Monday, January 12, 2009

Haldimand "Fantino Petition Update"

CH News reported this morning that there is now over 1,400 signatures on these petitions. MP Diane Finley, MPP Toby Barrett, Mayor Trainer and Councillor Grice of Haldimand County have all endorsed this petition with their signatures.

If you have not signed the petition on line and wish to do so, here is the link;

The following news story is a more in depth interview with Ken Hewitt;

"New petition calls for Fantino inquiry";

By Tamara Botting, The Sachem
Jan 09, 2009

This is a very significant development Ken has initiated,” said Haldimand Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett.

Ken Hewitt, Caledonia resident, has launched a petition both online and on paper “to request the Premier of Ontario to immediately launch a public inquiry into the actions and decisions made by the Commissioner of the OPP, (Ontario Provincial Police) Julian Fantino, and impose his immediate suspension without pay and upon confirmation of facts, his immediate resignation,” and also, “To request the Premier of Ontario to immediately launch a public inquiry into the actions and decisions made by the OPP with respect to Caledonia over the past three years,” (quoted from online petition).

It’s really important that people realize this isn’t about Native land claims, or the Native people. The action of the OPP and our governments clearly put Caledonia and Six Nations in a head-on collision,” Hewitt stated Tuesday.

“I don’t want people to read (the petition) and think that we’re just trying to stir the pot. This is an OPP and management issue. This has nothing to do with the officers at the local level, or those who were told to come in and serve from elsewhere. This is a management and leadership issue. This is specifically aimed at that group.”

“I have signed the petition online and the hard copy, as well,” stated Haldimand County Ward 3 councillor Craig Grice.

“It’s part of the psyche of Caledonia and the constituents, for those who feel that the OPP has failed to provide for the residents of Caledonia, and for those in Six Nations.

“The residents of Caledonia don’t feel (Fantino) has stepped up for them. That goes to the animosity of the OPP and the residents of Caledonia in general. It’s a sad state of affairs.”
Grice stressed, “The officers on the front line will take direction from the superior officers; (their orders) comes from the top down.”

If you’re the leader, you are responsible for the actions of the team, of those who you direct, of your own actions,” said Hewitt.

“We’ve been collecting (signatures) for about a week and a half; since Christmas,” said Hewitt. “The response has been tremendous. An online petition is a barometer; it helps people see the level of interest.”

“The legal petition to present to Queen’s Park has to be a signed petition with a valid signature and address. Currently, we have over 1,000 people signed. Our hope is that when we present it to the legislator, we will have over 10,000 signatures.”

Barrett noted that while citizens can come to Queen’s Park with a petition, they would need an elected official “to formally present a petition and the names before the Ontario Legislative Assembly. They could ask me to do so, or MPP Dave Levac (of Brant). If asked, I would read the petition into the legislature, and sign them as I hand them into the clerk.”

Barrett has invited Hewitt to bring a hard copy of the petition to his levee at St. George Arms in Caledonia on Sunday, January 11 so that local residents will have an opportunity to come and sign it. Hewitt will be there from 1 to 1:30 p. m.

“A petition is a very ancient procedure for people in a parliamentary democracy to influence their own representatives and government; to influence their assembly,” commented Barrett.

“The big reason that I support initiatives like this, calling for an inquiry, is that we are the victims of government paralysis. Next month, we will be going into our fourth year of this paralysis, and that is downright dangerous.

“It is dangerous to drag this out for three years. It creates mistrust. It is destroying the area’s economy, it is destroying the trust in the police, and it is destroying the trust in elected officials,” he added.

We called for an inquiry two and a half years ago,” said Barrett. “It was formally presented on June 5, 2006. That was right after we watched Argyle Street get dug up by a backhoe.”

No one is asking the OPP to solve the land claim issue,” stated Grice. “They are responsible to uphold the law and protect those they are paid to; that’s Haldimand County residents.”

“An inquiry is needed at some point in time to ensure the integrity of the position is upheld; to ensure that the residents’ concerns are brought to the forefront of Canada.”

“I wrote the petition, but this is a grass-roots effort and there is no group, per se, but a number of people who have thrown in their hand to support it. It’s the people of Ontario. The petition is growing in Ottawa, Kitchener, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Niagara Falls... our hope is that it will continue to grow across the province,” said Hewitt.

“It really is the people’s agenda.”


  1. Toby here:

    I have attached my latest news release for your information. Take care.


    For Immediate Release

    January 11, 2009

    Barrett acknowledges Caledonia petition as,

    “significant development”

    Caledonia – MPP Toby Barrett is joining over 1, 000 area residents in signing a locally initiated petition calling for an inquiry into justice issues surrounding the Caledonia land dispute.

    Ken Hewitt, Caledonia resident, began distributing the petition both online and in hard-copy before Christmas.

