Meanwhile, at the pro shop

Vancouver park commissioner Marty Zlotnik, one of Gordon Campbell's long-time associates, is circulating a petition calling on the premier to "find an alternative method of compensating the Musqueam Indian Band regarding any entitlement they may have to the UBC golf Course." The petition, which is also being coordinated by University of British Columbia athletics and recreation professor emeritus Bob Hindmarch, goes on to state "We believe that this golf course has been a vital recreation resource and an important part of the social fabric of Vancouver since 1929, particularly those of us who are lucky enough to live in Point Grey." And, "with the recreational needs of seniors clearly on the increase in our community, it would be a terrible mistake to convert this precious resource into housing either for the private sector or the Musqueam Indian Band." The following is an edited copy of that petition and Mr. Zlotnik's accompanying email.

----- Original Message -----
From: Marty Zlotnik
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 6:06 AM
Subject: FW: Petition

I think it's very unfortunate that the Premier has decided to give the Musqueam Band UBC Golf Course. I would appreciate it if your willing to get the attached petition signed by 9 of your friends and return it to me.

Please forward it to you email list !!

Regards Marty

Martin Zlotnik, B.Comm., LL.B.

***

To the Premier of British Columbia and the member for Point Grey the Honourable Gordon Campbell.

We the undersigned ask you and the Provincial Government to find an alternative method of compensating the Musqueam Indian Band regarding any entitlement they may have to the UBC golf Course. We believe that this golf course has been a vital recreation resource and an important part of the social fabric of Vancouver since 1929, particularly those of us who are lucky enough to live in Point Grey. Over the last seventy five years Vancouver has lost four key golf courses, Jericho, Hastings Park, Shaughnessy and Quilchena. Although Shaughnessy relocated to the Musqueam Land it will revert to the Musqueams in 2033 a short 26 years from now. With the recreational needs of seniors clearly on the increase in our community, it would be a terrible mistake to convert this precious resource into housing either for the private sector or the Musqueam Indian Band.

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Once you have 10 signatures could you please fax this petition to Martin Zlotnik and Dr. Bob Hindmarch. Please make further copies and try to get as many people in the lower mainland to express their concern.

13 Comments

Perhaps this is the same discussion really as the Tsawwassen Treaty, where land ownership is transfered, but land use is about to change. I agree that converting that entire area to housing would represent a major loss of recreational values. I wonder if the land can be transfered to the Musqueam band but with the proviso that it remain in a golf course or similar natural and recreational use. If the golf course became private, the Musqueam could conceivably be making a substantial income, though obviously it would pale alongside the stupefying profits that would accrue to a housing development of the entire area.

There appears to be a bit of a double standard here. The petition mentions the closure of four other golf courses. I have no information available to me on why or what use was made of this land, but it is reasonable to assume that these choices were made by property owners, based upon their decisions over their own property rights.

The question then, if this assumption is true, would be why an aboriginal group if they negotiated a return of the title should be encumbered by someone else's recreational desires.

Mind you, if proper consideration is advanced to the new owners and they agreed, then the desire for maintaining the course would take place. Its not as if society is gifting the area; the original title was never extinguished in the first place.

If we are going to accept that we must finally start to deal with land claims and treaties in a serious way; than we must also accept that as landowners the first nations would have the same rights as you and I would, and that means they might make decisions that we don’t like. Oddly these types of situations happen in our society every day, but when the shoe is on the other foot, some take a different approach.

Maybe the band would downsize the golf course and create some very hi-end residential housing surrounding the course ala Bear Mountain; After all; if it works in Bear Mountain……

It's always fun when entitlements collide. It's hard to get excited about either of the dogs in this fight, though.

One side may or may not build pricey condos the majority of Vancouverites could never afford. The other side wants to preserve a "vital recreation resource" that costs $60 per round. (Add $30 to rent clubs, unless you have hundreds and hundreds of extra dollars to spare and buy your own).

It soon becomes clear that there is no way this is a vital resource except for anyone "lucky enough to live in Point Grey" and their comrades in similar exalted demographics.

Fun!

Good point Tigger. No disagreement here.

As George Carlin would say:

"Let those [one of the seven words you can't say on television] play MINIATURE golf!"

I don't often see myself in total agreement with Kevin Larsen, but on this he is totally correct.

The land doesn't belong to the residents of Point Grey and their needs for recreational opportunities might be better served by a cap-in-hand delegation to city hall, just like the riff-raff must do if they want more of anything.

