B.C. Premier Christy Clark, Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Ellis Ross and Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan celebrated a recent land sale as a big step forward for the Kitimat region, the Haisla Nation and the Province.
The sale of the former District of Kitimat hospital lands by the Province to the Haisla Nation significantly enhances the relationship between the three governments, and will enable new economic development opportunities for the Haisla and the Kitimat community as the LNG industry develops in the Northwest. The purchase was celebrated in a ceremony held at the former hospital site.
“This sale enables the Haisla to commercially develop this land, and provide their Nation more ways to meaningfully engage in the economy,” said Premier Christy Clark. “It’s going to create a lot of opportunities for the Haisla First Nation, the community of Kitimat, and the broader region,” she added.
“Today’s agreement returns a key piece of Haisla traditional territory to the hands of the Haisla people,” said Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Ellis Ross. “It is our intent to develop this land for the benefit of everyone in the Kitimat Valley – Haisla and non-Haisla alike. We thank the provincial government for its willingness to include us in these negotiations and the District of Kitimat for its commitment to reach an agreement.”
Through its corporate business arm, Haisla Business Operations Inc., the Haisla Nation will commercially develop the newly purchased lands, located centrally in Kitimat. The development will provide Haisla Nation more opportunities to meaningfully engage in the economy during all phases of the lands’ development, including construction and operations.
“We are pleased to be part of this celebration today recognizing a new relationship with our neighbours the Haisla,” said Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan. “We hope to continue to work together for the betterment of our communities.”
“This agreement is another example of what can be achieved when three governments work together to pursue new economic opportunities,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. “Developing the former Kitimat hospital lands will benefit the community and strengthen the local economy as well.”
The former Kitimat hospital lands are located within the District of Kitimat and were transferred from the Northern Health Authority to the Province in 2010.
Concluded on May 22, 2014, the purchase follows the signing of a conditional sale agreement between the Haisla Nation and the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services in April 2013. The purchase was contingent on the Haisla Nation and the District of Kitimat reaching agreement about how the lands will be developed.
Press Release, June 18, 2014