Aboriginal consultation fees

According to Michael Smyth’s column in the March 26 edition of The Province newspaper, the Tsleil-Wauturth Nation (TWN) aboriginal band is demanding ‘consultation fees’ for “any land development or resource use within the 23 municipalities it regards as its traditional territory”. Say WHAT? Let me get this straight…this 447 member band can claim the entire Lower Mainland and start demanding fees for their proposed ‘services’?
Their consultation fees include $250 per application ‘referral set-up fee’ and a ‘$200-$400 ‘Cultural Heritage Investigation Permit’. According to Mr. Smyth’s article “After those fees are paid, any proposed development in the region would be reviewed by the First Nation’s staff or their contractors, whose saleries would have to be paid by the applicant. These costs include $50 and hour for ‘resource technicians’, $75 and hour for ‘Geographic Information System technicians and mappers’ and $100 an hour for ‘resource managers’. Costs for travel expenses and outside consultants – including a 12-per-cent ‘administration fee’ must also be borne by the applicant.”
This band has laid claim to the Lower Mainland and the 23 municipalities within and has those affected requesting clarification from the B.C. government regarding land-use decisions among other issues. Why do we entertain these ridiculous claims? Why are we, as residents of this country for many generations, putting up with this crap? I’m sick of the ‘hands out’ policy of the many native and non-native residents of this province and, as a taxpayer, ask the elected politicians to say ENOUGH!

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