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Judge forges toward return of law

Karen Best - Haldimand Review staff
Haldimand Review
Local News - Thursday, July 6, 2006 @ 09:00

[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.]

CAYUGA - Judge David Marshall is moving toward the return of the rule of law in Haldimand County and will discuss it further later this month with involved parties.

During a special hearing held on July 5 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, he emphasized his intention to vindicate the court and its process but did not want to negatively impact land claim discussions.

At the hearing, Dennis Brown of the Ontario Attorney General’s office announced that Ontario has obtained the title to Douglas Creek Estates, a subdivision occupied by some Six Nations residents since Feb. 28. They say it is part of their territory.

On July 4, Henco Industries and the province made an agreement and the land will be placed in trust. Its disposition will be determined by trustees and through the recommendations of the land claim negotiating team, said Brown.

Henco Industries sold the land for $12.3 million plus a yet to be negotiated amount to represent fair market value. This will be negotiated over the next 45 days. If a price is not agreed upon, the matter will go to binding arbitration. The company hopes the final use of the property will benefit the entire community.

While the company was prepared to set aside an injunction requiring occupiers to leave the land, the injunction remained in place. Brown argued that the inquiry is no longer relevant and that the contempt of Marshall’s order for occupiers to leave the land stands alone. The province can seek its own injunction but Brown had no instruction on whether that will or will not take place.

Marshall reserved his decision on the injunction but continued to ask lawyers representing the Ontario and Canadian government, Southern Ontario Railway, Haldimand County, Henco and OPP how the court should deal with contempt of its orders. He said that a decision on the contempt may speed up or slow down land claim negotiations.

At this point, Hagersville lawyer Ed McCarthy told the court that residents close to DCE were experiencing harassment from protesters including ATV noise, yelling and lights shining into their homes. One man lost his job due to stress and consuming fear for his wife and children. Some people have plans to move children into the basement if an incident occurs, he reported.

"They’re being held hostage in the interest of negotiations. Is that fair,” asked McCarthy.

He urged OPP to clear protesters off the site and if they could not do so, he asked them to ask for help from RCMP. Later he said the only way to resolve the situation will be for Haldimand County to go through the Emergency Measures Act to ask for help from the military. “I don’t see how else this will be resolved,” he said.

"The court is concerned and interested,” responded Marshall. “The rule of law is of interest to the courts and the community’s concepts about the rule of law.”

Marshall continued to emphasize the importance of society respecting court orders and sought vindication for court processes. When orders are held in contempt, the court is not hurt by that, it is destroyed by it, he stated. The judge bluntly said he would move ahead to return the rule of law in Haldimand County.

“Democracy cannot operate without the rule of law,” he said.

Marshall set another hearing for July 24 where involved parties will discuss procedure, jurisdiction and other matters including court decision impacts on the community and negotiating process. He is determined to make a decision on the contempt orders and will ask the lawyers for assistance on penalties which could include fines.

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