Thursday, January 6, 2011

Heather Mallick is Right. Julian Fantino is a Scary Clown. Always Has Been

Watching Julian Fantino being sworn in as a Member of Parliament, and a cabinet minister no less, is like an episode of a sitcom.

Fantino was one of the "good old boys" during the Mike Harris years in Toronto, a "whack 'em and stack 'em" cowboy, who was your man if you were a wealthy and well connected Conservative and needed a ticket fixed, but everyone else just kept out of his way.

Former mayor Mel Lastman's wife was caught shoplifting. Not problem. Call "Julie". Everyone knew he'd take care of it.
No criminal charges were laid. And word has it Fantino was happy to oblige when the mayor called about reprimanding the individual or individuals responsible for the embarrassing leak. Fantino announced an internal probe the day after the story hit the papers.
I'll stop short of calling him a crooked cop, but few would dispute the claim.

He'd huff an puff and throw his weight around, singing his own praises to anyone who'd listen, but on the QT, a usual response would be just a lot of head shaking. When he was being considered as Toronto's police chief:
While some may view Fantino's arrival as a huge step backward for policing, the prospect of his return does resonate on several levels. For the mayor, Fantino makes immense sense politically."He would want Fantino in there," says the city hall insider. "The first Italian police chief, Fantino's Conservative ties to (Mike) Harris and the law-and-order platform. It would be a natural choice."

... The kind of policing Fantino embodies is the scary part. The steroid boys will get a free hand. It'll be road-boss country again." It's moving the policing discussion a huge step backward," says another councillor, recalling the "kiddie porn" busts Fantino presided over in London that, when all was said and done, amounted mostly to an anti-gay witch hunt.
And when he was selected as Toronto's police chief there was a lot of controversy and the belief that Mike Harris may have had a hand in it:
...there have been firm signals from the Progressive Conservative government at Queen's Park that Mr. Fantino is the man Mike Harris and his people have wanted for the job.

When you make, as the Tories have made, "law and order" a part of political ideology — when you paint a portrait of Toronto and other Ontario cities as places of rampant criminal violence and unchecked sociopathic behaviour — the result, not surprisingly, is politicization of both the Toronto police and the process for appointing a new chief.
"Law and Order agenda" in 2000 where you try to convince people that the city is rampant with violence. Sound familiar? It's pretty clear why Harper chose Fantino. He headed up the police brutality against protesters of Mike Harris's policy. And he was right in the thick of the Ipperwash scandal, when unarmed natives were beaten and one shot.

Yes he's quite a peach. And he's going to be in charge of Canada's seniors? Says Heather Mallick:
If Stephen Harper really wants to “promote positive images of aging,” as a dire government website called Seniors Canada claims, why did he just make Julian Fantino minister of state for seniors? I can’t think of a worse figurehead.

... Fantino is not a distinguished politician with a background in medicine, social services, pension management or even promoting startling ideas for helping a huge greying generation. He has always been a cop, the kind who likes his cars black and white as in days of yore. Wherever he has been a police chief or political candidate — London, York, Toronto, the OPP — he has left behind bitterness among colleagues, lawsuits, allegations of impropriety, an alleged taste for revenge and a long list of carefully blurted slurs. From his musings on Liberal tactics resembling Hitler’s to his rejoinder to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, who he said was “promoting the hug-a-thug philosophy” as the two duelled over the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Fantino has always been his essential self, a blowhard.

His new job is political. It is to urge old men (less so women), who are more likely to be on the hard right, to vote for Harper. Fantino fans are the voters Harper is after (and has already got, surely.)
Even Christie Blatchford in her new book criticizes Fantino who actually blamed a protester's beating on the victim, like blaming a woman for her own rape.

Most in the media have joined the hallelujah chorus, like Fantino is some kind of conquering hero. He won a by-election by 1,000 votes with a 30% voter turnout. Get over yourselves.

He's a horrible man. Absolutely horrible. The best we can do for our seniors now is to buy them protective headgear.



    toronto police have alienated a great many people on their conduct during the G-20 and the conflict in your management may be related to the boss learning that RCMP Chief Superintendent MacNiel took de facto control of policing in the City of Toronto outside of the IPP fenced and secured areas ... I hope not.

