Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fantino #2

More than one loyal reader - yes there is more than one - took issue with my last posting (Let’s Give Fantino the Break He Deserves)

What can I say? Don’t expect Jonathan Swiftian level of satire.
at When The Mayor Smiles.

As penance for the aforementioned perplexing prattle, I’ve compelled myself to read the entire 103 pages of Julian Fantino’s testimony from Shawn Brant’s preliminary hearing. That testimony (August 29, 2007) has just been made public.

The preliminary hearing looked at nine possible charges against Brant related to protests/blockades that took place in the Deseronto area in April and June of 2007.

Brant’s actions relate to the Culbertson Tract – land that the federal government acknowledges is Mohawk land; stolen from them in 1837. To address this injustice the feds have moved to provide redress with a sense of urgency that makes their response to the injustice of the Chinese Head Tax seem swift by comparison. Brant and others are, not surprisingly, becoming impatient. In the meantime developers and entrepreneurs do what developers do - scheme and dream. (1)

Did I mention that the Crown wants to put Brant away for twelve years?


Here are some highlights from Fantino’s testimony. I’ll let his words stand on their own and avoid editorializing. I’ll try anyway.

Fantino’s characterization of his first phone conversation with Shawn Brant on June 29/07

Fantino: “Well in essence there was a cordial conversation it was not a confrontational tone to it.”

On being told that senior OPP Officers who had dealt with Shawn Brant were on record as saying that Brant keeps his word.

Fantino: That’s not my impression although obviously other people have it.”

When asked if he understood that the Mohawk tradition of the need to achieve consensus meant that Brant could not offer commitments to Fantino until he spoke with others.

Fantino: “No, not at all…Mr. Brant was in charge … His rhetoric was merely a stalling tactic.

When asked if it was true that Mr. Brant was very respectful of Fantino in his dealings with him.

Fantino: “Yes he was and I of him.”

Demonstrating his notion of respect Fantino admits to this comment he directed to Shawn Brant.

Fantino: “You’re going to force me do everything I can within your community and everywhere else to destroy your reputation.”

An important issue in the Ipperwash Inquiry was how the Tactical Response Unit (TRU) was deployed. A member of the Tactical Response Unit team was convicted of killing Dudley George.

Fantino: “So the circumstances indicate, yes.”

And regarding the authorization of shady and possibly illegal wiretaps what can Commissioner Fantino add to address any concerns us bleeding heart, pinkos might have?

Fantino: “I believe that everything we did was in the greater good.”

What, me worry? See you later.

(1) The Ministry of Natural Resources continues to license a quarry on Tyendinaga land that removes 150,000 tons of gravel each year.

One more note: The Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Service has demonstrated excellent peacekeeping and negotiating skills at the quarry occupation site and at the railway blockade. Their Police Chief, Larry Hay, was fired earlier this year by Julian Fantino. Hay had spoken out about racism in the OPP. Imagine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let's Give Fantino The Break He Deserves

The constant attacks on that loyal public servant Julian Fantino, OPP Commisioner, are starting to wear your blogger down.

Lately it is his handling of a highway blockade last summer that is in question.

As best as we can determine Fantino had taken time out of his day from personally arresting speeders on the 400 series of highways so as to deal with a voilitle situation in the Kingston area. Thank you Commissioner.

He took charge - personally relieving specially trained negotiaters from the Tyendinga Mohawk Police so that he could deal with Mohawk activist Shawn Brant mano a mano, as they say.

According to the OPP’s website Fantino was functioning “consistent with the recommendations from the Ipperwash Inquiry.”

Few of us will remember the details of Chief Justice Linden's thorough inquiry set up in response to the shooting death of Dudley George. But Fantino does.

One of the things Linden said about the police was this:

“The objective of the police during Aboriginal protests and occupations should be to minimize the potential for vilence and to facilitate constitutionally protected rights including treaty and aboriginal rights and the rights to peaceful assembly."

Fantino is “disappointed (and no wonder) with some in the media and the political arena” for his questioning his handling of events which are clearly so consistent with Linden's recommendations.

It is speculated here that the illegal wiretap info to which Fantino had access gave him cause to to threaten the Mohawk leader with "destroy(ing) his reputation and guaranteeing "your whole world is going to come crashing down."

The NDP's weak kneed, past his prime Sunshine boy Peter Kormos called this language "intemperate" and "bellicose." Say what?

And when did you Mr. Kormos negotiate anything more important than an extended summer recess for provincial polticians?

While some have called for Fantino's resignation, here at whenthemayorsmiles we say let's give the chief the break he deserves.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Bad Words

Recently a news item out of the U.K. cited a report recommending 100 specific words that should be banned from government documents.

According to the Local Government Association local democracy “will be threatened with extinction” if words like “coterminosity” and phrases like “can- do-culture continue to muddle up reports.

This argument interested me. The point, which seemed to have been missed by many who proffered an analysis, is that government reports need to be written in a way that can be understood by all. We shouldn’t hide behind jargon and bafflegab.

We are “partnershipped” to death these days with “value added” and “proactive” service “facilitated” for us with a “single point of contact.”

Has the word “sustainable” overstayed its welcome? What is really meant by “best practice” and who is a “stakeholder” anyway?

The report inspired your blogger to “fast track” and use his “capacity” to find a “bottom up” but “holistic” way to put forward “value added” analysis and thereby find an “early win” through “evidence based” solutions and “process driven” output for you, my “customers.”

I’m Not Making this One Up

While inspired, alas, I can offer no new insights on how to better use language but, thankfully, can.

The website provides “news from a Christian perspective” and has a policy to replace offensive words with, well, less offensive words.

Earlier this week when American sprinter Tyson Gay won the U.S. Olympic Trials the website dutifully altered the Associated Press recap of the event. Gay became Mr. Homosexual as in “Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.”

Homosexual will be “someone to watch in Beijing next month.”

And how does the new champion feel. The website offered this: “It means a lot to me, the 25 year old Homosexual said.”

This Part I’m Making Up

We think that is on to something.

Let’s get rid of those offensive names in politics.

Bad language is out. Burlington M.P. Mike Wallace becomes Mike Walldonkey.

Sexist terms are forbidden too. Mayor Cam Jackson will from now on be known as Cam Jacperchildren.

And let’s work on political images while we are at it. There is no room for cowards in politics. Ward One Councillor Rick Craven is now Richard Braveheart.

There you go. And you’re welcome.