Native protest stalls Brantford project

Native protest stalls Brantford project
Developer says governments should red flag disputed lands

John Burman
The Hamilton Spectator
BRANTFORD (Sep 5, 2007)

A small city developer fears he has lost his financing, tradespeople and suppliers for a $1.2-million, four-duplex development native protesters shut down yesterday.

Mayberry Homes owner Mike Quattrociocchi, a former Brantford city councillor, said several protesters climbed into a foundation hole being dug and sat down in front of a backhoe, effectively stopping work at 11 a.m.

They argued the land is the subject of a land claim.

Quattrociocchi called Brantford police and after an hour’s discussion, the native group left and Quattrociocchi promised only to finish a basement wall of one unit already started and then stop until the issue is resolved.

The developer says he is now completely frustrated because he thought he had done the right thing notifying the Confederacy of his plans six months ago.

He’s also angry the federal and provincial governments point fingers at each other and do nothing about the lack of warning flags on land titles for properties which are the subject of a land claim.

“I sent the secretary (Leroy Hill) of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council a letter six months ago,” Quattrociocchi said yesterday.

“I expected they’d tell me when to talk to them and where.”

The months ticked by and Quattrociocchi heard nothing. He assumed because he demolished an existing building on the site at Grand River Avenue and Jarvis Street that the land where he wanted to build eight duplex units was not in contention.

Wanting to be sure, he delivered a second letter three weeks ago. He got no reply.

Last week, a few days after he’d started construction, Confederacy representatives visited the site and told him to shut down because the land is in dispute. He was told to go and speak with the Confederacy council.

When he got there Saturday, he found he was not on the agenda.

He says he was also told he should have dealt with the council committee which handles land claims, not the secretary. Quattrociocchi said the council would not confirm or deny receiving his earlier letters. He was told to come to next month’s council meeting.

“I stand to lose a lot,” he said yesterday. “I am disappointed in all levels of government over this.”

Confederacy spokesperson Janie Jamieson said the onus is on the provincial and federal governments to notify prospective developers of lands under dispute and procedures for notification and discussion with natives.

She also said the council does not have the resources to respond to queries in a hurry.

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