For immediate release:
Apr 29, 2008

Barrett questions Bryant on double-standard

Arrests in Deseronto but not in Caledonia

Queen’s Park Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is questioning why the province will not tolerate lawlessness in Deseronto but allows criminal activity to continue in Caledonia.

Barrett was in Tyendenaga/Deseronto Sunday and reported back to the Legislature that local people were confused and were questioning who was in charge – many locals did not even know who the MPP for the area was. However, people were pleased and appreciated the OPP making arrests at Deseronto, as well as holding those participating in criminal activity to account.

Barrett then pointed out that “… back in Caledonia, ATVs storm into town, barricades go up on the railway and Provincial Highway 6, and all of this, not because of the land claim, as you know, Minister Bryant, but to show solidarity with aboriginal protestors in eastern Ontario. We know people have got the barricades moved for now, but my concern is the double standard. Those responsible for criminal activity are arrested in Deseronto and no reports of arrests in Caledonia.” Barrett then asked: “Why the double standard?”

Bryant became agitated and responded with: “Well, the allegation that the member seems to be making—and I know he wouldn’t want to make this allegation—would be as against the standard set by the very institution and the people who, in fact, engage in decisions of police operations. That is, as the member knows, the OPP.

“The member congratulates the OPP for their work in Deseronto, but I may say that I would’ve thought that the community was supportive as well of the work that the OPP did in keeping the peace. They make decisions—operational decisions—in Deseronto. They make decisions—operational decisions—in Caledonia,” Bryant continued.

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      Native land disputes

Mr. Toby Barrett: My question is for the Premier. Premier, on Sunday morning, my wife and I came upon a barricade. They were burning logs. There was a van across the road. I had a truck and a trailer. I couldn’t backup. There were cars behind me. So I got out and chatted with this young couple. There were two young children with them eating ice cream cones. Barricades have become the new normal in the McGuinty Ontario, certainly, where we were on old Highway 2 in Tyendinaga.

Premier, this has been going on for a year. Area people don’t know who is in charge. We took the detour and got into Deseronto, and they don’t know who their MPP is in Deseronto. Premier—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The ask the member to refrain from any personal attacks on any of our members. Thank you.

Mr. Toby Barrett: I do not mean to attack the Premier, but this barricade was in minister Dombrowsky’s riding. We don’t hear from her. Have you directed your minister to hide? Have you directed your cabinet colleagues to be unavailable from—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Premier.

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Hon. Michael Bryant: Isn’t that typical? Mr. Tory was saying, over the weekend, that “‘I would not have people sitting at the table who showed disrespect for the law,’ he said.” Well apparently, he makes an exception for his caucus table, because just as the member is engaging in an inappropriate attack against the minister, Mr. Hillier, the member for Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington, as we know distributed photos of a dead deer with bullet—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock for a moment, please. It sounds like Bert Johnson’s is in the room. I just remind all members on all sides that even if they’re going to be quoting from a document, if it’s an attack against another member, that is not something that is appropriate for this chamber. You can make your comments, but please don’t be engaging in personal attacks against individual members. Thank you.

Hon. Michael Bryant: Absolutely, and that’s why shooting a deer and naming it Leona is just wrong.

I think it’s important here that we recognize that there are two approaches. One is to try and seek the peace in the community and seek a resolution, and the other one is particularly divisive.

L036-1440-29 follows

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(Hon. Mr. Bryant)

... important here that we recognize that there’s two approaches. One is to try and seek the peace in the community and seek a resolution and the other one is particularly divisive.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary.

Interjections.

Mr. Toby Barrett: On a positive note, local people do appreciate the OPP making arrests at Deseronto and as Commissioner Fantino stated on an April 25th news release: “This violent criminal activity occurred outside of any legitimate protests and will not be tolerated.”

April 26th, and I quote: “Those responsible for criminal activity will be held accountable.”

But back in Caledonia, ATVs storm into town, barricades go up on the railway and provincial highway 6, and all of this, not because of the land claim, as you know, Minister Bryant, but to show solidarity with aboriginal protestors in eastern Ontario.

We know people have got the barricades moved for now, but my concern is the double standard. Those responsible for criminal activity are arrested in Deseronto and no reports of arrests in Caledonia. Why the double standard?

Hon. Michael Bryant: Well, the allegation that the member seems to be making—and I know he wouldn’t want to make this allegation—would be as against the standard set by the very institution and the people who, in fact, engage in decisions of police operations. That is, as the member knows, the OPP.

The member congratulates the OPP for their work in Deseronto, but I may say that I would’ve thought that the community was supportive as well of the work that the OPP did in keeping the peace. They make decisions—operational decisions—in Deseronto. They make decisions—operational decisions—in Caledonia.

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Sounds like Bert Johnson’s in the room.

Hon. Michael Bryant: The member knows that it was a recommendation of the Ipperwash commission that, in fact, those lines be clearly drawn between police operational decisions on the one hand and government decisions on the other hand. So, I’m sure the member would not be encouraging us to direct the police.