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The dunnvillechronicle.com reports that community officials...

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2012

The dunnvillechronicle.com reports that
community officials in Haldimand County, Ont. were so concerned about a rally scheduled to mark the sixth anniversary of the OPP raid on Douglas Creek Estates that they met hoping to put restrictions on rally organizers. Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt wanted a discussion on imposing an injunction on organizers of the Peace, Respect and Friendship in Caledonia rally, but found that containing the situation was going to be harder than first thought. “The challenge with an injunction is within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms everyone has the freedom to stand for what they believe in,” Hewitt reportedly said. “I cannot simply put forth an injunction without having a significant expectation of violence to occur.” Though organizers assured the county their rally would be exactly as described, a peaceful respectful assembly, the mayor was skeptical. “A precedent has been set whereas they are coming to a community that already has the potential for an explosion to occur,” Hewitt said. “There’s already a mindset in the community and their peaceful intent certainly doesn’t negate the fact they are coming to a place that is charged.” Caledonia Councillor Craig Grice believes the community shouldn’t be a place to make political statements on matters that belong in the provincial or federal spheres. “The general public is concerned,” he said. “This is an occupation that has torn Caledonia apart and we don’t want to be torn apart anymore. We’re not a site for protest.” Hewitt seemed to agree. “Regardless of culture or sides, it’s always the innocent people of Caledonia that take the brunt of any statement made since 2006. The people are tired of it and want to move on.” He said his council has a “responsibility to our community that the streets are safe, open and available ... I’m no longer willing to sit back and watch these marches and parades turn our town upside down.”

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