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Price of Toronto marked up from $60 to $145,000,000, but it’s still a deal

Harperites have been having some trouble drumming up good press for the G20 summit, but today they got a little something to smile about: when the world’s leaders come to Toronto, they won’t be partying on stolen land—as of yesterday. At city hall, the Mississaugas of the New Credit formally accepted the feds’ settlement of a land claim over basically most of the GTA.

The Star sums up the scale of it all:

Historians suggest the Mississaugas were not properly apprised of what they were agreeing to in the so-called Toronto Purchase of 1787—later clarified in an 1805 treaty—whereby land stretching from Etobicoke Creek to Ashbridges Bay and 28 miles north was turned over for just 10 shillings, about $60 in today’s terms. A similar stretch encompassing present-day Mississauga went for the same amount.

The National Post helpfully adds that British colonists knew quite well they were both deceiving and underpaying the Mississaugas. The upside is that Ottawa has agreed to a $145-million settlement, part of which will be paid immediately to individuals, but most of which will be reserved in a trust for community improvements, like clean drinking water.

It would be a bit much to say we’re “square” with the Mississaugas, the way the Post‘s Peter Kuitenbrouwer does, but it’s nice to see a bit of goodwill at city hall these days.

• Shrugs greet historic $145M Toronto land claim settlement [Toronto Star] • Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Reconciling the Toronto Purchase [National Post] • Ontario band approves $145M land claim settlement [CTV News]

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