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Negotiations to continue despite Okanagan Indian Band lawsuit aimed at CN Rail corridor purchase

The Okanagan Indian Band is trying to stop the sale of the CN Rail corridor in the North Okanagan.
March 25, 2015 - 10:09 AM

KELOWNA - The acquisition team responsible for the $50-million group purchase of the abandoned CN Rail corridor will be meeting right away to discuss the latest threat to the already-beleagured CN Rail corridor purchase — an injunction to stop the sale by the Okanagan Indian Band.

“This would potentially halt the transaction if an injunction is issued,” said Doug Gilchrist, director of community planning and real estate for the City of Kelowna.

The CN Rail corridor deal is already facing a referendum April 25 in Lake Country after council failed to get approval to borrow $2.6 million for the purchase.

Gilchrist said the city has received a letter of intent but has not received notice of claim and did not know if one had been filed in court, but until they hear otherwise, the team would proceed as normal.

He added the Commonage claim had been considered and closed by the federal government.

“The band may see this as an opportunity for the claim to be reopened by the federal government and to raise the profile of the issue,” he said.

"We are proceeding on the understanding that the Commonage claim is a matter between the federal government and First Nations and it should have no bearing on the acquisition of land between a private company and a local government,” Gilchrist said later, in a written statement. “Land reserve challenges are ongoing across Canada and the city respects any final decisions."

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infotelnews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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