Letter - Council has no jurisdiction on provincial land

The Regional

July 27, 2011

I am sure that most of us would agree that the Province has failed the test of being a good neighbour, as clearly seen by the sad state of affairs of the formerly known DCE. I know we all share the same feeling when it comes to the "unauthorized" smoke shacks that are currently along some of our roadways and on provincially owned lands.

Most of you know my position on both the DCE and the structures along our roadways. My position and resolve has not changed. I continue to impress upon the Province that they need to empower the local leadership, both on Six Nations and in Haldimand, and that their current methods continue to challenge order the cause confusion amongst the people. Quite frankly, the Province have taken us out at the knees by allowing individuals to impose their interest over public interest to the point that certain people feel emboldened and rise out of anonymity.

After speaking with the county solicitor, along with independent advice, you must know that while these structures are on provincial land, there is little we can do without Provincial support. However, despite this hurdle I can assure you that we continue to seek potential solutions.

May I remind you that in the past the County has been successful twice in removing smoke shacks that were located on lands within the Counties jurisdiction. In those circumstances both in Haldimand and in Brantford, they were on private property, which is why the council was able to get the order, as directed by the landowners. Matters concerning provincially owned land are the sole responsibility of the Province and given municipalities are the creation of the Province, municipalities have no jurisdiction over what takes place on Provincial lands.

I will continue to provide updates concerning this issue and want you to know I appreciate your support with respect to these matters.

Ken Hewitt

Mayor of Haldimand County