UPDATED 2030 April 29/10 — See: Campaign against Vandermaas & McHale results in positive outcome.
BULLETIN: GoPetition, the Australian company which was hosting the defamatory petition that is the subject of this article has now removed it from the site.
It is clear that GoPetition takes its Terms of Service seriously, and can be trusted to act professionally and in a timely manner when abuses occur. On behalf of Gary McHale and myself I thank GoPetition for its integrity in resolving this matter, and I heartily recommend their service for your next petition.
On a personal note, I am saddened and dismayed that some people, especially a few from the ‘academic’ world, were so willing to sign their names to such evil and vile accusations against completely innocent people without conducting even a modicum of research.
No doubt, another attempt will be made to silence the voices of Caledonia’s victims, but we will address that, too, when it comes. To those responsible for this latest attempt to smear our reputations – Mr. McHale has captured screen images of the names and comments for ‘future use.’ My suggestion to the operators of the website which started the petition would be to remove your copy of it ASAP. Please understand that attempts to defame Mr. McHale and/or me publicly or privately are not in your best legal interests.
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Caledonia Victims Project
Six Nations militants and their CUPE-organized supporters have begun yet another smear campaign against Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas – this time via an online petition directed at intimidating Mount Royal University into not allowing the voices of Caledonia victims to be heard at the upcoming ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum organized by Dr. Frances Widdowson on May 05/10 in Calgary.
- Caledonia Victims Project, April 08/10: Caledonia activists to address ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum
- Dr. Frances Widdowson: New Directions in Aboriginal Policy Forums
The petition continues the tiresome tradition of avoiding accountability for the many crimes committed by native militants against innocents in Caledonia while at the same time trying to shift blame for their violence onto Vandermaas and McHale who are – yet again - smeared as racist white supremacists.
As of April 26/10 the petition has been altered – after 250 signatures were affixed – to mislead people into thinking that it was prepared by independent “non-Native academics” however, the site to which it links was set up by CUPE 3903 and its Six Nations associates – one of which is the Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire crime group.
According to a CUPE 3903 report published on the union’s website on Nov 15/09, “we have continued to be quite active, primarily in supporting the struggle at Six Nations and in working closely with the Haudenesaunee Men’s Fire…” The idea that this petition is the work of an independent group of academics without an agenda is pure nonsense.
To see just how “closely” CUPE has worked with the groups who have terrorized Caledonia, Brantford and Hagersville, see the stories listed below. Please feel free to contact the author if you are an academic or journalist seeking additional information:
- VoiceofCanada category: CUPE & Tom Keefer
Dr. Widdowson responds…
Dr. Widdowson posted a very well argued rebuttal on her website that points out how native demands for racially-based segregation and ”cultural purity” represent views eerily similar to Nazi ideology that, according to her, “should be compared with some of the more pernicious statements in Mein Kampf.”
She also expressed her disappointment with this “outrageous attack on freedom of inquiry within the university.”
“With all the accusations of “racism”, “hate”, “white supremacy”, etc. rational thinkers who might question some of the nonsense that masquerades as scholarship on aboriginal policy are likely to keep silent, impoverishing our capacity to more fully understand aboriginal-non-aboriginal relations and to achieve social justice today.”
Dr. Widdowson also makes the excellent point that our crticism of indigenous sovereignty is NOT racially motivated, but is “rooted in the LIBERAL value of equality under the law…”
- Dr. Frances Widdowson, April 24/10: Here we go again…
Mark Vandermaas responds…
Mr. Vandermaas sent a copy of the message below to the petition host and to Dr. Widdowson for distribution to other guests and university officials:
Dear petition hoster:
I am writing to request that you please remove the above petition or, at the very least, attach this statement to it in order to address the many defamatory errors, misrepresentations, innuendo and insinuations contained within it.
1. Neither Mr. McHale or myself are members of white supremacist groups nor have we associated with such groups nor have we ever expressed any support or sympathy for their ideologies – because we believe in equality and justice for all people irrespective of one’s race. The authors of this petition have conducted a sustained campaign to attack our character with outright smears and/or carefully worded innuendo. I would refer you to a statement condemning racial supremacy on a website created by us on a page that has remained unchanged since August 2007:
The authors are well aware of this statement which is why they did not mention the organization’s name in the petition: CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality).
2. The author refers to Mr. McHale being “banned from entering Caledonia due to bail conditions stemming from the eruption of violence at one of his protests.” This is an outright lie: The protest was organized by a Caledonia resident who was upset at illegal smokeshacks selling cigarettes to the town’s children. There certainly was violence at the protest – which was perpetrated by native smokeshack supporters against police and non-natives. Both Mr. McHale and I were victims of unprovoked assaults as was another man who suffers a brain injury. Mr. McHale was sent to hospital after being swarmed, jumped, kicked and beaten.
Not only was Mr. McHale viciously attacked, he was also falsely accused of assaulting a native woman who was eventually charged with Public Mischief. You can see the photos, video and documentation at the links below.
