Monday, September 17, 2007

Haldimand "My Chat with Lorraine Bergstrand"

This past Sunday afternoon, Lorraine Bergstrand, Liberal Candidate for the upcoming Provincial Election was having an open house, and all were invited. Although I am not a supporter, I felt that maybe I could get some questions answered regarding policing in Haldimand County.

I arrived at about 1:45pm and met up with a few residents of Caledonia that were standing at the Arena with signs, in regards to "Upholding" the "Law". As we were chatting, Lorraine Bergstrand and a few of her campaign people came outside to speak with us.

The first thing that Lorraine Bergstrand stated was that this was a "Federal Issue". I then spoke up and said that we were here asking questions about "Policing". Lorraine went on to explain that Haldimand’s contract is with the O.P.P. and Haldimand County "cannot" tell the O.P.P. what to do. I then asked this question; In saying that Lorraine, the Province is paying for the Policing in Caledonia, so I would assume that the same rules apply, the Province "cannot" tell the O.P.P. what to do, Lorraine’s response; "you are correct"! Well at least that was cleared up!

Lorraine also went on to explain that the O.P.P. were "Preserving the Peace", and that there is a "full investigation" taking place into the incident of last week.

The following is the Oath that an O.P.P. officer swears to;

Oath of Office

I solemnly affirm that I will be loyal to Her Majesty the Queen, and to Canada, and that I will uphold the Constitution of Canada, and that I will, to the best of my ability, preserve the peace, prevent offences and discharge my other duties as a Commissioned Officer, faithfully, impartially and according to law.

Now I see in this Oath the "preserve the peace", but I also see "prevent offences". So in saying that, when the Province has guaranteed title of deed to your property, if someone "trespasses" on your property are the O.P.P. not sworn to prevent this offence from happening?

In simple words, if I trespass on "your" property, you can have me "arrested" according to the law. But this "Rule" does not apply to "all" of Haldimand County? So how has the law changed, or has it? I could test this out myself by "trespassing" on someone’s private property, and see if in fact I would be arrested by the O.P.P. But I am not willing to take that "chance".

Along with some help from a good friend, the following is some information that you may find interesting, I certainly did.

The following information is from the Ministry of "Community Safety and Correctional Standards", judge for yourself, who is who, and who is in Control;

"Statutory Quality Requirements"

Policing in Ontario is governed by the Services Act (PSA). According to the PSA and its regulations, police services shall be provided throughout Ontario in accordance with the following six principles:

The need to ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in Ontario;

The importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights & Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code;

The need for co-operation, between the providers of police services and the communities they serve;

The importance of respect for victims of crime and understanding of their needs;

The need for sensitivity to the pluralistic, multiracial and multicultural character of Ontario society;

The need to ensure that Police Forces are representative of the communities they serve.

"Ministry Responsibilities"

To ensure these principles are being strictly adhered to, the PSA empowers the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to oversee and be responsible for police services in Ontario. This authority includes:

monitoring police services to ensure that adequate and effective protection is being provided at both the municipal and provincial levels;

monitoring police boards and services to ensure they comply with prescribed standards of service;

developing programs to enhance professional police practices, standards and training;

conducting a system of inspection and review of police services across Ontario;

assisting in the co-ordination of police services;

consulting with and advise police boards, community policing advisory committees, municipal chiefs of police, employers of special constables and police associations on matters relating to police and police services;

developing, maintaining and managing programs and statistical records and conduct research studies in respect of police services and related matters;

providing to police boards, community policing advisory committees and municipal chiefs of police information and advice respecting the management and operation of police services, techniques in handling special problems and any other information required by these organizations;

issuing directives and guidelines respecting policy matters;

developing programs for community-oriented police services;

operating the Ontario Police College.

Julian Fantino as the OPP Commissioner reports directly to the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

"The Deputy Minister reports directly to the Minister".

