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Old 06-29-2006, 05:14 AM   #1
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FROM: THE TORONTO SUN NEWSPAPER WEBSITE

_http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/06/27/1655596-sun.html_
(http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canad...55596-sun.html)

Ipperwash stunner

Captain contradicts testimony at inquiry; able to meet natives

By CP

(javascript:sendit();)
(http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canad...f-1655596.html)
(http://rapids.canoe.ca/cgi-bin/reg/N...CE&LOOK=TORSUN) (mailto:editor@tor.sunpub.com) FOREST -- A former
army captain contradicted previous testimony at the Ipperwash inquiry
yesterday, saying he may have been able to arrange negotiations between police and
First Nations protesters.
William Smith, a former captain at the army base adjacent to Ipperwash
Provincial Park, said he was in contact with aboriginal protesters on Sept. 6,
1995, the day an OPP officer fatally shot protester Dudley George.
"I could drive up and talk with them," he said.
Smith said he was trying to arrange a meeting between police and a First
Nations leader, and that he informed OPP incident commander John Carson of his
efforts.
Smith's testimony contradicts statements from OPP officers who previously
testified before the inquiry.

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During his testimony, Sgt. Brad Selzer said he had been "trying hard" to find
someone who would speak on behalf of the occupiers. Another officer said he
was threatened by aboriginal protesters when he tried to establish a dialogue
with them.
Smith said he had gained first-hand experience dealing with aboriginal
protesters six weeks before the occupation of Ipperwash park. A group of
protesters drove through the gate of the army base to reclaim land they felt was
rightfully theirs.
First Nations people had been moved off the land during World War II so that
the training camp could be built.
"My role was trying to maintain a degree of calm, and peacefully hand over
the base," Smith said.
The hearing resumes today and is supposed to conclude this week after nearly
two years of testimony.
Justice Sidney Linden, who is presiding over the inquiry, is expected to
present a list of recommendations designed to avoid similar incidents to the
Ontario government by the end of the year.
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:25 AM   #2
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FROM: THE GLOBE AND MAIL NEWSPAPER WEBSITE
_http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060628.wipper0628/BNStor
y/National/home_
(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../National/home)
Two years later, Ipperwash inquiry set to end

Canadian Press

Forest, Ont. After two years and some 140 witnesses, the Ipperwash inquiry
is scheduled to end today.
The final witness is expected to be Ron French of the federal Department of
Indian Affairs via video from Ottawa.
The inquiry is probing the Sept. 6, 1995 Ontario Provincial Police shooting
death of aboriginal protester Dudley George during a protest at the provincial
park near Sarnia, Ont.

The goal of the inquiry being held in Forest, Ont. is to recommend ways to
avoid violence in similar situations.
Closing arguments are scheduled for the week of Aug. 21 and Justice Sidney
Linden is expected to deliver his recommendations to the provincial government
by the end of the year.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:07 AM   #3
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FROM: THE TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPER

_http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Articl
e_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151531412705&call_pageid=968256289824&col=968342212737_

(http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=968342212737
)

Ipperwash Probe Calls Final Witness

Two years, 1,875 exhibits and $20 million later

Native's shooting inquiry yields `lot of good evidence'
Jun. 29, 2006. 01:00 AM
PETER EDWARDS AND HAROLD LEVY
STAFF REPORTERS

CP PHOTO Two aboriginal protesters man a barricade near the
entrance to Ipperwash Provincial Park, near Ipperwash Beach, Ont., on Sept. 7,
1995.

