Hi, Toby here.

May 2, 2007

Great day for a convoy – a positive and successful day!

At minimum, it is my hope that today’s Queen’s Park blitz will re-start informed public policy debate and stimulate consideration of a new package of policy alternatives.  The policy formula for the past 15 months did not work – it did not work for any of the sides involved.

I think even the architects of Ontario’s Caledonia/Six Nations policy must themselves be entertaining doubts about the effectiveness of their approach.

Please see today’s statement in the House and News Release.

Thanks,
~Toby

For immediate release:
May 2, 2007

Barrett welcomes Caledonia convoy to Queen’s Park

Local MPP given a 4-coloured pin in a show of good faith prior Caledonia convoy

Queen’s Park—After standing by Caledonia’s Argyle Street bridge to see Caledonia-area residents off to the Ontario Legislature, MPP Toby Barrett then raced up to Toronto to welcome area residents.

“For months, Premier McGuinty has been telling Caledonia residents to take their message away from the barricades, to the Ontario Legislature,” Barrett said this morning at the Caledonia twin-pad arena.  “Today’s convoy and demonstration is pivotal because it takes the conflict beyond the barricades, away from town, and to the doorstep of political leaders.”

The atmosphere was nearly festive as Caledonia residents assembled their vehicles at the arena.  Barrett arrived at approximately 8:30, and was greeted by a lady from Six Nations, and another from Grassy Narrows.  They presented him with a pin in a welcomed show of good faith.

Barrett waved a large Ontario Flag as Haldimand and Brant residents crossed the Grand River, on their way to Queen’s Park.

“We’re here to stimulate a more informed policy discussion and debate,” Barrett said on the front lawn of the Ontario Legislature.  “The current policy approach is not working.

“Caledonia residents are using the phrase ‘R2R’.  It means many things – ‘road to revival’, and hopefully, ‘road to resolution’,” Barrett later said during a speech in the Ontario Legislature.  “We must reverse the policy of weakness and deceit – there is no other option.”

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Native Land Dispute

May 2, 2007

Mr. Toby Barrett (Haldimand–Norfolk–Brant): I arrived this morning at the Caledonia convoy kick off and was met by a lady from Six Nations and another from Grassy Narrows. They presented me with a pin that’s a show of good faith. This positive approach has continued throughout today. In front of Queen’s Park this morning I read a number of signs; one said, “Forgotten, Frustrated, Flicked-off.” Another read, “McGuinty, you bought it, solve it.” Caledonia residents came to Queen’s Park on Dalton McGuinty’s invitation. They’re hoping to stimulate a more informed policy debate. They ask for one law for everyone. The policies over the past 15 months have been vague, ineffectual, passive, based on dubious assessments and constantly changing commitments. We need a new formula. The current formula is not working.

Fifteen months of disruption for an entire community that has been forced to bear the brunt of a national issue—yet the Premier, who invited residents to Queen’s Park, hasn’t been to Caledonia and wouldn’t meet with them today. Caledonia residents are using the phrase “R2R.” It means many things: road to revival and, hopefully, road to resolution. We must reverse the policy of weakness and deceit. There is no other option. I welcome the people from Caledonia.