Monday, March 16, 2009

The act to recognize aboriginal title and rights is being delayed till after the election. I am not at all suprised given the extreme complexity of the implications of the proposed act and the way that the business community has felt blindsided by it.

I believe that BC will benefit dramatically if the First Nations have a well defined ownership stake in the land. I also know that moving away from the status quo where the government owns almost all of the land is major shift in thinking for most people. People tend to resist change unless it is overwhelmingly clear the change is dramatically better than the status quo.

Long term it is better for everyone in BC if the lands of the province are managed by people that live close to them and have clear ownership stake in that land. The new decision making process will lead to unique and specific management practices everywhere. The new decision making process will also look to see how a maximum economic value can be extracted for the least environmental impact, this is something impossible to do with the current one size fits all approach to land management in BC.

Statement on Recognition and Reconciliation Act

March 15, 2009

VICTORIA - Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Michael de Jong and the First Nations Leadership Council: Regional Chief Shawn Atleo of the BC Assembly of First Nations; Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs; and Grand Chief Ed John of the First Nations Summit made the following statement this weekend regarding the status of the Recognition and Reconciliation Act:

"Over the past several weeks many important issues, concerns and questions have been raised about the Discussion Paper for Implementing the New Relationship and the concept of a new Recognition and Reconciliation Act.

"This is the time for us to make this important and historic transition in our government to government relationship and we need to take the time to make sure we get this right.

"As the parties to the discussion paper, together we need to take the time for consultation and further discussions before tabling this bill."

The Premier and Minister de Jong will continue to engage with the business community on this important initiative.

BC Liberal Party, PO Box 21014, Waterfront Centre, Vancouver, BC V6C 3K3

Authorized By Jim Pipe, Financial Agent BC Liberal Party.
Tel: 604.606.6000, 1.800.567.2257

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