Exactly which lands are being swapped with Westbank First Nation? Don't ask the province | Kelowna News | iNFOnews

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Exactly which lands are being swapped with Westbank First Nation? Don't ask the province

The Westbank First Nation has reached a tentative deal with the province for a land swap to satisfy the requirements of the agreement that allowed construction of the Bennett Bridge.
March 04, 2015 - 11:00 AM

KELOWNA - The province announced a potential land transfer plus a cash payment to Westbank First Nation but refuses to say exactly where the land is. 

The transfer is intended to satisfy the requirements of the 2009 deal that allowed the completion of the Bennett Bridge and its western approaches. While it has gone public with the deal, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure would not give exact locations of the parcels except to give their road names. The swap involves two private agricultural properties, one on Spiers Road and the another Hereron Road as well as a parcel of Crown Land east of Kelowna on McCulloch Road adjacent to the Medicine Hill reserve. A fourth parcel is located near Fauquier on Upper Arrow Lake.

Sonja Lowe, a public affairs officer, said on Friday she could not give the addresses of the parcels because the deals have not completely closed. Lowe said the swap includes $1.5 million plus 65 acres of private land and 670 acres of Crown land worth $6 million, which is the equivalent value of the land offered to WFN in 2009.

That arrangement would have seen the band receive land in West Kelowna above the Rose Valley reservoir, but opposition from West Kelowna and area residents scuppered the deal once its location became public.

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 © iNFOnews, 2015

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