Monday, July 23, 2007

Haldimand "One Ballot, Two Votes"

On Monday a neighbour down the road dropped in with a pamphlet titled "One Ballot, Two Votes", that she was given when she attended Cayugafest on the weekend.

Well this has prompted me to do many hours of research, and I am still really "unsure" of what the consequences are if this is actually adopted. I am hoping that I can "appeal" to all to get involved! At least for those that "don't vote" for whatever reasons, that you "must" exercise your right to vote, and those that do vote, need to be "educated" on this "referendum"!

The last "referendum" held in Ontario was in 1921, when voters had to decide if alcohol should be prohibited. At that time 50% plus one was needed for a majority. This "referendum" is set at 60% as a majority. Why you ask? Well I still haven't found the answer to this, I have always understood a majority to be 50%! If you have the answer, please let us know!

Our current "electoral system" which is "First Past the Post" system has be in place since 1792. I would think that if in fact this current government was "really serious" about actually wanting our opinion on "change", they would have given more time to educate us on the issue, after all they have had "4 years"!

The "current" Liberal Government has formed the Citizens Assembly Group to "assess" Ontario's electoral system, and has set aside around "6 million dollars" of our hard earned taxes to "educate" Ontarions on the "referendum" taking place in October 2007. Where has all the money gone you ask? I have found so far that this money has gone towards; 103 randomly chosen individuals that have been educated on our electoral system, a website, pamphlets, 41 public meetings. (none by the way in Haldimand/Norfolk/Brant)

As it is now almost the end of July, and we are on the "doorstep of the most important election" that most of us will take part in, where are the "TV adds"? Where is the "Media Coverage"? Are we really being "Educated"?

In the last Provincial Election held in 2003, 56.9% of Ontarions voted! We need every single person that is eligible to vote, to do just that, "VOTE". We all need to send a "STRONG" message, let our "VOICE" be heard!

According to Elections Ontario come October 2007 you will have 2 ballots to fill out, one for the regular provincial election, and one for the "referendum"! Both ballots will be placed in the "same box"!

If I had been asked for my opinion on what the referendum "ballot" question should have been, I would have asked the public this;

"Should The Premier Elect of Ontario be made "accountable" for their "PROMISES"!

We would only need 50% plus one for a majority!


The following information is what I have gathered from the website, please take the time to "educate" yourself, you will need a coffee for this one, as I have also added some links that are full of information.




The Referendum

On our next provincial election day, October 10, 2007, a referendum will be held to ask Ontario voters whether they support the Assembly's recommendation for a Mixed Member Proportional system for Ontario.

The government has set a double threshold for approval of the recommendation:
It must win at least 60% of voter support across the province, and it must be approved by a majority of voters in at least 60% of electoral districts.

The Assembly is pleased that the referendum law (Electoral System Referendum Act, 2007) directs that the wording of the question be "clear, conscise and impartial."

The Assembly believes that a simple yes/no question would be clearest and that the question should inform voters that the recommendation for the new system was made by the Citizens' Assembly. We believe the question should ask the voters whether Ontario should adopt the Mixed Member Proportional electoral system recommended by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.

The Assembly feels that all citizens must be well informed about the referendum and have a good understanding of the new system. A comprehensive, well-funded public education program, beginning in May and continuing through to the referendum, is vital.

We believe that the program should include a description of the new system and how it differs from the current system; a description of the Citizens' Assembly process; and the Assembly's rationale for recommending a Mixed Member Proportional system for Ontario.

It is common to think of candidates who do not win elections as having been defeated.

Candidates might be defeated because they received fewer votes or because their party did poorly. But there is one place where some defeated candidates are actually "winners".

In the German Land (or province) of Baden-W├╝rttemberg (B-W), candidates who are defeated in their electoral district get a second chance to win a seat. In B-W, like in Ontario and the rest of Canada, voters select the candidate of their choice and the candidate with the most votes wins a seat. This happens in each of B-W’s 70 single-member electoral districts. These candidates are said to receive a "direct mandate" from the voters.

