Category Archives: Gary McHale

Christmas: God’s gift to Haldimand County – by Gary McHale

Gary McHale in hospital after being attacked by Six Nations smokeshack supporters, Dec 01/07The article below was published in Caledonia’s Regional News paper as one of Gary McHale’s weekly columns.  Gary’s example and instruction were key to me eventually deciding to become a Christian. More below… (all photos added by VoC)…

Christmas: God’s gift to Haldimand County

by Gary McHale  (Dec 21/11)

I am quite certain that God’s gift to mankind wasn’t a Turkey, stuffing, cranberries and an iPod (or a stone tablet and a chisel). Even the Charley Brown Christmas show tells us that the gift was God’s son being born in a manger. However, it wouldn’t have been much of a gift if Jesus grew up to be a drunken sailor.

God’s gift includes the life Jesus lived and how Jesus was willing to pay a price in order to show the love of God to all mankind. If Christmas was merely about giving then God could have rained down Turkeys and cranberries until everyone was full.

Christmas is about Jesus being willing to sacrifice himself to bring us the truth. As he stated before Pilate, “the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth”. This truth caused riots, crowds called for him to be stoned and he was finally crucified. His death is as much a part of Christmas as his birth is. While Jesus doesn’t walk the earth today, he lives on in the hearts of all Christians who are called to be the salt and light of their communities.

For this reason I have, for the past 30 years, wondered what pastors and Christians who lived in the deep South would say when they stand before God and are asked what they did to help their black neighbours, what they did to end racism or what they did to address the injustice that they saw every day. I envision the Christian saying, “I did pray privately and I didn’t engage in any beatings but I was afraid to speak out, I was afraid of what my neighbours would say, would I lose my job, would my family be targeted for hate so I… well… didn’t do much.”

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The op-ed the London Free Press refused to print: ‘Blue Berets for Peace vigil in London,’ by Gary McHale

The article & photo below were submitted to the Editor of the London Free Press on July 11/11 who informed Mr. McHale the same day that it would not be published. Hyperlinks in body text added for publication here. (Feel free to reprint article & use photo w/link-back, please)

Blue Berets for Peace vigil outside London Muslim Mosque on Oxford St. In foreground, Pesach Ovadyah (Chair, Jewish Defence League - London), Mark Vandermaas (organizer), Steve Scheffer (Never Again Group, Hamilton). PHOTO: Christine McHale, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality.

Blue Berets for Peace vigil outside London Muslim Mosque on Oxford St. In foreground, Pesach Ovadyah (Chair, Jewish Defence League – London), Mark Vandermaas (organizer), Steve Scheffer (Never Again Group, Hamilton). PHOTO: Christine McHale, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality.

Blue Berets for Peace vigil in London 

by Gary McHale

David Heap, a UWO professor, and Muhammed Hamou, a teacher, chaplain, and former operations manager at the London Muslim Mosque are part of an international team who attempted to travel to the Gaza Strip aboard a 10-ship flotilla in an attempt to break Israel’s blockade of weapons to Hamas. While it was promoted as a humanitarian effort, the trip now appears to have been more about embarrassing Israel then helping people. While there are true humanitarian disasters in the world, Gaza is not one of those places.

In April 2011 Mathilde Redmatn, Deputy Head of the Red Cross stated, “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Recent news stories tell of how Gaza is opening luxury hotels, a large water park, schools, large malls and how food is abundant. Khalil Hamada, a senior Hamas official with Gaza’s Ministry of Justice stated, in June 2010, “There is no starvation in Gaza. No one has died of hunger.”

Mark Vandermaas, a Londoner who served in the Mid-East as a United Nations peacekeeper in 1978, has been conducting a daily Blue Berets for Peace vigil at the mosque on Oxford St. since June 23rd. to call attention to the fact that the mosque held a fundraising dinner for the Canadian boat to Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas, labelled as a terror organization by the Canadian Government. Continue reading

MP Diane Finley ‘Caught in the Middle’ as Liberal MPs question her signature on anti-Fantino petition in House of Commons

 Caledonia artist portrays Stephen Harper as one of the 'Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil' monkeys in her award-winning portrayal of the Caledonia crisis - 2 years before he welcomes Julian Fantino (shown below as one of Caledonia's tormenters) Click the image to learn more.The headline of this Globe and Mail piece by Jane Taber is rather misleading (it leads readers to conclude the Liberals made a serious effort to recruit Julian Fantino for themselves), but some important news is found further down in the article itself where Taber reports that on Nov 25/10 Fantino’s conduct in Caledonia was, for the first time in five years, the subject of discussion in the House of Commons thanks to two Liberal MPs who wondered why – given Fantino’s candidacy for the federal Conservatives – MP Diane Finley’s signature was on a 2009 anti-Fantino petition circulated by Haldimand residents.    

And Thursday two Liberals [MPs Rob Oliphant and Maria Minna] – stood up in the Commons to attack Mr. Fantino over his handling of the native protests in Caledonia when he was the OPP commissioner. They noted that Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, whose represents the troubled corner of Ontario, had signed a petition calling for an inquiry into Mr. Fantino’s actions.  

