Finley criticized for signing Caledonia petition

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saga saga's picture
Finley criticized for signing Caledonia petition

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090118.wfinleycaled...

TORONTO — Human Resources Minister Diane Finley may have jeopardized talks aimed at settling a long-standing aboriginal land dispute in southern Ontario when she signed a petition that criticizes provincial police, critics say.

The petition calls for a public inquiry into the actions of Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino in Caledonia, a town in Ms. Finley's riding of Haldimand-Norfolk.

The document, which has collected more than 4,000 signatures, was drafted by local residents who complain that police have mishandled the aboriginal occupation that's dragged on for nearly three years, with no end in sight.

The dispute has erupted in several violent clashes between homeowners and the native protesters occupying a 40-hectare tract of land on the outskirts of Caledonia.

While Ms. Finley's office refused to comment on the petition, which shows a signature and a post office box address beside D. Finley, it did not deny that the minister signed the document.

“What I can say is that Minister Finley supports her constituents and shares their frustrations as we approach the third anniversary of the Caledonia occupation,” spokeswoman Julie Vaux wrote in an e-mail.

...

“If I was a negotiator, I'd think that would be blindsiding me. I don't think that would add to the job of the negotiators who are trying to reach a settlement.”

...

Talks between aboriginal, provincial and federal representatives are expected to resume Jan. 28.

When asked whether Ms. Finley had acted appropriately, Premier Dalton McGuinty punted the political hot potato to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“Well, it's an interesting development,” he said with a chuckle.

“I have nothing but the highest regard for the OPP and the way they've conducted themselves under very trying circumstances.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090118.wfinleycaled...

 An interesting comment ...  The petition demands that Mr. McGuinty launch a public inquiry “into the actions and decisions” of Mr. Fantino, immediately suspend him without pay, and “upon confirmation of the facts, his immediate resignation.”

And a federal minister of the crown calls for the suspenson/ resignation of a provincial police commissioner ??
 

verbatim

Diane Finley may have signed that when she was Minister for Citizenship & Immigration.

 

(edited for spelling)

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Aw, such a hard position for a Conservative to be in: a chance to stand against Aboriginal people (sign the petition), a chance to "stick it" to a Liberal provincial government (sign the petition), criticizing the police (don't sign the petition).

Jesus H. Christ. People's lives are on the line, their entitlement to their land, they're being demonized in the press and this is the political maneuvering going on? Disgusting, but not surprising given who the Tories are.

Quote:

When asked whether Ms. Finley had acted appropriately, Premier Dalton McGuinty punted the political hot potato to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"Well, it's an interesting development," he said with a chuckle.

"I have nothing but the highest regard for the OPP and the way they've conducted themselves under very trying circumstances."

Chuckle? Chuckle?!?!?! What, this is all a fucking joke, some more politcal by-play, ha-ha, gotcha kind of thing? If we needed more proof, and we reallllly don't, that there's no difference between the Tories and the Liberals, here it is.

I've been mad at Ontario since the Federal election, and now I've revived my provincial anger at the majority mandate Idiot Dalton has.

These are our leaders.

Fuck.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

She signed a petition supporting native people and opposing police misconduct? Good for her.

So what's the problem here again? 

Are we supposed to be shocked that Finlay lacks the racist and fascist impulses of her Conservative brethren?

Maysie Maysie's picture

No, the petition was not in support of native people. It was a petition by the "citizens" of Caledonia who are angry that the provincial OPP has bungled some imagined solution to the issue of the legitimate claims of the FN people of Caledonia.

From the Globe article:

Quote:
 The document, which has collected more than 4,000 signatures, was drafted by local residents who complain that police have mishandled the aboriginal occupation that's dragged on for nearly three years, with no end in sight.

"Local residents" is code for "non First Nations people" in other words "white folks." 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Sorry, I hadn't read the article, only the italicized quote from it regarding Fantino that saga posted. I thought they were critical of such actions as his illegal wire taps on Shawn Brant.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Quote:
 I thought they were critical of such actions as his illegal wire taps on Shawn Brant.

Ha! Not in this universe.

No, just the same old reactionary bullshit. 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Nevertheless, I do support their call for the suspension of Julian Fantino. Glad to hear everyone across the political spectrum realizes what a boneheaded move it was to appoint Il Douche as OPP commissioner (with the exception of Dalton McGuinty himself).

I don't mean to derail this thread; further discussion of Fantino should be taken here. 

saga saga's picture

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

Nevertheless, I do support their call for the suspension of Julian Fantino. Glad to hear everyone across the political spectrum realizes what a boneheaded move it was to appoint Il Douche as OPP commissioner (with the exception of Dalton McGuinty himself).

I don't mean to derail this thread; further discussion of Fantino should be taken here. 

It's appropriate to discuss Fantino here, on the Caledonia petition issue.

http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/576371

At an announcement in Toronto on today, she didn't deny signing the document, which shows a signature and post office box address beside D. Finley.

Critics say that by wading into the debate, Finley has muddled the government's position on the dispute, which could undermine talks between aboriginal and federal negotiators.

When asked to respond to such criticism, she said "the negotiations have nothing to do with the policing," as the talks are a federal responsibility and policing is a provincial one.

The petition suggests Fantino is biased in favour of aboriginal protesters and not doing enough to protect local residents, and Finley said she has "always supported one rule of law for Caledonia."

 Some of the residents - the business community and some ordinary yahoos - blame Fantino for the fact that protesters are not simply put in jail for blockading development sites. They really don't accept that the Constitution takes precedence over the Criminal Code, nor do they accept Aboriginal Rights. "One law for all" is code for 'No Aboriginal Rights'

Ken Hewitt, the author of the petition, was the financier for the Douglas Creek Estates development, for the Henning bros.