In B-W an additional 50 seats are allocated to the parties according to their share of the total votes. The innovation is that these seats are awarded to the "best runners-up" of each party (i.e. the defeated candidates with the highest vote totals in their districts). In B-W, these candidates are said to receive a "second mandate." Because second mandates are given to those who initially lost in their local district, some districts may have more than one representative whereas others may have only one.

We, the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, recommend a new way to vote that builds on the province’s traditions and reflects the values that we believe are important to Ontarians.

The Assembly recommends that Ontario adopt a Mixed Member Proportional system, specifically designed to meet the unique needs of Ontario."

From the Assembly’s Final Report –One Ballot,Two Votes: A new way to vote in Ontario
http://www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca/en/default.asp

In A Mixed Member Proportional System

A Mixed Member Proportional system combines members elected in local districts and members elected for the whole province from party lists to serve as Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) in the legislature.This combination produces proportional election results that better reflect the wishes of voters. http://www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca/en/the_recommendation/default.asp


You asked how were they chosen?

CITIZENS APPOINTED TO RE-EXAMINE ONTARIO’S ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Members Of The Citizens’ Assembly On Electoral Reform To Participate In Strengthening Ontario’s Democracy

TORONTO — One hundred and three Ontarians will be at the centre of the most ambitious and far-reaching democratic renewal initiative in Ontario’s history, Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal, Marie Bountrogianni announced today.

"We believe that the shape of Ontario’s democracy is a matter for Ontarians to decide," Bountrogianni said. "That’s why we’re appointing these members of the Citizens’ Assembly, and asking them to lend their talents, creativity and commitment to this citizen-led process of re-examining our electoral system and recommending possible changes."

The 52 female and 51 male assembly members, each representing one of Ontario’s ridings, were randomly selected from the Permanent Register of Electors for Ontario by Elections Ontario.

The assembly will operate independently of government. If the assembly recommends a change in the electoral system, that recommendation will be put to a referendum within the government’s current mandate.


"These 103 people are at the centre of the process, but I’m hoping that all Ontarians will take advantage of the opportunities we are developing for them to express their views to the assembly," said George Thomson, chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

The first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly will be held on September 9, 2006.


The assembly will issue its final report outlining its recommendation on or before May 15, 2007. For more information about the Citizens’ Assembly and its members, go to the assembly’s website at http://www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca/.


"We can make a difference" Donna Pitcher

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Haldimand "McGuinty don't Bother yourself coming to Haldimand"

Well we can’t be reminded enough that an "election" is on our doorstep here in Ontario! An "election" that we "all" need to pay close attention to!

An "election" that we "all" need to exercise "our right" to vote, and I would hope in record numbers!

This is a call to all "residents of Haldimand County"; we have the "power" to make a difference. Haldimand residents need to come out in "record" numbers on Election Day.

McGuinty has already demonstrated over the past 17 months that he has no intentions on coming to "Haldimand County" anytime soon! So that means he won’t personally be campaigning here, although he does have a Liberal Candidate in Haldimand/Norfolk….. Lorraine Bergstrand.

Mr. McGuinty has been "very close" to Haldimand County on a number of occasions recently, but he seems to have his "own personal map" of Ontario, and "Haldimand County" is not on his map!

McGuinty is sticking to the "big cities" where the population is higher, and he feels he has a better chance, well Mr. McGuinty I do believe that your "days are numbered", so take that hard earned "vacation" that you seem to think you "deserve" and "don’t waste your time"!

I can’t even think that McGuinty would have a "hope in hell" of being re-elected! But if we "do nothing" his supporters will make damn sure he succeeds!

We need to get involved! We need to remind people of this current governments "broken promises and lies"! We need to spread the news that "we can make a difference"!


The following is a news release from Toby Barrett July 16th, 2007;


Government can't ignore its role during tough times

There's an old saying, 'if you break it, you've bought it.' This rings true locally, as recent government policies have disrupted our economy on our area's sand plain and along the Grand River.


At a time of year when construction and farming should be booming, a shroud of uncertainty has been created. Last week, at a meeting of 40 Haldimand County builders, it was reported some area property values have dropped 20 per cent.

To the west, sand plain tobacco farmers learned that no hope is in sight - with this year's crop 43 per cent smaller than last.

