Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Haldimand "Caledonia Militia being Formed"

Caledonia Militia being formed
June 17, 2009

A citizens group called the Caledonia Militia is being formed by Caledonia resident Doug Fleming.

Fleming said in a recent release the group is being formed due to the ongoing reality that the OPP refuses to enforce the Criminal Code with regards to people's property rights.

Fleming has the backing and support of Gary McHale, of Caledonia Wake Up Call and President of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE).

The idea has been rolling around for about three years said Fleming in an interview with The Chronicle Tuesday morning.

"I wish that we didn't have the need to do this, we are not here to add to the trouble, we are here to help."

Fleming realizes that the name Militia will conjure up images of guys toting guns. This couldn't be farther from the truth, we are following in the spirit of the Guardian Angels, a group of unarmed citizens that will have cool heads, adhere to the law and exercise restraint.

A recent incident in Caledonia triggered Fleming to officially kick things off.

"This has nothing to do with land claims, this is to do with law enforcement and is a reflection of the shortcomings of the OPP", said Fleming.

Next Tuesday, an information session will be held at the Cayuga Lion's Hall starting at 7 p. m. No "hotheads" are allowed. Interested parties will be screened said Fleming with the intentbe a law abiding group not a goon squad.

McHale will do a presentation on Sections 38-42 of the Criminal Code. This section of the code relates to the rights of a citizen to place an individual under arrest when law enforcement fails to do so.

"CANACE will support this group" if the group adheres strictly to the law, McHale said in an interview Monday evening. "Serious self-control will be required, this is not to have boxing matches between people."

If someone is on private property and breaking the law, the members of the militia will use reasonable force and arrest the individual breaking the law and transport them into the custody of the OPP.

"This is all Caledonia needs" according to Haldimand County OPP Inspector Dave McLean. "This group will serve no good."

This is just another attempt of a few individuals to aggravate the situation without all the proper information. This group is just trying to discredit the OPP said McLean.

Article ID# 1615957


  1. McLean is correct,the people are trying to discredit the OPP. Oh, wait! The OPP have already done that...

  2. I think OPP McLean has it wrong. This group is just trying to discredit Native rights. All that repetitive 'no hotheads', 'serious self-control' pretty much assures us 'reasonable force' by this group means McHale will go off his racist nut seeking to make an arrest. What kind of 'screening' device will be used and who will screen McHale?

  3. That's Caledonia, get used to it.

  4. I watched Doug Fleming on CH yesterday. When he was asked how he will screen out the hotheads, he said he will do the best he can? That is not a good enough answer. These people will have no formal training. This is a disaster waiting to happen. I can just imagine the calibre of people that will show up to this meeting.

  5. I have to agree with
    MAW said...
    That's Caledonia, get used to it.

    Till the town shows it’s really serious no one will take them seriously!!!

    Same fifty people standing up for their rights: how many live in Caledonia??? To many sheep to afraid under their beds: is it over yet!!! Cowards!!!

    Jim Smith

  6. Looks like these PR geiouses have framed their own debate, quite hegatively judging by the media reaction. Here's some comments from a local resident.
    Caledonia residents create militia

    "People here are starting to hate. They hate the OPP, they hate the natives, they hate anyone who isn't speaking out against it," said David Hartless, a Hamilton police officer who lives next to the occupied site.

    "It is just a vicious circle, and it is being watered and nurtured and fertilized by the government and the OPP standing back and saying, 'We are doing the best we can.' "

  7. Here is an interesting article, sorry I had to break it up into two piesces.

    Caledonia militia ‘dumb idea’: minister
    June 17, 2009
    Maria Babbage
    The Canadian Press
    TORONTO — Forming a local militia to protect residents at the scene of a long-running aboriginal land claims dispute in Caledonia is a “dumb idea,” Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci said today.

    Doug Fleming, a local activist, said he’s planning to form an unarmed militia because provincial police aren’t doing enough to enforce the law and protect property owners from trespassers.

    “I don’t want to do this. You think I want to form a militia? Are you kidding?” he said.
    “This is something that, unfortunately, I feel needs to be done. Not because I want to, but because it’s a last resort.”

    Homeowners and aboriginal protesters occupying a 40-hectare tract of land on the outskirts of the town have clashed violently in the past, and there are fears a militia could cause tensions to erupt once more.

    Premier Dalton McGuinty called the idea “unhelpful” and urged that “cooler heads find a way to prevail.”

    But two of his ministers, Bartolucci and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Brad Duguid, were far more blunt and warned that a militia could tear the town apart.

    “Allow policing issues to be handled by people who understand the complexities of the issue,” Bartolucci said. “I would suggest that the formation of a militia is a dumb idea.”

    Most Caledonia residents want to move forward and a militia is “not helpful at all,” Duguid said.

    “We’re trying to do everything we can as a government to help bring people together,” he added.

    “Efforts such as that — forming a militia — it’s a shameful attempt to divide, and that’s exactly what people should not be engaging in.”

    The word “militia” may conjure images of rifle-toting men, but the Caledonia group would not break the law and would operate more along the lines of the Guardian Angels, a citizen crime patrol organization based in New York, Fleming said.

    He said he doesn’t anticipate that the group would carry firearms.

    Just talk of a militia has created discord in Caledonia, Bartolucci suggested.

