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Relief for Caledonia businesses

Chris Thomas
Simcoe Reformer
Monday May 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.]

CALEDONIA – A spirit of selflessness in the business community augers well for the future of this troubled town.

A couple of Caledonia businesses contacted by the Reformer say they will not apply for emergency financial relief offered by the Ontario government to offset losses resulting from the blockades at the Douglas Creek Estates.

Last week, Joseph Cordiano, Ontario’s Economic Development and Trade Minister, announced Haldimand County has been provided with $500,000 for initial assistance to businesses in danger of closure because of the dispute with natives which has paralyzed the community.

Applications for assistance under the program will be available starting Tuesday at the Haldimand Caledonia Community Centre, 100 Haddington Street, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Pat Hammond of Gallery Framing and Photo said she will not be applying.

“My business was not greatly affected, but lots really were,” she said. “Some small outlets live from rent to rent.”

Hammond, who has been in business for 16 years in Caledonia, said she is concerned about the town surviving.

“If even one or two goes down,” she said, leaving the consequences in the realm of the unknown.

Debbie Jones of Jones Bakery is also forgoing any assistance so there will be more money available to those in greater need.

“We haven’t suffered a huge amount, but others have suffered, such as those who rely on the walk-in trade.”

Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer said she has no idea how many applications for assistance will be made.
“We’ll be finding out what’s needed,” she said.

Trainer emphasized that the purpose of the program is to deal with the immediate needs of businesses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities and other operating costs.

She said applications will be accepted “until the money runs out.”

“If it runs out, we’ll say it’s not sufficient,” Trainer said.

The mayor added that discussions are on-going with the province on a longer-term business recovery program for the area.

Christine Neill, owner of Home ‘N Hearth Craftworks, said they will definately be inquiring into the process of how the assistance will be given out.

“We depend on a lot of tourism traffic,” she said, adding although she is very thankful the Argyle Street blockade has been removed, the traffic flow goes right through the downtown and people are still hesitating to stop and shop in Caledonia. “It won’t happen right away, but hopefully people will start to come around.”

Businesses which are generally located in the Caledonia-Hagersville-Highway 6 corridor are eligible for assistance under the emergency program. Businesses will be required to provide supporting documentation.

Chris Thomas (519) 426-5710 ext. 135

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