SIX NATIONS – Somebody is on the hook for $350,000 plus another $25,000 in court costs after the appeals court rejected HDI’s bid to have the fine assessed to named and un-named Six Nations people as well as HDI’s Aaron Detlor and Hazel Hill reduced.
Results of the initial appeal of Judge Harrison Arrell’s decision regarding the Brantford Injunction against Six Nations protests at construction sites, was heard Jan.17, and released in September.
The Appellate Court upheld Arrell’s decision and the HDI filed a second appeal hoping to reduce the fine significantly. Results of the second appeal upheld Arrell’s assessment as well. However, the court costs were reduced from $68,000 to $25,000.
Mayor Chris Friel was very pleased with the results, anticipating precedent that would have long-ranging ramification across Canada, which other communities caught in the middle if land claims disputes could follow.
The HDI tried to enforce its own development regulations on the city’s disputed lands and were seen as an important player in the disruption of development within the city.
What this will mean to the HDI is yet to be seen as the judgment legally clips the HDI’s wings in such matters, at least as far as Canadian law is concerned.
HDI’s Aaron Detlor and Hazel Hill, as well as protesters Floyd and Ruby Montour, Charlie and Mary Green, Clive Garlow and “persons unknown” were slapped with the heavy fine.
Chances of getting that kind of money from most of those named is slim at best, however, Detlor and Hill may end up carrying the load.
According to Brantford’s lawyer in the case, Neil Smitheman, the city could go after any of the named defendants to recover the money, and would not have to rely on those who could not pay. In this case, Floyd and Ruby Montour, an elderly couple well into their 70’s, are not well off financially. The same goes for the Greens and Garlow, which leaves practicing lawyer Aaron Detlor and possibly Hazel Hill holding the bag.
Although not specifically named in the injunction, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute was acting on behalf of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council at the time. The question remains whether they will be liable to pay the hefty $375,000 bill.
Detlor had no comment for the Two Row Times on the issue, but referred the questions to Confederacy Secretary Jock Hill, whom we were unable to reach by press time.