The MOU – simplicity at last

For most of its life, the Garden City Lands agreement has been misunderstood because of its dual personality. It was two related agreements that were merged in some ways and separate in others:

·        The initial memorandum of understanding (MOU)

·        The agreement of purchase and sale (purchase agreement, PSA, etc.)

Since the purchase agreement expires at the end of 2008, the MOU is the entire agreement after that.

Making some distinctions may enable the remaining agreement, the MOU, to be understood:

·        The purchase agreement essentially had an expiry date. It could be extended, but it reached the extension limit and therefore became “null and void and of no further force and effect.”

·        The MOU has no expiry date. It can be terminated by the Musqueam and CLC or by the Musqueam acting alone, but only after the process of renegotiation, mediation, and restoration outlined in the MOU. For details, refer to sections 1(22) and 2(1), provided in the “Renegotiation” post in this blog.

The MOU and purchase agreement have/had different parties:

·        The purchase agreement parties were the City of Richmond, Canada Lands Company CLC Limited, Musqueam Indian Band, and Musqueam Garden City Partnership under what the MOU calls the joint venture agreement (JVA)

·        The MOU defines its “Parties” as the Musqueam Indian Band (“Musqueam”), the City of Richmond (the “City”), Canada Lands Company CLC Limited (“CLC”) and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (“DFO”). The DFO had administration and control of the Garden City Lands as federal Crown Land at the time of the agreement, and essentially that party is the federal government. In brief, after the end of 2008, the Parties to the Garden City Lands agreement are the Musqueam, the City, CLC, and the federal government.

In summary, the City of Richmond is now simply engaged in an agreement with three other parties, including the federal government, that should end only when the parties have negotiated a resolution or, failing that, cooperated to restore each of them to the position it was in prior to entering into the agreement.

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