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First Nations now a first stop in industrial land crunch – Business in Vancouver

Chilliwack looking to region’s band lands for industrial development opportunities

Hemmed in by mountains, an international boundary, protected farmland and water, the Lower Mainland faces significant constraints on growth. It can’t grow out like Calgary; it has to grow up, and that often favours residential development, meaning industrial projects get pushed to the margins – south into farmland or farther up the Fraser River to New Westminster, Surrey and even Langley.

But the shortage of industrial land is also acute at the foot of Mount Cheam, where Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz sees opportunities to partner with Indigenous communities to boost the city’s industrial land base. A total of 11 bands comprise the area’s Sto:lo peoples. While none have received a formal proposal from the city yet, not all are closed to the prospect.

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