Response to “Fiery finale”

Re: “Fiery finale . . . ,” Richmond News, Nov. 19

Under the Garden City lands agreements, Canada Lands Company CLC is responsible for getting the lands “released” from the ALR by December 31, 2008. If CLC fails, only the City of Richmond’s purchase agreement is terminated.

I want to clarify that there’s no expiry date in the basic memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the federal government, Musqueam Indian Band, city, and CLC.

The MOU includes a process of renegotiation, arbitration, and restoration of parties to pre-MOU positions before a party terminates it. I gather, though, that it’s not legally practicable to force parties to engage in that agreed-upon process. In effect, a party can tear up the MOU.

CLC has talked about selling the lands to anyone it wants. That sounds like scrapping the MOU but keeping the land that the government entrusted to CLC for transfer in large part to the city (splitting any rezoning profits from the remainder with the Band).

CLC would be ignoring its community-benefit mandate, its reason for receiving the land title, and the immense goodwill it has received from the City. After all of that, CLC wouldn’t even make a huge profit easily or control the use of the lands.  It’s a lose-lose approach.

No wonder our MPs are concerned.

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