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More communities receive funding to assess future housing needs

Jan. 25, 2021

VICTORIA – The Province is investing nearly $1 million to help another 26 communities assess and report on local housing needs, so governments can ensure they deliver homes for people in B.C. while recognizing the uniqueness of each community.

“Local governments and First Nations play a critical role in addressing the housing crisis, and the impacts of COVID-19 on people and communities have reinforced just how important it is to support them in their efforts,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This funding will help communities determine exactly what kind of housing people need and will support healthy and resilient communities across B.C. well into the future.”

Funding recipients are from the third intake of the Housing Needs Report Program, administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). In 2018, the Province committed $5 million over three years (2019-21) to help local governments collect and analyze housing-related data from their communities.

While First Nations have also been included in regional district housing needs reports, in 2020, the Province expanded program eligibility to B.C.’s eight Treaty First Nations. Nisga’a Lisims Government and Tsawwassen First Nation are two of the successful applicants from the third intake and will receive funding to develop their own housing needs reports.

Since the Housing Needs Report program started, a total of 138 local governments and two Treaty First Nations in B.C. have received funding to help them assess their communities’ housing needs. Under the housing needs report legislation, all local governments must produce their first housing needs report by April 2022 and every five years after that.

“The level of engagement by B.C.’s local governments with this program demonstrates the extent of housing crisis across the province,” said Brian Frenkel, president, UBCM. “Strengthening local housing needs data will assist the identification of local priorities and improve the design of provincial funding programs. UBCM is pleased to administer this program on behalf of the province.”

Completed reports are formally received by local councils and boards and made available online to anyone seeking information on local housing needs. See examples of completed housing needs reports:


Brad West, mayor, Port Coquitlam —

“We appreciate this funding from the Province to help us better understand what kind of housing Port Coquitlam is going to need now and in years to come. This assessment, along with the work we’re already undertaking with our official community plan updates, will help ensure that we’re taking clear action to meet the diverse housing needs of all our residents and growing community.”

Peter Busse, mayor, Lillooet —

“The District of Lillooet is most grateful for the Province’s support in assuring our housing needs assessment is instituted. We view this important initiative as crucial for our strategic planning to tackle Lillooet’s present and future requirements. We will now be able to understand and better plan for the policies and appropriate development of the housing solutions to fit these needs.”

Rob Gay, board chair, Regional District of East Kootenay —

“We are grateful to Minister Osborne and to the Province of B.C. for approving this funding. It will not only help us explore how well the existing housing stock is meeting the needs of our rural communities, but will also allow us to develop plans to ensure our residents are in suitable, safe and affordable housing into the future.”

Quick Facts:

  • More than 75% of local governments have already successfully applied for a housing needs report grant or developed housing needs reports without provincial funding.
  • Housing needs reports are another tool to help the Province work with local governments and other partners to build 114,000 new affordable homes throughout B.C. by 2028.
  • Successful applicants receive 50% of the grant funding once approved and the remaining 50% once they complete their final reporting to UBCM.

Learn More:

Housing needs reports requirements and supporting data and guidance:

For application information on provincial funding administered by UBCM, visit:

A backgrounder follows.


Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Media Relations
250 920-6388


B.C. communities receiving grants for housing needs reports

Eighteen municipalities, six regional districts and two Treaty First Nations are receiving grants to develop housing needs reports, following the third intake of applications that closed Nov. 13, 2020.

Applications for regional housing needs report projects may involve a combination of municipalities and regional district electoral areas. This is reflected in some of the grants listed below.

  • Anmore: $15,000
  • Belcarra: $15,000
  • Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako: $108,980
    • includes all seven electoral areas
  • Columbia-Shuswap Regional District: $45,000
    • includes electoral areas B, D and F
  • Coquitlam: $70,000
  • Regional District of East Kootenay: $95,000
    • includes all six electoral areas
  • Fraser-Fort George Regional District: $100,000
    • Includes all seven electoral areas
  • Kitimat-Stikine Regional District: $15,000
    • includes electoral area F
  • Lillooet: $15,000
  • Lions Bay: $15,000
  • Nisga’a Lisims Government: $60,000
    • includes Ginglox, Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitiwinksihlkw and Laxgalt’sap
  • North Coast Regional District: $30,000
    • includes all four electoral areas
  • North Vancouver city: $50,000
  • North Vancouver district: $50,000
  • Pitt Meadows: $30,000
  • Port Coquitlam: $50,000
  • Prince George: $50,000
  • Prince Rupert: $19,982
  • Sayward: $15,000
  • Sicamous:  $15,000
  • Tofino: $30,000
    • partnering with Ucluelet
  • Tsawwassen First Nation: $15,000
  • Vanderhoof: $15,000
  • Whistler: $20,000
  • White Rock: $30,000


Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Media Relations
250 920-6388

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


BC Government: Minister’s statement on Access to Justice Week

Jan. 25, 2021

VICTORIA – David Eby, Attorney General, has released the following statement to recognize Access to Justice Week, Jan. 24 to Jan. 30, 2021:

“As we mark Access to Justice Week, we have a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come over a very challenging 12 months.

