Category Archives: Diane Finley

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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Prediction: Caledonia & Canada win Vaughan byelection by landslide

***ABSOLUTE MUST READ!***

  • Western Standard, Nov 30/10: A Battle Lost, A War to Win [PDF] (lays out strategy for Liberals to use Fantino & Caledonia “as a club to beat the Harper Tories.” Will Ignatieff listen? See more disgruntled Tory bloggers in UPDATES below) 

UPDATE Nov 30/10: Fantino wins – CPC loses: Read on to find out why. Also, why I don’t owe Warren Kinsella an apology…

ELECTIONS CANADA RESULTS : November 29, 2010 By-elections
(Cons-Fantino: 19,260; Libs-Genco: 18,263, 284/284 polls)
——————

When I returned home last night after our final protest  rally (that’s my wife and me in photo top, R) prior to getting out most of the rest of the 60,000 ‘Conservatives Against Fantino’ brochures we have been blanketing Vaughan parking lots with during the past four weeks, there was an email from a journalist I respect asking simply, “Any predictions about byelection?”

Here is an updated, edited version of what I sent him:

PREDICTION? Well…first things first

I read in London Free Press recently that reporters were being told that Genco (Libs) people were telling them they expected to lose by a landslide of 10K. A CPC contact in Vaughan who was supporting Genco (the Liberal candidate) tells me the ‘source’ was a CPC plant and it was pure BS. Says Genco started down 20% but has now closed gap to pull even. (I seem to recall a Globe & Mail article w/similar stmt, but not sure 100%.)

My/our impressions from our experiences in Vaughan:

Our team of about 15-20 regulars from Caledonia and Richmond Hill got out between 40-50,000 of our brochures during the past few weeks, mainly by leaving them on cars in parking lots. What was really interesting is how often new people were reporting how pleasantly surprized they were by the warm reception they got from people they met during the day, how most people seemed to know about Caledonia (at long last!) , and how no one was rude to them. They also reported that people weren’t throwing the brochures away, but noticed that after getting in the car, the car wouldn’t move for about 5 mins because they were reading the brochure. (It is very eyecatching and extremely hard hitting.)

  • Conservatives Against Fantino brochure: ‘Caledonia: Fantino’s legacy of Lawlessness & Racist Policing Policies’ [PDF]

We began each Sat/Sun with a protest in front of Fantino’s HQ for which media including the Vaughan Citizen (love those ladies!), Rogers Cable and CBC showed up to interview us.  This fabulous photo of the loyal Caledonia Contingent – who regularly drove 1.5 hours each way just to make sure their town’s suffering wasn’t forgotten in this election – was taken yesterday (Nov 28/10):

 101128 Caledonia Contingent at Fantino HQ

My friend, CANACE co-founder Merlyn Kinrade (who is also featured in Helpless) and I are both former peacekeepers and, since Fantino/McGuinty ‘justified’ suspending the rule of law in Caledonia by claiming it was a ‘peacekeeping’ operation we both wore our blue berets for some of our rallies in front of Fantino’s HQ in protest of this illegal peacekeeping mission on Canadian soil for the media. Rogers Cable did a stand up interview w/me on that topic, said the story would be aired in Richmond Hill area, so I didn’t catch it. This picture is after the Rogers reporter left last week’s rally and was taken by CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson as we were handing out flyers at the Price Chopper grocery store which is 100 feet or so from Fantino’s HQ – in the background.

101120 MarkVandermaas-MerlynKinrade Price Chopper nr Fantino HQ2In all the time we were there there were a couple of people that said they liked Fantino, but many more who were very negative, some unprintable reactions. It seems there’s no middle ground – voters either love him or they hate him.

Only one  person ever got visibly angry with us. Most took the brochure, some asked questions. In one great case, a guy came over from Fantino’s HQ (think it was a campaign worker) to ask us about why we were there. Gave him our brochure and my card, told him to call w/Q. I heard from him next day – he was in shock after doing research (including calling an assistant to a provincial MPP) and finding out everything we said about Fantino was true. Said he was “having a crisis of conscience.” 

Kudos to Fantino campaign staff

I should also say that we had no problems whatsoever with people from the Fantino campaign. They allowed us to protest peacefully right in front of the building, and they were very polite with us.  The ‘worst’ comment I heard was from a man declaring, “Isn’t democracy great!” as he walked by our protest.  And, I replied, “Yes, it is.” That was it. Kudos to all of you who worked at Fantino’s HQ – I know it must not have been easy at times seeing us with our signs and brochures, and watching the media interview us about your candidate, knowing what we were saying.

