I have been asked by a few people where I have been, and why I have not posted any blogs lately. As I am sure that most will understand that for me family always comes first. It has certainly been a challenging year for myself and my family, but I am still here. Some will not be so happy that I haven't just disappeared, but at the same time, I am sure that some of you will be happy to know that I am still involved in local issues. So here it goes, just catching you up on one issue that is still ongoing.
I will be meeting with MPP Toby Barrett in the New Year regarding the petition that circulated for about a month or so in the late fall asking Municipal Affairs to undertake a "Forensic Audit" on the affairs of Haldimand County.
Toby Barrett will be presenting the petitions to the Legislature on our behalf in February 2008.
Thanks to you, I will be presenting Toby with approx. 1,000 signatures from residents of Haldimand County, that signed this petition in such a short period of time!
I will keep you updated.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I have been asked by a few people where I have been, and why I have not posted any blogs lately. As I am sure that most will understand that for me family always comes first. It has certainly been a challenging year for myself and my family, but I am still here. Some will not be so happy that I haven't just disappeared, but at the same time, I am sure that some of you will be happy to know that I am still involved in local issues. So here it goes, just catching you up on one issue that is still ongoing.
The following are some updates from MPP Toby Barrett. Some are from a few weeks ago. I believe that Toby will be back in the Legislature in February. I will keep you up to date. In the meantime if you have not signed the petition, please contact myself or Toby's office directly.
Hi, Toby here,
Please find attached, and below, my column to be published in this week's local papers (submitted Friday November 30th) calling for public hearings on land disputes to provide for a more open and scrutinized structure of communication for all sides.
Please also note that, further to this weekend's confrontations, the Queens Park media studo has been booked by "Concerned Citizens of Caledonia" (Merlyn Kinrade) to discuss illegal tobacco and its impacts on area communities already being detrimentally affected by ongoing land disputes. This media conference will be held Tuesday December 4th at 12-noon at the Ontario Legislature.
P.S. With regard to my column, petitions calling for public hearings can be obtained through contacting my office at 519-428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629
It’s time for public hearings on land disputes
"Give us a deep and thorough understanding of the needs of the people we serve."
- the Speaker’s Prayer
We have an opportunity to get to the bottom of land disputes in our area – disputes that have been ongoing 22 months, going on 220 years.
This past Thursday marked the commencement of the 39th Parliament of Ontario with the Lord’s Prayer, the Speaker’s Prayer and Her Majesty’s Speech from the Throne. The first session of the Legislative Assembly – held at Newark in what was then Upper Canada - commenced September 17, 1792.
Since the 1700’s, millions of words have been written about disputes among the English, French and Indians in our part of North America. As our new Ontario parliament moves forward it is incumbent on decision-makers to separate fact from fiction – to start making decisions to resolve area land disputes based on understanding of accurate, comprehensive evidence.
Evidence can be found in the plethora of legal papers, government reports, depositions, theses, council reports, tribal records, court rulings, newspapers and other documents that have been archived over the years.
The facts speak for themselves.
But, we all have a responsibility. We – on all sides of the issue – cannot stick our heads in the sand and let someone else deal with it. We cannot shirk our responsibilities as citizens. We have a mutual investment and must continue to remain engaged; to assemble; to speak up and to demand resolution.
I remain hopeful that the visit of the new Aboriginal Affairs Minister to Caledonia this past week represents a turning away from the secrecy, lack of transparency, and total disregard for public input that has become a hallmark of this 22 month land dispute. These months represent a ‘black hole’ with respect to government communication on land disputes. I take Minister Bryant at his word when he indicates that he, 'wants to hear from local people', and that, 'we need local homegrown solutions’.
Given the Minister's reported, "interest in listening to people", I am calling for real input and communication through recorded, public meetings open to the media. Our taxpayer dollars fund Ontario Legislature activities for just such a purpose – to understand the needs of the people we serve as articulated in the Prayer of the Speaker of the Legislature. To that end, I have drawn up a petition calling for parliamentarians to hold a round of recorded hearings whereby deputations - both spoken and written - would be made to a standing or select committee of the Ontario Parliament.
I don’t mean to raise unrealistic expectations, but theoretically there is no excuse for leaders in our society to not marshal the significant resources at their disposal to explore the truth.
The Ontario Legislature is there to work for us, not the other way around. We all pay taxes to support these various entities. We do not hire people or elect people to see them play their cards close to their vest or to spend years equivocating until they can eventually pass the problem on to the next generation.
We have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in this area - knowledge that the Ontario Parliament has yet to tap. That's why I'm calling on all those affected to sign my petition calling for public hearings.
Hi Toby here,
Please find attached 2 news releases and the Hansard transcript reflecting,
1. Questions I asked in the Legislature yesterday regarding who's in charge with respect to the OPP; and
2. Petitions I tabled at the Ontario Legislature calling for public hearings on land disputes.
According to Ontario Legislative rules, within 24 sitting days of the day on which the presentation of the petition, the government is required to file a response to the petition with the Clerk of the House and to provide a copy of the response to the M.P.P. who presented the petition. I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, keep those petitions coming. Together, we have an opportunity to help reverse the secrecy, lack of transparency, and total disregard for public input that has become a hallmark of this 22 month land dispute.
Petitions are available through my office. Please contact 519-428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629 - or send me an e-mail - for more information.
For immediate release: December 4, 2007
Barrett asks who’s in charge at Caledonia??
Still no answers from a government that holds itself unaccountable
Queen’s Park—MPP Toby Barrett echoed the questions of Caledonia area residents today by the Ontario Legislature in asking the McGuinty Government "Who is in charge" regarding the Caledonia land dispute.
"There have been confrontations in Caledonia resulted in people being knocked unconscious and sent to the hospital," Barrett asserted. "I receive countless phone calls and e-mails asking me one specific question: Who’s in charge??? Who is in charge of the OPP???"
The Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services (formerly known as the Solicitor General), Rick Bartolucci, failed to directly answer the question, instead choosing to state that he is "very, very pleased with the way the OPP has acted." Barrett went on to again highlight the Minister’s responsibility according the Police Services Act.
"In Section 17(2), the Ontario Police Services Act states that the OPP is subject to the Solicitor General’s direction," cited Barrett. "Minister, do you agree – or perhaps you do not agree with the police act, that you have ministerial responsibility for setting direction for the OPP? Are you the one - or are you not the one my constituents can go to with respect to democratic responsibility concerning OPP services in Caledonia?"
Once again the Minister attempted to dodge the question, this time suggesting that if Barrett is suggesting government interfere then he is "dead wrong".
Following Question Period, Barrett noted that given the stakes and the growing injury count, it is high time for the McGuinty government to be held to account on Caledonia.
For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629
For immediate release: December 4, 2007
Barrett demands public hearings on land disputes
Haldimand-Norfolk MPP presents petitions at Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park—MPP Toby Barrett delivered petitions on behalf of residents from Canfield, Dunnville, Hagersville, and Caledonia, calling for public hearings on land disputes.
Barrett was the first to rise in the Legislature to read in his petition that has garnered hundreds of signatures from local residents in less than a week.
"Whereas, land dispute deliberations to date, have operated under a veil of secrecy, without transparency, and have created an atmosphere of privacy and scepticism, shutting out people from information and decisions that impact them directly," Barrett began. "and Whereas, Ontario’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister has indicated, in both the media and during his visit to Caledonia, his intention to garner local public input; and Whereas, our Ontario Legislative Assembly provides a mechanism for open, accountable, transparent recorded discussion through all-party committee hearings that are open to the media," "We the undersigned petition our provincially-elected legislators, representing all political parties, to commence public hearings through a select or standing committee, as soon as possible," concluded Barrett.
The Haldimand-Norfolk MPP is continuing to press government for Public hearings as one step toward providing more open and scrutinized communication for all sides, accessing both the wealth of knowledge - and experience - of area residents, and that of historical accounts that have documented land disputes throughout Ontario.
Barrett is asking all those interested to contact his office to obtain a copy of his petition and add their names to the growing list of concerned citizens demanding public hearings on land disputes.