“When COVID-19 hit the province early last year, the courts and government moved quickly to limit the impact on British Columbians while following public health advice to maintain access to justice under our ‘new normal.’

“We’ve made significant changes as a result of the pandemic, from adjusting courtrooms for physical distancing to introducing new technologies to resolve cases virtually. We’ve seen rapid – and much needed – transformation in our courts, with new systems for virtual filings and hearings so people have more options to resolve their issues.

“This change is not limited to our courts. Over the last three years, we’ve increased funding for legal aid by $26 million to give more British Columbians access to legal advice and representation, and to reduce court backlogs.

“Alongside this, we’ve expanded a new family law early resolution and case management model – first launched in Victoria – to Surrey. This will help those with family law matters get the services and supports they need to resolve their disputes more quickly and, where possible, outside of the courtroom. The results in Victoria have been dramatic for families who see results faster and more efficiently so they can move on with their lives.

“We’ve also made progress on our commitment to address the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system. Working in partnership with the Provincial Court, local First Nations and the local chartered Métis association, in December we announced the opening of the Williams Lake Indigenous Court – the seventh dedicated Indigenous Court in British Columbia. An eighth Indigenous Court will open in Hazelton this year. The Province’s independent prosecution service also recently announced new and revised policies for Crown counsel after consultation with BC First Nations Justice Council, Métis Nation BC and BC Corrections, to combat over-representation of Indigenous peoples as part of their Indigenous Justice Framework.

“In addition, three Indigenous justice centres have been created in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert in partnership with the BC First Nations Justice Council. These centres are part of a broader BC First Nations Justice Strategy that was launched in March 2020. They are helping to improve access to justice and offering culturally appropriate legal advice and supports to ensure better outcomes for local Indigenous communities.

“I would like to give thanks to staff at B.C. courts and those at my ministry who have come together to find innovative solutions to address the challenges presented by COVID-19. Without their dedication, these reforms would not have been possible. Our work to increase access to justice for British Columbians continues as we embark on a new year with some groundbreaking changes ahead for our justice system.”


Ministry of Attorney General
Media Relations
778 678-1572

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


Taseko Announces Offering Of US$325 Million Of Senior Secured Notes Due 2026

January 25, 2021, Vancouver, BC – Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE American: TGB; LSE: TKO) (“Taseko”) today announced that it has commenced an offering of US$325 million of Senior Secured Notes due 2026 (the “Notes”). The aggregate principal amount, interest rate and other terms of the Notes will be determined at pricing and are dependent upon market conditions and other factors. Taseko intends to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with cash on hand, to redeem its outstanding 8.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 (the “Existing Notes”), to make capital expenditures, including at its Florence Copper project and Gibraltar mine, as working capital and for general corporate purposes and to pay fees and expenses in connection with this offering. The Notes will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction. The Notes will not be qualified by a prospectus in Canada. Unless they are registered or qualified by a prospectus, the Notes may be offered and sold, only in transactions that are exempt from registration requirements and from prospectus qualification under Canadian securities laws. In the United States, the Notes will be offered and sold, only to persons reasonably believed to be “qualified institutional buyers” (as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act) and outside the United States, to non-U.S. persons in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act. This press release is neither an offer to sell nor the solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes, the Existing Notes or any other securities and shall not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy, or a sale of, the Notes, the Existing Notes or any other securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful. This press release does not constitute a notice of redemption with respect to the Existing Notes.

Brian Bergot, Vice President, Investor Relations – 778-373-4533 or toll free 1-877-441-4533

Russell Hallbauer

Chief Executive Officer and Director

No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information contained in this news release.


Premium Brands Holdings Corporation and a Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition Announce Completion of the Acquisition of Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated

VANCOUVER, BC, Jan. 25, 2021  – Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (“Premium Brands” or the “Company”) (TSX: PBH) and a coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations (the “Participating Communities”) are pleased to announce the successful completion of the previously announced acquisition of Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated (“Clearwater”). Pursuant to the previously announced plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act, Premium Brands and the Participating Communities, through a subsidiary owned 50% by each of Premium Brands and the Participating Communities, acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Clearwater (the “Shares”) at a price of $8.25 per Share in a transaction valued at approximately $1 billion, including debt.

