Why does Haldimand County discriminate?

by Gary McHale - The Regional

March 3, 2010

The reasons why resolving the issues surrounding Douglas Creek Estates are so difficult and time consuming is that every level of Government will not apply the laws of Canada equally to all people regardless of the Race, Skin Colour etc.

You would think it would be a no-brainer that elected officials would understand that they cannot discriminate against people solely because of their race. You would especially think Haldimand Council wouldn't support racism in how they apply the by-laws in Haldimand County.

Haldimand Council has failed to enforce numerous by-laws against Native Protesters who constructed buildings without a permit, created open fires on DCE, set up illegal smoke shops, blocked roads, turned DCE into a garbage dump, had countless noise violations around DCE etc.

However, the same Council that has failed to enforce all these by-laws continues to attempt to silence free speech of non-Native people. It has not just been the Ontario Government and the OPP that has directly worked against any non-Native attempting to speak out.

On Saturday, the night before Six Nations was organizing the fourth year anniversary of their illegal takeover of DCE scheduled for this past Sunday - Feb 28, the county sent Merlyn Kinrade an email stating the had to apply for a Special Event permit to hold his Anti-Racism Rally scheduled for March 21 at 2:00 p.m.

The first question people would naturally ask is whether the county sent Six Nations the same letter requesting that they submit to local by-laws. When Mr. Kinrade asked the county this question in the past the county has always stated that they had not.

CANACE has never been against the enforcement of the law against the members of CANACE. We have been against applying the law solely based on our Race while refusing to uphold serious criminal code violations by Native Protesters.

It would be like the police giving out tickets to black people for driving 105 km on the 401 while refusing to charge white people who drink and drive.

It should be noted that this is not the first time the racist policies of Haldimand County have been applied to non-natives only. In 2009 the county also sent a letter to Mr. Kinrade demanding that he submit an application to hold a special event in Caledonia. At the time the council claimed the OPP were not involved in this request.

However, in a meeting with OPP Sgt. Carter he let it slip that he had spoken to Haldimand County about whether Mr. Kinrade had a permit. It was only after this slip did Haldimand County admit that the OPP contacted them to get Mr. Kinrade to apply for a permit.

It appears that once again the OPP want to have some means to arrest non-Natives who dare to speak out and once again Haldimand Council is attempting to provide the OPP with an excuse - i.e. Mr. Kinrade doesn't have a permit.

The so-called Special Event Permit the County wants Mr. Kinrade to apply for appears to apply only to commercial events. There appears to be no by-law to control political free speech and I am sure if there was such a by-law it would not be upheld due to guarantees under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In early 2007 there was a serious attempt to apply for a permit. It wasn't that we needed one but we believed we should at least attempt to see whether Haldimand Council was truly interested in providing such a permit or was it just another tactic by the council to silence people. To no one's surprise Haldimand County simply wanted to create road blocks to stop residents from speaking out. In a letter to a resident of Caledonia the county stated the following:

"As a follow up to our conversation yesterday, please be advised that the following information is required by Haldimand County to complete your Special Event Application prior to circulation for consideration."

"1) A letter of support from David General of the Elected Band Council."

"2) A letter of support from Allan MacNaughton of the Haudensoaunee Confederacy."

"3) A letter of support/approval from a recognized representative of the current occupiers of the property. [DCE]"

"4) A certificate of insurance naming Haldimand County as additional insured with a minimum of 5 million dollars liability coverage."

The above letter from Haldimand County was date April 17, 2007 and the resident was required to have this information by May 20, 2007.

It is hard to imagine that Haldimand County requires the residents of Caledonia to get letters of support from Six Nations Band Council, from the Haudensoaunee Confederacy and from unknown representatives of DCE.

Mr. Kinrade contacted the by-law officer and was told she didn't know what by-law required him to get a permit for his Anti-Racism Rally.

These are pure racist policies which deny non-Natives their Charter Rights and Freedoms. Haldimand Council should be ashamed of itself and should apologize to the people of Haldimand County for working against the rights of non-Native people.

When will this racism end? Only when the people rise up and say they have had enough of Two Tier Justice, enough of politicians who do not have the backbone to stand against injustice and enough of Council working on behalf of the McGuinty Government and/or the OPP.

Send a message to Haldimand Council, to the OPP and to McGuinty by joining Merlyn Kinrade on March 21 at 2:00 p.m. outside of the Lion's Hall in Caledonia. It is only when average people take a stand will we bring an end to this racism that has taken control of our society.

Remember this is an election year for Haldimand Council. After four years there is little hope this council will ever take a stand against these racist policies.