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Caledonia has hydro, backup repairs in works

State of emergency could be lifted Monday

Daniel Nolan
Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (May 27, 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.]

Power has been fully restored to the town and surrounding area following a blackout caused by vandalism, but Haldimand County is keeping in place a state of emergency until Hydro One has fixed a backup transformer.

The two transformers on Argyle Street South were damaged Monday by a burning truck placed inside the hydro substation. That occurred after natives involved in a land claim dispute and townsfolk fought over a native barricade that had closed Argyle Street.

The barricade, put in place April 20 after a failed OPP raid to oust protesters from a nearby housing project, was removed Tuesday when protesters and townsfolk came together in a show of reconciliation. A barrier across the Highway 6 Bypass and the Southern Ontario Railway line remain.

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said yesterday officials believe all power is back on for county residents and those in Norfolk, which also lost power due to the vandal attack.

"They need to call in if there's anyone left," the mayor said. "Everybody should be on."

The mayor said Hydro One crews are working all weekend to repair the backup transformer. She said the state of emergency could be lifted Monday during a special council meeting, if the second transformer has been fixed. Hydro One officials say the cost of repairing the damage from the arson is estimated to be $1.5 million so far.

Protesters have been occupying Douglas Creek Estates since Feb. 28. They say Six Nations never surrendered it, but Canada and Ontario say the site was surrendered and sold in 1841.

Meanwhile, Trainer and Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton, one of the Six Nations representatives negotiating with provincial and federal officials to try to resolve the dispute, say they've received assurances from Ottawa that it has a role to play in the land claim. These assurances came after Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in London, Ont, on Wednesday that the dispute is a provincial land use and law enforcement issue.

MacNaughton, also negotiating with provincial appointee David Peterson on removal of the two remaining barricades, said he spoke to federal officials and they assured him they have a mandate to deal with the land-claim issue.

"I'm aware the prime minister is fairly new," said MacNaughton. "I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. As far as I'm concerned, they do have the mandate to deal with issues at hand. The land rights are a federal issue."

Also yesterday, Brant Liberal MPP Dave Levac confirmed he has been added to a Caledonia community liaison group set up to deal with issues between the town and the Ontario government.

While numerous provincial bureaucrats sit on the committee, members wanted the province to provide an elected member for better liaison with the government.

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