Thursday, August 31, 2006

Who's Laughing Now? - With Update

This morning's Post quotes Steve Miazga, who is General Manager of planning and economic development for Haldimand County, as saying that since the disputed land in Caledonia now belongs to the province, therefore the government, not the native protesters "would have to file the proper paperwork for construction on the site."

"Failing to do so would leave the province in violation of the Ontario Building Code Act."

So what's next? Will the Province of Ontario itself be thumbing it's nose at the rule of law? If the natives complete the homes and the province fails to take out a building permit, it will be breaking the law. And the Province would likely be liable for any injuries or deaths resulting from faulty wiring, etc.

Meanwhile, Kahentinetha Horn, a Mohawk journalist and part-time lecturer at Concordia University in Montreal, says:

"The Canadian and Ontario government want the whole issue of lands and resources being repossessed by Indigenous people to fizzle and fall apart. They want to see us become laughing stocks."

No worries there, Ms. Horn. The only laughing stocks in this story are the Ontario taxpayers. But we'll see who gets the last laugh after the next provincial election.

* * * *

Update: Now I'm really laughing!!! Do both levels of government think this will do any good at all?

I think this is a smokescreen to appear to be doing something. On the plus side, Premier McGuinty does seem to have pulled his head out of the sand.

However, I wouldn't want to be sending my kids to a school situated right beside an occupied area where police and firemen are not allowed. What is up with that?


Ron said...

People have been calling for a hardline response in this confrontation for months now.
Well, now they've got it, from the toughest, unflinching, merciless opponent of all.


jeff davidson said...

oh goodness joanne. you really believe tory can wrestle power from mcguinty's liberals? there's a by-election in my riding on sept. 14th (high park/ parkdale) it's gerard kennedy's old riding. the only serious threat comes from cheri dinovo, ndp. the conservative, david hutcheon, isn't even in the running. a sign of things to come.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jeff, I can't give up hope or it will be the end of me.

Red Tory said...

I'd be curious to know why this particular issue is of such interest to you. Aside from the fact that it drags on and on an on...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'd be curious to know why this particular issue is of such interest to you.

Because you find it so trite. ;)

Red Tory said...

I don't imagine you post according to how I may happen to regard your opinions. Seriously... what's the fascination?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Red, you may find this hard to believe, but it is the subject of every talk show around here.

This afternoon, in fact 570 had an interview with Ken Hewitt of Caledonia about it. Also Jeff Allen was talking about it this morning. I guess it's topical because we're next after Caledonia, as the land reclamation moves up the Grand.

liberal supporter said...

So you live in the "Haldimand Tract" ?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The Six Nations are claiming six kilometers on either side of the Grand River.

Red Tory said...

Fair enough. Now I know.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Red, I know this is probably boring for anyone outside of the "Centre of the Universe", and I do apologize for that.

But if you think about it, this is somewhat of a lesson about how things go when you don't deal with them right away. The tail is wagging the dog now. And really, I don't blame the tail. It's human nature.

liberal supporter said...

That is the Haldimand Tract of 200 years ago. It was given by Governor Haldimand to the Iroquois (who did not live there at the time) for military service to the Crown.

I have read different reports that the grant was revoked by Haldimand himself, since the Iroquois were not using it, or that the Iroquois subsequently sold it. One of the disputes I have read about is whether whoever sold it was legally empowered to do so.

Realistically, one cannot just hand over land that the "non-natives" have held for 150 years, to "natives" who held it for a much shorter time. Bear in mind that the Iroquois did not live there "before the white man", instead it was the Huron, who were mostly genocided by the Iroquois.

As nations, the Iroquois cannot simply say "well the Hurons were natives, we are natives, so it is ours" without acknowledging the "fairness" of the treaty process by which they sold the lands.

So at most, there is a financial settlement involved. I recall seeing Ms. Horn on Front Page Challenge in the 70s and she was demanding that rent be paid for the land Canada sits on.

All that remains is to come up with consensus on how much land was legally sold, and if there is any compensation necessary.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - That is very interesting. Can you recommend any particular books that you have read or links that might be of general interest? I think I'd like to learn more about this. Thanks.