A new salvo has been fired in the ongoing battle over the Skaha Park lease controversy.
Nelson Meikle, who filed a civil suit against the City of Penticton and Trio Marine Group in July, has received correspondence between the city and the Penticton Indian Band.
He contends the letters show the city failed in it’s obligation to consult with the PIB, under provincial and federal case law, like the 2014 Tsilqhot’in decision.
“The PIB can now be brought into my case,” wrote Meikle in his announcement of an update to his civil claim. “We must together continue to block City of Penticton and Trio from commercial endeavours within our city parks.”
Meikle notes the lands where Trio has proposed developments is under claim by the Penticton Indian Band.
“The PIB has existed in this area prior to the arrival of Europeans and certainly prior to 1846,” writes Meikle, who contends the city had only one meeting with band representatives prior to giving the go-ahead to finalize the lease agreement with Trio Marine Group on June 29, 2015. Trio released plans to not only give the Skaha Marina a makeover, but build a waterslide complex inside the borders of the park.
About a month after that decision, at the end of Aug. 2015, the PIB sent a letter reminding the city of their legal obligations. A later letter insisted archaeological and environmental assessments be done before proceeding with any development.
In a September interview with the Western News, Kruger said those requests came after the band realized the extent of Trio’s plans. They supported the expansion of the marina and the restaurant, but discussions hadn’t included the waterslide complex.
In addition to the other forms of relief sought — including a referendum — Meikle’s updated civil suit now asks the court to compel the City of Penticton and Trio to enter into meaningful consultations with the PIB.
Read more: City gives Trio the green light
Trio’s finalized plans for the marina portion of their agreement with the city are expected to come before council at their Oct. 18 meeting.