Web Source Photo: A barn burning in May 1972, was just one event in a series of criminal acts committed by Canada’s Security Service in the decade following enactment of the “War Measures Act“ after the “October Crisis” of 1970.
Concerns about Bill C51 and other terror Bills introduced since the “September Crisis” of 2001, follow a pattern similar to that of 1970 when domestic ‘terrorists’ challenged the Governments of Canada and Quebec. During that ‘crisis’ the Federal Government also turned loose Canada’s elite Security Service to act in a manner they saw fit.
So began a campaign of harassment, dirty tricks, illegal arrests, criminal acts and dozens of nefarious deeds that went far beyond the original intent of the law. Many at the highest levels of the RCMP and Government were aware of what was happening, but did nothing to reign in the Security Service. It was a decade of illegal police action that led to a break-up of the RCMP Security Service.
If anyone thinks our National Security Agencies – CSIS, CBSA and the Federal arm of the RCMP is above such tactics today, they would be wrong. There are plenty of examples since September 2001 and it has taken place because there is a wilful lack of oversight and because new laws such as Bill C51, support what might otherwise be illegal in Criminal Law or, at the very least, violations of personal privacy. (Detective-Sergeant Harold McNeill, Retired)
Note: If you wish to skip the background discussion surrounding police, security services and terror, go straight to section #4 for the summary of events that followed invocation of the War Measures Act in 1970.
Note: (April 15, 2015): This post is now the first of three posts dealing with aspects of Conspiracy charges (Criminal and Terrorist). The second part will describe a traditional conspiracy, in this case a plan to rob a Brinks Armored Car while making a pick-up at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, and the second, a summary of the the trial of Nuttall and Korody, two former Victorians who conspired to commit a terrorist act by planting pressure cooker bombs at the BC Legislature grounds. Their trial is currently ongoing. These two posts should be complete by April 27, 2015. (721)
Photo Collage: A few of Canada’s notorious terrorists: The Bacon Brothers (BC), Maurice Bouchard (PQ), Eric Dejaeger (Nunavat), Vito Rizzuto (r)(PQ), Alan Legere (NB), Clifford Olsen (died in prison)(BC), Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka (Karla served 12 years after a plea deal) (ON), Willy Pickton (BC) and Russell Williams (ON).
Note: Just in case a few may think I am a left wing apologist for terrorists, you would be wrong. Terrorists, whether they be of the criminal type or of the religious type, are despicable scum who deserve to be removed from civil society wherever in the world they may seek to practice their murderous ways. What I do not think we should do is give them a platform on which to spread their vile messages, nor should we re-direct billions in scarce funds away from those things that could make a real difference in reducing crime in whatever form it may present itself.
The tragic bombing in Boston demonstrates again how quickly and completely media, government and law enforcement can spin the terrorist card. Along with the deployment of well over a thousand City, State and Federal police, mass transit was shut down, businesses were closed and nearly a million residents of the area told to lock themselves in their homes until the suspects could be captured. During the depth of the manhunt, the situation was best described by a Boston police officer who stated, “we are operating in the fog of war”.1
Boston: “The Fog of War” (Photo: MetroDCPhotography)
The hunt was on for two inept, ideologically driven brothers, both US citizens, suspected of having set off crude bombs that killed three and seriously injured dozens more. The difference in these killings from the tens of thousands of killings which occur each year in the United States – in Boston the suspects were Muslim, their weapon of choice was a crudely made bomb and the event was defined as an act of terror. (1797)
Burning the Bridges of Canadian Justice
Homes were damaged or destroyed, public and private property destroyed, businesses bankrupted, ordinary citizens intimidated, threatened, attacked and one man left for dead with permanent brain damage, families torn apart, careers ended and, as a final insult, those same citizens, while trying to defend themselves, became the subjects of police “enforcement”. (the Image Gallery at the end of this post provides a solid visual of these events)
The Rape of Caledonia
Those who have read my posts, particularly in the Editorial Section, will know I am passionate about many subjects. Although I was a policeman for 30 years, you will also know I have never backed away from critizing the police when I believed the criticism was warranted.
A few months back, I made the mistake of reading a book titled: Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of fear and anarchy, and how the law failed all of us” by Christi Blatchford. Blatchford, a respected journalist for both the National Post and Globe and Mail, spent many months researching, documenting and writing on the reign of terror that engulfed the good citizens of Caledonia. You might think these things only happen in some war torn country fighting a vicious dictator, but you would be wrong and in Canada, Caledonia was that place.
