Creator. when you think of what our forefathers were doing for treaties, they had vision, us as first nation people, have that birthright, vision. now for modern day treaties to even carry weight, one must see how did we go about it. did we use every tool, ceremony, and the spirit world, or do we just use all the confusion that we have attained over the years and find whats best. too many of our people have not even grasped the power and the wisdom of our ancestors or even use what we already have. Treaties, Treaties, Treaties, think about that for awhile. They have not come from creator. we think and beleive we have done good with these treaties,, when you look at it, its meaningless. its a bandaid for now. in time, all this will be back to how it is, in the meantime, we're just playing a silly game, suffering is going on, our people lie and are lied to, killing, gangs, poor housing, poor reserves, stealing from one another, all these are just games. When we have seen all this, now and in the future as it will get worse, maybe our leaders will use there full potential as a human, a nation, as it has been bestowed among our people, our gift of vision, to see what is there, what can be done. But then the government doesn't see it that way, so why then, shall we be forced to see things within this treaty way.Yet its right in front of us to live our life, and see that what this commotion is really is meaningless. sounds crazy, but thats the difference between seeing what is there, and not seeing, which eventually helps us to understand life in the physical or the spiritual realm. It is both sad and useless, to see what our leaders are doing without consulting with creator. what can we do? fight it? why? Do what we can for now I guess, get what we can, riiiiiiiiiigt.
According to my understanding, there is very few fertile land in the world. The population is increasing, but the fertile land is decreasing day by day. Canada occupies 7% of the world's land but we have limited fertile land. Tsawwassen land is one of the most fertile lands in BC. If we use such a fertile land for other purposes than farming, there will be negative impact in ecosystem. Infrastructure like an airport, port, housing, roads, railway etc should be constructed on a non-fertile land. We have to think sustainable development. So Tsawwassen Treaty is concern only for business purposes - it only tried to make money by constructing a port instead of farming.
The treaty was driven by the Gateway - the provincial plan to expand the port and connect it with new and wider highways. This ignores the collapse of the US dollar, the steep decline in cross Pacific container traffic, the availability of new routres such as the North West passage and the widened Panama Canal and the key role played by the railways in moving transcontinental freight. All these issues are dealt at length in my blog - stephenrees.wordpress.com and on the Livable Region web site
This is typical of the short term thinking that bedevils our political system. We need to take a strategic view of how our world is changing - and how to cope with that. Unfortunately, the appeals to justice in the TFN process have been ignored by the grab for the quick buck. A sad day for Canada and the Tsawwassen, who both deserve much better leaders with real vision
The TFN treaty was done without proper consideration of the Semiahmoo First Nation treaty, the protection of our Agricultural Land Reserve, or the Environment. This is not about giving TFN its due... its about expanding DeltaPort at the expense of our farmland, the Fraser River estuary, and our air quality in a area that shouldn't have been considered for a port in the first place. Tsawwassen First Nations accepted individual cash payouts from the government for signing the treaty and now we will all have to live with the blight of container sprawl on some of the best farmland and most important wildlife habitat in the world.
Just a few miles to the North in Richmond we have another parcel of the prime agricultural land that is currently under the review of the Agriculture Land Commission to be probably released from the ALR and be developed into the mixed residential area - our beautiful 136 acres Garden City Lands. The First Nations people needs are used as a reason for the land to be developed again so they can get their money and we can loose another parcel of the land that could feed our children. Their children need to eat as well - all our children will suffer in the future because the land, once developed, will be lost for the agriculture forever. There is not enough appreciation for the value of the undeveloped land now.
Food security issues and rising price of fuel make the value of the land that is close to our home much higher - now it might be not economically viable and next decade it will be for sure, especially when virgin lands are involved - they can be used for the fast start of the organic farming with much higher prices and unlimited demand.
As Chair of the Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee (LMTAC), I would like to provide the following comments in response to your recent feature on the Tsawwassen Final Agreement, as well as provide another perspective on local government participation in the BC Treaty Process.
“Treaty Advisory Committees” were established across the province in response to local government demands to have a direct voice in the BC Treaty Process. Through LMTAC, Lower Mainland area local governments actively participated as full members of the provincial negotiating team at the Tsawwassen Treaty table since substantive discussions began in 1995. In addition to providing advice and local government perspective on issues, LMTAC participation included having a local government representative at the treaty table during the negotiations. Given the unique complexity of the urban Lower Mainland, it was essential for LMTAC to be directly involved in the treaty negotiations to ensure that issues important to residents and local governments, both municipal and regional, were raised and understood by the First Nations, Federal and Provincial governments.
Treaty negotiations are a long process however, LMTAC strongly supports the objective of treaties to provide certainty with respect to aboriginal rights and title. As local governments, we favour negotiated settlements that have the potential to build relationships rather than litigation that can be just as time consuming and costly.
Negotiations by their very nature require give and take by all sides, and LMTAC’s analysis of the Tsawwassen Final Agreement revealed that a majority (88%) of issues identified by local government were addressed. The Intergovernmental Relations and Services Chapter is an achievement in which LMTAC is proud to have had an active role in development. Tsawwassen’s participation in regional governance structures will encourage understanding and the opportunity for all Lower Mainland local governments to work together on matters of mutual interest. Despite positive efforts on governance matters, LMTAC does acknowledge that, given the nature of negotiations, there were a few issues in which local government interests were not fully met, such as the ‘Specified Lands’ approach to post-treaty additions to Treaty Settlement Lands (TSL), because it removes the requirement of municipal consent, and the exclusion of some portions of proposed TSL from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) without due process.
While LMTAC continues to advocate the need for more public information on the BC Treaty Process, it’s important to note that treaty negotiations, like any other form of negotiations, do require adherence to confidentially given the sensitivity of matters under discussion. Through LMTAC, Lower Mainland Councils and Boards were provided with regular treaty table updates, with some matters restricted to closed sessions.
In recognition of the work ahead in implementing the Tsawwassen Final Agreement, LMTAC is very interested to see a smooth transition into the post-treaty environment, and we believe that our experience as local governments will be a valuable resource to assist Tsawwassen First Nation as it takes on new governance responsibilities.
Mayor Ralph Drew, Chair
Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee
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