Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Haldimand "Are we Left to Fend for Ourselves?"

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.

16 comments:

  1. This is consistent with Liberal practices. This is one of the most partisan governments I have seen in a long time. They take all our tax dollars and distribute them to friends and Liberal friendly ridings. It just goes to prove that the people of Haldimand Norfolk see through their partisan politics and elected a representative of integrity in Toby Barrett.

    As for HDI the letter yesterday from the Province stating that the HDI has no authority to collect fees and dictate development is a difinitive statement by the new Liberal Government.

    So much so that it finally flushed Chief Allan MacNaughton out of the underbrush to state that the government has no authority to dictate how Six Nations does business. We now know that the Confederacy to the top Chief are fully behind the occupations, intimidation tactics and threats. Now we know exactly who to contact when the "Extortion" charges are laid.

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  2. Elizabeth HutchisonOctober 18, 2007 at 6:13 AM

    Donna, excellent posting. So many questions. No answers.

    Here’s my take on some of your points:

    HDI: Hooligans Determined to Intimidate

    Lorraine Bergstrand: This is a woman determined to be in politics; she has no particular loyalty or commitment. She will side with the party that has an opening that she thinks she can slide into. Her slogan: “A vote for me is a vote for anarchy”

    Aaron Detlor: Like most of us, his heritage is a stir-fry. More bang for your buck if you side and champion the so called Native Cause. More chance of a big financial reward. After all, how much publicity and how much money would he get trying to get the annual Octoberfest celebrations government funded and lands donated to the German community for building cultural and heritage sites! How much money would he get trying to get huge and I mean in the millions of dollars worth of punitive compensation paid to the German community for hosting German POW camps during WWII?

    Dunnville:
    Fifteen more out-of-work residents of Haldimand County. Shameful. Remember the history of our fore-fathers. If it needs to be done, do it yourself. It’s time we took back this county. Time we took it back from inept and dangerous politicians. For every problem, there is a solution. Don’t spend any more time looking to politicians for answers. We have the solution. Remember: Civil Disobedience is not just our right, it is our duty. Elizabeth Hutchison

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  3. 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.


    October 17, 2007

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  4. This is nothing Donna but a beginning!! Guess in the future whom I will pay my property taxes too!!

    Stop it in the butt NOW or suffer the consequences!!! Remember when only a couple of natives were on the DCE: No one could turn back the clock to clear them NOW!! Big boob boo: Marie our mayor was RIGHT!!

    When they get the feel of this the other area’s surrounding us will pay too!! Yes ones they feel are fit will pay too!!!

    Another wards HELP Haldimand County NOW or pay later: Ontario!!!

    Haldimand County is just a trial run: Next Canada!!!

    “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?"

    I hate to say it Councillor Sloat is 110% correct: we should take illegal course!!!
    Councillor Sloat: it is a trap and we are the bait; Canada is the intended prey!!!

    VERY Concerned,
    Jim Smith

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  5. Elizabeth HutchisonOctober 18, 2007 at 2:51 PM

     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.

    Really? I expect Henco will be thrilled to hear that. So many people have been displaced by this invasion that I wouldn't know where to start. So, keeping with the quote above, not only Henco but the families who had purchased homes on DCE and were planning a life in this once beautiful community had not only their property expropriated but their lives as well. Take no comfort in this promise. His words have no bite. The Liberal government will do what it deems best for the Liberal Party, ignore problems and spend your money. Buckle up, Haldimand County, you're in for a darker ride. Elizabeth Hutchison

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  6. Get Toby to put the pressure on Finley to get things done.It is a FEDERAL issue. Why don't you all put your energy into that?
    What is Toby going to do to move things a long over the next four years? He is a PC, is he afraid to knock on the Federal PC doors? Not much he can do as in the past, IMHO.
    I believe the big message was that the Liberals were not welcome in Haldimand/Norfolk, so let the PC's do the work they were elected to do.

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  7. Toby who?

    Is he from around here?

    What does he do for a living?

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  8. In Caledonia do we have our FULL Chapter Of Right's: NO!!! Why not: due to the fact not being enforce by both Governments: does any one have faith in them to enforce an thing that is written down like
    (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.)
    We have property owner’s on Six Line: in limbo!!!
    I don’t: NOT at all!!
    Sorry Beth: you are right but they don’t care do they: who’s to say they will enforce that either???

