Port to sell two hectares to first nation

The Nanaimo Port Authority is selling two hectares of brownfield land to the Snuneymuxw First Nation for an undisclosed amount of money.

Bernie Dumas, president and CEO of the port, said the land was purchased some time ago to obtain legal road rights over the CP Rail trestle, but there is no other immediate use for the property.

"We're the neighbours, so we want to work with Snuneymuxw to see if there are opportunities," said Dumas.

The land was subdivided from a larger three-hectare parcel. The portion of the banana-shaped property being transferred is adjacent to a Western Forest Product mill, Shoreline Drive on SFN's No. 1 Reserve, and the Wellcox Railyard.

The deal requires ministerial approval in Ottawa, which could take months, said Dumas.

Snuneymuxw Chief Doug White could not be reached for comment before deadline, but in the past has expressed frustration that the 16 hectares Reserve No. 1 currently occupies is not enough to provide the band with any economic opportunities.

It is not clear what use the band has in mind for the property.

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