Protesters shut down King and Benton site
Hampton Inn project put on notice
Posted By JOHN PAUL ZRONIK, EXPOSITOR STAFF
Brantford Expositor [Ontario]
Posted August 6, 2008
More than 30 Six Nations protesters shut down work on a $500-million industrial and commercial development on Oak Park Road Tuesday morning, saying environmental concerns must be addressed.
Protesters visited the King and Benton development site — formerly a gravel pit near the city’s northwest business park — at about 7 a. m., asking that work stop. They told company president Steve Charest they are concerned that PCBs and other contaminants on the site are being released into the environment because of the movement of soil, potentially contaminating a nearby aquifer that drains into the Grand River. Protesters also said the land was under claim by Six Nations.
“(Charest) said there would be no development on the site until an agreement is reached,” said protest spokesman Oron:ia Otsihstohkwa. “The Haudenosaunee will see he keeps his word.”
After attending the King and Benton site, protesters visited a nearby Hampton Inn hotel development on Fen Ridge Court, warning that the property owner has two days to talk with Six Nations or work will be shut down. Construction was taking place at the hotel site Tuesday.
No workers were on another nearby site, where Kingspan Insulation is constructing a new office and warehouse, that has been the subject of Six Nations protests.
The Hampton Inn and Kingspan are among a handful of sites subject to a temporary injunction won by the city in June that
prevents protesters from interfering with construction. The King and Benton project is not part of the injunction.
More than 50 people working on the King and Benton site Tuesday morning were sent home for the day.
Charest said workers won’t return to the site until Six Nations concerns are addressed. All will receive pay until that happens, he said.
The developer said he’s confident that environmental concerns will be dealt with.
“We welcome the opportunity to address those concerns,” Charest said. “We’re confident that through dialogue we can do that.”