For immediate release
January 15, 2015
VICTORIA – The BC Green Party and Green Party of Canada today expressed gratitude that the Province of British Columbia is partnering with local First Nations and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to preserve Grace Islet in Salt Spring Island’s Ganges Harbour.
“This is the right decision,” stated Adam Olsen, Interim Leader of the BC Green Party. “It demonstrates respect for the dignity and history of the Coast Salish peoples. I would like to thank the many people who worked so hard to achieve this result, including Gary Holman, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. It must be said, however, that the process that led to this decision was too long, lacked true dialogue and consultation, and caused a great deal of grief and anguish. I hope that this decision represents the government’s commitment to a more respectful and cooperative process for resolving future disputes with First Nations.”
“This is fantastic news," said Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada. "Credit goes to the Coast Salish Nations and to Salt Spring Island community members who refused to allow this outrage to become yesterday's news, but who persevered to ensure that this sacred ground would be protected.”
Grace Islet is home to an ancient First Nations burial grounds and was designated an archaeological site in 1966. Nevertheless, it was zoned for residential development and subsequently purchased by Edmonton businessman Barry Slawsky for the construction of a luxury home in 1990. First Nations and local communities have actively campaigned for the the protection of this sacred site for years.
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BC Green Party
Stefan Jonsson, Director of Communications
W. 1.888.473.3686 ext. 3
Green Party of Canada
Julian Morelli, Director of Communications
W. 613.562 4916 ext. 224