Photo by Greg Plain.
CALEDONIA – Native and government representatives are expected to be back at the negotiation table today after getting the green light from the Ontario Court of Appeal. The talks went into limbo after Superior Court Justice David Marshall issued a judgment Aug. 8 stating the government should not go back to the table until protesters are removed from the Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia.
In the judgment, Marshall also suggested that removing the protesters, who have been on the 40-hectare tract since Feb. 28, would help restore the rule of law in the protracted land dispute.
Yesterday, Ontario Chief Justice Dennis O’Connor ruled there was nothing in Marshall’s final order, which was only issued last Friday, to prevent native and government representatives from resuming talks.
As head of a three-judge panel, O’Connor said negotiators could go back to the table today without fear of breaching a court order.
A lawyer with the Attorney General said there were talks scheduled for today and negotiators were anxious to hit the ground running. Other government lawyers said a “cloud” had been hanging over the status of the talks since Marshall’s judgment.