Stoney Point native elder Clifford George bubbled about his high hopes two
years ago shortly before the public inquiry began into the death of his
cousin, native activist Anthony (Dudley) George.
"Good deal," Clifford George, then 83, said at the time. "I'll be happy when
it's finally all over with. There's so much that needs to come out. I think
(the inquiry) is the best thing that ever happened."
That was two years, 1,875 exhibits and $19.74 million in legal and
administration costs ago.
The inquiry heard its 140th and final witness yesterday in the southwestern
Ontario town of Forest, about 20 minutes from Ipperwash Provincial Park on
Lake Huron, where Dudley George was killed in a late-night Ontario Provincial
Police operation on Sept. 6, 1995.
Clifford George didn't live to see the end of the inquiry. He faithfully
attended its hearings until last summer, when medical treatments got in the way.
He died of cancer in September, three months before perhaps the inquiry's
most shocking testimony, when former Conservative attorney general Charles
Harnick took the witness stand.
Harnick testified about a top-level meeting held shortly after noon on Sept.
6, 1995, in former premier Mike Harris's private dining room at Queen's Park
 about 11 hours before George was shot to death by Acting-Sgt. Kenneth
Deane of the OPP's paramilitary Tactics and Rescue Unit.
"The premier, in a loud voice, said, `I want the f---ing Indians out of the
park," Harnick testified before commissioner Mr. Justice Sidney Linden.
Harnick's voice quivered as he admitted to the inquiry that he lied about
Ipperwash repeatedly in the legislature.
"I think there was loyalty (to Harris) and ... political issues ..." Harnick
testified under questioning from commission lawyer Don Worme. Harnick's
testimony came just days after that of Debbie Hutton, a former senior Harris
aide, who told the inquiry she did not recall the premier making any such
comments.
A key question for the inquiry is whether there was inappropriate political
interference in the events leading up to George's death. The OPP has
repeatedly said it did not take operational direction from the government and Harris
flatly denied political interference. In an often-scorching
cross-examination, lawyer Julian Falconer, who represents Aboriginal Legal Services in
Toronto, noted that Hutton said "I don't recall" or words to that effect 134 times
in just one day on the stand.
Hutton testified she couldn't remember specifics of what Harris said. She
also couldn't recall what  if anything  she said.
Harris's more than 26 hours on the witness stand ended in a withering
exchange with Falconer.
"I didn't lie," Harris testified. "It's the truth."
Falconer bluntly accused Harris of covering up knowledge that he and Hutton
met with three plainclothes OPP officers in his dining room Sept. 6, 1995.
One of those OPP officers, then-Insp. Ron Fox, was taped in a conversation
immediately after he left the meeting. The tape was played at the inquiry and
revealed Fox told then-OPP Insp. John Carson, who was in charge at Ipperwash,
that Harris had called for "swift affirmative action."
Carson and other members of the OPP repeatedly testified they acted
independently at Ipperwash.
In the taped conversation, Fox said Harris thought he could direct police,
and called Harris a "gun lover," a "redneck" and someone who could not give a
"s--t less about Indians."
Harris said he didn't realize Fox and two others at the meeting were
plainclothes OPP officers.
Harris testified he and Hutton were "shocked" to learn that Fox was with the
OPP.
Harris said Carson was "100 per cent wrong" when he said in the taped phone
conversation that the government wanted police to "kick ***" when dealing
with native protestors the day Dudley George was killed.
Natives occupied the closed provincial park on Sept. 4, 1995, saying they
were protecting sacred burial grounds.
The claims about burial grounds were later supported by documents released
by the federal government.
In the taped conversation, Carson said, "They (government officials) just
want us to go kick ***."
Fox replied, "That's right."
Carson then said, "We're not prepared to do that yet."
Former solicitor-general Robert Runciman and former minister of natural
resources Chris Hodgson testified shortly after Harnick.
They were both also at the meeting in Harris's dining room and both denied
hearing Harris say, "I want the f---ing Indians out of the park," as Harnick
testified.
Hodgson also denied similar comments, which were attributed to him by former
deputy solicitor general Elaine Todres.
Todres testified she heard Hodgson tell the meeting, "Get those f---ing
Indians out of my park."
In other key moments of testimony, former OPP commissioner Thomas O'Grady
said he's now satisfied that all natives in the park were unarmed the night
George was killed.
The OPP had originally said they were fired upon by natives that night.
Deane, who was convicted in April 1997 of criminal negligence causing death
for the shooting, died in a car accident in February, shortly before he was
due to testify.
He shot Dudley George when seven OPP officers opened fire during a melee
outside the park that began after the force's riot squad marched on Ipperwash
late at night, flanked by snipers from the Tactics and Rescue Unit.
Dudley George's brother Sam George said yesterday he's pleased with the
inquiry and the testimony he heard.
"A lot of good evidence came out," he said. "It was what I was hoping  not
expecting  but hoping would come out."

to be cont..
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:08 AM   #4
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============================================

