Huu-ay-aht citizens approve deal with Western Forest Products

On Sunday, Huu-ay-aht citizens gathered in five locations for a Special People’s Assembly to discuss important Nation business.

On the agenda was a vote on the matter of a proposed transaction with Western Forest Products and necessary approvals under the Land Act, as well as discussion on the referendum question on the proposed LNG project.

When all 118 ballots were cast, the land purchase was approved by citizens by a convincing 78% show of support. The vote was 25 No, 92 Yes, and one spoiled ballot. With that convincing positive result, Huu-ay-aht First Nations will move forward with the acquisition of the Sarita Bay lands purchase in accordance with the Land Act, s.5, with the discussed restrictions within the report.

When the purchase is complete, Huu-ay-aht will lease back the dryland sort on that location to WFP and grant statutory right of way to the company to allow them access to the leased land. The approved resolution also grants HFN Forestry LP a 200,000 cubic metre timber licence for the harvest of timber from the areas indicated.

The approval of this land purchase will open up economic opportunities in the area. This includes, but is not limited to, the proposed LNG project with Steelhead LNG. Huu-ay-aht citizens will vote on this project on March 25, 2017 in a referendum. Over the next five weeks, Huu-ay-aht’s government will offer citizens the information they need to make an informed decision on the referendum question. The final referendum question will be announced this week based on discussion that came out of the People’s Assembly. If you would like information, or to book an in-person home visit, please call Rebecca Henn at Rebecca.h@huuayaht.org or 250-723-0100.

The Special People’s Assembly took place on February 19, 2017 in Port Alberni, and it was broadcast to satellite locations in Anacla, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver.

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