COOLEY CEMETERY UPDATE

#2

Ancaster, Ontario

October 7, 2005

 

 

 

We are still waiting for the Registrar of Cemeteries, Michael D’Mello to prepare the declaration so that the Family Representatives and the developers can sit done to discuss and hopefully iron out an agreement.

 

After some prodding from Kim Craitor – MPP Niagara Falls, Michael D’Mello [ August 26th, 2005] sent a short E-Mail that he had the names of the representatives and would be preparing the declaration to sent out to the landowners and the families.

 

On September 14th, 2005 – as a result of meeting with the New City of Hamilton Officials, a letter was sent to Michael Martin (the developer that covered a protected dig) not to do this any more without permission from the Registrar. This action was viewed with disgust by our families and was considered a mild slap on the wrist for interfering with a major archaeological find. Initially the city said that Mr. Martin had permission from the registrar but sent a letter to Mr. Martin advising him to ensure that he gets this permission next time he wishes to interfere.

 

I have also had E-Mails from Mr. Neal Ferris, who is the Regional Archaeologist for the Ontario Ministry of Culture. He also sent a note to Mr. D’Mello suggesting that the Registrar needs to investigate this altercation. He went on to say that such actions make reaching an agreement between the landowner and representatives of the deceased very difficult. As Mr. Ferris said, “It is essential the landowner understands that they have no authority to alter the declared area and I would assume that the Registrar will be reminding the landowner of that fact”. He also went on to say that while exact locations of grave shafts may have been mapped, the infilling may influence the disposition agreement( for example, reinforcing the notion of leaving the burials intact rather than re-locating them, since uncovering them a second time may cause some impacts.

Mr. Ferris has asked us to maintain our scrutiny.

 

There remains to be seen the political will to change the way the Province of Ontario views our historical and cultural needs. MPP Kim Craitor kcraitor.mpp@liberal.ola.org is sympathetic and, I believe that MPP Ted McMeekin tmcmeekin.mpp@liberal.ola.org is sympathetic as well. We will need to keep writing and asking pertinent questions. The politicians need the will to change these outdated policies.

 

 

 

 

 

The City is pro development and wants the tax dollars, the landowners wish to take advantage (greed) and the registrar is sympathetic to their needs. In my estimation, the landowners would build 38 homes in this proposed subdivision instead of 40. Surely, the Pioneers of this era and this location are worth protecting and worth expensing 2 homes to protect this valuable history and to ensure that the final resting place for our family members is the final resting place and not just at the mercy of greedy developers. The developers have known since at least 1998 that there existed a strong possibility of a Pioneer Grave Site in this area...

 

Thanks,

 

Richard Hatt