By Gary McHale – www.CaledoniaWakeupCall.com
It has now been a full year since I first got involved in Caledonia. A year ago the media was completely focused on Native Land Claims and Native Rights and paid little attention to the victims in Caledonia.
Don’t get me wrong though, since I, like most Canadians, am more than willing to have our Government resolve Land Claims Issues and Governments should respect Native Rights. But those Land Claims and Rights do not include creating additional victims because some are frustrated with the Government.
A year has passed and once again the media doesn’t care about Caledonia or what happens to the residents there. What media takes any time to interview residents of Caledonia for their views? Who really cares whether a person with an AK47 is running around on DCE or whether there are fires on DCE and intimidation of residents?
Within six months I had the media talking daily about Two Tier Justice in Caledonia. The media across this country were printing stories about the problems faced by residents and by the end of 2006 few, if any, natives were being interviewed by any media. The topic had become Law & Order and the Rights of all people to be treated equally under the law.
The OPP & Ontario Government intimidated and pressured the County to take part in an endless attack upon me and anyone else who still was willing to speak out.Since the beginning of the year, the residents of Caledonia have demonstrated quite clearly that they do not want to have a voice. Their silence is deafening.
So where are we today? The media neither cares about the views of the residents nor any of the many events over the past two months – including the AK47 event.
A year ago I leaked the Liberal Plan that was to resolve Caledonia. This Plan included naming the various people in Caledonia who were working directly on behalf of McGuinty. I named two particular people who would work to ensure that McGuinty had it easier. They were to ensure that Mayor Trainer would not be re-elected and ensure that Caledonia had no voice.
These two people were Ken Hewitt and Lorraine Bergstrand. Ken Hewitt went on CHTV with me and stated clearly that he had no connection with the Liberal Party – then he ran for the Federal Liberal nomination (surprise, surprise). He stated on TV the Alliance had received no funding from the Liberal Government but within a few days we exposed that two cheques went to the Alliance from the County from the fund provide by the Liberal Government.
Lorraine Bergstrand phoned me and told me that she wasn’t part of any Liberal plan to help McGuinty. She told me that she had no connection with the Alliance either. The same day I contacted her (conservation taped) and asked her whether she already had private meetings with the key members of the Alliance – she said ‘Yes’. This meeting was to get the key members of the Alliance to help fund her run against Mayor Trainer which she lost.
Now she is running against Toby Barrett as a Provincial Liberal. She is now singing McGuinty’s praises, but a year ago she claimed no connection to the Liberal party. Isn’t it amazing how quickly she rose through the ranks of the Liberal party in less than a year?
The people of Caledonia made a choice. They chose to follow their fears and to believe the lies of McGuinty. Just how many residents believed McGuinty about all the great negotiations that were happening or believed McGuinty about protesters on DCE not staying there over the winter?
Now we have Councilor Grice and the County telling everyone that they can finally start helping the residents of Caledonia by replacing the OPP, but that will not be until the fall of 2008. Did you get that, the county which told you everything was going great a year ago is now saying that nothing can be done for another 14 months.
Under councilor Grice’s leadership the people of Caledonia have not been organized. McGuinty has been able to switch the Caledonia issue to be Nation Wide Land Claims which is Federal. For months Fantino ran around claiming that Caledonia cannot be resolved until the Federal Government resolves it. McGuinty is off the hook. Grice has been silent as he believes he is more than able to play the same political games that all politicians play. To Grice the solution to failed political games is more political games.
Grice has been out to every one of our marches including each Flag Raising Event. However, he openly lied to the people of Caledonia on TV after being threatened by Fantino’s email when he told everyone that he did not support the Flag Raising Events. Instead of Grice filing a complaint against Fantino’s threat he caved in and did what politicians do – he chose to lie to the public instead of taking a stand.
Now Caledonia has no voice – what national media cares to interview a single resident? The reasons are simple – their political leaders and the major players in town will do everything to ensure no one speaks out.
The town is silent – just like Ipperwash.
Congratulations Caledonia you are now Ipperwash Part Two or Ipperdonia.