April 13, 2007
By Chinta Puxley
Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said she received an e-mail from Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino - as did top
Fantino implied that the southern
The e-mail left her shocked and "extremely upset," Trainer said.
"I took it as a threat," she said. "I wish he had called and talked to me about it."
A police spokesman told the Hamilton Spectator that the force will neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the e-mail because it is correspondence meant for a particular person.
"We're not interested in getting into a discussion about an e-mail sent to a specific recipient," Insp. Dave Ross said, adding that Fantino wasn't available to comment but that there are no plans for provincial police to pull out of
Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter said he isn't worried about the ongoing security of
"I am aware of the correspondence but he is accountable for what he says," Kwinter said. "He is not accountable to me for his actions directing the OPP. He has the ability to make decisions affecting the OPP."
While the town council was already talking about the possibility of not renewing its contract with the force in September 2008 because of the backlash against officers throughout the occupation, Trainer said the e-mail is especially disconcerting because the provincial police are already cutting back on their surveillance of the occupied site.
A police cruiser that normally stands guard 24 hours a day outside the occupied site will now conduct patrols instead, she said.
"It's not going to make the residents feel very good," Trainer said. "It's the occupation that's been causing us the grief."
Conservative Leader John Tory said the Liberal government is to blame for the escalating tension in the town because they have allowed the occupation to continue.
"I think the continued inaction by (Premier Dalton) McGuinty government to do anything about this, and just let it go on forever and ever, doesn't solve anything," he said.
Six Nations protesters have occupied the former housing development site since last February, saying the land was taken from them by the Crown over 200 years ago. The year-long occupation has been marred by violent clashes between town residents and Six Nations protesters.Six Nations negotiators are currently at the table with provincial and federal representatives, trying to work through the land claims that led to the occupation.