Monday, March 17, 2008

The Caledonia occupation creates union jobs and unsurprisingly promotes moral relativism

The proposed solutions justify the means to an idealized end. Time for a group hug!

Ontario taxpayers have shelled out $50 million and counting for costs associated with the two-year aboriginal occupation of a housing development in Caledonia, including almost $500,000 to pay for the aboriginal negotiating team.

The bulk of the costs stem from the round-the-clock policing, now pegged at $35 million and rising, according to government figures quietly posted on the province's website.

[..] While opposition critics say the occupation is "savaging taxpayers," Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant said negotiation is still much cheaper than litigation down the road.

"The cost of policing is the cost of keeping the peace," Bryant said. "We can either spend 10 times this amount in the courts and the lawyers are the big winners, or we can try and negotiate a resolution that will avoid the extremely damaging and expensive economic costs that come with confrontation."

The province isn't hiding the cost of the dispute, Bryant added. After several requests from the media for cost breakdowns, the Liberals have posted the tally online and will continue to provide quarterly updates, Bryant said.

Although the occupation has dragged out over two years with little progress at the negotiating table, Bryant said he's feeling more optimistic now than when he started. Having met numerous times with Six Nations representatives, Bryant said he's looking forward to a time when the dispute is resolved by a negotiated settlement and the community can get on with healing.
HT: The Broom.