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Tuesday 4 December 2007
NATIVE LAND DISPUTE
Mr. Toby Barrett: To the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services: Minister, over the past few months, confrontations in Caledonia have resulted in people being knocked unconscious and sent to the hospital. As a result of this violence and as a representative for Caledonia, I have received countless phone calls and e-mails. People are asking me one specific question. They are asking, "Who’s in charge? Who’s in charge of the OPP?"
Minister, can you assure the people in my riding that you are accountable, that you are the one who sets the policy and you are the one who sets the direction for our OPP?
Hon. Rick Bartolucci: Speaker, congratulations on your appointment. Certainly the role of the OPP is to ensure that the community and its residents are safe, and I have to tell you and the people of Ontario that I am very, very pleased with the way the OPP has acted throughout this entire incident. I believe that we should be very proud of the very excellent and professional nature of engagement with the community that has taken place over the course of the last little while.
Mr. Toby Barrett: Minister, I’ll go back to my question. Subsection 17 of the Ontario Police Services Act states that the OPP is subject to the Solicitor General’s direction. That’s you. Going back to my question, Minister, do you agree—perhaps you do not agree with the police act—that you have ministerial responsibility for setting direction for the OPP? Are you the one, or are you not the one? Are you the one my constituents can go to with respect to some of the concerns with the OPP with respect to democratic responsibility concerning OPP services in Caledonia? Are you the guy?
Hon. Rick Bartolucci: If the member is suggesting that the solicitor general or any other minister or member should interfere with the operation of the OPP, he’s wrong. He’s dead wrong.
What I would suggest to this member, and to everyone in the province of Ontario, is that we understand, when tensions are high, that we do everything in our power to ensure that those tensions aren’t escalated, that we have confidence in the Ontario Provincial Police and the very professional way they carry out their mandate.
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Tuesday 4 December 2007
NATIVE LAND DISPUTE
Mr. Toby Barrett: This petition is titled "We Request Land Dispute Hearings" and is addressed to the Parliament of Ontario:
"Whereas land dispute deliberations to date have operated under a veil of secrecy, without transparency, and have created a atmosphere of privacy and scepticism, shutting out people from information and decisions that impact them directly; and
"Whereas Ontario’s aboriginal affairs minister has indicated, in both the media and during his visit to Caledonia, his intention to garner local public input; and
"Whereas our Ontario Legislative Assembly provides a mechanism for open, accountable, transparent recorded discussion through all-party committee hearings that are open to the media;
"We, the undersigned, petition our provincially elected legislators, representing all political parties, to commence public hearings through a select or standing committee, as soon as possible."
These petitions are signed by people from Canfield, Dunnville, Hagersville and, of course, Caledonia.
Last week I got the opportunity to introduce a resolution in the Ontario Legislature asking the government to hold public hearings regarding land disputes across the province. Please see the attached news release.
Since I sent out this news release, this issue has received coverage from Canadian Press, CBC morning radio, CH Talk Back Live, Hamilton Spectator and various other media.
Opportunities remain for folks to affix their name to the petition I crafted regarding land dispute hearings.
If I don’t have the chance to talk to you before the holidays begin, I sincerely wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a well-deserved rest.
December 17, 2007
Barrett tables resolution for land dispute public hearings
Dunnville— Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett stepped up the fight for government-led public hearings regarding land disputes in Ontario.
On Wednesday, Barrett upped the ante by tabling a private members’ resolution to schedule hearings for consideration and debate:
"That, in the opinion of this House, the following Order of Reference should be assigned to an all-Party committee of the Legislative Assembly:
To inquire into and report on native land issues within the Province of Ontario.
The Committee shall:-
1. Conduct public hearings on this issue at Queen’s Park and in at least 7 other Ontario communities, including one community in Haldimand County;
2. Solicit input from Ontario citizens on their knowledge, experience and action proposals with respect to native land issues;
3. Present its report to the House, containing its observations, opinions and recommendations no later than the end of 2008."
The resolution has been printed in the Ontario Legislature "Orders and Notices Paper" from which it will be scheduled for debate.
Meantime, Barrett has stood twice to petition the Legislature for a round of recorded hearings whereby deputations - both spoken and written - could be made to a standing or select committee of the Ontario Parliament.
Over the last two weeks, Barrett has received and tabled petitions at Queens Park with names from the following towns: Lowbanks, Ayr, Cayuga, Nanticoke, Caledonia, Canfield, Dunnville, and Hagersville.
"We, the undersigned, petition our provincially elected legislators, representing all political parties, to commence public hearings through a select or standing committee, as soon as possible," Barrett concluded.
For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629
Thanks Toby for all your efforts. Donna
Sunday, December 23, 2007
What a year it has been!
Thanks to everyone that has commented on my blog, without you, we would all be "Unheard Voices". Together we have made a difference!
I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Recipe for Christmas All Year Long
Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life—
Each day a sweet surprise.
Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow.
Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!)
Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism, and
Our joy will never cease.
If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it's not December.
Poem By Joanna Fuchs
Posted by Donna Pitcher at 7:39 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Approximately "95-100" residents from Haldimand County attended last nights public meeting in Cayuga hosted by Federal Liaison representative David Crombie. It was an excellent turnout for an event that was not advertised in the local newspapers.
Representatives that were in attendance;
Robin Crombie, assistant to David Crombie
Ron Doering, Federal representative, Main Negotiating table
Monique Doiron, Federal Representative, Main Negotiating table
Murray Coolican, Provincial Representative, Main Negotiating table
John Nolan, Provincial Representative
Bill Pearce, Provincial Representative
Chris Mayer, Provincial Representative, Main Negotiating table
All Council Members, Haldimand County, CAO Don Boyle
David Crombie did the introductions and had a few words about his role as Federal Liaison, and an update as to where the talks stand. Ron Doering spoke of the history of native claims, his information was very informative and I am sure a few of us learned a great deal. Murray Coolican also said a few words before the floor was opened up for residents to ask questions.
I won’t go into all the details except to say that after listening to the speakers it was clear to me that the negotiations are very complicated, and the process is a slow process. And if the truth be told there was so much information last night that it would be impossible for me to get all the facts straight, as to who said what. The public meeting is available on video, please visit http://www.numberswatchdog.com/ for all the nights coverage. Thanks Numbers Watch!
For many months residents have felt that they have not had the opportunity to have their voices heard by the appropriate government officials. Then when they do have the opportunity to speak, they are told that it is time to mend. How can someone mend when they have not yet been heard? Well in my opinion last night was the beginning of the mending process.
Every one that was in attendance last night had the opportunity to ask questions and share their personal experiences. Although there were business owners, builders, developers and "all" council members were in attendance the floor was left for the residents to be heard. What an amazing experience! This in my opinion is the start of the mending process, and I do hope that David Crombie has these public meetings on a regular basis.
I had the opportunity to meet and speak with David Crombie after the meeting was over. I thanked him for having this public meeting, and I urged him to "advertise" the next public meeting, as most of the residents in Haldimand were unaware of what was going on. As this was the first public meeting of it’s kind, there will be some learning curves. I asked if he intended on having more public meetings, and his answer was a definite "Yes".
Now that in my opinion is what the position of the "Federal Liaison" is all about, the person that is the communicator between the residents and the government. For some they may say that this is too late, but in my opinion it is "never" too late. I hope to see David Crombie set a schedule for public meetings in the near future to keep the residents informed. Thank you Mr. Crombie!
I also had the opportunity to speak with Councillor Grice this morning about his feelings on how the meeting went last night. Grice was very pleased with the turnout and all those that wished to speak had the opportunity to do so. One comment that Grice had was that outside of a few questions about money, most of the comments by residents were about the emotional toll. This is the "Human Cost", Grice states.
I asked Councillor Grice why no one from council had any questions, his answer was simple, last night was for the residents! And he is absolutely right on that one!
A quote from Grice "Where there is secrecy there is rumour, and where there is rumour there are Victims".
