The Canadian government; Canadian Pacific Railway; and Boothroyd, Cook's Ferry, Matsqui, Seabird Island and Skuppah Indian Bands Jan. 17 marked the passing of Property Assessment and Taxation (Railway Right-of-Way) Regulations and completed all legal steps needed to settle litigation involving CPR and the five First Nations.
The regulations, which went into effect Nov. 8, are the first under the Indian Act to assist in evaluating property and setting property tax rates on reserves. The regulations follow last year’s ratification and signing of individual settlement agreements with each of the five First Nations.
"This agreement is the result of constructive dialogue, collaboration and cooperation between CPR and the five First Nations, [and] is tangible evidence of the meaningful commitment the railway has made to improving relationships with neighbors and communities," said John Walsh, CPR vice president of real estate, in a prepared statement.
The regulations and settlement agreements provide commercial certainty for CPR and utilities that have business interests on Indian Band land by allowing property taxation of CPR right-of-way interests on the five First Nations’ reservations.