23 February 2024
by Sarah Morgan

British Columbia is not amending Land Act

Proposed amendments to the Land Act will not go ahead in British Columbia, a Canadian province with rich mineral reserves.

British Columbia, Canada will not be amending the proposed Land Act.  © Photo by Praveen Kumar Nandagiri on Unsplash

Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship for British Columbia, Nathan Cullen, highlights his efforts to listen and make it easier to work together with First Nations, with the stated aim of providing more opportunities for better jobs and a stronger future.

Cullen says he has discussed the Land Act with over 650 representatives of stakeholder groups from mining, oil and gas and clean energy sectors, among others, representing up to tens of thousands of British Columbians (B.C).

The proposed legislative amendments to the Land Act were designed to enable agreements with Indigenous Governing Bodies to share decision-making about public land use. These were intended to:

  • Allow individuals who fish, hunt and recreate to continue to do so on the land, and will allow ranchers and farmers to continue their way of life and important work.
  • Have no effect on tenures, renewals, private properties, or access to crown land.
  • Provide durability of decisions that will help to unlock B.C.’s economic potential.
  • Ensure transparency and public consultation in any future agreement on shared decision-making negotiated by a First Nation and the Province.
  • Require that the public, stakeholders and proponents are engaged in the discussion of any agreement that contemplates changes or impacts to the public or third-party interests.

Cullen says, during his consultations, ‘many were surprised to learn that the claims being made about the proposed legislation by some were not true and that there would be no impacts to tenures, renewals, private properties or access to Crown land.’

He continues, ‘Some figures have gone to extremes to knowingly mislead the public about what the proposed legislation would do. They have sought to divide communities and spread hurt and distrust. They wish to cling to an approach that leads only to the division, court battles and uncertainty that have held us back…

‘We will continue to engage with people and businesses, and do the work to show how working together, First Nations and non-First Nations, can help bring stability and predictability, and move us all forward.’

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