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In a vote that was really no surprise, The CBC reports that the City of Nanaimo’s ballot to approve an $80 million dollar borrowing for the building of a hockey arena was soundly defeated by a no vote of 80 per cent.
The proposed centre was going to be on a lot adjacent to the water that was also of historical significance for the local  First Nations. The First Nations were apparently not consulted on Nanaimo’s choice.
The thought by Council was that such an arena would attract a World Hockey League team and provide an incubator for the downtown businesses and for the waterfront. Surprisingly, some council members are still pushing for a 5,700 seat hockey arena that could expand to 7,100 seats for concerts, as the magic bullet to move Nanaimo forward.
You’d think that such a vote would be a suggestion Council look at downtown revitalization, creating a better walking and biking environment, and promoting Nanaimo as a hub of business and activity. But no-Councillor Jerry Hong says he was glad the vote was decisive, but that the project could be revisited.“I don’t think this is the end at all,” he said of Saturday night’s vote.”
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Comments

  1. Kudos to Nanaimo residents. There are much better uses for this land than a temple to sports. As for a World Class hockey team — we don’t even have one in Metro Vancouver with 30 times the population, hundreds of millions in salaries and commercial revenue, and an even larger existing hockey palace. The proponents clearly didn’t do their research.
    The local First Nations should always be consulted on such important historic sites. The plight of the Hul’qumi’num people (six southern Island First Nations) is documented through their treaty group, and the biggie is the confiscation of 8,000 km2 of their territory as part of the E&N Railway land grant without notice, compensation or representation. That land now consists of towns, farms and private forest land that has been high-graded down to bare soil and rock, and the confining of First Nations communities into tiny reserves.
    That land area is 285 times larger than the Vancouver land granted to the CPR. We now see four Indigenous communities participating in joint developments with the feds and province within the Metro as the result of the recognition of the historic and unjust theft of traditional territorial land. Meanwhile, the E&NR corridor, ripe with so much potential importance to the Island’s future, sits derelict. One parcel is adjacent to the proposed arena site.
    Nanaimo can do better.

  2. The Snuneymuxw were consulted in that City CAO checked that box but it was clear there had been no attempt to partner with them or address their treaty rights and the site’s history as a Snuneymuxw village. And it was the Western Hockey League (JrA).

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