For immediate release:
May 7, 2008

Tobacco shack battle continues at Queen’s Park

Ms. Laurie Scott: My question is for the Premier. Premier, it’s only fair that anyone who lives or operates a business or other type of activity on land owned by the province should be required to pay rent, as this is land owned by the taxpayers of Ontario, and should certainly not be permitted to endanger children. There have been a lot of different answers given from your ministers on this, so I would like to ask the Premier today, with respect to the property on Argyle Street in Caledonia. Has there been an eviction notice sent and has it been acted upon?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
Hon. Michael Bryant: I say to the member again in answer to this question, this is on a right-of-way adjacent to a highway. It’s not on the reserve. It’s not on the DCE lands. It is something that has caused concern not only amongst Caledonia townsfolk and people across this province but also people within the Haudenosaunee Six Nations. I know that the band council chief and council have expressed their concerns about it and have condemned it. There’s no question that, in fact, it is incredibly unhelpful for the relationship between the townsfolk, the government, and the Haudenosaunee Six Nations. The way to resolve it, as the Premier has said many times is in fact to negotiate a resolution, and that’s what we’re trying to do.

Ms. Laurie Scott: On April 29, the minister who just spoke said that the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal had issued an eviction notice to the vendor operating on Argyle Street on crown land some weeks ago. He then stated the notice was sent by a third party. My question would be then to explain why, in your capacity, you think it’s acceptable for a third party to send an eviction notice to an illegal operation on government-owned property?

Hon. Michael Bryant: Well again, the member, I’m sure, would like to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I know the member would want to be a part of the solution, and the solution is going to be through firstly improving the relationship between a community that’s extremely divided right now. It used to be the case that the community of Caledonia and Haudenosaunee Six Nations were in fact living together in relative harmony, shopping together in the same stores and going to the same Tim Horton’s, and now it’s become significantly divided. As a result of that, what we are trying to do is bring the communities back together. It is a 200-year-old dispute between Haudenosaunee Six Nations and the federal government. Ultimately, the province is going to do its job to try and do everything we can to resolve it, and I know that the member would want to talk to your federal counterpart and particularly the MP for that area to try and get the federal government to make a contribution—

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