First Nations Policy
Brantford City Council, at its Special Meeting held March 25, 2008, adopted the following resolution respecting First Nations Policy:
WHEREAS property owners and developers within the city of Brantford have come under increasing attention from certain members of First Nations through protests;
AND WHEREAS these protests cause great disruption to the economic health and vitality of the city of Brantford, and also represent a danger to the safety and security of many groups and individuals;
AND WHEREAS such disruptions will impact city residents,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
- The upper levels of Government should establish a specific timeframe for negotiation processes to be conducted in good faith that shall lead to the payment of appropriate compensation.
- It is the position of the City of Brantford that the negotiations with the First Nations and the resolution of their claims for compensation are the constitutional jurisdiction of the federal and provincial governments. Although the City of Brantford remains sympathetic to the aspirations of the First Nations to obtain redress for any past wrongs that can be proven, the City of Brantford has no role in the resolution of any such claims.
- The City agrees with the provincial and federal position that the resolution of claims of First Nations will not be achieved by dispossessing property owners of their lands or other properties, either through expropriation or otherwise.
- The City agrees with the provincial position that private property owners have valid titles to their properties and that citizens may continue to have reliance on the provincial land titles system as the means to determine the ownership of land.
- The City agrees with the provincial position that developers are not required to pay licensing fees or taxes to the Haudenosaunee Development Institute.
- The City agrees with the provincial and federal position that the Crown must comply with its consultation obligations as identified by the Supreme Court of Canada but that these consultation obligations do not give the First Nations a veto power over development or any other government action.
- The City agrees with the comments from the Prime Minister’s Office in which it was stated that incidents aimed at intimidation or coercion of developers are of great concern and the laws of both the Province of Ontario and of Canada must be respected so that economic development may flourish in an atmosphere of law and order. The City particularly agrees with the comment that local police forces and the courts have the responsibility to ensure that the laws of the municipality, the province and Canada are enforced.
- The City recognizes that pursuant to the Police Services Act, decision-making powers in relation to policing issues are vested in autonomous Police Services Boards, and that operational decisions in respect of policing matters are vested in the Chief of Police, so that there is no role for the City in the direction of the police in the performance of their duties.
- The City remains prepared to work with its neighbours and to cooperate with the upper levels of government to solve problems and offer assistance where it can. If requested, the City will appoint a team to accompany First Nations leaders to travel to Toronto and Ottawa in order to meet with responsible ministers.
- This resolution shall be forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, the Provincial Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, the Brantford Homebuilders Association, and shall also be distributed to the First Nations in the same manner as notifications are distributed pursuant to the Grand River Notification Agreement. The text of this resolution shall also be placed upon the City’s website.