Archive for June 8, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

Admittedly this is a bit premature, but that’s because I want to celebrate the birth of our Country while it’s still in tact. Let us now remember all of the great Canada Day celebrations we have had.

Regardless of what your preference is, be it a family BBQ, a trip up North to cottage Country, a weekend at any of Canada’s many beautiful beaches, or simply relaxing at home and enjoying life in this great Country we all share, I suggest you do it early this year because Canada Day 2007 is likely to be unlike anything we have ever seen.

How are you planning to get to your destination to celebrate this year? By train? Don’t count on it. Roads? Perhaps if you’re lucky. When you arrive do you intend to use any electricity? It may not be there. But if the power goes out we can always count on firing up the gas stove and using the phone to keep in touch with our loved ones right? Should a gas or phone line run through land these omnipotent, government endorsed, overgrown, weaponized cry babies decide belongs to them, they too may be shut down.

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Councillor Craig Grice and Mayor Marie Trainer are in Ottawa Thursday and Friday for a meeting with Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice and representatives of the Liberals and NDP. Council has been asking Ottawa to contribute to the county’s recovery plan and wants to ensure federal politicians know the toll the ongoing situation at Douglas Creek and other land claims are taking on Caledonia, Hagersville and the county as a whole.

County council will hold a special meeting July 4 with developers and federal and provincial officials to discuss native land claims and related issues. The closed session was sparked by the uncertainty facing the development industry in the face of occupation threats.

Read the full story here

A provincial police officer found himself in the middle of a confrontation with a group reported to be Mohawk protesters or dissidents after stopping to assist what he believed to a pair of motorists with car trouble.Around 1 p.m., the officer was driving a marked police cruiser on Highway 49, just south of County Road 2 near Marysville, when he was flagged down by two motorists.

The officer, who believed he was stopping to render assistance, was “confronted by two area men who immediately challenged the officer,” according to a statement issued by the Ontario Provincial Police. A short time later, several more people arrived at the scene and “participated in the confrontation,” police said.

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The late American composer Oscar Levant once cynically quipped that a politician is someone who will “double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.” Which brings us, of course, to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his shameless reaction to the final report of the Ipperwash Inquiry by commissioner Sidney Linden, a retired judge.

Even Linden hardly covers himself in glory with his blatant advocacy of the view that the Native protesters who occupied a provincial park in 1995 carry no shared responsibility whatsoever for the tragic events leading to the death of protester Dudley George at the hands of an OPP sniper.

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Belleville Intelligencer

Suing Shawn Brant and two other protesters from April’s Deseronto-area CN rail blockade seems to be an attempt to deter other natives from taking similar action on the upcoming national day of protest, says the Toronto-area lawyer representing one of the defendants. (Edit: Duh)

The multimillion-dollar lawsuit from CN Rail, served last month on Brant, Jason Maracle and Tara Green, appears to be an attempt to “make an example of them” in light of a national day of action planned for June 29, said Howard Morton, who is representing Green in the lawsuit.

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What should be on Hamilton’s wish list? The Lister Block? Downtown rejuvenation? The cleanup of Randle Reef? Premier Dalton McGuinty threw the gauntlet down yesterday, asking Hamiltonians what he should put “provincial muscle” behind.

“Where should we go, because we want to help?” McGuinty asked in an hour-long meeting with The Spectator’s editorial board yesterday. “Let’s get energized and excited. What would make Hamilton the best place to live? What will make you feel better about your city?”

The premier also said the province is willing to contribute cash to the Lister Block renewal, but shied away from giving a dollar figure.

“Results matter,” he said when asked about the broken promises that have been fodder for the opposition. (Edit: Then the ends justify any means according to McGuinty)

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It’s election season, which means this city should be putting the squeeze on our vote-hungry provincial government, looking for cash to help bankroll big-ticket items on the local to-do list.

The Ontario Liberals seem eager to be tapped. Premier Dalton McGuinty came to town this week and essentially dared Hamilton to pitch some projects that could use the province’s financial horsepower.

Is he being politically crass? Sure he is.

Should we exploit his situation? You bet.

This city has a lot of issues crying out for attention: poverty, crumbling infrastructure, lost industrial jobs, harbour pollution, downtown renewal, and so on.

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Municipal and Canadian Legion officials in Deseronto have wisely headed off, for now, a potentially ugly confrontation between antagonists in the non-native community intent on stirring up passions over the Deseronto quarry occupation and Mohawks who insist the land is theirs.

As reported in The Intelligencer this week, Mark Vandermaas, editor of the Voice of Canada Internet weblog, and others had planned to come to Deseronto to hold a public meeting about “the rule of law” and a “two-tiered justice system” that his organization claims allows violence to prevail in native land claim protests.

“What’s really frightening is it’s shutting down free speech with people who have never committed a crime and never instigated hatred,” said Vandermaas, Municipal official Brian Brooks, who books the Lions Hall, said none of Vandermaas’ and McHale’s past shenanigans influenced his decision.

(Edit: An ugly confrontation? PLEASE.. enough with the drama. This was to be a meeting with citizens of Deseronto to provide them with information. It is the politicians and the Lions Hall who are trying to make this a confrontation. As someone who was planning to personally attend, I assure all of these drama queens that we WILL come to Deseronto with or without their approval)

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