Now, the NDP , worried that the Liberal government of the day may appear to be more friendly to native interests than they are, have decided to go along with Tsawwassen treaty--even though the treaty is far from being supported by the whole band, and is really inimical to Delta's character as BC's prime agricultural community.
To be fair to the NDP, it is equally the father of both the ALR and the Treaty process--and it is understandable that it should be torn. But the message that should be broadcast in the media is that the Campbell government did not negotiate this particular deal because it cares more about native treaties than the NDP does. It did so because it cares LESS about the ALR than the NDP does. The government's actions around the deal in Burns Bog and in the Roberts Bank Deltaport Expansion--reflecting Campbell's longstanding preoccupation with property development--are at odds with the historic role of the ALR and indeed the historic role of the municipality of Delta.
I would have supported this deal too, but with the very big difference that I would have a large part of those 207 hectares remain in the ALR. (Yes, probably in exchange for more cash and/or other commercial opportunities.) The basic premise of the ALR is that the accumulation of alluvial soil over many thousands (millions?) of years to create one of the world's most fertile river valleys in a province that is 95% non-arable is a precious gift of nature and/or the Creator, and therefore should not simply be left to the vagaries of real-estate speculators and developers. Is that not congenial to the First Nations outlook? How could it not be? Is aboriginal title simply about the right of First Nations governments to let private actors speculate and develop as they wish? A small First Nation community ostensibly attuned to keeping the land in its pristine state could still own it and lease it for agricultural purposes. It could also participate in the management of nature preserves--whether in the ALR, provincial parks, the Forest Land Reserve, ecologically acceptable fish farms, or elsewhere. That would also be a sensible compromise for the party of Dave Barrett and Mike Harcourt--the party that created both the ALR and the Treaty Process in a province where the Socred/ Liberals would not have created either. It would also represent a sensible reconciliation of sovereignties--which is what the treaty process ultimately should be about.