Thursday, March 20, 2008

Haldimand "News Release from Caledonia Citizens Alliance"

Ken Hewitt from the Caledonia Citizens Alliance e-mailed me this news release today. I found this a very interesting read, in fact I called Ken Hewitt to clarify a few questions I had.

What I found very interesting is that Mayor Trainer, Councillors Grice, Boyko and a member of the Alliance all sit on the Liaison side table together. The document that the Alliance put together and submitted was not a "secret" document, Council would have been fully aware, if they were not aware, ask the above council members that question.



March 20, 2008


The last two years have proven a constant challenge for the Caledonia Citizens Alliance, a group of volunteers committed to ensuring Caledonia has a voice in the ongoing land dispute and fall-out over DCE. Case in point is the unfair criticism these community volunteers took from local council members over voicing their concerns regarding the lack of Caledonia representation and public input in the Haldimand County ‘Recovery Plan’.

On January 21, 2008 Haldimand County adopted a recommendation to publicly release a report entitled ‘Haldimand County Recovery Projects Plan’ that had previously been adopted in closed session. In the report, dated December 4, 2007 Don Boyle, CAO of Haldimand County requests council approval for the recovery plan "related to the impacts of Land Claims issues, which will be forwarded to the Federal and Provincial Governments soliciting financial assistance in undertaking these initiatives."

"The document clearly outlines that there has been significant economic and social impact in Haldimand County. Given that the situation is taking place in Caledonia you would have to assume that this has had the greatest impact in Caledonia, so it is interesting to note," said Ken Hewitt, Alliance member, "that a document entitled Recovery Plan includes nothing to assist Caledonia."

Members of the Alliance were shocked to see requests for $250,000 for decorative lighting in Dunnville and an additional $635,000 to improve the functionality and aesthetics of Dunnville downtown in support of business development and tourism attraction. The only request within the Recovery Plan for Caledonia is improvements to waste water treatment and water supply facilities and a vague request including five other communities to assist with creating and supporting small business retention and development in downtown areas.

Based on the lack of Caledonia representation the Alliance decided to compile its own research and prepare an alternative document to enhance the County’s proposal. Once completed this document not only supported the County proposal but also added some additions to assist the flagging community of Caledonia. This document was then shared with the Haldimand County Mayor and the Honorable Diane Finely, MP Haldimand-Norfolk.

"We wanted to ensure that Haldimand County was aware of this document because the Province has made it very clear in the liaison meetings that both the community and Haldimand County Council have to be onside with any proposal," said Jason Clark, also a volunteer with the Alliance, "We made sure to email it to the appropriate people at Haldimand County and spoke with others who were involved." Mr. Clark noted that all the information included in the document has come from public input over the last two years.

The document along with the Haldimand County proposal is also available on the Alliance website at

"We believe the Haldimand County Recovery Plan has merit, but we don’t feel it provides sufficient assistance to those affected the greatest by the ongoing dispute, the community of Caledonia," said Mr. Hewitt. "Don Boyle, CAO of Haldimand County previously indicated that the county cannot develop until the issue of occupations is addressed, does that mean we give up on Caledonia?" asked Mr. Hewitt, "I think it means we fight even harder to make sure Caledonia has a voice."

Contact information: Ken Hewitt 905.765.5222


  1. There is two ways of looking at this, long term and short term recovery for Calidonia and Halidmand.the question is who can keep the cash flow coming in now to keep Halidmaand afloat.Its Dunnville in the short term the interest is there everyone in Dunnville and county staff see it now. Its because of Niagara region and its rapid growth, first it was Grimsby then Beamsville now Smithville which is 15 mins from Dunnville and moving south and eastward, Wellands developement charges last year was neverly 7 million over what they budgeted for, 25 mins from Dunnville, Ontario Govern. picks Welland and Niagara region as the top growth area over the next 10 years in Ont., we go there every week you can see it happening now.Calidonia needs special attention and funds to recover no question, but I feel there is no quick fixs coming your to close to the reserve and the two levels of Govern. have spent and offered alot of money now. do not hang your hopes on more coming for a region of 42 thousand people, have a look at how much money has gone into the region of Niagara you will see were the Government whats to go .IT maybe time to split the county up and let the bigger cities and regions help us regain our strengthen. Hamilton would give Calidonia a stronger voice then little Halidmand I have been a Govrn. tables it listens to larger numbers of people pushes off the small ones.