Combined with endless rules and regulations and red tape and forms to fill out, farmers and business people of all stripes are up against an increasingly hostile government. Regrettably, this compounds the trend - closed car dealerships, shuttered downtown’s, and an out migration for work.

On May 29, in the Ontario Legislature, I listed a selection of the local jobs that have been lost under our current Ontario Government. In the Norfolk area, there are at least 284 manufacturing jobs down the drain while government focuses its priorities elsewhere.

In recent years, communities along the Grand River saw impressive growth - economically, and in population. Now, due to the threat of illegal land seizures, construction crews are a rare sight within six miles of the Grand. With no evidence of a government plan to deal with land seizures and occupations, construction crews - and their economic spin-offs - are largely looking elsewhere.

In addition to the failed approach to illegal land seizures, area residents continue to worry about Premier McGuinty's promise to throw 600 people out of work at OPG Nanticoke. I frequently hear people asking why government would take another 600 jobs, after watching economic development slide to a halt.................................................................................

Please read this entire news release at http://caledoniawakeupcall.wordpress.com/


Mr. Barrett says it all, and he has my support! Please visit Toby Barrett on his website at http://www.tobybarrett.com/.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Haldimand "Clarification/Frustrated in Haldimand"

On June 13th, 2007 I wrote an article called "Frustrated in Haldimand", which was based in part on comments made by Janie Jamieson during an interview with the Canadian Press, and published in the Brantford Expositor. Janie Jamieson is the spokesperson for the protesters in Caledonia/Haldimand.

"CHINTA PUXLEY" a reporter for the "Canadian Press" stated in her original story "It doesn’t give me hope" published June 13th, 2007 the following;

"Over the course of the 15 month occupation, Six Nations protesters temporarily shut down a railway, blockaded the town’s main thoroughfare and "knocked out the community’s hydro", she added".

I had many comments posted regarding my story "Frustrated in Haldimand". One comment was stating that this certain reporter has been known to "twist words". My response to this individual was that if this reporter had twisted her words that I would expect this paper to apologize to Janie Jamieson. I also stated that I would update my article.

The following is an article from the Canadian Press published in the Brantford Expositor "SEVEN" days after the original story. "It doesn't give me Hope".


"CLARIFICATION"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 07:00 - In a June 12 story about reaction to a federal proposal to revamp how land claims are handled, The Canadian Press reported that Six Nations protesters in Caledonia, Ont., had - among other things - "knocked out the community's electricity supply" during their ongoing occupation of a housing development on disputed land.

In an interview for the story, Six Nations spokeswoman Janie Jamieson said the occupiers successfully "had hydro stopped" as part of their ongoing protest.

Jamieson later said she was referring to the group's successful effort to prevent Ontario utility Hydro One from working along a section of disputed land, and not to an incident of vandalism that saw the town's power supply cut off temporarily
.


I personally believe that a "reporter has a duty" to it’s readers, among their duties is to report the "truth", to have "integrity", and if you have made a mistake to "apologize"!

I personally want to apologize to Janie Jamieson for any grief that I caused writing the original story "Frustrated in Haldimand".

I will also send this article to all the individuals that I sent the first one too, as this original article, is what "peeved me off", to write "Frustrated in Haldimand".

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Haldimand "Fool me Once, Fool me Twice"

What is really going on in McGuinty’s camp? I must admit that I totally missed this "News Release" from the Canadian Press, as I was busy sitting on a "bridge" in Dunnville for 3 days!

Thursday (June 28th), Mayor Trainer called me regarding my "bridge sit in", and in our conversation it came up about the investigation into Fantino’s e-mail that was sent to Haldimand County Council Members in April of 2007.

Mayor Trainer had mentioned to me that the investigator had called her in the afternoon (Thursday June 28th) and asked for some "clarification" before he sends in his report! My comment to the Mayor was, haven’t you heard? Fantino has been cleared!

Now what was very interesting about this conversation was that the same morning (Thursday June 28th) there was a news release from Monte Kwinter’s office that had cleared Fantino of any wrong doing. The problem with this was that the investigator according to Mayor Trainer hadn’t yet completed his report, and in fact hadn’t even formally handed in his report to Monte Kwinter! Yet the news is already "old news".

