On the third day of the Ontario Municipal Board ("OMB") hearing regarding the Burl's Creek Event Grounds arguments surrounding archaeological issues and First Nation concerns continued. The letters from the Huron-Wendat and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport were brought up again Thursday morning, as Paul Racher, the expert archaeologist for the Montagnais Métis First Nation, testified in front of the board.
During cross-examination, Save Oro and West Oro Ratepayers' Association lawyer David Donnelly led Racher through the letters, asking his professional opinion on their contents.
"The potential for disturbance is a risk the nation simply cannot take," Donnelly read from the letter. "Sir, is it clear to you, an archaeologist, that the Huron-Wendat Nation is withholding consent for the temporary use by-law to proceed before the proper archaeological assessments occur?"
"Absolutely," Racher replied.
The concern of the Huron-Wendat, Montagnais Métis and other like-minded individuals, such as Racher, is the compaction of the soil from camping and parking could damage any artifacts found underground, particularly in such a rich archaeological area as Oro-Medonte Township. Regardless, Racher said, most lands in the province are presumed to house archaeological artifacts until proven otherwise.
Read the news coverage here.