Six Nations Solidarity
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John Paul Zronik
Local News - Tuesday, May 30, 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.]
Caledonia business owners can expect assistance above and beyond the $500,000 already pledged by the provincial government, Brant MPP Dave Levac said Monday.
“The minister was very clear it was a first step,” Levac said. “It will go beyond $500,000.”
Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade Joe Cordiano announced the funding for struggling businesses last week. Some Caledonia business owners have said they are close to bankruptcy or closing because of an economic slowdown caused by the ongoing Six Nations protest.
Protesters have been occupying a 135-acre parcel of disputed land at the southern edge of Caledonia since Feb. 28. Last week, the protesters ended a month-long blockade of a main road into and out of Caledonia, which was put up following a failed OPP raid on the protesters’ camp April 20.
Some say the protest and blockade have had a devastating impact on the local economy.
Levac said the $500,000 pledged by the province to help struggling Caledonia businesses should be available within days.
“Money could flow as early as the end of the week,” he said.
Applications for assistance can be picked up starting at 10 a.m. today at the Haldimand Caledonia Community Centre, 100 Haddington St. Applications are also available from Haldimand County’s website, www.haldimandcounty.on.ca.
The provincial funds will be distributed by Haldimand County.
As well as providing continuing assistance to struggling business owners, Levac said the province intends to look at ways it can help Caledonia with its overall economic development plan.
Levac is the only elected provincial politician among a group working to finalize details on how the $500,000 in money will be distributed among Caledonia businesses. The group, which met Monday, includes government officials, municipal politicians and members of the Caledonia business community.
Part of Levac’s job is to keep in contact with government ministers, including Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen, Minister of Native Affairs David Ramsay and Cordiano, about the group’s direction.
A business emergency relief office will be operated out of the Caledonia community centre from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Business owners with questions about the assistance program can call 905-318-5367, ext. 514 or 515, for more information.