Confederacy Chiefs considering Guswenta project
By Erin Tully, SIX NATIONS
Representatives from Guswenta Developments went before the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council again on Saturday morning. Drew Hill and Brian Porter have made a number of appearances asking the Chiefs to support their proposed 800-megawatt power generating station.
The power station has been proposed as an alternative to the Nanticoke power plant. The Nanticoke plant is one of the worst polluters in Canada and the new plant could dial back Nanticoke by at least 40%.
The plant's location may be between the Mohawk Cultural Centre and the Kanata village in Brantford.
The Chiefs have not yet decided if they are going to support the project. The topic is still open for discussion and the Chiefs asked the men to return again at the next Council meeting.
They have asked that project partner Steve Charest also attend the next council meeting. During council some Chiefs questioned if Charest, a developer in Brantford, had joined the City of Brantford in their injunction against Six Nations land protectors.
Porter said that Charest had not participated in the Brantford injunction process but Aaron Detlor, lawyer and HDI advisor, said that Charest had in fact signed an affidavit in support of the injunction.
"I have not been privy to all the paperwork but as far as I know Steve Charest was in no way a part of the injunction process and didn't sign an affidavit," said Porter.
"Yes he did," rebutted Detlor.
Butch Thomas, Seneca Sub-Chief, also questioned why Charest wasn't in council as well.
"It's a rare occasion that half of a delegation is here. It's a sympathy letter of support they are asking for," said Thomas. "They send two Natives here asking for support. I think if the rest of them were here we would see them in a different light."
During a phone interview with Steve Charest he said that he had no part of the Injunction process although his site was targeted this summer. Charest was developing land in the North West corridor of Brantford this summer when he was visited by the Men's Fire, requesting that he shut down.
"I didn't sign an affidavit. I had nothing to do with the injunction," said Charest. "I'm surprised that anyone would say that I did. In fact I think that our site was one of the only ones in Brantford that wasn't subject to the injunction."
Charest said that his strategy has always been to get the Six Nations community and Brantford to work together and he felt that legal actions didn't promote that.
"I think this is a good step towards the communities working together," he said. "We need to be proactive in our communities, we need to look at partnerships. I think historically we have been reactive. That is the spirit of the project, we thought that may be done by doing a project on community held lands."
Allen MacNaughton, Mohawk Chief, requested that four things be considered when the delegation returns next month. He asked that the men get a letter from the other partners confirming that the project depends on the full support of Confederacy, and if at any time the Confederacy reneges support, the project ceases. He also asked that Charest attend the next council meeting with Hill and Porter, that the delegation considers building the plant on different land and that the project would have to be in 51% Six Nations interest.