Who should pay when projects fail after Indigenous rights claims? – by Shiri Pasternak (Globe and Mail – July 14, 2021)


Shiri Pasternak is a professor of criminology at Toronto’s X University. She has changed this affiliation in solidarity with Indigenous faculty because of the legacy of the institution’s namesake in the residential school system.

In early July, Foxgate Developments Inc. announced that it was shutting down construction at the 1492 Land Back Lane camp on reclaimed Six Nations land in Ontario. The site of the proposed housing subdivision called McKenzie Meadows had been permanently occupied by community members since last summer.

But unfinished business remains. Foxgate wants someone to pay for their losses – specifically, $200-million in damages from the Ontario and federal governments, the Ontario Provincial Police, and others for neglecting to remove the occupation.

They also want governments to affirm that title to the lands is legally held by Foxgate and not subject to a land claim by the Six Nations.

In other words, Foxgate wants a legal paper trail showing that the company bears no liability for the project’s failure. They argue that the blame falls squarely on others’ shoulders, including the Ontario Federation of Labour for supporting the land defenders, and the land defenders themselves for breaching court orders by refusing to leave the site. Foxgate is seeking another $2-million and $20-million, respectively, from these parties.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-who-should-pay-when-projects-fail-after-indigenous-rights-claims/