Some people should not be allowed to hold a position of authority because of their abuse of that authority and I rank Police Chief John Hagarty of Kawartha Lakes among them.

Here is the link to a CTV news piece on the matter:

Here is a quote from that piece: A group of bikers won't be allowed to take part in a ceremony honouring war veterans for the second year in a row in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. The local police chief feels the group's participation is odd and that the 'biker attire' would stand out against the backdrop of cadets and military uniforms.

For a second year in a row, the police chief has denied the Kawartha Lake Charity Riders the right to march in the Remembrance Day Parade while wearing their biker attire.

He put the ultimatum to the Royal Canadian Legion again - it's either the bikers or me.

For the second year in a row, the Royal Canadian Legion, Sir Sam Hughes Branch 67, capitulated and the Kawartha Charity Riders out of respect and deference, agreed to silently watch the procession instead of being a part of it.

I am disgusted with the police chief who refuses to speak with me.
I am sad that the Legion chose to cow tow to this arrogant man.

It has been suggested that we should be suing the police chief - there are no legal precedents that I know of that would allow one to sue him for his personal beliefs and opinions.

Maybe he could be sued as a bully because that is what he appears to be.

However, I do feel that it is an abuse of his authority.

The only way this situation is ever going to get resolved is for the Mayor, Ric McGee, of Kawartha Lakes to take his police chief to task and make him apologize to the Legion and the Kawartha Lake Charity Riders.

This police chief is entitled to his personal opinion but is not entitled to infringe on the rights of anyone he is sworn to serve and protect and by telling the Legion it's them or me - he has become a bully of the lowest kind.

It is a travesty that all Canadians who want to lay a wreath at a cenotaph are not allowed to.

This man is not the moral or the fashion police and should be put in his place by someone.

I think there are two things that we in the riding community can and must do.

The first is to start inundating the Mayor's office, the Police Chief's office and the Sir Sam Hughes Branch 67 of the Legion with emails and letters expressing our outrage and disbelief.

The second thing is to begin a defence fund.
It is high time we start legally working to protect our rights as citizens of Canada.

I propose a national organization called the Canadian Riders for Justice & Equality.

What say you?

In the meantime, if you feel so inclined to actually do something about your anger over Chief Hagarty's position here is the contact information you need:

John Hagarty, BAA, CMM III
Chief of Police

City of Kawartha Lakes
Chief’s Executive Assistant Leah Rea -
Phone: 705 324-6307 ext 506
The Contact us page link:
The chief's Twitter account:

Mayor of Kawartha Lakes
Ric McGee
Phone: 705-324-9411 ext 1320
Twitter account:

Councillor Gord James - Chair of the Kawartha Lakes Police Service Board
Phone: 705-324-3985

Royal Canadian Legion - Sir Sam Hughes Branch 67
Ask to speak to : Harold Jessup - President
Phone: 705-324-2613 
Contact Us form page:

As I pay homage to our veterans today - all of our veterans, I wonder what they would think if they knew this is how the citizens they fought to protect, the rights and freedoms they fought to protect were being treated and what they would want us - the citizens of Canada to do about it.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Thank you Belt Drive Betty!! I am ashamed of our CHEIF of POLICE!! Disgusted actually! And I am VERY PROUD OF THE KAWARTHA CHARITY RIDERS and THOSE whom have FOUGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM!! AND OF COURSE, VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!! LLH&R

  2. Anonymous11:15 AM

    as for the "Boycott Kawartha Lake" page that is happening... I strongly feel that you are lowering yourselves to be exactly what the the Police chief has done... you are all making it about yourselves... so why not try to be better than that and just stand back and take 2 minutes of silence, respect all those who have gone before us... and set up another memorial... It is not where it is how we respect those that have fallen for all of us to have freedom...

  3. Anonymous - I did not start the Boycott Page and have in fact asked that the name be changed to Remove John Hagarty as Police Chief. We have a petition in that name started as well.

