For immediate release:
February 29, 2012
Queens Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett marked the 6th anniversary of “Occupy Caledonia” at Douglas Creek Estates, by twice addressing the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs proposal for potential uses of land where there is no valid land claim.
“Last week, out of the blue, you proposed in this House to get all parties to discuss potential uses for Douglas Creek Estates,” Barrett began during question period. “The reaction I got from people was, “What?” and, “Why would you consider this?” Further questions: Who will be at the table? Where will they meet? When will this happen? How much will it cost? Minister, will you please enlighten us? What is going on?
The Minister Kathleen Wynne admitted she couldn’t, “tell the member opposite dates and places and times, because we don’t have agreement from everyone.”
Barrett went on to point out that when the Minister announced discussing potential uses for DCE she stated, ‘It’s important to remember that at the heart of the matter is a 200-year-old land claim.’
“Minister, there’s no land claim. There are a number of valid land claims along the Haldimand tract area but not on Douglas Creek Estates,” Barrett countered, pointing out that Chief federal negotiator Ron Doering noted in November 2007, “in this particular case, Douglas Creek is not a valid claim … I’ve consistently said that Douglas Creek Estates is not a valid claim.”
“…Minister, I ask again, why are you meeting to discuss future joint uses for an illegally occupied subdivision that, according to the federal negotiator, is not a valid land claim?” questioned Barrett.
With the Minister’s response adding little save for the need to get federal government to the land claims table, Barrett requested a late show debate to more fully explore the issue.
Later that evening Barrett again expressed his dissatisfaction with the Minister’s responses and went into further detail of the issues at stake.
“To this day, a once-promising subdivision, something like 600 homes at present…features warrior flags, occupiers in the model home, a burned-out tractor trailer and a hydro tower barricade. The subdivision remains undeveloped and untouchable,” Barrett asserted. “So, Speaker, six years of lost economic activity, not only in Caledonia; in Haldimand, in Brant county, in the city of Brantford. Businesses, homeowners and investments very simply have been scared away by the threat of confrontation and violence.”
“Today marks six years—no answers from this government. Quite frankly, for those who have been forced to live through six years marked by chaos, intimidation and home invasion, answers are the least that this government must provide—certainly not another round of secret meetings,” cautioned Barrett shortly before he reached his debate time limit.
For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (416) 325-8404,
(519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629