No winners

Couchiching First Nation may be claiming victory following the decision to remove its controversial toll booth off Highway 11 on Monday night, but at what cost?
True, the band accomplished what it had set out to do—gaining assurances that eight home owners will be relocated from contaminated soil and a commitment to negotiate suitable compensation for the land the highway sits on.
But while the tactic worked in terms of getting a response from senior government, repairing the rift created during the 11 days the toll booth was operating will take much longer.
And just what does the future hold? Sure, the band’s immediate concerns have been addressed, but what happens down the road when another issue crops up? Will we see the toll booth again? A troubling prospect considering the band already has “joked” about taking its next action regarding Pither’s Point Park.
Given the intimidation many motorists felt by the toll booth, and the incidents of blatant racism the band says were directed at those manning it, this is no laughing matter. Nor is it the way to build positive relations between communities that should be working together for the benefit of all rather than being torn apart.
It that respect, there clearly are no winners here.
We can breathe a little easier that a potential crisis thankfully passed without violence, but we’ve really nothing else to celebrate because the underlying problems that prompted this “last resort” by Couchiching, as well as the ongoing mistrust and resentment that obviously remains percolating just beneath the surface, are far from being resolved.
And next time things may not turn out so well.