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Mar 6, 2012
For Immediate Release
March 5, 2012 – The City of Nanaimo sent a letter today to Snuneymuxw First Nation (SFN) Council and Chief Doug White III stating that the City is about to begin discussions with Nanaimo Forest Products (NFP) about a possible acquisition of Nanaimo Forest Products’ water rights.
“We must start work now to analyze the quality of NFP’s water and then determine if it is the best alternative to provide Nanaimo’s future water needs,” says Mayor John Ruttan. “Before we sign any final agreement with NFP, we will confer with the SFN and will actively and in good faith seek their approval of any such agreement.”Mayor Ruttan continues, “We do not require their consent before we sign an agreement with NFP, and I had not been authorized by Council to assure Chief White that this was the case when we met on February 6. Since the City and SFN signed the Community to Community Water Agreement in December 2007, we have had more than 40 meetings, discussion and exchanges of information on the water supply issue with the SFN.”
“It is unfortunate that all this work and these good intentions have not resulted in an agreement between the City and SFN on the way forward,” he adds. “But in order to have a viable and quality supply available for 2020, we must start work now to determine where this supply will come from.”
Mayor Ruttan adds that the City will follow through on its $500,000 commitment to provide bulk water to SFN Reserve #2 and plans to have this work completed by year’s end.
Mayor John Ruttan
Al Kenning, City Manager
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