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Edmonton planning for urban reserves within city limits

There were no public hearings into the proposal but Administration did consult with various First Nations organizations.

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Edmonton city council will soon be voting on a proposal to set up a process to allow urban reserves within city limits.

The proposal still has to go through the committee level before being dealt with by council.

On January 25, 2021, council ordered administration to “formally implement an Urban Reserve Strategy for the City of Edmonton, to work with First Nations that would like to establish an urban reserve within the City of Edmonton boundaries.”

The administration came back with a report noting reserves are ultimately a federal decision, but municipalities can help the process along.

“First Nation leadership must consult with and inform its members about the proposal to develop an urban reserve and a band council resolution is required to begin the federal process,” the report said.

“First Nations need to ensure access to resources and services to their citizens are offered most efficiently in centres such as municipalities. In some cases, First Nations also seek to obtain lands that
have cultural significance. Urban reserves can greatly spur First Nations economic development as they allow First Nations to access economic opportunities that may be unavailable on traditional reserve lands.”

The report notes Edmonton has long been a hub of services, employment, education, and healthcare
for First Nations in Treaty Six territory.

“The City has an important role to play in working with a First Nation to establish a municipal service agreement for the urban reserve. As a municipality, the City would commit to having a good neighbour
approach throughout the creation of urban reserves guided by the strategy,” states the report.

It said service agreements with a First Nation will account for the fee-for-service provision of municipal-type services, such as water, wastewater, solid waste collection, fire and police protection.

“If approved, Administration would activate the strategy when it is approached by or becomes aware of federally-recognized First Nations interested in developing urban reserves through the Addition-to-Reserve/Reserve Creation process within Edmonton,” the report states.

“Administration anticipates any financial impact related to the urban reserves creation process and relationship building itself can be absorbed by operational budgets. There may be a human resources need to ensure there is appropriate City support in urban reserve creation.”

There were no public hearings into the proposal, but Administration did consult with various First Nations organizations.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Steven Ruthven

    June 24, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1100100016331/1611939200241 Gov of Canada Urban Reserves

    Building relationships with municipalities
    Land set apart as an urban reserve typically involves a number of agreements that have been negotiated between individual First Nations and the municipality. A municipal servicing agreement is particularly important because it provides a fee for services such as water, garbage collection, police and fire protection, in an amount which is generally equivalent to the amount the municipality would have collected through property taxes. Education tax loss and service agreements with affected school divisions may also be negotiated by the First Nation. Such agreements typically include a mechanism for settling disputes.

    The same sales tax exemptions that apply to reserves in rural areas also apply to urban reserves. Under current tax law, First Nations businesses located on reserve are required to collect provincial and federal sales tax and are subject to all the applicable taxes outlined by law or the servicing agreement negotiated with the municipality. Only registered Status Indians can take advantage of the sales tax exemption when purchasing goods and services on reserve land. The net effect for those individuals is having slightly more money to spend in the local economy.

  2. Woodrow George

    June 18, 2021 at 10:27 am

    The Pappaschase were starved out of giving up their reserve in the late 1880s thanks to Frank Oliver and others. The reserve ran pretty much from 52 Avenue to Ellerslie Road and from 34 Street west to close to Winterburn Road.

    I’m all for correcting this injustice. Pay back time.

  3. Left Coast

    June 18, 2021 at 8:23 am

    @ Mars Hill . . . . a little real history . . .

    The Okunev people are seen as the Siberian ethnic grouping most closely related to Native Americans. In other words, it was ancestors of the Okunevs who populated America, evidently using primitive boats to venture to the ice-covered Beringia land bridge some 12,600 years ago.

    There was a war in the mid-1600s you’ve never heard of, ending in the near-extermination of the Erie by the Iroquois and others. Captives were sold into slavery and thus disbursed from the Cherokees in the Carolinas to the Senecas in Canada. All that remains of the Erie are place names—a lake, a city, a canal and so forth—and fugitive traces for linguists and historians to puzzle out.
    This is common. This is the way of the world. We’re all made from fragments of such disasters.

    The Sioux may have lost millions of acres, but their total population was under 20,000 people. (For example, Montana is about 94,000,000 acres. Today, we consider it sparsely populated with over 1,000,000 people!)

    Even with this incredible ratio of multiple acres per person, the Sioux often faced starvation. They were primitive hunter gatherers. They had knowledge of agriculture, but were not forward-thinking enough to develop mass-farming on their rich lands, even when they were starving to death!

    There are about ten times more Sioux alive today than there were in 1862, thanks to the evil white man’s agriculture, antibiotics, food storage, refrigeration, germ theory, sanitation, etc. In the long term, the Sioux BENEFITED from their defeat!

    REAL History is just so much different from the Kum-by-yaw myths of today . . .

  4. Richard

    June 18, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Mars Hill. So? That is a fact but I have no idea where you are going with your comment? Personally I am interested and enjoy learning the history of any (all?) cultures, there are just so many to (even begin) to understand!
    I could support something similar to a community league. Other nationalities and cultures have their communities, halls, centers and cultural events?
    For that matter how is the Sagatawa Friendship Center in Peace River working out? Is this a positive model that could be encouraged to branch out?

  5. Mars Hill

    June 18, 2021 at 12:04 am

    It really wasn’t that long ago the natives in this part of the country were hunting buffalo and enjoying God’s creation with no paleface to be seen.

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SLOBODIAN: Decade long investigation into Manitoba residential school involves nearly 100 officers and 700 interviews

The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.

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A “large and complex” decade-long investigation by RCMP has been underway into allegations of sexual abuse at a former residential school in Manitoba’s Sagkeeng First Nation.


