Unlawful peacekeeping mission on Canadian soil

by Gary McHale - The Regional

February 3, 2010

At the core of the OPP propaganda to the people of Ontario is the claim that their job in Haldimand County is one of Peacekeeping.

On May 2, 2007 Dalton McGuinty stated, "Some days I feel like issuing the OPP blue helmets. They are peacekeepers caught up in a difficult, protracted dispute which predates Confederation." He further stated, "We will continue to assume responsibility, continue to mitigate the stresses and strains associated with this protracted dispute and will do our role as best we can as peacekeepers on the ground."

In all practical terms the OPP have functioned the same way as any U.N. Peacekeepers would around the world. As U.N. Peacekeepers they don't stop crime or take any steps to prevent crimes but merely try to ensure people don't kill each other. Commissioner Fantino and Dalton McGuinty claim that the OPP's efforts in Caledonia have been successful because no one has been killed.

Where is it written that police service is measured by a body count, or lack thereof?

What court ruling or what section of the Police Services Act or where in the Criminal Code does it state that police are to act only when someone may die? The Ipperwash Inquiry certainly didn't make the claim that police can watch assaults or arson and do nothing.

Who has the authority to order a Peacekeeping Mission on Canadian Soil? Who can deny a community their Charter Rights and Freedoms? Who can say to an entire group of people that you must remain silent while you are being victimized?

Certainly no Provincial Government has the authority to overrule the Criminal Code or to suppress the Charter Rights of individuals. Even the Federal Government, under the War Measures Act, wouldn't have the authority to have police officers stand by watching crimes being committed against an entire town.

Two of CANACE's (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality) founding members have served Canada as real Peacekeepers. Merlyn Kinrade served as a United Nations peacekeeper with the Royal Canadian Navy in Egypt in 1956. Mark Vandermaas served as a United Nations peacekeeper with the Canadian Forces in Egypt in 1978.

CANACE is announcing that we will be filing a legal action against the ongoing illegal Peacekeeping Mission by the OPP. Such a mission is not within the authority of the OPP nor the McGuinty Government and violates numerous laws including various U.N. resolutions signed by the Canadian Government. One resolution states the following:

"For the United Nations, the rule of law refers to a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency."

The words of Merlyn Kinrade comprise the remainder of this column, when, on Dec. 4, 2007 he spoke in the media room at Queen's Park on the issue of Peacekeepers:

I joined the Canadian Navy as a young man to defend freedom and democracy half a world away. I was not alone. Many Canadians served with me and many of them sacrificed their lives for this worthy cause. One of them is a 90 year old World War II veteran and Caledonia resident named Jack who was victimized by a group of native protesters who threw stones at his home while OPP officers watched. He later said, with tears in his eyes, I spent 4 years in hell for Canada and now I don’t even know if the police will protect me. It wasn’t worth it.”

The Premier of Ontario, the Commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry, and OPP Commissioner Fantino have stated that the role of law enforcement officers involved in land claim occupations and protests is that of “peacekeepers.” As someone who has actually served on a United Nations peacekeeping mission, I regard this as a very troubling attitude. Earlier this year I and another UN veteran sent a letter to Mr. McGuinty explaining the critical differences between the two:

‘Law Enforcement’ is a role performed by police officers in a functioning, vibrant, healthy First World democracy in order to preserve the Rule of Law and protect law-abiding citizens from criminals irrespective of their race, religion, national origin or grievance. It requires that citizens respect both the law and the willingness of police officers to enforce it justly.

‘Peacekeeping’ is a role performed mainly by soldiers trained to kill, and is used as a deterrent during civil war in failed states where the Rule of Law has broken down, or in the aftermath of international warfare to prevent further hostilities.”

It disturbs me greatly that people in positions of power talk of ‘peacekeeping’ as if it were some kind of innocuous, refined and noble form of policing when, in fact, their use of this word is the surest confirmation that the foundation of our society - the rule of law - is collapsing.

Mr. Fantino – are we a failed state?

I share wholeheartedly the view that improving our communication with, and understanding of, Native peoples and our obligations to them is a must. I reject - out of hand - however, the notion that police should protect native criminals at the expense of innocent, law-abiding citizens. OPP racial policing policies are wrong-headed because they are victimizing innocent people, both native and non-native...

How many innocents must be assaulted? How many children must be traumatized? How many civil rights violations have to occur? How many towns must be terrorized before the rule of law and equality before the law is restored to my town? How many Mr. Premier? How many Mr. Fantino?

Our politicians tell us to be patient, not to rock the boat, not to protest, not to confront the police and criminals as they commit injustice upon injustice against us...

Our communities will never heal… Our businesses will never again thrive until the root cause of Caledonia’s malaise is dealt with – and that is - the restoration of the rule of law. Police must protect the victims, and arrest the criminals, irrespective of their race or grievance. That is what residents and businesses need. We don’t want money as much as we want a real police force to protect us – to feel safe again.

I find it difficult to understand how the leaders of my province cannot grasp that when lawlessness is allowed, there will surely be more lawlessness. I find it even more difficult to understand how Commissioner Fantino and the Caledonia detachment of the OPP could possibly be so heartless, so biased and so detached from reality...

I want you to know, Mr. Fantino, that I will not rest until the scourge of Two Tier Justice is a bad memory. I demand that you begin to do the job you were hired to do, and stop blaming others for the failures of your force.