Update: A few people have reported difficulty in viewing these video’s at 720p (HD) so I have changed the embedded video’s to play at a lower resolution.
By Jeff Parkinson
In my early days with CANACE in late 2006 and early 2007, I was on a very regular basis told stories that saddened and repulsed me. I sat and listened to each and every resident who was willing to share with me what they had endured and over the course of 4 years; I thought I had heard the worst of if not all of them.
One exceptionally disturbing story unfolded in the summer of 2009, and managed to fly under the radar of many including myself. Many of us heard that a smoke shack had gone up at the farm of Caledonia resident Ernie Palmer, but I didn’t know too much about it at the time. We had a particularly busy year, and by the time we slowed down to catch our breath, the shack was gone.
I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Palmer on October 13 2010 and he generously allowed me to record that meeting. The only things I knew for sure when I arrived were that the facts were largely unclear to me, and that an interview with him would be interesting. The media reports that I had read in 2009 painted him as a collaborator, and the County had charged him with bylaw infractions for hosting the smoke shack.
I explained a bit about myself to Mr. Palmer and made clear to him that my objective was simple. I wanted to leave that day with the necessary information to tell his story in his words. I wound up spending a day with him, and the things I learned were absolutely shocking even to a 4 year veteran of the Caledonia crisis.