defenders

Indigenous land defenders walk contractor off McKenzie Meadows property

Contractors for Losani Homes and officers from the OPP provincial liaison team paid a short-lived visit to the McKenzie Meadows construction site in Caledonia Wednesday morning, just ahead of a court hearing into the disputed territory.

A lone worker in an orange safety vest was met at the entrance to the site by a dozen Indigenous land defenders, who have been occupying the site, which they have renamed 1492 Land Back Lane, since July 19.

The group walked the contractor off the property, telling him there would be no work done that day.

“You don’t get paid enough, bud,” one of the land defenders said while ushering the contractor off the property.

After a few minutes of discussion with Land Back Lane spokesperson Skyler Williams, the two police officers also drove away.

Williams said Wednesday’s visit, which officers texted him about last night, meant cancelling a scheduled appointment to present evidence to Superior Court ahead of Friday’s hearing in Cayuga, where Justice R. John Harper will review two injunctions related to the occupation.

“Instead of letting the (legal) process happen, we’re standing here on the side of the road,” Williams said.

This was the second attempt by contractors acting for the developers to locate a natural gas pipeline, as part of prep work for the planned 218-unit subdivision, only to be rebuffed by land defenders.

Police continue to arrest land defenders and their supporters for allegedly breaching the court order barring anyone not authorized by Foxgate Developments from being on the property.

“At some point there’s nobody left to stand on the land,” Williams said.

“And the OPP and the developers spiking this up on the doorstep of us being able to defend ourselves is absolutely ridiculous.”

Earlier this week, Indigenous land defenders blocked Argyle Street in Caledonia after police

Continue Reading