Freedom Flyer Fall 2000 Cover

Freedom Flyer 34

the official newsletter of the
Freedom Party of Ontario

Fall 2000

Article electronically reproduced from:

The Observer

May 22, 1999

Wayne Forbes, Freedom Party

Pot smoking candidate hates political correctness

of the Observer

When you first look at Wayne Forbes of the Freedom Party, an image of Rod Steiger from the movie "In the Heat of the Night" comes to mind.

Only Forbes is taller.

He is a 6'2", heavyset man who owns Forbes Fresh Fish in Grand Bend. At Tuesday's Lambton-Kent-Middlesex candidates debate at North Lambton Secondary School, he wrapped himself in a wrinkled dress coat with pins of the Freedom and Reform Parties clinging to his lapels and tie. Bespectacled, his large lenses are round and yellow, like two suns that colour his face pink.

He sports a military crew cut above many grooves in his forehead --- which deepen and disappear intermitently as he quickly hops from issue to issue --- contrasted by his baby-soft clean -shaven face.

That face belongs to an admitted pot-smoker and a politician with surprising thoughts about Canadian natives.

Marijuana should be legalized," he says. "It's been used for centuries, and has medicinal purposes. I don't smoke it too often. I'm not adverse to smoking it once in a while, but it's with responsibility. You want to knock somebody up, don't ask me to pay that bill."

Although the 58-year-old calls himself a "black and white guy," his explanations of his views are as beige as his Ford 3/4 ton pickup truck. He's a politician who swears he isn't one and doesn't follow his campaign in the papers. This is Forbes' second time running for a Queen's park seat.

"I'm out here because I'm sick of it," Forbes said of being helpless to influence government decisions. "As far as I'm concerned, people are sick of listening to the lies of the politicians. I am p_____ off, let me tell you, just like most taxpayers."

But not ticked off enough to do any door-to-door campaigning. Forbes doesn't believe in it. After Tuesday's meeting, candidates Marcel Beaubien, Jim Lee and Larry O'Neill roamed the streets of Forest, house to house.

Forbes, meanwhile, sat with a reporter at a Forest restaurant eating halibut and french fries before driving home to Grand Bend, pounding two Freedom Party signs in the ground along the way.

"People don't trust politicians anymore," he explained. "When they're at your door, and you ask them poignant questions, sometimes they escape. They'll say 'Let me get back to you later about that...' When I was a kid, we used to trust our politicians.

When Forbes was a kid, he said he didn't have to put up with today's "politically correct bull____," either.

"A fisherman and a fisherwoman, chairman and chairwoman ... A spade's a spade, an Indian's an Indian, a Jew's a Jew, a German's a German. Just the facts, as ol' Joe Friday used to say," he said in reference to the now defunct television series "Dragnet."

Forbes criticized the federal and provincial governments of Canada for giving lands back to Canadian natives.

"Look at all the treaties. Obviously, the government has been lying to us all these years because they gave (the lands) back to them. Every time there is a land claim, they cave in."

At the candidates meeting, he said he was opposed to having a public inquiry into the Ipperwash incident in September of 1995, when Native protester Dudley George was shot dead by the OPP. Forbes said George could have prevented his death.

"If he hadn't been there causing the confrontation, he'd be alive today. Things happen when there's a violent confrontation...

"Don't get me wrong. I have great apathy (empathy) for the natives. At my house I have a wall with Indian pictures and paraphernalia and a picture of John Wayne. I do business with Indians, with anybody that wants to do business, with people I feel good about."

Does he expect to win?

Before answering this question, he takes a deep breath, and his body leans towards the table he sits at as he exhales. "I'm not going to comment on that. Twenty years from now, I'd expect to win. All I want to do is get one Freedom Party candidate elected, namely me. Everyone wants to get elected."

What would he change if he was elected?

"That's not up to me. If I was in complete control of everything, I'd have some answers. I'm in control of my life, and I want the government to get the hell out of it, telling me I can't discipline my kids or can't smoke a joint on my property. If your neighbour walks by and gives you the finger, what are you going to do, throw your joint at him?" he asked rhetorically, shrugging his shoulders with a look of disbelief. "But you can sure throw your bottle of beer at him."

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