KFN blames PoCo for continued trail closure

Kwikwetlem First Nation says the band has yet to receive a servicing agreement from the city of Port Coquitlam.

 

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Kwikwetlem First Nation says it will keep a part of the Traboulay PoCo Trail closed for safety reasons — for now.

In a tweet this morning, the band wrote it had hoped last month to re-open the 1.5-km stretch south of Pitt River Road.

That section of the city pathway is on land leased by the KFN, which is building a business park on IR2 that borders PoCo.

Trail users are asked to take Shaughnessy Street to link with Colony Farm Regional Park, or head to Argue Street.

The trail closure “is in place to ensure public safety while construction is ongoing,” the tweet reads, adding KFN places the delay of the re-opening with the city for not green-lighting a servicing agreement.

KFN chief administrative officer Eau-Vive Heppenstall said band members are also impacted by the trail closure.

“We’ve been very transparent about the fact that we’re waiting for [the city] to speed up the process,” she said.

Heppenstall declined to comment on why the servicing deal has yet to be inked; however, she noted understaffing at city hall as well as last month’s general elections and council changes.

Laura Lee Richard, PoCo’s director of planning and development, told The Tri-City News in September that city staff continue to work with KFN and its consultants to hammer out site servicing needs. “Once this draft is completed then we would be taking it forward to council for consideration,” she said.

In the meantime, Heppenstall said investors have been “banging down our door” wanting to build commercial and industrial space on the 120 acres.

Last month, KFN hosted an open house in PoCo to discuss its plans with the community — three weeks before the election vote — and, on Oct. 26, it invited government officials, CP and CN Rail reps, business leaders and the media to tour the site and meet with Chief Ron Giesbrecht.

In 2016, KFN filed an Aboriginal land claim for Riverview Hospital, the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital lands, Colony Farm Regional Park and part of Gates Park in PoCo. The city is also named in the lawsuit.

jcleugh@tricitynews.com

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KFN's tweet from Tuesday morning:

KFN


 

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