The province bought a $13 million piece of land in View Royal, that they plan to give back to Esquimalt and Songhees nations to support reconciliation efforts.
Located off Hallowell Road, Thetis Cove covers 3.4 hectares of land and sits beside Esquimalt Nation’s only reserve.
The plan is to return the undeveloped private property, bought in October 2020, after negotiating a reconciliation agreement with the federal government. The agreement with Esquimalt Nation is expected to take three to five years to negotiate.
“The return of our land will be a significant step in reconciliation and provides an opportunity to work constructively with other levels of government to create a healthy and prosperous future for our community,” said Esquimalt Nation Chief Robert Thomas.
The nation has seen a serious shortage in housing for its members, with fewer pieces of Crown land available to support reconciliation around the Capital Regional District. When the property popped up for sale, it gave the rare opportunity to include lands with housing and commercial development.
View Royal Mayor David Screech said he’s looking forward to working with Esquimalt Nation on something that benefits all shareholders in and around Thetis Cove.
Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean echoed similar sentiments, adding that she expects to see greater opportunities for economic development in a “flourishing and vibrant community” with more than 320 members.
“The Thetis Cove property presented a unique opportunity for us to advance reconciliation with Esquimalt Nation and support treaty discussions with Songhees Nation,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
“While we are at the beginning of our discussions with Esquimalt Nation and the broader community about the land, we see its significant potential for supporting Esquimalt Nation to thrive and prosper, which benefits everyone who lives in the region.”
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