Aboriginal leader threatens blockade of proposed Summerland resort
Sat Apr 21 20:40:08 CDT 2007
SUMMERLAND, B.C. (CP) - The chief of the Penticton Indian Band is warning his people may blockade access to a proposed resort and residential development near Summerland.
Chief Stewart Phillip says it could happen if the band's concerns about the project, 50 kilometres southwest of Kelowna, are not taken seriously by the province and local municipality.
Phillip says there are cultural and environmental concerns about the Summerland Hills Golf Resort development which neighbours the band reserve, CHBC News reports.
Further, he says, there are concerns about the impact of the project on water and wildlife.
Phillip says the band will take legal action or blockade access to the site of the proposed $850-million golfing resort.
He says the project should be put on hold until meaningful consultations take place between the band, the province and the District of Summerland.
The district council has approved the sale of 121 hectares of land for the development which would later expand to more than 400 hectares.
It would include 1,150 residential and 650 commercial units to be built over 20 years, the resort's website says.
Phillip's comments come as an aboriginal blockade on a CN Rail line, which paralyzed passenger and freight rail traffic on the busy Toronto-Montreal corridor, came to an end Saturday.
The Penticton Indian Band is part of Okanagan Nation, which comprises seven bands.
It wouldn't be the first time members of the Okanagan Indian band have taken to the streets with concerns about a development.
In'94, the band blockaded access to the then-being-developed Apex Alpine resort, near Penticton.