For some unfathomable reason, nearly all media outlet’s, save for one small town newspaper and a few dedicated bloggers, failed to pick up a story of local, National and International interest. Blatchford’s book has helped, but to this day the story has never gained media traction even though the events at Caledonia will someday be remembered as one of the darkest in the annals of Canadian Law Enforcement, a failure of epic proportions.
One person stands central as events spiralled out of control in Caledonia and that person is the current Associate Minister of Defence, former Chief of the London Police, former Chief of the Toronto Police and former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. That person is Julian Fantino.
Why did these events occur and why were the townspeople subjected to a reign of terror beyond anything in recent Canadian history? Simple, it was because the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police was a ’yes-man’ to his political masters, a bully towards his men, uncaring about the needs of the people of Caledonia and, in short, a man with no balls! Inflammatory? Perhaps, however, if you ever take the time to read Blatchford’s detailed account and perhaps some of the eye-witness reports and pictures posted on the web, you will likely come to the same conclusion. You may better then understand my intense dislike for Fantino and the legacy he left in Caledonia.
Fantino entered the political realm during the last election as a “law and order” guy after he was quietly forced to resign his position as Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. To Prime Minister Harper, Fantino seemed an ideal candidate – a retired cop of senior rank with a ‘hard nosed’ view on law and order issues (he even broke with his fellow Chiefs and embraced doing away with the Long Gun Registry), an intense distaste of minorities, homosexuals and ‘rabble rousers’, well connected in Ontario political circles and generally well spoken. In other words a true conservative, although likely to far ’right-wing’ for most Conservatives. However, Fantino had a dirty little secret of which the Prime Minister was either unaware or simply choose to ignore. That secret was Caledonia and his unceremonial departure from the OPP.
Photo: A car goes over during one of the many criminal acts conducted in full view of the Ontario Provincial Police. The OPP, on observing this type of criminal activity and acting on Fantino’s orders, were forced to turn around and drive or walk the other away.
Fantino’s resignation came not many months after he ordered his men to ‘stand down’ while the community of Caledonia, Ontario, was pillaged, burned and held hosage by the nearby Six Nations band. The stand-off, in one form or another continues to this day. For a list of the most recent events link here.
As much as I sympathize with native issues, the actions perpetrated by the Six Nations band against the citizens of Caledonia, a quiet community that had peacefully co-existed with the band for decades, was nothing short of unchecked domestic terrorism. If you compared the amount of police effot put into pursuing that hapless group known as the Toronto 18 (who regularly met at Tim Horton’s of all places), with the real-time terrorism being perpetrated in Caledonia (both events began around 2006) where the police, acting on orders from Commissioner Fantino, did nothing, you could not help but walk away stunned.
Consider also, the Toronto 18 were eventually charged with Participating in a Terrorist Group (they never actually committed a terrorist act) and a variety of lesser offences (firearms, etc), whereas in Caledonia, the acts of Terrorism were actually being carried out on a daily basis. Many of the Toronto 18 have been sentenced to terms of 15 years to life. In Caledonia, one 22 year old terrorist recently received 18 months for a vicious assault the left a man permanently brain damaged. How can this be reconciled. Link here for more details.
As noted in the introduction, the citizens of Caledonia were left entirely to their own devices while their homes were damaged or destroyed, public and private property destroyed, businesses bankrupted, ordinary citizens intimidated, threatened, attacked and one man left for dead, families torn apart, careers ended and, as a final insult, those same citizens, when trying to defend themselves, became the subjects of police “enforcement”.
Commissioner Fantino, fully aware of the ongoing criminal activity perpetrated by the Six Nations, but having no desire to upset his political masters, established a policy of ‘no-go’ and ‘non-intervention’ as far the as the Six Nations were concerned. This left the natives free to act without restraint both on and off their land.
Officers and members of the OPP who witnessed criminal acts being committed against the citizens of Caledonia and who spoke out against the orders issued by Fantino, were quickly re-assigned, their careers within the OPP effectively ended.
Photo (above): A man lies unconcious after being viciously attacked with a 2 X 4 while trying to protect his home. Link to Story Finally, after years of delay, a young Six Nations boy was charged with the assault. His recent sentencing in the Ontario Supreme Court has raised many concerns. Link here.
