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Ontario offers to compensate Caledonia developers: report

CBC News:
Last Updated Sat, 29 Apr 2006 18:09:36 EDT

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

The Ontario government has reportedly offered compensation to land developers who are affected by an eight-week aboriginal occupation near the town of Caledonia.

A spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay said that two developers and six builders were offered a deal on Thursday in an attempt to break a deadlock over land.

Broadcast News said the province has not reached a final agreement with the developers yet, and the proposed deal is confidential.

Meanwhile, a former Liberal premier of Ontario, David Peterson, has agreed to act as mediator to help resolve the dispute. Peterson, chairman of a Toronto law firm, will answer to Ramsay.

Peterson has been active as a negotiator in aboriginal matters for some time. He has been involved in discussions over northern pipelines, the birth of Nunavut and gambling revenues.

Word of the tentative compensation deal leaked out Saturday, a day after 500 local residents gathered peacefully to demand the removal of a native blockade in their community.

Many non-natives in the southwestern Ontario community are frustrated by the constant police presence, lost business revenue, detours and say the town's reputation is damaged.

A similar rally on Monday drew hundreds of people who headed to the barricade. Some yelled insults at police and aboriginal occupiers.

Local developers have been demanding compensation for some time because the native protest has prevented work on the residential subdivision in Caledonia since it started on Feb. 28.

The land was originally part of an aboriginal treaty dating back to 1841, but the members of the nearby Six Nations reserve say the land was leased to the province, not sold for development.

The developers are building a subdivision that is designed to hold 600 homes and 2,000 people. They say they have invested $6 million in the site since they bought it in 1992.

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