Blockaded Caledonia roads now open

·1 min read

Traffic is moving through Caledonia again after road crews completed temporary repairs to McKenzie Road and Argyle Street to fill in trenches dug by demonstrators in late October.

The roads had been closed since Oct. 22 as part of the ongoing land dispute at the McKenzie construction site, also known as 1492 Land Back Lane.

Haldimand County spokesperson Kyra Hayes said road crews will make “final, permanent repairs” to the two roadways in the spring.

“The OPP thanks the public for their cooperation and patience,” said Haldimand OPP Const. Rod LeClair.

Drivers will have to summon a bit more patience next week, as Sixth Line between Oneida Road and Argyle Street South will be closed as of 7 a.m. on Monday to allow for repairs to the CN Rail line, which was also torn up in October.

Those repairs are expected to wrap up Friday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m., with CN expected to test the tracks that weekend. Drivers should plan for traffic slowdowns during the tests.

Caledonia resident Mike Henderson, administrator of the Caledonia and Six Nations Matter Facebook group, hopes the roads reopening will lead to political movement on the underlying issue of Indigenous land rights, which motivated Six Nations land defenders to occupy the McKenzie construction site in July.

“I know there will be a tough road ahead building trust between ourselves, but we must all do it,” Henderson said.

“I encourage both the OPP and land occupiers to keep the channels of communication open so nothing could happen setting us back.”

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator