Sunday, September 23, 2007

Abandoned in Canada's Beirut - Bumped with big update!

I don't know how this one got by me yesterday.

Christie Blatchford, who recently returned from Afghanistan, has filed a report from another lawless and explosive situation - Caledonia, Ontario.

In her Saturday Globe column (Their Caledonia House is No Longer a Home), Christie gives us her own unique perspective on the unbelievable nightmare that Dave Brown and Dana Chatwell have been forced to endure. The events leading up to the couple's decision to sue the provincial government and the Ontario Provincial Police for $10 million are well documented:


...Life in their isolation has meant having to present a "passport" to natives when leaving or returning to their house, having their car searched by masked men at barricades, being refused access to their property, having no mail or garbage removal and enduring threats, noise and their house being ransacked.

All the while, police refused to intervene, including ignored 911 calls, they said...

In fact, 911 told them, "Don't call again. We can't help you".

In Caledonia. In Ontario, Canada.

I am not making this up.


Christie goes on:

Finally, early on the morning of April 20 last year, the OPP raided the property to enforce the order, but were ultimately overrun and forced to leave Douglas Creek Estates.

That was the day Mr. Brown, watching from his house, realized that he and his family were on their own, that, as he says, “When the sun goes down behind my home, I don't live in Canada, I live in Beirut.”

Please read the whole column very carefully. Read about the terrifying night that Mr. Brown, after having missed the native-imposed "curfew", was desperately concerned for the safety of his wife and so drove towards his home anyway. Read how he ended up in a cell overnight with his wife left alone.

Read how he discovered a video camera hidden in their kitchen and aimed at the table.

Read how their house was trashed and obscenities scrawled on the walls.

Read how the natives set fire to bales of hay near their home and threatened to burn it down, while an OPP officer (allegedly) watched and did nothing.


Christie notes that Dave Brown feels this whole situation has been mismanaged from the start:

...lawlessness has beget lawlessness. Each victory – routing the OPP, the government buying the land and allowing the natives to continue to occupy it, the state's failure to proceed with contempt orders etc. – has emboldened the natives who are his neighbour.

Meanwhile, the Leadership debate organizers felt that the question of Caledonia was considered inappropriate for a debate forum.

Cowards.


Please don't shrug off this story. If it happened here in Caledonia, it could happen anywhere in Ontario.

It could even happen to you.


* * * *

Update: John Tory paid a surprise visit to Caledonia this morning.(Thanks to an anonymous reader in this thread for the tip).

Meanwhile, George Smitherman accuses Tory of 'stirring the pot'.

He says the Liberal party's focus is on maintaining their fragile majority peace, and that John Tory is jeopardizing those efforts.



Star- Tory vows stiffer protest laws:

Local resident Anne Marie Vansickle, who hosted an earlier visit by Tory, said she feels abandoned by the Liberal government and isolated by measures the provincial police have taken to ensure the safety of residents.

"I believe that Premier McGuinty would like the people of Ontario to believe that this has been a peaceful protest and continues to be peaceful," she said.

"And everybody's aware of all the incidents that's going on – the hijackings, attempted murders, break-and-enters, tire fires, verbal and physical assaults . . . this is the environment that we send our children to every day at school."

Ms. Vansickle! You don't know what you speak of. Everything is perfect in Lemming-land.




32 comments:

Lee said...

And in fact is happening in Manitoba right now.
This is not just an Ontario problem. It will surely spread all across Canada.

Frank Hilliard said...

I've said before, the whole treaty process, reservation policy, Indian Affairs Department; the lot, needs to be abandoned, disbanded and thrown in the dustbin. We are only asking for trouble by legitimizing race-based land, hunting, and legal policies.

Invite the natives to be Canadians, give them title to the land they currently occupy and say 'have a nice day.'

Oh, and enforce the law.

Lee said...

I am surprised that there isnt a groundswell of outrage across the country.
I gather property ownership is not enshrined in the Charter of Rights, but surely there is some law that provides a modicum of legitimacy to a deed.
I am completely baffled.
There hasnt even been an attempt by the Province or the OPP to rationalize their lack of action.
Now we see a similar scenario playing out in Manitoba.
Watch for it folks, coming to a neighborhood near you soon.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Now we see a similar scenario playing out in Manitoba.

And thus, the malignancy of appeasement spreads.

Anonymous said...

