then allow each candidate 6 minutes to say anything they want to the public (of course, we encourage each candidate to speak to the issues raised in our presentation). We will then have a Q&A time. Candidates are encourage to bring their material to hand out. There will be a time for people to meet with the Candidates after the Q&A – event ends at 10 p.m.

– MEDIA CONTACT – 
Gary McHale, info@canace.ca 289.286.0423