The land belongs to the people of the Musqueam, just as the land in the White Rock area is now back in the hands of the proper owners.

Two centuries of ripping off First Nations in BC and here we are still trying to tell them what they ought to do, based primarily what we want.


You're totally wrong, bleedinghearth. Carole James is right that the needs of the community have to be taken into account here. There is no need for additional condos on this land. There is a need to keep green space near Vancouver, and there is a need to change the zoning in parts of the city to provide more and more affodable housing.

If the Musqueam need compensation, the answer is cash, not the development of green space. This is the same ruse being played out in Delta with Chief Baird and the Tsawwassen band. If her wishes prevail, their will be big business warehouse developments on what is presently prime farmland, and the band will receive a moderate rental income from these developers while they will enjoy huge returns.

Here's an idea: The fortunate sons of Point Grey could perhaps put their heads together, come up with a business plan, pool some of their money, and buy the links from the Musqueam band.

Seems to me a golf course in such obvious demand ought to be a sure-fire money maker which the many businessy types in Point Grey would be glad to own. And we would all be grateful to them for the attendant savings of tax dollars and preservation of green space, etc.

As they say on Howe Street: It's a win-win-win.

No I am not wrong Budd Campbell, but I am in complete agreement that there is need for greenspace.

But let me just say that it is none of your nor Carole James' business what the Musqueam or any other band opts to do with their land.

Need green space? Call Mayor Sam. That's his responsibility, not the Musqueam.

Nice of you to insist on cash, but it was land that was taken away, not a bag of coins.

What is it, if it isn't arrogrance that drives people even after we've exploited others for 200 years, to still think we can continue to call the shots?


"But let me just say that it is none of your nor Carole James' business what the Musqueam or any other band opts to do with their land."

Not true. Additional land picked up in treaty negotiations are supposedly set to abide by provincial and federal lawas. Any Indian law must equal or beat the senior government's laws. To hand over ALR land without any control by senior governments is a poor way to do things. I recall that many years ago, the band went to court as the golf course land had been rented out by a Indian Agent for a very few bucks. The federal government at the time was led by Trudeau. The court ordered restitution of some millions of dollars. Nobody has ever said the land claimed by the Musquiem is owneded by the band. It's part of their unproven land claim. The Appeals Court stated that consultation was not carried out by guess who. The BC Liberals.
Consultation and concent are two very different words. The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that to get ownership you go to court or you negotiate. So Gordons secret dealings must be his interpretation of negotiating. We will continue to lose valuable farm land and open spaces while this provincial government remains in place.

BC law, including the Agricultural Land Act, isn't applicable to First nations land.

If there is an agreement between the parties during negotiations for a return of land with conditions, then I suppose all parties might agree to abide by the ALR, but I haven't heard of that arising yet.

Yes, it would be great if farm land remains farm land. I'd suggest if that's a priority then you best start lobbying the new owners rather than demanding they conform to your ideals.

I am not trying to defend the Campbell government's actions, but it apparently has agreed the golf course land will go to the band to settle the mess left from not doing anything before.

I know if I was a Musqueam I'd certainly be seeking to get the land back. Frankly any improvements or increased value might go part way for compensating them for having had it taken away in the first place.

And, as I stated previously, if the issue is green space for seniors and others in the city of Vancouver,the guy to see is Sam Sullivan.

I can only assume the chief of the Musqueam's hands are already filled trying to help band members out.


"BC law, including the Agricultural Land Act, isn't applicable to First nations land."

With all due respect, bleedingheart, you're obviously pretty ignorant about this issue. What you have said is the exact opposite of the truth.

Lands that are transfered to First Nations as a result of a treaty do not become federal Indian Reserve lands. They become regular privately owned land, the owner being that particular Band. Every last single law of the province applies there.

That's why in the case of the Tsawwassen Treaty Chief Baird is so insistent that the land be excluded from the Land Reserve prior to transfer! She isn't going to go in front of the ALC and its agricultural and soil experts and try to argue that this farm land needs to be excluded so that warehousing corporations can pour down millions of yards of gravel over the entire area, and then build cavernous, pre-fab boxes on the resulting ashphalt desert, and then try to package this as some kind Aboriginal unity with the natural landscape.

You're doing a good job of packaging the issues in terms of a flat-out Aboriginal versus Non-Aboriginal political cleavage, but you're short in the homework department.

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