Opinion

Removal of land from ALR a step backwards

Editor:  I refer to your editorial “Step into the future” by Frank Bucholtz (The Times, Nov. 7).

The editor is correct in stating the Tsawwassen treaty is long overdue and all outstanding B.C. First Nations treaties should be finalized. This treaty proves that, by all parties working together, progress can be made.

However, one important point was overlooked. The treaty land transferred to the Tsawwassen was in the ALR, comprises 400-plus acres, and is first-class agricultural land. The Vancouver Port Authority and Deltaport want this land for a container storage yard to accommodate the expansion of the port. The Tsawwassen plan is to lease the land to the port, so the expansion can go ahead.

Leasing this land will provide the Tsawwassen with a very lucrative long-term cash flow, and this is why other natives are upset with the treaty. To remove land from the ALR by this back door approach, and the lucrative cash flow which results, is not what the taxpayers should expect from an honest, open and accountable government.

The Tsawwassen treaty is a “step backwards” when it comes to these requirements.

I hope the standard will improve when the Musqueam agreement, with parkland and the University Golf Course involved, is finalized.

 Eric Bysouth,

Langley   

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