Below is the news release from Chinta Puxley, which says it all!

Fantino cleared in controversy over Haldimand council e-mail
Chinta Puxley / canadian press Local News - Friday, June 29, 2007 Updated @ 9:04:08 AM

Ontario's police commissioner didn't breach the Police Services Act or cross the line when he wrote an angry e-mail to local politicians grappling with an ongoing aboriginal occupation in Caledonia, the province's community safety minister concluded Thursday.

Monte Kwinter told The Canadian Press he's reviewed the complaints his office received about the controversial e-mail sent by Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino in April, and has determined they didn't have any substance.

Although the local council wrote a letter to Kwinter about the e-mail, he said no one directly involved with the correspondence formally lodged a complaint.

"I have complete confidence in Commissioner Fantino, and I am dismissing outright all of the complaints filed against him," Kwinter said in an interview.

"I commend the commissioner for doing an excellent job under very difficult circumstances."


The investigation was sparked by complaints following an e-mail Fantino wrote to members of Caledonia council and senior bureaucrats in April. In the e-mail, Fantino suggested the town was encouraging divisive rallies against the policing of the ongoing aboriginal occupation there, and he threatened not to renew his force's contract to police the area.

The e-mail also suggested Fantino would back any lawsuit brought against the town by an injured officer.

Kwinter hired an outside investigator to look at the complaints and report back with private legal advice rather than referring the investigation to the ombudsman. Kwinter wouldn't discuss the advice, citing solicitor-client privilege, but said he took it into account when making his final decision.

Fantino has declined to comment on the e-mail, except to say that "the truth always comes out."

On Thursday, Fantino said he has been "totally preoccupied" with today's aboriginal day of action and hadn't been told of the decision. "I'm not going to worry about it," Fantino said. "I've got other things to deal with right now. It was a non-event to begin with."

The decision came as a shock to Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer, who said she spoke to the outside investigator twice Thursday and was told he hadn't finished his final report for Kwinter.

The decision to exonerate Fantino is "100 per cent wrong," Trainer said. "

This e-mail was certainly inappropriate," she said. "

I can't understand where they are coming from at all. It just baffles my mind. Why do they want to slap us in the face continually?"

Fantino should at least be disciplined for threatening elected officials, Trainer said. "It's inappropriate for him to try to silence anyone."

"Well I know that I am also shocked", not so much by the "outcome" of the "apparent" investigation, but by the "waste" of yet more of our tax dollars, and we are being "boldly lied too yet again"!

What has happened to the Promise of "Accountability and Transparency"?

You see the way I look at it is this "outside" investigator was "hired" to do a job, he hadn’t even "completed" his task, and low and behold he is "paid"?

What exactly was he "paid" for? He hadn’t completed his "investigation".

This tells me that this "government" of ours had no "intention" on even listening to this "investigator", or in reading his report, so once again "we" have paid for services "not yet rendered"!

This Government should be "ASHAMED".

Haldimand "My Chat with the Mayor"

ititWell Haldimand County Council had their "BIG" news release yesterday! I am still trying to figure out what they are thinking, or if they even "understand" as a "County" what the real issues are!

This Council as a whole decided after 17 months to "finally stand together" and announce to the press and to the "residents" of Haldimand County "NOTHING" that we didn't already know! So what is next you ask? Well I see that the next time "Haldimand County Council" makes a "BIG" announcement, they will be "talking to themselves"!

I would like to personally "thank" all of Haldimand's Councilors for finally speaking out! We were all wondering where you have been!

Last week Haldimand County Council and staff held a "closed" door session for "developers", this session was an "invitation" only, there was a wide range of quest speakers from government officials to the O.P.P. once again we will not be privy to what was said by anyone.

So, was this "news release" stemmed from that closed-door session? I can only "assume" the answer to be "YES".

This morning I called Mayor Trainer to clarify a few things, and to ask what the big fuss was all about? When I say "big fuss" what I mean is that the message "Haldimand County Council" sent was nothing new to anyone here in "Haldimand County".

This Council had an opportunity to be heard and they this missed a "golden opportunity"!

