OPP charge 8 with trespass in Caledonia
Ontario Provincial Police have charged eight people with trespassing during a protest over the long-standing aboriginal land-claim dispute in Caledonia.
Some of the protesters set foot on the disputed Douglas Creek Estates property on Saturday, despite being warned not to, the OPP said in a news release.
Those arrested, supporters of Caledonia residents, issued their own news release saying they kept off the property and stayed on roads owned by Halimand County. They said they have a Jan. 6 court date.
The sometimes violent land-claims dispute has dragged on for years. It began in February 2006, when members of the nearby Six Nations reserve began a blockade of a planned residential development on the disputed land, claiming the land is theirs.
Residents and business owners complained the blockade had ruined their property values and livelihoods.
The Ontario government paid the developer almost $16 million for the land, which was put in trust. The province reached a $20-million out-of-court settlement in July with those in Caledonia who suffered financial loss as a result of the dispute.
The land-claim dispute remains unresolved.