When I first ran for election in 1985, I was a part-time employee of the Evening Tribune. The mayor of Welland, Eugene Stranges, had been arrested in Buffalo with a priest from Notre Dame, along with two "afro-american" men they claimed kidnapped them at gunpoint. When Buffalo police investigated and found out Mayor Stranges and the priest had an apartment in Buffalo, and were trying to cover up a party gone bad, they were arrested on multiple charges. No gun was involved. After Mayor Stranges was returned to Welland, Welland police arrested him for the theft of Bingo Hall money, where he was a bingo caller. His father was found with $14,000 of Bingo Hall money in the trunk of his car, but he wasn't arrested.
Johnny Carson talked about Welland twice on "The Tonight Show", the news from Welland was creating so much interest. Their trial was moved to Toronto, where not much was heard or known in Welland. A photo was printed showing Eugene Stranges on a work crew, picking up garbage beside a highway in Toronto, but little else was described. That's a common theme for Welland criminals, having their trial moved to Toronto where it gets played out far from local voters and residents, and little is known about the verdicts.
Welland city council met in secret, avoiding reporters, and picked a mayor without an election. I was asked by the publisher of the Evening Tribune to run for mayor to help make it look like an election. He told me of the many social benefits I could have. He said I was known for my honesty and fair dealings as a self-employed sign-painter, and for my talents as an artist and musician. When he asked me what my campaign issue would be, considering who was in the room, I said members of the Ward family should be arrested for murder. I was fired from the Evening Tribune, and after talking with my parents, I decided to run for mayor, as a victim of the Ward family, to stand up to them and speak out for the people of Welland.
It was traditional for Welland to have four mayoral debates that were sponsored by local organizations.
I was picked up by the police and taken to 2 South, the psychiatric wing of the Welland Hospital. I was told that Yvette Ward and eight city councilors complained about me, saying I was crazy for saying Yvette Ward and her family are a criminal organization. Reporters from Toronto to Buffalo came to interview me, but I was made to be sleepy and they were told it was best to leave me alone. Dr. Khumaran kept me sleepy for two weeks and let me go. I was picked up again by police and taken to 2 South, missing the next two debates.
That's when my life became a living horror, being raped by a member of the Ward family, having flashes of memories, being robbed, drug over-dosed and poisoned. As a sign-painter who painted by hand, standing on Main Street or any other location in Welland, I was being stolen from on a daily basis. Stoners would be standing around, just waiting for me to climb a ladder or go inside so they could grab what they could.
I could go on, about my family and friends, but I'll end this by saying it took me until 1997 before I had it together to be a mayoral candidate again.
I decided to word-process a campaign statement, what came to be known as my "eight-page campaign statement". If I was arrested again, or murdered, as described to me, at least I had something on paper that others could read, not just hear the "Welland Rumour Mill", a network of drug dealers and secretaries from Welland businesses who did business with the Ward Family. The Evening Tribune could have callers doing a survey or asking about subscriptions, and tell listeners what they should be saying about me.
I was arrested for federal defamatory libel, usually associated with an act of treason against a king or a queen. This was about hurting the feelings of a king or queen, so that their name could not be said, written or published. As you can see, that name was Yvette Ward. After twelve judges from Ottawa, in their black gowns with chests full of medals, sat in on one of my court appearances, this law was removed from the federal books. The Evening Tribune did not report this. I was re-arrested with provincial libel charges, an attempt to pressure me to sign a hand-written paper by Yvette Ward, saying I made it all up and admitted I was lying, and handing out 1,000 statements saying that.
After two years, all charges were dropped. After that, a justice of the peace, a crown attorney and a member of the Ward family, were arrested for cocaine distribution, money laundering and home invasion.
The following scans will illustrate this story, and show you far better than if I just kept typing away.
This story is relevant today, because Welland has not changed. And this is the worst my life has ever been.
I just hafta add, the photo the Evening Tribune used didn't look like me. My hair was never black, born a red-head that turned brown, and they used shadowing to make the sides of my face and neck look fat.