Gary captures 10% of H-N votes

Posted in Campaign News on October 15, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

UPDATED 1052 EST Oct 27/08

Here are the preliminary results of the election as reported by Elections Canada

Gary captured 10% of the popular vote with nearly 5,000 votes! He also scored 1st or 2nd in every Caledonia poll. Just as interesting, 62% of Gary’s votes came from outside Caledonia, signifying that there is a broad base of support both in and outside Caledonia for his/our efforts to fight race-based policing. Caledonia’s victims should be pleased to know that some of their neighbours really do care about their plight.

Here’s how the Simcoe Reformer wrote the story:

Hoskins was clearly hurt by the presence of McHale, whose reach went beyond Caledonia. He actually won a poll in Hagersville while finishing second ahead of Hoskins in other Haldimand communities such as Kohler and Fisherville. In Caledonia, McHale took roughly half the 20 polls and tied two with Hoskins. Wherever Hoskins went in Haldimand, McHale seemed sure to follow, sucking votes away.

But it is also telling that Finley endured in Caledonia, winning three polls there and finishing a respectable third in many others. This was supposed to be her undoing and it wasn’t. The Liberals failed to gain traction there, right in the heart of a nasty political crisis, or in any other part of the riding for that matter.

Simcoe Reformer, Oct 16/08: Conservatives hang on, even in the face of crisis

Karen Best of the Dunnville Chronicle offered these observations on Gary’s strength:

Both [PC Finley and Liberal Hoskins] were out distanced by independent candidate Gary McHale in almost every poll in Caledonia.

Compared to Norfolk County statisitcs, the tide turned in polls located in Haldimand County. In Jarvis, Selkirk, and Hagersville polls, McHale was getting about 40 votes in each. In one Hagersville poll, he pulled ahead of the top contenders with a 49-vote count.

In Caledonia, preliminary results showed McHale’s popularity. Finley won just two polls and Hoskins won three polls along with tying McHale at two others. The rest of the town was McHale’s. In one poll, he eclipsed the front runners with 106 votes compared to their 50 and 60 scores. In some polls, he was 20 to 30 votes ahead.

In Cayuga, Finley won the three polls, one with double the votes for Hoskins. The McHale factor played a roll in results. In two polls, he had more votes than the Liberal candidate. With his vote count ranging from 27 to 67, the independent candidate made his dent in statistics.

Finley won the Canfield polls where McHale was ahead of Nichols. McHale took a whopping 66 votes in Kohler surpassing Hoskins’ 53 and breathing down Finley’s 76-vote count.

In Fisherville and Selkirk, McHale pulled in front of Hoskins in three polls.

Dunnville Chronicle, Oct 17/08: Voters speak at the polls

A great victory for victims of race-based policing!

For two years, politicians and members of the OPP have been trying to paint Gary McHale as an ‘outsider/interloper’ with no support from the community. That myth has now been shattered forever! Almost 5,000 people voted for Gary – NOT for any party – and for his message that the law should be applied equally to protect all citizens from lawlessness during land claim disputes.

Dunnville Chronicle: Independent McHale makes strong showing in first campaign

There was disappointment, but also a sense of vindication as Haldimand- Norfolk Independent candidate Gary McHale earned more than 4,800 votes in Tuesday’s federal election.

The 46-year-old civil rights advocate finished in fourth place with 4,821 votes, earning 10 per cent of the total votes cast in the riding. Conservative Diane Finley was re-elected with 19,657 votes while Liberal candidate Eric Hoskins earned 15,577 votes and NDP candidate Ian Nichols received 5,549 votes.

“Obviously it’s disappointing, but at the same time more than 4,600 people at this point chose to vote for me and not for a party,” McHale told The Chronicle shortly after Finley’s re-election was announced around 11 p. m. on Tuesday. “As an independent it’s very hard to get anyone to vote for you. This also destroys the myth that somehow there are only 40 to 100 people who support me in Caledonia. Obviously there are thousands of people who want me to be a strong voice.”

