Chinta Puxley, Canadian Press
David Ramsay, minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, said he will consider doing whatever he can to speed up the negotiations aimed at ending the occupation of a former housing development in the southern
The government will propose bringing a mediator to the talks and will consider whether further compensation is needed for town residents and businesses, Ramsay said. But he said the province can't set a deadline for the occupation to end.
"That's what makes it so difficult," Ramsay said after meeting with a group of four residents and the mayor of
"One cannot predict the outcome of this type of very complex negotiation."
It wasn't the firm commitment many residents were hoping to get following their 100-kilometre slow convoy to
Some residents talked about having the provincial police force replaced by Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Others said they wanted more compensation from the province for businesses who are still losing money.
Most just wanted federal and provincial negotiators to meet around the clock until the dispute is resolved.
"We got what you would expect from government - promises," said Dan Roberts, a
"Now we just wait for action."
In the meantime, the group is already planning a similar trip to
"Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper, don't think for a second that we don't have you ... within our line of sight," Roberts said. "We hear
Premier Dalton McGuinty said that's where residents might be able to make some headway. The province is caught in the middle and
"There is only one level of government that has the authority to bring about a resolution as quickly as possible (in) this matter... and that's the federal government," McGuinty said.
"We'll do our role as best we can as peacekeepers on the ground but at the end of the day, resolution of this matter will only come about when the federal government decides they want to bring it to an end."
"Our negotiators are there. They are able people who are doing an exceptional job," Prentice said in response to a question in the House of Commons.
"The (Ontario Provincial Police) will continue to be responsible for policing in
But patience in
Residents say they are exhausted by the ongoing occupation and the tension it continues to cause in their community.
Carrying signs that said "McGuinty Grow A Spine," residents who rallied Wednesday placed much of the blame for the ongoing occupation squarely at the doorstep of the province, who bought the disputed land last year.
"It's happened for 15 months but it's got to come to an end," said Gayle Hagan, a 40-year resident of
Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said both levels of government need to be reminded that
People can't enjoy their backyards since many back on to the occupied land, she said. Businesses are still suffering as well with some losing up to $50,000 a month, Trainer said.
"They need some help," she said. "The people of
Six Nations protesters have been occupying the site for more than a year, claiming the land was stolen from them over 200 years ago. Aboriginal representatives are meeting with federal and provincial negotiators once every two weeks to resolve the dispute.