OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 12, 2010) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today reintroduced legislation to facilitate the development of major commercial real estate on reserve land when requested by the band.
"Our Government is committed to removing barriers to economic development on reserves," said Minister Strahl. "The proposed legislation will make it easier for First Nations to pursue large real estate projects on their land, opening the door to new opportunities in a potentially lucrative market."
The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act would amend the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act to permit the registration of on-reserve commercial real estate developments in a system that replicates the provincial land titles or registry system. First Nations that make use of the new legislative tool would ensure their on-reserve real estate developments benefit from greater certainty of land title, making the value of these properties comparable to similar properties off reserve land.
The Squamish Nation in British Columbia is a major proponent of the new bill. The First Nation is currently developing a proposal for new condominiums on reserve land in West Vancouver.
"The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act will bring us one step closer to realizing our economic development goals, including the construction of new state-of-the-art condominiums on our land in West Vancouver," said Squamish Nation Chief Gibby Jacob. "The successful completion of this project will bring new investment in our community, improving the quality of life for all our members."
The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act is optional legislation that is available to First Nations across Canada. In order for this legislation to apply, a First Nation would need to have a commercial or industrial proponent and a province willing to participate, as well as support from their community.
This initiative is in keeping with the Government's Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, which aims to increase opportunities for partnership-based economic development projects. An important step in reaching this goal is to enhance the value of Aboriginal assets by addressing legislative and regulatory barriers to Aboriginal economic development.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca