by Gary McHale - The Regional
Aug. 11, 2010
While things appear peaceful in Caledonia OPP's Race Based Policing continues to be a serious problem in Haldimand as well as in Ontario.
This past Friday the Globe and Mail reported, "The entire Ontario Provincial Police detachment at the remote Pikangikum First Nation was marched off the reserve five weeks ago by a rock-throwing mob of elected councillors and residents... a chaotic scene that saw officers pushed and shoved as the mob forced its way into the station, with several men trying at one point to get at the vault containing the detachment’s firearms, while others cut power and phones and disabled or blocked police cruisers."
Of course, zero people charged.
Two weeks ago Hydro One attempted to clear some trees and bushes away from its hydro lines along the Hwy #6 bypass. Suddenly the Men's Fire group blocked the equipment and stopped the work. As reported in the Turtle Island News, Hydro One stated they had to get everyone and their equipment out safely.
The Tekawennake newspaper reported last week that the Men's Fire stopped trucks spreading biosolids on farmland near Oxbow. The farmer had approval from the Ministry of the Environment.
In both the Turtle and Teka newspapers they had photos of OPP Officers talking to the Men's Fire group that were committing criminal acts of mischief, but was anyone arrested?... No!
Let's not forget the on-going threat that in 2011 Six Nations plans to set up a toll along #6. For those who believe such a thing cannot happen I would point out that on May 21, 2010 on Hwy #11 by Fort Frances Ontario the Natives set up a toll and charged $1.
The OPP made no arrests and allowed the toll to remain for two weeks. At the time the Toronto Star reported the OPP stating, "traffic flow was orderly through the toll with a minimal wait."
Recently the outgoing Commissioner took the time to visit Six Nations to say goodbye and there is a video on Turtle's website where Mr. Fantino does one last attack against Merlyn Kinrade and other non-Natives in Caledonia who dare to believe in equality.
This past Thursday saw another flare-up in Oka when a developer attempted to start clearing out brush on his property. Once again Natives stepped in and threatened to escalate the situation. According to the CTV report "The Kanesatake Band Council has asked the Canadian government to step in and award it the land, but Ottawa is refusing to get involved."
We see time and again that criminal behaviour is rewarded with money and/or land. OPP officers endanger not only the public but themselves. The Globe quoted Karl Walsh, president of the OPP Association, that Commissioner Fantino promised those responsible in Pikangikum would be held accountable.
Mr. Walsh shouldn't hold his breath. After four years of Caledonia you would think Mr. Walsh would have learned that OPP officers are easy targets for a politically correct police force. Officers have been so trained not to respond to Natives committing crimes that officers can stand by and watch fellow officers be attacked and almost murdered - June 9, 2006.
One has to ask where Haldimand Council is on the issue of policing, the continued threat by Six Nations and the OPP failure to uphold equal treatment of all people?
While most politicians, media and residents have been outraged by the lack of quality of police service, Mr. Boyko appears pleased. Recently he expressed how pleased he was that Chris Lewis was appointed the new Commissioner. Mr. Lewis claims to have been in charge in Caledonia in 2006 and publicly stated the OPP approach will not change. Last year Mr. Boyko stated that Haldimand County had been used to 'enhanced police service' since 2006.
Mr. Boyko serves on the police service board and thus represents all the people of Haldimand County regarding policing issues. John Findlay, lawyer for the Caledonia Class Action Lawsuit, summed up the quality of Mr. Boyko's service by saying to Mr. Boyko that "for all the good you do you could be replaced by placing a potted plant in your chair".
Ward 4, represented by Tony Dalimonte, includes much of the area where violence occurred in Haldimand County but you wouldn't know that from the silence of Mr. Dalimonte. Every single illegal smoke shop is in Mr. Dalimonte's Ward 4. The destruction of the power station occurred in Ward 4. Several of the tire fires, problems at the overpass bridge and several of the blockades were all within Ward 4 which ends at the south side of 6th line in Caledonia.
In Hagersville, in Ward 4, there were the occupations at the Voortman development and also Dan Valentini's development. Did you hear Mr. Dalimonte on CHCH News or on CHML speaking out for those in his ward? He did speak out in April 2006, as reported in the Spectator, against Mayor Trainer.
The standard approach appears to be appeasement mixed with an ignore it and maybe it will go away by itself mentality. If you cannot pay off the protesters then maybe you can just ignore that they exist.
Not only has Haldimand Council ignored the policing issue, they have outright abdicated their authority on certain issues to Native Protesters. In 2007 a resident of Haldimand County asked to get a Special Event Permit but the council demanded the person get the following:
"1) A letter of support from David General of the Elected Band Council. 2) A letter of support from Allan MacNaughton of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. 3) A letter of support/approval from a recognized representative of the current occupiers of the property. [DCE]"
There cannot be business growth while the threat of lawlessness continues. There cannot be new jobs without some sort of security for business to create the jobs. There will not be many new families willing to move in unless it is clear the OPP will uphold the rights of every citizen in Ontario and not just Native citizens.