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Henco gets $12.3m for land

McGuinty implores native protesters to leave Douglas Creek Estates property

John Burman
Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 23, 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.]

Ontario will pay Henco Industries $12.3 million for the Douglas Creek Estates property occupied by aboriginal protesters.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday the government will also compensate developers Don and John Henning with an additional amount for the loss of future profits. That amount is still under negotiation.

The money paid to Henco does not include six builders who own 25 lots in the disputed site. The builders are negotiating a separate agreement with the province and have chosen not to issue a statement at this time.

McGuinty also called on native protesters yesterday to leave the site. He said there is no need to occupy the site and keep tensions high in Caledonia now that the province has moved to buy the land and hold it in trust pending the outcome of ongoing negotiations.

To leave the site would reduce the danger of another flare-up of the violent clashes that have marred the occupation since it began Feb. 28, he said.

But spokespersons for the protesters have made it clear they have no intention of leaving because they believe Ontario's decision to buy the land does not address the underlying land claim issue.

Senior Haldimand County officials support McGuinty's request. They agree with McGuinty that occupation of the site is unnecessary.

Deputy Mayor Tom Patterson told The Spectator's editorial board yesterday that tensions in the town and the potential for violence would drop if native occupiers left the subdivision while negotiations continue.

"If they were to leave, people in Caledonia would certainly feel less anxious," he said.

It's the first time McGuinty has asked Six Nations protesters to abandon the 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.

Haldimand Councillor Craig Ashbaugh said the potential for more trouble would be reduced if the protesters even cut down the numbers on the site while maintaining a symbolic presence.

McGuinty also said continuing occupation keeps the potential for danger in the area high and the government has tried to "take the land out of the equation" by negotiating with the developer.

The developer, Henco Industries, said yesterday the company expects to reach a final agreement to sell the Douglas Creek Estates to the province next week.

McGuinty revealed the buyout cost yesterday after two days of political heat.

David Ramsay, minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, had been saying Henco wished to keep the amount secret for proprietary reasons.

In its own announcement on the $12.3-million purchase, Henco Industries said it appreciates the efforts of the province "to buy our land at a price that is fair to us and to the taxpayers of Ontario."

The developer has said in the past the planned 600-unit development could have produced revenue of as much as $45 million if it were completed.

With files from Canadian Press

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