Thursday, November 29, 2007

Haldimand "David Crombie, Public Meeting, and a Chat with Councillor Grice"

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 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;

Resolution 969-07

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!


  1. Good version of what the meeting was about.

    This resolution by council was a good move, do you know what kind of response they have had Donna?

  2. 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;

    Hmmm ! Ontario continues to support its' Land Registry System;

    But once again,... where is the law when a native group occupies one's land or development.

    Once again the council avoids this policing issue.

  3. Just found your blog Donna. Good job!