‘All Is Not Well In B.C.’

“The first issue is a governance question. Are British Columbians to be ruled by a government (in this case, the Sechelt ‘First Nation’…) in which we have no vote or voice? This is basic and an affront to democracy.” 

ERBLAllIsNotWellInBC800x800“We will assert our right to overcome the provincial jurisdiction. The province will have no more say in how they run ‘our land’, how they manage ‘our resources’. They will have no more say in the foreshore, they will have no more say in the water rights, they will have no more say in how forest tenures are handed out. We have put them on notice.” 

–Sechelt (‘shishalh’) Chief Calvin Craigan  https://www.facebook.com/ENDRACEBASEDLAW/photos/a.336196793149227.59519.332982123470694/584262041676033/?type=1

shíshálh first nation (CNW Group/Sechelt Indian Band)
shíshálh first nation (CNW Group/Sechelt Indian Band)

“The fact…of parallel native governments in B.C. continues to expand.

“Victoria has now decided that if you have a water lot for your small dock (as thousands of ordinary people do), a substantial part of your financial future is going to be governed by the local Indian band. The early indications are that this authority will be vigorously exercised, to the detriment of many leaseholders — including absolute prohibitions in some areas where docks already exist.

“This represents the first major attack on individual property rights under developing aboriginal policy.

“Exhibit A is the provincial government ceding management of the major waters of Pender Harbour to the Sechelt ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,200}. The Pender people are beside themselves, spurring huge meetings and no satisfaction {See below…}. These concerns go far beyond, and extend to water leases on the Fraser River (of which there are about 500 in a state of paralysis), Howe Sound and indeed, any waters in British Columbia.

“The importance of this can hardly be overstated. For any owner or tenant on waterfront land, water access is absolutely fundamental. In many cases, value vanishes without it. It is no surprise that there is a growing sense of outrage as this matter unfolds (after years of secret dealing) into public view.

“The first issue is a governance question. Are British Columbians to be ruled by a government (in this case the Sechelt ‘First Nation’, in others the Squamish, the Musqueam and so on) in which we have no vote or voice? This is basic and an affront to democracy.

“The provincial government, having apparently ditched the better policy of seeking treaties {?}, seems to seek peace in respect of land claims by ceding one salami piece after another of revenues and authority across the province, making many agreements unknown to us (as were the 10-year Pender Harbour negotiations, until recently).

“Even the announced agreements do not always contain the crucial financial details.

“Unlike treaties, the salami technique never buys lasting peace or certainty {Neither have Treaties… END RACE BASED LAW!}, let alone the holy grail of reconciliation. The best that might happen is that some resource development might be allowed to go forward here or there, usually at the price of siphoning off significant resource rents {Money that belongs to ALL British Columbians}

“Governmental authority over others is a different thing. The exercise of coercive and police power (laws, regulations, permits) in a democracy is ordinarily valid only with the consent of the governed through their ballots. Except on their land, such powers cannot legitimately be exercised by third parties, such as the Sechelt ‘Nation’ in the case of Pender Harbour.

“Another issue is equally important and more explosive to a public that tends to care more about property than constitutions. As noted, the Pender Harbour arrangements and others of this ilk constitute the first wave of long-anticipated Indian claims on private property. How so?

“For waterfront properties, so called ‘riparian rights’ of water access are an absolutely fundamental part of the asset. Riparian rights come from ancient common law and include such obvious things as access for the placement of docks and floats, routinely granted by governments.

“The arbitrary denial of such rights amounts to a confiscation of property value. The regulation of such rights can only be done by due process of law.

“In many cases, it is no exaggeration to say: “Take my access, take my land.”

“Now, only the Supreme Court of Canada knows if Indian claims rise to this level, and the famous ‘Tsilhqot’in’ decision did not deal with the issue. It did, however, make clear (at paragraph 70) that the title of the Crown in B.C. after 1846 was

“… what is left when Aboriginal title is subtracted from it.”

“So, the ability of the Crown to grant a lease on a water lot (or the fee simple on your house — note well!) had to be thus burdened in areas where the case for aboriginal title is strong, a.k.a. most of settled B.C. The courts will sometime let us know.

“Attacks on private property, if upheld, will be nuclear in political terms. One thing we can expect of our provincial government is that it should not be acquiescing in advance, in ceding this authority to the Sechelt ‘First Nation’ (which now wants you to check building permits, as well) and others. Victoria has appointed a former MLA to look at this. He should report on the feeling of despair of this group of citizens, fighting both their own government and a second native one, in which they have no voice.”

–‘Take my access, take my land’,
Gordon Gibson, Special to the Vancouver Sun, September 8, 2015


John Gibbs photo
John Gibbs photo

“For more than a decade, those living in Pender Harbour’s network of bucolic bays and inlets have been brooding as the provincial government negotiated on and off with the Sechelt ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,200} that lays claim to the area…

“…Locals are livid at the prospect of any new dock applications going through the Sechelt, which says it is asserting its claim to all Pender Harbour’s foreshore in the wake of last year’s B.C. Supreme Court ‘Tsilhqot’in’ ruling extending native land rights.

