Caledonia residents take their fight to Queen's Park

Canadian Press
Posted Spectator
May 2, 2007

Residents living with a 15-month standoff in Caledonia are putting both the federal and provincial governments on notice after spearheading a slow convoy to the legislature Wednesday.

People in Caledonia say they are exhausted by the ongoing dispute over a former housing development site and they want it to come to an end.

"Caledonia will no longer be silenced," resident Dan Roberts told a crowd of about 100 people who ended their convoy on the lawn of the legislature.

"We're not going to tolerate this. This is an election year and our community will have a voice. Premier (Dalton) McGuinty, you can run. You can duck. But you're not going to hide from the people of Caledonia."

The group descended on the legislature Wednesday, honking their car horns and waving Canadian flags, to pressure the provincial government to speed up current negotiations and end the occupation that began in February 2006.

But Roberts said they haven't forgotten about the federal government either and hinted that a convoy may be headed to Ottawa if real progress isn't shown.

"Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper, don't think for a second that we don't have you ... within our line of sight," he said. "We hear Ottawa is a beautiful city and we may be coming to visit you shortly."

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said the province needs to be reminded that Caledonia is "still hurting."

People can't enjoy their backyards since many back onto 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.