PORT ELGIN, ON, April 22 /CNW/ - CAW president Buzz Hargrove is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ensure a responsible, peaceful and immediate end to the land claim dispute in Caledonia, Ontario.
Hargrove blasted Harper for escalating the overwhelming police presence in the dispute by having large numbers of RCMP officers dispatched to Caledonia.
"These actions have only served to inflame the peaceful actions of the native community who are defending their rights to reclaim their land," Hargrove states in an April 21 letter to Harper.
"Have the governments of the day not learned anything from the many previous disputes over native land claims? Peaceful negotiations, not police harassment and intimidation, is the way to proceed," Hargrove said.
Hargrove is calling on Harper's government to:
- ensure all armed RCMP officers are withdrawn from the area immediately;
- stop issuing illegal possessions of land;
- set up a time-table for peaceful negotiations with the Six Nations people regarding their Caledonia land claim;
- set a fast track to work toward resolving all unsettled land claims in Canada. There are more than 600 unsettled land claims in Canada.
"Historically the native community has been often discriminated against and no fair minded government should allow this shameful treatment of people to continue," Hargrove said.
Hargrove is also demanding that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty remove the OPP presence and peacefully end the dispute immediately.
More than 800 delegates from coast to coast at CAW Council who are meeting in Port Elgin, Ontario have voted to have governments remove police and find a peaceful solution to the dispute.
For further information: contact CAW Communications director Jim Pare,
(cell) (416) 723-2224