While we were having our conversation, I brought up the subject of development in Haldimand County. Grice spoke of the resolution that he brought before council four weeks ago, apparently this was in the local papers, but I totally missed it, so here is the resolution by Grice if you also missed it;
Moved By: Councillor Grice
Seconded By: Councillor Dalimonte
WHEREAS the Federal and Provincial Governments have continued to work positively together to resolve land claim issues in the Haldimand Tract for the past nineteen months;
AND WHEREAS these claims, valid or otherwise, are beyond the legislative scope of Haldimand County's legal municipal mandate;
AND WHEREAS Haldimand County taxpayers, developers, and merchants continue to feel the economic, and social impact of First Nations protests and occupations;
AND WHEREAS the Federal Government has the complete power to control negotiations and how land claims are settled;
AND WHEREAS both the Federal and Provincial Governments have repeatedly declared that no lands will be expropriated from third party holdings and moreover that the Province of Ontario continues to support its' Land Registry System;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that Haldimand County, in support of all its residents merchants and potential developers, respectfully requests that both the Federal and Provincial Governments support economic and social development within Haldimand County by providing financial guarantees for development projects to facilitate development by ensuring that potential developers will not feel the adverse affects of possible occupations or protests on properties they own.
CARRIED (Unanimously 7-0)
Thanks to everyone that signed Toby Barrett’s petition last night, we sent in over a hundred signatures today. We will keep working on this, so if you haven’t signed the petition yet, please do so. Toby will be presenting this petition to the legislature next Wednesday.
A special thanks to Judy Laszlo your sign is working, "STOP THE SECRECY AND LET THE PEOPLE KNOW".
Your Voice Counts, you proved that last night. Thanks to everyone that attended!
Monday, November 26, 2007
The message was clear from the New Aboriginal Minister Michael Bryant today, he “wants to hear from the local People”.
About 60 residents showed up at the Caledonia Arena today hoping for some information from Aboriginal Minister Michael Bryant. The Minister was in Caledonia today for a “closed meeting” with Mayor Trainer, Councillors Grice, Boyko, Haldimand County CAO Don Boyle and others. After the meeting Mayor Trainer, CAO Don Boyle and Councillor Grice answered questions from the residents. My feeling was that the new CAO Don Boyle was very sincere and understands the frustrations of the residents of Haldimand, and is willing to do what it takes to make sure that we are heard!
Minister Bryant arrived with Mayor Trainer and we had the opportunity to ask a few questions before they went into the “closed meeting”. We also had the opportunity to have our name on a list if we wished to be contacted by the Minister directly. I put my name on that list and will update you if I get a call. We were hoping to speak to Minister Bryant further after the meeting, but he slipped out the back door to go to another meeting with local Faith Leaders in Caledonia.
Judy Laszlo a resident of Caledonia held a sign that stated, “Stop the Secrecy and Let the People Know”. Judy is asking that all levels of government be “Transparent” to the residents, in my opinion this is not asking too much, in fact McGuinty states that the government needs to be more “Transparent and Accountable” to the people!
Toby Barrett MPP for Haldimand Norfolk was not invited into the closed meeting today, but that did not keep him away. We had the opportunity to voice our concerns and ask Toby many questions while we all stood together outside the arena waiting for Minister Bryant to appear. In my opinion the conversation between the residents and Toby Barrett was positive, this is the kind of dialogue that is needed from all levels of government. Be Honest….Be Transparent….Be Accountable….
One of the things that came up was distributing a petition to ensure that Minister Bryant sticks to his words. The following is an email that I received this afternoon from Toby’s office.
Hello Donna, below please find Toby's news release referencing the Minister's visit, public hearings and petition.
I had hoped to have the petition ready for you this afternoon., but unfortunately I won't have all approvals til tomorrow....I will send you a copy for distribution before noon tomorrow.
In the meantime, here's the release.
For immediate release
November 26, 2007
Barrett calls for recorded public hearings on area land dispute
HN MPP holds Aboriginal Affairs Minister to stated interest in "homegrown solutions"
Caledonia - Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is calling for public hearings on the area land dispute - building on the Aboriginal Affairs Minister's reported, "interest in listening to people".
Barrett called for hearings while outside the Caledonia Twin Pad Arena as Minister Bryant held a closed door meeting inside.
"People are disturbed by the secrecy and lack of transparency that has become a hallmark of this 22 month land dispute," Barrett bristled. "This week's opening of a new legislative session provides us with a renewed opportunity to ensure communication with the people government decisions impact most."
To that end, Barrett has drawn up a petition calling for government to hold a round of recorded hearings whereby deputations - both spoken and written - could be made to a standing or select committee of the Ontario Parliament.
"I take him at his word when Minister Bryant indicates that he, 'wants to hear from local people', and that, 'we need local homegrown solutions'," stated Barrett. "Now it's time for real input and communication through recorded, public meetings open to the media - our taxpayer dollars fund Ontario Legislature activities for just such a purpose."
Several people in attendance outside of Bryant's meeting indicated they would circulate Barrett's petition.
"We have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in this area - knowledge that government has yet to tap," Barrett pointed out. "That's why I'm calling on all those affected to sign my petition and ensure Minister Bryant follows his reported intention to, 'see things locally'."
For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at (519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629
A Reminder of the “Public Meeting” this Wednesday November 28th, 2007. Cayuga Council Chambers at 7:00pm. Come show your support for Haldimand County.
I also had the opportunity to meet and ask our new CAO Don Boyle if the residents would be allowed to ask questions at this Wednesday’s public meeting in Cayuga with David Crombie and other representatives from the government. He couldn't promise that this would happen, but it is a possibility.
I will have the petition there from Toby Barrett for you to sign as well.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Federal Community Liaison, David Crombie will be making a "public" presentation along with other Federal Representatives regarding ongoing land claims negotiations in Haldimand County on Wednesday November 28th, 2007 in the Cayuga Council Chambers starting at 7:00pm.
This is your opportunity to hear first hand information on what is actually going on in Haldimand County. Don't rely on "rumors" or "assumptions", come out and hear the information "first hand".
There have been many press releases lately and I know that a lot of people are really worried about what the government is doing, or not doing.
If you live anywhere in "Haldimand County" and feel that all levels of "Government" play a vital role in the expedient resolution to the Land Claims Issues...you should attend this meeting.
If you live in Dunnville and have concerns over Walmart, No-Frills, TSC...you should attend this meeting.
If you live in South Cayuga and are worried about the 4,744 acres of land that the "Province" has frozen...you should attend this meeting.
If you live in Townsend and are worried about the 1,413 acres of land that the "Province" has frozen...you should attend this meeting.
If you live in Caledonia and have concerns over DCE lands that the "Province" has frozen...you should attend this meeting.
If you are a business owner and are concerned over the recent statement by Dalton McGuinty who seems absolutely "clueless" to the fact that business in Caledonia is being affected, you need to know if the Federal Government is clueless as well...you should attend this meeting.
If you are concerned over the "Province's" freeze on Selkirk Provincial Park or Rock Point Provincial Park...you should be attending this meeting.
If you are a Builder, Developer, or investor in Haldimand County...you should be attending this meeting.
The County has stated recently we have lost a staggering "24 Million dollars" since the same time last year in development related charges. If any of the reasons above don't interest you, this should! We will all pay in the end on "our" property taxes. We cannot recover these losses!
As Haldimand County "does not" have a seat on the main negotiating table, we have no representation. This is a serious concern, if for any other reason you should attend this meeting it should be to "demand" that we have a representative from Haldimand County at this table. I would suggest that this person could be a "resident" and not a political leader.
I know that many people have been writing letters to council members, but Haldimand County doesn't seem to have any "power" at all. So this is our opportunity to send a "Strong Message" that the "communication" lines need to be open to "ALL". Our locally elected officials are our first line of defense, if they cannot speak on our behalf then we have to do it ourselves.
We live in a very strong community and we have come together in the past over issues like saving the "Dunnville Hospital", saving "Haldimand County Hydro", let's show this government that we are strong, and we demand that "negotiations" are a "Priority" for "ALL" levels of "Government", Get this business done and do the right thing for "ALL" "Parties"!.
Let's Together show the Government that we are Strong and Determined to make them Transparent and Accountable for the betterment of "ALL" involved!