Here is a copy of the News Release in case you "missed" it. After each paragraph I "posted" my question to Mayor Trainer and her answers.

July 9/07 Haldimand County Council Press Conference
Press Release

Haldimand County has become an innocent victim of circumstances created by the Federal Government. For well over a year, Caledonia, and recently other communities in the County have become the lightening rods for First Nations frustrations over land claim inaction by the Federal Government.

My question to Mayor Trainer; why was the "province" left out of this statement? Mayor Trainer answers this question by stating; "I asked that the Province be put into this press release; but the rest of my Council voted against it! Here are the names of the ‘Councillors" that voted against directing the "news release" to the "province". Councilors Sloat, Dalimonte, Ricker, Grice, Bartlett.

My question to Mayor Trainer; who wrote the news release? Mayor Trainer answers CAO Bill Pearce. I asked if she had any input to what was in this news release? Mayor Trainer said "NO", she was asked to read the release as it was, or someone else would read it!

The result is a climate where the many development opportunities in Haldimand County are not being realized because of fear of occupations or demonstrations. Occupations and demonstrations that the Ontario Provincial Police cannot or will not intervene in, other than to keep the peace. This is grievously affecting the County’s economy and if allowed to continue much longer, will result in permanent damage because of lost opportunities.

Haldimand County Council has tried to be patient and understanding about these events that have overwhelmed the County. Haldimand County Council will no longer accept being treated as an insignificant player in this event that is so crucial to the future of the County. We cannot stand on the sidelines and watch this municipality’s economy fail. We can no longer tolerate a situation that inhibits any future planning to realize this County’s potential.

My question to Mayor Trainer; what took council so long? why have they been standing on the "sidelines"? Mayor Trainer states that she has always been up front to the issues, I guess "council" is doing a "catch up". My response to the Mayor was that this was" too little too late", and directed at the wrong level of government!

The only solution to this problem is an accelerated process for land claims in Haldimand County. To that end, Haldimand County Council representatives will be requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Harper and Member of Parliament Diane Finley, as soon as possible. The County’s expectation will be that Prime Minister Harper will assign M.P. Finley as the Federal Government’s person on the ground, or if you will, Minister responsible for Haldimand County, to ensure that claims settlements are given the highest priority.

I find it rather interesting that the "only" solution that Council seems to see is an "accelerated" process to land claims! What about the "provincial government" that is totally "ignoring" their "responsibility" to "clear title of deed"! What about the "lack" of "communication" with "Six Nations"?

I noticed a slight of words here, "or if you will" Minister responsible for Haldimand County! Well we all know that M.P. Finley is our federally elected official, are council members showing their "colors"?

My question to Mayor Trainer; Do you think that this statement will speed up the "land claims" issues? Mayor Trainer states that the direction should have been to the province, in regards to "clear title of deeds". This is the priority; the "province" is not guaranteeing a "clear title of deed". Mayor Trainer spoke of the Hennings Brothers that received money from the province, yet Dan Valentini a developer from Hagersville has stated that the Province will not help him financially? I asked again why council voted "against" directing this news release at the "province" and she didn’t have a clear answer for me, accept to say that "the majority rules!

Haldimand’s goal is to be able to again function as a normal municipality seeking stability and prosperity for its residents as well as maintaining strong, healthy relationships with its neighboring communities.

My question to the Mayor; at the "closed session" of last week in regards to "development", was a representative from "Six Nations" invited? Mayor Trainer answered "No"! Now I find this ironic, as one of the problems that this County has is with "communicating" with it’s "neighboring communities", was this an oversight on Staff’s part or Council's part?

I would like too personally Thank Mayor Trainer for being so candid with her
Answers.

As a huge "majority" of Haldimand’s local council members are "liberals", (and that is "NO" secret!) It seems to me that this "news release" was geared towards supporting the "Liberals" in the upcoming "Provincial" election. If I am wrong here, I am sure someone will correct me!

Locally elected officials "should" be non-partisan, so in saying that, if in fact the County is talking about economic "growth", this has nothing to do with the Federal Government. It is the "Provincial Government" that "guarantees" clear title of deed, so why did they not attack the "Province"?