During the nearly 4 years we have been involved in documenting the crimes in Caledonia against innocent residents by native extremists the police have laid just one single – non-violent – charge against us; Mr. McHale was charged with Counselling Mischief Not Committed, a charge which was withdrawn by the Crown after two senior police officers were charged with Obstructing Justice in the case. Mr. Fantino himself has testified that the OPP did not charge Mr. McHale with any other crimes because they had no evidence to do so. You can find complete supporting evidence in this document:
3. As far as Caledonia residents being “fed up” with our “antics”: In the 2008 Canadian federal election Mr. McHale received 10% of the vote as an independent candidate, and 1,821 of them came from Caledonia where he outpolled every other candidate in every poll except two. You can see the evidence of this here:
4. Mr. McHale and I have rejected violence against innocents during the Caledonia land dispute, all of which was perpetrated by native radical groups and NOT by us. You can read an overview of the terrible crimes committed by those groups (which have been long supported by the author) at this link:
5. While the petition author smears Dr. Widdowson and her forum they – notably – did not include a link to her feature page for the forum on which you will find a copy of my speech entitled, “Native people are victims of Two Tier Justice.”
Mr. McHale and I have both spoken out on behalf of native victims of racial policing.
6. I had no involvement in organizing any “militia” nor was I ever a member of such an organization. Mr. McHale was not a member either. He was asked by the organizer – who did not own a computer – to aid in media contact and to provide information about private prosecutions under the Criminal Code of Canada, a field in which he is considered by some to be an expert.
In any event, the ‘militia’ was conceived by a resident of Caledonia as an unarmed citizen’s group acting fully within the law to remove trespassers when police refused to make arrests as per their racial policing policies – a well-known fact that was testified to by senior OPP officers and has been much-criticized by national media. In addition to reading the Human Costs report linked to above, pls see this:
The group never really materialized and never made a single arrest. The most it did was videotape illegal smokeshacks selling cigarettes to children. The author of the petition is well aware of these facts. The idea that it was a racist group of vigilantes looking to beat up innocent native people is pure, unadulterated rubbish. Neither one of us were ‘leaders’ of it, but the author persists in perpetuating this fiction.
Your website states: “GoPetition is a premium content site and has many academic, NGO and Government patrons. Our aim is to promote the publication of high profile and quality premium content.”
The subject petition is nothing more than a disgusting and defamatory character attack, and is actually inciting people to direct undeserved scorn and even hate towards people who have desired nothing more than to peacefully and lawfully speak out for innocent victims of violence and racial policing. We have already been the victims of violence by the groups this author supports and the possibility of further violence against us cannot be discounted. This petition is inconsistent with your objective of providing quality premium content and I would urge you to please remove it as soon as possible.
Thank you. Please contact me any time, day or night should you require further information.
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Caledonia Victims Project.ca
371 Vesta Place
London, ON Canada N5Y 1G4
You can reach Mr. McHale at
Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas have operated openly under their own names for 3.5 years under the most intense scrutiny by media and police. Both John Nicol of the CBC National News Investigative Team and award-winning journalist Christie Blatchford have spent hours with them and their evidence before writing their respective stories. It is safe to say that if either of these two respected journalists found anything untoward about McHale and Vandermaas or their motives, they would not have written these stories:
By any measure, Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas are pains in the butt. The two activists descended upon the Caledonia, Ont., standoff in 2006, claiming they were standing up for equal rights. The pair felt the Ontario Provincial Police was not being fair to local residents in the dispute, favouring instead those of First Nations descent because of the OPP’s sorry record in the similar Ipperwash confrontation in 1995. Their suspicions were returned in kind: Both the cops and the Six Nations people believed McHale and Vandermaas were agitators bent on encouraging unrest. Some even went so far as to accuse the pair of being white supremacists who didn’t like the province’s handling of the native demands.
But anyone who believes in justice being open and transparent might just consider them heroes with what they’ve accomplished so far in Ontario courts.
- CBC News, Feb 02/10: The 2 men who are putting a police chief on trial [PDF]
- CBC News, Feb 02/10: Ont. top cop pushed for charges against protester [PDF]
- Globe & Mail, Feb 02/10: OPP’s chief’s pursuit of activist laid bare in emails [PDF]
OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino has personally inititiated 3 separate investigations (that we know of) with the stated goal of charging Gary McHale with a crime. The only charge against either of Mark Vandermaas or Gary McHale during the past 4 years is what Christie Blatchford called the “bizzare” Counselling Mischief Not Committed charge that was just dropped AFTER 2 of Fantino’s top officers were charged with Obstructing Justice in the case. Fantino himself testified on Nov 26/08 that the OPP laid no other charges because they had no evidence to do so:
- Globe & Mail, April 21/10: Charges stayed against relentless critic of Ontario Provincial Police in Caledonia occupation [PDF]
- VoiceofCanada, Feb 04/10: Fantino’s sworn testimony vs. Fantino’s emails
- CANACE reference: Journalists’ Quick Reference Evidence Guide [PDF, 9p]
One of the key aids Mr. Vandermaas will be using at Dr. Widdowson’s forum is a diagram prepared for a presentation to Brantford City Council in Sept 2008 which shows his vision of the road towards healing and reconciliation:
- CANACE diagram: Reconciliation: the CANACE Path
If you have signed this petition, I would ask, in addition to the material cited, that you read this story of a 14 year old Caledonia girl who must take medication and go to counselling, and then reconsider your position with respect to siding with those who want her voice silenced:
- Caledonia Victims Project, April 13/10: Caledonia’s youngest hero: 14 year old Pam ‘Dancer’ Dudych
Readers can view the ‘Caledonia resumes’ of McHale and Vandermaas at these links:
The ‘Caledonia resume’ of native militants who have been supported by CUPE can best be viewed through these images:
- VoiceofCanada feature: Caledonia Photos
I trust this information will put to rest any concerns that Dr. Widdowson’s peers, administrators or forum participants may have about Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas.
