by Gary McHale - The Regional
March 16, 2011
After the City of Brantford won their case in Superior Court against Six Nations protesters which in affect made it illegal for any occupation of construction sites, the new Mayor and Council have chosen the appeasement route instead of the Rule of Law route.
The City and Six Nations are to sign what they are calling an 'historic consultation and accommodation agreement'. The details of the agreement have been a guarded secret until recently and the public backslash has already started.
The agreement is historic and it will quickly become the new standard by which all municipalities must agree to. Currently the Supreme Court has ruled that only the Provincial and Federal Governments have a duty to consult with Native groups. However, the agreement obligates local municipalities to consult with Native groups for every development within their jurisdiction. In fact, the agreement asks the courts to consider the wording regarding the obligations of consultation of either parties.
The City of Brantford spent well over $100,000 to win in court only to create a new agreement that radically disregards all previous court rulings.
Written into the agreement is the possibility of future deals related to transferring of development fees and a portion of property tax being handed over to Six Nations - paid appeasement to end criminal behaviour will not buy lasting peace.
If anyone thinks Haldimand Council isn't under pressure to sign the same type of deal then you are fooling yourself. Just two weeks ago Mayor Hewitt told Moose FM that Caledonia didn't need any more rallies since "talks with Six Nations are going so well".
This is quite amazing since David Peterson, Jane Stewart, Dalton McGuinty, Julian Fantino, Michael Bryant and countless others have repeated this statement for five years. It has been the position of the McGuinty government and the OPP for five years that no one should do anything to hurt the talks - which according to them are always going well.
Thanks to Tom Keefer the strategy of Six Nations protesters is well documented. In 2008 a workshop was held called, "Direct Action, Six Nations, and the Struggle in Brantford". Mr. Keefer states the following:
"A second way for Six Nations to win is if they can escalate their blockades in a manner that continues to financially hurt the City of Brantford while also making clear that attempts at police or military intervention would be costly and impractical means of resolving the situation... this approach might force the City of Brantford to recognize Six Nations land rights and sovereignty through some kind of wide ranging and innovative agreement with the Confederacy and the HDI... If some kind of agreement was made that was agreeable to Six Nations, this approach could create a whole new precedent for the resolution of land claims in Canada."
Now we are at the stage where the City of Brantford is about to create a "whole new precedent" which will then be forced upon Haldimand and other municipalities. All the talks and the appeasement will not solve the problems for a very simple reason - the radicals want more than just money.
The problem will never be resolved until the Rule of Law is restored. If Six Nations has a claim then they should do what is expected of every other group in Canada - take it to court.
This logic that everyone with a dispute should use the courts and not use criminal behaviour is fundamental in a modern society. The Rule of Law is a concept where each of us enters into a relationship that demands I do not attack your family if you offend me and you do not rape my sister if I offend you. Gone are the days of the Hatfields and McCoys where people take the law into their own hands.
In the City of Brantford injunction ruling the judge stated, "On the evidence before me I find as a fact that a number of these protests have led to violence, threats and intimidation against workers, protestors wearing masks, barricades being built by the respondents at a work site... I find that in September 2008 the respondent Ruby Montour told P.C. Coombe that the arrest of some of her people '…was going to start a war…there will be blood spilled before this is over.' "
The Rule of Law exists where we all agree to use the courts, not our fists or the threats of using our fists.
While our governments, including local councils, play lip service to the idea of the Rule of Law they continue to function as if Six Nations and Native protesters are above the law and must be appeased in order for our communities to live in peace.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who came home as a hero when he signed a deal with Hitler, announced that he had secured "peace for our time" just before the world was engulfed in WWII.
Even though the Brantford-Six Nations agreement hasn't been signed the radicals are already upset. Brantford Mayor Chris Friel attempted to meet with Six Nations Council this past Saturday. The usual 30 radicals showed up and Mayor Friel was too afraid even to get out of his car. He drove away and phoned council members and told them not to go to the meeting.
The Stirling Woods development in Caledonia is proof that when the Rule of Law is upheld peace is restored. At first the OPP refused to enforce the law and the lawlessness continued until Sam Gaultieri was attacked. Within days hundreds of OPP officers removed native protesters from Stirling Woods and after 3 years not one case of additional violence has occurred there - the enforcement of the law brought about lasting peace.
When will municipalities start doing the right thing which is to uphold the Rule of Law and demand everyone else does the same?
For Haldimand County the question is exactly what is Mayor Hewitt having such good talks about with Six Nations? Exactly what is Haldimand County agreeing to hand over to Six Nations - is it just DCE or does it include property taxes and development fees?
One thing is for such - Haldimand isn't demanding Six Nations obey the law.