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The application shows the golf course would lie on 150 acres of leased Crown land (with the option to purchase after 30 years). Just beside the golf course is an approximately 100 to 150 acre swath of land which is to be transferred to the First Nations as part of their 300 acre legacy lands from the 2010 Games negotiations. The residential component would be built on this fee simple legacy land.
Leo said the plan was simply an option and not ready to be taken to the municipality or the public. And their legacy lands are still not secured.
“It was basically an economic development option,” he said of
First Nations have been brainstorming and visioning as they
look for opportunities for economic development on their legacy lands.
“One of the options was a golf course,” said Leo. “It was
commented that to ensure a golf course is economically sustainable that
developing housing would be good. We haven’t acquired the lands yet where we
can sit down and do an economic strategy or even get to a point where we have
to do a feasibility (study) of any particular economic development option.”
The application, however, highlights the conflicting visions
for land use in the area.
Contacted this week, area MLA Joan McIntyre reaffirmed the
province’s commitment to economic development for First Nations.
“The province is saying… we want First Nations to have opportunity for economic development and capacity building. We are saying that loud and clear through our new relationship and I generally support that…. This is not lip service.”
She called for respectful dialogue on the issue.
“It’s unfortunate in the sense that at one stage there’s a
group wanting no growth at a time when First Nations are looking for economic
opportunity and development,” she said. “That’s the nub of all of this.”
“What I’m looking for is dialogue on these issues and ways of
sharing the resource. We have to figure out how to do this going forward. There
are so many challenges and conflicts on the land that we have to find
respectful ways of sorting out these issues.”
Leo reiterated that he does not want this premature application
to jeopardize their relationship with Whistler.