Golf course sale triggers First Nation lawsuit
The Musqueam First Nation is going to court to halt the province's sale of the University Golf Course to the University of B.C. claiming the land as part of its traditional territory.
Chief Ernie Campbell says the province had no right to sell the course to UBC in February 2003, while the First Nation is in treaty negotiations with Victoria.
"The problem we're having, and it's so darn unfortunate, is that while we're at the table, they're selling these lands off, putting it in third-party hands to get it off the table," he says.
The golf course is in one of Vancouver's wealthiest areas. It's currently Crown land, leased to the golf club by the province.
The university is also named in the lawsuit.
UBC's lawyer, Hubert Lai, says it was the province's responsibility to make sure everything was in order for the sale.
"Going into this transaction, we had always assumed that everything was done properly," he says. "It was only at the last moment that we discovered there was still an outstanding dispute."
No one from the government has commented on the lawsuit.
But in documents filed with the court, the province argues it did nothing wrong, and never promised to set aside the land for treaty negotiations.
The B.C. Court of Appeal is hearing the arguments on Tuesday.