“We are very excited to have a world class seafood company like Clearwater join our ecosystem.  The combination of its best-in-class management team, differentiated products and world renowned reputation for quality with our value-add expertise, brand development capabilities and extensive customer relationships in North America will strengthen Clearwater’s business and position it to accelerate its growth,” said George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands. “We are also very pleased to be partnering with the Membertou, Miawpukek, Sipekne’katik, We’koqma’q, Potlotek, Pictou Landing and Paqtnkek communities. We all share a common long-term vision for Clearwater and its continuing development as a global leader in premium seafood,” added Mr. Paleologou.

“This is a significant achievement for the Mi’kmaq,” said Chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation. “Mi’kmaq not only become 50% owners of the company but expect to hold Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences within a fully Mi’kmaq owned partnership. This collective investment by First Nations in Clearwater represents the single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada and transforms our participation in the commercial fishing sector providing more opportunities and prosperity for our communities,” added Chief Terry Paul.

“We are delighted to be working with Premium Brands and the Mi’kmaq to continue to grow and strengthen our business while preserving our culture and community presence,” said Ian Smith, President and CEO of Clearwater. “This partnership positions us to continue building on the legacy of our founders, Colin MacDonald and John Risley, while we embark on the next chapter of a remarkable Atlantic Canadian success story” added Mr. Smith.

About Premium Brands

Premium Brands owns a broad range of leading specialty food manufacturing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations across Canada, the United States and Italy.

For further information: please contact George Paleologou, President and CEO or Will Kalutycz, CFO at (604) 656-3100.


Seabridge Gold Announces Agreement for At-The-Market Offering

Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA) (NYSE:SA) (the “Company” or “Seabridge”) announces that it has entered into a Controlled Equity Offering SM Sales Agreement dated January 22, 2021 (the “Sales Agreement”) with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (the “Lead Agent”) and B. Riley Securities, Inc. (collectively with the Lead Agent, the “Agents”). Pursuant to the Sales Agreement, the Company will be entitled, at its discretion and from time- to-time during the term of the Sales Agreement, to sell, through the Lead Agent, such number of common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares”) that would result in aggregate gross proceeds to the Company of up to US$75 million (the “Offering” or “ATM Facility”). Sales of the Common Shares, if any, will be made in “at the market distributions”, as defined in National Instrument 44-102 – Shelf Distributions, directly on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) or on any other existing trading market in the United States. No offers or sales of Common Shares will be made in Canada through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange or other trading markets.

The program can be in effect until Seabridge’s current US$775 million Shelf Registration Statement expires in January 2023. Net proceeds from the ATM Facility, if any, will be used to advance non-flow through eligible exploration and development of the Company’s projects, potential future acquisitions, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

The Offering will be under a prospectus supplement dated January 22, 2021 (the “Prospectus Supplement”) to the Company’s existing Canadian short form base shelf prospectus and U.S. registration statement on Form F-10, as amended (File No. 333-251081), dated December 3, 2020 (collectively the “Offering Documents”). The Prospectus Supplement will be filed with Securities Commissions in Canada and the

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Offering Documents will contain important detailed information about the securities being offered. Before you invest, you should read the Offering Documents and the documents incorporated therein for more complete information about the Company and the Offering. Copies of the Sales Agreement and the Offering Documents will be available for free by visiting the Company’s profiles on the SEDAR website maintained by the Canadian Securities Administrators at or the SEC’s website at, as applicable.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor will there be any sale of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.


Seabridge holds a 100% interest in several North American gold projects. Seabridge’s principal assets are the KSM Project and Iskut Project located near Stewart, British Columbia, Canada, the Courageous Lake gold project located in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Snowstorm n the Getchell Gold Belt of Northern Nevada. For a full breakdown of Seabridge’s mineral reserves and mineral resources by category please visit Seabridge’s website at

For further information please contact: Rudi P. Fronk, Chairman and CEO

Tel: (416) 367-9292 • Fax: (416) 367-2711

Email: [email protected]


Tahltan Central Government Asserts Treaty No. 8 Bands Have No Rights in Tahltan Territory

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) on Thursday denied applications by the Province of BC and the McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) for leave to appeal a May 19, 2020 decision of the BC Court of Appeal ruling on the location of the western boundary of Treaty No. 8 in BC. The May decision upheld a trial decision that found the boundary within the language of the treaty lies along the Arctic-Pacific divide, which creates an overlap between the western part of Treaty No. 8 and Tahltan Territory. The Province and MLIB sought to appeal that decision to the SCC, arguing the Court of Appeal made various legal errors in its decision. With the SCC decision to not hear the appeals, the case is now over.

