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Government surprised by harshly worded Caledonia motion

CBC News:
Last updated Jun 6 2006 08:58 AM EDT

[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.]

It may simply be a paper maneuver, but the opposition caught the provincial Liberals with their guard down on Monday by getting a motion passed calling for an inquiry into the handling of the Caledonia standoff.

There more than likely won't be one, as motions of this type are not binding on a sitting government, but they are considered statements of principle.

The inquiry call is in connection with an aboriginal occupation of a construction site in a small town near Hamilton since February. Protesters from the nearby Six Nations Reserve claim the land on which the houses are being built belongs to them thanks to an 18th century treaty.

A highway blockade thrown up after an abortive Ontario Provincial Police raid in March has left local residents at odds with the protesters, a tension that escalated in May to exchanges of punches and nasty words.

Last week, a judge called all sides to his courtroom to ask why a March injunction calling for the land to be cleared has been ignored by authorities.

With almost no Liberals in the house on Monday, the Conservatives called for a voice vote of "yea" or "nay" and easily passed the harshly worded motion that called upon the government to "recognize that the Premier's procrastination and failure to show leadership when it was most needed allowed this situation to escalate into a public safety crisis."

Conservative leader John Tory was happy with the motion, but he said there was a deeper issue involved.

"Obviously if a public inquiry wanted to assess blame or assess responsibility, that's up to the independent investigator, but I'm more interested in how we can improve the land claims process and prevent this kind of situation from happening in the future," Tory said.

A Liberal spokesman said his party made "no apologies for making every effort to resolve the [Caledonia] situation peacefully."

With files from Canadian Press

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