Joanne,

This morning, John Tory took his campaign right into Caledonia. It's one of the first big 'surprise' moves of the campaign. Politically (and physically!) that move is not without risk.

From what I'm told he's going to be sending a rather strong message about how he will stop future occupations.

Barbara in Wpg. said...

I think it's time to block the roads into and out of the reserves. Enough of this crap! If the police and politicians don't do their jobs, I guess it's time to take matters into our own hands.

bluetech said...

Well, if by doing this Tory will bring this issue to the forefront of the election campaign good for him.
People need to see how McGuinty is trying to make education the big issue. I think law and order is more important.Does it matter if the kids are getting religious education when they find out that the laws of the land are being ignored, and that the police are not there to serve and protect?
Kids pick up very quickly on hypocricy and double standards.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This morning, John Tory took his campaign right into Caledonia. It's one of the first big 'surprise' moves of the campaign. Politically (and physically!) that move is not without risk.

That's the first bit of encouraging news I've heard on this file! Thanks.

One thing for sure, Tory is not a wimp. You may not agree with his policies, but he's not a ditherer.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Does it matter if the kids are getting religious education when they find out that the laws of the land are being ignored, and that the police are not there to serve and protect?

Bluetech, that is exactly the message I have been trying to get out for weeks. Thank you.

dmorris said...

"I gather property ownership is not enshrined in the Charter of Rights, but surely there is some law that provides a modicum of legitimacy to a deed."

No, it isn't enshrined in either the Charter, or the Constitution, and both Liberal and Conservative governments have refused to include property rights.

Back in the 80's, many of us Conservatives lobbied the Mulroney government to include PR, but we were told the system then in place was good enough and there was no need to make changes. The tone was "trust us", and Canadians were naive enough to do exactly that, and we elected Mulroney to a second term.

One of the reasons for the defeat of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, was public mistrust in governments that refused to guarantee property rights.

Successive Liberal governments were no better, concerning PR, so here we are, in 2007, without the right that is one of the basics in a democracy.

I think governments are so weak kneed when it comes to dealing with natives, because they agree with the way Natives are self governed now, and see no reason to change anything.

Colour me cynical.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Dmorris, I'm fairly certain that property rights is one of the policies of this present federal Conservative party, but I don't think there is an appetite for it on the left, which means that it wouldn't likely make it through Parliament in a minority situation. Don't quote me on that though. It's just something I recall hearing.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Charter of Rights needs a re-write?

I mean how can one document allow lawlessness by one sector of the population and deny another sector the right to be educated and funded in the public school system.

The real interesting part to me in the education wars is that essentially both the Lemming Leader and John Tory are saying the same thing. One is looking to bring other religions into the public education fold - inclusiveness.
The other claims to be the champion of a public system that is already inclusive and wants to create on big system. What the hecks the difference?

If it's a matter of future vision, I'm going with the guy that actually has one- John Tory.

I watched the Lemming Leader on Focus Ontario last night all I can say is ARROGANT, ENTITLED, BULLY

Tony said...

Meanwhile, George Smitherman accuses Tory of 'stirring the pot'.

He says the Liberal party's focus is on maintaining their fragile majority peace, and that John Tory is jeopardizing those efforts.


What a weasel! From what I see, there has not been any peace since the natives began their occupation Caledonia almost 2 years ago.

The Provincial Liberal government has in effect handcuffed the OPP and prevented them from enforcing law and order. Because of this, the natives have been free to intimidate and terrorize the residents and destroy their private property, without anyone intervening.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Two years ago I argued with a friend telling him that it was important for the police to go in "NOW" (as in two years ago) to kick the natives out and enforce the law.

He argued; there will be bloodshed if they do. The politicians can solve this and should be allowed to.

I argued; there will be more bloodshed if we wait, and the politicians can't solve this.

Oh ho! Two years on, who's advice is looking rather smart?

On another note, one of my friends went to Caledonia to visit his folks and came back so enraged by what he had heard/seen that he felt they should order the army in to handle it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

When candidates come to your door, ask them about this issue.

Anonymous said...

Gotta ask SO, why has the media been so quiet?We are only getting info by word of mouth and after the fact.

Kingston said...

