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City planning deal for Kapyong land to widen Kenaston

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Winnipeg city hall is getting tired of waiting for the ownership issue of the former Kapyong Barracks land to be settled.

The administration will be instructed to negotiate an agreement with Ottawa and affected First Nations to acquire enough of the property to accommodate a two-lane widening of Kenaston Boulevard and other amenities.

The Kapyong property has been tied in court for several years, in a fight between the federal government and several First Nations over who controls the land. The First Nations claim Ottawa had to turn over the former army property to them, as settlement for outstanding treaty claims, but Ottawa counters it was only required to consult with the First Nations.

Both Ottawa and the First Nations want to be involved in developing the property.

City hall needs a strip of the land to accommodate widening of Kenaston but to date, they’ve had to sit idly by while Ottawa and the First Nations tussle over the land in court.

A formal proposal will be presented at the next executive policy committee meeting.

Coun. Justin Swandel, chairman of the public works committee, said regardless of which side wins in court, the city will eventually get the land it needs for the widening, adding there is no point in waiting any further.

"It becomes a moot point," of which party wins, Swandel (St. Norbert) said, adding the city wants to talk to both parties and get an agreement that whoever wins, the city can have the land now.

Swandel said the administration will also be instructed to explore the possibility of applying for intervenor status in the court battle, in the event the city isn’t successful in its discussions with both sides, and then they could make the argument to the court.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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