McHale said voter support for his campaign provided a sense of vindication. “The government wanted to paint me as an evil person who created all the violence (in Caledonia) when the truth of the matter is that that’s not true,” he said. “The average person saw me as someone who had a strong voice for them.”

Mark Vandermaas, vice president and director of research for CANACE, has worked with McHale for the past two years and was alongside him throughout this election campaign. Even though the election results didn’t provide the “fairytale ending” that McHale and his supporters wanted Vandermaas viewed the final count of 4,821 votes as a great accomplishment.

“It’s just been such an amazing ride,” he said shortly after Finley was declared re-elected Haldimand-Norfolk MP. “If you look at where Gary’s been– he’s been arrested, had his life threatened, been attacked, sent to a hospital and lost his home for Caledonia. He’s had his reputation smeared especially by the OPP and supporters of the Douglas Creek occupation so to get to here I think that’s an amazing accomplishment. He’s made believers of about 4,600 people at this point.”

“I think it will be very hard for people to look at Gary and try to blame him for all the problems in Caledonia,” Vandermaas added. “Looking at the election results there are at least 4,600 people who disagree. From here on in I think the politicians ignore the injustices in Caledonia at their peril.”

Vandermaas said he expected McHale would take a short breather and then continue civil rights activities in Haldimand.

“We will continue to seek justice for people, native and non-native, in Caledonia,” he said. “We have a duty to continue to speak out for victims of injustice. Gary is just someone who never gives up–he won’t quit. He said to me that he didn’t care if anybody in Caledonia wanted him there. He would still go because it’s the right thing to do.”

Dunnville Chronicle, Doreen Hoover, Oct 17/08: Independent McHale makes strong showing in first campaign

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Generation Zel! Radio: ‘This Election – Dare to Believe’

Posted in Campaign News, Endorsements, Liberals smear McHale on October 14, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

The Gary McHale campaign was very pleased when Richard Robillard of Generation Zel! Radio ( informed his listeners he was, for the first time in his life, not going to vote Conservative, but for Gary McHale. 

Richard has followed the Caledonia crisis closely and has supported the efforts to restore the rule of law in Haldimand. He spent about an hour with Gary during the Delhi Fair and wrote his original endorsement shortly afterwards.

Richard has just posted a new Thanksgiving endorsement reminding voters that Gary truly deserves their support:

So this election, I’ve decided to go with the maverick. The one who has promised to stand up for our area because he doesn’t have to tow a party line. The one who has been in our area addressing the black eye that is ruining our economy. The one who shows passion, leadership and integrity. I know how this man stands on an issue because he makes it clear. Love him or hate him, at least you know he will defend Haldimand-Norfolk. I ask you to give Gary McHale strong consideration when you go to the ballot tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving.

Generation Zel Radio (, Oct 13/08: This Election – Dare to Believe

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McHale campaign exposes last minute Liberal smear effort

Posted in Campaign News, Liberals smear McHale on October 11, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

UPDATED 1941 EST Oct 11/08

Two well-known Liberals close to the Hoskins campaign have recently made false allegations that the McHale campaign is being secretly funded and/or backed by people other than grassroots voters as required by Canadian law:

Questions arise about the finances of this election campaign. McHale’s campaign is estimated to cost from $10,000 to $50,000. A truly independent candidate could not raise that amount of money. How could McHale pay these additional debts? How can he arrange financing while claiming to be nearly bankrupt?

The Sachem, Oct 10/08, Letter to Editor: Darrell Doxtdator – Are you getting your money’s worth? 

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Dunnville Chronicle: Independent MP could play ‘very important’ role

Posted in Campaign News on October 10, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

The Dunnville Chronicle has published a great article today comparing the benefits of an Independent MP to one affiliated with a party. Here are some quotes:

“How a back bencher can affect a vote will depend on the composition of the house, Siegel [said that] in the past it has been shown that one vote can be very important, he added referring to independent MP Charles Cadman. In 2005, his vote in support of the Liberal budget prevented an election.”

