by Gary McHale - The Regional
April 6, 2011
While some in Haldimand are understandably growing tired of the topic of the ongoing failure of the OPP, it was an honour to be invited by concerned people in Ottawa to present the views of residents at the Parliament buildings. Everywhere we go the public is becoming outraged by how the Government failed the law abiding citizens of Haldimand County.
Our presentation was originally booked back in December and it so happened the government budget came down the same day we spoke - not good for media coverage. However, Conservative MPs rushed over after the budget to hear the presentation.
Each person attending paid $20 which means the turn out represented people who were serious to know what happened. The audience loved the presentation - they cheered when Ottawa police removed two radicals who bought tickets but couldn't control themselves, they laughed when Doug Fleming explained how he 'started a life of crime in order to get the law enforced', they cried when Marie Trainer spoke from the heart about the hurt caused to families and were shocked by the evidence presented by Mark Vandermaas and myself about the failure of the OPP and the corruption within the OPP.
What was most impressive about the trip is the people we got to meet who are directly involved within government and/or media and are greatly concerned about the breakdown of the Rule of Law in Ontario. The view that people outside Haldimand don't care is simply untrue.
We had a private lunch with media people, various people involved in tracking terrorism and a meeting with the RCMP who shared our view that the problem is quite serious. While we were invited to meet with Conservative MPs the day after the budget, through various hiccups the meeting didn't happened but was to be done by phone within a few days.
Within a few hours of our presentation various websites that track terrorism already started posting videos from the event. One story published is called, "Far leftists, unions and Islamic terror group supporters work with organized crime in Caledonia".
The Director of International and Terrorist Intelligence Program was very concerned by the evidence, much of which I have never reported in the Regional, of a direct connection between radical/terrorist supporters and those involved in the on-going occupation of DCE. One thing that did surprise me is the number of people in Ottawa who knew the names of some of those involved in the occupation.
My wife, Christine, has been actively communicating with the RCMP for the past two years and therefore had a private meeting with them in Ottawa. The next day the RCMP emailed us providing us with details of an Order passed the same day at the Canadian Senate which states:
"Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Segal calling the attention of the Senate to the seriousness of the problem posed by contraband tobacco in Canada, its connection with organized crime, international crime and terrorist financing, including the grave ramifications of the illegal sale of these products to young people, the detrimental effects on legitimate small business, the threat on the livelihoods of hardworking convenience store owners across Canada, and the ability of law enforcement agencies to combat those who are responsible for this illegal trade throughout Canada, and the advisability of a full-blown Senate committee inquiry into these matters."
The Senator went on to say the following, "The Senate has long been a place where Aboriginal rights are defended and protected. The Senate has often had salutary effects on public policy in those regards, and I hope that will never change... Nowhere in the treaty does it say that there is a licence to break the laws of either country. Nowhere does it permit tobacco smuggling, drug smuggling and people smuggling by Aboriginal people or by anyone else, by criminal gangs or by ordinary Canadians. These things are all taking place. The difficulties faced by both Canada and the United States in enforcing their respective laws are exacerbated by that unique geographical and political circumstance of the area's First Nations, including the Akwesasne... Maybe we have to accept that criminals will operate there, as they always have, and there is nothing that anyone can or will do about it. If that is so, it is a pretty sad state of affairs... Let us characterize, for the sake of the argument, and perhaps odious comparison, the Akwesasne lands as a state within a state along the lines of Andorra, San Marino or Monaco. It is preposterous to think that unbridled lawlessness on the part of Andorrans would be countenanced by France and Spain. To think that Italian authorities would look the other way if San Marinans were manufacturing and smuggling contraband into Italy is absurd. The suggestion that France would have her head in the sand in the face of flagrant violations of French law by Monégasques is silly. Everyone knows that that would not be allowed to happen..."
Furthermore, the Senator stated, "It happens only in our country. No self-respecting nation can possibly do such a thing. No self-respecting nation whose first responsibility is to the safety and security of its citizens can stand idly by, watching while criminals operate openly and with impunity..."
What is also interesting about the Senate's review of the issue of illegal tobacco is that Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is the Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism.
There is nothing new in what the Canadian Senate is now saying. In 2009 the RCMP produced a flier stating that illegal cigarettes finance the "drug trade in Canada", "purchase illegal weapons" and fund other illicit activities. As recently as a month ago the RCMP sent out a press release about the smuggling of tainted chicken near Cornwall.
In 2007 U.S. Homeland Security issued a report to Congress titled "Tobacco and Terror: How Cigarette Smuggling is Funding our Enemies Abroad" which provided the proof that illegal cigarettes are funding organized crime and terrorist groups.
The lawlessness in Caledonia directed toward DCE is part and partial of a greater issue of lawlessness that all levels of government have been silent on for many years.