Meeting about boundary expansion cancelled

Local chief says he was “extremely upset” with lack of consultation.

Burns Lake council decided to cancel a meeting with a B.C. minister where they would discuss a possible expansion of the Burns Lake boundaries.

The proposed boundary expansion would include the approximately 89,000 hectares of the Burns Lake Community Forest.

In a letter to Burns Lake’s mayor and council, Burns Lake Band Chief Dan George said he was “extremely upset” that the village was planning to meet with a minister without consulting with the Burns Lake Band first.

“The government cannot give up any lands without consultation and the free prior and informed consent of the title holders,” said Chief George in the letter dated Aug. 2, 2016. “If any lands were to be given up, the title holders must be fairly compensated for those lands.”

“I strongly urge the mayor and council to not only apologize for their mistake, thinking that they can just take our lands, but to also begin consultation with us immediately,” he added.

Council was planning to meet with minister of community, sport and cultural development Peter Fassbender during the upcoming Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Victoria next month.

Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold said he spoke with Chief George after receiving the letter and that the village has requested a meeting with the Burns Lake Band to have further discussions.

“We appreciate the letter from Chief George and our council is committed to working together with local First Nations to strengthen our region,” said Strimbold.

According to Sheryl Worthing, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Burns Lake, council recognizes the need for further consultation with local First Nations before any meetings with the provincial government can take place.

“Council heard from local First Nations and recognized that further conversations and consultation with local First Nations needs to take place prior to proceeding further,” said Worthing.

“Council may still consider a meeting at a future date, but not until further consultation has taken place.”

Burns Lake councillor John Illes explained that if the municipal boundaries included the Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) area, the BLCF would automatically become tax exempt, resulting in more profits that could be shared with the community.

“Any fully municipally owned company operating within the boundary of that municipality would become tax exempt,” he said.

From Nov. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2015, the BLCF donated over $280,000 to local organizations.

In addition, Frank Varga, BLCF general manager, said a boundary expansion could open provincial funding opportunities that are only available to municipalities.

“The possibilities are endless, you just have to become aware of the opportunities, and take advantage of them,” added Varga. “So I think exploring the idea is how you progress forward.”

 

Just Posted

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on June 19. A walk around the LDSS track and a draw for the quilt made by Jenny Pirie was organized by Ronda Payne for her friend Barb Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The draw raised roughly $6,300 from all across Canada, with tickets being bought from as far as Ontario. Burns Lake local won Patti Dube won the draw and the quilt. The money raised will now go to the ALS Society which in turn will be going towards more ALS research and for ALS Societies to provide support to other individuals and families living with this disease. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: Walk to End ALS held in Burns Lake

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read