From: Ann Pohl <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Ipperwash Bill Defeated: Coalition Responds

December 9, 1999 - Media Alert

Coalition for a Public Inquiry into Ipperwash
Postal: Box 111, Station C, Toronto, Ont., M6J 3M7
Telephone: 416-537-3520
Fax: 416-538-2559

Press Conference:
Coalition's National and International Strategy
with Lawyer Mary Eberts, and Harry Kits from Citizens for Public Justice 
Friday, December 10, 1999:  10:00 am
Media Studio, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Tories Defeat "The Truth About Ipperwash Act" on First Reading
~ But the Coalition Won't Give Up - Announces National & International
Strategies ~ 

This morning Conservative party members speedily defeated a Private Member's
Bill calling for an Inquiry into Ipperwash.  Sponsored by Liberal MPP Gerry
Phillips and strongly supported by the New Democrat caucus at Queen's Park,
the Bill was aptly named "The Truth About Ipperwash Act". It had been deftly
worded to accommodate Tory concerns about prejudicing other cases before the
courts.  Still, only one Tory MPP could bring himself to 'do the right
thing': Garry Guzzo, who represents an Ottawa riding.   It was absolutely
clear that Mr. Guzzo, a former Judge, 'broke ranks' on this matter as Tory
and Tory stood to vote the Bill down.   

"This is just a continuation of the Ontario Tory strategy to delay and
obstruct the emergence of the truth about Ipperwash. At the very last
minute, the Tories used their legislative majority to switch the timing for
discussion of this Bill, so that the Press and our members missed the
debate," said Ann Pohl, a Coalition Spokesperson who was alerted about the
time change 40 minutes before debate began and in attendance.  "We admire
the ongoing efforts of the Opposition Parties at Queen's Park to get at the
truth about Ipperwash.  Yet, it is totally clear that the Harris government
will not allow a public investigation into why the September 6, 1995 events
at Ipperwash Park went so terribly wrong. We are relying on national and
international strategies at this point."

The Ontario government has already spent AT LEAST $2,000,000 on the
Ipperwash Cover-Up alone - exclusive of the costs of the associated criminal
cases. By defeating the Bill, the Ontario Tories have ensured that this
fiscal drain will become a hemorrhage. Costs related to the Civil Suit
against the Premier and others, for  Dudley George's "Wrongful Death", will
skyrocket in the next few months as the Premier's new outside lawyer,
Eleanore Cronk, attempts to continue Tory delaying tactics in relation to
the oral Examination for Discovery.  Cronk normally bills in excess of
$400/hr or $4000 per day in court. 

At stake is not just the misuse of taxpayers' money.  The Coalition is
terribly concerned about the nature of state response to democratic protest
across North America: Ipperwash, student and public service demonstrations
in Ontario in 1996, APEC in 1997, and recently the WTO meeting.  Combined
with the threat of violence associated with growing anti-Aboriginal rights
backlash across Canada, our members feel we are involved  in what may be the
fight of our lives: opposing the downward slide in official respect for
civil and political human rights. We will not tolerate Premier Harris
curtailing public investigation and debate of government actions in the name
of efficiency.  We WILL NOT give up on the idea that we are entitled to a
full, impartial, judicial Public Inquiry into all the circumstances
surrounding the death of Dudley George during the Ipperwash Affair. 

- 30 -
For more information:   Ann Pohl - 416-537-3520

Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine 
of international copyright law.
           Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)

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