OHSWEKEN — Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation says work on the Niagara Reinforcement Line project has been put on hold by Hydro One, pending review of a contract the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) wants them to enter into.
In a statement from SNGRDC, work was shut down at the site by men from Six Nations who identified themselves as representatives of the HCCC requested work on the project be halted to address an issue.
SNGRDC says they agreed to the halt and instructed Aecon 6N to hold work on Jan 21 and 22.
In a statement SNGRDC says, “In response to this request, SNGRDC instructed its contractor, A6N Utilities to pause work on the NRP for the remainder of the day and the following day as a show of good faith and out of respect for the HCCC.”
A meeting was requested between reps for Hydro One, SNGRDC and HCCC. That meeting, according to SNGRDC was held on January 22.
Now, Hydro One says work on the project has been put on hold pending a review of a new contract the HCCC is requesting to enter into with Hydro One, a move officials say is being organized by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI).
The status of HDI has been up in the air for over a year — with local reporting claiming the organization was dissolved and it’s staff dismissed. TRT has not independently confirmed those details. Several requests for confirmation to the HCCC and HDI on those details have been made by reporters from TRT via telephone and email however, we have not received a response.
“There are many community members disheartened by the ongoing lack of communication and collaboration within the Six Nations community, however SNGRDC is optimistic the parties can move forward swiftly, and positively, to serve the best interests of the Six Nations community,” said Claudine VanEvery-Albert, SNGRDC Board of Director Chair. “SNGRDC strives with passion to put the best interest forth for the people of Six Nations and we hope this is an opportunity to enhance our inclusive approach to engaging the community in economic development.”
SNGRDC says the project was subject to ten weeks of community consultation about the project in 2017 that was subject to a final report review given to the SNGRDC’s Board of Directors and Advisory Committee. Those groups recommended the Elected Council pursue the project.