Henning ordered to pay tax on Kanonhstaton buy-out – appeals

TORONTO – April 20, will mark the 8th anniversary of the pre-dawn OPP raid on Kanonhstaton, formerly known as the Douglas Creek Estates, which failed to remove Six Nations protesters, or land protectors as they prefer to be called.

Although John and Don Henning eventually made out quite well after the Province bought back the property for $15.8 million to put to rest some of the tensions that were at fever pitch in those days, it appears now that strings were attached to that buyout.

The Hennings are currently in Tax Court of Canada, before Judge Campbell Miller. It would seem the province wants to claw back some of that “go away” money the Liberals gave the Hennings by taxing them on the $15.8 million settlement transaction.

The Henning’s lawyer Geoffrey Shaw said in court last week that “It’s a bargain for the province to pay $15.8-million … to get rid of these problems.”

He contends that the money was not paid for the land at all, but rather to calm the waters.

Part of that settlement was not only to recoup the costs involved with the housing project the Hennings wanted to build, and the subcontractors of the partially built development, but also estimated profits lost.

Judge Miller was asked by provincial lawyers not to admit any testimony about the circumstances of the transaction saying he felt that would be a distraction from the issue at hand, which is taxation.

But Miller refused that request saying he felt he needed to know the special circumstances of the case to help him come to a decision.

That means the entire ugly history of the Caledonia standoff will again be dragged out for the world to see. Shaw will be using CHCH News footage and other mainstream media accounts in his defense. Since February 28th of 2006, Haudenosaunee land protectors have not been happy with the depiction of the situation because it usually totally ignored their side of the story and the rationale for the protest in the first place.

Also expected to testify will be Toronto columnist Christy Blatchford who, well after the fact, wrote a book about the Caledonia crisis. She was never in Caledonia during the time frame she writes about, but only went by this same slanted news material and the work of Gary McHale, an activist who antagonized Six Nations people for months and even years after the fact with publicity stunts and so called peace marches. McHale was also not in Caledonia for most of the time the situation was unfolding.

After two years of serious tension between Six Nations and it’s neighbors on Caledonia, peace was eventually restored and a symbolance of hospitality normality has taken root. Some fear the retelling of this story in court will once again tear the scab off the wound and damage the steps forward that have been made.

Judging by the blogs and comments following the National Post story, which Blatchford penned, those fears are very real in deed.

If the appeal fails, the Hennings would have to pay millions to the same government that struck the buy out, or payoff, deal in the first place.

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