Friday, November 9, 2007
It's not often that I get really angry about a story printed in the newspapers, but this one really peeved me off. A reporter had an interview with Police Commissioner Julian Fantino in Toronto and the article was printed in the Hamilton Spectator on November 8th 2007. This story was regarding the costs related to the Land Claims in Caledonia. The real issue for Julian Fantino seemed to be the "so called" costs related to Gary McHale's coming to Caledonia.
It is not a secret that Gary McHale and Julian Fantino are not buddy's, and it certainly is not a secret that they are in a legal battle with each other, but keep it too yourselves guys! I am really not interested in either one of these individuals airing their dirty laundry in public, nor their "15 minutes" of fame. Take your fight to where it belongs......in a courtroom!
Gary Mchale is a "private citizen" and Julian Fantino is the "Commissioner " of the OPP. There is a big difference between the two of them and that should not be overlooked.
Julian Fantino should know better than to act and speak in the manner that he did in this interview. This was not the first "attack" that Julian Fantino has engaged himself in, and I am sure it will not be the last. Maybe I will be next, or even you, if you speak out or do something that is "out of line" in this man's book!
In my personal opinion Julian Fantinio is "out of line" for publicly "attacking" "any" citizen of Ontario . His words are "unprofessional", "insulting", "immature", and "intimidating".
Julian Fantino talks about "stirring things up", in my opinion he is the one stirring things up here, as he is the one who would get the press to print whatever he wanted whenever he wanted!
Julian Fantino talks about "interlopers" in this interview, it would be nice to have some clarification on this statement, but that is not going to happen. So I will add my personal take on the real message here........"STAY HOME EVERYONE, NO MORE PROTESTING, WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF ALL OF YOU".
I had another thought as I was writing this article, what if Julian Fantino had the same words come out of his mouth about a "native individual". Now before you crucify me here, I am not being racist, just put a person's name, any name, in the article that I re-wrote below. Julian Fantino would be "crucified", "fired", my point is that Julian Fantino is using Gary McHale's name to send us all a message. "My whole point about this is that we "all" have the right to "assemble peacefully", "voice our opinions", and demand answers!
This was the story from the Spectator;
Says agitators play big role in $32m cost of policing Caledonia November 08, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator Toronto (Nov 8, 2007)
The cost of policing the native land occupation in Caledonia has reached $32 million.
All by himself, the town's infamous "interloper," Gary McHale, has racked up a bill of more than half a million.That's $500,000-plus spent to police his rallies. To shut down his flag-raisings. To watch over his stump speeches. To keep him and some supporters in jail overnight. To deal with a guy who travels from his condo in Richmond Hill every week to "stir things up" in a town that doesn't need to be stirred any more.
That's the way OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino sees it anyway. It takes Fantino just three and a half minutes into an interview at his downtown Toronto office to offer up, unsolicited, the cost of policing McHale. This is at his fingertips. It takes someone else at the OPP to hunt down the $32-million figure.
This is Fantino on the attack.
Anybody who has been following the native protests in Caledonia since February 2006 knows the dispute between self-appointed watchdog McHale, who runs a controversial website critical of the OPP's conduct in the town, and no-nonsense Fantino is nearly as heated as the land-claim issue itself.
The critic and the cop have been trading barbs and legal threats publicly ever since Fantino stepped in as commissioner one year ago.Fantino says the half-million or so the province has spent to deal with McHale thus far doesn't even cover the cost of backfilling positions in other communities where OPP officers have been drawn from to cover his shenanigans in Caledonia."So the costs, in reality, are probably much, much higher," he says."
When (McHale) comes to town, when he agitates and creates problems down there, we obviously create a greater police presence," Fantino says.
McHale, when told of Fantino's comments, had this to say:
"Half a million? I'm surprised it's not higher." The bookkeeper-turned-activist wonders if the OPP have also taken the time to figure out the costs racked up in Caledonia by highly visible native protester Michael Laughing. He says all it would take to shut down his rallies would be for Fantino to sit down and talk with him. "He could save taxpayers money immediately if he agreed to meet with me," he says.
McHale has four lawsuits filed against Fantino, OPP union leader Karl Walsh and the provincial police. Two are for defamation of character, one is for false arrest and false imprisonment and another is for violating his charter rights. They total $3.5 million.
In turn, 22 OPP officers have launched a $7.2-million lawsuit against McHale for defaming them on his website."He can sue all he wants," Fantino says. "Every Canadian can do whatever he wants, I suppose, but that's all mischief making. That's all diverting attention."
Yes, it is. So let's get past all the dollars and cents of this. The cost of having McHale in Caledonia goes beyond money.
Each time McHale stages a production in Haldimand County, everyone leaves the negotiating table to deal with his antics. How is this helpful?
By the way, McHale says he is working on plans for something new in Caledonia, but won't tip his hand.You can bet Fantino won't be happy about that.
"Things have stabilized (in Caledonia) considerably," the commissioner says, "as long as we don't have these interlopers coming in to create problems."Susan Clairmont's commentary appears regularly in The Spectator.
This is my version, Just put in your own name.The cost of policing the native land occupation in Caledonia has reached $32 million.
All by (himself/herself) , the town's infamous "interloper," (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE ), has racked up a bill of more than ($500,000.00). That's ($500,000.00) spent to police (HIS/HER) rallies, protests, etc.....
To shut down (HIS/HER) flag-raising's, protests. To watch over (HIS/HER) stump speeches. To keep (HIM/HER) and some supporters in jail overnight. To deal with a (GUY/GAL) who travels from (HIS/HER) (PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN ONTARIO) every week to "stir things up" in a town that doesn't need to be stirred any more.
That's the way OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino sees it anyway. It takes Fantino just three and a half minutes into an interview at his downtown Toronto office to offer up, unsolicited, the cost of policing (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE). This is at his fingertips. It takes someone else at the OPP to hunt down the $32-million figure.
This is Fantino on the attack.Anybody who has been following the native protests in Caledonia since February 2006 knows the dispute between (RESIDENTS WHO HAVE THE NERVE TO VOICE THEIR CONCERNS), who (STAND ON STREET CORNERS PEACEFULLY PROTESTING......STAND ON BRIDGES PEACEFULLY PROTESTING.....WRITING LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.......BLOGGING......ETC) regarding the OPP's conduct in the town, and no-nonsense Fantino is nearly as heated as the land-claim issue itself.
Fantino says the half-million or so the province has spent to deal with (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE) thus far doesn't even cover the cost of backfilling positions in other communities where OPP officers have been drawn from to cover (HIS/HER) shenanigans in Caledonia. "So the costs, in reality, are probably much, much higher," he says.
"When (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE) comes to town, when (HE/SHE) agitates and creates problems down there, we obviously create a greater police presence," Fantino says.
"Things have stabilized (in Caledonia) considerably," the commissioner says, "as long as we don't have these interlopers coming in to create problems."
It is the VETERAN , not the preacher,
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN , not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN , not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN , not the campus organizer,
Who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN , not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN , not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN ,
Who salutes the Flag,
It is the VETERAN ,
Who serves under the Flag,
ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD,
AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Well the County Lawyer was very busy this week settling a major lawsuit against Haldimand County and Mayor Trainer that was filed by the Mayor's former administrative assistant.
A report by the County's lawyer will be on the agenda for this coming Council in Committee meeting on Monday, and no doubt will be headline news in the local papers on Wednesday. Or maybe not, this may go behind closed doors and we will never know the details. If the papers are silent on Wednesday, we need to demand this information, this is our "tax dollars" being spent here!
The county lawyer decided that "4" lawyers and approximately "6" days in court was not worth fighting for. So once again we see our "hard earned" tax dollars being handed over to someone else. Actually I need to correct myself here, "Council" decided to not take this battle to a "Court of Law". But that is not new, we have seen this before.
What is wrong with this County? Do we have no 'Backbone"?
Remember the "Burke" "Reports", the first report is public, the second one is not quite public yet, (although I along with I am sure a few other people do have a copy of the second report) costs the taxpayers $25,000.00. At the time of the "Burke" investigation our Council decided to be Judge and Jury and deemed Mayor Trainer as being guilty of "Harassment". So thanks to the wisdom of our Council Members we were just bitten on the ass (again) big time!
Remember the "Haldimand County Hydro" mess, this cost the taxpayers approximately $500,000.00 dollars, for council's procedural techniques!