  4. Anonymous1:54 PM

    I am disgusted beyond words I personally served in the Air Force ,my Son is presently serving in the Army and I had 4 uncles that served in WWII. I can't imagine how Deputy Dog thinks he has the right to decide who can and cannot walk in a Parade to show respect for "My" fallen Comrades, What gives him the right to be the big Decider?I'm betting he has Zero Military service himself, there is Racism and there is Racism, This man needs to be fired for his Racism against people that happen to enjoy riding Motorcycles

  5. I served in the military for 24 years and now I am a biker. I am ashamed of what this man has done, how can he possibly think he can tell people who can and who can't lay a wreath. I am sorry, but I thought this was a democracy. As soon as Mr. Hagarty buys his own cenotaph and then he can tell whomever he wants to, to lay a wreath or not, but until then, leave the bikers along.
    Carolyn K

  6. Robert E. Simmons5:05 PM

    There is no way we can repay the vets who served, fought and died for our freedom. But there is a way we can honour them and those who still live. And that is by standing up and demanding our freedom and the rights they so bravely defended.
    By sharing this post, all of us will be taking some sort of stand. By writing or phoning the powers that be means we are taking a firmer stand.
    I hope if and when my friends read this, they share it, call the powers that be AND send them letters.

  7. spyderman5:38 PM

    At all Remembrance Day Services they have wreaths after all services laid a wreath that are for the general public to place at the cenataph in memory of loved ones. They can not stop you from laying a wreath at that time, and will even supply the wreath.

  8. Spyderman - you are missing the point of this post - the chief had no right to abuse his authority or his percieved importance in the community because of his position as police chief to bully the Legion into asking the Chrity riders to step back.

    It's immoral if not illegal

  9. Anonymous6:30 PM

    I would dress my grandchildren in "Biker wear' and have them lay a wreath....I as their grandMOTHER family has family has died to give us equal rights...lets use our rights next Nov 11 have all riders and ppl that support our venture of being equal place a wreath at another spot..this will make the news around the world and make the police dept. look like s*it

  10. Its police like this that really lose my respect for police forces in general. I know too many good police that have left the service due to misuse of authority.

  11. Mr Haggarty,

    I suspect you've read many e-mails, posts, and even entertained face to face conversations over the issue of Disallowing members of Motorcycle organizations not participate in the local Remembrance Day ceremony.

    I'm not voicing my thoughts in anger. No Sir! I truly understand your Authority as a Police Chief are monumental to say the very least. Your input to the local society and economy will certainly be reflected by those you serve.

    It's understood that some of the motorcycling community may be involved with nefarious activity, however… we cannot paint the entire motorcycle community with the same brush. There are motorcycle clubs that represent the public and their communities very well. Christian Motorcycle Association and other benevolent groups happily volunteer and donate to many many great causes. And the fact that someone wears a typical black leather jacket or blue jeans, don't suit the 'back drop' of uniforms sported by those serving this Country as paid employees… is a slap in the face to those Veterans who not only served this wonderful Country, but have often paid a huge sacrifice.

    Because I do not know the individuals you deny, it's difficult for me to determine if you have an ulterior motive that prevents 'Certain' Canadians from paying respects to the fallen and those that continue to serve.

    I am a Canadian Veteran that is now suffering a fatal disease from exposure to chemical elements in the experimental times as a Military Person. Neither the Forces nor I, suspected there would be payment for my Service in such a manner. I still love this country, and the Military I served under. And if that is not enough. I am a 'biker' by proxy, because I ride a motorcycle. I'd not be happy if you were the soul that denied me to pay respects to my Three Generations of family that served this country before me. I have friends that are RCMP that have NO issues that I stand before a Cenotaph in my biker leather Jacket, and blue jeans… because I too am representing thanks for THEIR service.

    It's understood that many of the criminal elements that ride motorcycles and represent a darker side openly… can still respect those soldiers that fought for their freedom. THEY do not represent all those that wear a black leather jacket, and blue jeans…. THEY do not represent the majority who ride motorcycles.

    I'm not requesting a resignation of position… but a resignation of your initial thoughts on the motorcycle community. WE/THEY are part and parcel of the reason you are in your position. To Protect and Serve. But I don't need to tell you that.

    Please, in the future… Let's you and I support all those that support our troops. YOU wear an important uniform… let us STAND TOGETHER as Brother's in Arms along with those 'bikers' that support our troops as well.


  12. Anonymous10:43 AM

    I would hope that other veterns would support their riding brothers and sisters and boycott the parade. it sure would be something if no veterns showed up for the parade. not all bikers are criminals. ima US vet and I support all vets US or Canadian

  13. To: Members of the Belt Drive Betty Motorcycle Club.

    I must be honest and say that it does not surprise me how terribly you were treated by the Police Chief of this City. For such a small community I find it very alarming that some people in service to residents appear to frequently forget their place and that is that they are public servants. Indeed the Chief of Police must enforce the law, but he overstepped his bounds when he contravened the Police Services Act, RSO, 1990. In denying you to participate as a club in the Remembrance Day Community Parade, I believe that he contravened “The Declaration of Principles”, Point 1, which declares that he must enact the principal of the importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code. Saying that you cannot participate given you attire seems to mirror other situations where people have been discriminated against given their dress.

