Brantford calls on governments to settle land claim, share tax revenues with Six Nations

BRANTFORD — At the July 5 City of Brantford’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Kevin Davis put forward a motion calling for the federal and provincial governments to settle the outstanding land claim with Six Nations of the Grand River.

That trial was initially filed by Six Nations in 1995 and just this year was again delayed to 2023.

In a statement, city officials say this call includes expanding the Municipal Land Transfer Tax program that exists in Toronto to include tax revenue sharing in all municipalities with Ontario’s First Nations as part of reparations for land theft and other historic injustices committed by those who built Canada and its infrastructures.

Davis says that a portion of all Development Charges and Community Benefits Charges collected on new development should be shared with local First Nations and says that move will strengthen the economies of everyone in the region.

Mayor Davis called the delay in Canada and Ontario resolving the lawsuit for the Haldimand Tract and Six Nations “a national shame that has been going on for 27 years,” adding,  “IO wouldn’t be surprised if it takes another decade or two to work through the courts.”

He described the lack of engagement with other levels of government on this important issue as “extremely disappointing,” saying all they do is “download the issue to municipalities without any clear direction or guidance leaving municipalities to fend for ourselves, which gives rise to frustration and tensions between municipalities and indigenous communities.” He added that “while we can’t go back in time or provide a land dispute settlement, we can take concrete steps beyond the realm of words into one of concrete action, resulting in a new direction and new path forward to address the injustices of the past.”

The mayor’s motion was approved and heads for ratification by the city council on July 26.

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