Negotiations continue

  • Jul. 20, 2005 7:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay-Negotiations are continuing between the Council of the Haida Nation and the provincial government, and CHN president Guujaaw expects some of the talks will wrap up on Friday (July 22).
He doesn’t foresee a big public announcement, but said the CHN will try to keep everyone informed about details as they are confirmed.
He expects the Haida protected areas to be finalized, but things like the tenure being negotiated will take more time.
Tenure “is a trickier issue,” he said, noting the CHN has not had any to work with before, so getting this kind of operation up and running will be no small feat.
Guujaaw said the CHN has heard the concerns of local contractors and businesses.
“Their concerns are part of the complexity of the tenure issue,” he said.
As for the bear hunt, nothing is finalized but the provincial government is committed to getting rid of the guided licence, he said. The owner of the licence is willing to give it up, but not without compensation.
Final documents related to the land use planning process are being sent to the people who sat at the table, said Guujaaw.
“The other part – to determine how to create a sustainable island economy – should be up and running in a month,” he said.
As for the ad in last week’s paper from three logging companies, Guujaaw said he isn’t sure why they feel so uninformed.
“We’ve had the details of what we’re trying to accomplish posted on our website,” he said.
Guujaaw doesn’t believe the companies’ claim to be concerned about community stability.
“If any of that was occurring we wouldn’t have the concerns on island that led to the blockades in the first place,” he said.
Guujaaw said the companies knew about the Haida Land Use Vision for two years, yet they deliberately targeted and sought approvals in areas identified for protection.
He said Weyerhaeuser and BC Timber Sales were reasonable in using CHN processes for managing culturally modified trees, but accused Husby Forest Products of doing its own thing which led to the wreckage of valuable sites.
“It is no surprise to see the letter in the Observer,” said Guujaaw. “[The three companies] have been doing everything to spoil the workings between ourselves and the province for the last couple of months.”
Look at what these companies have been doing over the last 40 years, he says, then listen to them sing their tunes.
“I don’t think it will impress many.”