Jonathan Kay on the disgrace of native lawlessness in Ontario
National Post – Opinion
January 16, 2008
How did it come to this?
Canada, a nation whose name is held as an international byword for law, order and deference to authority, is now home to natives who are openly running a commercial protection racket in a wide swathe of Ontario land. History shows that such illegal protection rackets typically operate in ghettoes, unpoliced immigrant enclaves and lawless frontier regions â€” that is to say, places where the official forces of government either cannot or will not enforce the law. So it is in Canada, where the Ontario government has become so terrified of confronting militant natives that it has effectively permitted them to operate outside the laws that bind the rest of us.
The shakedown racket in question is operated by the Six Nations reserve under the auspices of a newly formed â€œHaudenosaunee Development Institute.â€ Adopting the trappings of an actual government agency, the HDI has set up its a bureaucracy to collect â€œroyaltiesâ€ â€” which is to say, extorted kickbacks â€” from those who own legitimate title to land near the Grand River, or are working on said properties. The four-month-old operation, which most locals are doing their best to ignore, operates under the conceit that the land in fact belongs to natives according to the terms of a 1784 treaty. Those who do not comply are under threat, whether explicit or implied, of the type of mob violence thatâ€™s been going on in Caledonia since February, 2006.
Dalton McGuintyâ€™s government says the HDI has no authority to operate. But why should anyone listen to him? His government has done nothing but sit on its hands as native hotheads have ruined the local economy in Caledonia, set off pitched racial battles, and established a Third-World style illegal squatter camp on a real-estate development. When one of the natives allegedly tried to kill an Ontario police officer in 2006 by running him down with a car, the suspects ran off and evaded justice with the complicity of their Six Nations confrÃ¨res. The Six Nations reserve has become our very own Cuba or Gaza â€” a place where â€œmilitantsâ€ can find safe haven from Western justice.
Last year, a Caledonia resident visiting a house he was errecting for his daughter at the Stirling Woods building site was beaten by native â€œprotestorsâ€ whoâ€™d invaded the property. The man was allegedly attacked with a club, and suffered two fractures to the skull. He spent three days in intensive care. The Six Nationsâ€™ HDI plan is effectively an institutional extension of that act of thuggery. The message: Pay us money or weâ€™ll hurt you.
Dalton McGuintyâ€™s pathetic response to Caledonia is an embarrassment. The premier is so petrified of being accused of launching into another Ipperwash-type confrontation â€” where, God forbid, an Indian, and not just a white real-estate developer building a home for his daughter, might get hurt â€” that he is willing to risk turning large parts of his country into a lawless enclave.
Mr. McGuinty is endangering Ontarians, and undermining the rule of law. He should instruct his police force to take back Caledonia for its rightful owners â€” working with the military if necessary â€” and deal with any shakedown artists working under colour of the HCI as the criminals they are. The rule of law must take precedence over the PR needs of a gutless government.