Category Archives: Frances Widdowson

University of Waterloo takes a stand for free speech and Christie Blatchford’s Caledonia story

101207 UW Blatchford ticket stubsChristie Blatchford’s presentation at the University of Waterloo on Tuesday night went off without a hitch, without even a whimper of protest from Dan Kellar or the other self-appointed censors who intimidated the university into cancelling her scheduled Nov 12/10 appearance before it even began, and had promised to disrupt her second vist.

The Kitchener Record has a very good account of the evening for so I am free to devote this piece to giving credit where it is due – to the University of Waterloo, not only for ultimately defending academic freedom and freedom of speech, but for its masterful public relations work.

Before continuing, however, I feel compelled to share what many who have read Helpless and/or experienced the OPP’s race-based policing policies in Caledonia firsthand might regard as the quote of the evening (just one of many superb Blatchford-isms to which we were treated):

“The election of former OPP chief Julian Fantino – who she blames for abandoning the rule of law in Caledonia – to a federal seat in Vaughan “makes me want to slit my wrists,” she said.

DEFENDING FREE SPEECH:
Christie Blatchford and the University of Waterloo

Most observers agree that UW got caught flat-footed on Nov 12th by a small group of goons who should have been handcuffed and dragged out in order to preserve the precious academic freedom that is the lifeblood of an institution upon which policy makers rely for scholarly scrutiny of vital issues of local and national concern.

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UofW pseudo-leftists create “surge” in HELPLESS sales publisher reports

Nazi swastika drawn on home of a Caledonia resident during the night.

Nazi swastika drawn on home of a Caledonia resident during the night.

Despite the shameful assault on freedom of speech and academic freedom represented by the character assassination, and intimidation that resulted in the cancellation of Christie Blatchford’s speech at the the University of Waterloo on Nov 12/10, the controversy has achieved several positive results.

Not only has it generated a storm of counter-criticism in mainstream media and blogs highlighting universities as being the front line in the battle to preserve free speech, it has – happily – dramatically boosted sales of Blatchford’s book.

Our friends at Doubleday Canada say that thanks to the Waterloo protest and the publicity it has generated they’ve had another surge of demand for the book which made it necessary to order a reprint of Helpless.

Comment by Mark Vandermaas

All who have supported our four-year long quest to expose and oppose racial policing in Caledonia owe an ironic, yet distasteful, debt of gratitude to the radicals and anarchists who have now helped to ensure that even more people will read Helpless and understand the despicable conduct of those whose lawlessness they supported, and the dangers these self-appointed censors pose to the Charter of Rights.

Sam Gualtieri - suffered permanent brain damage after being assaulted by native protesters Sept 13/07 during illegal occupation while in a home he was building for his daughter. Click image to read his family's tragic statement of claim in Superior Court.

Sam Gualtieri - suffered permanent brain damage after being assaulted by native protesters Sept 13/07 during illegal occupation while in a home he was building for his daughter. Click image to read his family's tragic statement of claim in Superior Court.

It should be no surprise that those who support and/or actively worked to enable the native extremists who terrorized Caledonia do not want the victims they helped create to have a voice, and then vilify those of us who have been willing to speak for them. As I noted in my presentation at the 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum:

The words ‘heartless’ and ‘cruel’ seem inadequate to describe the irony of a situation wherein an organized group from one race of people terrorized others with racial slurs, fire, violence, vandalism, and property seizures and then tormented their victims with false accusations of being white supremacists.

As the son of parents who lived in Nazi-occupied Holland I am offended to the very core of my being by the blaming of innocent victims for racially-motivated crimes committed against them.

  • Mark Vandermaas presentation to 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum, May 05/10: Listening to Victims: A Fresh Approach to Healing and Reconciliation [PDF, 21p, 8.5MB]

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2010 ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum hears Caledonia’s pain

UPDATED May 12/10 — 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum, Mount Royal University, Calgary, May 05/10: (L-R) Mark Vandermaas (Caledonia Victims Project); Gary McHale (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality); Ron Bourgeault (University of Regina); Dr. Miriam Carey (Chair, Panel II); Wes Elliott (Six Nations, not visible)Gary McHale and I have returned from Calgary. The ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum at Mount Royal University was a fabulous success at many levels thanks to great speakers, important networking, the fact that Caledonia’s voice was heard loudly and clearly, and especially because the university stood firm against those trying to infringe on academic freedom.  

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Campaign against Vandermaas & McHale produces positive outcome

A storm of controversy that was ignited by an internet  petition aimed at intimidating Mount Royal University into revoking the invitation to speak has now, unexpectedly, brought about some very positive results for the people of Caledonia and Six Nations, and the future of debate in Canada:  

1. The petition was voluntarily taken down by the Australian host due to libelous statements against Mark Vandermaas & Gary McHale.

