Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Katz hopeful deal close on Kapyong

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Mayor Sam Katz said he hopes the federal government and Manitoba's First Nations are close to reaching a deal over the former Kapyong Barracks.

Earlier this week, Sagkeeng Chief Donavan Fontaine confirmed seven First Nations represented by Treaty 1 could reach a deal with the federal government by the end of the week.

Several First Nations say they are owed surplus federal land and were not properly consulted before Ottawa transferred most of Kapyong to Canada Lands, the Crown redevelopment firm. The issue has been tied up in court since 2005.

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.

Katz said he hopes the two sides will reach a deal.

"If they can resolve the issue outside of court it's very positive," he said following this morning's executive policy committee meeting. "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."

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