CALEDONIA – Monday night, in camera, Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt and his council ordered the blockade put up to protect the Kanonhstaton land in Caledonia, to be removed ASAP.
Claiming the order was only to clean up the appearance from Highway #6 and to make the site “accessible to emergency access,” Hewitt insists that it was not council’s intention to cause any undue stress to anyone.
However many at Six Nations believe he is upping the ante after two recent provocative incidents created by Haldimand residents, Gary McHale and Randy Fleming a week apart which brought back memories of the 2006 shut down of Argyle Street.
To cool the situation down at the time, David Peterson, former provincial Premier was sent in to negotiate a settlement, which eventually brought down the barricades. That included promises to turn over disputed land in Burtch, Townsand and South Cayuga, which has yet to happen eight years later.
The former Douglas Creek Estates has been peaceful for years, except when McHale and his publicity seeking followers break the peace by trying to get onto the property. McHale’s actions of provoking Six Nations land protectors and carrying out so called “citizen’s arrests”, has resulting in several charges being laid against Six Nations residents.
Hewitt did not indicate a specific time or date for the blockade removal, but stated that he will be asking OPP to keep the peace while the blockade at the front access to the site is cleared by a local contractor.
Six Nations people recently drew the blockade across the entrance of Kanonhstaton after McHale and his crew marched onto the land for no other reason than to create a disturbance. A week later one of his followers, Randy Fleming, did the same, which brought both OPP and Six Nations residents to the site. Land protector Kawaowene was arrested June 16 after bumping chests with McHale when he tried to stand in the way when McHale came walking towards the remaining house on the property where Kawaowene lives.
A couple of years ago, a young man from Caledonia drove a van at high speed up the same road and smashed it into the house, narrowly missing a gas line. The Six Nations residents sleeping inside the house were unharmed and provided first aid for the young man.
This move by Haldimand council has put the Six Nations community on high alert.