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.