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Monday, November 29, 2010

Grapes Makes a Bad Call

Meanwhile in Vaughan:

Don Cherry, CBC's high-profile and sometimes controversial hockey commentator, is making automated calls to households in a Toronto-area riding endorsing the Conservative candidate in a federal byelection.

Audio of Cherry's endorsement has been posted on the website of a well-connected Conservative party blogger, and the federal party has distributed a written version of the endorsement to select journalists."Hi, it's Don Cherry," says the distinctive voice in the 20-second recording, before launching into an endorsement of his "good friend Julian Fantino."

The call is here. According to this report, the Liberals have resorted to bringing in an auto call of Justin Trudeau. I sometimes wonder who exactly is doing the Liberals' electoral strategizing these days. The Tories send in a tough, scrappy working class kid from Kingston, who climbed his way to being a national hockey hero. The Liberals reply by using the effete son, and grandson, of millionaires and cabinet ministers, who spent half his childhood on Sussex Drive, and the other half in Westmount. They might as well have had one of the Westons record a call.

According to the above report, Justin flogged his father's memory to help retain the seat for the Liberals. Given the large Italian community in Vaughan, that should taken as a polite "you owe us," which the Liberals always like to invoke to keep the ethnics in line.

It seems that Cherry is a personal friend of Julian Fantino, and the call should be taken in that light. As I mentioned in this space last week, Fantino has effectively projected the image of a tough, no-nonsense law and order cop. Make what you will of of Fantino's record before he became OPP Commissioner - to me it was generally positive, with a few question marks - his conduct during the Caledonia crisis, however, has been a disgrace.

To officialdom, the operational policy of the OPP in Caledonia since 2006 has been one of restraint and moderation, the delicate balancing of competing interests to prevent further violence. In terms of facts on the ground, the crisis has seen the wholesale surrender of part of sovereign Canadian soil to thugs. That those thugs are of a different racial origin than most Canadians, is irrelevant. That the thugs in question have pretensions of political sovereignty, is a point to be argued over by political scientists and historians.

For nearly five years countless serious criminal acts have gone punished. Law and order, whose maintenance is the sole justification for having a professional police force, collapsed in a part rural Ontario. Julian Fantino was responsible for maintaining law and order, for whatever reason, he failed in that duty.

I don't think Don Cherry approves of theft of property. I don't think he approves of hydro transformers being destroyed as part of a "protest." I don't think the no-nonsense coach of NHL lore would approve of ordinary, hardworking people being harassed day and night by violent thugs. I think he would be appalled at fear and terror being inflicted on aged veterans. The kind of Canada Don Cherry grew up in, and the kind of Canada I suspect he wants his grandchildren to inherit, is a peaceful and civilized place. Here disagreements are settled through discussion, and at last resort to the courts. Violence is used only for self-defense. 

Another working class, small town kid, Christie Blatchford, has carefully document in her book Helpless how ordinary Canadians - including many honourable front-line police officers - were sold down the river by their superiors. First and foremost among them is Julian Fantino.

I know you're a stand up guy Grapes, but you've made a bad call this time. When the residents of Vaughan go into the polling booth today, hopefully they'll remember their fellow Canadians, a few hours away, in Caledonia.

Update:  Blatch's take on the Don Cherry endorsement:

Mr. Cherry, of course, lives in Mississauga, works in downtown Toronto, and has a cottage near Kingston. He has, in other words, no vested interest, let alone a vote, in the by-election next Monday.

Now when Gary McHale, then of Richmond Hill, first poked his nose into the occupation that was going on in the town of Caledonia south of Hamilton, and began in late December, 2006, organizing rallies for those who objected to the way the Ontario government and the OPP were handling the occupation, Mr. Fantino had just taken over as the OPP boss.

He immediately demonized Mr. McHale, not a Caledonia resident, as “an outsider” with “an agenda.”

Posted by Richard Anderson on November 29, 2010 | Permalink


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