I do believe it is time to replace the county lawyer, but that wouldn't be fair would it, he doesn't make the decisions, he follows the wishes of our "Elected Council".
It will be interesting to hear Mayor Trainers take on this. Maybe now that this is a done deal, her Council will let her be privy to "all" the closed door sessions regarding this court case that she was not "privy" too. That's right you heard that right, all this time the Mayor was not even "privy" to "any information", even though she was named in the case. So in saying that. Mayor Trainer had no "say" in whether to take this to court or settle out. This is ridiculous!
Mayor Trainer has stated all along that she was innocent, and she didn't even have an "opportunity" to prove this in a "Court of Law"! I hope that council will be "paying" for the Mayors lawyer, but I doubt that as well, she had to pay about $4000.00 dollars to her own lawyer while this investigation was going on and council decided "not" to pay her lawyer's bill even though council members can be reimbursed for this. But Council did decide at the time to pay the lawyers bill for her "administrative assistant", and if my memory serves me right that was about $6000.00 dollars.!
Imagine if "you" were being sued, you spent a considerable amount of money preparing your defense, and then were denied your right to prove your innocence! I would not stand for that, would you?
Something is wrong with this picture.
Wednesday October 24th edition of the Regional News, Bill Jackson did a report called "By-laws to follow proper procedure, says Councillor". This article is about the illegal smoke shops on Hwy #6 just outside of Caledonia on land that belongs to Six Nations, but is "not" part of the Reserve. Now according to Councillor Sloat, these illegal smoke shops "wouldn't" be subject to Haldimand by-laws! So the obvious is that nothing has been done by council according to Sloat's statement.
Interestingly enough, last Saturday beside "Doug's Smoke Shop" (October 20th) Councillor Grice stated the county "is doing" something about the illegal smoke shops. He wouldn't exactly say what, but basically told us that it was in the works, and individuals have been notified. When we asked him if this notice was in writing, he was evasive....and said...hmmm.....! Grice explained to us that Haldimand County's by-law would enforce the "building" on the property only as it is in the jurisdiction of Haldimand County. The County has no authority or control over the selling of illegal cigarettes. The RCMP is responsible for "illegal cigarette sales", not the OPP.
So which one of these Councillor's is telling the truth? Or maybe the question should be, which Councillor is willing to tell the "public" the truth?
Now another interesting statement that Sloat made in regards to County by-law's is "It's not necessarily something that I totally agree with, but again it's the system and it's the way it is." What Councillor Sloat is referring to is the procedure of notification to the property owner that is in violation, and the fact that the property owner is given the opportunity to right their wrongs. What I find profound about Sloat's statement is that the "County" makes up their own by-laws, and is required by "Law" to enforce their by-laws!
So my question is; If the County is not enforcing their own "by-laws" are they not "breaking" the law?
So it looks like Doug Fleming should be preparing himself for a long haul, as it looks like he will not be visited by any by-law officer from Haldimand County in the near future.
My advise to Doug; buy more cigarettes, and make yourself a "Profit"!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Right or Wrong we don’t all live by the same rules in Haldimand County. That is certainly becoming very clear to me, and it is very disturbing.
Recently Doug Fleming, a resident of Caledonia has been pushing the limits of the law in Caledonia. For the past two weekends he has been selling illegal cigarettes from the back of his truck, I mean "illegal" in every way. He has no license or permits to sell cigarettes, yet he chooses to break the law in order to prove his point.
So you may ask what point is Doug trying to make? In my personal opinion the answer is simple, If they can do it, so can I! I’m not saying that it’s right, and if you speak to Doug he will honestly tell you he is "breaking the law".
So what makes a person like Doug take this kind of action? Well I can tell you from a personal point of view that sometimes a person has had enough, and feels that they need to make a stand. Sometimes your course of action may not be the right approach, but you feel that it is better then sitting on you ass and doing nothing! I believe this is what has happened to Doug.
Doug has witnessed "2" Smoke Shops open on HWY# 6 just outside of Caledonia the last six months, and states they are both illegal. But they carry on just the same. Doug feels that if he is arrested and shut down, then the other smoke shop owners will be arrested and shut down as well. His point is simple, but two wrongs do not make a right.
So last Saturday I spent the day with Doug and friends observing. I arrived at around 10:00am as Doug was just setting up shop on Argyle Street. Around 10:45 Doug made the decision to move closer into town, so we left and Doug set up his "Smoke Shop" in the parking lot right out front of the OPP Community Policing Office, located in the strip mall in Caledonia. Doug’s reason, to be more "visible", as the OPP officers were not paying any attention to his shop on Argyle St. Well his plan worked, not five minutes after setting up, Doug was approached by "5" OPP officers.
Without going into a lot of detail, Doug was told that selling cigarettes out of the back of his truck was illegal, and was asked to leave. He was not arrested, and he politely refused to leave.
Now one thing that I found very interesting was that Doug mentioned the news release from OPP officer Paula Wright. This news release was asking anyone in the public if they had any information about the "apparent" Smoke Shop that appeared on Argyle St. last week. Doug informed the officer, I am the "Smoke Shop" that this news release was talking about. None of the officers were aware of any "news release" regarding this situation, and obviously there was no direction given in case an officer was notified by a resident. Doug supplied them with a copy.
So my question would be, why would the OPP put out a news release if they were not really looking for information? Actually I am totally confused as to why this news release was even issued, as it seems according to the OPP officer that was speaking to Doug the selling of illegal cigarettes falls under the jurisdiction of the RCMP.
Doug will continue selling "illegal" cigarettes until something is done.
I am sure that Doug will eventually pay the price for what he is doing, but the ultimate question is;
Will he have made a difference?
Friday, October 19, 2007
I would like to introduce you to an amazing woman that I met a few months back. We have had many heartfelt conversations and she is certainly in my eyes "a very brave woman". She is passionate, caring, trusting and has done what most people on these types of boards never do, she is announcing who she is!
Judy operates a site that anyone can go on and "Have their Say". As we are in times of uncertainty here in Haldimand, it is nice to have a solid avenue to vent. I asked Judy to write a little bit about herself, so that I could assist in promoting this amazing site. I know that it was hard for Judy to write about herself, and that is why it took her a bit of time, Thanks Judy;
Hello Haldimands Unheard Voice
I have been a resident of the County of Haldimand for 40 yrs, all my life I have chose to live here raise my children here & grow my business here.
The events of the past 20 months have lead me to go out into my community even further and start dialogue with the residents.
I have come across some of the most tugging at your heart stories, that I couldn't help but try in the smallest way to help those people have a voice even it is a small voice.
I started a forum for people to sign up anonymously to be able to tell their stories, vent their frustrations, get the latest news & sometimes just laugh.
We sometimes aren't strong enough to face the public & that is okay, we get our strength from supporting each other in the whether it is in Caledonia or across Ontario.
Our posters are free to express their opinions & discuss the issues that are constantly on our minds these days.
The Occupation & Land Claims up & down the Grand are a problem for the Well being, Security, Safety & Economy for all who are effected.
Have your voice heard & support one another,
All welcome to Join
Chick66 (Judy Laszlo) Administrator - have your say Caledonia
The following is a comment that was posted on Haldimand "The Government Speaks". The individual did not post their name, but I figure if they already posted a comment I don't need to ask them permission to re-post their words.
As this site is called "Haldimands Unheard Voice", I have always been very willing to listen to what anyone has to say. The only thing that I have ever asked of anyone, is that they stay respectful.
The person who wrote this comment seems to be close to the issue, and maybe once they find that I have posted this as a main article, they will come forth, but that is not necessary.
The poster probably doesn't agree with everything that I post, as I don't necessarily agree with everything they have posted. But never the less we are all fortunate to live in a country where we don't get "shot" for speaking out.
So "thank you" "Anonymous" for your post.
I am very fortunate that I have so many people that post comments on my site, I appreciate every one of them.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Haldimand "The Government Speaks"":
From the notes printed above:
Ontario recognizes that municipal governments in the Haldimand Tract and the provincial government need to continue to work on mechanisms to consult the Six Nations community about land use decisions and development activity in the area.---------------------------------
What does this statement say to you?
