Statement from Mayor Ken Hewitt & Council regarding McKenzie Meadows occupation – October 18, 2020
As we approach the Oct 22nd court date, Skyler Williams has a very important decision to make. In his, and those occupying the site, have successfully been able to bring the issues forward and now have a court and Justice prepared to allow for his constitutional challenge. As a proclaimed leader of those that have occupied the Mackenzie Meadows site, I would ask – what is the true agenda? If it is in fact for the greater good of Six Nations, then he should seriously consider the offer from Justice Harper.
Six Nations have been waiting for the past 20 years to have their day in court with the federal government in hopes to be able to begin the process in resolving an outstanding claim with respect to monies owed for land acquisitions along the Grand River. Currently, this is not to be heard until 2022.
Justice Harper’s offer to accept Skyler’s request to fully participate in the proceedings if he complies with the injunction, is a great opportunity for the Six Nations community.
On October 5, Skyler filed an application to bring various allegations against the federal government, such as a failure to consult, breach of duty, and a failure to implement the recommendations of the Ipperwash Enquiry. These issues are much larger than the occupation of the current construction site. Skyler now has the door open to bring the Federal Government into legal proceedings. Hopefully he chooses to do so; there is a lot more to talk about than Landback Lane.
The Federal Government does need to take responsibility here, and the innocent home-buyers or developers should not be caught in the middle.
As has always been stated, the community benefit of Nation to Nation dialogue far outweighs the needs, desires or agendas of the few. Justice Harper is allowing the use of his court to enable that opportunity for Six Nations.
Standing in defiance not only extinguishes that opportunity for ALL the members of Six Nations, but would suggest otherwise an agenda that is beyond the settlement of ongoing longstanding issues between our two nations.
It has always been my desire and the Councils to see a positive and peaceful resolution and that time has arrived. The choice on how to proceed rests with those on the site and that choice can positively affect the outcome for those on Six Nations and Haldimand looking for results.
Mayor Ken Hewitt