Instead of being charged with Neglect of Duty or any of a half dozen other charges under the Police Act, or, perhaps, even a Criminal Code Charge of Obstruction of Justice or Aiding and Abetting, Fantino was quietly dumped from the OPP. Not many months later he ran for Conservatives in the most recent election and after being elected by a slim margin, resurfaced, first as the Minister of State for Seniors, then later, the Associate Minister of Defence. How is that for a living, breathing oxymoron, Fantino and Defence?
To watch that weak-kneed, spineless, sorry excuse for a retired cop, Fantino going about his election campaign spewing platitudes about the importance of ‘law and order’ and the ‘rule of law’, (issues being promoted daily by his party) is still more than painful. Granted, Commissioner Fantino was pushed by his political masters, but as former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney might have told him: “Listen Fantino, you had a choice Sir, you could have just said ‘no’!”. No, indeed. Instead of speaking for the rule of law, for the people of Caledonia and for the police members under his command (as he was sworn to do) Fantino chose instead to speak for his own career and his own interests.
If you think I speak a too harshly about Fantino, please pick up Blatchford’s book and read it, then read a few of the dozens upon dozens of eye witness acounts on the web. Most of those detailed articles speak much more harshly of Fantino than do I in this short post. You cannot help but come away from your read with anything short of contempt for Fantino for having abandoned his police members and the citizens of Caledonia. He is no better than the Captain of the Costa Concordia and if Fantino were back in his native Italy and neglected his duty as he did the people of Caledonia, he would now be sitting under house arrest waiting trial.
Have a scan of the attached Image Gallery. You will get just a small glimpse of the lawlessness that enveloped Caledonia.
Update: January 15, 2012. Is the deadline set for the Ontario Government to make payment on the settlement of some of the law suits initiated by residents of Caledonia. One payment, one of $15,800,000 was made earlier to property owners whose land had been taken over by the Six Nations and the $20,000,000 in general damages to other businessmen and residents to be complete by January 15, 2012. These matters have not yet reached a conclusion. Link here.
Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of fear and anarchy, and how the law failed all of us, by Christi Blatchford.
Ending Race-Based Policing: The Caledonia Act, Queen’s Park Media Studio, February 10, 2012 by Mary Lou Ambrogio, Vice President, International Free Press Society. This statement, made a few days ago, addresses some of the same issues as in this article.
Wikipedia provides an excellent summary of the vindictive, arrogent, racist and self-serving nature of Julian Fantino.
Photo (left): McHale arrested by OPP at smoke shop demonstration. Photo from Blachford book. McHale refused to take down his Canadian Flag in the ‘no-go’ zone. Reference to McHale link below. Even some OPP Officers found it more comfortable to wear masks and sunglasses to hide their identity.
Open Letter to Premier McGuinty and MP Finley, September 21, 2007 a 101 page document prepared by lawyer, Ed McCarthy, seeks to address many of he issues.
Legalized Myths of Illegal Occupantions by Gary McHale. McHale moved to Caledonia and wrote extensively about the illegal activities that were being overlooked. Under orders that flowed from Fantino, McHale was arrested for flying a Canadian Flag (the Blatchford book .. pp 158ff, provides a general account of the flag and smoke shop incidents).
Followup Story: Terrorists or Warriors, What is the Difference?
The Politics of Fear: Much has been written on how fear is used to manipulate, yet few seem to take the time to think about whether their fear is based on real time event (e.g. a man with a gun pointing it at you) or whether the fear is built from images or stories of others (manufactured fear). Statistics make it clear that infrequent events (e.g. a man with gun, a terrorist attack) will cause more irrational fear than, say, smoking, something which will very likely will lead to serious illness and possible premature death.
February, 2015. This post is brought forward as the amount of ‘fear mongering’ (mainly on terrorism in the present day) has increased exponentially as the Conservatives get ready for an election. Today, February 27, six pages of the National Post carried terror related stories. It has been much the same over the past several weeks as preparations were made for introducing a new terror bill. Several months back when crime legislation was on the agenda, the fear mongering included ‘crime, drugs and sex offenders’. Murdered, missing and abused aboriginal women (an ongoing crime problem) barely rated a mention by the government or the press. More will be said on that in an upcoming post.
First, this earlier post: (221)
Alysha and Sean unroll the gift (more photos below)
Crafting a Gift of Love
Over the past few months, Lynn and Sheri (Mom and Mom) have been working with small squares of fur fabric that Alysha had passed along to Lynn. It was a challenge to work with – not your usual quilting material. Over a few weeks they came up with an idea – going all out with a new design. (192)
PAX Canadiana: In the 20th Century the term PAX Americana came to indicate the pre-eminent military and economic position of the United States in relation to other nations, just as PAX Britannia was used the 19th Century (Wikipedia background). In the 21st Century Canada will eclipse the United States and PAX Canadiana could become a reality. This article provides a satirical look at the alternate path we may choose to follow.