“The Tahltan Central Council (TCC) became involved in this case with intervenor status in 2013 to defend the title and rights of the Tahltan Nation” said Tahltan Central Government (TCG) President Chad Norman Day. Our Tahltan Nation has always asserted that the Treaty No. 8 bands have no connection to or rights in our Tahltan Territory. While we would have liked the SCC to hear the appeal, we are confident that the BC Court of Appeal decision is clear: nothing in this litigation establishes Treaty No. 8 rights in Tahltan Territory.”

The TCG was granted intervenor status in the case at both the trial and Court of Appeal and argued that a decision on the location of the western boundary does not mean the Treaty No. 8 bands have harvesting or other rights in that boundary area. Treaty No. 8 was intended to protect the traditional harvesting rights of the Treaty bands in their territories, and none of those bands have any history of use or occupation of Tahltan Territory. All three judges of the Court of Appeal agreed with the TCG on this point, clearly finding that a decision on the boundary does not establish any harvesting rights by Treaty bands in the boundary area.

“We expect the Treaty No. 8 bands, the Province of BC and Canada to respect and abide by the Court of Appeal’s decision” said Day. “The TCG respects the rights of the treaty bands within their territories and asks them to respect Tahltan title and rights in our territory. We will continue to take all necessary steps to defend our position and maintain our title and rights for future generations.”


Aboriginal Law Report Jan 18-24, 2021 – First Peoples Law

This week’s edition includes hunting rights, fishing rights, court cases, coal mining, consultation, salmon stocks, governance and more.

Governance and mining were front and centre in the Yukon

  • Liard First Nation preparing to enter self-governance negotiations with Yukon, federal governments – Yukon News
  • Yukon’s mining laws: the bold recommendations for modernization | The Narwhal
  • Joe Biden halts drilling in Arctic refuge – Indian Country Today
  • US Arctic refuge drilling rights auction a ‘complete failure:’ Gwich’in chief | Inuvik Drum

Read More:

First Nations Opportunities in Trade – BCAFN

We know that First Nations in BC and across Turtle Island had sophisticated trade routes, including the famous Grease Trails in BC, prior to contact. This economic activity allowed Nations to thrive in harsh conditions and diversify their assets, as it were, to ensure the wellbeing of their communities.

But since contact, Western trade activity largely excludes First Nations as partners despite some First Nations goods being in high demand. Various companies have stolen the intellectual property of nations by co-opting their traditional designs and products, without any revenue sharing or acknowledgement for First Nations. Intellectual property legislation does not address Indigenous traditional knowledge, much less protocols and data sovereignty for Nations looking to protect their cultural expressions from exploitation.

Read More:

Letter to MNC from Acting President Lissa Smith

Dear Métis National Council (MNC),

The Board of Directors for Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) writes to inform the MNC that we have voted to suspend Clara Morin Dal Col of her duties as President effective January 18, 2021, due to recent contraventions of MNBC’s Oath of Office and a breach of MNBC policies and procedures.

Pursuant to Article 25 of the MNBC Constitution, a person may be suspended from the Board of Directors with or without pay, by a simple majority vote of the Board:

“A person may be suspended from being a Board Member of the MNBC, with or without pay, by a vote of the majority of the Members of the MNBC. A person so suspended may appeal the suspension to the Senate whose decision shall be final and binding.”

Pursuant to Article 26 of the Constitution, Vice-President Lissa Smith is directed to serve as Acting President pending any appeal filed by Ms. Dal Col:

“Should there no longer be a President of the MNBC pursuant to Article 23 and 25, the Vice-President shall fulfil the Office of the President until a by-election is held to elect a new President in accordance with Article 46.”

Therefore, per Bylaw 8 of the Métis National Council, the MNBC Board fully expects that as Acting President, I will represent MNBC on the MNC Board of Governors:

“The Board of Governors shall consist of the Presidents, or designated representative, of each member association and the President of the Métis National Council who shall be the Chief Executive Officer.”

It is our expectation that the Acting President will have all the voting privileges and powers previously held by Ms. Clara Morin Dal Col until any appeal process with the MNBC Senate is complete.

MNBC is particularly concerned with the public statement made by the MNC dated January 21, 2021. This statement, including the comments made by President Chartrand and President Chartier, are of questionable accuracy and serve more to soothe the egos of the gentlemen previously mentioned than the shared goals and aspirations of the Métis Nation.

