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2004 Agendas & Minutes

General Purposes Committee Meeting Minutes - February 16, 2004



Special General Purposes Committee Meeting





Monday, February 16th, 2004


Council Chambers
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt (4:02 p.m.)
Councillor Kiichi Kumagai
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Rob Howard

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.








Mayor Brodie indicated that the purpose of the meeting was to consult with Musqueam pursuant to the Gaming Control Act and Regulations to determine the extent to which they were materially affected by the proposed casino relocation.



The Musqueam delegation comprising Chief Ernie Campbell, for Musqueam, Robert Duncan, Band Manager, Executive Director, Councillor Wendy Grant, Councillor Delbert Guerin, Leona Sparrow, Director, Treaty Operations, and Councillor Wayne Sparrow, were present.  Also introduced were Don Rosenbloom and James Hickling, legal counsel for Musqueam.



The Mayor then asked the delegation to advise the Committee how they saw their interests being materially affected by the application to relocate the Great Canadian Casino from Sea Island Way to the site of the former Bridgepoint Market.



Chief Campbell spoke about the Bridgeport lands, noting that these were Musqueam lands, that Bridgepoint was in the heart of the traditional Musqueam territory, that the Band had been in existence since time immemorial, and that all of the other lands which surrounded the Bridgepoint properties were in their reserve.  He further stated that he did not think that anyone could seriously question their aboriginal title to the subject property. 



Chief Campbell talked about the treaty negotiations in which the band had been involved with the Federal and Provincial Governments since 1994.  He stated that Bridgepoint had always been considered an important part of the treaty settlement as these were Crown held lands in their traditional territory, and were important to the Bands existence and survival.  Chief Campbell further advised that gaming was also an important part of the treaty settlement, that gaming was part of their culture, part of their framework agreement, and part of their future economic development and well being.



Chief Campbell expressed concern about the City's approach to Bridgepoint, stating that for many years Richmond had been aware not only of Musqueams aboriginal rights and title, but also of the treaty negotiations and Musqueams interest in gaming.  He further stated that Richmond had ignored Musqueams legal and constitutional rights and did not understand the effect of land developments on Musqueam.  As well, he indicated that Richmond had not tried to accommodate Musqueams interest nor had the City dealt fairly with Musqueam.  Chief Campbell stated that Richmond should realize that every parcel of Crown land in Richmond was significant for Musqueam, and that Musqueam would fight to protect what was rightfully theirs.  He advised that the courts had dictated that governments must consult with First Nations and accommodate their interests, and had stated that First Nations must be protected from developments which had a negative impact on their rights and treaty negotiations.



Chief Campbell referred to the recent success of Musqueam in obtaining an injunction to prevent the transfer of the DFO property at Garden City Road and No. 4 Road to the City.  He stated that that case had been about proper consultation, and that the Federal Court issued an injunction in Musqueams favour.  Chief Campbell, with reference to the Garden City property, acknowledged that Musqueam and Richmond had been working in cooperation to resolve mutual concerns, however, he expressed concern that the Bridgepoint property could jeopardize that relationship.  He expressed the hope that Richmond would recognize its legal responsibilities and consult in good faith.  He expressed concern that Richmond seemed determined to fast track the casino application without concern for Musqueam interests and without any attempt to accommodate the Musqueam people.  Chief Campbell stated that as a result, Musqueam had engaged legal counsel who had been asked to state in no uncertain terms, Musqueams views on the Bridgepoint property and the consultation process.



At this point, the Chair advised that the purpose of the meeting was to talk only about how Musqueam were materially affected by the casino relocation and not the DFO property.  He stated that the procedure being followed today was as set out in the Gaming Control Act and Regulations and not under common law, and he requested that any comments be kept relevant to the consultation process under this Act.



Mr. Rosenbloom, referencing the comments made by the Mayor that the purpose of the meeting was to deal only with the Bridgepoint land, suggested that the City had a responsibility to consult with Musqueam in respect to common law and juris prudence. 



Mr. Rosenbloom then addressed the Committee on the proposal to relocate and expand a gaming facility at the Bridgepoint site.  A copy of his presentation is attached as Schedule A and forms part of these minutes.



During the presentation, Mr. Rosenbloom was again requested by the Mayor to address how Musqueam were materially affected by the proposed relocation and expansion.  The Chair stated that the City wished to consult with Musqueam and wished to know in what way Musqueam were materially affected by the proposal, and Mr. Rosenbloom was asked to address that point.  In response, Mr. Rosenbloom stated that he was indeed addressing that point by first making the submission that the manner in which the process had been restricted first by the City's definition of materially affected, and second, by indicating that any discussion about the aboriginal title and rights to the property, would not be entertained.  He stated that Musqueam took the position that their rights were far more extensive than whether they agreed to the parking configuration or traffic flow at the subject property.  Mr. Rosenbloom stated that Musqueam had the right to come before Committee and inform the City that the approach being taken was so restrictive that it did not comply with what the Musqueam thought was the City's legal obligation to consult with a First Nation.



Following the conclusion of Mr. Rosenblooms presentation, a brief discussion ensued between the delegation and the Mayor on whether Musqueam had been aware of the application prior to August of 2003.




It was moved and seconded



That the General Purposes Committee resolve into closed session to obtain legal advice, as permitted under Section 90(1)(i) of the Community Charter (4:53 p.m.).







The open Committee meeting reconvened in open session at 5:09 p.m.



The Chair addressed the delegation, asking that within the context of the Gaming Control Act and Regulation, that the Committee be advised exactly how Musqueam would be materially affected by the relocation of the casino.  The Chair stated that it was the view of City Council that land claims and all the issues that were involved with land claims were outside the jurisdiction of what was taking place at this meeting and outside the jurisdiction of the City. 



Considerable discussion then ensued between Mr. Rosenbloom and the Mayor on the definition of materially affected, on the intent of the word includes, and whether aboriginal rights and titles should have been included in the list.  During this discussion, the Mayor asked Mr. Rosenbloom several times to explain how Musqueam would be materially affected by the relocation of the casino.  In response, Mr. Rosenbloom stated if the City was limiting discussion to anything other than all the issues which related to aboriginal title and rights, then Musqueam would be affected by the economic issues which arise from the project proceeding in the face of well-known information by Richmond, of Musqueams desires to establish a destination casino at Bridgepoint.



The Chair announced that the consultation was now concluded, and the delegation was thanked for its presentation.








It was moved and seconded



That the relocation of the Great Canadian Casino from its present location to 8811 River Road, and the addition of slot machines, be approved, and that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and affected parties be so advised.











It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:20 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the special meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, February 16th, 2004.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerks Office



07.16.04 14:39
1/1/1900 12:00:00 AM