The Capital Regional District is asking on the federal and provincial governments to settle land claims with Indigenous teams in an effort to revive Vancouver Island’s rail hall.
In a information launch Thursday, the CRD board introduced its assist for the Island Hall Basis’s name to settle the land claims to advance rail journey as a transportation possibility on the island.
“We have to have significant conversations with communities alongside the Island Rail Hall about our shared future,” mentioned CRD board chair Colin Plant. “We wish to hold choices open for progress and improvement whereas listening to and respecting pursuits of native First Nations.”
The 295-kilometre rail hall is owned by the non-profit basis, which has lengthy advocated to revive rail service alongside the previous Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Railway route.
The Snaw-Naw-As Nation launched a court docket problem final 12 months looking for a portion of the hall that crosses its reserve close to Nanoose, BC, after its preliminary court docket declare was denied.
The BC Court docket of Attraction has given the federal authorities till March 2023 to find out its intent for the hall earlier than the nation can return to court docket and ask for the land to be returned.
Settling the declare is essential to any future improvement of that portion of the hall.
“The CRD board has constantly acknowledged the Island Rail Hall as a key element of the regional transportation system,” the administrators mentioned within the launch.
“After Indigenous claims are settled, improvement of the hall would entail extra in-depth monetary evaluation working with regional districts, municipalities, and nations in partnership with the provincial and federal governments.”
A number of research over time have estimated the price of restoring all or a part of the rail line for commuter use at between $430 million and $1 billion.