National Post Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008
How did it come to this? Canada, a nation whose name is held as an international byword for law and order, 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 ghettos, unpoliced immigrant enclaves and lawless frontier regions -- 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.
As today's National Post reports, the shakedown racket in question is operated by the Six Nations reserve under the auspices of a newly formed "Haudenosaunee Development Institute." Adopting the trappings of an actual government agency, the HDI has set up a bureaucracy to collect "royalties" -- which is to say, protection fees -- from those who own legitimate title to land near the Grand River. The four-month-old operation, which most locals are doing their best to ignore, operates under the conceit that the land belongs to natives under a 1784 treaty. Those who do not comply are under threat, whether explicit or implied, of the type of mob violence that's been going on in Caledonia since February, 2006.
Dalton McGuinty'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 confreres. The Six Nations reserve has become our very own Cuba or Gaza -- a place where "militants" can find safe haven from Western justice.
Last year, a Caledonia resident visiting a house he was erecting for his daughter at the Stirling Woods building site was beaten by native "protesters" who'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 Nations' HDI plan is effectively an institutional extension of that act of thuggery.
Dalton McGuinty's pathetic response to Caledonia is an embarrassment. The Premier is so petrified of being accused of launching into another Ipperwash-type confrontation -- where, God forbid, an aboriginal, and not just a white real-estate developer building a home for his daughter, might get hurt -- 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 -- working with the military if necessary -- 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.