SIX NATIONS LAND DISPUTE
Posted 11 hours agoRegarding Jan. 2's well intentioned editorial, "An obvious resolution," there are a few very important words I hope that Expositor readers -- and that includes Brantford's mayor and council -- didn't just breeze over without giving much thought to. The editorial starts with a hope that Brantford and Six Nations "find a way to move forward together." The first thought to consider is the need to "find a way." That would strongly imply that the way we are now heading is not that way. "Forward" means different things to different world views. To some, it means paving over all available green space and growing into another Mississauga ASAP. To others, it means learning how to preserve, protect and care for what land there is left for future generations to enjoy. The next word is "together." That would imply that consultation, dialogue and mutual respect are going to be needed to find this new way. It would also imply that both parties would share equally in both the planning, the process and the proceeds. In the past, when Brantford has used words like partnering and sharing, what has been meant is rather: "get out of our way, go back to the reserve, and leave us alone." This more than 200-year-old pattern of policy is exactly what created the present situation both communities find ourselves in as 2009 unfolds. I will be watching very closely as the two dozen or so injunction related cases make their way through the Wellington Street courts this January and February. The legal bill, which we Brantford taxpayers will have to eat, is now over $250,000 and the real spending hasn't even begun. Brantford will not win this one either and every cent accumulated by lawyers representing not only Brantford but the Six Nations individuals facing contempt charges based on this bogus injunction strategy, plus all other related court costs, will come back to city hall and be passed on to you and me, and that will be in the millions. When that happens, many will blame those pesky Indians, but the real culprits are those at city hall who know they are driving this bus into a brick wall and are too damned arrogant to admit it. So, are the injunctions working, as the editor suggests? No, and not by a long shot! Drop these foolish injunctions now! Talk is much cheaper and far less damaging to all. Now that is the obvious resolution I see. Jim Windle Brantford
Fantino under fire for Caledonia dispute Petition calls for provincial probe
Posted 11 hours agoA petition calling for an inquiry into OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino's handling of the Caledonia land dispute is gaining steam. The petition, drafted by residents Ken Hewitt and Dave Brown on Jan. 1, has more than 1,400 signatures and was signed Sunday by Conservative MPP Toby Barrett. Barrett said he will introduce the petition in the legislature once a goal of 10,000 signatures is reached from across the province. Brown says Human Resources Minister Diane Finley signed the petition at Barrett's levee in Caledonia Sunday. Finley could not be reached for comment. Local politicians including Haldimand County councillors Craig Grice, Leroy Bartlett, Buck Sloat and Mayor Marie Trainer have also signed the petition. The petition asks the province to look into the actions and decisions made by the province's top cop and if he's found to have acted unethically or with bias, to press him for immediate resignation. They also have created an online petition and a Facebook group, called "Petition for Julian Fantino Inquiry." Barrett, the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk county, said his party called for an inquiry two and a half years ago. Barrett said the instances of physical violence in standoffs over land disputes, along with the emotional and economic toll on the residents of Caledonia are reasons why he supports the petition. He said the ongoing frustration residents feel is a result of what he calls "government paralysis" over the situation. Fantino could not be reached for comment.
Copyright © 2009 Brantford Expositor
© 2009 Brantford Expositor