Hagersville protest halts Caledonia talks
Talks to settle the Caledonia, Ont. land dispute came to a halt Wednesday after government negotiators left the bargaining table in protest of another native occupation.
Ontario's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Ramsay said the bargainers were displeased after Six Nations protesters gathered in Hagersville on Wednesday morning, where construction of a senior's condominium complex was underway.
Developer Dan Valentine agreed to temporarily halt building and remove equipment from the contentious site on Highway 6, about 15 kilometres south of the long-disputed land in Caledonia.
"I can't blame the natives. They have the claim, clearly something exists," Valentine said. "They've been trying to reach out to the government to settle this, and it hasn't been settled."
Seems to be over now
A peaceful aboriginal protest in Hagersville seems to be winding down. Around 50 native protesters arrived at the site on Main street Highway 6 at about 7 o'clock this morning - around 15 kilometers from Caledonia - to stage a "reclamation". There are around 25 OPP officers at the site keeping a watchful eye on the scene - there have been no incidents of violence. The site was originally intended to be a play park for local children - plans have since changed to become an 85 unit retirement community home. The Confederacy tells CD 98.9 they knew nothing of the change until recently - which is the reason for their demonstration. Developer Dan Valentini has agreed to halt all construction and join the Confederacy at the negotiating table. He tells CD 98.9 he feels he has already lost the land and his large investment and he blames the government. There's no indication when or where that meeting will take place but it is expected to happen this weekend. Valentini says he will remove all workers and equipment - and protesters have agreed they will also leave the site once that is done. OPP will continue patrolling the site. One protester told CD 98.9 they have "accomplished what they came for."