While Premier Dalton McGuinty is telling developers in the Haldimand Tract not to deal with the Haudenosauee Development Institute (HDI), the National Post and CBC have both reported that “a wind farm near Shelburne” has done so.
The “near Shelburne” reference appeared to indicate Canadian Hydro Developers (CHD) Melancthon II wind farm proposal, except that one of several news items described it as an $80-million development.
There are two that could come closer to the value description – Wind Rush near Grand Valley, and a proposal at Dundalk. Additionally, there are any number of smaller proposed projects apart from those in Dufferin.
A spokesman for CHD said the wind farm was “not ours,” and that there had been several enquiries following the news items last week. (CHD is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.)
HDI was founded by the hereditary chiefs of the Six Nations Confederacy, and would appear not to be recognized by the provincial government as a legal entity. (The issue is complicated. In general, Ottawa and the provinces rely on the Indian Act in recognizing only the elected, as opposed to hereditary, band councils. At the Six Nations Reserve, the hereditary chiefs generally regard the Act as an illegal one.)
Whatever the status of the HDI, the Six Nations in August 2007 wrote to all municipalities within six miles (10 km) of the Grand River, including Melancthon and Shelburne, notifying them of their claim to lands within the Haldimand Tract – from Lake Erie to the river’s headwaters.
At Shelburne, CAO Larry McGregor said the town is within the six miles, but on a different watershed (the Nottawasaga).
He said the town advised Six Nations accordingly but has kept them abreast of developments such as the sewage plant.
In Melancthon, CAO Denise Holmes said township council invited the Six Nations to a meeting in response to their letter. On the day appointed for their appearance, she said, there was a violent storm because of which it would have been inadvisable to drive from the Brantford area.
So far, she said, the council has been unable to arrange for a new time.
In previous interviews, Mr. Keating has said that his company has always enjoyed a good relationship with First Nations, largely in B.C. Early last year, he acknowledged that CHD was holding discussions with both the elected council and the hereditary chiefs of the Six Nations.
Although CHD may have reached an agreement with HDI, other developers are quoted as refusing to do so on the advice of the premier, but not receiving any provincial support in their refusals.
The Post quoted Don Courtney, president of an unopened landfill site near Cayuga, as saying his company had been “hung out to dry.” According to the Post, the $14-million site was “shut down by Six Nations warriors on opening day in November.”
Since then, Six Nations had waived a $7,000 application fee for the dump, but had not given Mr. Courtney assurances of uninterrupted operations. Meantime, he hadn’t been able to contact Mr. Detlor “or anyone else they can negotiate with,” said the Post.
“We’re dead in the water until this thing is resolved. Where the hell is the law and order here,” Mr. Courtney was quoted as saying.
According to other reports – notably the CBC – Mr. Detlor says the HDI approach is non-confrontational, and could lead to amicable solutions of long-standing problems.
The reports indicate that Mr. Detlor is under no illusions. He doesn’t expect everyone to agree with HDI, but evidently intends to forge ahead.
By Wes Keller
24 January 2008
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