“Signs declaring “This is our land, not Sechelt land” have sprung up and a pamphlet called the ‘Pender Patriot’ is circulating the community of roughly 2,600 people, warning that

“many residents are uncomfortable that the playing field will no longer be level and THERE WILL BE DIFFERENT RULES BASED ON RACE” after the Sechelt take control of the foreshore.

“Local NDP MLA Nicholas Simons {whose party wants aboriginals to ‘co-manage’ Canada} says the suspicion is a product of the lack of dialogue between the province and the members of this unincorporated community in a picturesque corner of the province. The outcry has moved the government to twice extend the period for public comment…

“However, despite claims by the government that the dock plan is unrelated to its ongoing reconciliation talks with the Sechelt, Mr. Leonard Lee, a retired ‘Telus’ employee and head of Pender Harbour’s ‘Chamber of Commerce’, says he and most of his neighbours fear they will be unwilling pawns in the province’s new strategy — to settle land claims outside the treaty process that Premier Christy Clark declared broken, earlier this year.

“No one is saying this is part of a greater land claims negotiation, but I can’t find any other logical reason for it,” Mr. Lee says of the proposed dock plan.

“Pender Harbour’s Bob Fielding say the Sechelt’s plan could be used as a blueprint by coastal ‘First Nations’ to assert title over other areas of B.C.’s foreshore that are ‘culturally and ecologically sensitive’.

“What other bands are going to move next on this?” Mr. Fielding said. “Poor us, we were picked basically first on this program.”

“Chief Calvin Craigan says…that locals will benefit from the certainty imposed by the Sechelt’s management of the docks in Pender Harbour, which will “give the ecosystem a chance to rejuvenate itself”…

“My people don’t even build docks {!}, we don’t see the necessity for that {!}, but they [some Pender Harbour residents] do and we’re trying to accommodate them.”

“…Under the draft plan, anyone hoping to build a new dock or renovate or relocate an existing one in the area must file an application with the Sechelt, as well as the provincial Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. {That’s the ‘co-management’ that will slow down, and double the cost of, almost everything in B.C. when it is implemented province-wide. This approach is already causing serious difficulties in New Zealand…}

“The Sechelt would require a detailed archeological assessment of the foreshore near any dock, but Mr. Craigan said that work will be done by the band and funded by the annual administrative fee of roughly $500 for any new five-year dock tenure in the area. Under current rules, owners of small private docks must pay the government a one-time $400 fee for a five-year tenure, with bigger moorage costing up to $200 more, according to the ministry. {So now, people will be paying twice…}

“Mr. Craigan says the Sechelt aren’t seeking a “money-making scheme” {Oh, come on…}, but do want ‘stewardship’ {‘control’}

“When the feds and Coast Guard dropped the ball in terms of how they oversee all these incriminations {?} and infringements, then someone has to step up to the plate and ‘speak for the environment’,” Mr. Craigan says. “And that’s what ‘First Nations’ are doing {Yeah – just look at the ‘pristine’ quality of many reserves…}, not only on the Sunshine Coast, but up and down the B.C. coast, right into the Arctic.”

–‘Tensions rise in Pender Harbour over outlawed new docks’,
MIKE HAGER, Toronto Globe and Mail, May 31, 2015 {CAPS added}


pender-meeting-signs“Discussion throughout the event was heated, and…escalated to the point where a Sechelt elder was booed.”
“Frustrated Pender Harbour residents and dock owners filled a public meeting on Saturday, firing questions at the provincial government about a proposed plan that residents say they were never consulted about.

“The ‘Pender Harbour Dock Management Plan’ was developed by the provincial government and Sechelt ‘Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,200}. The plan outlines proposed requirements for dock design and construction and dock maintenance, in addition to breaking up the harbour into zones where there are additional requirements or restrictions.

“The draft was first introduced in April, 2015. The collaborative process between the Sechelt ‘Nation’ and the province is part of the government’s attempt to “develop a new relationship” with the band…

“However, Pender Harbour residents say they were never consulted about the plan, which directly impacts their docks and properties…”

–‘Tension in Pender Harbour over proposed plan for dock management’,
Nadia Stewart, Global News, June 13, 2015


Rik Jespersen photo
Rik Jespersen photo

“Officials from the shíshálh ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,200} and employees of the provincial government were confronted by an openly hostile audience at a Pender Harbour public meeting June 13, convened to hear complaints about the area’s proposed Dock Management Plan.

“Shouted interruptions peppered the meeting from the outset, starting with objections directed at shíshálh Elder Jamie Dixon as he tried to deliver a brief blessing in his native tongue.

“The heckling continued as a panel made up of shíshálh representatives Sid Quinn and Jasmine Paul, along with B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations senior staffer Kevin Haberl, struggled through a presentation on the Dock Management Plan (DMP), prior to a scheduled one-hour question session that stretched into an hour and a half.

