Trees removed from Semiahmoo First Nation for ‘infrastructure project’

Officials would neither confirm nor deny if the project is related to sewer and water infrastructure

Semiahmoo First Nation is in the process of removing what appears to be hundreds of trees from reserve property.

Several piles of cut trees were laid out at the corner of Beach Road and Highway 99 Wednesday morning.

A spokesperson for SFN told Peace Arch News Wednesday morning that the trees were being removed for an “infrastructure project,” but would neither confirm nor deny whether the project is related to a servicing agreement between SFN and the City of Surrey.

However, after PAN published an article about the trees being removed, SFN Chief Harley Chappell confirmed via Facebook that the work is pre-work for water/sewer infrastructure, which is scheduled to break ground within the next few months.

“Trees are removed prior to March 1st to ensure bird nesting window is protected,” Chappell wrote.

Last Summer, Chappell and then-Surrey mayor Linda Hepner signed an agreement which could result in connection to sanitary-sewer infrastructure and water for fire protection for the first time in the nation’s history.

“It’s huge – it’s monumental,” Chappell told PAN in July. “Our late uncle, Grand Chief Bernard Charles, started the process of negotiating a connection with City of Surrey in the mid-1970s, so it’s taken us almost 40 years to get to this point. It’s historic for us.”

In July, Hepner described the agreement as “an example of the City of Surrey taking tangible steps to help a neighbour in need.”

RELATED: Feds announce $338,000 to help Semiahmoo First Nation improve water

RELATED: Semiahmoo First Nation to have safe drinking water

It was estimated that the first connection could be in place, best-case scenario, by early spring this year.

Last year, Chappell said a short-term agreement was in place for White Rock to continue to provide water to the western end of SFN lands outside of the “community core” (including the Semiahmoo Park area) until the end of 2019.

Steps towards the agreements were prompted by an August 2016 notice to the band from the City of White Rock, advising that the band’s water supply would be terminated “within… 18 months.”

Then-White Rock mayor Wayne Baldwin later described the termination as a “possible outcome… if we can’t come to some sort of negotiated agreement (surrounding the provision of services) that makes sense.”

In June 2017, the SFN was announced as one of 33 communities that would be receiving federal funding to assist with water infrastructure.

 

Piles of trees rest near the Beach Road and Highway 99 intersection Wednesday morning. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey soccer team wins national title for teammate Bassi, killed in car crash last spring

‘It meant the world to us to win it for him,’ says team manager/coach

RCMP shoot dog in South Surrey after it charges officer

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

South Surrey mother leads team of women to build homes in El Salvador

Kelley McNamara and her daughter are to help build a dozen homes in three days

Donation allows Peace Arch Hospital to buy new ventilator

TB Vets donate $73,000 to hospital foundation

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

VIDEO: Trudeau plays defence in Maritimes today while Scheer fights for seats in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

Court action in Trail acid spills may take years

B.C. court case involves a number of defendants and a number of plaintiffs

In the news: Sprinting to the election finish line and anger amid Manitoba storms

First Nations residents forced to evacuate their Manitoba homes after a recent snowstorm

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

Most Read