Ontario Human Rights hold mediation meetings with Commissioner Fantino regarding Civil Rights violations against former United Nations Peacekeeper, Mark Vandermaas.
Scheduled Mediation Date: Oct. 1 2008
Vandermaas is a former United Nations peacekeeper and full-time activist working to stop violence and OPP civil rights violations during native land claims. (Sachem Story: )
Mark Vandermaas (3rd person from right) serving as UN Peacekeeper in Eqypt
Serving Canada to ensure Freedom around the world is a noble cause.
According to the OPP, helping your neighbour in Canada is unacceptable.
On Dec. 16, 2006 the OPP arrested Mark Vandermaas and Gary McHale for their attempts to raise a Canadian Flag. The OPP held Mr. McHale overnight in jail and force him to appear in Count even thou they were not going to lay any charges against him. Both the Crown and the Judge in Hamilton rejected the idea that the OPP had ANY authority to hold Mr. McHale. The judge ordered Mr. McHale to be released immediately.
On Jan. 20, 2007 the OPP stopped people from raising the Canadian Flag. The OPP also removed one Canadian Flag while allowing another Canadian Flag to remain just two feet away solely because one flag was raised by a Native person while the other was raised by a non-Native person.
By doing this the OPP clearly demonstrated that they have a policy of racial profiling while policing in Caledonia. Such behaviour is a violation of people's human rights and as such the Ontario Human Rights Commission has allowed (they screen all complaints) us to file two seperate Human Rights Complaints against Fantino and against OPP Officers.
Here are the two Complaints
Complaint by Mark Vandermaas Complaint by Gary McHale
Mark Vandermaas' Complaint
– arrest Dec 16/06
- civil rights violations Dec 16/06 & Jan 20/07
a. Complaint to OCCPS re my arrest on Dec 16/06. Complaint dated April 04/07. Copy submitted to OHRC June 13/07 (3 ring binder, includes extensive supporting evidence)
b. OPP investigation report
c. Appeal to OCCPS
d. OCCPS decision denying appeal
a. Complaint to OCCPS re constitutional rights violations on Dec 16/06 & Jan 20/07. Complaint dated May 01/07. Copy submitted to OHRC June 13/07 (3 ring binder, includes extensive supporting evidence)
b. OPP letter denying wrongdoing
c. Appeal to OCCPS (denied)
Supreme Court of Canada decision: Ramsden v. Peterborough (City), 1993
Affirms right of citizens to place objects on public utility poles
Supreme Court of Canada decision: Haida Nation v. British Columbia, 2004
Holds that third parties to aboriginal land claims have NO duty to consult or accommodate aboriginal concerns. See paras 52-56
- Supreme Court of Canada decision: Canada (Attorney General) v. Lameman, 2008
Holds that aboriginal claims are subject to the same law as are other claimants. This decision provides a counter to OPP claims that aboriginals have special rights that put them above the law.
- Letter from co-complainant Gary McHale to Commissioner Fantino dated Jan 02/07 re Supreme Court decision and planned protest for Jan 20/07
This letter made the Commissioner aware of the Supreme Court decision above that gives citizens the right to place objects on utility poles. McHale also offered to cancel the planned protest if Fantino will explain why Canadian flags are illegal.
- OPP investigation report into co-complainant Gary McHale’s complaint that he was improperly targeted for a traffic stop on Dec 16/06, the day of his arrest.
Pages 4 - 7: Transcript of exchange between McHale and OPP officer regarding OPP plan to arrest non-natives who try to raise flag. Shows that high level OPP officers decided, well in advance that non-natives were to be excluded from public areas, and that they would be arrested should they try to exercise right to place Canadian flag on utility poles across from Douglas Creek Estates. The officer’s verbal gymnastics are revealing as he avoids stating the obvious – that only non-natives were to be excluded from the area, prevented from raising flags, and targeted for arrest should they attempt to do so.