Nonetheless, I signed the petition (online link is in first post) only for Petition Request #2 (not #1 against Fantino personally) because I believe that a public inquiry will be helpful for the public to understand what the law is, and why the OPP raid of April 20 2006 was a brutal and illegal 'mistake'. It was the OPP raid that caused the road and rail blockades, and all of the 'inconvenience' to the town.

And it was the intransigence of the provincial government in not carrying out the appropriate legal requirements that caused the protest in the first place: They are required by law to "consult and accommodate" Aboriginal Rights before approving developments on disputed land.

Fantino ... well ... despite his shortcomings, he has not been a significant problem for Six Nations at Grand River, just Tyendinaga.

The grumps are still grumpy that Aboriginal Rights exist, so it will be good for them to go through the inquiry process and be educated. 

 

George Victor

Enlightenment, please.

While we obviously applaud the FN stand against takeover of their heritage,it has always been my understanding that fathead Fantino is not wrong in this case because he simply does not know how to send in his force without causing a bloodbath.I recall his senior officers saying something to this effect a year or so back.

So, while this is the situation, I don't understand your position, LTJ. Of course he should never have been appointed. But in this instance, he's following sound advice. In fact, internally, his force could bring about his downfall if he didn't listen.   (And  36-year-old Senator Brazeau remains  a reactionary Conservative sop to progressive sentiment with the FN communities). 

Have I got this right?  Both the chief and Brazeau are to be discussed with great delicacy in their respective worlds? Shades of grey are the colour of the day?

Even though the Finleys and their following have no such compunction on the shedding of blood?

Doug

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

Glad to hear everyone across the political spectrum realizes what a boneheaded move it was to appoint Il Douche as OPP commissioner (with the exception of Dalton McGuinty himself).

There was method to the madness. They didn't want him running for office. 

madmax

Finleys riding should be targeted by any party with a conscience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Finley

George Victor

The challenger would also have to be attractive to farmers. Outside of Simcoe (a small Toyota parts plant just locaated there), it's tobacco farms , former tobacco farms and market gardening with labour out of Mexico and the Caribbean. Not sure conscience would cut it right now.

remind remind's picture

What maysie said!

Farmpunk

"The challenger would also have to be attractive to farmers. Outside of Simcoe (a small Toyota parts plant just locaated there), it's tobacco farms , former tobacco farms and market gardening with labour out of Mexico and the Caribbean. Not sure conscience would cut it right now."

George, you really need to start reading more than.... oops, yes, I forgot - I'm not supposed to mention the B-word anymore. 

Your moralizing is getting tiresome, George.  "Conscience"?  What's the issue? 

The "small" Toyota plant isn't in H-N.  And it's not really small, either.  Those are jobs for people.

"Market gardening"... take a drive, use your brain.  The Norfolk Sand Plain feeds a lot of people, and will likely need to feed more in the future.... if it's not taken over by urban people who like the pretty land but not the stinky farms.  Buy a parcel, build a horsebarn, rent the land out as an investment... drive up land prices so young farmers can't afford their own place.  Yep, this is one Haldimand-Norfolk rural person whose conscience is really bothering him. 

The Mexican and Carribean workers fill a void... while making money they wouldn't otherwise.  It's far from a perfect system, but, then again, not too many of us are living on pennies in Chiapas, either.

One thing I will say about Finley - she's active in the riding.  She's the only politician to stop by my farm, shake my hand, and spend fifteen minutes talking... even when it became clear we weren't on the same political wavelength.  I've yet to experience the same basic courtesy from an NDP or Liberal or Green candidate. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
 She's the only politician to stop by my farm, shake my hand, and spend fifteen minutes talking... even when it became clear we weren't on the same political wavelength.  I've yet to experience the same basic courtesy from an NDP or Liberal or Green candidate.

That's becuase she's the only one without a real job. The taxpayers pay her to loll about in Norfolk shaking hands and telling those hard working Toyota emplyees they won't see imprived IE benefits when they get laid off becuase they're lazy SOBs.

My lazy SOB MP, Joe Preston, despite having the same taxpayer funded non-job, has yet to show his face where I live. Because I live in rural Ontario, and I know we've had this discussion before, but this time its my wife who says, "the Conservatives can run a monkey in this riding and still win." And gosh darn if they didn't! 

George Victor

In fact, this Canuck is sickened by the manner in which neo-cons can feed on people who, fundamentally, they see only as a stepping stone on the way to power.  (See Bageant to see how it's done in Appalachia...and elsewhere. And I don't just mean the "this is our land, back off government" folks, farmpunk).

p.s. I'm not talking about the bloody assembly plant in Woodstock. I'd read that a small (100 people???) supplier was establishing in Simcoe itself. Maybe it didn't happen.

George Victor

madmax: 

"Finleys riding should be targeted by any party with a conscience."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Just go up a couple of postings (reading all the way, or start at the top and read down) and you'll see the origin of "consicience" in this case, oh market gardener. I've been a close follower of crop growth of everything from ginseng to grain across that area for years. But right now, those folks aren't ready to go NDP -hence the "more than conscience needed" response.

I have a market-gardener niece whose husband and son have made it work up in the Kawarthas...not exactly your soil conditions, more "working around the granite." They have employed workers from Mexico, and have come to understand the impossibility of making a living depending on home-grown labour. They try best they can with wages to make the Canadian working experience worthwhile for folks from a narco state.

Do wish you'd take up reading of whole texts, farmpunk.

Your accusations about moralizing are in themselves taking on a moralizing - even whining - tone!

Oh, and do please read Bageant. ALL of him. You missed something obviously when you warned me that it would not fly hereabouts.

George Victor

And of course, Finley will sign that petition because divide and conquer is the name of the conservative game (just to try to get this thread back on track).