Developer getting more government cash for Vernon property used by National Defence - InfoNews

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Developer getting more government cash for Vernon property used by National Defence

Unexploded ordnance removed from Okanagan Indian Band lands in 2014.
Image Credit: Don Louis/ OKIB
November 22, 2017 - 8:00 PM

VERNON - A B.C. developer has received another payment from the federal government for a Vernon property that may contain buried military explosives.

K&L Land Partnership was handed $4.4 million for “environmental damages” according to recently released federal financial documents. It’s not the first time the government has discreetly paid millions to the developer. Last year, it reached an $11-million settlement with K&L Land Partnership, which had sued in 2013 over the possible presence of unexploded ordnances leftover from Second World War military training. 

The government is not commenting on any details of the settlement, including the reason for the second payment.

“A confidentiality agreement prevents us from sharing the details of the settlement between the Crown and K&L Land Partnership. What I can tell you is that the property in question was set aside as a range and training area during the Second World War.  Although we (DND) occupied the site beginning in July 1941, the site was not used extensively,” a media spokesperson said in an email to iNFOnews.ca.

According to court documents from K&L Partnership’s lawsuit against the government, it bought the 1,349 acre property overlooking Kalamalka Lake for $15 million in 2005.

Vancouver-based lawyer Howard Shapray, who represented K&L in the lawsuit, said Wednesday, Nov. 22, he is not at liberty to discuss the terms of the settlement.

The Vernon area was used for military training in the 1940s, and unexploded ordnances continue to be unearthed today. Eight people were killed by unexploded bombs between 1948 and 1973 in the Vernon area.

Clean-up efforts are underway on Okanagan Indian Band land, which the Department of National Defence leased for training, however band officials have said the progress is moving far too slowly.


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