West Bench, Faulder, Okanagan Lake West
My first posting on the KVR topic was simply to distribute the Letter of Inquiry that the RDOS received from INAC as quickly as possible and to collect some comments from residents. At that time, we assumed two things about the Additions to Reserve (ATR) process:
It turned out both assumptions were incorrect (more on this below). As such, this page is meant to be a more coherent summary of the situation (as it has slowly emerged from INAC, hence all the updates). Also, I have tried on this page to provide residents of Area F with some indication of how I plan to move forward on this. Some Area F residents agree with this direction; some disagree. I am not certain, given what I have learned in the last month, that I see a realistic alternative. I am certainly open to specific suggestion about how the RDOS might proceed.
As for the Letter of Inquiry, some background is helpful here: INAC met with the City of Penticton in September, 2009, to brief them on the ATR process and the specific legal and historical background of this case. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, no one from Penticton passed this along to the RDOS. So although we knew something was afoot with the KVR (let's face it, this has been dragging on for a very long time) we were caught off guard by the Letter of Inquiry, which I did not see until early February, 2010.
After several long discussions with the INAC representative in Vancouver, we now understand that the Letter of Inquiry was a mere formality. There is nothing the RDOS can do to prevent the transfer—it is based on a legal agreement between the CPR and the PIB and subsequent court interpretations of that agreement. I hope this is abundantly clear by now. Moreover, the absolutely critical conditions the RDOS might insist on, such as protection for rights-of-way, roads, crossings, infrastructure, and so on, are already clearly addressed in the federal Additions to Reserve Policy (see above). Had we been properly briefed by INAC last year, we would have known all this and saved much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. Also, we now understand that INAC expected us to take the lead on getting the word out to residents. As such, we are working to put the information on this page into a more readable form and sending it out to residents as a newsletter.
The only remaining piece of the ATR policy that forsees any meaningful role for local governments is clause 12.1 (see above) about negotiating "arrangements in such areas as joint land use planning/by-law harmonization, tax considerations, service provision and future dispute resolution". These are the issues the RDOS will be negotiating with the PIB in the coming months.
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