To me that statement suggests exactly what it says - that The Corporation of Haldimand County (and other municipal governments in the tract) and the Provincial government need to consult with Six Nations on development.
Six Nations doesn't have veto power over development - that seems to be the clear position of the government. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why builders/developers are so afraid to speak to Six Nations. I am a firm believer in communication. Although the two sides may not like what the other has to say - it sure beats pretending that Six Nations doesn't exist and risk loosing everything while feigning "But I didn't know" or "the government didn't tell me".
I am sick and tired of listening to the builders and developers of this area talk about "the extortionists on Six Nations". But when you ask some of them if they have ever spoken to the Confederacy or Band Council directly they say either "no", or "I'm not talking to them", or "why should I have to get their permission?", or "why should I?" and so on and so forth.
They seem to be much happier complaining about all of the money that they are not making and all of the trades who are not working, than trying to actually find a way that may just set the ground work for a resolution to this mess.
Nobody is asking the builders, developers, Haldimand Council or the Provincial Government to just cave in and give Six Nations whatever they want.
Nobody expects "appeasement" to be the only answer - but that works both ways.
What has been very eye-opening for me through this whole ordeal, is just how many people demand that the townsfolk of Caledonia unite behind their developers and builders, demand that the residents back some ill conceived plan to March on the DCE, demand that anyone who doesn't live in "the zone" mind their own business and then condemn those same people for not doing anything to help.
Then there are those who "fear monger" with "you won't be able to afford your taxes", "you won't be able to sell your house", "you are going to end up living on leased land", "the government has abandoned you", "you are going to be kicked out of your home", "you are going to have to hand title to your deed over to Six Nations" - but they are the first people to criticize ANYONE who realizes that Six Nations is not some mythical invisible entity.
Instead, they counter with "bring in the army", "arrest the terrorists", "equality under the law", "the police are useless - don't trust them and don't let them come to your house if you call them for help"....etc. etc. etc.
What is any of that doing to help? How is any of that going to bring about any form of resolution?
I'll tell you what I think - It won't. I think that it is high time that people started working with the tools that we have and the cards that we've been dealt and FIND a way to move these issues forward for the betterment of everyone. And that needs to start with our councilors and mayor recognizing that this situation IS their responsibility in partnership with the community, provincial government, federal government and leadership of Six Nations, instead of acting like a bunch of spoiled 4 year olds who didn’t get the toy that they wanted for Christmas and complaining that they aren’t allowed at negotiations. So be it.
It doesn’t mean that they cannot constructively and effectively work to improve the environment of this County and it’s relationship with Six Nations.
They all need to start doing the jobs that they were elected to do. If they are unable or unwilling to do so – then they need to resign immediately and let those who can make that effort to do so in their place. Posted by Anonymous to Haldimand's Unheard Voice at October 19, 2007 8:00 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I originally posted the following as a comment on my last article. I felt that many are wanting some answers to some very simple questions, so I felt that this needed to be an article of it's own.
The following is a statement from Murray Coolican.
SPEAKING NOTES FOR ONTARIO PRINCIPAL REPRESENTATIVE MURRAY COOLICAN
Lands Resolution Side Table Meeting – Oct 17, 2007
Recently, there have been a number of statements in the media by representatives of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute that have caused concern for homeowners, residents, developers and municipal leaders.
The establishment of Haudenosaunee/Six Nations Development Institute has the potential to help further dialogue amongst parties.
Ontario is responsible for land use matters in the province and has an effective system in place to exercise its jurisdiction. Ontario stands by its land title system and its authority, in co-operation with the municipalities, to make land-planning decisions and for municipalities to provide building permits for development.
Ontario recognizes that municipal governments in the Haldimand Tract and the provincial government need to continue to work on mechanisms to consult the Six Nations community about land use decisions and development activity in the area. However, consultation does not mean a veto over development. Nor does consultation require developers to pay licensing fees or taxes to the Haudenosaunee Development Institute.
It has always been Ontario’s position that private property owners have valid titles to their properties even if there are disagreements between the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations and Canada about the surrenders of land in the past.
Any attempt by the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations to extract concessions or payments from private landowners as a condition for allowing development to continue on private property has no basis in Ontario's land use planning system.
Ontario and the federal government have both made it clear at the negotiation table that any settlement of Haudenosaunee/Six Nations’ grievances will not deprive landowners of their ownership of their land.
Assertions of jurisdiction need to be dealt with at the negotiations table as they have everything to do with the responsible resolution of land claims.
The federal government and the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations with the support of the province must work together on advancing our mutual interests and resolving differences.
Ontario does not dispossess property owners to achieve land claim settlements. There is a long-standing policy not to expropriate private property to settle land claims. Canada has the same policy.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I don't like to be negative but you only have to read the papers this week to get a feel of how serious the situation is actually getting here in Haldimand County.
Here are some of the recent issues;
HDI was recently created to handle development within the Haldimand Tract (six miles on each side of the Grand River). the mandate of this new business is they will charge fees and demand permits for all construction on the said lands.
At Monday nights Council meeting, Council discussed a letter that they had received from the institute. To put it in a nutshell, the institute will not allow any construction in the Haldimand Tract without their permission. According to the Chronicle this week, Councillor Sloat denounced the letter as ridiculous, and stated "I think we are falling into the trap, to be quite frank, we're debating a letter that's been sent to us that implies that we should follow an illegal course. Why are we even talking about it?" Well I couldn't agree more with Councillor Sloat.
In an article in the Spectator today, HDI states that all developers within the Haldimand Tract require a permit from HDI, and development fees. Murray Coolican, Ontario's principle representative at the talks, quickly denounced HDI's authority. Interestingly enough HDI spokesperson Aaron Detlor stated that nothing will change because of Ontario's position. "The government can say what it wants to say," he said. "We know the development community is going to come to HDI and if they don't, there's not going to be any development".
Another new business opened in Caledonia last week. Doug's smoke shop opened last Saturday morning to protest two other smoke shops that are operating on Hwy #6 just south of Caledonia. He didn't have permits to open this business, but stated that the other two smokes shops operate without a permit so he didn't need one. Doug's smokes closed up around noon, as he ran out of smokes. Now what I find interesting is that the OPP did not lay any charges, Doug was expecting to be busted, but was not. Doug's smokes will be open for business again this weekend!
As the provincial election is now history, will the Province acknowledge Haldimand County? Well according to an interview with the Chronicle, Lorraine Bergstrand states "There's a very clear message here that we didn't get our message out, the message of what the Liberal Government can do in Haldimand and Norfolk," she said to supporters on election night. "This was a chance for Haldimand/Norfolk to move forward, but voters decided to hold onto the past."
Now is Bergstrand telling us something here? Will we be reprimanded because we didn't vote in a Liberal MPP? I thought this was a Democracy. So where are my tax dollars going?
What wasn't in the news this week. Two more business's closed in Dunnville this week, the Coffee & More and the Sleekit Badger, I believe that was a loss of about 15 jobs! Where is WalMart? Where is No Frills? Where is TSC?
As the frustration builds on all sides, you have to wonder what the future has in store for us in Haldimand County. It seems that we have all been left to fend for ourselves.
Friday, October 12, 2007
It seems that Haldimand County is having problems securing a new police force. But that shouldn't have been a surprise to either Council members or Staff members of Haldimand County. I am sure that many of you remember when we went from Regional to OPP, that process was far more complicated than just sending out a few letters and asking another force to take over our services.
Haldimand County Staff states that according to the Police Service Act they can only contract a force that is adjacent to the Municipality. So in light of this they seemed to have had only two options, Niagara or Hamilton. I have done a bit of investigating this myself, but so far I have not seen the information that the County is talking about, so here is the link if you wish to research this yourself. http://www.canlii.org/on/laws/sta/p-15/20040503/whole.html#BK6
During the election campaign in 2006, a few candidates "promised" if elected that they would investigate the possibility of replacing the OPP here in Haldimand County. Now as far as promises go I would have thought that they would have done a little bit of investigating before they "promised" the residents anything on such a serious matter!