    As a citizen of this community I was very embarrassed to learn how the Police Chief of Kawartha Lakes, treated your group on Remembrance Day. I do not understand how an individual in his position would have unilateral and make final judgement that your club members are not property attired to participate in the parade. I understand that you were told that if you marched then his police constables would not participate. By placing you in this predicament, I believed that he breached his sworn duty to protect you rights under the Charter. Although he may have personal thoughts on your attire, those personal views should not have come forward in denying you your right. It appears that the line between what he personally believes and what is legal under the law is one in which he was unable to manage clearly. By stepping down, your club showed respect to a Chief that was not entitled to have it on that day.
    If anything, the decision should have come from the Royal Canadian Legion as they are the party who is hosting the event. We all respect them and on a day of such great importance, I do not believe anyone would challenge their wishes. I am not aware if their opinions were heard or acted upon.
    As an individual who lives in the community, it quite embarrassing that the Chief of Kawartha Lakes caused a situation, where news of his exploits was broadcast across this land. He brought shame to the local police service and the community in general. This gentleman does not show the signs of a peace officer, but a police enforcer.

    I can only guess that maybe this Police Chief may have a narcissistic complex or a person that is very much unaware of what is happening beyond the boundaries of this city. There are bike clubs all across this nation and most of them are formed to do go for communities. Many of those bikers are police constables, lawyers, engineers, or people who love riding their bikes, while at the same time undertaking endeavours to help foundations or communities.

    This Chief appears to be out of touch as the TPS and the OPP lead hundreds of bikers, just like you, on rides for charity.
    Maybe this is a good time to relieve this man of his duties or even better, have the OPP look after policing in this entire region as is done in many other communities in Ontario. I do not feel comfortable with a person who has great power and is incapable of knowing right from wrong. Those are my thoughts, but it is for others to form their opinions. But I do not think that what happened should not just fade away like so many things. No this gentleman has to do some explaining to do to the Police Service Board and more importantly to the people he is sworn to protect.

    I should end by saying that I know very little about your club and I do not any of your club members.

  14. I served for 33 years, I have no need to march in a parade but I would dare a cop to try to stop me from laying a wreath on Nov 11th to pay repspect to my fallen friends and brother who served. I am a Proud 1%er member of the Bacchus MC.

  15. The Legion made the wrong choice.

  16. bonecutter8:41 AM

    I see there was a Veteran's motorcycle group marching in the Remembrance Day Parade in Ottawa this year. They were wearing their vests. So we're good enough for the nation's capitol but not good enough for this little dictator's backwater town?


  17. I am an active Legion Member and Director on the Executive of my Branch, as well as the wife of a veteran and an avid motorcycle rider. Our Legion welcomes the participation of all the veteran motorcycle groups each year. This year my husband and I joined the "Legion Rider's" program when it launched in June and are actively uniting motorcycle riders to join our Legion. We were even prepared to allow Legion Riders to ride in the parade, sadly weather did not permit.

    May I suggest that perhaps the best way to resolve this for next year is to have all veteran motorcyclists or supporters join the "Legion Riders" and proudly wear the patch on their vests in the parade. I'm sure the Legion would be quite justified and the Police Chief could hardly argue when the Legion insists that their own riders are encouraged to march to honour vets.


  18. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Shit runs down comes from the top and colours the entire force.

  19. Anonymous3:39 PM

    It's all sad really, this should off never append...But we should remember it is the man who uttered those words, not the uniform he represents, how others can support him, in is beyond belief.

  20. Anonymous11:27 PM

    I happend across this post somehow and read each of the comments. Without knowing too much about it I still think you are all wrong. It is not a parade or march or is to honour those who gave their lives. they should be respected by having marchers wear uniforms. Bikers do not have uniforms. And FYI I am a retired police officer and also ride. I would not insist on anyone changing the history of such an important march to allow me to march dressed like a biker...really?

  21. You are entitled to your opinion sir - at the end of the day I am grateful you are not the moral authority.

    There are great men like Trapper Cane who fought 8 tours and founded the C.A.V. - I dare you to tell that man he can't wear his biker uniform in a parade for something he fought for - respect comes in may packages and forms...sadly yours is misguided.