Comment by Mark Vandermaas - Erasing Caledonia’s Victims from History
This is not the first time someone has tried to sabotage our participation in this important forum. That smear attempt, however, was launched by a misinformed individual who failed to do his research before making some disgusting allegations. He had no role in attacking Caledonia or in supporting the attacks. I addressed that incident here:
VoiceofCanada, Jan 23/10: To ‘John’: About those thugs in Caledonia…
This petition, however, is completely different. It was launched by the very people responsible for traumatizing thousands of innocents in Caledonia, Hagersville and Brantford. These are the people who committed the crimes and now deny them and/or shift blame for them onto others – including us. Or, as a past officer with CUPE 3906 did recently, they try to justify their crimes with repugnant doctrines such as “white privilege” saying, in effect, that the victims of Caledonia don’t matter because their skin is white, and therefore, they carry the guilt of what they call past “colonialism.”
Dr. Widdowson’s comparison of their ideology to Nazism and the teachings of Mein Kampf is very, very much on point. The Nazis also valued ideologies such as cultural purity; racial segregation; lebensraum (living space); and the blaming of an entire race of human beings for societal ills, all to ‘justify’ violence and vandalism against innocents all the while stealing their property without due process.
The Nazis took over universities and made rational debate and resistance impossible. Those who spoke out were silenced. Meanwhile, they tried to deny the crimes committed by shifting blame onto the victims. The adhoc organized crime units from Six Nations and their CUPE-led supporters have done every one of these things, yet they slyly use the propaganda tactic of telling bigger and bigger lies to obsfucate the truth.
This petition shows just how irrational the lies have become and just how frightening those who subscribe to them can be. I read some of the comments on the petition by people claiming to be against racism and intolerance, and was disgusted by one in particular by ‘Aman Sium’ (petitioner #180) who blatantly demeans one of our co-participants Tom Flanagan because of his race:
As a black youth, I express my deepest soladarity and committment to the Indigenous movement on Turtle Island. I’m also both frustrated with the room that racist white academics are given to promote racist discourses. I appreciate the potential of white allies, but it’s the very whiteness of people like Tom Flanagan that allows them to stay mainstream. Great petition.
Dr. Widdowson is right – those who terrorized innocents in the name of race and cultural purity and collective race-blame are not practicing liberal values of tolerance and equality and justice – they have much more in common with the ideals of Nazism. The fact that they may claim to be liberal or on the left does not make it so. We must judge them by their actions and by their words. One can only imagine the accusations that would be justifiably hurled at a Caledonia resident who made such a vile racial generalization about black or native people.
The line is drawn here: Caledonia’s victims will NOT be silenced
It is no wonder that native militants and CUPE want to silence those who speak out about the crimes they committed and/or helped support against innocent people in the name of ‘aboriginal sovereignty.’ The authors of the petition, however, are not attacking Mark Vandermaas, Gary McHale and Dr. Widdowson so much as they are attacking the victims and their reality, and the ability of others to learn from what has happened.
It disgusts me – especially given that my (non-Jewish) parents lived through Nazi occupation in Holland. These are assaults on history, on truth, on justice, on freedom of speech and, just as importantly, they are attacks on the efforts by Dr. Widdowson to help us move another small step on the road to healing and reconciliation – which can never happen until Six Nations, the OPP and the Ontario government apologize for their role in traumatizing innocent human beings.
The people trying to make sure we cannot speak up against the crimes they committed and/or supported are no different than Holocaust deniers trying to rewrite history, except they are doing it to victims in places like Caledonia and Ipperwash.
What is truly sad is that their efforts at attacking our character and suppressing an honest discussion about what happened in Caledonia are getting in the way of us moving further down the road to a better place for all – native and non.
It is worthwhile to remember that acknowledging the terrible things done by native protesters in Caledonia, and making ammends for them does not in any way diminish native people as a whole or the injustices done to them or their aspirations. It simply makes all of us better human beings and neighbours.
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Caledonia Victims Project