Consultation not for builders, municipalities

Letter - The Regional

March 18, 2009

Six Nations protesters have been demonstrating at construction sites along the Grand River and elsewhere for the past few years. They keep telling municipalities, developers and builders they must consult with the Six Nations.

However, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the Crown must consult with natives if and when necessary. In the Supreme Court case Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), the judge said "the honour of the Crown cannot be delegated, and the legal responsibility for consultation and accommodation rests with the Crown".

Only the federal and provincial governments represent the Crown so they must consult with natives if and when necessary. Municipalities, developers and builders do not represent the Crown so they should not have to consult with the Six Nations.

In addition, the federal government has said it will only give money, not land, in compensation for valid Six Nations claims. The federal and the Ontario provincial governments have both said they will not expropriate third party land to give to the Six Nations in settlement of valid Six Nations claims.

The developers who want to build on land along the Grand River outside of the reserve are not the Crown or the Six Nations. The developers are third party landowners who have legal title to their land according to the Ontario provincial government's land titles system by which the provincial government says it stands.

So, can someone from government please explain to the people living along the Grand River why municipalities, developers and builders, who do not represent the Crown, should have to consult with the Six Nations and why anyone should have to consult with the Six Nations about development outside of the reserve on third party land the Six Nations will not get in settlement of their claims?

Does it make sense to have to consult with the Six Nations about development on third party land the Six Nations will not get"

Gary Horsnell,

Brantford