Statement from Mayor Hewitt & Council regarding Caledonia protest

Statement from Mayor and Council – October 9, 2020

CALEDONIA PROTEST

The OPP and levels of government are not criminalizing the protestors at McKenzie Meadows.  The court issuing the injunction is not criminalizing them either.  The only people responsible for being charged with crimes are themselves and those that support and perpetuate the illegal activity. Just because we do not agree with another’s assertion does not mean anyone can step outside of the law to assert their own. No one gets a free pass or is bestowed with the right to be above the law just because they believe that someone else is wrong.

It has been said many times that we can all agree on the past failures that our Nation was built on and I would hazard to guess that most of us today are not directly responsible for those past deeds. However, we are capable of changing the course and direction or path we have been on. Dialogue towards a positive outcome is always the intent of any government and I am sure that those on Six Nations would look to the same.

Positive dialogue cannot occur under the veil of threats and hostility that exists on McKenzie Meadows.  You cannot call it peaceful when the actions of these few are calculated against any opposing action of others. A peaceful protest or exercising rights cannot be at the expense or rights of others.

There is currently a warrant for the arrest of Skyler Williams. In society today our police forces work together to help each other as the brothers they so often call themselves. I find it appalling that the OPP cannot extend the warrant within the boundary of Six Nations. Skyler each night can enjoy a peaceful sleep without interruption while many here in Caledonia continue to be at the brunt of tantrums when the police service is trying to uphold our laws.

As I mentioned earlier, Six Nations needs to assume some accountability for the failure of negotiations as does our governments.  For any meaningful conversation to take place it requires the efforts of both to find a transparent and effective method to represent the needs of both Nations. Without that framework, the posturing that continues to happen on the streets of Haldimand only exasperates things and drives wedges further into the social fabric that has afforded us many years of continued existence.

There are a number of great opportunities other than just the assertion of the claim itself, that could be celebrated for the benefit of all and many of these items are on there table and have been discussed in the past and would provide fundamental things such as fresh water to the whole of the territory and improve everyone’s social position.

Caledonia/Six Nations could be seen as a celebration of success and not one of burning tires and frustration for all. It requires some efforts from all and it must come from a good place, a place not filled with anxiety and anger. It must come from the ability to understand, to compromise and to see the end game that benefits future generations. It will NEVER be a successful ending if at the expense of one another.

Haldimand County Coat of Arms

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