CONSIDERATIONS  

Download our 2 page 8.5x11" brochure

1. Vaughan was already a long-held Liberal riding so we’re fighting a downhill battle. Of course, we are indeed fighting Fantino’s name recognition and his bizarre reputation as a law and order guy(!).

2. Fantino did a terrible job of getting out his message. By remaining incommunicado and blowing off the live debate he pissed off the media (I lost track of the number of media stories about this, and the journalists who told us personally how F refused to make himself available), which meant we and/or the controversy about what media began calling his ‘peek-a-boo’ campaign’ were the only real stories going – covered by mainly sympathetic reporters. As Conservatives Against Fantino co-founder Gary McHale liked to say: we were the only Conservatives getting out a message during this campaign, Don Cherry notwithstanding.

Our story and, therefore, Caledonia’s, was covered from Nova Scotia to Alberta, and every one of them also meant positive coverage for Tony Genco. At times it was physically impossible for me to keep our website updated, but many of the stories can be found here:

  • Conservatives Against Fantino: News

3. The ‘Warren Kinsella Caledonia Contrarian Theory’: The clincher for making my own prediction is playing contrarian to an ‘expert’ who unintentionally revealed, in one fell swoop, why this country desperately needs a national debate on Caledonia so policy wonks and spin doctor hacks can get their heads out of their collective asses for the good of our country before any more innocents are sacrificed. 

While in a Vaughan restaurant yesterday I happened to read a Toronto Sun article on the byelection by Warren Kinsella, the guy who managed the disastrous  Rocco ‘Wise Guy’ Rossi campaign for Toronto mayor which was eventually won by Rob Ford after Rossi dropped out when polls showed he was the choice of a mere 4% of voters: 

HELPLESS: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us, by Christie BlatchfordThis ‘strategist extraordinaire’ – as Toronto Life once called him – boldly predicted a big Fantino win based on what is the silliest and offensive (at least to the victims in Caledonia) assertions made since Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Lawlessness, And How the Law Failed All of Us hit the shelves Oct 26/10. It had my mouth gaping open over my bacon and eggs in utter disbelief:

To me, there’s never been much question that Conservative candidate Julian Fantino is going to handily win Monday’s byelection in a riding north of Toronto.

Fantino — who, full disclosure, helped my family when we were facing a serious death threat a few years back, and who I unsuccessfully tried to talk into running for Toronto’s mayor more than once — is a very capable guy

Fantino knows how to run things. He’s an extremely effective manager, too. The way in which he stickhandled the Caledonia standoff — and assorted native blockades in summers past — made crystal-clear that Fantino was born to be The Boss.

Really? Do you realize how badly you’re embarrassing yourself here?

I understand that a big-mouth sports pundit like Don Cherry might not be the type to read one of the most important historical books in recent Canadian history before putting his skate in his mouth by endorsing Fantino, but Kinsella’s inexcusable ignorance – as a so-called master political strategist – about what happened in Caledonia and Fantino’s role in it led me to conclude that if the guy responsible for Rossi’s ‘Wise Guy’ ads actually believes Fantino was born to be “The Boss” because of his masterful work in one of the greatest policing failures in Canadian history, it was probably a very good sign that his prediction about Fantino’s big win wasn’t worth much either, and I should bet on the horse going in the opposite direction.

Warren, if you’re reading this, I’ll be the first to eat my words tomorrow.

MY PREDICTION #1: CALEDONIA & CANADA WIN BY A LANDSLIDE

1. Whatever happens, one thing is guaranteed: Caledonia and Canada win by a landslide. Why?

A. IF FANTINO LOSES: If Fantino loses, especially by a narrow margin, everyone will know Conservatives Against Fantino – aided by a loyal cadre of Caledonia patriots(!) – made it happen in conjunction with the serendipitous release of Blatchford’s Helpless and, if the party’s smart, it will stop selling out its principles, and start listening to the grass roots, grass roots like the people of Caledonia and Haldimand County.

As you will see next, Caledonia has already entered the House of Commons, and the buzz on Conservative discontent with the Fantino candidacy is palpable. More on that later.

