Apr 16/98: BC Treaty Commission in overload



Victoria Times-Colonist
April 16, 1998, p. A6

[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news article may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. It is provided for reference only.]

The treaty process in BC is moving too slowly and top-level meetings are underway to try to unblock the logjam, says Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dale Lovick. Government business has been thrown into confusion since the landmark Delgamuukw ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in December, which asserted native rights to traditional lands, putting everything from natural resource revenues to Crown land applications in doubt.

Three days of intense meetings between representatives of the federal and provincial governments and the First Nations Summit were held in Vancouver last week. Another session is planned for later this month. Lovick said in an interview Wednesday. A report from the tripartite talks will be submitted by April 30 and will then go to cabinet. They system is in overload and in Crown land applications the government is caught between people applying for permits and native interests, Lovick said.

Liberal critic Mike de Jong said the government should not be hiding behind closed-door meetings on something as important as a new treaty negotiation mandate. "BC is facing the single biggest issue in the history of the province and this minister doesn't want to tell us what the provincial decision is," he said.

Letters to the Times-Colonist: jknox@victoriatimescolonist.com

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