“So if the new government is a minority, again a sole independent vote will be very important, pointed out Siegel. In the case of a majority, no one on the minority has much influence, he added.”

“All members of Parliament have a certain station so if McHale is elected he will be able to get more attention than the least member of the New Democratic Party, he noted. Also an independent does not have to follow a party line, he added.”

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McHale shows Hoskins face of compassion and truth during Simcoe debate

Posted in Campaign News on October 10, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

The Simcoe Chamber of Commerce sponsored a ‘Federal Candidates Night’ on Wednesday, Oct 08/08 at the Park Place Banquet Centre in Simcoe. Steve Elgersma was the only candidate unable to attend due to a death in the family. Even Diane Finley managed to make an appearance after skipping 3 previous debates.

The room was filled to capacity – about 500 people or so.

So, tell us about YOUR accomplishments in Caledonia, Dr. Eric

Gary held his own very well during the debate through a wide range of questions, but especially when a woman from Caledonia wearing a Hoskins button tried to accuse him of being the cause of all of Caledonia’s problems. She didn’t mention the fact that she lived on River Road, nowhere near the occupied Douglas Creek Estates and its associated lawlessness that has victimized so many innocent people nearby. She seemed deliberately obtuse/oblivious to the fact that it wasn’t Gary McHale who attacked Caledonia’s people or infrastructure; she was obviously trying to give her Liberal candidate an opening to attack McHale, which he did. Unfortunately, it backfired.

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McHale big winner at Caledonia debate

Posted in Campaign News on October 7, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

According to the various print media present at last night’s debate at the Legion in Caledonia Diane Finley was the clear loser while Gary was, by far, the crowd favorite. Dr. Eric barely got an honourable mention for his performance. This follows on the heels of last Saturday’s (Oct 04/08) Cable 14 debate for which the Hamilton Spectator pronounced Gary the winner, Dr. Eric the loser and Finley, a chicken.

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Hamilton Spectator: McHale – winner; Hoskins – loser; Finley – chicken

Posted in Campaign News on October 6, 2008 by Mark Vandermaas

The Hamilton Spectator has confirmed our impression that Gary outshined Dr. Eric during last Saturday’s televised Cable 14 debate  On the eve of the Caledonia debate tonight and the Simcoe debate set for Wednesday, the Spec summed up the Haldimand-Norfolk debate like this:

Simple or smooth — you chooseSpectator political columnist Andrew Dreschel took in six hours of local candidates’ debates and tells you who won and who lost 


Winner: Gary McHale, Independent

Loser: Eric Hoskins, Liberal

With Conservative incumbent Diane Finley apparently chickening out, the stage was set for star Liberal candidate Eric Hoskins to shine.

But the well-spoken Rhodes Scholar and war zone humanitarian was upstaged by Gary McHale, the well-known Caledonia activist (or, if you prefer, rabble rouser) who is running as an Independent.

Hoskins undermined his own position by first identifying the native land claims as the most urgent issue facing the riding, but offered no solution other than a deadline for negotiations which would be tepidly followed by mediation in case of an impasse. Gee, that would be different.

By contrast, McHale promised to rattle cages and maintain a media spotlight on the issue until it was solved, threatening to be the worst nightmare for the OPP and provincial and federal powers that be.

While Hoskins responsibly offered more of the same, McHale dared frustrated voters to take a risky walk with him along the edge

The Hamilton Spectator, Andrew Dreschel, Oct 6/08: Simple or smooth – you choose

Latebreaking news in the Chicken department…

The Cable 14 debate wasn’t to be the last debate Finley skipped – we received word this morning that she was scheduled to appear for a Caledonia photo op at Industrial Drive at 12:00 noon with none other than Jim Flaherty, Canada’s Minister of Finance.

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