For immediate release:
Apr 21, 2008

HDI Development fees

Mr. Toby Barrett: To the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Today I want to talk about expansion.

This expansion is not good news. It’s about the expansion of the HDI and over the past few days, native protestors have turned their sights on the Ancaster Fairgrounds. The Ancaster Agricultural Society which received a letter from Six Nations asking for a donation plus the $500 fee.

The city of Hamilton, according to the Spectator, has said the issue is not a municipal one. I quote the director of planning. “It’s ... between the Agricultural Society and HDI.”

Minister, your government told homebuilders during work along the Haldimand track that they’re own—and that was just two days before Sam Gualtieri was almost beaten to death.

Minister, will you now intervene or are Fairboards in Ontario now on their own?

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Hon. Michael Bryant: I think, as the member knows, the discussions between Haudenosaunee Six Nations, the province, the federal government and local municipality do cover broad range of issues—and are still underway.

The desire is to create a provincial side table that would allow for a whole host of issues to be addressed. I think it would be in error to imagine that every single individual would be speaking on behalf of Haudenosaunee Six Nations on issues such as that. I will continue to work with the chief McNaughton and members of the council, as well as municipalities and the federal government to try and come up with solutions.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary.

Mr. Toby Barrett: Minister, your government is talking with HDI and I’m sure you feel you are making progress as they continue to shut down local economies, site by site. Again, according to the Hamilton Spectator, HDI says, with respect to the Ancaster fair grounds, they are exerting their authority under the Nanfan Treaty of 1701 regarding hunting and fishing rights in southern Ontario, northern New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

As you know, HDI feels their mandate now ranges beyond the former Haldimand track to encompass and I quote HDI’s the interim director in the Spectator: “The whole of North American continent.” Now I know that’s a little out of your league minister, but in your deliberations with HDI, do you feel are you progressing towards a meeting of like minds? Do you know about this treaty? Do you agree with HDI using the Nanfan Treaty to now justify protesting outside the Haldimand tract?

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Minister?

Hon. Michael Bryant: The member knows that main discussions take place with respect to land claims that have been filed with the federal government, where there is an appropriate provincial role and we play that role. That covers land claims certainly that do not extend as far as the member has suggested, with respect to some individuals, who have suggested that in fact the land claims are larger. The history is laid out in the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784, which I believe the member makes reference to. It was particularly unfortunate, I say, that in debating this issue, the member saw fit to mock the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784, which was seen—I should tell you—by the community as a major insult and affront to that community.

Our approach, in fact, is to negotiate with the parties on matters in which we believe we can come to a resolution and we’ll continue to do so.