The Hamilton Spectator
Toronto (Nov 8, 2007)
The cost of policing the native land occupation in Caledonia has reached $32 million.
All by himself, the town’s infamous “interloper,” Gary McHale, has racked up a bill of more than half a million.
That’s $500,000-plus spent to police his rallies. To shut down his flag-raisings. To watch over his stump speeches. To keep him and some supporters in jail overnight. To deal with a guy who travels from his condo in Richmond Hill every week to “stir things up” in a town that doesn’t need to be stirred any more.
That’s the way OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino sees it anyway.
It takes Fantino just three and a half minutes into an interview at his downtown Toronto office to offer up, unsolicited, the cost of policing McHale. This is at his fingertips. It takes someone else at the OPP to hunt down the $32-million figure.
This is Fantino on the attack.
Anybody who has been following the native protests in Caledonia since February 2006 knows the dispute between self-appointed watchdog McHale, who runs a controversial website critical of the OPP’s conduct in the town, and no-nonsense Fantino is nearly as heated as the land-claim issue itself. The critic and the cop have been trading barbs and legal threats publicly ever since Fantino stepped in as commissioner one year ago.
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