Six Nations Elected Council calls out unfettered development in Brantford

Six Nations Elected Council wants to meet with the City of Brantford to discuss the unfettered development exploding across the city and what it believes is a failure of the city to properly consult or accommodate Six Nations.

Elected Chief Mark Hill said projects in Brantford are, “coming on quickly and that’s something we’re not in agreement with and the City of Brantford needs to know what we’re feeling and saying.”

The City of Brantford has been lauding a construction boom in the city this year and elected council said it has not been consulted or accommodated on any of the projects.

What’s more, many of those projects are occurring on land currently under litigation, according to Six Nations Lands and Resources Director Lonny Bomberry.

And a lot of the land that’s being developed is land the city acquired in 2017 when 2,700 hectares of Brant County land was transferred to the city under a boundary expansion agreement.

“There’s going to be a huge development area,” said Bomberry. “We never got accommodation for that boundary expansion. Brantford got over 2,700 hectares of land from Brant County in 2017. We were supposed to be accommodated. We had a formula and it all fell through. We’re still waiting for something for that.  We have to look at ways to stop them from developing.”

Bomberry said the consultation and accommodation (CAP) team at Lands and Resources needs council’s help.

“We need council to lobby the province because they don’t hear anything from us. It’s frustrating.”

Coun. Sherri-Lyn Hill-Pierce said because nobody from Six Nations has taken steps to stop the projects or be involved, “It looks like Six Nations is okay with what they’re doing and I am totally not okay with what they’re doing.”

What’s happening is that the city is looking at the decades old Grand River Notification Agreement as consultation and that’s not the case, said Robin Vanstone, land unit supervisor.

“I totally agree with you Sherri-Lyn. The City of Brantford is viewing notification as consultation and we have tried to talk to them about doing consultation better. That was actually one of the points I brought up when we all met as a group. They are not great with consultation. It’s basically non-existent. They do send us notifications as per our Grand River Notification Agreement and the consultation is very challenging.”

Elected Chief Mark Hill said his office will set up a meeting with the city so the two councils could meet, along with the relevant staff from both communities, to get everyone in the same room and discuss the issue.

The CAP team said it had planned to meet with the city in May to express their displeasure with how Brantford views consultation with Six Nations.

“The CAP team needs political backing on this,” said land researcher Phil Monture. “We can only do so much. Years ago we had commenced litigation on the City of Brantford on consultation and we had agreed to put it in abeyance with an agreement we were going to come up with a remedy on this. It’s just sat dormant.”

The CAP team and elected council will meet to strategize before scheduling a meeting with the City of Brantford.

“We have to stop them from developing,” said Bomberry. “What Brantford has essentially told us is that they’re not going to do anything to accommodate us because the provincial legislation doesn’t allow for it.”

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