UPDATE 2210 EST July 08/08: Two native protesters now face a total of 9 charges for Intimidation, Mischief and Extortion in connection with illegal occupations and construction shut-downs thanks to CANACE. See, ‘CANACE ‘extortion’ charges certified by Ontario Court of Justice.’
UPDATE 1134 EST May 22/08: National Post story: Police probe First Nations’ fees. The OPP is now going to conduct an apparently reluctant investigation into the extortion tactics used by the HDI, but builders should not expect any charges to be laid by the police. No doubt the OPP’s decision to announce their ‘investigation’ and the recent CANACE announcement that we intend to lay charges for Mischief and Extortion is merely a coincidence.
UPDATE 2228 May 16/08: 1. The Cayuga builders were able to connect the main water line to their development today. OPP were particularly helpful in convincing native protesters to ‘allow’ the work to be done. 2. Links to Tekawennake News coverage added.
On May 12/08 a Cayuga builder, whose construction site has been repeatedly blocked by native protesters demanding money in return for an end to the blockades, signed a form authorizing CANACE to enter the property and gather evidence for the purpose of laying criminal charges. The OPP have so far refused to put a stop to the illegal activities, and so the builder turned to CANACE for help.
Co-founders Gary McHale, Mark Vandermaas and Jeff Parkinson gathered enough evidence to lay charges against the ringleaders of the group following which the two partners who own the site met with OPP officers who promised that their criminal division is looking into the matter. Despite the fact that the OPP have more than sufficient evidence to lay charges of extortion and mischief now, CANACE was asked by the builders to give the OPP a chance to lay the charges themselves. We have agreed to wait until Wednesday, May 21/08; if the OPP haven’t laid the charges by that time, CANACE will do so.
OPP unconcerned with Supreme Court rulings, Criminal Code violations…
CANACE has video footage of the OPP site commander – a sergeant – saying – among other things – that the Land Title deed held by the builders is not sufficient evidence to prove to his satisfaction who owns the property.
In a bizarre twist, the site commander followed us onto the property to inquire why we were taking pictures of the native lawbreakers; apparently they were upset because the OPP didn’t tell them we were going to take their picture and the sergeant wanted to know what we were doing. It was an example of race-based policing at its most surreal – a police officer refusing to arrest lawbreakers committing repeated Criminal Code offences while demanding to know why law abiding citizens were walking on deeded land and taking pictures of the people breaking the law.
During this encounter, the sergeant indicated that he had read our material regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the Haida Nation case (stating that third parties have no duty to consult or accommodate aboriginal concerns). Apparently, though, the discovery that his force and the native occupiers were outside the law did not have much of an effect on him.
The day’s events made it clear that the OPP knows the law, but is blatantly refusing to respect it. The force is functioning – for all intents and purposes – as a private security firm hired to enforce the whims of lawbreakers in complete defiance of the Supreme Court, the Police Services Act, and the law generally – in particular, the Ministry of the Attorney General’s legal opinion – submitted to the Ipperwash Inquiry in June 2006 – debunking the ‘colour of right’ defence being used to justify illegal occupations. (see CANACE report, ‘Legalized MYTHS of Illegal Occupations, Myth #1, ’Colour of Right.’)
CANACE in the news
The Dunnville Chronicle & Tekawennake News published accounts of the day’s events that mentioned CANACE:
- Dunnville Chronicle, May 14/08: Development grinds to a halt in Cayuga; Ruby Montour delivers ultimatum to developer: Comply with HDI or face permanent shut-down [PDF]
- Tekawennake News, May 14/08: Gary McHale uses developers to run personal agenda
- Tekawennake News, May 14/08: Developers team up with McHale (page 2)
CANACE has also released some video footage of the builder informing the OPP that they have authorized CANACE to gather evidence for the purpose of laying charges; and of the builder asking the occupiers to leave.
- CANACE video, May 12/08: Cayuga builder w/OPP and Native occupiers
If your site is threatened with occupations or blockades
CANACE would like to thank the Cayuga builders for standing up against the OPP-enabled lawlessness that is devastating Haldimand County.
If your site is facing shut-downs by native protesters, please invest a few minutes to download and read our latest report, ‘Legalized MYTHS of Illegal Occupations.’ There is an authorization form at the back of the report giving CANACE permission to enter your property for the purposes of gathering evidence. Once you have signed it, contact us to make arrangements to meet, gather evidence and lay charges. We would also be pleased to meet with you in advance to answer any questions you may have.
Although the Cayuga builders have declined to do so at this time, we will also be pleased to assist in the filing of Small Claims Court suits and Police Services Act complaints against officers who refuse to do their duty.
We would also recommend that readers download and review the CANACE reports, ‘The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations‘ and Ontario deserves a full and fair inquiry into landclaim lawlessness. The ‘Human Costs’ report has been downloaded more than 20,000 times since its release in December 2007.