Brantford citizens speak out...
Builder Mike Quattrociocchi's attempt to start work on the second phase of his controversial Grand River Avenue housing project is meeting resistance from neighbours and Six Nations activists.
Floyd and Ruby Montour paid Quattrociocchi a visit Monday morning at the site, near Jarvis Street, where his company, Mayberry Homes, is about to build 20 housing units.
The two native activists warned the builder they are opposed to his second phase, just as they protested the first one built a year ago next door. And said they want him to consult with the native organization Haudenosaunee Development Institute.
Workers were excavating the site last week in preparation to start construction, but no work was going on Monday when the Montours visited. Quattrociocchi agreed to meet members of the organization on Friday, but he said in an interview that he reserves his right to resume excavation.
"Nothing's changed from the original dispute," said the former city councillor. "They say it's native land and want me to consult. I'm tired of consulting. It means we talk and they say, 'it's native land and we want money.'"
Floyd Montour said he and other activists have a duty to oppose the project.
"We have to step up to the plate, because it's native land," he said. "He got away with one before. He knows it, and everyone knows it. Deep down, he's chuckling about it."
Montour was referring to the smaller first phase, which native activists halted temporarily, until other Six Nations Confederacy officials relented and let Quattrociocchi finish.
"We won't let it happen a second time. He'll be laughing all the way to the bank if we do."
Meanwhile, neighbours have been keeping a vigil since last week on the excavation. They have been tracking a truck with videocameras as it hauls dirt and cement blocks over to Alfred Street, then dumps the contents on private property overlooking Shallow Creek Park.Those living around the park find the growing pile an eyesore, while those on Grand River Avenue wonder how fill from a property that Quattrociocchi calls a "brownfield site" can be so easily moved and dumped in a neighbourhood.
"We'd like the city to examine more thoroughly this material before letting it be moved like that," said Mary Ellen Kaye, who heads a group called Keep Our River Public, which opposes Quattrociocchi's projects along the Grand.
"But you know, even if it's clean fill, it looks ugly beside the park."
Quattrociocchi has an agreement with the owner of the property on Alfred. The owner wanted the fill brought in to buttress the bank. The deal allows Quattrociocchi to dispose of the unwanted fill cheaply and avoid paying $10 a ton at the landfill site.
Doug Clark, director of the building department, said Monday there are no regulations limiting the movement of clean fill to a private residential property.
Alfred Street neighbours and users of Shallow Creek Park have voiced their complaints.
Terry Chandler, who lives on Hilda Street but regularly takes his children to play in the park, said he is upset to see a big encroaching pile. "It certainly doesn't make the park look good," he said.
I just got back from a seminar in Los Angeles at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Although the centre began as a museum to the Holocaust, it has evolved to expose cross-cultural intolerance in all its manifestations. Oh, how easy the love of money evolves into Nazi-es-que policy if not resisted.
When I read about the new gag order that Brantford's mayor and city councillors have put on its members (we'll call it "The Calnan Rule"), I almost laughed out loud. I had just seen and heard about how the strategic policy of targeted laws and injunctions, coupled with economic fear-mongering, has been used to promote certain political agendas, and the restriction of one's right to disagree with that agenda.
I'm tempted to call the Wiesenthal Center and suggest they open a new Brantford wing as a present case study on the matter.
What on earth is going on in that concrete bunker over at Wellington and Darling streets?
Regarding the community meeting held last Wednesday night when developers and city hall tried to push more unnecessary development in the Hardy Road area, I understand it did not go well for the developers, but at least one federal candidate seems to know where the bear pooped in the buckwheat.
High-fives for the Six Nations' delegations and those citizens opposed to the destruction of this unique and valuable, archeological, geological, and biological treasure.
Sounds like it was a great victory, brought about by co-operation between the natives and "naive" (as some would label us) on the matter.
But it was only the first round. This project means a lot of money for a few individuals, and a huge tax fix for the, addicted-to-development city hall. This fight is far from over.
We must keep speaking out. We can't let up on the pressure, and, for the Earth's sake, we can't let them enforce the Calnan Rule on us, too.
Greenbelt should be extended
Posted 6 hours ago
Knowing the Hardy Road proposed development area as a frequent cyclist and hiker, I was moved by citizen group spokesman Jerry Klievik's visual presentation during the city ward meeting. I have seen the deer, the unique vegetation, the wetlands, the cold water creek, and even wild turkey. I have passed the open green spaces, and welcomed the clean air into my lungs while along the trails on my bike, being thankful that, without having to expend carbon miles, people of Brantford can enjoy such beauty.
I wanted to thank the people like Ruby Montour, Clive Garlow and Vince Gilchrist who have the courage not only to speak for what belongs to Six Nations, but also for being watchful to help protect the land and the river so future generations would be able to enjoy the gifts of Mother Earth. Questions and comments during the meeting were so eloquently given from the heart and, hopefully, our municipal leaders will understand a greater vision about tomorrow is not always about economics and greed.
Citizens need to continue to petition the province to expand the designated greenbelt in Brant. We need to insist that our municipal leaders retract their submitted response to Places to Grow and support the greenbelt initiative so that building will take place in core areas which already exist and are waiting for renewal.
Ann Gloyn BrantfordDevelopers should pay fees to natives LAND CLAIMS Posted 6 hours ago
I am in agreement with developers paying the fees to the native group. The city could eliminate its permit fee portion as it will easily recoup monies in the long term through property taxes, etc.
After all, if developer has thousands to invest in building and has prior knowledge about land claims issues, then to have peace of mind, the developer should concede on this issue. The money requested is miniscule in overall costs to erect buildings.
As for the money natives receive from the federal government, it also is miniscule when you take into account the big picture of where all money is doled out.
As a taxpayer, I don't mind if a small portion of taxes goes to help the needy in society, be they seniors who get old-age pensions or tax credits for children or general welfare.
I feel that the natives are not being given money for nothing, but are being reimbursed for past agreements with government, concerning land surrenders, squatters' rights, and mineral rights to mention a few.
Our government has to be made to realize that when it takes, then there is an obligation to give back. All societies must live in harmony, and give and take is a part of it.
I feel that more people need to research history before making an assessment based on partial or no knowledge of past events.
Elizabeth LeBlanc Brantford