Now in saying that, there was one candidate that I know for a fact did investigate other options for policing in Haldimand County. Councillor Buck Sloat did in fact do his homework on this issue. In October of 2006, during the Ward 2 debate in Cayuga Councillor Sloat informed the residents he had already met with Chief Mullen of the Hamilton Police Department. As a result of Sloat's meeting with Chief Mullen, Hamilton was ready to take on policing in Haldimand County whenever we were ready. Now this never hit the newspapers, and most residents were not aware of this information. In fact I made a phone call to Mayor Trainer the next morning to ask about the details of this meeting with Chief Mullen, and she was totally unaware of these talks. So your guess is as good as mine.
My question is this, if in fact Councillor Sloat told the truth, what has changed since October 2006? The newspapers reported recently that Chief Mullen was "not" interested in taking on Policing in Haldimand County.
As we are already feeling a huge cash crunch in Haldimand due to the lack of "growth", and that did not just happen yesterday, why proceed any further with looking for a new Police Force? This is only wasting everyone's time, there are more serious issues in Haldimand County to deal with.
The fact is that the Province is paying for the OPP in Caledonia, so what are the real issues here for even proceeding on with this exercise.
If the County is going to proceed with any issue in policing it should be demanding that "6th" line be Policed!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
For those of you that are still unsure of who is going to get your vote on October 10th, I thought this might help you. I came across this as I was looking for something else. This was read on Q107 last year. I changed a few words to reflect the Province of Ontario, and the year.
Although it is early for holiday greetings, I thought it was appropriate. Which Greeting would you send? The following may help you make that difficult choice on October 10th, if you are still undecided, Every Vote Counts!
For all my Liberal Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my Best Wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of other, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year of 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada great. Oh, I don’t mean to imply that Ontario is necessarily greater than any other Province in Canada, nor is Canada the greatest county in the Northern Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.
By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the aforementioned terms as stated. This greeting is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher to the wishee. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
For My Conservative Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. May the true meaning of Christmas be first and foremost in your thoughts and actions this coming year.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
"We" the residents of Ontario should be demanding McGuinty and his government, be made accountable for this huge "price tag". These are "Our" hard earned tax dollars being spent. Maybe this is one of the reasons that McGuinty cannot scrap the "Health Tax", he did say that they need the money!
One thing that I just can’t understand is that McGuinty keeps telling us that the Native Land Claims in Haldimand is a "Federal Issue", well the way I see it from the figures below, this is most certainly a "Provincial Issue"!
At the all candidates night last night in Dunnville, both Lorraine Bergstrand (Liberal candidate) and Jan Watson (NDP candidate) still state that the Land Claims is a "Federal Issue", how can they state this, when again the tax dollars that have been spent are from the Provincial Kitty. I think they both need an education on what is really going on!
Toby Barrett on the other hand has stated on more than one occasion that the Land Claims issue here in Haldimand is the responsibility of "ALL" levels of government
Oct 02, 2007 10:53 ET
Alliance Estimates $290 Million Price Tag on Caledonia
While tensions continue to mount in the 579 day-old land dispute in Caledonia so do the rising costs. The Caledonia Citizens Alliance estimates that close to $290 million tax dollars have been spent on this ongoing battle and occupation with no end in sight.
These costs include: the purchase of the Douglas Creek Estates along with related expenses, $22.7 million; costs to assist businesses, the local municipality and residents $2.1 million, provincial staffing including wages for David Peterson and Jane Stewart, $3.3 million; policing, $145 million; and, all associated Hydro One costs such as replacement of the incomplete transmission line, $116 million.
"We are concerned that the Premier has been hiding many of the associated costs of this dispute from the Ontario taxpayers," says Ken Hewitt, spokesperson for the Alliance.
"McGuinty's accounting fails to take into consideration the astronomical OPP and Hydro costs that are a direct result of this crisis in Caledonia," continued Mr. Hewitt.
The Ontario Government has not yet released what it calls "other ongoing costs" and claims they are yet to be determined. Frank Stoneman, a local business owner and volunteer with the Alliance expressed his concerns, "This lack of information and accountability from the Provincial Government disturbs me. $290 million is $30 million more than the budget for the Ministry of the Environment in 2006.
It's a great deal of our hard-earned money."The land dispute began on February 28, 2006 over the Douglas Creek Estates property, a 40 hectare parcel of land that was being developed into homes. The Province of Ontario bought the land from the local developer and has been negotiating with the natives for the last nineteen months. Six Nations natives continue to occupy the site which boarders on a local subdivision and elementary school.
The Alliance expects Mr. McGuinty to come clean to the taxpayers with regard to the actual costs related to the situation in Caledonia.
Thanks to Ken Hewitt from the Caledonia Citizens Alliance for allowing me to post this article.
Please visit www.caledoniacitizensalliance.com
I received this in an e-mail today from a friend down the road, it is a different angle on politics, but a good one. So I thought I would share this with you.
In the year 2007, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Canada , and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard, but no Ark.
Noah!" He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.
Then the Hydro One demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem.
There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!
When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
Then the Ministry of the Environment ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization are checking the Visa status of most of the people who want to work. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.
To make matters worse, Revenue Canada seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?" "No," said the Lord. "The government beat me to it."
Monday, September 24, 2007
I originally posted this in August, I felt it necessary to re-post this. Maybe this will assist some people in their decision as to who they are going to vote for on October 10th, 2007.
Haldimand "I SWEAR"
The following is Mr. McGuinty's first speach as Premier of Ontario. This speach was very heartwarming, and uplifting, and full of promises.
Remarks By Dalton McGuinty, Premier Of Ontario
On The Occasion Of The Swearing-In of The Premier and Cabinet
October 23, 2003 — CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Your Honour, my Lord Chief Justice, distinguished guests, colleagues, friends and those people sitting in the first 30 rows here — family. My first words as Premier are to the people of Ontario. Thank you for the work you have entrusted to us.
Thank you for having given us these important responsibilities. I thank you for all the work you do every day.
We are honoured to work for you because we've seen you work. We've seen you make the kids' lunches, fill out the school forms, sell the chocolate almonds, put in more than a full day at the office or down at the plant, and still manage to get the kids to Brownies or hockey practice — sometimes even on time. Our government will be as tireless as you are.
We've seen you neglect your own needs to care for your aging parents, or make sacrifices to care for your young grandchildren. Our government will be as selfless as you are.
We have seen you innovate and take risks to create jobs. Or do your jobs so well that you help your employers create still more jobs. Our government will work as hard as you do.
We've seen you teach a child to read, nurse a patient back to health, fight a fire, police a community, provide public service, serve in our armed forces or strengthen our province in thousands of ways. Our government will work with you.
You do so much, so well. Government's job is to help you overcome those challenges that are simply too big for you to tackle on your own. And we gladly assume that responsibility. We won't blame you for our mistakes. We will starve cynicism, and feed hope.
A poet once described hope as "that everlasting duty that heaven lays for its own sake on mankind's heart." We embrace this notion of hope being our duty, our obligation, our shared responsibility. Our mission is to build a government that inspires hope in all Ontarians. People have told us they want things done differently.
They want real, positive change. They want us to improve their schools and health care, protect our environment and live within our means.
Today marks a first step in delivering change. There will be a new Ministry of Children's services to deliver on our commitment to ensure that children get off to the best start in life.
A new Ministry of Public Infrastructure signals our determination to provide the tools Ontarians need to compete and win by building roads and sewers and hospitals and schools.
For the first time, Ontario will have a Democratic Renewal Secretariat. Because we believe in public service and we believe in government, we will strive to make government more relevant to the people that we serve.
With that goal in mind, we're moving to make the people's representatives — our MPPs — even more relevant to government. For the first time in Ontario history, every MPP in the government caucus will sit on Cabinet Committees. And those committees will be chaired by non-ministers. In keeping with our parliamentary traditions, decisions will remain with Cabinet. But with this innovation, MPPs will have real, meaningful input into those decisions. When it comes to policy making in our government, there will be no back bench.
Our government will work for all Ontarians and with all Ontarians. That's why I'm so happy to welcome each of you today, and to have you here with us. Together, we will represent businesses and workers, youth and older Ontarians, public and private sector, as well as volunteers. You are all welcomed here, and you will be always.
