For immediate release:
Apr 15, 2008

Proposed a Halt to Development

Native land dispute

Mr. Toby Barrett: To the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Minister, your government’s principal representative at the Six Nations negotiating table—and this is according to the Bradford Expositor and the Takawennake—visited the Six Nations confederacy last week and proposed a halt to development along parts of the Grand River in return for an end to native protests.

Minister, is it true that your government has now proposed a two-year moratorium on development for certain no-go properties to be selected by Six Nations?

Hon. Michael Bryant: The parties are certainly always talking, continuing to talk. I’ve spoken with developers affected on this issue, spoken with the mayor, and obviously the member for Brant continues to try and facilitate.

Yes, there are discussions as well with Haudenosaunee Six Nations. All parties are seeking to find a solution that would be to the satisfaction of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations, the province and municipal representatives. And yes, we’ll continue to pursue that, and the moment that there is a decision made by all three parties, certainly this House will be the first to know.

Mr. Toby Barrett: Well, your government already froze development on 10 properties owned by the Ontario Realty Corp., not only DCE but also the Burtch Correctional Centre, Sprucedale Correctional Centre, a horticultural research farm, former OPP Detachment at Simcoe, two MTO yards, the Cayuga Courthouse, two provincial parks in Haldimand.

1510

Land dispute protesters have killed many projects, subdivisions along the Grand River—certainly Brantford and Haldimand County. The operative phrase locally, “If you build it, they will come.”

I realize you have a PR problem with ongoing protest but your proposal now to stop development, is this jour version of militant greenbeltism? What does this tell future builders and investors? Why do you negotiate with lawbreakers? Minister, my question: will you now stop negotiations until this protesting stops?

Hon. Michael Bryant: Our approach is the approach recommended by the Ipperwash Commission.

The Ipperwash commission made recommendations—coming out of a public inquiry. It was a public inquiry that not only dealt with what happened in 1995 but also made consideration of what was happening in that region that you’re speaking of, that the member is speaking of, and generally. Those recommendations say, first and foremost, the parties, all parties need to be engaged in negotiations. The goal being an agreement, an agreement that could save the community, the town’s folk of Caledonia, and the people of Haudenoshonee Six Nations get back to where they have been for most of their history, which has been a time of living in harmony, working together, going to school together, shopping together, and we’re going to continue to try and achieve that result again.