Sunday April 23, 2006
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Sunday April 23, 2006
Minister hopeful about ending Caledonia dispute
Talks to end a native land dispute near Hamilton recessed Sunday after almost 24 hours of negotiations over two days and Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay said he is “very optimistic” about reaching an agreement.
Native leaders and provincial and federal officials met for about five hours Saturday night following a 19-hour marathon Friday in a bid to end the seven-week standoff.
“We’re having very constructive dialogue, the atmosphere is very positive, and I think there’s good will on all sides,” Ramsay he said, but added there’s still much more work to be done.
“It’s step by step. I would characterize it as `we’re on our way’ but I wouldn’t say (a deal is) close at the moment.”
Native spokeswoman Hazel Hill said no talks were held Sunday because the aboriginals’ confederacy council was holding its own meetings.
She characterized the negotiations as productive but agreed the two sides are far apart.
But Henco Industries — which is developing a subdivision known as Douglas Creek Estates on the contested 40-hectares — said it is on the verge of bankruptcy and needs a resolution soon. (Ottawa Citizen)