Is Gordon Campbell giving away B.C.?

Fear runs rampant over planned "recognition and reconciliation" bill

Fear runs rampant these days in British Columbia that a planned “recognition and reconciliation” bill on aboriginal title will effectively turn over control of the province’s land to First Nations. Unlike their counterparts in the rest of the country, most indigenous nations in B.C. did not sign treaties ceding control of their traditional lands. This has led to a long-running legal conflict in which the courts have mainly sided with the natives, which in turn forced the province to embark on a new treaty process. That process bogged down, but the Campbell government now appears determined to settle the issue once and for all. And what is known about their government’s plan has alarmed a lot of people. “Recognition of aboriginal title over all of B.C. will, by law, give the new indigenous nations the right of veto over future use and development of all land in the province, and the right to extract rents,” warns Jeffrey Rustand, in-house counsel with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, in today’s Vancouver Sun. “Did any of the premier’s advisers think this through?”

The Vancouver Sun

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