SENAKW Petition Update

Work on our Petition challenging the Vancouver City Council decision approving the Senakw Services Agreement is continuing, and we can now advise that the hearing of the Petition is scheduled for the week of April 17, 2023.

We thank everyone inside and outside our community who has supported our legal action and made it all possible. Please renew your financial support if you are able to do so.

As we move into the second phase of work, responding to the filed Responses of the City and the Squamish Nation in the action, we also move to a period of broader community outreach.

We want to ensure that residents beyond our community understand what is at stake in this action and ask them to support us with a donation. 

Residents of Kits Point are most affected by the immense and unprecedented density of the proposed development, and the impacts of that density on basic livability issues such as traffic and parking in our area.  The whole City will, however, be affected by the impacts of the immense density on livability, the precedent created for development in other parts of our City, as well as reduced access of COV citizens to taxpayer funded community amenities, as acknowledged in the City’s own materials.  We all should be concerned about the actions of City Hall that got us here – the secrecy and the refusal to engage with the community.  The lack of transparency and accountability demonstrated should not be accepted in a democratic society. Our City government needs to understand this is not good enough.

The residents of our City have been subject to much misinformation concerning the City’s role in this development. The City has taken the position that they had no jurisdiction or regulatory authority with respect to the development or the Vanier Park road. While it is true they do not have direct jurisdiction or regulatory authority in terms of zoning and land use Bylaws, they do have jurisdiction over their own resources and services, and to decide what services they will provide to a reserve development and on what basis. In keeping with the City’s general public purposes – including ensuring that the city as a whole is liveable – it can impose a wide range of conditions on any agreement to provide municipal services on a reserve. 

With respect to the Vanier Park road, we were advised by  the Government of Canada that they were initially approached by the City and Parks Board, together with the Squamish Nation/ Westbank development partnership, requesting the access road in Vanier Park. The Government of Canada advised that they did not act unilaterally in granting the licence for the road and initiating a process for those park lands to be removed from our park and ultimately added to reserve.

These are important issues for the City as a whole and may have relevance for surrounding municipalities as well.