Saturday, 31 May 2014

Six Nations Deal with Samsung: Haldimand County Gets the Shaft as Lies, Corruption and Greed Prevail in Wind Turbine Deals

Updated 26 June 2014. 

In a previous blog posting (see here) I made the point that Samsung has provided Six Nations with a $65 million bribe that is little more than "hush money" to facilitate their billion dollar "green energy" project situated in Haldimand County. In contrast, the amount of money allotted to Haldimand County, which is on the direct receiving end of the destructive sweep of industrial turbines and solar "farms" across the landscape, is a paltry $20 million.  The Mayor of Haldimand is of the opinion that this is the best deal that can be negotiated (he is probably correct), so was willing to pose shovel in hand along with the then Elected Chief of Six Nations and two Samsung officials in a photo op seen below (reference here). 

The official sod-turning on the $1 billion Grand Renewable Energy Park was held Thursday at the Dunnville Airport. Among those in attendance were, from left, Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt, Chief Bill Montour of Six Nations, South Korean Consul-General Chung Kwang-Kyun and Jung Soo Kim, senior executive vice president of Samsung C&T. (MONTE SONNENBERG Simcoe Reformer)

This inequity is scandalous to say the least - but the greatest injustice being perpetrated here is that Six Nations have no legitimate right to one dime of Samsung's money.  The fact is that by asserting jurisdiction via a 300 year old fraudulent "treaty", and lands legally surrendered 180 years ago, Six Nations can sit back, reap all of the ill gotten benefits, and not have to worry about these hideous blights on the landscape being anywhere near their doorstep.  In this case the rationale being employed is the second of their "aces up the sleeve" - asserting that they never surrendered lands in this part of the Haldimand Tract.  Here Six Nations rely on the categorization of the properties in both Townships as being "contested lands", resulting from the claim made in 1995, almost 20 years ago.  Here, despite the irrefutable documentation dating back to the surrender of 1834, Six Nations has managed to keep the specific claim that they have unceded lands in both Dunn and South Cayuga Townships "unresolved", and to this day it still remains on the books with the Federal Government.  This claim is a total fairytale, but no one is challenging them, so full speed ahead. 

In fact, every time the Federal Government attempts to address the matter, the Six Nations jurisdictional issues surface and everything falls apart and so back to square one.  By this I mean that while the Elected Council is mandated as the official body with the legal authority to negotiate with the Government, the Hereditary Council will typically demand that their voices be heard and one or both Six Nations factions walks away from the table, with the result that the Government is left holding the bag.  However the perception is that the Federal Government is dragging its heels, when the truth is that Six Nations is unwilling or unable to "get its act together".  So everything is delayed, and seldom is anything settled.  However it works to the collective advantage of Six Nations since with the matter "up in the air", they can assert that the Federal Government has failed in their duty, and so as "victims" of the process, they will try to convince commercial enterprises such as Samsung that matters will eventually be settled in their favour, and proceed accordingly, as if their perception that the Ontario Land Registry is invalid amounts to objective reality.

Thus in Haldimand and Brant Counties, all Six Nations has to do is to assert that a parcel of land is "contested", and it gives Six Nations carte blanch to do as they please in "negotiating" settlements.  In some quarters this would be called extortion, particularly since questioning the views of either the Elected Council or the Hereditary Council (or even rogue groups loosely linked to one or the other of these bodies) has resulted in chronic work stoppages and the veiled threat of violence - unless a Court injunction is obtained through the Superior Court of Ontario.  Meanwhile the County of Haldimand, which is being torn apart by the direct infestation of the march of these monstrous eyesores moving east from Jarvis across the landscape eastward toward the Grand River, gets a token sum little more than pocket change over the 20 year term of the agreement.  The irony is that Six Nations, who have no rights to any of the land on which the turbines will be built, nor will they suffer in any way from the presence of these turbines, will be the ones to harvest large sums of money for doing nothing more than sitting on their hands.  A door opens and "magically" vast sums of money flow unimpeded to the Reserve in the form of yearly "royalty" cheques.  A reasonable question can be posed at this point - is this in any way, shape or form fair?

It is best to ensure that one is not comparing apples to oranges, and hence to find a comparable project, to see what Samsung is negotiating with communities in other parts of Southwestern Ontario.  First, as a reference point, an overview of the project impacting Dunn and South Cayuga Townships.

