Wednesday, August 08, 2007

2nd Green Party leadership candidate opposes Tsawwassen Treaty over farmland exclusion

Damian Kettlewell, candidate for the BC Green Party leadership, has joined fellow candidate Ben West in opposing the treaty between the Tsawwassen First Nation and the provincial and federal governments over exclusion of farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Their position puts them at odds with an offical Green Party news release supporting the treaty and statements by Interim Leader Christopher Ian Bennett, who "applauded" the treaty when it was announced. Both the BC NDP and BC Liberal parties also support the treaty.

In recent email correspondence with this blog Kettlewell first said he welcomed the treaty but later added that he would actually have to oppose it were he a member of the BC Legislature.

"If I were an MLA I would vote against the Tsawwassen Treaty. Removing land from the ALR is the wrong model for First Nations treaty negotiations," Kettlewell wrote me last week.

In an email prior to that response Kettlewell had said:

"It is good to see the Tsawwassen Treaty move ahead. British Columbians need to make progress on our long-outstanding land claims. Like the recent Elaho Valley victory, a compromise was required for a deal to be reached (in the case of the newly-protected Elaho, significant logging continues in the three other valleys of the Stoltmann Wilderness).

However, taking land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is an unfortunate component of the Tsawwassen Treaty.

I commend the provincial government for reaching an agreement with the Tsawwassen band, but do not consider removing land from the ALR as a suitable solution for future land claim deals.

Ultimately, BC's best agricultural lands must continue to be preserved for future agricultural purposes - in order to protect our local food security, and to prohibit the economic and energy costs of importing foreign food.

I would encourage the government to explore "Conservation Land Trusts" that transfer deeds into a title-holding organization, which then would lease the land back to interested stake holders. With a trust, the land would no longer be owned by developers or people with an interest in making big profit by flipping it.

You can see an example of a First Nations Land Trust at:

Ultimately, the Tsawwassen Treaty helps build momentum for our campaign team's goal of completing all BC First Nations treaties by 2015. The provincial government must pursue innovative solutions, and the continued removal of land from the ALR should not be a part of future negotiations."

Kettlewell's website is at:


Anonymous said...

So that makes a couple of folks who are either polticians now or aspire to be politicians later, with the same opinion.

Sorry folks, no negotiator for any band wanted to get some nearby ALR land to be removed for part of their aquired land are going to agree to let the Tsawassen mix up be a one shot deal. "Hey they got exclusions we want it as well". Human nature at its finest.

The old story about all bands being different and no treaty is a template is just some folks blowing smoke. Personally if I was working for a band and heard politicians saying they would really NOT like the Tsawassen mix up to occur again, I would shake my head in wonderment about the thinking of such folks. Gordon Campbell changed the ALR policy, without much regard to anyone else. The Opposition leader said she and her caucus would agree to the decision, but please Gordon don't do it again. Snickers are heard on the subject. The best thing for her was to change her mind again and say "No way will we support the loss of ALR land" sure the party wants treaties but not at any cost. And let the results fall where they may. Will she do it? I still believe in the tooth fairy and sometimes Santa Claus. Whena party has no seats at all, their candidates can say what they wish to troll for votes. DL

Anonymous said...

Let's get the story straight on the ALR.

The NDP established the ALR without any regard to First Nation's people. It's not Campbell's policy that disregards the ALR, it's the courts who've said that the ALR should not have been set up in the first place without discussing it first with our First Nation's people.

It's a classic which comes first; the chicken or the egg?

Budd Campbell said...

It's not Campbell's policy that disregards the ALR, it's the courts who've said that the ALR should not have been set up in the first place without discussing it first with our First Nation's people.

Which court decision was that?