Minister’s statement on proposed Land Act amendments

Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, has issued the following statement about proposed amendments to the Land Act:

“Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to discuss proposed amendments to the Land Act with over 650 representatives of stakeholder groups representing tens of thousands of British Columbians, from mining, forestry, oil and gas and clean energy, cattle ranchers, to adventure tourism operators, snowmobilers, hunters and anglers, and many others.

“From the very beginning of this process, I promised that we would listen and take the time to get any changes right. That our focus was to make it easier to work together with First Nations and provide more opportunities for better jobs and a stronger future.

“In conversations with these groups, many were surprised to learn that the claims being made about the proposed legislation by some were not true and that there would be no impacts to tenures, renewals, private properties or access to Crown land.

“Some figures have gone to extremes to knowingly mislead the public about what the proposed legislation would do. They have sought to divide communities and spread hurt and distrust. They wish to cling to an approach that leads only to the division, court battles and uncertainty that have held us back.

“Throughout these conversations, the vast majority have told us they want reconciliation to work and they want to be partners in this work to create opportunity for First Nations, businesses and all communities through working together.

“I’ve also heard that we need to take the time to further engage with people and demonstrate the real benefits of shared decision-making in action. We want to get this right and move forward together.

“For that reason, our government has decided not to proceed with proposed amendments to the Land Act.”

“We will continue to engage with people and businesses, and do the work to show how working together, First Nations and non-First Nations, can help bring stability and predictability, and move us all forward.”