Category Archives: Fantino vs. Charter

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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Western Standard on Fantino cabinet post and media’s ‘Caledonia Conspiracy’

Fantino-HarperThe (very conservative) Western Standard recently published a brilliant commentary on Prime Minister Harper’s appointment of former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino to the cabinet post of Minister for State for Seniors, and the author’s belief that Canadian media are part of a ‘Caledonia Conspiracy’ to keep Canadians in the dark about aboriginal-related issues…

Western Standard, Jan 10/11
Julian Fantino: The Minister for Caledonia

[…] Perhaps the greatest scandal of the Caledonia Crisis is not the hypocrisy of our political class (which is to be expected), or the failure of will on the part of the upper branches of the OPP, but the media’s dereliction of duty.

[…]

Perhaps Stephen Harper will succeed in winning his majority. If he does, it will be due to the ignorance of the Canadian people. Our corps of investigative journalists, always ready to chase down a crooked used car dealer, seem completely uninterested in how a top level police officer, now a minister of state, failed to do his job.

Omissions of this kind are never accidental. Instead of outraged editorials about Fantino’s Caledonia record, we are treated to semi-coherent ramblings about how the new minister is unlikely to mandate ground floor washrooms in new homes. Had the current Canadian MSM been around in the spring of 1940, they would have been filling detailed stories on how the Blitzkrieg was adversely impacting the wildlife of northwestern Europe, with a small line item about the fall of Paris.

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Western Standard: the “one victim Julian Fantino did not have the courage to meet…”

From the Western Standard:

Julian and the Victims

Pam 'Dancer' Dudych shares her pain of living on a street abandoned by the OPP at pre-election Remember Us March, Oct 08/07

“I have never had any tolerance whatsoever for crime, to begin with. And also, I have never been able to overlook the victimization that’s involved.” […]

I don’t know how Julian Fantino sleeps at night. To utter those words, while having been OPP Commissioner during the worst of the Caledonia Crisis, requires a cognitive disconnect that beggars imagination. It’s the sort of double think we expect from politicians, but a police officer? The former head of the second largest force in Canada? […]

Speaking of victims, here is one victim that Julian Fantino did not have the courage to meet, Pam ‘Dancer’ Dudych. Pam is a teenager living in Caledonia whose life became a living hell after the occupation of the Douglas Creek Estate. She described her daily existence in a school project thusly:

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Dear Justin Trudeau: About Julian Fantino and the application of his Hitler Theory in Caledonia…

Conservatives Against Fantino brochure: 'Caledonia: Fantino's Legacy of Lawlessness & Racist Policing Policies' CLICK TO READ

Dear Santa Claus: You come at me with all these allegations and I’m going to come right back at you. I call it the Hitler Theory, in that it’s my theory that you are worse than Hitler. Yours in dismay, Master Julian Fantino

P.S. I made the dog lick all three of the cookies I left for you.”

Dear Justin Trudeau… 

Justin Trudeau, Member of Parliament
Liberal Party of Canada

Re: Julian Fantino and the application of his ‘Hitler Theory’ in Caledonia

Dear Mr. Trudeau:

Firstly, thank you so very much for your video statement during the recent campaign pointing out the utter lack of respect Julian Fantino has expressed for the Charter of Rights. Your words were historic in that it was the first time a Member of Parliament has challenged Fantino on his stated beliefs on the topic. Thanks also to the Liberal Party for holding the government accountable for its newly-found support for Julian Fantino in light of Diane Finley’s signature on the anti-Fantino petition. As a long time Conservative Party supporter (member of Reform under Manning) I can’t begin to tell you how mixed are my emotions to watch Liberals begin to hold the supposed ‘law & order’ party accountable for failing the Charter and Caledonia:

‘The Hitler Theory in Practice: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy’:

Fantino is quoted in a recent Globe & Mail article as saying this about your criticism:

“I mean these are serious, serious issues and I found it quite distressing really that Justin Trudeau would be trotted out to misrepresent what I said and take it out of context. It was an Academy Award performance.”

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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

Justin Trudeau exposes Fantino’s anti-Charter views

Justin Trudeau, son of the former prime minister responsible for enshrining the Charter of Rights in the Canadian Constitution, has recorded a strongly-worded video condemnation of Julian Fantino’s views that the Charter benefits mainly ‘common criminals’ and ‘Hell’s Angels.’

Comment

Justin Trudeau’s statement is simply a must-see. During the past four years we have seen – up close and personal – Fantino’s utter lack of respect for truth and for the Charter in Caledonia as illustrated by his utter disdain for the victims his OPP created, and his all-out assault on the rights and character of non-native activists, so Mr. Trudeau’s comments hit especially close to home:

Christie Blatchford makes it clear in the Globe today that she didn’t agree with the endorsement of Fantino by Trudeau’s opposite number – Don Cherry – the loud-mouth hockey pundit who said Fantino was “always there for the little guy” as she points out the irony of using Cherry (who lives outside Vaughan) to shill for Fantino who smeared Gary McHale’s motives for speaking out in Caledonia by calling him an ‘outsider’ with ‘an agenda”:

Mr. Fantino sure wasn’t “there for the little guy” in Caledonia. Indeed, in the case of Mr. McHale, he set out to nail him. I mention this in part because the 68-year-old Mr. Fantino has managed to duck the only truly public all-candidates debate in Vaughan (he did attend another taped by Rogers television) where by chance, Mr. McHale and about 20 supporters showed up to make sure that the subject of the Caledonia occupation was raised. […]

It’s funny, but over the course of my long newspaper career, I’d always previously defended Julian Fantino. His performance in Caledonia changed my mind, and I venture to say if more people knew just how he conducted business there, more minds might be changed. And that, methinks, is why he’s run the pop-up, peek-a-boo campaign he has, and enlisted, as Fantino-speak would have it, interlopers such as Don Cherry.

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