First Nations will give input on lighthouses

The Strathcona Regional District will gather input from First Nations before going ahead with a petition to designate three lighthouses as heritage buildings

The Strathcona Regional District will gather input from First Nations before going ahead with a petition to designate three lighthouses as heritage buildings.

After a misunderstanding in August with the We Wai Kai/Cape Mudge Band over land titles and the Cape Mudge Lighthouse, the Regional District elected two weeks ago to include all First Nations in any decisions.

“There was some confusion this might have to do with land titles, but heritage protection has nothing to do with land claims as title, it’s just to make sure these buildings are not destroyed by the Coast Guard,” Jim Abram, vice-chair of the Strathcona Regional District Board said. “That confusion has been cleared up.”

But before proceeding with a petition – which would need to be presented to the federal government with 25 signatures – Regional District directors chose to refer the issue to local First Nations.

“It’s a matter of courtesy and respect,” Abram said. “It’s their traditional territories that these structures are in, even though they are owned by the federal government. We want to inform them of what the Regional District’s intentions are and we want their opinions.”

The Regional District intends to nominate the Cape Mudge, Chatham Point and Nootka lighthouses for heritage designation through the federal government’s Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. Three separate petitions would need to be sent to Parks Canada for consideration.

If successful, the designation would protect the lighthouses from demolition or sale, something Abram, a former lightkeeper, is very passionate about.

“It’s been a 25-year battle,” Abram said. “I’ve been at the front of the fight four different times and we’ve won every time.”

He’s eager to see the three lighthouses receive protection but at the same time wants to do what he feels is right.

“There isn’t a huge rush to do this – we have until next spring,” Abram said. “In the meantime, we’ll consult with the First Nations over the issue. It’s a gesture of respect and co-operation.”

Abram said it doesn’t have to be a local governing body nominating the lighthouses either, anyone who wants to protect the lighthouses can create a petition, as long as there are 25 people to sign it, it will be considered.

“We thought, as the Regional District, we could be a leader and it would make sense for us to do it and that’s why we came forward in the first place,” Abram said. “But if it doesn’t happen that way, it should happen in another way. There is a great deal of heritage there, a great deal of history and a great deal of usage by First Nations and non-First Nations.”


Cape Mudge, Chatham Point and Nootka lighthouses all remain staffed and active.



Just Posted

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Campbell River School District calls for report on buses and seat-belts

Parents have questions following expose on research around buses and safety

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Most Read