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Cost of damage from vandalism to transformer pegged at $1.5 million

Susan Gamble - Expositor Staff
Brantford Expositor
Local News - Thursday, May 25, 2006 @ 01:00

[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 vandalism that caused a widespread power outage in Caledonia, Six Nations and Simcoe is pegged at $1.5 million.

Power was restored early Wednesday to the last of the 30,000 customers who were in the dark after vandalism apparently spilled over from the nearby fracas between native protesters and Caledonia residents on Monday.

A spokesperson for Hydro One said Wednesday that the damage to the power station just behind the Caledonia protest was substantial.

“A vehicle was driven inside the fenced substation and placed under the switch gears that are 15 feet in the air, then lit on fire,” said Daffyd Roderick.

The vandals also apparently broke into the brick structure of the station and set a second fire there.

“At first we thought it would be two or three days to fix because of the sheer volume of the damage,” said Roderick. Workers were faster than expected in repairing damage, while some customers were re-routed to alternative power sources.

Roderick said it will be another few days before the system is completely stable. In the meantime, customers may experience momentary blackouts while re-routing is completed.

The OPP are investigating the vandalism, which affected people in all kinds of ways.

Businesses closed, 17 schools shut their doors, nursing homes were affected and private health-care providers were scrambling to ensure the safety of home clients who rely on electrical pumps, lifts and respirators.

Haldimand County is maintaining the state of emergency it declared on Monday until the power is fully stabilized. On Wednesday, Haldimand closed the emergency reception shelter on Caithness Street in Caledonia, thanking all the volunteers who had worked at the shelter.

The council is also advising people to use caution with food that may have been contaminated during the power outage. Garbage bins for the disposal of spoiled food have been set up at the Caledonia Community Centre on Haddington Street.

In Brantford, Rev. Dave Ponting at Grace Anglican Church established a day-long prayer vigil calling for peace.

“I thought it was important, after seeing the violence on TV Monday night, that somebody stood up and said this has got to stop,” said Ponting. “It’s time we pray for peace and for the government to act swiftly in this matter.”

Negotiator David Peterson met briefly with those involved in the land discussions Wednesday morning and plans more meetings through the week.

He spent time Wednesday afternoon at Six Nations, participating in community awareness week activities and munching on hotdogs.

The elected band council continues to meet in Ohsweken daily.

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