“Throughout the meeting, residents criticized the government’s failure to consult with locals while developing the DMP with the shíshálh “behind closed doors”…

“Another resident called the plan, “a direct assault on our property rights and values”, adding that he believed the efforts at ‘First Nations’ reconciliation are happening “on the backs of landowners.”

“One woman said it wasn’t residents’ responsibility to pay “guilt money” to the shíshálh, while another person said the government ought to, “take the plan and stick it”…

“The murmurs of discontent in April have now grown to outspoken anger, evident both during the meeting and outside before it began, where some waved placards with messages like, “Stop the shíshálh lawbreaking”, “Scrap the plan”, and “SIB (shíshálh Indian Band) has no title to Pender Harbour.”

–‘Anger boils over at Pender Harbour dock meeting’,
The Local Weekly, June 17, 2015


Rik Jespersen photo
Rik Jespersen photo

“…Most of the anger expressed at the meeting was directed at the provincial government for not consulting area residents in creating the plan. Others pointedly questioned the motives of the shíshálh, alluding to the DMP as a potential cash cow.

“Property owner Ron Nelson said that although the plan was part of reconciliation with the ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,200}, it was having the opposite effect in Pender Harbour.

“It has been cooked up, this deal, between the Province and the SIB (shíshálh Indian Band), in closed doors, and we haven’t had any input,” Nelson said. “So instead of reconciliation, it’s actually been alienating.”

“We want 12 years, too,” another resident said, in reference to the length of time it reportedly took to negotiate the DMP with the shíshálh.

“Others at the meeting wondered why the government was “picking on Pender Harbour.” Another said he’d been told by government spokesmen that the area was a test case for the whole province and that similar DMPs would be imposed everywhere, even on inland lakes…

“Lawyer Cindy Taylor told the gathering that it was her understanding that the whole notion of the federal government delegating negotiating rights for ocean waters to the province was unconstitutional. One speaker later called for a class-action lawsuit to block the plan…”

–‘Anger spills over at Pender dock meeting’,
The Local Weekly, May 6, 2015


SecheltBand“Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson’s plans to build an enormous private dock at his oceanside summer retreat could face an obstacle bigger than neighbours rankled by the project.

“The chief of the Sechelt Indian Band, which claims the coastline as part of ‘its territory’, says it expects to ratify a new dock-management policy with the provincial government in the coming weeks, and Mr. Wilson will have to clear his plans with the band before any construction on the facility…can go ahead.

“Citing last year’s B.C. Supreme Court decision that extended native land rights, Chief Calvin Craigan said his nation will have jurisdiction over the foreshore of the Sunshine Coast “returned back to us soon”, after the provincial government ratifies a reconciliation agreement that includes a new plan to manage any moorage in the Sechelt Peninsula.

“If this fella [Mr. Wilson] is planning on building a dock, he has to approach the Sechelt band because we have a decision-making policy,” Mr. Craigan said…

“We’ve been infringed upon for generations and generations, but now we’re going to be stepping in, in terms of co-management, and establishing some sort of management regime that’s been missing.” {Because your tribe is so good at organizing things, right???}

“That would mean anyone hoping to build on the region’s foreshore would have to file a separate application with the band. Mr. Craigan said the process would be similar to that of the province, but would not elaborate on any differences…” {Besides giving them unearned income…}.

–‘B.C.’s Sechelt Indian Band demands consultation over Lululemon founder’s dock plans’,
MIKE HAGER, Toronto Globe and Mail, Jan. 22, 2015


BCTotemPoleFlag “The native agenda has taken us on a frightening journey through the looking glass, where everything is backwards… Tiny communities are given enormous tracts of land, while the majority of Canadians are not only ignored, but kept in the dark. Incredible sums of money are spent — worse, even larger amounts are committed to be paid by future generations…

“The Referendum of 1992, wherein the people rejected the very notions now propounded by our leaders, is arrogantly cast aside.

“We have committed ourselves to a land full of “native” homelands, the very notion of which revolted the civilized world when they were created in South Africa…

“We have developed a huge industry around “native land claims” and the rewards for the participants are enormous. Staggering sums are spent on “research”, lawyers, bureaucrats, and sundry hangers-on…

“This is not…about the Left or the Right — it is about fools.
Well-meaning fools no doubt, but nonetheless, fools…

“The government of B.C. (and Canada) is determined to change us from a peace-loving democratic province — under the rule of law being equally applied to all — to a state where, in large areas, race counts for everything. If the government has its way — sad as this is to say — it is hard to believe that we will be a peaceful people for very long…

“God help us all, including the generations to come.”

–Rafe Mair, April 4, 1995, quotes from the ‘Forward’ to “Our Home Or Native Land?”, Melvin H. Smith, Q.C.

‘B.C. And ‘Aboriginal Title’ {June 26, 2014}:

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