For immediate release:
Mar 20, 2008

HDI development fees:

Barrett calls for investigation, charges into HDI

 Minister won’t look into payment demands holding up builders/governments

Queen’s Park— For the third day in a row, Ontario’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister refused to address questions regarding Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) strong-arm techniques to extort fees from homebuilders, and now governments.

Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett picked up his line of questioning from two previous days of queries to ask where government stands regarding HDI demands for fees.

“Minister, on November 30th – last year – your government met with HDI- the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Development Institute,” stated Barrett. “After your meeting, you, your government, received a letter from HDI – this according to the National Post – demanding a $7,000 fee….or else further talks would be prevented from occuring.”

“Minister, you now have evidence – in writing – of this extortion by HDI we’ve been hearing about. Will your government lay charges?”

Before denying any knowledge of the HDI payment letter, the Minister said it was up to the police to lay charges.

Barrett went on to cite further HDI payment demands.

“Official plans for the city of Brantford, Brant County, Norfolk County, Haldimand County, East Luther – Grand Valley, and the City of Hamilton rural plan are all on hold.” Barrett reported in his supplementary question. “‘All construction from roads to homes will be stopped if an Ontario ministry does not pay for a Haudenosaunee Development Institute review of the Haldimand County Official Plan’ says the Dunnville Chronicle.

“And this from Aaron Detlor, ‘financial institutions ….will completely back away from any development.’ ‘if the ministry refuses to pay, there will be repercussions,’ Detlor said. There you have it Minister – a public threat of “repercussions”. Minister when will you investigate and charge HDI with extortion?”

Bryant responded that the action Barrett is requesting would “further divide” the local communities. 

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629