B. IF FANTINO WINS: The Liberals smell blood on Fantino. If he wins, now that the Libs have begun attacking Fantino as did Justin Trudeau (think of that – federal Libs attacking McG’s OPP commish!), they will continue to hound the government for embracing of a guy who openly spits (figuratively) on the Charter, and the issues of Caledonia will get even bigger play in the House, and media.

We, of course, will assist them in any way possible in the same way we offered assistance to the CPC in helping them understand why Fantino would be a slap in the face to Caledonia and every other right-thinking Conservative who believes in radical concepts such as the rule of law, equality before the law, and in protecting victims instead of creating them.

Last Thursday 2 Liberal MPs rose in the House for the first time ever to confront Diane Finley re Fantino in relation to Caledonia. Never happened before! 

Imagine what the Liberals could do if we started supplying all the evidence and background dirt on Fantino in our possession that the CPC didn’t want to hear about? We did our best to warn the party insiders to wait for Blatchford’s book before I went public with this:

Conservative insiders – growing discontent with Fantino appointment

Win or lose, Conservatives insiders and supporters are now questioning the decison-making process used to welcome Fantino into the question. Here are some of the comments by conservative insiders (and a reporter) I have received directly or had forwarded to me from supporters of our work. They show discontent within the CPC’s core supporters:   

“Whether Fantino wins or loses is irrelevant to me; I will not be voting Conservative in the next federal election. I give great credit to Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas for being so strong in standing up to this man. They are heroes, in my opinion. And if you haven’t read Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless, that would be another great source of information.”

—–

“Whatever the outcome, probably close either way, you have made a difference. Congratulations.”

—– 

“Will be thinking of you guys tomorrow. I won’t be surprised if Fantino manages to pull off a squeaker of a victory simply due to the power of name recognition and the public’s (mistaken) impression of him as a law and order guy but you guys have done an amazing job of getting the word out about why conservatives should think very carefully about supporting him and I commend you for that.”

—–

“In this case, I think stopping Fantino is the most important thing one can do. I personally think that putting Fantino into the justice portfolio would be a mistake given that he has side-stepped the law to get vengeance against those who were innocent but disagreed with him. He also capitulated to political pressure when he should have defended the law. Those are dangerous precedents. Imagine if such a person were given greater powers and responsibilities. I don’t agree with the Star or with Tony Genco but if Fantino gets in, there could be problems down the road that will kill the conservative’s chance of ever winning a majority. Short term gain for long term pain.”

—–

“I am a reporter with XXX….I am preparing a story about the unease in some Conservative quarters about the presence of Julian Fantino in their party.”

—–

“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.”

“…frankly, if I wasn’t afraid of losing 80% of my traffic, I’d probably resign from the Blogging Tories as well. I didn’t follow the Caledonia file too closely, but the Conservatives’ rather crass political maneuvering with Fantino is not something to be proud of.

While McGuinty’s Liberals and Harper’s new best friend (as Christie Blatchford calls him), Julian Fantino, were ‘justifying’ the suspension of Ontario’s Police Services Act and Charter protections for an entire class of people because they happened to call it ‘peacekeeping’ we notified Harper’s Attorney General Rob Nicholson that we had evidence supporting a case for three criminal charges against Fantino, and asked him for financial help in defending the rule of law. I got a ‘sorry your toaster is out of warranty and we can’t help you’ letter from him: 

Money for racist native terror guide, but not for Caledonia activists

The same Harper government that refused to show any interest in human rights abuses in Caledonia gives money to a native supremacist magazine called Redwire that has published a terror ‘how to’ manual with instructions to native youth on how to target non-natives and their property for violent attacks. So far, it has received $1.2M with a recommendation for more:

Fantino or Genco – Caledonia and Canada win either way 

Caledonia and Canada wins no matter what the outcome of the Vaughan election is tonight. All because of the growing and unstoppable awareness of the terrible crimes against democracy that were allowed to take place against innocents during an illegal McGuinty/Fantino peacekeeping mission conducted under the nose of Stephen Harper, and the determination to ensure they aren’t repeated.

When Gary McHale and I warned party insiders to wait for Christie Blatchford’s book to arrive, and told them we would campaign against the party, the ‘cigars’ must have had a good laugh at our expense. My guess is they aren’t laughing so much.

THANK YOU to all those Canadian patriots (CPC supporters, every one!) who drove to Vaughan, most from Caledonia – a 3 hour round trip – to help us get out our brochures and protest at Fantino’s headquarters. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks to you (and some Liberal MPs, Caledonia’s victims entered the House of Commons for the first time and the Conservative Party of Canada will never be the same.

