A historical change has taken place for Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) Citizens regarding taxation exemptions on Treaty Settlement Lands as of November 13, 2023. The termination of the Huu-ay-aht FNGST agreement (which was slated to take effect December 31, 2023), officially ceases to exist and is no longer in effect. The HFN government has taken necessary steps to make the exemption available again to citizens in a timely manner.
What this means for Huu-ay-aht citizens is, Huu-ay-aht will return to the original taxation exemption status prior to the Maa-nulth treaty which came into effect April 1, 2011.
Specifically, both GST and PST will remain exempt for HFN Citizens and the December 31 FNGST will NO longer take effect.
In 2022, Canada changed its long-standing policy that required modern treaties to phase out the tax exemptions in Section 87 of the Indian Act. On effective date the Maa-nulth Treaty required the sales, income, and property tax exemptions phased out. The sales tax exemptions ended in 2019, and the income and property tax exemptions are scheduled to end December 31,, 2023.
However, through negotiations with the Federal and Provincial Governments modern treaty nations may now choose to maintain the exemption for as long as they want and take up direct tax jurisdiction when or if they choose to.
This amendment puts tax jurisdiction back into the hands of treaty governments.
It gives Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) government the flexibility to choose when to draw down taxation authority as part of the self-governance and self-determination HFN has under treaty.
ANACLA, B.C. – OCTOBER 10, 2023– Today, Huu-ay-aht First Nations hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Bamfield Main Road at Kilometre 76 to mark the completion of the Bamfield Main Road Reconciliation Project. Following, was a celebration at the House of Huu-ay-aht.
This project started back in 2020 with Huu-ay-aht and the Province sharing the same vision of creating a safer route between Bamfield and Port Alberni, and today both partners have made it a reality. Providing mitigation towards a safe route is one substantial task completed.
The Bamfield Main Road is an active industrial road. It supports multiple users from industry to residents living in the Bamfield and Ditidaht area and the growing number of visitors. Over the years, the Bamfield Main, known as a dusty gravel road, has put many road users at risk and in some cases taken their lives. Everyone will play a role in continually being a diligent driver for the safety of everyone on the road.
Although the chip seal is complete, our next task is to collaborate on a strategy for maintaining the chip-sealed road and preparing for the economic growth that will come. Working together with partners we will work diligently to ensure the proper steps are taken to secure this investment and vision.
A project of this size does not happen without strong partnerships and the many workers involved. Huu-ay-aht extends their utmost respect (ʔiisaak) and gratitude to everyone who contributed and the individuals who worked hard and long hours to complete this project.
B.C. supported the project with $25.7 million in 2020, and an additional $10 million in 2023.
“Completing the Bamfield Road Reconciliation Project was a top priority for Huu-ay-aht. Working in partnership with the Province of BC, C̓̓awak ʔqin, and Mosaic, together we have made this a reality. We wanted to provide a safer and more reliable route for everyone who travels in Huu-ay-aht territory. With this upgrade, we begin building a strong, self-reliant community and economy for Huu-ay-aht citizens and everyone in the region. We are grateful to everyone who has supported Huu-ay-aht in reaching our vision.”
– Huu-ay-aht First Nations Chief Councillor, John Jack
“The leadership shown by Huu-ay-aht from the outset of this project has been so inspiring. Their perseverance and resolve got them through wildfires, pandemics, rising costs and floods. The result is that the Bamfield Main Road is now much safer. This work will have a lasting impact for everyone: community residents, local businesses, and the forestry and tourism industries alike. It will support economic growth and economic recovery for years to come.”
– Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Murray Rankin
“There are many people to hold in our hearts with remembrance and gratitude as we celebrate this moment. The road is the main transportation link between Port Alberni and the communities of Bamfield and Anacla, and it is used for medical, emergency and community access for Huu-ay-aht First Nations members, Bamfield residents, workers, and visitors. These improvements will make the trip to and from Bamfield and Anacla a safer one, bringing peace of mind to everyone who travels that road.”
– MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim and Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, Josie Osbourne
Crews on the Bamfield Main Road have completed Chip Sealing. During the week of October 2 to 7, 2023, workers will remain on the road, sweeping, cleaning bridge decks, and removing berms.
Please remember that even with the Chip Seal being complete, a pilot vehicle will still be used for some zones where crews will be actively sweeping. Please expect a maximum 15-minute delay.
Huu-ay-aht has had a number of concerns brought to their attention in regards to vehicles speeding and putting other road users at risk, specifically around narrow sections of the road.
Please be aware of the road signage and obey the speed limit of 60 km/hr. The Bamfield Main is still an active industrial logging road and road users are travelling on the Bamfield Main at their own risk. To ensure safety for everyone, please slow down.
Be aware and watch for construction equipment, flaggers, crews are on the road, and follow pilot vehicles.
The RCMP will be monitoring for safe driving throughout the project and detour.
Please drive with your headlights on and drive with extreme caution.