Police presence and blockades continue through weekend for protesters in Caldeonia

A camp of protesters reclaiming a housing development in Caledonia. (Photo: Johnny Mazza – CTV Kitchener) (Aug. 8, 2020)

CALEDONIA — Blockades and a heavy police presence in Caledonia have now stretched across five days into Sunday, as a group of protesters are reclaiming a housing development construction site.

OPP first moved in to the McKenzie Meadows location on Wednesday to enforce a court order and arrest nine people.

This was when the protesters started throwing large rocks at them and striking some of the officers, according to officials.

Police say officers responded by firing rubber bullets at the camp and add that no one was injured.

Another court order was approved Friday morning that would force the protesters to vacate all roadblocks and remove anything on the road.

Haldimand County OPP says it’s up to the court sheriff to determine whether the new order, which would also prevent more blockades on any roadways in the area, will be delivered.

The camp has been set up at McKenzie Meadows since mid-July and has halted the construction. Police say the court injunction was first read to the protestors last week.

Haldimand County says the land historically belonged to the Indigenous community, and was purchased by Foxgate Developments in 2015.

In 2019, an agreement was reached between Foxgate and the Six Nations Elected Council, which confirmed that Six Nations supported the development.

One of the protesters tells CTV News they do not support the agreement and calls it, ‘a slap in the face to our people for prime real estate to be given away’.

In a statement, Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt says he does not support the protesters on the development.

On Saturday, both the protesters on the site and the police told CTV News they will stay where they are.

On Sunday, OPP tweeted that the Hwy. 6 in Caldeonia remains closed due to a demonstration.

CTV News Kitchener, Published Sunday, August 9, 2020