Lake Erie: Samsung - Haldimand County (South Cayuga and Dunn Townships):  This project will include 67 wind turbines, 250 megawatts; and a 736 acre "solar farm" - the "Grand Renewable Energy Park" (GREP).  In this deal the then Six Nations Elected Council Chief, "drove a hard bargain", reminding all about the $24 that the Native owners received from the sale of Manhattan Island - as if this event from 350 years ago has applicability today.  However despite the fact that Six Nations have absolutely no legitimate claim to any of the land on which the turbines will be built, they will receive $65 million from Samsung, and the deal was sweetened by another $10 million by the Provincial Government (see here).  The source of the funds from the latter is of course the Ontario taxpayer.  To add insult to injury, those residing on the Six Nations Reserve do not pay taxes on monies earned here (tax is a dirty word hereabouts), and with the status card don't have to pay taxes n many purchases off Reserve, so it is the general citizenry of Ontario who will be shouldering this burden.  Haldimand County will receive a total of $20 million over the 20 year span of the project - from Samsung - but the Provincial Government did not see fit to offer its own taxpaying citizens any "sweetening".  In South Cayuga Township much of the land being used for the Samsung projects is likely the leased land obtained by the Province when they purchased a slew of family farms during the 1980s for anticipated use in building a residential complex to service the anticipated expanded Nanticoke industrial complex.  Not one home was ever built on this land, which was offered back to the original owners on lease. 

Despite what Six Nations would have you believe about their having "Nanfan Treaty" rights in Southwestern Ontario, and owning considerable unceded lands here - the "treaty" is bogus, and the actual number of acres owned within this part of the Haldimand Tract is zero.  As noted previously, the catch here, which allows Six Nations to profit when having no stake in the land base, is that they have submitted a claim to the Federal Government in 1995 - one which still stands on the books.  Thus despite the published evidence that there is no valid claim here, the mere submission of a claim means that the land is considered to be in the "contested" category, and so Six Nations have flexed their muscles as if the land was actually part of their land base (which was legally ceded to the Crown in 1834).

Lake Huron: Samsung - Kincardine:  A good example of a Samsung wind turbine deal elsewhere in Ontario is the 90 wind turbine, 180 megawatt Armow Wind Project at Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron.  Even though the community there will be on the receiving end of a more favourable deal from Samsung, residents are far from happy, and some who negotiated leases believe that they were lied to and cheated.  The region will receive $16.5 million over 20 years (close to the amount in the deal with Haldimand County) - but there is no infusion of cash to local First Nations groups.  I have no idea why there is no issue surrounding "consultation" and "engagement" coming from the nearby Chippewas of Saugeen to the north and the Ipperwash group to the South.  I suspect that the reason has something to do with the fact that the treaties are legitimate and there is no one trying to amend history and the facts to elbow their way into a process where they do not belong, or make false claims.  Should someone wish to do so, in all probability it is patently evident that the claim would fall on its face - so why bother. 

Kincardine Wind Farm

Some details of the situation at Kincardine can be found in the article seen here.

Haldimand and Kincardine - The Consultation and Accommodation Process (Engagement Process):

A major difference between the two regions in terms of the wind turbine agreements that have been struck is that in Haldimand the "Native issue" has obtruded.  Since 2006 repeated attempts to assert false claims by Six Nations have resulted in a series of government enablers who have not stated the facts in the clearest possible terms.  The Federal Government has yet to step forward and make a direct and clear statement that can be quoted by media outlets (although they have alluded to their view that the Surrender of 1841 and all previous such agreements are valid).  I do not recall an occasion when they have stated specifically that the "Nanfan Treaty" is a fraud, and cannot be used as a basis to require "the engagement process" as defined by the Federal Government in projects across the length and breadth of Southwestern Ontario.  Instead they simply stall when the matter surfaces.  Secondly, all of the Six Nations claims to unceded land made after the General Surrender of 1841 are false, and warrant no further consideration.  The Province of Ontario has stated (although not clearly and openly in for example statements on their Aboriginal Affairs website) that they stand by the Ontario Land Registry system which shows no outstanding claims to lands in the Haldimand Tract (Haldimand and Brant Counties).  I have, in many previous blog postings, laid out all of the evidence and there is no reason why the Government researchers should not also provide their assessment of the matter in a written and freely available form - but they have left it up to bloggers and other interested parties to state the obvious, create a written record available to the public, and assume any fall out.  The 2006 Caledonia "reclamation" clearly instilled fear of the Six Nations in both Federal and Provincial branches of Indian Affairs - generally leading to inertia when the taxpaying citizens, and the concepts of truth and justice, call out for action.

Summary and Conclusion:  So the bottom line is, Six Nations rakes in $75 million (Samsung plus Provincial Government) and no risk and no negative impact of any description.  Haldimand County's take is $20 million (and having to absorb all of the impact and fallout).  Examples of the negative consequences to those "on the front lines" include damage and blight to the landscape; citizens impacted by decreased property values and possibly significant health issues; as well as environmental damage such as the death of thousands of migrating birds.  So for example, at the end of the 20 year agreement, with the cost being about a quarter of a million dollars to remove each turbine, who will end up picking up the tab when / if the company that signed the agreement is no longer in existence or reneges of the terms of the agreement.  Answer, the County of Haldimand and the taxpayers of Ontario.  How will a major stakeholder, Six Nations, be impacted after 20 years?  It does not appear that they will in any way be "touched" and so "no risk, big rewards", period.

