Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rule of law vs. PR needs of a 'gutless government'

Premier Dalton McGuinty is under fire in today's National Post for allowing Haudenosaunee Development Institute, which is essentially a "commercial protection racket", to continue to sidestep the negotiating table and the rule of law - Caledonia redux.

McGuinty acknowledges that it is illegal, but does nothing to enforce the law. Fantino stated yesterday, that his mandate continues to be to simply 'keep the peace' regarding aboriginal issues.

Yesterday, Premier Dalton McGuinty said no one should be paying development fees to the HDI. "We don't recognize development fees being charged by anyone but municipalities. I understand there is a land claim here that predates Confederation, and I think everybody understands there is a fundamental issues of difference here between First Nations community and the federal government, but I think we also need to understand there is a way to resolve these things, there is a table there. "My advice to anybody is not to pay those [development fees]."

Yet when developers try to ignore the 'shakedown' tactics of the HDI, bad things happen:
But not all have been so receptive. Mike Quattrociocchi, president of Mayberry Homes, said he was invited to a meeting with the HDI after work on an eight-unit townhouse complex in Brantford was halted by protesters.

He said he was told that for a 4% cut of his $1.2-million project, a $7,000 application fee and an agreement that he could lease the land back from the Six Nations for 999 years, his work site was "less likely" to be the target of protest.

"What I said to them, was, 'If you guys were Italian, it would be called the Mafia,' " said Mr. Quattrociocchi, a former city councillor. "It's nothing more than extortion, pure and simple. It's, 'You pay up or we're going to stop you.' "

After his refusal , Mr. Quattrociocchi said construction was interrupted six times, he was pushed two months behind schedule and he probably lost more money than he would have paid.

"I'm not paying any fees for development I have a legal right to with my land titles," Mr. Quattrociocchi said. "I really, really resent being used as a pawn in this political game of extortion to get the government to take notice."

Even Six Nations spokeswoman Janie Jamieson seems baffled by the existence of the HDI, and questions its legitimacy:
...If accepted is the $26 million to be funneled to the Haudenosaunee Development Institute? What is HDI? The name implies it is an agent for ALL Haudenosaunee. Very misleading.

Who is Aaoron Detlor, head of HDI? He is not a Six Nations of the Grand community member, yet he has so much voice and influence regarding our future generations.

My husband and I were recently told the land issue happening now at Six Nations is a Grand River Issue and does not concern other Ogwehowe territories. Yet, this Institute calls itself Haudenosaunee.

The name Haudenosaunee Development Institute itself is an oxymoron. When did our people, the Haudenosaunee agree to become institutionalized to develop land? A total contradiction. According to our Great Law, being Ogwehowe or Haudenosaunee is about land protection and land preservation, not land development....

Kahentinetha Horn of MNN does not appear to be a big fan either.

As the Post editorial states in its conclusion, "The rule of law must take precedence over the PR needs of a gutless government"

But hey. . . At least we don't have any of that nasty Faith-based funding, right?

Here in Lemmingrad, that's all that matters.

* * * *
Update: More from Halls of Macadamia.

Christian Conservative - "Don't pay royalties to HDI": McGuinty.

Also check out these comments from the above-noted Post link:

Kim Fullerton, a lawyer who has handled many aboriginal land claims cases in Ontario, has never heard of an organization quite like it.

"It's radical. It's audacious," he said. "I think what you're really seeing is that First Nations are saying that they want to participate in the economic mainstream and they want a share in the benefit of what's being done on their land.... It's going to be very interesting to see how it finally gets resolved, whether the governments are going to make room for the First Nations to collect fees on their land."

JR - Cowards, scofflaws, appeasers.


Anonymous said...

And yet...throughout the provincial election....we handed McGuinty a free pass to more of the same.

we're all idiots.

Sandy said...

"But hey. . . At least we don't have any of that nasty Faith-based funding, right?"

Gives me a headache just thinking about it. The lemmings got what they wanted.

Anonymous said...

no faith based funding but it's ok for the TDSB to have alternative schools paid for by taxpayers for special cultures.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

no faith based funding but it's ok for the TDSB to have alternative schools paid for by taxpayers for special cultures.

I'm glad you brought that up.

What do you think about John Oakley's comment?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Oakley, although it doesn't matter how we divide the students, if the teaching is poor, the programs mediocre and the teaching methodology wrapped in whole language reading instruction and fuzzy math....we'll churn out more mediocre students...not much will change in meeting standards.

At what point can white anglo saxons demand the same sort of alternative schools?

What's really annoying is listening to the Ed.Minister tonight saying she doesn't believe in black-centric schools but is letting the board do its thing.

I live in Dutch reform country. Can may board apply for a Dutch reform cultural school paid for by the taxpayers in the same way taxpayers are paying for the TDSB alternative schools?

Other boards should be beating a path to Wynne's door looking for equal consideration....instead we're closing our small schools, while the TDSB is moving have a move to their smaller schools funded. What's wrong with that picture?