- Video recording: Officer 6276 explains why he took down Mr. McHale’s Canadian flag on Jan 20/07
This officer’s evasiveness in trying to avoid admitting that race is the determining factor in who can put up a flag and who may not are remarkably similar to those of the officer who stopped Mr. McHale on Dec 16/06 (#7 above), and of the officer at the OPP Unity Road detachment on Jan 20/07 in # 9 below.
- Video recording: officer at OPP Unity Road detachment, Caledonia, Jan 20/07
Officer avoids questions as to why the OPP arrest some people[non-natives] for putting up flags and not others. Includes audio from Quintin Chausse explaining how OPP arrested him while trying to place a Canadian flag on Dec 02/06 (see also # 21 below)
- Video recording: Mark Vandermaas requests meeting w/OPP staff, Jan 20/07
As discussed in OCCPS complaint [2a] Commissioner Fantino was photographed in the building at the time of this video, and had already met with native occupiers. OPP leadership refused to meet with non-native protesters despite our repeated requests.
- OPP investigation into arrest of Gary McHale on Dec 16/06
The OPP argued that officers made a decision to arrest me based on the immediate events on the ground, and not because of my race. This document shows that OPP leadership, including the Commissioner himself, decided well in advance that non-native protesters were to be targeted for ‘breach of peace’ arrests and restrictive bail conditions even though they knew he/we had broken no laws.
It is worthwhile noting that there was no ’breach of the peace’ at the time of my/our arrest: no impending violence, no mob of angry natives prepared to attack us should we raise our flags. The only group that was escalating the situation and breaching the peace on Dec 16/06 (and Jan 20/07) were the OPP who were acting in accordance with their preconceived plan to target non-natives who wanted to exercise their right to peacefully protest and exercise their right to put up a Canadian flag..
- Statement of Claim for lawsuit by Caledonia residents Brown & Chatwell, July 18/07
Extensive list of alleged misfeasance by OPP officers including how OPP repeatedly attempted to pressure Chatwell into allowing them to lay charges of trespassing against non-native protesters even though we were using their property with permission.
This document also provides dramatic insight into how OPP conduct themselves as virtual ‘agents’ of native occupiers to the complete detriment of non-natives. It further alleges that the OPP leadership allowed three cabinet ministers to directly interfere with policing in Caledonia.
- ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail,’ Martin Luther King, April 16/63
This document guides our actions and our belief in non-violent protest. It makes the moral case for refuting the OPP’s attempt to claim that arresting people for ‘breach of the peace’ when they attempt to exercise their rights i.e. to place a Canadian flag on a utility pole instead of protecting their right to do so is acceptable because the exercising of that right may ‘provoke violence’ from criminals.
”In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they may precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.”
- Video of natives marching down Argyle Street with OPP escort, Feb 29/07, CHTV News
On Dec 02/06, the OPP arrested non-native resident Quintin Chausse for attempting to place a Canadian flag on a utility pole on Argyle Street (see #s 9, 21). On Dec 16/06 OPP arrested two non-natives trying to put up flags. On Jan 20/07 the OPP blocked Argyle Street to all non-natives, threatening them with arrest for ‘Obstructing Police’ should they attempt to walk down the street to put up flags. One month later, on Feb 29/07, the OPP gave the native occupiers of the former Douglas Creek Estates an escort for a parade to celebrate the first year of the occupation. To Caledonians, the OPP were helping them celebrate a year of lawlessness and victimization of residents.
- PowerPoint presentation (PDF version) for Jan 14/07 townhall meeting in Caledonia held in advance of our Jan 20/07 protest.
Explains what our goals are re ending OPP Two Tier Justice; makes clear that we believe in non-violent protest; addresses common objections such as that our protests are raising tension.
