Friday, February 06, 2009
Haldimand: Barrett's bill calls for inquiry into land disputes For Immediate Release February 5, 2009 Time to determine the truth about Caledonia - Barrett Private Members Bill calls for inquiry into land disputes Caledonia – When the Legislature resumes mid-February government will receive official notice of MPP Toby Barrett’s proposed legislation calling for an inquiry into the now three years of land disputes that have marred the landscape of Haldimand, Brant, Brantford and Six Nations. Barrett’s, “Truth about Caledonia Act, 2009” is set to be debated March 12th. Barrett’s Private Members Bill calls for an inquiry: 1. to determine the truth with respect to allegations of political influence in the court’s administration of justice and the police enforcement of the law with respect to activities in Six Nations, Haldimand County, Brant County and the City of Brantford; 2. to determine the truth with respect to the ownership of land within the boundaries of the former Haldimand Tract; and 3. to make recommendations directed to preventing similar chaotic confrontations when dealing with future land dispute issues in the province, including recommendations with respect to ways in which we can improve dispute resolution in this area and enhance respect for the courts and the rule of law; “As Opposition we began calling for an inquiry into Caledonia two and a half years ago – this proposed legislation builds on that motion, as well as Ken Hewitt’s petition to establish an inquiry into law enforcement,” stated Barrett. “It’s time we get all sides off this three-year hamster wheel.” Barrett pointed out that the Ipperwash report described inquiries as a way to “find out what happened – to look back,” as well as to “look forward,” and “propose policy reform.” The Haldimand-Norfolk MPP underlined his support for the public nature of inquiries as stressed in the Ipperwash report: “It provides a forum for citizens and groups to participate in the resolution of issues and the development of future policies…conducted in public view and with the participation of the public.” “As the impacts of the ongoing land disputes continue unabated, the need for an inquiry grows more urgent by the day,” Barrett concluded. “Just as the Ontario Liberals previously sought answers through three private members bills - and finally government legislation - creating the Ipperwash Inquiry, so too we need answers through a Caledonia Inquiry.” -30- For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at (519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629 This is an interesting development. A petition was circulated, now with about 5000 signatures, but it was poorly written and focused on an inappropriate and personal vendetta against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. It appears that Toby Barrett has turned it into a more appropriate bill for discussion in the legislature. I think it's an excellent idea. Well, except #2. The Feds may not agree, since that's their responsibility.