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The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Apr 29, 2006)
[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 offered to compensate the developer at the heart of the Douglas Creek Estates occupation.
A provincial representative offered a deal Thursday to brothers Don and John Henning and the six builders left idle by the 61-day occupation of the Caledonia subdivision.
The brothers say they've invested $6 million in the site and face financial ruin.
Anne-Marie Flanagan, spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay, said the developers and builders have asked for the offer to be kept confidential.
"An offer was made to them, but we don't have a final agreement yet," she said yesterday.
"Mr. Chadwick (special provincial adviser Rob Chadwick) spoke with them and he made a recommendation to the government and we've made an offer based on that."
But the Hennings suggested the provincial offer isn't a clear matter of compensation, but of interim financial assistance.
"After discussions with a provincial representative, we are gratified that some progress is being made and that the province is now seriously considering how they might provide us with interim financial assistance," they said in a release last night. "We expect to have a temporary resolution within the next few days."
The province has also offered Haldimand County assistance to deal with the social impact, economic development issues, community relations and planning matters resulting from the standoff.
The county issued a release late yesterday afternoon saying council met with officials from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to discuss the offer of "expertise regarding short- and long-term impacts." The council accepted the offer "to access the resources of the provincial government."
Flanagan said no deadline has been set for acceptance of the offer by the Hennings and the builders, but added, "I would hope we can move on with this thing fairly quickly."
The Hennings have complained that a model home they had at Douglas Creek Estates, which contained papers related to the project, was entered and damaged by protesters following the OPP raid April 20.
Protest spokesman Clyde Powless said he is not aware of any damage to the home. He said that protesters did "borrow" an archaeological report the Hennings had done on the Argyle Street South property.
He said the other six homes on the site are being used - "like the older folks will go in and sit for the evening" - but said no one had moved into them.
"They're not finished, so I don't think anyone has moved in," Powless said.
The subdivision is to eventually contain 600 homes and add about 2,000 people to Caledonia's population of 10,000. Henco aims to develop it over the next decade, including commercial buildings on Argyle Street.
Flanagan said talks between the province, federal government and Six Nations Confederation on trying to resolve the standoff - which natives call a land reclamation - are scheduled to resume Monday. Natives say Six Nations never surrendered the land, but Canada and Ontario say it was surrendered and sold in 1841 to make way for the Plank Road (Highway 6). The Hennings bought the property in 1992.
Flanagan said, however, there have been a number of small meetings with different players over the past few days and progress is being made.
Asked when protesters might remove blockades on Argyle Street and the Highway 6 Bypass - put in place April 20 after a failed OPP raid on Douglas Creek Estates - she said, "We're still working towards that."
Ramsay said in a statement, progress can be made more easily if all parties remain calm.
"We understand that people are concerned and we are committed to working with all parties towards a peaceful resolution," Ramsay said. "We know we can make more progress, but the solution will come easier if all parties remain calm and cool heads prevail."
The province has also set up a toll-free information line to provide the public with updates on the Caledonia standoff. The number is 1-866-876-7672. It is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.