MY PREDICTION #2 (THE ‘REAL’ ONE)

I predict the actual results are too close to call, but based on our experiences, Fantino’s terrible campaign, the Liberal history, Warren Kinsella’s ignorance,  and my CPC source who seems pretty realistic and well-informed on the riding, I think Genco will win with a small margin. I guess I could have saved you a lot of time just by answering the question right away, huh?

But what fun would that be? 🙂

P.S. after passing on my ‘Genco wins by a nose’ prediction to my newsie friend yesterday, I came across a National Post article that backed me up exactly – once you get past the highly misleading title:

My gut feeling tells me that the Liberals are going to win in Vaughan, narrowly,” says University of Toronto political scientist Nelson Wiseman.

The Liberals, who have labelled Mr. Fantino a “peekaboo” candidate because he’s barely participated in any debates, risk an embarrassing defeat if they lose a stronghold, particularly if it’s captured by someone they say is afraid to make public appearances.”

“This whole peekaboo thing is just Liberal spin,” he [CPC spokesman Fred Delorey] said. “There’s no truth to it.” That said, he admitted winning the riding is an “uphill battle.” “It’s a tough riding. The people of Vaughan traditionally vote Liberal,” he said.

If I end up owing Warren Kinsella an apology, at least I’ll be in good company.

ELECTION RESULTS: 

  1. Elections Canada: November 29, 2010 By-elections  (select Ontario>Vaughan)

UPDATES

  • JeffParkinson.ca, Dec 01/10: Fantino is still a loser
  • Western Standard, Nov 30/10: A Battle Lost, A War to Win [PDF] (MUST READ!)
  • Celestial Junk (Blogging Tories), Nov 30/10: Moose and Squirrel in Wrong Decision
    Caledonia is a black stain on Canada … there could not be a more un-Conservative moment … it is anathema to any decent person who even moderately believes in conservative principles. Yet, Fantino is Harper’s man now and will sit like a pile of steaming guano in the benches of the CPC.”
  • Moose & Squirrel, Nov 30/10: “Fantino wins – CPC loses”
  • To Warren Kinsella: Well, Fantino sure didn’t win ‘handily’ by any means. (It was pretty funny listening to the talking heads commenting on how all the ‘experts’ were wrong about the expected Fantino landslide.) But, Fantino did win so, while I don’t think I owe you an apology (on your election prediction) I guess I owe you at least an acknowledgement for a lucky guess on a race that was – exactly as I predicted – too close to call. But, please, do go spend the $20 online for a copy of Helpless before you embarrass yourself again.  
  • Moose & Squirrel, Nov 29/10: “Prediction: Caledonia & Canada win Vaughan byelection by landslide”

References

CONTACT INFO:

Mark Vandermaas
Editor, VoiceofCanada
Co-founder, ConservativesAgainstFantino
Founder, Caledonia Victims Project
info@voiceofcanada.ca

519.457.0709

Gary McHale
Co-founder,
ConservativesAgainstFantino
Executive Director, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (
CANACE)
info@garymchale.ca
289.286.0423

McHale scores 1st, 2nd in every Caledonia poll

Gary McHale recently received the poll-by-poll results for Haldimand-Norfolk which show, among other interesting stats, that he scored 1st or 2nd in every Caledonia poll!

Just as interesting, 62% of Gary’s votes came from outside Caledonia. This means that there is a broad base of support both in and outside Caledonia for his/our efforts to fight race-based policing. Caledonia’s victims should be pleased to know that some of their neighbours really do care about their plight.

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Dunnville Chronicle: Independent McHale makes strong showing in first campaign

UPDATED 2034 EST Oct 23/08

The Dunnville Chronicle reporter who spent election night with us at the McHale campaign election night party captured both our feelings and our commitment to continue to speak out for those who voted to end the injustices in Caledonia by casting a ballot for Gary.

This is one of the best articles about Gary McHale and company that has ever been written in that it captures the essence of what happened, how people were feeling, and reports exactly what was said in proper context.

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Generation Zel! Radio: ‘This Election – Dare to Believe’

The Gary McHale campaign was very pleased when Richard Robillard of Generation Zel! Radio (www.Genzel.ca) informed his listeners he was, for the first time in his life, not going to vote Conservative, but for Gary McHale.

Richard has followed the Caledonia crisis closely and has supported the efforts to restore the rule of law in Haldimand. He spent about an hour with Gary during the Delhi Fair and wrote his original endorsement shortly afterwards.

