Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Half of Kapyong on offer: source

Says First Nations mulling Ottawa’s deal

  • Print

OTTAWA — A source close to the negotiations for Kapyong Barracks says Ottawa has offered Treaty 1 First Nations as much as half the land to finally settle the long-standing dispute.

The federal government would not confirm Wednesday a deal is imminent or comment on any details of an alleged settlement offer. Neither would legal representatives for some of the First Nations.

However, the source said in the last year negotiations between Ottawa and the First Nations have become far more fruitful and the First Nations are seriously considering the offer.

Sagkeeng Chief Donavan Fontaine said Tuesday he expects there will be a deal announced before the end of this week, but would or could not say what that deal is. Sagkeeng, however, is no longer part of the negotiations, having withdrawn from the lawsuit along with Swan Lake. There are now five First Nations left challenging the federal government’s ability to sell the 90 hectares of land at Kapyong without offering at least some of it to Treaty 1 First Nations.

Some First Nations leaders involved want to take the settlement, but others think they can get the entire thing if they go to court, the source said. There is also a risk they will get nothing.

The military abandoned the Kapyong site at Kenaston Boulevard and Grant Avenue in 2004 when the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was moved west to the CFB base at Shilo. The government in 2007 made the move to sell the land to the Canada Lands Co., the Crown corporation that redevelops excess federal land. However, the seven Treaty One First Nations believed they had a right to be offered that land first as part of treaty entitlements and took Ottawa to court.

In 2009, a Federal Court judge sided with the First Nations, halting the sale of the land until Brokenhead and Peguis First Nations could be properly consulted. However, in 2011, an Appeals Court sent the case back to the lower court for another hearing.

That hearing is scheduled to take place Dec. 4 and 5 in Winnipeg.

However, it may become unnecessary if the two sides can agree to a deal before then.

Ottawa has spent about $2 million a year maintaining the vacant site and its 41 buildings since 2004. The buildings have nonetheless fallen into disrepair and the site has become an ugly duckling on one of the most desirable stretches of land in Winnipeg for developers.

The government initially put a price tag on it of about $8.5 million five years ago.

The two sides have attempted to negotiate on and off since 2007, but those negotiations never amounted to much until about a year ago, said the source. The two sides have been meeting almost monthly in the last 12 months and have made progress.

The Department of Defence was not willing to discuss the issue Wednesday.

Winnipeg South MP Rod Bruinooge, who has been close to the negotiations, said he didn’t want to jeopardize anything. "I can’t and shouldn’t comment on ongoing negotiations," said Bruinooge. "This is a very important file. I would not want to damage the negotiations that are underway."

Norman Boudreau, the lawyer representing Sandy Bay and Long Plain First Nations in the discussions, also said he could not comment.

Mayor Sam Katz said he hopes a deal is close.

The City of Winnipeg cannot move forward with its plan to widen Kenaston to six lanes between Ness and Taylor avenues without negotiating for a portion of the Kapyong land. The city’s transportation master plan calls for Kenaston to be widened by 2016 at an estimated cost of $129 million.

"If they can resolve the issue outside of court, it’s very positive," said Katz. "We know there’s millions of dollars flushed down the toilet that no one is benefiting from as a result of the land just sitting vacant."

 

— with files from Jen Skerritt

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM CST: adds photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - The Floodway Connection

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google