2. Christie Blatchford was drawn into the firestorm when a Mount Royal professor announced he planned to sign the petition, and then suggested that she be invited to speak instead Vandermaas & McHale.

Blatchford sent forum organizer Dr. Widdowson a lengthy email explaining that she was too busy to come because she was writing a book about Caledonia, and that the allegations against the two – based on her personal knowledge – were untrue. 

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Native militants & CUPE try to intimidate Mount Royal University into silence re Caledonia

Nuremberg Laws - guide to determining racial purity. Click to enlarge.

Six Nations militants and their CUPE-organized supporters have begun yet another smear campaign against Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas – this time via an online petition directed at intimidating Mount Royal University into not allowing the voices of Caledonia victims to be heard at the upcoming ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum organized by Dr. Frances Widdowson on May 05/10 in Calgary.       

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To ‘John’: About those thugs in Caledonia…

UPDATE 1400 EST Jan 23/10: I received a gracious reply from ‘John’ promising to review the info I provided in this post. Posted at the bottom.

UPDATED 1144 EST Jan 23/10

Well, it’s started already folks…

Those opposed to a debate that includes an airing of the tragic lessons learned from the victims of native violence and intimidation in Caledonia and Ipperwash are throwing mud to (try) to smear those of us who believe that true healing and reconciliation can only come about when the rule of law and equality before that law is respected for all citizens – native and non. 

Dr. Frances Widdowson, author of the groundbreaking work, ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry,’ a 2008 Donner Book Prize finalist, recently invited Gary McHale and me to speak at her ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum that will be held in Calgary later this year. A self-described “Haudenosaunee citizen” I’ll call ‘John’ published an article that calls for the struggle by native people to remain peaceful and respectful. 

Unfortunately, the article’s entire point was to make his readers believe that Ms. Widdowson and her forum shouldn’t be taken seriously because she invited a “thug” who is “inciting violence”:

“…Gary McHale is…a thug [who moved to Caledonia for the purpose] “of inciting violence.

‘John,’ Jan 21/10:

I sent the comment below to the woefully misinformed ‘John’ and to Dr. Widdowson. Hopefully, he will have the good grace to be embarassed, apologize and reach out so we can build some bridges with a productive debate. NOTE: hyperlinks shown thusly [LINK] were not in my original comment:

———————————–

Dear ‘John’:
 
I apologize for the length, but you have made some statements that deserve to be addressed in a manner which enables readers to access evidence and judge for themselves if we are, as you say, acting in a manner which appeals to the best of us:
 
A. A THUG INCITING VIOLENCE?: As someone who has worked with Gary McHale on a daily basis for more than 3.5 years I really must take exception to your characterization of him: 

“…Gary McHale is…a thug” [who moved to Caledonia for the purpose] “of inciting violence.

[gary_hospital-dec01-07-small.jpgThe comment I left on ‘John’s’ website included the complete offending paragraph from ‘John’s blog that I originally included in my comment. I have replaced it here with the shortened sentence which captures the essence of his attempt to smear Dr. Widdowson and her forum by attacking Gary McHale. I have also removed other minor content which might identify him or his site. I have no desire to assist the writer of such falsehoods in obtaining an audience for his website which, as of yesterday, had but two posts on it.] 

These repugnant comments about Gary McHale have no grounding in fact. He/we and our organization Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (www.CANACE.ca) have a track record of advocating peaceful protest against racial policing and the terrible native lawlessness that has victimized thousands in Caledonia and elsewhere – including native people. 
 

CANACE founders to participate in Aboriginal policy forum

I am pleased to report that fellow CANACE co-founder Gary McHale and I have been invited to participate in an Aboriginal policy forum to be held in Calgary, Alberta in 2010. 

The forum consists of three panels: one on economic development, one on governance and one on social policy. Gary and I will be on the governance panel.  Other participants include political commentator/author Tom Flanagan as well as Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard, authors of ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry.’

More details to follow in the new year. 

An important milestone

This will be, to the best of our knowledge, the very first time that the specific issues and lessons of Caledonia will be represented in an aboriginal policy forum so we were very grateful and honoured to be invited to participate. This is an important milestone because it means that it will become much harder to keep non-native victims and their advocates away from the aboriginal policy table in the future.

Non-natives are, however, not the only victims of flawed policies in places like Caledonia and Ipperwash; CANACE has consistently spoken out on behalf of native people who have been abused by native extremism and racial policing, and I expect to raise those concerns in Calgary as well.  

NOTE: I will be away from the computer until Jan 01/10. Merry Christmas to all!

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada.ca
Co-founder, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
www.canace.ca
info@voiceofcanada.ca

References