April 28, 2008
Note: Thanks are once again due to John Tory for carrying our message to the Government and the media.
TORONTO – The Opposition says the Ontario government should immediately break off all talks with aboriginal groups until their roadblocks come down.
Provincial police have removed a roadblock set up by aboriginal protesters on an eastern Ontario rural road north of Deseronto. But a southern Ontario highway around Caledonia remains blocked by Six Nations protesters.
They closed the highway to show support for their fellow aboriginals in eastern Ontario and say they won’t remove the blockade until police back down around Deseronto.
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory says the Liberal government has allowed the situation to escalate by tolerating law-breakers in Caledonia.
He’s calling on the government to break off negotiations with Six Nations and send a message through the courts that blockades aren’t tolerated.
“The government can send every signal that it possibly can – we’re not going to put up with lawless behaviour and we’re not going to sit at negotiating tables with people who break the law,” Tory said.
The Deseronto land claims protest escalated on the weekend when police arrested Mohawk leader Shawn Brant at a traffic stop. Two officers were injured and a cruiser window was smashed after Brant’s supporters rushed to the scene and clashed with police.
In Caledonia, Six Nation protesters have been occupying a former housing development site for over two years, saying the land was wrongfully taken from them by the Crown over 200 years ago.
The province, federal government and Six Nations are trying to negotiate an end to the occupation and resolve the land claim. Six Nations recently rejected a $26-million federal offer to settle the flooding of aboriginal land along the Grand River 179 years ago during the building of the Welland Canal.