Hamilton going to court to block HDI intervention in Chedoke Creek clean-up

By Lisa Iesse


HAMILTON – The City of Hamilton  is heading to court next month pressing  an ultimatum  asking Ontario to block the Haudenosaunee Development Institute’s (HDI) intervention in the Chedoke Creek clean-up.

The city’s new court hearing, wants Ontario to force the HDI out of the environmental consultations.  The city plans to present the court with an ultimatum to exclude HDI or to extend the Chedoke Creek clean-up deadline again.

Tim Gilbert, HDI’s lawyer, has said the city’s moves are unnecessary.

“The Haudenosaunee people will exercise their treaty rights but will not block access to the site, prevent any dredging work,  nor cause a work stoppage,” he said in a new letter to the city and the province. In the letter, HDI questioned the city’s application for a court hearing, saying the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) and HDI members have a “constitutionally protected” treaty rights to visit the site.

HDI is asking for the city and the province to engage meaningfully with HCCC, and receive their consent before going ahead with the creek’s clean up plans.

The HDI has been vocal against claims made by the city alleging they are trying to block the clean-up of Chedoke Creek. They have asked the city to stop its legal efforts to block HCCC and HDI from the Chedoke Creek site.

Hamilton’s latest court application, asks the court to force Ontario to issue an “access order” against HDI. The order would block HDI from intervening in any way with the city’s plans for the creek’s clean up.

David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is against the court application filed by the city of Hamilton. He says the order is not needed.

In a May 8 court filing, the province implied HDI cannot be at the receiving end of the city’s access order. The reason for this, according to the province, is HDI is not a legal entity.

A panel of court judges is scheduled to hear the city’s application for the order on June 13, but the date is not confirmed yet. If the court decides against placing an access order on HDI, the city has requested for the October clean-up deadline to be removed.

Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) has asked the province to pressure the city to take action to clean up the creek.

The dredging of the creek was scheduled to begin last summer. However, last summer the city claimed they had to shut down the clean-up due to safety hazards posed by HCCC and HDI members who visited the site.

Gilbert says HCCC and HDI did not do anything to pose a safety risk, and had not“obstructed any work” at the creek.

The dredging of the creek is scheduled to start in June. The province has set the due date for the clean up for October 31 of this year.


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