Until the "Nanfan Treaty" is exposed for the grotesque fraud that it represents, Six Nations will continue to use this document to assert bogus "treaty rights" across Southwestern Ontario, and threats of "unpleasantness" if their wishes are denied (creating a fear and intimidation factor).  Meanwhile companies will be involving themselves in the completely unnecessary "engagement process", and coughing up cash to keep Six Nations content for fear that without the payola, work stoppages and bad press will torpedo the project.  So for the moment, Six Nations has everyone over the barrel and is able to call the shots - with no one challenging the 800 pound gorilla in the room - the lack of validity of their claim to lands under the supposed "Nanfan Treaty" and to previously ceded lands within the "Haldimand Tract".  The former applies to wind projects in places such as Port Dover and Port Rowan (Norfolk County, outside the Haldimand Tract).  In all probability the reason why Six Nations does not press the issue in locations such as Kincardine is a lack of resources.  It is difficult enough for Six Nations to get a vanload of "activists" to travel to nearby Norfolk County to assert their will.  The second of the two options open to Six Nations relates to lands within the Haldimand Tract, the present matter under consideration in two townships of Haldimand County. 

Who would have thought that the tentacles radiating out from the 2006 Caledonia land "reclamation" would extend so far and wide - and go unchallenged by all levels of government.  As long as the Ontario and Canadian taxpayers are willing to allow this situation to continue without a whimper, the problem will only amplify.  Is that really ok? 

It is sad in that Six Nations claim to be "custodians of the land", with a special relationship that involves respecting mother earth.  In practice it seldom works this way over the long haul.  Initially one group was vehemently opposed to the wind projects, and in particular the removal of an eagles nest to make way for a turbine.  As I detailed in a previous posting, this group took action and sent members to initiate work stoppages.  Here we see actions such as this being used for the good of all Ontario citizens based on ethical principals - protecting the environment.  Alas, some deal was struck and they backed away and their voices are no longer heard in relation to this issue.  I know of no group at Six Nations who are currently opposed to the wind turbine projects - although some turbines are relatively close to the southeast end of the Reserve.  So much for taking the moral high road.

My connections to the Six Nations community will never trump the perspective my training in science has given me.  In other words the reliance on facts and the weight of evidence in order to arrive at the truth.  Here, in the present situation, truth and justice are being made subservient to deceit and false assertions, and that is never acceptable.

The Six Nations engagement process problem is compounded by an incompetent, corrupt and unsympathetic Provincial Liberal Government, reflecting the attitudes of Downtown Toronto, who continue to place us on the alter for sacrifice to their warped "Green Energy" policy.  They abandoned us to our own fate during the Caledonia crisis of 2006 when neither they nor the Ontario Provincial Police would render assistance when we were under direct threat.  Nothing has changed, they have abandoned us again in 2014.

At a personal level, I am in the process of watching the Township where I spent much of my youth, and where I have many family and friends, be forever changed, demolished as a monument to the crass corruption in government and the greed of large corporate empires.  With each new turbine that appears on the horizon, another piece of my heritage and my memories is demolished.  Cry as I do deep inside, all I can do at this point is to send out the message by my blog postings and hope that others will realize the grave injustices being committed here.  Much of what is transpiring is in the name of political correctness and the obsessive effort to avoid being called "racist", as if presenting the facts and telling the truth warrants such an epithet.  This is one of the ways the Six Nations manipulate matters to their advantage - I have seen the constant efforts of Six Nations to paint themselves as victims, and lies are told over and over to the point where they are accepted as fact - and it tends to be a successful strategy.  What does Samsung (a Korean corporation) hear?  Do they have an impartial historian on staff to assess the claims being put forward?  I doubt that it really matters - what matters is that politics, not the truth.  Six Nations will continue to up the ante in pressing their case.  The Psychology 101 concept of reinforcement shows that any behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated.  So we can see what is over the horizon - more of the same until someone in authority steps forward and says, NO MORE.

If Samsung can afford to "donate" $65 million to Six Nations, and the Provincial Government "sweeten the deal" with $10 million, why are funds of this scale not being offered to Kincardine and other municipalities across Ontario?  I can see no justification for granting monies to Six Nations, so Samsung and Ontario should be prepared to up the ante and give more to the municipalities "hosting" these unwelcome "guests" (industrial wind turbines) that will undoubtedly overstay their welcome and continue to multiply across our rural Ontario landscape.

Note 1:  Please tune in to Sun TV Network 4 June 2014, 8 pm Eastern Time, for the documentary "Down Wind" - which will portray what we in rural Ontario have suffered by virtue of the actions of corporate and government interests that are in the process of destroying our way of life, our communities, and demolishing our environment for all generations.

Note 2:  The most comprehensive site relating to the wind turbine situation across Ontario is "Ontario Wind Resistance" (see here).  

Update:  Mayor Ken Hewitt and Council are clearly frustrated with Samsung, who has treated Haldimand with callous neglect since day one.  They voted to ban Samsung contractors from using any of Haldimand's gravel roads (citing complaints over dust, and Samsung's failure to live up to agreements as the reason).  See here for details.  This will "put a crimp in their style" since many of the roads where turbines are either being or are proposed to be installed are off of gravel roads, a long way from any paved road.  Kudos Mayor Ken Hewitt and Council!


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