April 25, 2024 - Victoria, BC:

Leader of the Conservative Party of BC, John Rustad made the following statement:

“Tuesday morning, in a private briefing with ministerial staff, it was revealed to me that Eby’s NDP would be granting Haida title over 100% of all private land on Haida Gwaii.

“I fully support resolving Haida’s title claim but including private land is reckless and exposes the people of BC to an incredible liability risk.

“Cassells law firm, which specializes in Aboriginal Law, says promises that private land owners will be protected is “meaningless”.

“This means land owners on Haida Gwaii are at the mercy of Haida to future Haida indigenous law. I was told by government that financial compensation will be required by 2026 or BC will be going to court with Haida.

“Our province is home to 204 First Nations who claim between 110 to 120 percent of all land in BC as traditional territory. Eby’s Haida deal sets a precedent that as it plays out across the province, could cost BC taxpayers or private land owners trillions of dollars.

“Premier Eby and his consultants are misleading everyday, hardworking British Columbians about the chaos and the crisis they are creating. Rather than creating this liability, BC should be focused on economic reconciliation that would benefit Indigenous and non-indigenous alike.

“Eby’s Haida deal is a bad deal for everyday, hardworking British Columbians including First Nations.”

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