William Liske, vice president and general counsel of Losani Homes of Stoney Creek, said they had not received any responses to requests for help or intervention. This week they sent letters to homebuyers saying all deposits will be refunded in full. Foxgate Developments – a joint venture between Losani Homes and Ballantry Homes – had hoped to build more than 200 residences, a mix of townhouses and single-family homes in the McKenzie subdivision.
But work on the site was halted more than a year ago after land activists claimed the land was not ceded. Haudenosaunee territory, and renamed it 1492 Land Back Lane. The Six Nations-led group has occupied the site since then.
“Notices were sent to homebuyers earlier this week noting that sales agreements had been frustrated for a number of reasons, including the passage of time. [one year], the evolution of the project from a temporary camp to a site with more permanent buildings, lack of compliance or enforcement of court orders, and failure of either government [provincial or federal] also respond to our requests for help or intervention, ”Liske said in an email to CBC Hamilton.
“The down payments are returned in their entirety. “
“A little excitement in the air”
Land Back Lane spokesperson Skyler Williams said the group was happy with the turn of events.
“I think there’s a bit of excitement in the air today,” Williams told CBC News.
“I think this is a big statement for the indigenous communities and for the whole Turtle Island… these victories are achievable. I think we have the opportunity to be able to tell the federal authorities and the province that if our developments, whether massive real estate developments or destruction of resources – if we say no to that and support it , these gains are possible.
“So it is in their interest to initiate a process that [finds solutions] in a peaceful way, it does not include armed cops, ”he said.
Williams said defending their territory has been a generational struggle.
“It’s something my parents fought before me and their parents fought before them,” he said.
“If we give up a field now, it takes away that argument that we can even be made by our children. And so for us, this is something that is going to continue, not just for my generation, but for generations to come, until we can see a real shift on the part of the federal government to be able to move forward in the process. right direction here. “
Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt said the cancellation is disappointing. The developers and the county consulted with the elected Six Nations council, he said, and “obviously we supported the planning and the process.”
The elected council is separate from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC), which called for a moratorium on development in the Haldimand Tract. The territory was granted to the Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for having allied with the British during the American Revolution. It covers approximately 384,451 hectares along the Grand River in Ontario and includes municipalities such as Waterloo, Brantford and Caledonia.
The owners in the middle
The elected council also backed the call for a moratorium, saying it would be irresponsible to continue development until the issues are resolved.
Hewitt said the owners “are the innocent victims in this case, and that’s unfortunate.”
He said many of the buyers are from younger families and a mix of area residents and people from out of town. The houses were selling for between $ 300,000 and $ 600,000, which Hewitt called a price attractive to people. It would be difficult to find a new home for $ 300,000 now, he said.
“Obviously, those options are no longer there. “
Haldimand County is frustrated with the Provincial Police, who they say are failing to enforce a court order to have the residents of Land Back Lane vacate the property.
What he says about the land title system
Hewitt said he was concerned about what this new development means for the legal system, the land titles system and the formal consultation process in place.
“There’s another layer to that, and it’s our federal government, which has chosen to forgo opportunities over the past few years to address these ongoing issues,” he said. “And here we are. “
At a press conference in April, Deyohowe: to (Roger Silversmith), head of Cayuga Snipe with the HCCC, said it was “time to end injustice”.
“We want the land that belongs to us. We are not interested in approving the fraudulent dispossessions of the past, ”he said.
“We are not interested in selling land. “