The Chamber applauds Monday's news that the province has purchased 3.4 hectares of land at Thetis Cove in View Royal for $13 million to support reconciliation with Esquimalt Nation.
Working with First Nations is vital for the long-term resilience of Greater Victoria's economy. Indigenous communities can help regional employers fill job vacancies without having to hope for migration from other parts of Canada. Local populations are also key to innovations that will allow businesses to provide solutions to climate change.
The province will hold the property during negotiations with Esquimalt Nation, which are expected to take up to five years.
“While we are at the beginning of our discussions with Esquimalt Nation and the broader community about the land, we see its significant potential for supporting Esquimalt Nation to thrive and prosper, which benefits everyone who lives in the region,” BC's Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin said in a news release.
The deal will also support treaty discussions with the Songhees Nation, as well as providing new opportunities for View Royal.
“We are looking forward to working with Esquimalt Nation and the Province in a collaborative way that considers all of our interests as the future plans for Thetis Cove are developed,” said View Royal Mayor David Screech. “As neighbours, Esquimalt Nation and View Royal have much to gain from working together.”