    “As Opposition we began calling for an inquiry into Caledonia two-and-a-half years ago – as such I welcome this petition as another step in establishing an inquiry into the McGuinty approach to land disputes,” stated Barrett. “It’s time we have all sides get off this three-year hamster wheel.”

    With regard to a petition call for the suspension of Commissioner Julian Fantino, Barrett pointed out that it would not be appropriate for an MPP to comment on court proceedings.

    Barrett pointed out that the Ipperwash Inquiry report described inquiries as a way to “find out what happened – to look back,” as well as to “look forward,” and “propose policy reform.”

    The Haldimand-Norfolk MPP also underlined his support for the public nature of inquiries as stressed in the Ipperwash report: “It provides a forum for citizens and groups to participate in the resolution of issues and the development of future policies…conducted in public view and with the participation of the public.”

    “A petition is an ancient procedure for people in a parliamentary democracy to influence their own representatives and government,” concluded Barrett. “We are the victims of government paralysis - next month, we will be going into our fourth year of this paralysis. This petition is a significant development that may help all concerned get off the hamster wheel of land disputes.”


    For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at (519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629

  2. What has happened to the rest of the council, why haven't they all signed this petition?

  3. I wouldn't worry about who on council has signed or not signed this petition. We as a community have been working together without their support for this long, we don't need them now.

    I see that the on line petition is up over 600 signatures, along with the paper form we will accomplish this task.

    I hope that when an inquiry is done that the truth come out of the involvement of some of our council members and they go down with the rest of them.

  4. I wish you luck when you send your petition to McGuinty. He totally ignored a petition of 3100 names, which were gathered in -23 C weather in a two week period, that we sent to him. Many letters to various Ministers: Jim Wilson, Municipal Affairs, Bartolucci and Premier MGuinty have come back with a response such as
    "you voted them in so put up with it or hire a solicitor".
    The City of Kenora Municipal Council has been dealing with a policing issue since July, 2007 but when Council in a recorded vote on February 1st decided to go OPP over our own Kenora Police Service we started our fight. It was not so much that they had selected one service over the other, but the whole process from the beginning was totally dishonest. They hired a former OPP officer, the highest of three tenders, to bring forward a Request for Proposal and thereafter contravened every policy, by-law and procedure in the book.
    One would think that the Provincial Government has a duty and responsibility to monitor and ensure that the Municipal Act is adhered to when Councils deal with their Rules of Procedure, By-laws and Policies.
    To this day, we, as taxpayers, have no knowledge how much the changeover will cost us but because a Senior member of Council has a couple of prior convictions for DUI for which he has been pardoned, we all have to suffer the consequences of his actions.
    I believe that Fantino was hired to be the buffer between Caledonia and McGjuinty. If the residents of Eastern Ontario vote McGuinty in again after all this then all of Ontario will continue to suffer. We do not have a democracy any more, we have a dictatorship!!
    It is with this in mind that you need to get signatures for the petition from many Politicians otherwise you will be ignored, no matter how many names you get on a petition.
    All parties must come to the table, including the Provincial and Federal governments, to deal with this situation so that the people of Caledonia can get their normal life back and the native issue is resolved once and for all.
    Good Luck for an early resolution to this major problem.

  5. i have been reading in the regional news of the comments on the well being of Native Families on Reserves in Ontario by David Dunham and the response he has recieved for his views
    As a student of Canadian history I have to say that what he has stated is facual and he is speaking of the well being of people who have been for so long under the thumb of the government. I have never heard him say he agreed with anything that Fantino has done to the people of Caledonia nor have I heard him say he agreed with any of the criminal activities that took place in Caledonia .Onthe contrary he stated that he made just the opposite known to both governments
    The last letter to the regional news was from a retired nurse [a care giver[ . It seems she is particular now that she is retired who should get that care.She began her letter with name calling and personal insult that was totally unnecessary Does this reader believe that [Dalton] and his goverment are not directing Fantino? Why would you take comments on the health and well being of families, women and children and assosciate it with the criminal activities that have occured in Caledonia
    Her insults to Dave Dunham were not warrented
    and show the frustration of the people of Caledonia. Summer is coming Fantino is the goat As long as the people are after him they are not after the government ,politicians will continue to collect outrageous fees for there services things will remain the same and two peoples who should be living in peace will continue to hate each other There will be more serious injuries and maybe worse .Writng insulting letters to the regional news may releave your animosity but it will not solve the ongoing problem Politicians are spending billions of dolars overseas but they are unable to settle land claims

  6. I to have been following the letters of the gentleman on the health of the area Native people I have never heard him say anything in support of Julian Fantino or any of the thugs in Caledonia. I think this retired nurse should wake up and smell the coffee if she thinks her Dalton isn,t pulling Fantino,s strings she has a surprise coming

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