August 20, 2010
By Jeff Parkinson
After months of speculation, Gary McHale announced this week that he will run for Council in the upcoming Haldimand election. It should come as no surprise to anyone but perhaps current Councillor for the town Craig Grice whose accomplishments include attending photo ops for the Liberals and taking a job at Stelco during his time serving the people of Haldimand County.
Grice will perhaps be best remembered for being scared into silence by former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino. When Fantino threatened his right to free speech, Mr. Grice opted to allow himself to be intimidated into silence instead of filing a police service complaint for a threat that later saw Julian charged with attempting to influence a municipal official. The reason Fantino was charged? Gary McHale took the evidence to court with no help from anyone on Council.
McHale brings unique experience to the table. His knowledge of the problems that the people of Caledonia are facing is second to none, and his dedication to fighting on their behalf is a sight to behold. While some have been busy playing politics with the lives of residents, McHale has been in court setting new precedents and seeing government officials charged for their role in allowing the rule of law to be obliterated.
While Council have had an open invitation to attend rallies and take real steps toward resolution, it’s McHale who has been on the front line at every stage fighting on behalf of residents.
What will happen when Council is forced to deal with a bulldog like McHale in their midst refusing to be bought off, intimidated, or politicked into silence is an impressive thought at the very least and those of you in Caledonia have the chance to make it happen.
I for one can’t wait to see the inevitable debate between McHale and Grice. In the past Mr. Grice has avoided such debates by writing Gary off as someone he doesn’t have to speak to. Guess what Craig! Now you do.
If all of this sounds like a Grice bashing session, I should point out that I personally have never had any problem with the man. I’ve found him to be friendly, pleasant, and agreeable in conversation, but agreeable is not going to motivate the OPP or their Liberal masters to make lasting changes to the race based policy that’s been enforced in Caledonia for more than 4 years.
In addition I will gladly open this forum to anyone running for any seat in Haldimand if they would like to share what they plan to bring to the table.
Some will remember that McHale contemplated a run for Mayor for some time, and some will be disappointed that he changed directions, but it’s not about fancy titles, money, or political glory for McHale, it’s about where and how he can be most effective.
Mayor Trainer has done an admirable job, and has a firm understanding of the problems that lay ahead for Haldimand, but she’s been forced to deal with a largely Liberal Council who have preferred making silly motions to monitor her emails with the public instead of tackling the elephant in the room.
As a co-founder of CANACE, I’ve had the privilege of working with Gary McHale for almost 4 years. I’ve witnessed his unwavering dedication and faith as he dealt with such issues as being evicted from his home, having someone nearly run him over, being assaulted by a mob of thugs, slandered by the OPP, Liberals, and Haldimand County, sued for over 7 Million dollars by the OPP, charged with a crime that nobody had ever heard of before, and seen friends and supporters abandon him when they disagreed with a decision he had to make.
I’ve been to hell and back with McHale and never have I seen him waiver for a second in his dedication to bring about fair resolution for the people of Caledonia. He’s done it with little resources, far less support than he should have had, and a group of highly motivated, very aggressive, very dangerous people trying to stand in his way.
The people of Caledonia have an important decision to make, and on October 25 2010, I’m confident that they will elect Gary McHale to council ushering in a new era in the battle against race based justice. Should anyone doubt his ability to make an impact, just walk down any street in Caledonia and mention the name Gary. Some love him and some hate him, but everyone will know instantly who you’re talking about.