Land claims compromise B.C.’s economy
To the editor:
Re: District Against Land Swap, Aug. 4 Capital News.
Why was the land not secured before the beginning of this highway development?
The B.C. government has no mandate to arbitrarily award Indian lands, rights to harvest, royalties and/or other concessions without consulting with the legal land owners—the citizens of British Columbia.
Settlements like the Nisga’a and the Tlingit have included millions of acres and billions of dollars.
We cannot blame the Indians for those settlements, it’s our politicians who are responsible for those one-sided and unsustainable agreements.
Politicians are elected to protect and to preserve the integrity of the ownership of that land. Have they forgotten that they were elected to perform as our trustees?
This is only the tip of the iceberg that represents the biggest impediment to economic growth in our province; Indian land claims.
B.C. resource industries play a vital role in our provincial economy, but it continues to be severely compromised by the uncertainty associated with pending land claims.
To end that uncertainty, and to entice investors to commit the billions of dollars needed to kick-start the B.C. mining industry, the B.C. government has to put closure to those issues.
Our provincial government desperately needs revenues to pay for infrastructure and services for all of us, Indians included, and industry needs those permits to secure sustainable long term economic activity in our province.
At the end of the day we all need to know who owns what land, Indians included, and we need to know that we will have access.