I want you to know that yours is an idealistic government — one that wants to make Ontario the envy of the world.
We're not naive about the challenges ahead. We're under no illusions, but we do have a vision. It is a vision of working and building and dreaming together. And it is a vision that Ontarians share.
Before closing, I just want to say how proud I am to have my mother with us here today.
I also want to acknowledge the love and support of my family, Terri, my wife, and my children Carleen, Dalton Jr., Liam and Connor. I want to thank them for their particularly leveling influence. When I told Connor we were coming to Queen's Park for my swearing in, his only inquiry was, "is there going to be any food there?"
I want to conclude this, my first speech as Premier, in the same way that I concluded my maiden speech as an MPP in this chamber some 13 years ago. I want to conclude with words of advice written by my late father, Dalton McGuinty Sr. in a letter he sent as the member for Ottawa South to all members of this legislature, at that time.
His words are in paraphrase of a prayer from St. Francis of Assisi:
"Let us remember that when we leave this earth, we take with us nothing that we have received, fleeting symbols of honour, trappings of power, but only what we have been given, a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage."
My friends, let our new government govern with a full heart. Let it provide honest service. And let it show as much love, sacrifice and courage as the people we have the privilege of serving. Thank you.
Here are have a few questions that I have asked myself about the last 4 years with our "current" government;
Have they inspired Me? Is Ontario the "envy" of the World? Has this current government worked as "Hard" as you and I? Has this current government been as "selfless" as you and I? Has this current government given me "Hope" for the "future? Has this current government been "accountable"? Has this current government been "honest"?
For those that agree that Mr. McGuinty and his present government have in the past 4 years honoured their commitment to all Ontarians, your job is an easy one come October 10th, 2007.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Well Mr. McGuinty when are "you" coming to Caledonia? As I have stated on a few other occasions, McGuinty has been a mere "20 minutes" away from Hamilton at least 4 times in the last few months.
Today, John Tory along with Toby Barrett and Mayor Trainer, met with residents of Caledonia, to hear their concerns. This was John Tory’s ninth time in Caledonia in the last 18 months. Tory laid out his plan of action, if he was to be elected Ontario’s next Premier.
The following is a news release regarding "One Law for All".
Sep-23-07 TORY VOWS TO UPHOLD ONE LAW FOR ALL
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory today returned to Caledonia, the site of the ongoing land-occupation, where he called for new leadership to resolve the current standoff and prevent other illegal occupations in the future.
"For over a year and a half Dalton McGuinty has permitted an illegal occupation to paralyze this entire community," Mr. Tory said, "He has failed the people of Ontario."
The Caledonia occupation began on February 28th, 2006 when a group of protesters claiming to represent the Six Nations Confederacy staged an illegal occupation of a Caledonia area building site. In the ensuing 19 months, vandalism and violence have held the community hostage.
To date, Dalton McGuinty has refused to insist on the rule of law when it comes to illegal occupations. The Caledonia occupation alone has cost Ontario taxpayers $55 million so far.
Similar disputes have since threatened communities ranging from Desoronto, Brantford, Hagersville, the Village of York, and Dunnville. Tory announced today that he would move to protect Ontario communities from illegal occupations by strengthening existing laws.
"I am announcing today that a PC government will amend provincial statutes, including the Trespass to Property Act to address the breakdown in law that results from an illegal occupation," said Tory. This new act would respect the valid interests of each side, protect innocent bystanders, and set a policy framework for police." Tory reiterated his commitments to showing new leadership on addressing the many longstanding issues of Ontario’s First Nations’ communities:
• Make it a priority to resolve Aboriginal land claims, working in a spirit of partnership with Aboriginal peoples and the federal government;
• Work with Ontario’s Aboriginal peoples to address the deplorable conditions in many Aboriginal communities, by working to meet essential needs in education, health, social services, and infrastructure;
• Improve mental health service capacity in Aboriginal communities in partnership with Aboriginal peoples and the federal government; and,
• Work with Aboriginal peoples, the federal government, employers and our colleges and universities to promote and enhance access to our college and university programs by Aboriginal students.
He also outlined the new ground rules that a Progressive Conservative government would enforce when confronted with an illegal occupation:
• No negotiation with anyone engaging in an illegal occupation;
• Oppose any group using an illegal occupation to extort concessions or payments
• Insist that the authority of the courts, including court injunctions, are respected and enforced; and,
• Use the justice system to pursue civil action against those who participate in, direct, or financially support illegal occupations. "I will stand up and stand beside the people of this province to ensure they are protected," Tory concluded. "For a safe and strong Ontario, leadership matters."
The fact that John Tory came to Caledonia again, proves to me that this is the type of "Leadership" that we need in Ontario. John Tory has laid out a plan, and a solid plan that I believe is in the best interest of "everyone", on the flip side our current Premier has turned his back to "ALL of US", "that is not a plan that we accept"!
I don't think it will be a hard decision come October 10th, 2007 for a lot of residents of Haldimand as to where they will place their "X" on the ballot. I know I will be voting for Toby Barrett, our current and next MPP for Haldimand/Norfolk!
If you still haven’t decided who you are going to vote for here in Haldimand, there are some debates coming up that you may be interested in attending.
Monday September 24, 2007, Agricultural Centre, Kohler at 7:00pm
Monday October 1, 2007, Legion in Dunnville at 7:00pm
You can also click on the Leadership.ca to the left, that will take you to John Tory's website.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Well after the events of yesterday unfolded in front of “My” eyes, whether on the radio or the TV, for me personally I was over whelmed with feelings of sadness. When I watched the news last night it was like a scene right out of a movie, and I was left with feeling that this can not be happening where I Live!
First I would love to share with you a few readings out of a book that I have called Sacred Moments;
"The Virtue of Humility"
Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another’s ears nor comprehend with another’s brain. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God.
"The virtue of Acceptance"
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn…
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient…
If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident…
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate…
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves…
I have said many times on my blog that I have stayed away from taking sides in the Land Claims issues in Haldimand County. We have “All” lived with this one way or another in the past 19 months. Some are very strong on their stand; others are not really sure what their stand is. Regardless we all have a different way of expressing our personal point of views.
I have certainly expressed my personal views publicly, whether it be standing on a “Bridge” for 3 days, writing a blog, or starting a “Petition on-line” to Dalton McGuinty, I have certainly paid the price for all of the above. I have often wondered why I do the things I do, and often say, I really don’t make a difference in the big picture, and say to myself “Give it Up”, but I keep going back for more!
I am very fortunate that I have very close friends and a very close family that have always “supported” me on “anything” that I have done. In saying that I am sure that sometimes they really wonder what the hell I am doing, but they have always been there for me. I am truly blessed for this.
I for one understand the “Passion” that one feels when they are involved in fighting for something, no matter how “big or small”! I also “Respect” anyone who has that passion, and seems to be willing to put their life on hold for what they believe in. Sometimes our “Passion” drives us to go over the line, (I have also been guilty of crossing the line) and we loose site of what the real issues are. So we need to take a breath, a break, and re-focus our efforts. The respectful thing I believe for all of us to remember is we need to “Agree to Disagree” with each other.
The Land Claims issue (in my opinion) seems to now have about “8” sides, and in “My” personal opinion, this issue cannot be resolved when there are that many sides. I also feel very strongly against using “Violence” to make your point, no matter what side you take a stand on.
My personal opinion is that most of us are “Ignorant” to either cultural differences or the interpretation of the Law or the understanding of the issue itself! I am personally guilty of this as well! (“Thank Goodness my comments are turned off”!)
I have stated all along that the solution to the current crisis is the “Responsibility” of “All” levels of “Government”. I say “Crisis” because of the constant “Passing the Buck” and the lack of “Accountability” and the lack of “Responsibility” of “All” Levels of Government. The time is up; this has gone on too long for “All” of us.
Wouldn’t it be admirable if we “All” started focusing on the “Government” and not on each other! We are all “Neighbours” who are mad at one level of the government or another, for one reason or another, whether you are a resident, a protester, a builder etc..etc..
We are “All” “Responsible” for our “Actions” and our “Inaction’s”.