Letter - Who supports smoke shacks?

The Regional

April 28, 2010

"All people in Canada are governed by the rule of law as confirmed in the preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is, all people in Canada are required to obey the law. As a corollary, all people in Canada are entitled to know that every other person in Canada will be required to obey the law. If any person in Canada does not obey the law, the courts will enforce the law. In that way the public has some assurance that they can live in peace without fear of those who might choose to disobey the law."

Superior Court Judge Henderson.

According to Judge Henderson the best way to maintain the peace is to enforce the law. According to the OPP the best way to maintain the peace is to allow a certain amount of criminal activity so as not to upset the criminals and their friends. A week or so prior to the protest I had a meeting with two OPP reps, Officers Dan (The Man) Mishaud and Mark Hill. They didn't try to talk to me out of it, but cautioned that it wouldn't help the situation. It might even result in more smoke shacks. As usual, the OPP is on a different channel than I am. I don't care what the criminals think. My concern is the OPP. If they behaved like law enforcement officials the criminals could set up a hundred smoke shacks on highway 6. Who would care? They'd all be gone before they opened.

Then there's Mr. Keefer. Even ignoring his past transgressions, it's hard to take him seriously. The April 14 Turtle Island News quotes him as saying "I think the basic question is whose rule of law are we talking about? Six Nations certainly had a rule of law here before Europeans came here and lied, cheated and stole and took the land away from them. So Six Nations has its own rule of law".

There are at least four problems with that analysis:

1) Judge Henderson's ruling.

2) Band Council meeting minutes from 1870 claiming that there was nothing but murder and butchery between the different tribes before the white man came.

3) The elected Chief recently labelled Six Nations "the car theft capital of Canada." The crime might not be as violent as it was in the good old days but it's as popular as ever. If Six Nations can't control its crime, it should at least refrain from exporting it (selling smokes to and stealing cars from each other only).

4) People with stronger credentials than Mr. Keefer refute the "lie cheat, steal" mantra.

The protest, though under-attended, did reveal some things. It supported the suspicion that the OPP has it in for Gary McHale. During two previous events attended by McHale, the OPP permitted counter=protesters to mingle with protesters. On April 11, with McHale absent it kept the two sides separated by two lanes of traffic. The exception was an independent videographer from Brantford who usually shows up. His greatest talent seems to be making others want to punch him in the mouth. Hoping to avoid that, I asked the OPP to move him across the road. It failed to do that but Officer Dan (The Man) scolded him severely, which seemed to have an effect. He wasn't exactly likeable, but neither was he his usual abrasive self.

The counter-protest was organized and attended by out-of-towners (not a peep from Mr. Fantino who went ballistic over McHale's "interloper status). There were very few Indians present. Six Nations residents appear even less interested in the shacks than Haldimand residents. The band council has never publicly endorsed the shacks. It is attempting to have one that sits on band-owned land removed. The OPP claims that people with shacks on Crown Land don't support those on Highway 6. The rank and file are silent. So who supports these things, aside from hte handful of criminals that own and operate them; and a motley collection of union flunkies and students? I don't consider the customers worthy of a mention.

The perception is that a huge backlash will result from any attempt to enforce the law against the shacks. Not likely. The OPP has allowed this county to suffer, not to appease Six Nations, but rather a handful of criminals who don't even appear to have the support of Six Nations. If you have a pulse and any concern for this county, that offends you. If you believe that OPP policy is wrong and if you have the courage to stand up for what you believe, attend the May rally. The announcement will be in a week or two.

Doug Fleming, Caledonia