    Jim Smith

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  9. Dear Donna,
    Very interesting commentary from the Ontario Government on their position with private property. In the early nineties Bud Wildman settled a land claim in Blind River. Unfortunately privately owned property within the settled claim was allowed to stay and the government guaranteed the owners access to these properties over the native land to get to their homes. Over a five year period if the private owners wanted to sell , the government would only give them fifty dollars an acre and the houses could be moved off at the expense of the owner. The band of 400 members got millions in compensation as the land had not been surrendered. Fifty dollars an acre for private property was a pittance in the nineties. How was this a fair and equitable settlement for all????

    M. LaPratte

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  10. Thanks everyone for your comments. I guess you can tell that I am not very trusting of the government.

    MaryLou thanks for that information. It is deplorable how those residents were treated by the government.

    I still don't believe that most residents of Haldimand really understand the severity of our situation.

    I am starting to think that we need a miracle, but that is not reality.

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  11. I am sure there must be more that our elected council members can do. It makes no sense to me that they keep saying there is nothing they can do. IMO

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  12. We have what we have. The same Mayor for 3 plus more years, the same MPP for 4 more years and then there is Diane Finley for who knows how long. How can we move forward with those at the helm of Haldimand? It is very sad, IMHO. There has been such a loud voice for the PC's to be in power in Haldimand Norfolk, so get them to do something. Trainer will blame everything on the Councillors and Staff. Toby will be the critic of the Liberals, his job seems easy and Finley as we all know does nothing for Haldimand. So why do these same people keep getting voted in? Just because they are PC's? Lousy reasoning to me. The PC's had my vote for many years and once for NDP. Not any more.

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  13. Anonymous, you and I added together come two votes. Your guess is as good as mine.

    But what I will say is that last Municipal (2006) election 44% of residents in Haldimand voted. In the most recent Provincial (2007) election just over 53% of Ontarions voted.

    More people need to get involved especially with the local issues, and get out and vote. But how do you do that?

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  14. Dear Donna,
    The Hamilton Spectator printed an article about the cottages at Hope Bay. Indian Affairs has decided the cottages must stay on the reserve and the owners will not be compensated for the loss. Somehow Indian Affairs does not look at this as unfair. Why should anyone have to pay a mortgage on a building that has been taken away from them by a native reserve???? Why are the cottagers not allowed to remove the homes and take them to another site???? They have paid to build them and upgrade them with their own money. To me this is legitimized theft by the Federal Government. I can understand cancelling all future leasing at the request of the reserve. I cannot understand why the government feels it has the right to dispossess the owners of their buildings with no compensation. I no longer believe the government intends to be fair to anyone who isn't aboriginal in this country ever again. This will spread like wildfire so wise up people. If you are leasing land on a reserve, get out asap and take your cottage with you. If you do not, when the leases end you have lost a life time investment with the blessing of the government of Canada.

    Mary-Lou

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  15. Mary Lou Said:

    Dear Donna,
    The Hamilton Spectator printed an article about the cottages at Hope Bay. Indian Affairs has decided the cottages must stay on the reserve and the owners will not be compensated for the loss. Somehow Indian Affairs does not look at this as unfair. Why should anyone have to pay a mortgage on a building that has been taken away from them by a native reserve???? Why are the cottagers not allowed to remove the homes and take them to another site???? They have paid to build them and upgrade them with their own money. To me this is legitimized theft by the Federal Government. I can understand cancelling all future leasing at the request of the reserve. I cannot understand why the government feels it has the right to dispossess the owners of their buildings with no compensation. I no longer believe the government intends to be fair to anyone who isn't aboriginal in this country ever again. This will spread like wildfire so wise up people. If you are leasing land on a reserve, get out asap and take your cottage with you. If you do not, when the leases end you have lost a life time investment with the blessing of the government of Canada.

    Mary-Lou


    WEll Mary Lou like any lease once you attach furnishings, unless otherwise specified they now become part of the Leasor, not the Leasee. Pretty straightforward law. Not everything is done to screw the whiteman for the Indians. Please.

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