The Fort Alexander Residential School opened in 1905 on Sagkeeng First Nation, located 120-km north of Winnipeg. In 1970 it was converted to a day school that operated for several years.


Manitoba RCMP issued a press release Tuesday confirming the major crimes unit began looking into allegations of abuse in February 2010, then launched a formal criminal investigation the following year.


RCMP began by gathering information, including reviewing archival records in both Ottawa and Manitoba. They went through thousands of documents such as student and employee lists and quarterly returns.


This involved more than 80 officers who interacted with more than 700 people across North America in an effort to find possible victims and witnesses.


“After compiling and collating all this data, investigators developed an investigative plan that began with the canvassing of people whose names had been identified in the documents as well as a door-to-door canvas in the Powerview/Fort Alexander area, where the school had been located,” said the statement.


The criminal investigation launched in 2011 involved 75 formal witnesses and victim statements.
Recently, Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson said elders and survivors have long spoken about abuse at the school and children that went missing.


The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.


“Violation of the privacy rights of those involved in this investigation will not only cause further trauma to everyone involved, but also potentially compromise this highly sensitive investigation,” said Henderson. “We ask that the trauma our community has experienced and continues to live every day is respected and that those affected are afforded their privacy at this time.”

RCMP are working closely with First Nations leaders and no other criminal investigations into former residential schools are underway in Manitoba, said RCMP.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard  lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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BC increases vaccine efforts amid slowing rates, including ‘vax vans’

“Over the next two weeks, BC will push hard to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible.”

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BC health officials want more people rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 shot, and say they will be increasing efforts in the coming weeks to do just that.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Dr. Penny Ballem addressed BC’s vaccine roll-out plan during a Tuesday morning news conference.

Among their announced efforts are “walk-in Wednesday” which will take place August 4 when 20,000 jabs will be made available with no need to book in advance.

Walk-in Wednesday is part of the “Vax for BC” campaign.

“I’d like to begin by thanking each and every one of the millions of British Columbian’s, like me, who have stepped up to be vaccinated,” said Henry.

“Because of this small act, we have been able to re-open our province.

“While we have made tremendous progress with our immunization plan, there is of course more work to do. We know that some people still struggle to find a convenient time in their day to get immunized, and others may still have questions, and be hesitant about the vaccine.

“So starting today, we are making it even easier for people to get vaccines. To help protect themselves, and their loved ones against COVID-19.”

Henry said the province will be introducing “custom vax vans” so people will be able to get vaccinated on their lunch break or “while cooling off at a lake.”

The province is also reducing the wait time between first and second doses from eight weeks to seven weeks.

There are currently 906,772 eligible people who have not received a dose, roughly 19.6% of the population older than 12, according to data from July 23.

Interior health has an un-vaccinated population of 26.2% while Northern health has 32.5% without a first shot.

On Monday, the Surrey Board of Trade wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu, BC Premier John Horgan, and Minister of Health Adrian Dix urging them to “implement a proof-of-immunization model.”

“We support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of immunization that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“Without inter-provincial harmonization, Canada risks a piecemeal approach, making life more difficult and unpredictable for individuals and employers during an already uncertain time.”

Last week, YVR airport implemented separate lines for vaccinated and un-vaccinated individuals prior to reaching customs.

The separation of lines – which was put in place as a federal policy – has since been removed following extensive public push-back.

As for enforcing proof-of-immunization policies at concerts, night clubs, and sporting events – an increasing number of British Columbian’s are cozying up to this idea.

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com

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Feds silent on $120M loan to company not ‘worthy of taxpayers’ largesse”

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions.

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Federal agencies yesterday remained mum about a $120 million housing loan to one of Canada’s wealthiest developers, after Cabinet earlier defended the loan as critical, said Blacklock’s Reporter.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Ahmed Hussen, minister responsible for housing, told reporters. “That’s why the government is taking action to increase the supply of rental housing through projects like the one we’re announcing.”

Cabinet on July 19 announced the $120 million loan to build 302 apartments in Brampton, Ont. The developer is Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. The company’s CEO was paid $3 million in salary and benefits last year, according to corporate filings.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Hussen’s department said in a statement. “A solid and reliable supply of rental housing is critical to ensuring more Canadians have access to housing that is affordable.”

Choice Properties is owned by George Weston Ltd. The developer’s 2020 net income totaled $451 million. The loan was approved through a federal program, the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, that extends 10-year, easy-term credit “for certainty during the most risky periods of development,” according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions. The news website Press Progress cited data from Canada Mortgage and Housing that of 302 apartments in the Brampton project, as few as 61 would rent at below-market rates. The building is scheduled for completion by 2023.

“We know that finding an affordable place to live is a challenge for many Canadians in communities across the country,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the time. “Today’s announcement is great news for families in Brampton. The Government of Canada will continue to invest to increase affordable housing options.”

George Weston Ltd. reported net earnings of $1.6 billion last year. It also operates the Loblaw Companies Ltd. supermarket chain that in 2019 received a $12 million federal grant to install new freezers. “Canadians might wonder why the Liberals handed over $12 million to Loblaw’s, one of Canada’s richest companies,” Conservative MP Mark Strahl (Chilliwack-Hope, B.C.) earlier told the Commons.

The freezer grant was paid under a Low Carbon Economy Fund. A now-disbanded ecoEnergy program similarly paid grants to large corporations in the name of energy efficiency.

Sobeys Inc. received $1.48 million in ecoEnergy grants in the period from 2006 to 2013. Loblaw Companies received $801,000. A total $207,968 was paid to McDonald’s Restaurants and $153,960 to Sears Canada.

“These companies are flush,” Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) said in an interview at the time. “Companies, given their financial statements, don’t seem to be worthy recipients of taxpayers’ largesse.”

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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