Professor Noel Salmond refutes Windmill partner’s assertion
June 1, 2016
Professor Noel Salmond, who supports an Indigenous vision for Chaudière Falls and Its Islands has developed “Ten Reasons Why Putting Condos All Over Chaudière Island Is Not Like Me Putting An Addition On My House.”
by Noel Salmond (used with permission)
A partner at Windmill Development Group, Jeff Westeinde, says that building on Chaudière and Albert Islands is like anyone in Ottawa adding to their house; it’s simply private property:
“These are private lands and we’re a private developer developing private lands. So no different than you putting an addition on your house.”*
Respectfully, here are a few minor differences:
- My house is not right next door to a waterfall long held to be a sacred site by Indigenous peoples — as also attested to in the European record as far back as 1613 by Samuel de Champlain and today by contemporary local Algonquin Elders
- My little house is not on island land that was used for millennia by Indigenous peoples for trade and travel as evidenced both in the archaeological record and in living memory
- My house is not on an island next to a waterfall that countless Anishinaabeg, Odawa, Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Abenaki, Cree, Innu, and other Indigenous nations portaged around and camped at for millennia
- My house is not on Ottawa River islands that were formally petitioned for innumerable times by Algonquin chiefs through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
- My house is not on land that was vigorously campaigned for in recent decades by an internationally known and revered Algonquin Elder for re-naturalization and the building of a centre for peace and the recognition of Indigenous peoples
- My house is not on a piece of land that has been vigorously spoken for by five Algonquin First Nations in Québec and the Grandmothers of Pikwakanagan First Nation in Ontario
- My plans for my little house have not been vehemently condemned by Canada’s most famous living architect nor in formal resolutions passed at recent meetings of both the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador and the Assembly of First Nations of all of Canada
- My house is not next to a waterfall and portage trail that was the route of countless fur traders, voyageurs, missionaries, and explorers who portaged around it on the main water highway from the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes and the West of Canada
- My house is not on islands that were designated for decades by the official plan for the National Capital, conceived by French landscape architect Jacques Gréber, as land intended to be the crown jewel of a public national park
- My house is not on an island in the Ottawa River just above the Supreme Court and the Parliament Buildings at the epicentre of the nation on land that has been recognized as being of national historical and cultural significance
*Ottawa Citizen story, November 8, 2015 by Chris Cobb, “Tilting at Windmill? Undeterred, protesters return to Domtar condo project” See accompanying video by James Park (at 1:10); text of interview with Westeinde:
Jeff Westeinde: A small group of protesters has very limited ways that they can legally block a development.
Interviewer: Is there any way the change in government could affect this vis à vis the NCC?
Jeff Westeinde: I don’t think so. These are private lands and we’re a private developer developing private lands. So no different than you putting an addition on your house. I would be surprised if the federal government who has no jurisdiction when it comes to private development would intervene.