In a breakthrough move engineered with quiet support from Ottawa, the Ontario government has offered to buy up the land at the heart of the 3½-month standoff with aboriginal protesters in Caledonia.
The crucial development came last Friday as the federal government stepped into the dispute publicly for the first time, prodded into action partly by a judge who had ordered that a federal representative appear in his courtroom here.
Another form of resolution came later in the day, as police arrested one of seven people wanted on warrants stemming from a series of violent clashes at the site of a blockade near the building site, which is claimed by members of the neighbouring Six Nations reserve.
The agreement in principle to buy Douglas Creek Estates from Henco Industries Ltd. is "a significant step in moving forward to resolve the Caledonia situation," Ontario government lawyer Dennis Brown told Mr. Justice T. David Marshall of the Ontario Superior Court.
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