Well only "YOU" can answer that question.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Haldimand "Proposal"

I would like to say that when you stand on a bridge for 3 days, or when you are involved in an issue you are very fortunate to meet many people. On the most part I found that like myself most felt that their voice was "unheard". Most also care deeply, and are very proud to live in "Haldimand County".

One women I have met recently shared an idea with me on a proposal for a "Park", and I have been given her permission to share the following with you.


"Friendship Park Proposal"

I would like to suggest that the Douglas Creek Estate lands that are currently being purchased by the Provincial Government be retained by the Province in perpetuity to be used as a park for the joint benefit of the people of Caledonia and Six Nations to remember the importance of Friendship forever.

The site would be turned into a walking park called Friendship Park. There would be paths throughout the park named for each of the native bands on six nations and for the different nationalities living in Caledonia.
I would suggest that a tree be planted for every day that the occupation of the lands has been in place to remind us all of the length of time we have lost our understanding of one another’s needs, we have not respected one another, and the trust that has been lost between the two peoples. There would be one large parking lot at the building constructed at the corner of Argyle Street and 6th Line.

Friendship Park would be the centre of many joint events celebrating our peoples (e.g. Canada Day, National Aboriginal Day, Remembrance Day, Victoria Day).

1. In the centre of the park there would be a bandstand that would be used on a regular basis during the spring, summer and fall months to host events celebrating the peoples of Caledonia and Six Nations to help reinforce an understanding of one another and a respect for our differences. Around the bandstand would be the following:

 On the north side of the bandstand would be the flags from left to right of Canada, Ontario, Haldimand, the Six Nations Reserve and each of the native bands on Six Nations together in a row.

 On the east side would be a monument that has the word “UNDERSTANDING” to represent the need for understanding between the two peoples.

 On the south side of the bandstand would be a monument with the word “RESPECT” to represent the need for the two peoples to have respect for one another’s differences.

 On the west side of the bandstand would be a monument with the work “TRUST” to represent the trust that has been lost and that needs to be recaptured by both peoples.

2. At the corner of Argyle Street and 6th Line would be built a Friendship Centre. This building would contain a section that would be used to display the history of this area that demonstrates the views of both Six Nations and European settlers.
This building would also include a learning centre that would have regular learning sessions hosted by either Six Nations representatives or Haldimand representatives or both with the primary emphasis on developing a better understanding of the history and issues each face.
Finally, in this building I would propose regular meetings of the leaders of both Haldimand and Six Nations to jointly discuss plans for growth and development that will benefit both Haldimand and Six Nations.

One could take a hard-nosed approach to the Douglas Creek Estates and get nowhere or one could take a conciliatory approach and benefit both Caledonia and Six Nations peoples.

As you can see from her opening statement, this park proposal was designed in 2006, just as the Province was purchasing Douglas Creek Estates. She sent her proposal to the Mayor of Haldimand County, and some government officials that were at the negotiating table at that time.

Thank you for allowing me to share your ideas with the public.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Haldimand "My Bridge Sit In"

Well it was a very interesting three days, to say the least! It is amazing when I think of what compels a person to take a stand on any issue. For me it was the "fact that there were no facts", just "rumors and threats" about blocking all the bridges in Haldimand County. The problem with rumors and threats for me is the "unknown" and the "what ifs".

So for me as I pride myself in being a proactive person, I decided to take a stand against the "unknown". In the back of my mind I had hoped and prayed that everything would be peaceful on Friday.

My goal was to send a strong message to the OPP to uphold the law in case the "rumors and threats" of blockades on our bridges became a "reality".

A few lessons can be learned through our actions; One lesson is that not everyone will interpret what you are doing the same as you, and that needs to be respected! Another lesson that can be learned is that even the smallest action can have a "huge impact". The most important lesson that can be learned is that "we have no control" over how things will turn out!

My family and friends know me well; that I am a positive person, and I really believe that being negative is not productive. But at the same time I do call things as I see them! So I would like to step you through my three days on the beautiful Dunnville Bridge. You may need a coffee for this read.

"Day One";I arrived at the Dunnville Bridge around 2:30pm Wednesday afternoon, with my sign in hand that read "Mr. O.P.P. don’t allow "anyone" to block this Bridge".

