Jump to content

John Tory: What a dick!


Recommended Posts

Sue the bastards!

Sue lawbreakers, Tory urges

TheStar.com - News - Sue lawbreakers, Tory urges

May 04, 2007

Canadian Press

Environmentalists, union members, First Nations protesters or anyone who engages in illegal blockades and occupations should be taken to court and sued to recover the costs of their actions, Ontario Opposition Leader John Tory said today.

Tory said organizers should be forced to bear the costs of protests like the lengthy Six Nations occupation in Caledonia, last month's rail blockade by Bay of Quinte Mohawks in Deseronto or Thursday's occupation of a Hamilton factory by frustrated workers.

Policing the 15-month Caledonia occupation has cost the province tens of millions of dollars, while last month's 30-hour blockade of a rail line in Deseronto paralyzed passenger and freight traffic between Toronto and Montreal.

"Whether it's a group that is protesting some kind of environmental incident, or farmers protesting government policy, or whether it's a First Nations group protesting what are very legitimate land claims, people cannot take the law into their own hands," Tory said in an interview.

"If I was made premier, I would use the court system to say to people: we have ways of dealing with our complaints, and they don't include blockades and occupations."

If the Conservatives win the Oct. 10 provincial election, Tory said he would "aggressively pursue civil remedies" against people who lead protests that cross the line between free speech and disregard for public safety and the rule of law.

"We can't afford to have businesses shut down, to have passengers inconvenienced, to have policing costs, when people decide that because they have a complaint, they're going to take matters into their own hands," he said.

"We have to use the courts, we have to use financial penalties to send these people a message and say: you can't do this. We're not going to put up with this."

Peter Rosenthal, lawyer for Deseronto protest leader Shawn Brant of the Bay of Quinte Mohawks, said today that Tory's position showed his "ignorance" of the situation where First Nations people are fighting for lands that were taken from them.

"The people who were blocking the trains had their land taken unlawfully from them in 1837," said Rosenthal.

"The comparison between the inconvenience of the train blockage and the taking away of land for 170 years – the people really wronged are the First Nations people."

Rosenthal said he was confident the Bay of Quinte Mohawks would be the victors if the Conservatives won the election and sued them to recover the costs of rail blockade.

"It would be very interesting – let him do it," he said.

"The real inequities are such that First Nations people are the people who are owed."

Finance Minister Greg Sorbara, who is also co-chairing the Liberal government's re-election campaign, said today that Tory is trying anything he can think of to attract voters as the fall election draws near.

"John Tory's in a pretty desperate situation. We're getting very close to an election, and we still don't know what his proposals are for the people of Ontario," Sorbara said in an interview.

"And to take political advantage of a situation in Caledonia which has taxed us all, I think is pandering rather than campaigning."

Speaking to the Association of Police Services Boards in Owen Sound earlier today, Tory said there must be a better way to manage dissent in Ontario and accused Premier Dalton McGuinty of weak leadership.

"Mr. McGuinty basically has done nothing, and he always pretends that the only choice is between calling in the police and doing nothing. I disagree," said Tory.

"I think there is lots that can be done through the courts to dissuade people from engaging people in behaviours that they think is above the law."

I don't think the guy understands that there are *reasons* that protestors are resorting to these methods - mainly that their concerns are being completely ignored.

Furthermore - as if we don't have enough cases clogging the courts...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Understanding is not high on the list of Conservative Leader strengths.

Cancelling the Kelowna accord has not gone over well amongst many First Nations.

Ever since Caledonia erupted as an issue, the Tories have been doing their best to rub salt in the wound. Conservative politicians, and constituents alike.

Likely has something to do with the upcoming election, as well as it has to do with avoiding facing the Ipperwash Inquiry results- which once released, will be a real thorn in the Tories' side for this election.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aside from whether it'd actually be legal for the government to sue targets of law enforcement efforts for the cost of those efforts, I wonder if we'll start to see lawsuits by individuals (and corporations) for costs/losses incurred due to protests such as happened as Caledonia and Deseronto.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...