209 hectares could be given to industry
Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation will decide today whether to accept a controversial treaty that would see 209 hectares of farmland removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
Chief Kim Baird is expected to announce the referendum results this evening. She was unable to comment yesterday, as she was out of town dealing with a family medical emergency.
But the idea of converting increasingly rare farmland to industrial use by expanding Delta Port has raised eyebrows for some.
“Why does any party support giving up acres of the finest farmland in British Columbia to a treaty?” asked Dave Sands of the ALR Protection and Enhancement Committee, adding that he supports the Tsawwassen in their pursuit of a land claim settlement.
The deal also has the NDP in a bind. The party is fiercely protective of the ALR, which it created in 1973, but it also strongly supports the treaty process.
“Obviously it’s a dilemma for us,” admitted Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Critic Scott Fraser.