Report expected by year's end

Ipperwash inquiry commissioner Sidney Linden, Chief Justice of the Ontario
Court of Justice, has said he aims to deliver the final report of findings and
recommendations to Ontario's attorney general by year's end.
That means it likely won't be until early next year that the public gets to
read the findings of the probe into the shooting death of Indian activist
Anthony (Dudley) George in a massive late-night police operation at Ipperwash
Provincial Park on Sept. 6, 1995.
Inquiry lawyers will gather a final time the week of Aug. 21 at the hockey
arena in Forest, Ont., near Ipperwash, to make oral arguments before Linden.
Those sessions will also be open to the public.
While the provincial government isn't bound to act on any recommendations
drafted by Linden, inquiry suggestions have played a big role in the past in
shaping public policy.
The Ipperwash inquiry was established by the government of Ontario on Nov.
12, 2003, after Dalton McGuinty was elected premier.
Its mandate is to inquire and report on events surrounding George's death
and to make recommendations to avoid similar tragedies. Linden doesn't have the
power to comment on whether he thinks any person or group is criminally or
civilly liable.
Peter Edwards and Harold Levy
==============================================
FROM: THE TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPER WEBSITE

_http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Articl
e_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151531411715&call_pageid=968256289824&col=968342212737_

(http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=968342212737
)

Testimony Wraps Up At Ipperwash Inquiry

Jun. 28, 2006. 06:10 PM
CANADIAN PRESS
After two years and some 140 witnesses, testimony at an often confrontational
and controversial inquiry into the 1995 shooting death of Dudley George at
Ipperwash Provincial Park came to an end Wednesday.

And while closing arguments are still two months away and final
recommendations not expected before the end of the year, experts say the inquiry will
likely establish new credibility for the aboriginal claim that started the
standoff in the first place.
"I think that there will probably be very strong indications that the land
belongs to the aboriginal community," said Tammy Landau, a professor at
Ryerson University's School of Criminal Justice in Toronto.
The standoff in Ipperwash began in 1993 when a group of aboriginals occupied
an army camp on a block of land seized by Ottawa under the War Measures Act
in 1942. In 1995, they moved to the adjacent Ipperwash Provincial Park,
citing the presence of a burial ground.
Under cover of night on Sept. 6, 1995, George was shot and killed by Ontario
police Acting Sgt. Kenneth Deane as officers clad in riot gear marched on
the occupation.
Deane, who died earlier this year in a car accident, was convicted of
criminal negligence in George's death, but his trial offered only partial closure
to the George family, said Landau, who specializes in aboriginal justice
issues.
"It really didn't allow all the facts (of the standoff) to come out  who
owned the land, what were the more broader systemic problems between (police)
and the aboriginal community," Landau said.
"I think for the community, they also want (the inquiry) for their claims to
be vindicated and substantiated."
Many blamed the Ontario government of former premier Mike Harris, who was
accused by critics of helping to direct the police action that led to George's
death. In addition to several former cabinet ministers, the inquiry heard
testimony from Harris himself, who denied that he ever exerted any influence
over police.
The land, which has never officially been turned over to the First Nations,
remains closed to the general public.
Ontario's current Liberal government has been dealing with a tense and
occasionally violent aboriginal land claim dispute in Caledonia, Ont., south of
Hamilton, where First Nations members have occupied a housing development site
since the end of February, claiming ownership of land they claim is rightly
theirs.
Police on the scene have been criticized for inaction, which many observers
have attributed to lingering political fears of another Ipperwash-style
confrontation.
Sam George said the tense standoff reminded him of the confrontation that
claimed his brother Dudley's more than 10 years ago.
Most of the George family was present Wednesday for the final day of
testimony at the Ipperwash inquiry, said family spokesman and lawyer Murray
Klippenstein, who added they felt the hearing has done a good job on most issues of
bringing out the facts.
"They feel like they're getting the truth about the death of their brother,
the truth about mistakes that were made, the truth about possible political
interference," said Klippenstein.
"They think they can start to heal."
Klippenstein said he believes the inquiry has left a sense among many First
Nations people that someone is finally listening to their concerns.
"(There's) a sense that the powerful people and powerful institutions that
usually aren't accountable to them had a degree of accountability now," he
said.
Justice Sidney Linden, who presided over the inquiry, said the hearings
provided an opportunity for witnesses to share their view of events in 1995, some
for the first time, but also acknowledged the situation was emotional.
"I was always aware of the fact that revisiting events that took place over
10 years ago may re-open wounds and rekindle feelings and tensions," Linden
wrote in a statement.
"But I was always also hopeful, that through this process, the inquiry might
leave the communities and individuals affected a little "better" than they
were when we began."
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Aug. 21, with Linden's
recommendations expected by year's end, and whatever they are, there's reason for
optimism, Klippenstein said.
"But I think that there's ground for some hope and there's grounds for steps
forward."
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