Richard has just posted a new Thanksgiving endorsement reminding voters that Gary really and truly deserves their support:

So this election, I’ve decided to go with the maverick. The one who has promised to stand up for our area because he doesn’t have to tow a party line. The one who has been in our area addressing the black eye that is ruining our economy. The one who shows passion, leadership and integrity. I know how this man stands on an issue because he makes it clear. Love him or hate him, at least you know he will defend Haldimand-Norfolk. I ask you to give Gary McHale strong consideration when you go to the ballot tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving.

Generation Zel Radio (www.Genzel.ca), Oct 13/08: This Election – Dare to Believe

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McHale campaign exposes last minute Liberal smear effort

Two well-known Liberals close to the Hoskins campaign have recently made false allegations that the McHale campaign is being secretly funded and/or backed by people other than grassroots voters as required by Canadian law:

Questions arise about the finances of this election campaign. McHale’s campaign is estimated to cost from $10,000 to $50,000. A truly independent candidate could not raise that amount of money. How could McHale pay these additional debts? How can he arrange financing while claiming to be nearly bankrupt?

The Sachem, Oct 10/08, Letter to Editor: Darrell Doxtdator – Are you getting your money’s worth? 

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McHale campaign – all good news!

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Hamilton Spectator: McHale – winner; Hoskins – loser; Finley – chicken

The Hamilton Spectator has confirmed, in a big way, that Gary McHale got the better of Liberal candidate Dr. Eric Hoskins at the Cable 14 televised debate last Saturday (Oct 04/08).

Finley was a no-show on Saturday, and again today at the Rotary Club of Simcoe debate scheduled for noon – she thumbed her nose at voters again by skipping the debate for a photo op in Caledonia at 12:00 noon with Canada’s Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty.

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Gary & Dr. Eric debate issues as Finley campaign self-destructs

If Gary was good in the Dunnville debate, you should have seen him Saturday (Oct 04/08) at the Cable 14/Hamilton Spectator televised debate! Dr. Eric came on strong in the beginning, but Gary nailed him on the Carbon Tax and especially, on Caledonia when he asked the doctor if he believed there was race-based policing in Caledonia. 

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Finley, Fantino and Bryant have WAY too much in common

On October 14th tell Ottawa, Queen’s Park and the OPP –
‘Gary speaks for me!‘ 
VOTE MCHALE in HALDIMAND-NORFOLK!=====================================================

Haldimand-Norfolk’s incumbent MP, Diane Finley, didn’t take kindly to Mayor Trainer’s comment that Gary McHale’s candidacy will keep two-tier justice at the forefront of the election in Haldimand-Norfolk:

“Despite the OPP’s and the McGuinty government’s attempts to cast McHale as a troublemaker, Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer thinks his candidacy is positive. With McHale in the race, Trainer says Haldimand’s quest for peace, law and order, stability and justice will feature prominently in the coming campaign. She says McHale will force the other candidates to state their position on the issue of two-tiered justice. “”I definitely think he’ll get some votes,” Trainer said. “No doubt in my mind. We’ll have to wait and see what happens on election night. People will change their minds right up to when they step in the polling booth. He will keep the land claims issue in the forefront.””
.

Brantford Expositor & Simcoe Reformer, Sept 04/08: McHale seeks H-N seat in federal election

Instead of listening to the Mayor’s concerns and committing to use her office to help restore law and order, and put an end to the Charter violations that have victimized the people of Haldimand for more than two years, she instead chastised Trainer – a woman who carries the weight of her town’s agony on her shoulders virtually alone – abandoned by both the federal government, the provincial government, the OPP and, of course, by Finley herself.

Trainer asked Finley if she was making progress securing federal cash for the county’s recovery program related to native land claims. By way of reply, Finley chastised Trainer for suggesting in the Sept. 4 Reformer that McHale’s candidacy was positive. In the article, Trainer said McHale would ensure that Haldimand’s issues remain on the front burner in the upcoming federal election campaign. “She was upset,” Trainer said. “She asked why it looked like I was supporting him. But I wasn’t. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. But she was not pleased.”

For her part, Trainer described her encounter as “upsetting.”

Simcoe Reformer, Sept 17/08: Finley scolds mayor over comments about candidate

Perhaps Diane Finley should listen to Haldimand’s victims instead of those responsible for allowing the injustices to continue

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