    Chief Bill Blair of the TPS made a public statement that he was always in charge of TO but he also said that he could not get control of his cops for more then 2 hours on Sunday night when the cops were holding several hundred people in the rain (while Blair said he was arguing with someone he did not identify to let the people go) ... if his argument was with MacNiel and not the OPP and Peel Regional Police management, (although most shoulder flashes showed TPS) it would be another serious blow to RCMP reputation the rank and file members do not need.

    Lot's of speculation on who took control and ordered what on Saturday and Sunday and the OPP has very quietly pointed fingers at the RCMP's MacNiel but it may yet develop that OPP Chief Julian Fantino was calling the shots and interfering with Bill Blair (Fantino's contract was extended by the Ontario cabinet in 2009 until July 2010 after the G-20 so that he could exercise control of Ontario's policing interests at the G-8 and G-20 on the behalf of the Ontario Security Minister/Solicitor General).

  2. Consider the possibility that Blair may just be the fall guy in all this. He has insisted he was in charge of policing decisions outside the red zone where G20 leaders were meeting.

    But was he really?

    The Integrated Safety Unit (ISU) charged with summit security, created by the RCMP, was composed of forces – including the OPP and the Canadian military – with greater jurisdictional authority than Toronto police in matters of international security.

    The summit was a federal undertaking, but under treaty rules that govern the protection of international dignitaries, it’s the province that was called upon to fulfill security obligations.

    That means all roads lead back to one Julian Fantino, the OPP commish and former Toronto chief who, it is well known, has no love for his successor. (Fantino’s contract expired this month. Word came down Wednesday, July 7, that he will be replaced by Chris Lewis effective August 1.)

    No one but those inside the G20 command centre in Barrie can know what went on in the crucial moments during the protests Saturday and how plans evolved in response to changing conditions. But it’s clear there was some pushing and shoving between Blair and Fantino.

  3. January 7, 2011

    To: Look up an MP via Postal Code:
    Look up an MP by region:
    If you live in Toronto, find your City Councillor:

    Re: Public G20 Enquiry

    Last summer's G20 abuses in my city were appalling. I demand a full official G20 Public Enquiry, with the jurisdiction to ask all fundamental questions and the authority to compel the answers. I wanted to take my family to peacefully protest that weekend but I was too scared. Where is our democracy? Where are my rights and freedoms as a Canadian I am supposed to be entitled to?

    What we need is a full public inquiry, we need a judicial inquiry, we need an independent inquiry, we need an inquiry with full powers to hear sworn evidence, subpoena witnesses and compel the production of all relevant documents. I demand this.

    • There needs to be a Commission of Inquiry into abuses of individual rights and freedoms by the G20 Integrated Security Unit.

    • There needs to be an investigation into the options, risk analysis, and decision-making that led to the G20 Summit being held in Toronto Ontario.

    • There needs to be an investigation into imputed G8-related spending in federal ridings held by CPC Members of Parliament.

    • There needs to be an investigation into all G8/G20-related expenditures made without a tender process.

    • There needs to be a plain English explanation of all agreements and commitments made by the Government of Canada and opportunity for parliamentary debate and vote before they become binding on Canada.

    Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter.

    Canadian Nobody
    City, Province
    Postal Code
    Tel No.


    Stephen Harper - Prime Minister of Canada,,
    Michael Ignatieff – Leader of the Liberal Party,,
    Gilles Duceppe - Leader of the Bloc Québécois,,
    Jack Layton - Leader of the New Democratic Party,,
    Elizabeth May - Leader of the Green Party of Canada,,
    Marjory LeBreton - Leader of the government in the Senate,,
    Dalton McGuinty - Premier of Ontario,,
    Rob Ford - Mayor of Toronto,


    G20 Trials and the War on Activism

    It is no coincidence the people facing the most serious charges with the most restrictive bail conditions are among the most effective organizers in this country. They are precisely the people who build bridges across traditionally separate communities and constituencies, finding common ground where there was often antipathy before.