For immediate release:
May 5, 2008

Barrett asks Bryant to resign

Queen’s Park – Following articles in two local papers, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett reports people are uncertain as to who is directing the OPP in both Caledonia and Tyendinaga/Deseronto.

Last week, an article in the Tekawennake newspaper reported: “He (referring to Chief Bill Montour) then thanked Bryant for taking his advice and asking the OPP about standing down in Tyendinaga and Caledonia.”

Last week, Barrett relayed a similar report found in the Dunnville Chronicle.

“Two newspapers and two different reporters saying the same thing,” Barrett said. “I ask you again, did you ask the Solicitor General to interfere or were you, were you yourself, asking the OPP about standing down in Tyendinaga and Caledonia?”

And although Hansard did not record the remainder of Barrett’s question (Hansard recorded only half of Barrett’s last sentence), the local MPP then asked Minister Bryant, given his previous statements, if he was prepared to resign.

Bryant answered ‘no’ and then began reading from the Ipperwash Report.

Previously, on April 29th, Bryant stated: “I think the member knows that nobody in this House – no MPP, no member of government is walking around with a holster and cuffs. I think the member knows that it is up to police officers to execute that duty.”

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      Native land dispute

Mr. Toby Barrett: To the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs: Last week you said in this House and I quote: “I think the member knows that nobody in this House—no MPP, no member of government is walking around with a holster and cuffs. I think the member knows that it’s up to police officers to investigate that duty.”

Minister, I would like to quote an article from last week’s Dunnville Chronicle: “Over the weekend, Six Nations Band Chief, Bill Montour, told Aboriginal Affairs minister Michael Bryant, that the blockade was not criminal activity and said this could become something all party does not want it to be. He gave credit to Bryant for talking to the Solicitor General who reportedly told the OPP to stand down.”

Minister, did you talk to the Solicitor General about having the OPP stand down?
Hon. Michael Bryant: No.
Mr. Toby Barrett: Thank you, minister.
We know that the Dunnville Chronicle stated last week that Six Nations’ Chief, Bill Montour “gave credit to Michael Bryant for talking to the Solicitor General who reportedly told the OPP to stand down.”

There’s another article I would like to report. It was written last week by Jim Windle—I know Jim, he’s read more articles on Six Nations than any other journalist. This article states and he referred to Chief Montour, “then thanked Bryant for taking his advice and asking the OPP about standing down in Tyendinaga and Caledonia.” Two newspapers and two different reporters saying the same the same thing.

I ask you again: Did you ask the Solicitor General to interfere or were you, were you yourself, asking the OPP about standing down and in Tyendinaga and Caledonia? Given your previous statements, these two reports are—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you.
Hon. Michael Bryant: Well, no again to that one as well.
Interference? The only government that’s been found to interfere with police operations has been the Conservative government. It’s the approach of the Conservatives according to testimony by Charles Harnick, that the approach was: “I want the *!?*% Indians out of the park.” That is an interfering approach. That is not a negotiating approach. That is an approach that was, in fact, condemned by Commissioner Linden and it’s not the approach of this government.

I know that the official opposition doesn’t like to hear this. I know that the official opposition may not have liked some of the findings in this report but we will continue to support the recommends by Sidney Linden of the Ipperwash commission.