Dispute over proposed development near Caledonia and Six Nations returns to court

Dispute returns to court

The legal saga around a two-year occupation of a proposed development site by a group of Indigenous people returned to an Ontario court on Monday with another attempt to remove the protesters. 

The company behind the planned housing development near Caledonia, Ont., and Six Nations of the Grand River is again asking a Haldimand County judge to order the demonstrators permanently off the land.

The group that has occupied the site since the summer of 2020 has maintained that the land in question is on unceded Haudenosaunee territory.

The latest legal chapter comes after the province’s Court of Appeal overturned a previous permanent injunction last year, finding the judge who issued it discriminated against an Indigenous man who was named in it.

Proceedings began Monday with lawyers disagreeing on the legal status of past orders that asked the protesters to leave.

Lawyers for Skyler Williams, who has acted as spokesman for the Indigenous group, argued that injunctions issued in the past are no longer in place, and a permanent injunction can't be issued as a result.

A lawyer for Foxgate Developments, meanwhile, argued that there is a valid interlocutory injunction in place and said a permanent order is needed so the development can proceed after two years.

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