Norfolk’s Mayor is responding to a media release recently put out by local MPP Toby Barrett about an agreement to cease development on an number of provincially-owned properties in the area due to aboriginal land disputes.
The properties include 14 acres in Townsend with the Spucedale Correctional Centre, the Norfolk County OPP office and the horticultural research station.
Norfolk County Council is trying to verify the truthfulness of what was included in Toby Barretts’ media release.
At this point they have traced it back to published reports in the Turtle Island News and the Chronicle in Haldimand.
Mayor Dennis Travale’s first reaction was why didn’t Mr Barrett phone his office and give the County a heads up.
Secondly Mayor Travale is very disappointed with the way the provincial government is handling this issue.
They did not contact Norfolk County to let them know that these lands would be included in the freeze.
He says the total lack of communication at every level on this matter is greatly disappointing .
He says the big question is why they would touch Norfolk County at all since there are no land claims locally.
He questions why they would include Norfolk instead of going north along the Grand River within the Haldimand tract including Brant and Brantford, Cambridge, Galt , and Hespler.
Travale says he suspects that because Haldimand and Norfolk voted Conservative there may be some punitive matters at hand.
He says the inclusion of the Agriculture research station is very upsetting – that the Mayor’s Round Table has been addressing the issue of an Agri-Food Innovation centre to help in the transition away from tobacco – and if that property is now frozen Travale questions why they were not told last time they were al the table.
Where Sprucedale is concerned Travale wants to know if they are sending a signal that they plan on closing that institution. He says he has been in contact with Brant MPP Dave Levac – who is Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Corrections – and he was simply directed to a website.
The OPP station is also on the list. Travale says the regional government has spent a lot of money renovating that building – and so we would have to look at what kind of compensation we could get if that building and land are giving away. Travale says we have a contract with the OPP, a renewal contact is in the works for 2008 and to just throw this issue at us without any discussion is beyond belief.