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Legal language makes road use unclear

Treaty process will mean sharing some easements

At a recent Powell River Regional District board meeting, Patrick Brabazon, board chair and Electoral Area A director, said there has been an interesting development related to the Tla’amin (Sliammon) Nation treaty process.

“We have a treaty with Sliammon in the works and the deadline will be in effect next April,” Brabazon said. “As always, the devil is in the details.

“The treaty is quite clear that certain roads will move into Sliammon jurisdiction but these are in a sense shared roads in that Tla’amin wants the road to get from Point A to something they have. But, several  residents live adjacent to the road and in some cases the road passes right through their property,” Brabazon said.

“At the treaty table, things were no problem. This road is going to go under Sliammon jurisdiction but it’s clearly understood by all parties that there will be an easement. Tla’amin will grant an easement to resident X and the road passes through resident X’s property. Resident X will grant an easement to Tla’amin. So at that point everyone is happy.”

Brabazon said that is until resident X, who lives in another country, gets a big, fat, thick envelope from the province. What the confused people do, Brabazon said, is phone the regional director. “Some of them are elderly,” he said. “They open up this letter full of legalese and they are distressed.”

He has been urging government officials to provide a little heads-up to these residents.

“I think everything is calm now. They are now getting nicer letters from the province and they understand that it is going to be a mutual easement in these cases and that everybody is going to have some sort of easement to get to their property. It’s just a classic example of how things can go sideways, easily.”