Sunday, September 16, 2007

Caledonia - Blame and impact

There are a few articles in yesterday's Hamilton Spectator that provide some insight into the brutal beating of builder Sam Gualtieri, and provoke more questions.

In "A brutal, brutal attack", reporter Paul Morse has done an excellent job attempting to get versions from both sides:

In an interview, Davies said he, Gualtieri and two others were checking on the home when they saw a protester standing on the front porch.

"They started to heckle us, saying, 'If you want a piece of this, come in here,'" said Davies.

The four went into the home and Gualtieri ordered the protesters out. Davies says he didn't see who threw the first punch, but described Gualtieri struggling with one person while the others squared off.

The 33-year-old said he and a cousin left the house to grab two-by-fours and started back in to discover Gualtieri lying on the floor as he was struck with a piece of wood. Davies said he screamed to natives outside the house for help and the attackers fled.

The native version:

They say the builder and his companions entered the house and attacked them.

They say the protesters were only defending themselves.

Police say they are still investigating the incident.

O.K. If that's true, there should be some native youth out there with bruises or some kind of injuries. That should be easy enough to investigate; especially after Gualtieri was able to I.D. one of them.


Now the OPP is saying that they were 'caught off-guard' and didn't witness the assault:


"Had we seen something taking place, we would have definitely stepped in," said OPP Sergeant Dave Rektor.

The assault took place at the "exact opposite end" of a construction site where a protest, watched by police, was taking place, he said.

The clash appeared to take place at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Media standing at a yellow tape barricade at the top of Stirling Street saw natives running diagonally across the subdivision to the home on Kyler Court. They arrived at the house within a minute or two.

At the time, police were stationed at the barricade, with some just inside the top of the subdivision.

Other OPP officers were manning a post a block down Stirling Street where they turned away cars trying to approach the development.


So it would seem that the media noticed something unusual, but not the OPP who were busy trying to keep the non-natives away, or so it would appear.

Plainclothes police and one of the developers arrived at the home in time to see a group of youths emerge from behind the house and walk along a berm on the boundary of the site.

No one appeared to stop them.

Why didn't anyone try to stop them?


Rektor said police's main priority was saving the life of the victim and making sure the person got the medical attention needed.

They all had to attend to the victim? They couldn't afford to have anyone go after those who were fleeing the scene???


OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino's office was contacted by The Spectator to speak to the events. A spokesperson said Fantino is on vacation outside the country and is unavailable for comment.

But Rektor said police have been instructed by Fantino to not tolerate criminal acts at protests.

What? Were the rank-and-file previously instructed to tolerate 'criminal acts at protests'???


Joe Gualtieri's story contradicts that of the OPP:

Joe Gualtieri said Ontario Provincial Police officers on the site "stood there, and they did not intervene" until after the beating, when the attackers had fled.

Someone appears to be stretching the truth, don't you agree?


Meanwhile, Caledonia Mayor Marie Trainer warns that "if native land disputes drag on until the end of the year, Haldimand County's economy will take a hit of about $40 million this year."


Further up the Grand River in Cambridge, Mayor Doug Craig is preparing for similar problems.

"Mike (Hancock, Mayor of Brantford) warned us that it's coming our way, and he's quite correct, we know that," said Craig.



Next time you hear Dalton makes another fiscal promise on the campaign trail, ask him if that assumes that the native conflicts will be resolved.

Or will we be hearing about another 'hardest decision of my life'?



* * * *

Related: Check out this link from a few days ago (Globe). Read the last few paragraphs:


But he (Municipal Affairs Deputy Minister John Burke) cautioned that native protests turn a construction site into police business, and even if the builder gets a court injunction ordering protesters off the site, the police will be cautious in enforcing it because their priority is avoiding conflict, the sources added.

"The message to individual developers was: Pray to God that your land doesn't get occupied," said one developer who heard Mr. Burke.



19 comments:

Roy Eappen said...

Great Post joanne! The rule of law is over under Mcliar. Is it time for the federal authourities to intervene ,since Mcliar can't or won't?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Dr. Roy. I'm glad you had the patience to wade through all of it.

I know the post is long, but it needed to be said. There are a lot of questions and no good answers. Why haven't there been any charges laid yet? That is the biggest one.

Is it time for the federal authourities to intervene ,since Mcliar can't or won't?

I understand that under the framework of purview, it is up to the Premier to request help for policing from the Federal Government. Harper can't send in the RCMP without McGuinty asking for help. Which he won't do, because that would make him look weaker than he already does.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to clarify...

Are the OPP required to swear an oath to uphold the LAW AS WRITTEN?
OR
Do they swear an oath to uphold the LAW as dictated by the current sitting Premier?

The standard excuse of "I was just following orders" is wearing a little thin right now.!
I think we all wish the OPP would take a stand and enforce the Law as written, rather than call the Premiers office for permission.
Also
Could someone please point out in the police services act...exactly where it says "the number one priority of the OPP is to avoid conflict".

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Could someone please point out in the police services act...exactly where it says "the number one priority of the OPP is to avoid conflict".

It must be demoralizing to be a member of the OPP these days.

