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Chedoke Creek Cleanup order will be appealed

Province unilaterally moved up the agreed date by four months

Hamilton will appeal a surprise order from the Environment Ministry of Ontario to accelerate the cleanup of Chedoke Creek by four months. The province had originally agreed to a December 31 deadline but have moved up the date without explanation. The appeal will be made to the Ontario Land Tribunal which has jurisdiction in the matter.  Council met in special session Thursday to authorize the appeal.

The Director of Hamilton Water, Nick Winters told reporters the city is anxious to get the project completed, but feels the August 31 deadline in unrealistic. The city can’t start the work until flooding season is past.

The project was halted last year when members of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) picketed the site. The HDI says it represents the hereditary chiefs of the six nations as opposed to the elected councils. It doesn’t sound like any significant progress has been made in dealing with HDI, who staff last year said seemed more interested in extracting a fee from the city than anything else. The city has reached agreements with Six Nations of the Grand River, the Mississauga’s of the Credit Nation, and the Huron-Wendat Nation. Mark Hill, Chief of the  Six Nations of the Grand, recently issued a statement that appeared to disavow the HDI’s jurisdiction in the matter, writing, “Certain provincial officials have created confusion for municipalities and developers within the Haldimand Tract concerning whom they must consult with when development is proposed in our territory. The Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed and recognized the elected Chief and Council of the Six Nations of the Grand River as the only legitimate government of our Nation.” With regard to the hereditary chiefs represented by the HDI, Hill wrote, “We hold our traditional leadership in high regard, maintaining ties of respect and frequent communication. But our reverence for their position and our traditions must not be used against us by external parties.”

Director Winters told reporters that even if the disagreement with HDI can be resolved, there are too many technical unknowns in the dredging process to make the August 31 date achievable.

 Staff had advised the MECP as recently as February 7, 2023 that the Chedoke Creek Workplan was scheduled to resume in June, with in-water dredging work to begin on July 17, 2023 and be completed by October 31, 2023.

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