Reserve’s land request prompts dialogue

Port Hardy council seek dialogue after Kwakiutl Reserve.

Council sought dialog after learning of a request to expand the Kwakiutl Reserve at Fort Rupert.

Council heard that a formal request had been made to the Department of Justice from the Kwakiutl Indian Band for an additional 32.1 hectares adjacent to the Kippase Indian Reserve No.2 at Fort Rupert. The First Nation requested the land in order for a new school and community purposes.

The DoJ contacted the District of Port Hardy since the District has a right of way on the requested parcel of land and the DoJ are unable to grant land with an encumbrance on it. The DoJ asked if the District would release the right of way, which is for the purpose of sewer lines, but the District declined, seeking an alternative agreement.

Council were in favour of opening up a direct dialogue with the First Nation to seek a mutually acceptable solution to the impasse. Mayor Bev Parnham noted that there had yet to be direct contact between the two parties on the issue, since the initial request, query, and rejection had been done through mail.

Council moved to arrange a meeting with the band to seek an in-person discussion on the issue.

•The District of Port Hardy’s Chief Administrative Officer, Rick Davidge has been appointed to the four-member Aquaculture Working Group for AVICC.

The Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities represents the interests of local municipalities, providing a unified front, and allowing the voices of local governments to be heard more easily. The AVICC recently asked for representatives to serve on an Aquaculture Working Group, and District of Port Hardy Chief Administrative Officer Rick Davidge was one of the four selected for the group.

The Terms of Reference for the group have yet to be defined, this being the first task of the newly-formed group, but it is expected that the group will be consulted by the Executive on matters that affect commercial aquaculture.

Council congratulated Davidge on his appointment to the position.

•Council approved the Transmission Line Agreement with the Cape Scott Wind Farm project, granting a statutory right of way for the power lines to run from the wind farm to the BC Hydro sub-station.

The agreement will allow the project to begin clearing and erecting the transmission lines that will connect the power generated at the Cape Scott site to BC Hydro’s grid.

The District of Port Hardy will receive a $121,500 payment from the project, $100,000 on account of the Statutory Right of Way, and $21,500 on account of the timber that will be cleared to allow the lines passage.

The Wind Farm project is scheduled to begin producing electricity next summer, its 55 turbines providing 99mW of renewable energy— enough for 30,000 homes.

The approval of the right of way was something of a formality, with Council agreeing to the request with minimal discussion.