- Speeches from Oct 08/08 protest following attack by natives on Caledonia builder Sam Gualtieri.
a. Video recording: Mark Vandermaas speech on how native people are being victimized by OPP Two Tier Justice.
b. Video recording: Gary McHale speech on how media have ignored injustices, including Residential Schools.
c. Video recording: Native leader Clyde Powless asked for, and was given permission by us, to say a few words on behalf of the occupiers of Douglas Creek Estates, the same group that has intimidated Caledonia residents with their lawlessness.
Evidence of systemic racial policing practices by OPP: includes ‘similar events,’ statements by elected officials, residents and background on Caledonia crisis
- a. List of 22 questions allegedly asked by Ontario Provincial Police Association of OPP leadership on behalf of officers, August 28, 2006
b. email dated Sept 01/06 from anonymous sender who provided list to co-complainant, Mr. Gary McHale.
Several questions make it clear that OPP officers themselves have allegedly complained of being told to enforce the law differently based on race. For example, Q12: “…why is the Command Post asking our members if the person in question is white or nonwhite? When the person is nonwhite or First Nations, they are being told to “stand down” or “release.”
This document was sent anonymously to Mr. Gary McHale by someone believed to be an OPP officer who requested that the original be destroyed so that it could not be tracked back to him (see 17b). OPPA Executive Director Karl Walsh is listed as a witness as he should be able to confirm that his Board did submit the questions as listed.
‘Haldimand Proclamation for Peace, Order and Good Government’ by MPP Toby Barrett, Feb 11/08
”AND WHEREAS, there is a perception, and evidence, of two categories of law, of justice, of police protection, and government action based on one’s race and geographical location within Haldimand County and beyond.”
Remarks by Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer quoted in ‘Changes to land-claims process won’t end Caledonia occupation: Six Nations, Canadian Press, June 13/07
”Trainer said locals are fed up – particularly with the Ontario provincial police, which they say have done little to end the occupation. People are so disheartened and upset with what has taken place and the perceived two rules of law,” she said
Mayor Trainer has made numerous statements regarding her frustration with the OPP. She is listed as a witness.
Video recording of Chris Syrie incident, Jan 10/07 (edited, annotated version)
OPP officers refuse to arrest or identify a native man who trespasses on Mr. Syrie’s property, commits minor assaults on him and his step-father and dishonours his Canadian flag by throwing it on the ground. Numerous OPP officers stand around and wait for the Aboriginal Relations Team and/or Major Events Liaison Team to arrive, by which time the man has left. Syrie is later told the OPP cannot identify him. Mr. Syrie and his stepfather are listed as witnesses.
Quinton Chausse lawyer’s letter to OPP re Dec 02/06 unlawful arrest & libel, Jan 12/07
Mr. Chausse was also arrested while attempting to raise a Canadian flag.
‘Sacrificial lambs at the altar of Ipperwash,’ by John Findlay, National Post, Jan 30/08
John Findlay is a lawyer, Caledonia resident and author of the Caledonia Class-Action lawsuit (23, 24 below). This op-ed article shares some of his personal knowledge on how the OPP and provincial government have failed his town. Mr. Findlay represents me in a claim against the province. He is listed as a witness.
Caledonia Class-Action lawsuit ‘Statement of Claim,’ June 12/06
Caledonia Class-Action lawsuit ‘Plaintiff’s Factum,’ Jan 17/07
a. ‘Road of Hope’ pamphlet, school project produced by 14 year old Pam Dudych regarding her life without policing on the Sixth Line, Caledonia
Ms. Dudych must take medication and go to counselling because she is afraid in her home due to the fact that the OPP refuse to police her street. Native occupiers, with the approval of the provincial government, are telling the OPP where they can patrol and where they cannot. It is a fact that some citizens of Caledonia (who do NOT live on the Six Nations Reserve) are being denied OPP policing service to which they are entitled because they are of the wrong race. It is my understanding that policing on the Sixth Line by the OPP was cancelled as a result of a negotiation between native occupiers and the province. The lack of policing may be hard to believe, but it is true and has been publicly acknowledged by Haldimand politicians. I have listed the Mayor of Haldimand, Marie Trainer, as a witness who can testify about racially based policing in her town, including this situation. She met with this girl and her family personally as have I.
