UPDATE: Discussions resume between city and Snuneymuxw over Colliery dams

NANAIMO – Council-to-council meeting Monday morning put talks back on track

Discussions between the City of Nanaimo and Snuneymuxw First Nation are back on.

After a council-to-council meeting between the city and Snuneymuxw, the two groups continue discussions “exploring means to reduce the identified risks associated with the middle and lower  Colliery Dams,” according to a City of Nanaimo press release.

Snuneymuxw Chief Douglas White III pulled out of talks last week alleging city staff told those participating in the discussions could be held liable should the dams breach. Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan said city staff were highlighting the increased risk posed by delaying work to remove the century-old dams.

“I am pleased to report that the City of Nanaimo is once again engaged in conversation with the Snuneymuxw First Nation to explore risk mitigation options for the lower and middle Colliery Dams,” Ruttan said. “I believe our time together [Monday] morning proved beneficial for everyone in attendance and I’m confident the challenges our two governments encountered with our dialogue last week have been addressed, and that we are moving forward with more talks.”

“I appreciate the open and constructive dialogue this morning between our councils, and to carrying on with the 30-day process laid out in the city council resolution of July 8,” White said.  “This matter remains complicated and not easy for any of us.  But I appreciated the leadership shown by everyone this morning, and look forward to next steps.”

Snuneymuxw and the city expect to have further updates this week about how the remaining time in the 30-day process will be focused, the role of the facilitator, and opportunities for public input.