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Ontario premier says Caledonia protesters have 'exhausted' his patience

Canadian Press
Published: Monday, June 12, 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.]

TORONTO (CP) - Ontario's premier says he's running out of patience with an increasingly violent native land claims demonstration near Hamilton, calling on protesters to remove a barricade at the disputed site or face uncertain consequences.

"We have just about exhausted our goodwill and our patience," Dalton McGuinty said Monday as police continued to search for seven men in connection with recent skirmishes at Caledonia, Ont., southwest of Hamilton.

"We're asking the leadership of the First Nations community involved to please remove those barricades as evidence of goodwill on their part."

Asked what he'll do if the barricade doesn't come down soon, McGuinty simply answered: "We'll see."

Warrants were issued after an elderly couple's car was swarmed and two news cameramen from a Hamilton television station were assaulted.

"I'm very pleased that warrants have been issued . . . I was angered and deeply disappointed that these particular individuals did what they did," McGuinty said.

The Six Nations started their occupation of the Caledonia housing development in February. The aboriginals claim that parcel of land belongs to their ancestors.

Attempts to end the dispute through peaceful negotiation haven't succeeded and tensions have been mounting among protesters, local residents and police.

The issue of how governments, and police, should resolve aboriginal protests falls under the shadow of the deadly 1995 Ipperwash crisis.

A police shooting resulted in the death of native protester Dudley George and an ongoing inquiry into that incident is investigating what role government played in directing police.

The opposition Conservatives have accused the McGuinty Liberals of failing to show enough leadership to help resolve the issue.

McGuinty recently countered that the preference of the Conservatives would be a show of police force - an apparent reference to how the previous Conservative government under former premier Mike Harris has been accused of handling the Ipperwash dispute.

Lawyers for Harris recently warned McGuinty that he's risking legal action if he makes statements that allege Harris issued direct orders to police at Ipperwash.

At the Ipperwash inquiry, Harris testified that at no time did he direct police actions.

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