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Bill Widens First Nations Real Estate Deals

By REW (Real Estate Wire) Jun 17, 2011

First Nation communities in the Fraser Valley and across Canada have been granted property rights that could allow large-scale commercial real estate developments on reserve lands.

The federal government and the Squamish Nation in British Columbia have said Bill C-24's amendments to the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act gives reserves more flexibility in attracting investor interest for commercial real estate projects.

The bill passed through Parliament with unanimous support from all parties.

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said these rights, which include a land title system and title assurance fund, close an "important regulatory gap that has so far hampered the development of large commercial real estate projects on reserve land." Previously, there was no certainty of land title on First Nations land on reserve. First Nations officials had complained it hindered them from finding financial backing for on-reserve development opportunities.

The Squamish Nation already has plans to build condominium units on prime undeveloped reserve land in West Vancouver.

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