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First Nations to help develop Vancouver land

By Jane Deacon

Vancouver-area MLA David Eby says First Nations will benefit from land deal. (FILE PHOTO)

Vancouver-area MLA David Eby says First Nations will benefit from land deal. (FILE PHOTO)

Three pieces of prime Vancouver real estate are slated for redevelopment following a $307-million deal between three First Nations and the Canada Lands Company.

The federal Crown Corporation and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations will be 50-50 partners in the development of the former federal properties, encompassing a total of 80 acres in the city’s west end.

The sites are currently a “blank slate” with no preconceived plans, said the Canada Lands Company in a statement Wednesday. “Extensive” public consultation is expected to begin next year. The developments will be subject to city bylaws and zoning requirements.

The partnership is billed as “historic,” representing an opportunity for the federal government and First Nations communities to work together.

“This latest development partnership demonstrates the growing strength of our First Nations in the Lower Mainland taking back our rightful place in advancing the economy of British Columbia,” said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow.

Sold by the Government of Canada, the three sites include the Jericho Lands formerly owned by the Department of National Defence in Vancouver’s West Point Grey neighbourhood, a 21-acre parcel of land located along Heather Street and a former Department of Fisheries and Oceans property on Marine Drive.

Vancouver Point Grey MLA David Eby called the deal “a remarkable opportunity for a form of reconciliation and increased understanding between First Nations and non-First Nations communities in Vancouver.”

Eby expects a similar announcement on a provincially owned parcel within the Jericho Lands to come shortly.

“The province has indicated that they would be looking to follow the feds’ lead in negotiations with First Nations, so I would expect they would be coming up with a deal relatively quickly that would mirror the federal deal as much as possible,” he said.

 

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