Joanne, I would like a stab at answering Anoy question concerning the MSM and Caledonia. The media is afraid of just reporting the situation as it truly is because it will cause a massive backlash to both the native movement(which is completely unfair but I do not see how you can limit it to just the natives that are involved) and the present liberal govt for their period of inaction. SO is correct this should of been shut down with days of it happening. The Govt paying of the natives indirectly didnt help the situation it just emboldened people who were breaking the criminal code to continue.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The Govt paying of the natives indirectly didnt help the situation it just emboldened people who were breaking the criminal code to continue.

Exactly. Appeasement never works. It's not a solution. It just buys time.

SouthernOntarioan said...

I think Joanne is right. The MSM has this 'we know best' ideology sometimes with regards to information.

They know that if they were to publish all the details then enough people would be horrified and angry enough to start raising hell. The backlash would be terrible.

Also remember, like my friend, there would be people calling for the military to come in and force them out. If the police move in on the natives, the natives will use likely use lethal force to resist. The police will respond in kind. There will be bloodshed, and lots of it.

Are we ready to accept that?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Are we ready to accept that?

The answer is so easy. Stop negotiating with natives when they occupy the disputed land.

When they get off the land, then you get back to the table.

Brian in Calgary said...

He says the Liberal party's focus is on maintaining their fragile majority peace...

The Liberals believe in peace at any price. I, for one, prefer justice at any cost.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I, for one, prefer justice at any cost.

Exactly. Well said. It's like that old saying, 'You can pay me now, or pay me later'. Appeasement just means putting off the inevitable.

Kingston said...

Actually I do not believe it would of been bloody if they had acted at first, they would not of been established, they would not of even had massive first nation support at that time. They OPP could of gone with reasonable force and ended then. Made arrests for trespassing and it would of been over. Would it of escalated from the point, well my crystal ball is a little foggy right now but who knows. The question that has to be asked, is this, would the first nation of acted as environmental groups and social protest groups do (go limb and be carried away), and just submitted to the arrests for the news coverage.

Kingston said...

Joanne, I think I have come to a reasonable conclusion concerning MMP and if it was implemented as follows I could live with it, say after all the math is done, the Libs end up with 8 extra seats the PC 5, the NDP 4 and the Greens 2 just for example, instead of the parties leaders picking off a list of cronies they have to fill these seats with those members who lost but had the highest voter support. i.e. the Libs 8 highest percentage vote winners that never actually won are appointed, kind of like the wild card position in Major League Baseball, at least that way the members are partial accountable to the voters and have actually stood for election. Just a thought

Lee said...

To avoid any confusion about the OPP non-action, and whether or not there would have been bloodshed, just think of what their actions would have been if it was white people manning the barricades.
You know it would be dealt with immediately, using whatever force was necessary.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the police. They did go in and made a bunch of arrests in Caledonia. Chaos ensued, roads torn up and officers were injured. In many protests like this, the police are not able to contain the perimeter. If the politicians want them removed, they should call in the army. Otherwise, the police should be careful to keep the peace and make sure they don't make a bad situation even worse.

Lee said...

But of course the police are not keeping the peace. Did you read what happened to this couple?
They cannot maintain peace by allowing anarchy.
I notice they made some arrests a few days ago WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE NATIVES".
Kind of tells you who is running the Province doesnt it?

SouthernOntarioan said...

Anonymous, the police made half-hearted efforts, yes. They went in, made some arrests, and walked away. The native groups came back and re-occupied easily.

They are inactive because, I agree, the provincial politicians are unwilling to back them up. And the federal politicians are outside of their jurisdiction on this matter.

Lee, I agree strongly. If these were white protesters they wouldn't be given the time of day and would have been run off the land with as much force/bloodshed as necessary. But these are native groups who believe themselves immune to Canadian laws. They've said so themselves.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Kingston:

The answer, in my opinion, is no. They boasted early on that they had guns and would use them.

They had guns at Ipperwash too, and look who got blamed. Of course, that's not politically correct to say...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I think there needs to be some kind of plan developed regarding how to handle these types of occupations. Right now, the plan is to bend over and let the natives do whatever they want; even if it involves illegal activity. Token efforts are made at arrests, but then they are released.

It's a sham, the way it is now.


Kingston, thanks for your thoughts on MMP. I'm planning to do a post on that very soon, and might address your idea. Thanks.

liberal supporter said...

What's the current death count?

Anonymous said...

There is a plan for dealing with Indigenous land rights: It is called Canadian law. Get the governments to stop evading the law on their 'duty to consult', and the problem is solved.