Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is the Kitsilano Coast Guard base part of a land swap deal with the First Nations?

For years, the Canada Lands Company and the Tzeachten, Skowkale and Yakweakinioose First Nations fought for the title to 120 acres of CFB Chilliwack--- see "Chief Joe Hall v Canada Lands Company, BC Supreme Court":
       OVERVIEW -   The claims in the action relate to two parcels of land in Chilliwack known as The Rifle Range and Promontory Heights (The Lands). The lands were sold by the federal government to the defendant Canada Lands Company in 2004."
  In August of 2011, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled in favor of the First Nations, regarding CFB Chilliwack..
Fast forward to November 2012...the Canada Lands Company owns the last undeveloped parcel of land at CFB Chilliwack:
                                  CHILLIWACK TIMES
     "Canada Lands has big plans for 50-acre site along Chilliwack's Vedder River - Development could be home to as many as 500 families." by Paul J. Henderson - The Times November 8, 2012.
      "As development at Garrison Crossing winds down, Canada Lands Company has turned its sites to an untouched piece of land down the road." ( Note: The article includes a colour photograph of the parcel of land.)
The CLC is also constructing a major shopping mall at the former military base.
    "Construction is underway on a brand new retail village next to Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack, B.C...the shopping complex will be conveniently located at the NW corner of Vedder and Keith Wilson Roads." (From: Canada Lands Company website.)
 Actor Michael J. Fox spent many years at RCAF/CFB Chilliwack.
The Musqueam Indian Band and the Canada Lands Company were involved in a land swap deal, involving the 136-acre Canadian Coast Guard Station in Richmond, British Columbia. The Musqueam dropped all claims to the Garden City Lands, in exchange for the Nokia Building, Glenlyon Business Park in Burnaby, B.C.

 Former Coast Guard land in Richmond, British Columbia. The City of Richmond bought the 136-acre property from the Canada Lands Company.
Also, the government of Canada tried to justify the closure of the Kitsilano base, by telling Canadians that a Coast Guard base at Sea Island in Richmond, B.C. will respond to emergency calls. Well, the First Nations own land at Sea Island, although I'm not sure of the exact location. According to the Directory of Federal Real Property, the Sea Island Hovercraft Base is Property Number 84580, owned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Richmond, British Columbia, 11.1600 ha.
The Mulroney government wanted to privatize the Canadian Coast Guard:
     "In September 1993 the Ottawa Citizen obtained copies of confidential government memos showing that the Tories wanted to turn over Canada's Coast Guard operations to a private company, despite fierce opposition from the public servants who insisted that privatizing the operations would be inefficient, could put the whole service at risk, and would cost taxpayers millions of dollars more than current budgets." (From: "On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years" by Stevie Cameron, page 296, paperback edition.)

In 2002, the Canada Lands Company transferred the Gamelin Experimental Farm in Hull, Quebec to the National Capital Commission. In exchange, the National Capital Commission gave Canada Lands 73 acres of Greenbelt land at Lester and Albion Streets in Ottawa.

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