Vancouver residents seek to block Squamish Nation development

The Squamish Nation development did not consult the residents that will be affected by the project, petitioners say

Vancouver residents seek to block Squamish Nation development

A contingent of Vancouver residents have filed a petition for judicial review at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, calling for the nullification of a services agreement between the city and Squamish Nation that will see the latter launch the extensive Senakw housing and retail development.

The Kits Point Residents Association argued that the Vancouver government “breached procedural fairness and natural justice” by affirming the agreement. The association said that the deal did not consult residents that will be affected by the development.

“They tried to get details about the project, but the city refused to provide information,” the Kits Point petition said. “City staff repeatedly advised the association that they could not discuss the project because all discussions were being held in camera.”

Read more: Canada’s indigenous people facing housing problems: StatCan

The petition added that while Kits Point is supportive of the Squamish Nation’s aspirations towards an Indigenous-focused development, the association is especially concerned about the project’s size, density, and building height.

The Senakw development, which will be funded by a $1.4 billion federal loan, is slated to include 6,000 rental units, and is expected to be the largest Indigenous-led housing and retail development in Canadian history.

The federal government said that the CMHC loan to finance the development is the largest it has ever made.

The city of Vancouver said in a statement that it is “reviewing the legal petition and will respond in due course.”