MNBC has a homegrown Constitution that was drafted and approved by our Citizens in 2003, and is the guiding document in our democracy. The actions that were undertaken in Ms. Dal Col’s suspension are, as previously mentioned, clearly articulated in the MNBC Constitution. By suggesting that actions clearly written in our Constitution, approved by our Citizens, are inherently undemocratic, “unwarranted, and without merit” are baffling. As much as President Chartrand and President Chartier wish to frame the circumstances regarding Ms. Dal Col’s suspension to their political benefit, the conclusions given by these gentlemen in no way resemble the reasons for suspension that were voted on by the duly elected MNBC Board of Directors. MNBC is not a vassal state of the MNC—you cannot decide who represents us.

It must also be noted that Ms. Dal Col has not been removed from her position as MNBC President, but rather has been suspended with pay. As stated in Article 25 of the MNBC Constitution, Ms. Dal Col is entitled to submit an appeal of her suspension to the MNBC Senate, and the decision of the Senate will be final and binding.

Of further concern is the reactionary decision by Presidents Chartrand and Chartier to willfully ignore the MNC Bylaws and refuse to recognize MNBC’s designated representative on the MNC Board of Governors. MNBC greatly doubts that this decision was brought before the MNC Board of Governors for consideration and is rather the unilateral decision by both gentlemen. Papal bulls are not the actions of a healthy, functioning democracy, and, as such, cannot be reasonably recognized as duly authorized by the MNC Board of Governors. You will not usurp our democracy, and our Citizens take great offence to any meddling in our internal affairs.

MNBC is a Governing Member that is equal in stature to the other members that comprise the Métis Nation, and as an independent government, is free and entitled to discharge internal political affairs with the expectation of non-interference from the other governing members of the Métis Nation., such as the MMF, will not interfere. MNBC is an autonomous government.

While we respect that Presidents Chartrand and Chartier have strong opinions on the circumstances that have unfolded, and are entitled to said opinions, the inflammatory rhetoric and partial truths in the statement given by the MNC will not result in further unity of purpose for the Métis Nation and offends the fundamental rule of law.

Finally, on behalf of the MNBC Board of Directors, I wish to reiterate our commitment to the MNC National Definition of Métis, as adopted by the MNC General Assembly in 2002:

“Métis” means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.”

Maarsi/All my relations,

Lissa Smith, on behalf of the MNBC Board of Directors

Acting President MNBC

Read the full PDF here.


I·SPARC – Deadline Extended: 2021 Equipment Grant application intake

I·SPARC (The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council) is accepting applications for its winter edition of the Equipment Grant Program through to February 5, 2021 by 5 p.m.

All First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities and Friendship Centres are eligible to apply for the Equipment Grant. In addition, some community not-for-profit organizations that deliver Indigenous sport, recreation and/or physical activity programs are eligible to apply.

Barriers to sport and physical activity participation have been further exacerbated by the pressures and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic as communities experience limited access to equipment and to facilities. In recognition of the need for access to equipment to reduce barriers to participation, we are pleased to announce that for this grant intake, the maximum grant amount has been increased to $3,000. Grant applications can range for requests from $500 up to $3,000.

The equipment must be used to promote healthy active lifestyles for Indigenous communities by reducing barriers and increasing access to sport, recreation and physical activity programs.

FEBRUARY 5, 2021 at 5 p.m. (PST).


Please make sure you have visited I·SPARC EQUIPMENT GRANT  for complete information before applying.

Applications that demonstrate the following will rank highest within the application evaluation process:

  • New programs and initiatives which address gaps in basic access to sport, recreation and/or physical activity
  • A well-defined need for the equipment, plan for its use, and description of the barriers it will help to reduce
  • A large number of Indigenous people benefiting from use of the equipment
  • Easy access, qualified supervision, and shared use of equipment

PLEASE NOTE: Sport apparel (jerseys, pinnies) electronics (projectors, scoreboards, fitness trackers), large single-user items such as treadmills and items for one individual athlete are NOT ELIGIBLE for the Equipment Grant Program. See a list of generally approved equipment HERE

All applications must include an official purchase quote or invoice from the supplier, and letter(s) of support. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Funds will be awarded either by reimbursement on submission of receipts showing method and proof of purchase, or by direct billing. Equipment placed on supplier accounts will not be eligible.

Due to limited funds, not all applicants will be selected.  All grant recipients will be required to complete and submit a final report which will be provided by I·SPARC.

For more information please visit, or contact [email protected].


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