Thursday, 6 November 2014

Response of Local MPP Toby Barrett to the Fence and Gate at DCE

It is interesting to compare the perspectives of the MPP for Haldimand - Norfolk, Today Barrett with that of the Director of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) in relation to the DCE property and the new gate blocking Surrey Street.

Here is Mr. Barrett's view as found in the 4 November online version of "The Sachem" and seen here in the article entitled, "Gate erected at the entrance to the DCE property":

During an interview, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said he is no fan of the fence.

“Regrettably, protests and intimidation has gotten results and they got away with it,” Barrett said. “It sends a real message that an illegal occupation is how you get what you want. You can put up a fence and put signs and symbols on the front basically saying this is us and we own it, but that is not the case. There is no valid land claim.

“I’ve called for an inquiry. Specifically with this fence, the question should be raised of who paid for this? It’s important to follow the money. Where is the transparency? That fence looks fairly expensive. I don’t think they just passed the hat down at DCE.”

Barrett said that although his office received numerous calls and emails when construction of the fence began, there were fewer people in contact when the gate was erected.

“After eight and a half years, there is less appetite to try and do the work that government is supposed to do for people in Caledonia,” Barrett said.

As a member of the Progressive Conservative opposition at Queen’s Park, Barrett said he has little power to do what’s necessary to resolve the situation at DCE. He is putting the onus on the municipal government and provincial Liberal government.

“The gate at the front is across a municipal road, Surrey Street,” Barrett said. “This gate or barricade, whatever one wants to call it, crosses not only Ontario government property but also Haldimand County property. Apparently nobody ever did say what are you doing, this isn’t right, cease and desist.”

I COMPLETELY AGREE with Mr. Barrett.  Clearly he is expressing the viewpoint of the people he represents!

On the other hand, the Director of the HDI is completely out of touch and is just engaging in spin in relation to this topic.  Specifically, she maintains that,

All feedback we have received on the gate has been very positive,” Haudenosaunee Development Institute director Hazel Hill said in an email to The Sachem. “People are commenting on how good the site looks now with the rehabilitation the Confederacy has undertaken.”

With respect to the bold printed statement above the obvious question is, who in Caledonia is saying anything positive about the fence and gate?  If there is someone I would like to speak with them.  Incomers would not understand the history behind this symbol of our oppression.  To say anything to the militant Director of the HDI would be bizarre.  I suspect that the "people" she is speaking of are HDI supporters, or perhaps other Six Nations members - but residents of Haldimand for whom this is a gaping wound - I don't think so!  The sheer audacity of the action.  It was all done without the approval of the present owner of DCE, the Province of Ontario; nor the owner of Surrey Street which is now blocked by this gate, the County of Haldimand.  Seeing the gate every day reminds me of how this gate and its symbolic regalia represent how grossly incompetent and impotent various levels of government are in dealing with this terrorist threat on our doorstep.  We are left to the wolves, and no one but Mr. Barrett seems to care.

The fence and the gate must go.  It should be just a question of how and when.  However after 8 years of inaction and stumbles, it is becoming increasing clear that if we want something done about this situation, we will probably have to do it ourselves.


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