Court Submission to Cancel Service Agreement for Squamish Nation’s Senakw Project in Vancouver

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VANCOUVER — A Vancouver residents’ association has launched a legal bid to nullify a service agreement between the city and the Squamish Nation for the largest Indigenous-led housing and retail development in Canadian history.

The Senakw development, which is expected to include 6,000 rental units and is the subject of a $1.4 billion federal loan, is on Squamish land but will depend on the city for police and emergency services. fire, utilities and public works.

A judicial review petition filed Wednesday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia by the Kits Point Residents Association seeks a declaration that the closed council meeting approving the services agreement on May 25 was unlawful.

He claims the city breached procedural fairness and natural justice by approving the agreement without giving development-affected residents a chance to be heard, and wants the agreement rescinded.

The petition says that while the association supports the Squamish Nation’s intention to develop the 4.2-hectare site at the head of False Creek, it is concerned about the size, density and height of its towers and their impact on the neighborhood.

The site was once an ancient village that was burnt down and expropriated a century ago, then returned to the Squamish Nation by a 2003 court ruling.

The federal government has said the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation loan to fund development is the largest it has ever made.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the site last month when the funding was announced.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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