Transcript of speech by AnneMarie VanSickle, Oct 15/06
Caledonia resident talks about trauma of being harassed by native thugs and of being abandoned by the OPP and provincial government.
Transcript of speech by Mary-Lou LaPratte, Oct 15/06
Ms. LaPratte talks about how Ipperwash residents suffered from native crime and OPP race-based policing.
Video recording: CHTV News, Sept14-07, Douglas Fleming
Longtime Caledonia resident talks about OPP failure to enforce law equally.
Report: ‘Human Costs of Illegal Occupations’ by Gary McHale, Mark Vandermaas
Background report on Caledonia dispute from point of view of the victims of landclaim lawlessness and OPP racial policing practices.
Supporting evidence – defamation of non-natives by OPP
This evidence shows how the OPP, especially Commissioner Fantino have made statements they knew or ought to have know were false to the media in an effort to discredit peaceful non-native protesters who have not committed any crimes in Caledonia. The OPP’s public mistreatment of non-natives is sharply contrasted by the fact that the OPP have never, to the best of my knowledge, singled out any native person or group for public derision, including those who are alleged to have committed serious crimes.
Complaint to OCCPS re defamation by Commissioner Fantino, April 02/07. Submitted to OHRC June 13/07 (3 ring binder, includes extensive supporting evidence)
Both of my complaints against Commissioner Fantino (defamation and violations of my constitutional rights) were dismissed by the Minister of Public Safety and Correctional Services Monty Kwinter prior to him receiving a report from his own consultant hired to advise him as to how to handle the complaints! Other complaints against the Commissioner for other matters were similarly dismissed with no investigation.
Hamilton Spectator: Full text of the Spec’s interview with OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, Nov 09/07
Fantino makes bizarre and unfounded accusations against non-native activist Gary McHale and his followers, saying we are like a ‘bomb’ being thrown in Caledonia with people having to ‘live in the ashes,’ and that we want civil war and a Pakistani-style dictatorship, all because we choose to exercise our Charter rights to speak out and protest. Fantino singles out McHale and blames him for the cost of policing his (peaceful) protests while never acknowledging the enormous financial and human costs of native lawlessness.
On Jan 20/07 Fantino met with native occupiers, but refused to meet with non-native protesters. In this interview, Fantino brags of giving his cell phone number to natives to maintain the lines of communication, yet he has never agreed to meet with non-native protesters let alone share his cell phone number with us. If we were natives Fantino and the OPP would meet with us no matter what our crimes, listen to our concerns and protect our rights. Unfortunately, we non-natives are ostracized, defamed, arrested and our rights blatantly violated, then blamed for wanting to exercise them.
List of Supporting Witnesses
Mark Vandermaas, July 18/07, submitted April 04/08
Mr. John Findlay
Mr. Findlay represents me in legal actions against the Attorney General for unlawful arrest, and for the libel/slander created by the OPPA (as outlined in my OCCPS complaint dated April 02/07 ). He is a Caledonia resident, and the solicitor for the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit [23, 24]. He can, therefore, speak to the stark legal contrast between the OPP’s negligence in failing to protect Caledonia citizens from native extremists, and their targeting of non-native protesters for arrest and public ridicule.
Mr. Gary McHale, Editor
Mr. McHale was arrested shortly after me on Dec 16/06 during our attempt to raise Canadian flags, and held overnight even though the OPP knew they were not going to charge him. He has submitted a similar complaint to the Commission regarding his arrest and violations of his rights based on his race. I have supplied several documents from him that show how OPP leadership targeted non-native protesters for arrest well in advance despite the fact that we had committed no crimes. He has extensive evidence documenting events in Caledonia and of OPP malice towards non-natives.