Matt said...

Joanne check this out:

"The Caledonia home builder beaten unconscious during a confrontation at a Stirling South subdivision told family today that he recognized his attacker. “I know who he is,” Sam Gualtieri told his brother Joe from his hospital bed today. "

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Matt, thanks for that. I actually linked to it in a post yesterday, but I'll embed the link again in this post. Thanks.

What are the OPP waiting for?

Anonymous said...

The OPP needs to be dis-banded and broken up into local police forces that answer to local politicians instead of the 'Big Man' at Queen's Park.

Dolton McLiar is handing out millions of dollars for aboriginals because extortion works for him.

Anonymous said...

West coast here- What is going on in Ontario can be directly tied to the Provincial government. For proof you need only to look at what is happening in BC.Out here we have never even had treaties so it is even a greater 'kettle of fish'.

Our premier, and he has many flaws, is an active participant in treaty negotiations and many land claims issues have been settled through negotiation. This includes claims in major urban centers as well and I can tell you that what is happening in Ontario would never be allowed to happen here.

The few times that native protesters have tried to intimidate for their own gain they have been shut down. Most Chiefs see that negotiations work and do not condone this kind of lawless behaviour by their own people.

I believe that Natives in BC have overwhemingly embraced the idea of capitalism (and I don't mean gambling) and are prospering greatly. Their is no need for thuggery. Cheers. SOR

OMMAG said...

They Swear and Oath...
This goes back to an old question I had about oaths of office.
Do the MPP's in Ontario not have to swear an oath of office?
If so... what it the wording of that oath?

As for the OPP ...... Can anyone possibly think by this point that The OPP brass are are doing anything BUT running interference for McWeasel??

Anonymous said...

Land Titles are the responsibility of the Province. OPP is the responsibility of the Province.

Land along the Grand was surrendered back in 1841 by Six Nations to the British.

No court has ever ruled that the surrender was invalid.

No court has ever ruled that deeds for land along the Grand River are invalid.

McGuinty get off your ass and deal with what is your responsibility. These natives are illegally occupying legally deeded land and you and your police force do nothing to protect the rights of your tax paying citizens.

I am fed up with OPP officers not trying to arrest criminals and having excuses ever time for why they have not done their job. Ladies and Gentlemen lets face it you are useless when it comes to Law and Order. So please leave and let a police force that actually understands the principles of Law and Order take over responsibility for this situation before someone is killed.

Brian in Calgary said...

The only way Premier McOstrich would get off his hiney and do his job would be if it was HIS property that was being occupied.

Caledonia Is Lost said...

If the OPP did their job, and kept the terrorists off private property the owner wouldn't be in hospital.

For the OPP to say they didn't see this coming is laughable. I hope the injured parties sue them. Of course we taxpayers will be footing the bill, just as we pay their salaries, and for the utlities of the terrorists at the DCE.

If the chief are truly against lawlessness, let them issue a statement that wearing masks is not allowed.

Waterlooney Clayt said...

I have emailed my MPP asking her to raise this as an election issue. Aboriginal terrorism is a real and present threat. I live 4.3 miles from the Grand river and if the terrorists occupied my home would the police protect my family? As a previous poster noted the land was surrendered in 1841. Can someone please just stand up and say the case is closed and further provocation will be dealt with using the full force of the law. I would urge everyone especially those living within 6 miles of the Grand to write their MPP and newspapers. I have no faith in Dufus McLiar to protect our rights.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I would urge everyone especially those living within 6 miles of the Grand to write their MPP and newspapers. I have no faith in Dufus McLiar to protect our rights.

Do you have any more faith in the Liberal MPP's?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

SOR - Thanks for the insight. I think whoever wins this election needs to take a little trip to BC and learn a few things.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Do the MPP's in Ontario not have to swear an oath of office?
If so... what it the wording of that oath?


"I swear to shut off my brain and follow the orders of whatever my leader dictates to me even if it totally contravenes the wishes of my constituents, so help me God."

Anonymous said...

Does anyone in Queen's Park or the OPP headquarters have enough intelligence to realize that when the police fail to do their job, fed-up citizens will do it for them? Unless the OPP develop a smidgen of courage and start doing what they're paid to do by the same people they let get victimized, we're going to have another dead indian or worse. And quite frankly when so called Six Nation "warriors", cowards to the last man, act like gangsters, I can't blame anyone who finally says enough is enough and does what the OPP should have been doing all along. If I were an OPP officer right now, I would be ashamed to show myself in public in uniform.

And to the SN chiefs: rein in your thugs, turn the doers over to the law and police your gangs - er, tribes. The "white" man will get fed up soon enough, and you won't like what a populist backlash will do to you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The "white" man will get fed up soon enough, and you won't like what a populist backlash will do to you

As frustrating as this situation is, vigilantism is not the answer. Things would just escalate. And guess what? The OPP would have you in the slammer faster than you can say McGuinty.

The only way to show your displeasure with the powers that be, is to vote them out.

Brian in Calgary said...

As frustrating as this situation is, vigilantism is not the answer.

Precisely, Joanne. Vigilante justice is an oxymoron.