Monday, October 23, 2006

After eight months, Dalton McGuinty claims Caledonia not his responsibility

Dalton McGimpy's latest "solution" to the insurgent occupation in Caledonia is to demand money and action from the Federal government.

An ongoing aboriginal occupation in southern Ontario has worn out the patience of the province's taxpayers, Premier Dalton McGuinty says -- and he's urging Ottawa to pick up its fair share of the cost and settle the eight-month dispute with Six Nations protesters.

Although McGuinty has consistently called for patience in the aboriginal standoff in Caledonia, south of Hamilton, his own forbearance appeared at an end as he reminded the Conservatives in Ottawa that aboriginal land claims are a federal responsibility.

"It is costing the people of Ontario a lot of money," McGuinty said after a weekend speech in Niagara Falls.

"We intend to claim for compensation from the federal government and we would encourage the federal government to fully assume its proper responsibility and begin to bring some real vigour to the negotiations and to bring them to some conclusion."
The reason the Caledonia occupation has cost so much is because instead of enforcing the law that everyone else in Ontario is expected to follow, the Ontario Liberals have purchased the disputed land, provided the natives there with "free" utilities - despite damage caused to hydro poles early on - compensated business owners for lost revenue, spent money on overtime pay for police to stand around and do nothing, and paid out large sums of money to a provincial negotiator who has clearly failed in his role. Conservative Leader John Tory has estimated that $55 million of taxpayer money has been spent to date, although he does not provide an itemized list, and Dalton McGuinty continues to refuse to release a running total.

What is known is that millions and millions of dollars have been spent on the occupation thus far, and after eight whole months, The Gimp is now claiming the problem is a Federal responsibility and demanding compensation to Ontarians for the Liberal's mismangement of the situation.

But unlike McGuinty's government, the Federal government might actually enforce the law, unless the occupiers can prove they have a legitimate claim to the disputed land. McGuinty should have been asking for hard core proof of the native's claims before he purchased the land with other people's money.
A federal negotiator told a town meeting Friday night that Ottawa has told Six Nations representatives it does not have legal title to the housing subdivision occupied since February.

But Ron Doering, a lawyer hired by the Conservative government to help deal with the land claim, said Ottawa could be wrong and wants to negotiate a way out of the occupation.

Doering said Ottawa has documents from 1844 indicating the Douglas Creek Estates land was surrendered and sold.

"If they don't convince us we're wrong, the federal government will stand by its position," he told more than 200 people attending the meeting organized by the Caledonia Citizens Alliance.
As utility costs continue to rise on the reserve, eating into the provincial reserves, the Ontario Liberals realize they must pass the cost and responsibility onto the Federal government if they are to focus on more important matters, like preventing gender-based price discrimination, protecting consumers by banning expiry dates on gift cards and the beginning of a $2 million initiative to "build character in schools".

Cross-posted at Dust my Broom

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Lisa wrote: "...more important matters, like preventing gender-based price discrimination, protecting consumers by banning expiry dates on gift cards and the beginning of a $2 million initiative to "build character in schools"."

Ha ha ha! Exactly. I mean, what's next? A regulation to make sure that Tim Horton's prints "Warning: drinking coffee is addictive" on the side of their cups? Or, maybe, forcing them to put a photo on the side of their cups: a bum holding-out a Timmy's coffee cup to collect change...along with the slogan "There's nothing rich about coffee".