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Here are some of the comments from residents I have received so far.  These arrived by email so I have removed names and edited slightly for brevity.  I invite everyone to pitch in their two cents either by replying or via email.

I have no concerns about this happening. These sections of lands were taken away from the PIB when the government wanted to put in a railway. There is no longer any railway so I feel the land should go back- probably not a popular opinion among some Pentictonites, but I have lived on reserves and worked with aboriginal peoples for many years, so perhaps have a different perspective. It looks to me as if the different parties involved are working on ensuring public access across these lands in those areas where roads are crossing them.

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I oppose any claim the PIB has on these lands.

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I'm very much concerned about the process by which this is being dealt. The information we have been given is sketchy at best; what little information we have is not being made available to the community at large, let alone those local residents who will be most affected by the proposal. [...]  I understand this is a federal matter but that is no excuse for not bring the issue into the public domain, however difficult that may be. Failure to do so, will lead to much greater misunderstanding and dissent.  I understand the matter is coming up at the RDOS Feb 18th Board meeting and I would hope that as Director of this area you will press for disclosure of more information from INAC and for an open public discussion; community input by those intimately affected is of utmost importance.

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If the federal government wishes to give the PIB 130 acres of land, give them crown land that does not affect private property or the lifestyle of the present taxpayers. It seems to me inconceivable that some 400 non-native residential properties could be split down the middle by 80 feet of Indian Reserve.  Provincial bylaws and regulations on both sides of non regulated, non building code, non policed strip of land controlled by the PIB council who can pass policies that are not answerable to either the provincial or federal governments.  Would we have to pay a tariff to use a bridge that crosses Indian land in the future?  What about private road crossing like that to the Pine Hills Golf course?  Could the PIB charge anything they wanted?  There seems to be no controls over them.  How would the RDOS enforce bylaws such as noise, animal control and no discharge of firearms on a strip of Indian land running through our residential areas?  I believe that would be impossible.  They could put up billboards on each end of the bridge on the West Bench.  Why not, they would be on Indian land.

 

I believe a real case could be made for the fed’s to give the entire rail bed to the RDOS, especially in Area F.  In the future there is the possibility of 750 homes constructed on the gravel pit and Pine Hills & Sage Mesa golf courses.  These developments would require sewage disposal.  The rail bed is graded directly to the Penticton disposal plant including a steel structure over the river.  Again think of future water needs.  Presently it is used extensively as a recreational area, walking, biking etc.  This rail bed could be critical for the future development of the Greater West Bench area.  If given to the PIB we could well be paying them for its use in the future.  Could it also be important to Faulder?  I am sure other area directors could also have positive uses for the rail bed. Who pays the taxes anyway, natives or non natives?  No development, no taxes to the Province or Feds.[...] I really think the RDOS should ask for ownership.  Why are the residents of the Greater West Bench having to contest ownership of the rail bed with the PIB when the city of Penticton appeared to have no problem getting all rail beds within the city boundaries?  Is the rail bed part of the Canada Trail?

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This land should revert to the crown or stay with CPR. The band settled their claims with the BC Government about 1988 and received a fair settlement Why should they be given additional land?

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