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McGuinty calls for end to aboriginal occupation

Canadian Press
Published: Thursday, June 22, 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 -- It's time for the long-running aboriginal occupation of a southern Ontario housing development to come to an end because it poses a potential danger to the public, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Thursday.

McGuinty also disclosed for the first time that the province has agreed to pay $12.3 million to the developer behind the Douglas Creek Estates property in Caledonia, Ont., south of Hamilton, where aboriginal occupiers have been camped since late February.

It's the first time McGuinty has asked Six Nations protesters to abandon their occupation, which has been marked by a number of violent clashes with both police and local residents.

"The continuing occupation is just not helpful, and it really constitutes the remaining potential for danger," McGuinty said before a Liberal cabinet meeting.

"The community has our attention -- boy, did they get our attention -- and we're prepared to stay there and get this done."

McGuinty said the province has done what it could "to take the land out of the equation" by negotiating to buy the occupied property from the developer so it can be placed in trust while the bigger land claim issue is resolved.

And after insisting for two days that the developer had requested the purchase price remain private for competitive reasons, McGuinty told the legislature Thursday he was free to disclose how much taxpayers are paying for the property.

In addition to the $12.3 million, an additional amount to be paid for the loss of future profits "remains the subject of ongoing negotiations," McGuinty said.

It would be "very helpful" for those negotiations if the occupation ended and all aboriginal protest lines and blockades in the Caledonia area were abandoned, he added.

Opposition Leader John Tory said it's high time McGuinty called for the occupation to end, and he accused the premier of weak leadership in handling the dispute.

"The occupation started more than 100 days ago...and now he's saying it's time for the occupation to come to an end," Tory said.

"Where has he been? This is the weak leadership I'm talking about."

Meanwhile, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ordered key players in the land dispute -- including the Ontario and federal governments -- to return to court June 29.

Justice David Marshall wants to know why police still haven't enforced his three-month-old order to evict the aboriginals from the occupied housing development in Caledonia, southwest of Hamilton.

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