“The member was a minister when she signed a petition demanding the Prime Minister’s hand-picked candidate in Vaughan, Julian Fantino, be investigated. She wanted his pay docked,” Toronto MP Maria Minna charged. “She wanted him suspended and she wanted him fired. Does she still hold the same view now?”  

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CANACE video – Blatchford on Caledonia and targeting of McHale by “prime minister’s new best friend”

Christie Blatchford, Chedoke Presbyterian church, Nov 16/10, Hamilton, ON

Christie Blatchford, Chedoke Presbyterian church, Nov 16/10, Hamilton, ON

Jeff Parkinson, co-founder of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE), has released a short video containing highlights from Christie Blatchford’s speech to a packed crowd at  Chedoke Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario on Nov 16/10.

In addition to commenting on the “national disgrace” of  the lawlessness OPP officers refused to stop, she decries the targeting of Gary McHale by Julian Fantino: 

“Fantino’s extraordinary campaign to hunt down and have arrested a man named Gary McHale – who is here tonight, too – culminated in the OPP boss writing a letter of support for a native man who had assaulted McHale was probably un-precedented and was deeply disturbing. Consider how furious women would be if the justice system reverted to the days of old when a rapist should defend himself by saying, ‘Geez your Honour, she was wearing these high boots and a short skirt.’ Thats the equivalent of what Fantino did. He wrote a letter to the court in support of the man who pleaded guilty of punching McHale and said McHale had been asking for it.

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Peter Worthington uses Ipperwash Papers report to put the lie to McGuinty’s Ipperwash Inquiry ‘defence’ re Caledonia

Peter Worthington, Toronto SunOn Nov 13/10 the legendary Peter Worthington, co-founder of the Toronto Sun, became the first Ontario journalist outside Caledonia to write about our work on the Ipperwash Papers project in Caledonia crisis of facts.

Worthington’s latest article – inspired both by Christie Blatchford’s Helpless and Joe Warmington’s “curious justification” of the OPP’s actions (even though he hadn’t read Helpless) – follows on his first column about the Caledonia crisis – Helpless in Caledonia – written on Oct 27/10 after the release of Blatchford’s book.  It is based on a two-part series published by Caledonia’s Regional News (link below) authored by Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Ipperwash activist/community leader Mary-Lou LaPratte, a copy of which was sent to Worthington after his first column was published.

Here is an excerpt that deals with our work on the Ipperwash Papers project:

CALEDONIA CRISIS OF FACTS
by Peter Worthington
Toronto Sun, Nov 13/10

EXCERPT […] The inquiry by Justice Sidney Linden in 2007 supposedly is the definitive word on the 1992 violence at Ipperwash, where a police bullet killed Dudley George and unleashed anger that still persists. At the time, people from the nearby Ojibway reserve occupied land that had been expropriated from Indians in 1942 for an army base.

The Linden report is more concerned about pacifying Indians than recognizing abuses to non-aboriginals. It’s as if aboriginal status gives immunity from laws that apply to everyone else. Justice Linden’s report, is viewed as sacrosanct by Ontario’s McGuinty government, and made the premier fearful of getting involved in Caledonia lest he be pilloried as Mike Harris was pilloried for Ipperwash and Dudley George’s death.

Mark Vandermaas, Mary-Lou LaPratte and Gary McHale challenge the Ipperwash Report and its recommendations. The three held a press conference at Queen’s Park that was largely ignored. They had a two-part article published by the Caledonia-based Regional News — virtually the only media to give them a hearing.

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Regional News (Caledonia): Fantino nomination ‘bloody disgraceful’

Regional News reporter Bill Jackson takes notes at Oct 13/10 Caledonia debate

Regional News reporter Bill Jackson takes notes at Oct 13/10 Caledonia debate

Reporter Bill Jackson, himself a victim of an assault by native protesters in Caledonia, provided this editorial comment in the Oct 20/10 edition of the Caledonia-based Regional News, which serves Haldimand County:

Regional News – Comment [PDF]
by Bill Jackson
Oct 20/10

I echo the sentiment urging people to get out on Oct. 25 and exercise their democratic right as voters. It is a trite cliché, but nonetheless true. A strong voice is needed in Haldimand now, more than ever.

Yet it’s easy to understand how people have lost their faith in government, especially when someone like Julian Fantino gets nominated as a candidate for the federal Conservatives. After years of lawlessness and two-tiered justice in Caledonia under his watch, countless letters and phone calls pleading with upper levels of government to do something to protect local residents, and Conservatives themselves saying that the province needed to uphold the law, it’s bloody disgraceful. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, local MP Diane Finley and the entire federal Conservative Party should be ashamed. There’s simply no way around it.

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Toronto Star gets critical facts wrong on Fantino Caledonia charge

100108-CH News Fantino charged“No wonder Governments are not afraid of the public – when the media cannot hold the Crown accountable then the public will never understand the issues.” Gary McHale, Oct 06/10

According to the Toronto Star…

A local activist, Gary McHale, filed private charges against Fantino, alleging he had attempted to influence municipal politicians, but it took a court in Cayuga a mere 20 minutes to dismiss the allegations.

McHale had alleged that an email Fantino sent to the Haldimand County mayor in 2007 constituted a threat. The court disagreed.

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