April 13, 2007
Canadian Taxpayer's Association
Toronto: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today called on OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino to apologize to the citizens of Caledonia and Ontario for threatening to quit policing the area and also requests Premier McGuinty confirm for the residents that there will be a police presence for as long as is required. "If the Commissioner won't apologize then the premier should replace him immediately with someone who will keep the peace," said CTF Ontario Director Kevin Gaudet. "Mr. Fantino needs to apologize for threatening to abandon the people of Caledonia. Does he think 'peace, order and good government' means he will keep the peace only if government follows his orders? Instead of threatening Caledonians Mr. Fantino should be urging politicians and Native leaders to end the standoff."
On April 7th Commissioner Fantino sent an email to Caledonia's mayor and council. In it he threatens to hold councilors accountable, to send them the bill for policing, to support law suits and to end policing of the area. Mr. Fantino blames what he considers as support for Gary McHale by Councilor Grice as his reason for the threats. Mr. McHale has planned a march in the area on April 22nd. A spokesperson for Mr. Fantino refused to comment on the threats stating that they are a private matter between the Commissioner and the recipients of the email. Further requests to the Commissioner's office for information regarding total costs to date and ongoing police support costs for the area were met equally. The spokesperson suggested that one may access that information through freedom of information.
The Caledonia standoff has been going on since Feb. 28, 2006. Friday April 20, 2007 will mark the anniversary of the OPP's failed raid in the area. "Residents of the area want this all to come to an end and expect the law to be upheld and enforced. They should not be forced to endure threats from those who they thought were there to protect them", concluded Gaudet.