I was only on the bridge about 20 minutes when 4 O.P.P. officers approached me. They had received a call from someone that I was there, and came to see what the fuss was about. I told the officers that my message was clearly directly to the O.P.P. to uphold the law, that I had a right to be there, and I was peaceful! They agreed.

I was asked if I had a cell phone, I said no, they told me they would be near by if I ran into any trouble. I took that exactly as it was stated to me, for my protection. What I did say to the officers was that I was standing on the Dunnville Bridge and I was okay.

I was asked my name, address and birth date. I gave that information freely, as I have nothing to hide. I was asked, "where is everyone else"? I told the officers that besides my husband and about 6 other people, there is only me. I explained that I felt that it only takes "one" person to do something good, as well as it only takes "one" person to do something not so good.

Now I will say that as I watched the officers walk towards me, my heart sank a big in my stomach, but that wasn’t out of feeling fear or intimidation, it was simply because I had never really done anything quite like this before!

The response from people driving by was incredible! People dropped off water, honked, waved and were very supportive of what I was doing. A few people approached me on the bridge to chat with me and keep me company. My husband Ted left work early, and joined me around 4:15pm. We left the bridge around 6:00pm.

"Day Two";I started my stand on the Bridge Thursday around 12:15pm with my sign in hand, and stood between the now 2 Canadian flags flying from the bridge. Wednesday there was one flag on the bridge when I arrived. Thursday there was a second flag flying. I knew the second flag would be there, as a woman who dropped off a cold bottle of water to me on Wednesday, said that she would be putting up another flag during the night, and she did! Thanks!

No O.P.P. officers approached me the entire day; they did drive by regularly, and waved as they drove by.

Again many people dropped off coffee, water, waved, honked, and I had a few visitors. I left the bridge at 5:00pm. It was a great day!

"Day Three";I arrived at the bridge at 6:15am with my sign in hand and sat between the 2 Canadian Flags.

At 8:00am I was joined by Mark Vandermaas from Voice of Canada. For those of you who are aware of Caledonia Wakeup Call, Mark was asked by Gary McHale to cover the events of the day. Mark has posted his events of the day on http://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/.

Again the day was full of kind gestures; one woman dropped off a stool for me to sit on. One gentleman stopped to drop off a magic marker, as he said that the print on my sign was not dark enough. One person came with a case of water; others dropped off smarties, coffee, donuts, chocolate bars, ice cream, fruit, chocolate eclairs, ice tea mix, water etc…. People again honked, waved, and sent gestures of support.

I wasn’t alone on the bridge today. People joined me from the community; there were at least 5 of us on the bridge at any given time throughout the day. We were also joined by, Karen Best from the Chronicle, Bill Jackson from the Regional News, Paul Legal (hope I spelled that correctly) from the Spectator, and Al Sweeney from CHTV. The parking lot beside the bridge was also filling up with people, looking on.

The O.P.P. were also very visible today, as they drove over the bridge many times throughout the day and once again waved as they drove by.

Now a strange chain of events occurred with the O.P.P., the first was when an O.P.P. cruiser stopped on the bridge, said to me, (not his exact words) everything is being packed up, it’s over, and asked us to leave. Shortly after that, 2 O.P.P. officers walked up to us on the bridge had a bit of a chitchat, and left. The same 2 O.P.P. officers came back a short while after that, around 1:30pm, to inform us that his supervisor had asked him or as one person heard the officer say that he was "ordered to request the we leave the bridge". The question was asked of the officer are we doing anything wrong and his reply was "not yet". We were then all asked our names, addresses and birth dates. I said I would give my information last as I had already given that information to the 4 officers on Wednesday and I had nothing to hide anyway. What angered me the most was that all of a sudden because I wasn’t "alone" we were being asked to leave, my comment to a few people was that if it was that important the Supervisor should have personally come to ask us to leave. I told the officer that I was staying, and the rest stayed with me to the end of the day.

There were many "rumors" circulating during the day, and I won’t go into any detail as they were just that "rumors". In a small town news travels very quickly, and so do the rumors!
Again, thanks to all who supported my stand on the Dunnville Bridge!