Barrett calls for end of secrecy in Aboriginal talks

SEPT. 6, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett recently questioned the secrecy surrounding negotiations on the Algonquin Land Claim, comparing it to his experiences surrounding the government handling of the occupation in Caledonia.

During debate for the Standing Committee on Estimates on Aug. 28, Barrett grilled Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Kathleen Wynne on the status of the Agreement In Principle. He was told there would be no public consultations until the AIP is signed. Barrett contends consultation should take place earlier as the AIP will outline the lands involved, the amount of money to be paid and broad parameters.

“But citizen participation is so important,” Barrett said to Wynne. “A million-plus people are involved here, public land, some of it that will be handed over, changes with respect to hunting and fishing or how one may get to use one’s cottage. To my mind, and certainly from the Caledonia experience, the complete secrecy just serves no purpose at all.”

Earlier in the debate, Barrett provided background on what happened in Caledonia. Since an economic impact study will be done in conjunction with the ongoing Algonquin claim, Barrett said one should also be done along the Grand River corridor affected by the Native occupation in Caledonia.


For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (416) 325-8404,
(519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629