Saturday, June 03, 2006

PM wants to stay out of Caledonia but judge wants him in

PM Stephen Harper wants to stay out of the three-month aboriginal land dispute at Caledonia but the Ontario Superior Court judge who has issued injunctions ordering an end to the protest wants Ottawa in.
Mr. Justice T. David Marshall yesterday adjourned an unusual legal hearing to give Ottawa two weeks to decide whether it will appear in his court on June 16.

Ont. Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay said in an interview that he is pleased Judge Marshall has asked the federal government to send a rep to court when the hearing resumes on June 16th. "It's a recognition by the judge that the federal government needs to be there,” Ramsay said. “That voice was missing today.”

Judge Marshall was upset that the Six Nations protests are still goin on despite three injunctions from him, and at the outset of the hearing has said he was concerned that "in this community, the rule of law has been suspended in our country."

But by the end of a day of legal arguments, he accepted the advice of the majority of the lawyers who appeared before him that patience was needed, and that it would not be helpful to order the Ontario Provincial Police to remove the protesters from a disputed development site and nearby barricades.

Perhaps the government has learned some lessons from Oka and Ipperwash?

However, C.E. McCarthy who represented the Haldimand Law Society, has not. McCarthy said many locals “complain that we are negotiating with people who are breaking the law,” and suggested that the use of force to end the protest may have to be considered.

He said what is happening reminds him of the events in the 1930s when Neville Chamberlain tried appeasement with Germany, and that if the OPP had done its job and ejected the protesters when they first occupied the site, owners Henco Industries Ltd. would not have had to seek a court injunction.

Likening the Native protesters who have been peacefully occupying land that they feel belongs to them to Hitler? And this McCarthy guy is a lawyer??

Even OPP lawyer Denise Dwyer was aghast, saying that McCarthy's remarks were “unfortunate and inappropriate”.
“They were words that incite confrontation on the ground. They are fighting words,” she told the court. “The protest is a symptom of the underlying problem, and that is what the province is trying to deal with through negotiations.”

Read the complete Globe and Mail article here.

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2 comment(s):

marshall is right that it's a federal matter and that rule of law should be followed. problem is that canada is not following it's own rule of law, which would see the land given back to six nations.

marshall is also in conflict of interest as he 'owns' land on the haldeman tract.

let's see what harper will do, he's been avoiding this from the beginning....and prentice, well, ya , let's put the racist in to the negotiations........we'll wait while the neo-cons bring themselves down once all the reform party base start opening their yaps some more.

unfortunetly it's the damage done in between their fall from disgrace.

By Blogger Scout, at 2:40 AM  

You're absolutely right. And I still can't understand why Marshall was allowed to stay on as judge when he so obviously is in conflict of interest.

I don't put much faith into Harper's proclivity for justice, but let's hope for the best.

By Blogger Annamarie, at 3:30 AM  

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