Mr. McHale is organizer of many peaceful protest events with respect to OPP practices in Caledonia, and has been the victim of vicious and unwarranted public insults by Commissioner Fantino.
Mr. McHale is my advisor for the purposes of this complaint.
Mr. Quintin (Bo) Chausse
Mr. Chausse was arrested by OPP officers on Dec 02/06 while trying to place a Canadian flag on a public utility pole across from the occupied Douglas Creek Estates . It was his arrest that motivated me to go to Caledonia on Dec 16/06 to protest the arrest of a Canadian citizen for trying to raise a Canadian flag on a public Canadian utility pole.
The Honourable Toby Barrett, MPP
Mr. Barrett is the author of the ‘Haldimand Proclamation’  which acknowledges that there is evidence of two categories of law based on one’s race. I also believe Mr. Barrett was present when Mr. Quinton Chausse was arrested on Dec 02/07 for attempting to place a Canadian flag on a utility pole .
Her Worship Marie Trainer
Mayor, Haldimand County
Mayor Trainer has made many public references to the lack of equal law enforcement in her jurisdiction . She can confirm that race-based policing is a reality in Caledonia as well as the lack of policing on the Sixth Line .
Mr. Syrie can testify about how numerous OPP officers refused to arrest or identify a native man who trespassed on his property, threw his Canadian flag on the ground, committed minor assaults on both him and his step-father and threatened him toe-to-toe . He also believes he may have been targeted for false Highway Traffic Act charges via deliberate suppression of evidence by an OPP officer in retaliation for allowing non-native protesters to use his property during our Jan 20/07 protest.
His experience in watching the OPP refuse to arrest a native man who had clearly committed ‘breaches of the peace’ contrasts sharply with arrests of non-natives who wanted to put up flags.
Mr. Jim Anderson
Mr. Anderson is the step-father of Chris Syrie and was present during the incident of Jan 10/07 outlined above . He has also attended every other protest we have organized and can testify generally as to the peaceful nature of non-native protesters in the face of OPP racial policing practices during those protests.
Mr. Merlyn Kinrade
Mr. Kinrade was present during our Jan 20/07 protest when Commissioner Fantino came to Caledonia to meet with native occupiers and to supervise as hundreds of officers once again prevented non-natives from placing Canadian flags across from the Douglas Creek Estates. I/we have worked very closely with him for more than a year since then. Contrary to the Commissioner’s vicious slurs against us, he can attest to our consistent efforts to promote peaceful, non-violent protest against OPP policies.
Mr. Jeff Parkinson
Mr. Parkinson was present on Dec 16/06 while I was at the police line that was preventing us from placing a flag beside the Warrior flag already flying on the utility pole. He took many of the photos included in the body of my original complaint [1a]. He can testify as to the complete absence of any immediate threat of violence from native occupiers prior to my arrest.
He was also present throughout the day on Jan 20/07 when the OPP again refused to allow non-natives to walk down Argyle Street and put up flags [2a]. Contrary to OPP assertions that our motives are to provoke violence, Mr. Parkinson was beside me on Jan 20th when a group of native occupiers taunted non-natives with disgusting insults for approximately 30 minutes while we remained silent and refused to retaliate. He has also participated and helped organize subsequent protest events with Mr. McHale and me and can testify as to the peaceful nature of non-natives during those protests as well.
Mr. Karl Walsh, Executive Director
Ontario Provincial Police Association
As shown in document #17 in the List of Supporting Evidence, on Aug 28/06 the OPPA Board of Directors allegedly asked 22 questions of OPP leadership including several that indicated OPP officers were concerned about racially-based policing practices. As the Executive Director of the OPPA Mr. Walsh should be able to verify that his organization’s Board of Directors did, in fact, ask OPP leadership the questions contained in the document that was sent anonymously to Gary McHale.
Note that both Mr. McHale and I are suing the OPPA for defamation .