1. Corporate Taxes
What got me thinking of this was the whole issue of “Corporate Tax Reductions.” With our Federal rates approaching 15%1, I checked the G20 major economies and found none below 25%. Then I checked on Ireland – poor little Ireland (not a G20 by the way) – they went bankrupt – just when they achieved a Corporate Tax rate of 12.5%, lowest in the EU and lower than the rest of the world, save for a few OPEC countries.
This happened even after Google and dozens of big companies moved to Ireland to catch a piece of that generous corporate tax pie. As supply side economists, trickle down theorists3 and deregulators predicted, unemployment shrank to near zero and “things were booming”. Ireland was sitting at the top of the EU financial world. Then bang – the crash – banks folded and massive debt took the country down. The prescription for a sound financial future sounded great but the patient was dying. On their knees, they went to their EU partners for a bailout.
Could this happen in Canada? With a projected national debt exceeding half a trillion, with further tax cuts promised and cash being handed out for everything but the kitchen sink (well that too if the Conservatives reconstitute their billion dollar “home improvement program”) it could happen. We might very well be headed down the same path as Ireland and our good neighbour, the USA, whose move to supply side economics and deregulation over the past several decades has lead to the worst economic meltdown they have ever experienced. They are now printing money so fast many of their presses have overheated and, if the rumours are correct, may have broken down4.
Then, to my great relief, two newspaper articles appeared – one in the National Post, the other in the Globe and Mail. The first was a three page spread in the Post entitled: “Global Warming – Bring it On” and, the second, in the Globe, “Republicans Urge New Pipelines.” Republicans? Republicans? It was no surprise to see the National Post calling ‘Global Warming’ a “good thing”, but US Senate Republicans calling for help from that great white, socialist enclave called Canada; that was when the loonie (our new penny) finally dropped.
1 Between 2000 and 2006, the Liberals reduced the Corporate Tax Rate from 29% to 21%. From 2006 to 2011 the Conservatives further reduced to 16.5%. The Cons indicate further reduction to 15% is needed to boost investment and reduce unemployment. Now the question, if a reduction from 29% to 15% was needed to boost investment and decrease unemployment, would not a further reduction from 15% to 0% be even better? We might wish to ask: “For whom?”
3 Referencing “trickle down theory” humorist Will Rogers, said during the Great Depression (known as the “Dirty Thirties”): “the money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.” (partially Wikipedia)
4 Unless the US Congress takes drastic steps they will be dead broke and shutting down parts of government by early spring 2011 when they reach their debt limit. Debt default by the USA will have worldwide implications. (3663)
It would not be many days into our visit that we understood food would become a key part of our China experience.
Here we were hosted to a sumptuous home cooked meal by the cousins (centre) of Lorin and Jin.
Hello China, Here we Come Part 1 (see footnote 1)
This past August Lynn and I had an opportunity to take a whirlwind tour of China. As it worked out, our amazing nephew Lorin (2), his wife Jean and son Laur were living in Beijing, so it was an easy decision. We often wondered about that mysterious country and felt a visit was a perfect way to sort fact from fiction.
Is the country completely polluted and is the traffic any worse than Vancouver? Are the people pushy or polite? Are the Chinese so clever and determined they will one day dominate the world? Could anyone or anything stand in the way of a technologically advanced country with a population of 1.5 billion and so much money they have no idea how to spend it? Are they on their way owning the United States as well as all the oil in Canada? How about a simple question – can a stray dog or cat survive in China?
Insert (Web): Top 10 in China: Nezha Conquers the Dragon King. The flower, bottom centre, was often observed floating in water filled ponds in many temples.
Fiction, fact and myths about China are so thoroughly intertwined, that no one seems to know for sure and everyone has an opinion. While we cannot explore every facet of life in China, we will sort out what we can.
So with Passports, Visa’s and maps in hand, we donned our ‘rose coloured glasses’ and caught an Air China flight out of Tokyo. Just to make certain we could see things clearly, we each grabbed a pair of polarizer clip-ons. Thank you for joining us in Part I of this three-part series. PS We have taken plenty of pictures to back up our observations.
As you will find, (3015)