Caledonia’s unsung hero: Class Action lawyer John Findlay

UPDATE: Caledonia Victims Project, July 15/11: TorSun Founder Peter Worthington quotes CVP founder as he hammers ‘journalistic negligence’ & ‘defacto’ suspension of Charter, Police Services Act protection for Caledonia victims [LINK]

UPDATED July 09/11 — One of Caledonia’s greatest unsung heroes walked out of court with a victory most never thought would happen.

But, the real victory is not the $20M payout for the victims of Caledonia; no, John Findlay’s victory is far more spectacular, and far more priceless than mere money.

Lawyer John Findlay went to war on behalf of all Canadians against the full weight of the resources of a provincial government, a lonely, thankless war that took five years — all to defend our precious rule of law during an awful, dangerous time when the Dalton McGuinty Liberal government made a decision to allow the Ontario Provincial Police to suspend – defacto – the Charter rights and Police Services Act protections of an entire class of citizens in order to appease a small, violent, racial constituency.

[UPDATE: bolded text quoted by TorSun founder Peter Worthington, July 13/11: LINK, PDF]

Those of us who are intimately familiar with the goings-on in the courthouses forced to deal with the Caledonia crisis know just how hard the Attorney General’s taxpayer-funded lawyers and the Ontario Provincial Police worked to legalize native lawlessness against innocent people.

Appeal for help from foreign government by Caledonia resident, 2006. For a time I wondered if anything would pull us back from the anarchy we were fighting, back from the brink of, yes, civil war. If McGuinty and his lawyers and police had their way that could easily have been the legacy left for our children. People were losing hope that the police would ever protect them again, and some may never lose their fear of being abandoned by the law again.

Thanks to one remarkable lawyer named John Findlay, however, the rule of law in our country is a whole lot safer.

I was contacted by a Toronto Star reporter from the Queen’s Park Bureau today for a reaction to the good news and suddenly, the knowledge that the victims of Caledonia will receive some measure of justice thanks to a gutsy lawyer who also took our cases on when we had no money to pay him left me rather emotional as I tried to explain to her what I was feeling. This is what she reported:

Mark Vandermaas said news of the settlement moved him to tears. The ex-member of the Canadian Forces was arrested on Dec. 16, 2006 as he tried to put up a Canadian flag across the street from the occupation site. “This is a special day,” Vandermaas said. “This proves the system works and people can fight back.” However, this is only partial vindication, he said. “Now we have to ask – how did it all go wrong?

After five years of fighting for justice in Caledonia, during which I and my associates were defamed, assaulted (2 put in the hospital, 1 w/brain injury after swarming by Six Nations smokeshack supporter),  nearly bankrupted, and arrested for trying to raise a Canadian flag, it was very satisfying to see yet another vindication for the rule of law we tried to defend.

Since some readers have sent well-wishes assuming we would be sharing in the Class Action compensation I would like to make clear that none of the founders of CANACE and the Caledonia Victims Project will be receiving a penny from the settlement, and rightly so; it belongs to those who endured the stress of watching their community ripped apart in front of them while police stood guard for the criminals.

Our country is a better – and safer – place today because of John Findlay’s quest for justice on behalf of his neighbours, and I am so proud to say I know him, and that he is my lawyer.

Thank you, John — and Peggy. Well done. Very well done.




POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas
Founder, Caledonia Victims Project

About Mark Vandermaas

I am founder of Israel Truth Week, and I'm the 'Liberate Israel Training Guy.' I train pro-Israel advocates in how to use Israel's land title deed-the Mandate For Palestine-as a powerful moral narrative to counter the false 'occupation' vilification. Also, founder of and the Caledonia Victims Project.
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