Another good news story today. The National Post’s Christie Blatchford reports that “Beleaguered homeowners and businesses in Caledonia [Ontario] finally have won some compensation for the often-violent native occupation in their small town south of Hamilton.”
In a deal approved by Superior Court Judge David Crane, the Ontario government agreed today to a compensation fund of $20-million to settle a five- year-old class action over claims arising from the illegal occupation of Caledonia’s Douglas Creek Estates by natives from the nearby Six Nations reserve.
Ms. Blatchford reminds us of the weeks and months of widespread lawlessness that accompanied the native occupation. She writes:
It included the destruction of a hydro tower (which caused a three-day blackout to the area), the torching of a bridge, the hijacking of a police car with officers inside it and unprovoked assaults by natives upon a local builder, who suffered a permanent brain injury, an elderly couple whose offence was to drive by the site and a Hamilton TV crew who dared try to video that.
Can you readers imagine what it must have been like for local residents when, as Ms. Blatchford writes, “At the height of the tensions, residents living near the site had to show native-issued ‘passports’ even to get to and from their homes and were subjected to native-imposed curfews and arbitrary search and seizure.”?
It is good news that Caledonia residents are finally receiving a degree of justice. But the affair has been a total disgrace, and an expensive one for the taxpayers of Ontario. And all the while Premier Dalton McGuinty stood by with his proverbial thumb up his you-know-where and seemed to have ordered the local provincial police to do likewise.
This is only the latest expense we taxpayers will have to absorb from this sordid affair. McGuinty has already paid $15.8-million to the developers of the site to buy the disputed land. Add that to an undisclosed amount he paid to a couple who lived immediately adjacent to the site—in a secret deal, of course.
After all this, the end of our financial liability is still not in sight, as a number of area residents, who opted out of the class action, are also pursuing lawsuits against the government.
And, at the end of the day, nothing really has changed: the illegal occupation by natives persists, though, at a less stressful level. We the people of Ontario own the land—as stated above, we paid $15.8-million for it. However, only natives are allowed on the site. No official, legal settlement has been reached, but natives are already the de facto masters of the site. Isn’t this a perfect recipe to ensure a repeat of such illegal occupations?
Only in McGuinty’s Ontario, eh? Another good and valid reason to rid ourselves of the ineffective McGuinty Liberals this coming October.