Council left in dark about land consultation activities

OHSWEKEN — Details on the activities of the Six Nations Lands and Resources unit have been scarce and even Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council is seeking more information on what projects the staff is currently discussing with proponents.

Lonny Bomberry, director of Lands and Resources, brought an activities update to elected council’s political liaison meeting Monday but council had more questions than answers after reading the briefing note.

“When I read the report, it tells me nothing,” said Coun. Wendy Johnson.

The CAP team (consultation and accommodation process) was formed to discuss projects with developers that impact Six Nations lands. In the past, the team held public meetings and sought public input on discussions with developers.

Many of those projects were publicized in detail on a website called Six Nations Future, but there are currently zero projects listed under “active engagements.”

The Two Row Times has sent emails to elected council asking for an update on current projects the CAP team is discussing, with no response.

Coun. Johnson, reading from the briefing note, mentioned housing development company Mattamy Homes and a Lake Erie Connector Project, but the activities report was not made available to the public.

She also noted there was an update on projects in Brantford, but “that doesn’t tell me anything,” she said.

“We have no information whatsoever,” she said.

Council asked Bomberry to bring more information back to the next political liaison meeting before accepting the report.

“It’s just information in bringing the council up to date on who we’re talking to and what we’re talking about,” said Bomberry. “If you wanted more information on what the status is as far as reaching any kind of conclusion to update council more on that, sure, no problem.”

Coun. Johnson also expressed concerns with the language in Bomberry’s briefing note.

She said it sounded as though the CAP team is negotiating deals with developers, which she said, the team has no authority to do.

Bomberry said his team does not aim to negotiate land accommodation agreements with developers.

“The briefing note doesn’t match what you just said,” she said. “The briefing note actually says that pretty much you do have the authority to obtain accommodations. It doesn’t say to make recommendations or anything like that. You’re a lawyer so you know that language is very important. That’s where I’m coming from. I would like to see more information, even a timeline.”

Chief Mark Hill recommended holding off on accepting the report until Bomberry could bring more information to council.

The Six Nations communications office did not respond to emails asking for a copy of the report.

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