The following positions report directly to the Deputy Minister:

Commissioner of Community Safety
Commissioner of Corrections

Commissioner of the O.P.P.
Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy & Strategic Planning
Assistant Deputy Minister/Chief Information Officer, Justice Technology Services
Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Planning & Services
Director, Communications Branch
Director, Legal Services

Well there you have it. Clear as "Mud"! So the answer to my question above from Lorraine Bergstrand regarding policing is not good enough and doesn’t convince me that the Liberal Government is not the "driver". What I see from the above is a "conflict of interest", and the O.P.P. need to be replaced immediately by a "Police Force" that will "uphold the law".


  1. Pretty clear to me Donna.

    Fantino reports directly to the Deputy Minister who reports directly to the Minister who reports directly to McGuinty. Fantino is an employee of the McGuinty Government. Hardly arms length.

    Another lie from McGuinty that he has no influence on the OPP.

  2. Unless the OPP are in 'hot pursuit', they have to do an investigation before arrests are made. They did not witness this incident and in fact by the time they knew anything about it, the perpetrators had fled.

    Do you wish them to blow the case by making a bad arrest or do you want them to build a good case?

    Think about it.

  3. Interestingly CHCH happened to video the natives running toward the house. Residents saw the activity. The OPP who were right beside them didn't see anything. Yeh right!

    That is just plain wrong! I have talked to people who were standing right beside the OPP.

  4. Hi Donna.

    Here is what I know,

    Natives were running around the site all day. They were there when a worker was still operating a back hoe. They allowed the operator to finish what he was doing. Crews left by the truck load that morning. A few hours went by. There appeared to no crews left on site. There was no way the O.P.P. could have known that the developer was coming to the house from another entrance as the brick layers had been doing. There was no way to know whether this protest was any different than the last one at Sterling Street.

    I respectfully disagree that the O.P.P. could have prevented it. There was no way they could have known that an incident was about to occur. Obviously there must be a reason that the O.P.P. can't stop these occupation/protests from happening.

    Somehow, I don't think the OPP or the governments want to see occupations happening. Perhaps people should start questioning what the term "preserving the peace" actually implies and it's implications. Perhaps people should be asking themselves as well in this community of whether they are actually doing their duty as community members to cooperate with the O.P.P.

    "The need for co-operation, between the providers of police services and the communities they serve".

    It seems to me that there is a lot more criticism of the OPP than there is cooperation. I would really like to know specifically how and in step by step detail how the critics would have done things differently.

    But before the critics jump in, please describe their experience in these matters that would prevent further bloodshed. Or does that even matter? Does it matter what the price is to end these occupations? I would like to know how the critics of the O.P.P. feel.

    Just some thoughts.

  5. First of all maybe you can describe your experience in these matters. What makes you an expert?

  6. Thanks for the comments on both sides of the issue.

    I do not profess to be an expert, I just give the information for you to form your own opinion.

    I have said in past articles that I am upset with the government over many issues myself, but I don't break the law to make my point.

  7. The critics of the OPP feel that if they played loud music in their backyard or had their dog bitten someone, they'd be assigned a community officer and spent months under magnifying glass. OPP has withdrawn itself from Caledonia instead. This is how we feel.

  8. My husband was at the site with a few others, they knew there was trouble when they saw a group of natives running to the building. The OPP were told and said they were just caucusing! If Caledonia civilians knew, how could the OPP not have known and acted? Please!

    The CHCH video shows no police around, just paramedics and family.
    Personal integrity of the OPP members and respect for them have gone out the window.

    Here we sit - no OPP to rightly protect us, PRov. and Federal govt's who want

  9. ...Sorry about last post, was sidetracked -here's the rest-

    Prov. and Federal govt's who only want to "pass the buck" and do nothing. Someone have some courage!

    Hope that the natives may be able to speak with one voice as well,soon,instead of factions, and control those who do wrong.

  10. No, they did not know there was trouble because people were running around. There was speculation that maybe someone was hurt. Nobody knew the was a resident involved. One more thing, it is incorrect that O.P.P. were not at around. CHCH video actually shows that they were. That is another mis-conception.