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Developers fuming over moratorium

But negotiations are on track

Marissa Nelson
Hamilton Spectator
(May 20, 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 developers who had hoped to build a subdivision at Douglas Creek Estates now say they want out and demand the province buy them out at fair market value.

The change comes on the heels of John and Don Henning finding out on a Six Nations website that the province had signed a moratorium banning development on the site for an unspecified length of time.

A fuming Michael Bruder, lawyer for the brothers, said yesterday the moratorium is unprecedented.

"Behind your back, they negotiate this and they don't even have the decency to tell you what we have done," Bruder said. "This is ludicrous.

"It's an absolute atrocity the way they've treated us."

Bruder said he asked a senior provincial official involved in the talks what was going on with the moratorium, concealing that he'd already seen the letter, and that official didn't mention the already-inked deal.

David Ramsay dismissed Bruder's assertion and said the temporary moratorium is perfectly legal.

"It's my understanding Ontario government officials have kept the Hennings informed every step of the way," he said. "I stand by it."

Ramsay wouldn't comment on the demand for Ontario to buy out the Hennings, saying long before those discussions they have to solve the short-term issues, including giving Caledonia back some normalcy.

Ramsay said talks would resume next week.

"I feel we're very close to a breakthrough," he said. "If everyone remains patient, I'm very positive we can get a breakthrough."

Hazel Hill, spokesperson for the Six Nations people at the building site, said they were planning a meeting tonight to discuss the week's developments. They will talk about what to do with the massive property at the former Burtch correctional facility at Burtch and Cockshutt Roads that the province has handed over to the Six Nations. A red Mohawk flag is already flying from the top of a tree near the entrance.

Hill called the four provincial commitments positive steps that will keep negotiations on track. The commitments were the moratorium, handing over the Burtch lands, paying for an archeological assessment of the Henning property and considering changes in the Ontario curriculum on natives.

"It's really hard because you're dealing with people who have a history of broken promises," she said.

Hill said dismantling the road block was being discussed Thursday night when a disturbance with a non-native car derailed it. OPP are investigating the incident but have not charged anyone.

Caledonia resident Stacey Hauser lives just off McKenzie Road where most of Highway 6 traffic is being diverted. She spent much of yesterday with her husband and parents handing out pamphlets at the four-way stop outside her home.

The pamphlets urge people to contact politicians and review what the government has done for Caledonia -- right above a big blank space. They also advertise a community gathering next weekend which they hope will be just a town dance.

Hauser said it was an impromptu way for her to vent her frustration.

"The wheels are going awfully slowly," she said of the negotiations. "At least this way I feel like I'm doing something. We want the roads open."

The Caledonia Citizen's Alliance urged the Six Nations people to remove the barricades yesterday.

"If those roads aren't opened, the fabric of this community may be challenged," said Ken Hewitt, a spokesperson for the group. "I firmly believe if the roads open, the respect will be there and their safety won't be challenged."

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