  8. He noted it’s already threatened an agreement reached by Ernie Palmer, a Caledonia farmer, and an aboriginal group to remove a trailer from his property, which is near the disputed land.

    “What was good in that discussion reverted to what was wrong,” he said. “The formation of a militia isn’t supported by the police, it’s not supported by the general public at large. And why? Because it’s not effective. It’s that simple.”

    There’s “no truth” to claims that police aren’t enforcing the law in Caledonia, said OPP spokesman Inspector Dave Ross.

    Police have been investigated criminal wrongdoing stemming from the three-year aboriginal occupation and have laid about 148 charges against 61 people, he said.

    Ross said police have spoken to Palmer about the trailer on his property, but weren’t asked to do anything about it.

    “I think there is some misinformation out there with regard to that particular trailer on the property,” he said. “I don’t know whether that’s fuelled the idea for a militia, but certainly, we don’t believe a militia is the answer.”

    Talk of a militia is resurfacing because residents are fed up with aboriginal groups setting up smoke shacks in Caledonia, said Marie Trainer, mayor of Haldimand County.

    “I don’t think these people are dangerous, but if it was a militia in the States, they’d come in with guns a-blazing. It would be rather violent,” she said.

    “We have to be concerned with everything. But remember, this is over three years long. All of Haldimand County has suffered.”

    Six Nations members started occupying the Douglas Creek Estates housing development in February 2006, claiming it belongs to them.

    The province, which now owns the land in trust, has said protesters can remain there while all sides negotiate a resolution to the 200-year-old land claim.

    Some residents have been pushing for a public inquiry into the actions of OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino in Caledonia, complaining that police have mishandled the aboriginal occupation that’s gone on for three years, with no end in sight.

    Local residents drafted a petition in January that sharply criticized police, accusing Fantino of being biased in favour of protesters and using his position to support them in court against charges filed by his own police force.

    The provincial police force has faced similar complaints that it’s not doing enough to protect local residents.

    In 2007, Sam Gualtieri suffered serious brain damage after he was attacked while attempting to clear native protesters from a home he was building for his daughter in Caledonia.

    Three arrests were made, but Gualtieri launched a lawsuit against the Ontario government, claiming police were in the area and did nothing to prevent the assault.

    Duguid said he shares the frustration of residents who say negotiations aimed at resolving the land claim dispute have dragged on far too long.

    The negotiations — involving both levels of government and sparked by the Caledonia occupation — touch on dozens of claims in Haldimand County.

    But the province is pushing Ottawa to speed up talks and find a way to resolve the dispute, he added.

    “We’ve called on them to bring forward some form of a mediator or facilitator to try to invigorate the discussions, and they’ve agreed that they’re looking at doing things like that,” Duguid said.

  9. I wouldn't dismiss this idea too quickly people. It seems that they had got eveyones attention on this.

    Excellant article Donna, very factual, no personal comments, Good Story!

  10. After 3 years of getting the run around from all levels of government, can anyone really expect the victims in this situation from taking action? These are desperate people trying to protect their property, prevent bodily injury and establish some law & order.

    We Canadians have a reasonable expectation of living in a safe environment and rely on the Government to provide laws and enforcement to just that. However, we find that the laws only pertain to the law abiding citizens, not the law breakers…especially if they are from a certain segment of society.

    So, if there is no protection for these folks, it’s only natural for them to take action & protect themselves. That’s my take on it…

  11. Thanks for your comments.

    I had to delete a few comments.

    If you disagree with what someone is doing or saying then disagree and explain your point.

    There is no need for name calling, there is no need to stoop to that level.

    Just because a person disagrees with another does not make them "racist". Just because a few people in a community are speaking out, doesn't mean that "all" the people that live in that community feel the same way.

    Make your point but please keep it respectful.

  12. What a good publicity stunt these guys pulled off. And now McHale is the media person for the newly named Caledonia Peacekeepers?

    Give me a break!

  13. Here is an interesting news report Donna;

    Lee Greenberg, Canwest News Service
    Published: Thursday, June 25, 2009

    A group of Caledonia residents attempting to form a militia should be prepared to go to court, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino says.

    "The days of vigilantism are long gone in this country," Commissioner Fantino said yesterday. "That group had better seek good and adequate legal counsel because, if they exercise what they think is their right and their authority, they better be prepared to defend themselves, as we always have, and justify what they do."

    A native occupation in Caledonia, a small town southwest of Toronto, has lasted nearly 3½ years, leaving many residents frustrated by what they see as a lack of government and police action.

    Earlier this week, two men -- Doug Fleming and Gary McHale -- held a recruitment meeting to gauge interest in forming a citizen's group to patrol sections of Caledonia. Mr. Fleming, a self-employed lifelong Caledonia resident, said the militia would be unarmed, save for video cameras.

    The group would focus its efforts on the Douglas Creek Estates, a subdivision still occupied by Mohawk protesters, which Mr. Fleming said has become a safe zone for native criminals because police refuse to patrol there. He believes OPP officers are failing citizens by not enforcing the law.

    The militia's ultimate goal is to provoke a confrontation, thereby forcing the police to step in, he said.

    "I'm not talking about a bunch of civilians marching out to look for a fight," Mr. Fleming said. Rather, he hopes militia members will catch a burglar stealing from one of the bordering properties, then issue a citizen's arrest.

    read more