Land exchange records wait extended

West Kelowna's request for release of communication surrounding controversial Rose Valley land exchange delayed until March 12, 2012

West Kelowna Council received word from the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government on November 1, 2011 that its request for records pertaining to a land exchange between the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and Westbank First Nation will be delayed until March 12, 2012.

This is the second extension that has been granted on the district’s request through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, first received by the ministry July 22, 2011.

On Sept. 15, 2011, the district was advised by the B.C. Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government that it would not be able to respond to the request within the 30 business days as defined by the Act and advised that, in limited circumstances, the time limit may be extended. The large volume of records involved was indicated as the reason for the extension to Oct. 31, 2011.

One day after the deadline passed, the ministry advised West Kelowna council that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has granted an additional 90 days to the response deadline, indicating again the large volume of records and the requirement to consult with a public body and/or third party.

West Kelowna Council has a number of  concerns regarding the provincial government’s commitment to turn over to WFN a 698-acre Crown parcel, located at the north end and east side of Rose Valley Reservoir, in exchange for eight acres of reserve lands, which are being used, in part, for the development of the Westside Road Interchange.

All relevant information including new letters exchanged between the minister of transportation and Infrastructure and the letter of extension from the ministry of labour, citizens’ services and open government are available for public viewing at the district’s website www.districtofwestkelowna.ca under Mayor and Council/Current Issues/Land Swap BC Government/WFN.