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by Bill Jackson - The Regional News

February 23, 2011

This Sunday's "reconciliation" rally in Caledonia will likely attract the same supporters that have been prominent at past events organized by Gary McHale and members of the Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality.

While many remain optimistic about the changing tide of public perception, I've given up all hopes in governments, police, committees, boards, advisories, negotiators and groups that are supposed to advance the real causes of this community in the wake of an illegal land occupation that began five years ago.

There's never been a doubt in my mind that McHale or his followers have focused on fairness, justice and the truth behind what's plagued Caledonia and the surrounding area for the past five years. Why exactly McHale continues to push forward I know well, but his tenacity many of us fail to possess, or fathom.

There comes a time when activist and small following can only do so much, and if the people directly impacted by Douglas Creek Estates don't care, why should McHale?

In the words of John Donne, "never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." It's just too bad more people don't subscribe to such theory.

We all get the fact that there's a bigger picture. That other areas and citizens of Ontario and Canada are at stake. That our safety, freedom and rights have been placed in peril. That there's been a book about it all.

But we're still left wondering why there's a land occupation after five years and counting, with no resolution in sight. Why is there no development in Haldimand? How could Julian Fantino become an MP?

The majority of people threw in the towel and gave up a long time ago. People in Caledonia and Haldimand will obviously have better things to do than come out to a rally this Sunday afternoon.

Someone as steadfast as Gary McHale doesn't seem to get dissuaded. Speaking for myself, I must admit I'm a little discouraged.

I will be there at the rally this Sunday and yes, I still care about Caledonia and what McHale has to say. It's also my job to report it.

Yet it's understandable that people stop caring about what ails this part of the country, partly because most people who live here and work here and are, more importantly, responsible for the strife and ongoing injustices don't seem worried enough to care themselves anymore. Unfortunately, it was ever thus. And without more public pressure, it's unlikely that any current circumstances will change for the better.