Tsawwassen First Nation to join the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District
The provincial government has cleared the way for the Tsawwassen First Nation to join the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District.
That will remove a major hitch in the TFN’s development plans for a massive shopping mecca that includes 1.8 million square feet of retail, entertainment, office, and other space. The Tsawwassen band also wants to build 1,800 new homes.
The TFN’s membership in the GVS&DD is mandated under a section of Bill 41, omnibus legislation that was among the bills passed by the B.C. legislative assembly before MLAs went on a summer break.
The Metro Vancouver regional district had previously rejected the TFN’s bid to join the GVS&DD. That was because membership means that the TFN will have to hook up with Delta’s system for five years, but there are no plans in place regarding how waste from the Tsawwassen lands will be piped to the regional treatment plant on Annacis Island after this period.
According to TFN chief administrative officer Doug Raines, all options are on the table. “We’re trying to examine exactly how that would be and the opportunities to partner with some type of system or connection through Metro, other opportunities for stand-alone plants,” Raines told the Straight in a phone interview.
The legislation provides that Metro Vancouver and the TFN must come to an agreement. If they don’t, the province will dictate the terms of the First Nation’s membership in the GVS&DD.
Delta will be watching closely. “Unless the TFN has a plan in place beyond five years, we can’t in good faith undertake to sign a service agreement with them,” Delta councillor Sylvia Bishop told the Straight by phone.