People can expect to see more clean ups along the entrance to Douglas Creek Estates, as members of the Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) continue removing the debris.
The group has spent the last month removing several items blocking the entrance to DCE including a snow fence, fence poles, a guardrail and two large wooden spools.
“We’re trying to keep the groups small because we don’t want it to look like a rally. We’re generally going in with six to eight people,” said Gary McHale, president and co-founder of CANACE. “Of the three times we’ve gone so far, twice we were there and gone before anyone showed up.”
The CANACE members will remove the remaining spools, cement blocks as well as the hydro tower and burnt out tractor-trailer, which would be bigger challenges for members to address.
McHale recently sent a letter to Hydro One to address the hydro tower.
He said the group would give the company until July 1 to address the tower, which McHale said he would transport to a Hydro One location upon the company’s request. After that day, the group would remove the tower and scrap it, and all of this work comes with a hefty price tag for the group.
“The trailer and the hydro tower is the biggest problem because bringing in a truck to remove that trailer could be a couple thousand dollars,” said McHale. “To have a truck come in and take away those cement blocks, you’re probably going to spend $500 to do that.”
McHale said he’s looking to the county to reimburse the group for removing the material even if it means taking legal action, but Mayor Ken Hewitt said the county has a process in contracting work out and CANACE hasn’t been tendered by the county to do this clean up project.
“There’s no contract that’s been submitted or sent out asking for the removal of a fence so it’s kind of like you coming and cutting my grass,” said Hewitt. “Thank you very much, but am I going to pay you to do it? I didn’t ask you to.”
Hewitt said he doesn’t see the end game in removing a fence that was put up by Six Nations six years ago.
“Gary is entitled to take legal action and let the courts determine what’s going to happen,” said Hewitt. “Usually you get paid for services that you’re hired for and as far as I’m concerned, Gary has been volunteering his services for the past few years. That hasn’t changed from the county’s perspective. He’s not an employee.”
Debris had been blocking the entrance of the site since the occupation started in 2006. Today, a few other items remain as well as a few new ones including several signs - one of them reading, “McWhale Stay Out.”
“They’ve had those kinds of signs since 2006. It just shows how foolish they are at times,” said McHale. “I think it’s to the advantage of everybody if that trailer is removed and if that tower is removed [so] it can start to look like a peaceful place.”