The K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) and Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) announced the signing of a Mutual Benefit Agreement confirming co-operation and collaboration in the management of water resources in the region.
This agreement is an important milestone towards building a meaningful relationship and partnership between KFN and the CVRD. It includes plans to extend water services in future to K’ómoks lands south of Royston and greater participation by KFN in the management of regional water resources.
In the signing of this agreement, KFN has stated its support of the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project and the CVRD’s water license application. KFN and the CVRD have also agreed to collaboratively manage and conserve water resources throughout the Comox Valley.
“K’ómoks First Nation is proud of the relationship built with the CVRD over the past few years and looks forward to strengthening that relationship with the signing of this agreement and other future agreements and initiatives. While always keeping the best interest of our members at the forefront, we look forward to continuing to addressing their needs through collaborative partnerships that influence the unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation,” stated Chief Nicole Rempel of the K’ómoks First Nation.
“This agreement achieves our goal of recognizing that water is a shared interest between K’ómoks First Nation and the Regional District,” explained CVRD chair, Bruce Jolliffe. “It also provides a clear framework of how we will work together now, and in the future, to ensure this important resource is managed, protected and remains available to all of us.”
The agreement specifically confirms:
Once funding is secured, the CVRD will initiate a Water Service (South) Extension Project to service KFN lands to the south of Royston. Funding for the project will be provided by KFN and developments that will connect to the future system. Decisions about supplying water to Royston will be part of a separate planning process that is not part of this agreement.
Upon completion of the Water Service (South) Extension Project, the CVRD will supply water in bulk that is purchased by the KFN to develop and service its lands.
KFN will support the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project, including a water licence application from the Ministry of Forest Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MLFNRO) for both the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project and the future Water Service (South) Extension Project.
KFN will participate in the management of regional water resources including future participation in the governance structure of the Comox Valley Water System.
The CVRD will ensure that business opportunities are identified for KFN businesses to work on both the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project and the future Water Service (South) Extension Project.