HAMILTON — City officials say they have finally come to an agreement with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute that would ensure there is no further obstruction of workers cleaning up a sewage spill in the Chedoke Creek.
Hamilton’s Water Director Nick Winters’ told reporters the $50,000 agreement would allow HDI an environmental monitor on site during the cleanup.
The agreement, Hamilton says, halts any further action by Hamilton to pursue the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks — and legal action that was before the courts launched by Hamilton in an effort to allow the city to clean the creek while HDI and the HCCC were refusing to grant consent.
Winters previously told 2RT that HDI was demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation and a policy change to the city of Hamilton’s development processes that would put the HCCC in charge of the final say for all construction within the city’s limits. That, according to Winters, along with HDIs financial demands, were unacceptable terms to Hamilton officials.
Supporters and members of the HDI were noted by reports from Hamilton as threatening construction workers and cleanup crews, canoeing in the Creek in violation of posted safety notices and otherwise obstructing any attempts workers made to begin cleaning the waterway of raw sewage.
The area is a sensitive wildlife hub that is home to the main natural fish spawning areas for the entire Great Lakes region. It is also the home of at least 5 endangered species and another 17 species threatened or at risk.
It is also the site of Princess Point, one of the oldest and most archeologically important areas of Iroquoian history in all of North America, with documented Iroquoian settlements dating back as early as 8000 B.C. and modern pre-contact and early contact settlements all the way up to 1650.
Back in March, Winters told 2RT that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council — the group that the HDI is accountable to — had never been in touch with the city on environmental concerns and that all of the conversation between Hamilton and HCCC had been done by HDIs internal counsel and director Aaron Detlor.
City officials told press that if HDI interferes with the cleanup that they have in the agreement a mechanism to seek compensation from them.
While HDI was initially seeking more than $400,000 from Hamilton plus capacity funding for the organization along with policy changes for how the city does development and construction, they will now receive the same compensation offered to Six Nations of the Grand River and the Huron-Wendat Nation — $50,000. An additional $7000 is being provided for what Hamilton said was document review.